What should I include in my tutorials?

Post your own tutorials, guides and demos.

Post » Thu Sep 25, 2008 5:44 am

Okay, so I've started working on a series of tutorials that cover the basics of constructing games. It focuses on platformers, so there will be some stuff in it that is platformer only (I plan on doing a section for moving platforms and ladders, for instance) but it will also have general knowledge about how to set up and work with animation, how to use detectors, how do do simple enemy AI, etc.

It's called Platform School.



The way I'm designing it is the tutorial is the actual game. You open the .cap in Construct, run the game, play through it reading the signs, and the signs tell you step-by-step how everything in the game works. (The signs even tell you how the signs work :P)

Anyway, it's meant to be interactive, so like a sign will tell you to go to the IDE and check out this property or that event or whatever, so you switch back and forth between playing the tutorial game and looking at how it's constructed.

It's going to be a series of .caps, or "classes," and in each one a couple/few new things will be added and explained, so by the time you get to the end of the lessons you have a pretty good idea of how to build a game up piece by piece.

It's meant for beginners (especially the first part) but it will assume that they've already gone through the Ghost Shooter tutorial and gotten an idea of how to use the IDE. Hopefully by the end there will be a few advanced tricks to learn, but really I just want to stick to the basics.

Anyway, this is where I need some help... what are the basics? What are some of the questions that come up all the time that could be covered by my tutorial? I plan on putting in information about why animations stop when they're not set to loop, and that sort of thing (it's pretty common). I'm also including tips on organizing code into groups and event sheets and such.

I'm open to suggestions for things to put in, so I can create a lesson plan. What do you guys think?
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Post » Thu Sep 25, 2008 6:59 am

Awesome idea mate! I like the fact you are making a game, about making games lol. At this stage, I can't suggest much to include that you haven't already mentioned, or would think of yourself... I guess maybe a "special effects" lesson could be handy, showing some methods using the plasma object, and even QuaziBlobs(tm)!

~Sol
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Post » Thu Sep 25, 2008 7:15 am

Special effects are more of an advanced thing. I'm planning to stick mainly to the basics of making a game work. The most I'm going to get into special effects is like, how to do parallax scrolling (if you can even consider that an effect).

I might do some polishing tips at the end, like how to spice up menus screens and whatnot, and I could include a bit on effects there I suppose. But that would be like, "extra credit" :).
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Post » Thu Sep 25, 2008 8:29 am

Sounds like a great idea! My approach with Ghost Shooter was essentially to come up with a playable game, then reverse-engineer that and create a step-by-step guide to how to make that game, which just happened to cover things from image points to behaviors etc. I think you should definitely cover scrolling, parallax, animations and maybe jumping on enemies heads though.
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Post » Thu Sep 25, 2008 9:29 am

The head-jumping sounds like a good idea. Oddly enough, I haven't tried making any head-jumping examples yet, but I'm pretty confident I could come up with something.

I thought about doing a melee attack also. Ghost Shooter already covers bullets, so I don't need to worry too much about that.

I suppose I should do a bit on sound as well now that I think about it.
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Post » Thu Sep 25, 2008 10:10 am

Really great idea for making tutorials, I might have to follow suit :).

I'd cover simple things like inserting objects, setting up a behavior, editing an animation, setting up scrolling, then maybe move into very simple enemy movement (back and forth in a line), and a basic attack movement.
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Post » Thu Sep 25, 2008 11:37 am

[quote="Rich":1qbhp3b2]Really great idea for making tutorials, I might have to follow suit :).[/quote:1qbhp3b2]

Thanks, and by all means feel free :)

[quote="Rich":1qbhp3b2]I'd cover simple things like inserting objects, setting up a behavior[/quote:1qbhp3b2]

Do you really think I should start with these? I wanted to go basic, but that's pretty basic. I was kinda going for "So you've already done the Ghost Shooter tutorial and you don't know what to do next" sort of thing, like assuming that people had a basic knowledge of navigating the IDE and whatnot.

I suppose I could go that basic, if you guys think it's really necessary.

Anyway, I was kinda thinking of this as a lesson plan:

Lesson 1: Game structure. This would include how the objects and events are set up.

Lesson 2: Controls and animation. Mainly focusing on animation, but also how keyboard and environmental input is used to select what animation to play.

Lesson 3: Scrolling and parallax. Also, non-scrolling elements such as a HUD, score, the sign text, etc.

Lesson 4: Intro to detectors. How to get info from the environment to control tasks like manually adjusting the player's speed (moving platforms, springboards) and stopping the running animation when the player hits a wall.

Lesson 5: Customizing controls. Info on adding functionality to the default control scheme. Namely fast-running and double-jumping.

Lesson 6: More customizing controls. How to make a ladder, how to swim.

Lesson 7: Basic enemy AI. Make an enemy that patrols back and forth.

Lesson 8: Intermediate enemy AI. Make an enemy that chases the player around the level.

Lesson 9: Combat 1: Killing enemies.

Lesson 10: Combat 2: Player damage and death.

Lesson 11: Polishing #1: Making a game over screen, adding sound.

Lesson 12: Polishing #2: Making a menu screen.

If there's anything else you guys can think of that you'd like to see in there let me know.

And there's one thing that I really want to incorporate into a lesson, but I still haven't found a good way to do it, and that's how to make a jump-through platform. The best method I've found is to make it non-solid when the player is below, and solid when the player is above. This can obviously cause problems when you add enemies to the mix because they can intersect the platform while its solidity is changing.
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Post » Thu Sep 25, 2008 12:31 pm

Great run down. I think starting basic would be better, only because it would make a more complete "series" for the tutorials.

As far as your platform idea... rather than making the platform change... make the player character change instead. This way, if enemies come into contact with the platform it won't matter. I would use some kind of detector above the player, which if the player is jumping and the detector collides with a platform, the players X.Y coordinates are changed/added to, via a series of events (which over-rides any "solid" platform issues).

~Sol
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Post » Thu Sep 25, 2008 12:59 pm

Yeah, I'd start at the basics, a more complete tutorial will be better for people to follow from start to finish, as opposed to using different ones. Looks really good from what you have planned, though a small note on platforms: in a shortly upcoming build there'll be a 'Platform' attribute to allow the player to jump through.
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Post » Thu Sep 25, 2008 5:48 pm

[quote="Rich":2jz3yusr]Yeah, I'd start at the basics, a more complete tutorial will be better for people to follow from start to finish, as opposed to using different ones.[/quote:2jz3yusr]

Aw man, that's gonna be a lot more work :(. I guess I could make thirteen lessons. And I could add a function to my signs to make screenshots of the IDE pop up along with the text, I suppose.

[quote="Rich":2jz3yusr]Looks really good from what you have planned, though a small note on platforms: in a shortly upcoming build there'll be a 'Platform' attribute to allow the player to jump through.[/quote:2jz3yusr]

This, on the other hand, is making me giddy :D. That's awesome news.
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