Spent like 30 minutes of doodling, burning most of the gunpowder on the hero sprite. You'd better like it
Start by loading into Game Maker as a background file and set it to be a 16x16, no offset, no separation tileset. You'll notice that for instance the cactus' four tiles are possible to combine in multiple ways to get cacti of different heights, and so on.
Also put in a simple 32x32 temple background, some bloody spikes, a flashing coin animation and a heart. Apart from the hero, there's a bomber jacket dude you can use either as the antagonist or as your sidekick/pilot, and finally there's the nerd-in-red female interest.
In general, I'd say that gradients in general is a bad idea, especially if you want your game to look retro. Applying them on stuff generally make them look plastic or metallic, and if you make a game made out of sandstone and dirt, that's not really the effect you're aiming for.
Myself, I've got Asperger's Syndrome. I'd say it helps me more than it hinders me, though. At least when it comes to my one big passion: video game construction. It's a bit of a bother whenever I have to communicate with humans IRL though.
change the game resolution from 640x480 to something smaller. Not only will you have to tile less, the game will feel less empty and thus more fast-paced and intense. I'd recommend 320x240, a quarter of the default size, but 480x272 is a decent middle ground you might like. 480x272 has the advantage of looking good fullscreened both on widescreen and standard 4:3 monitors.
Also, since you apparently has Standard (no watermark on that screenshot), you could use the scanline effect Zeddidragon
has developped to make your game look more retro-crisp. Also, if you use that your game will stretch to twice its size, so if you make the game use a 320x240 view it'll be 640x480 when stretched.
Edited by Yal, 21 February 2012 - 09:16 AM.