This project has been in development for a massive total of 3 days. I can just smell the success. Since I'm lazy and inexperienced, I was browsing the Game Maker Community forums searching for simple code that allowed for smooth, pixel perfect platforming. Nothing more, nothing less. I would build upon this code and add all of the actual features of the game. I found the perfect solution in a very simple script developed by a guy who goes by the name "brod." Smooth, adjustable jumping combined with horizontal motion that could handle any type of slope are some of the features I was looking for and this script delivers. It still has one glitch, but I am almost certain of its cause and I have seen some branches of this code that are supposed to fix the problem, so I will look to those when the time comes to eliminate it. And best of all, it is simple to understand and extremely flexible.
So with that in place and after some of my own modifications, I have ended up with this beauty of a test room.
Look at the irregular terrain! Behold the naked NPC's!
I get around to coding clothing sometime. I spent quite a bit of energy adjusting and then testing out different values that controlled the jump physics. Thankful the brod's script has several values that can be modified, and they give the designer a great amount of control. Currently I have something acceptable in place, but only until everything comes together will I know if it needs any more tweaking.
I have made some changes to the art style. When the player was talking to NPC's, the two characters blended into each other and created a lumpy mess of fleshy pixels. So, in order to make objects of interaction stand out (ie. stuff that isn't background material or detail), I outlined each sprite with a thin black line. This is possible because the 8x8 sprites are scaled up to 32x32 sprites.