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Learning Stencyl 3.x Game Development Beginner's Guide

Book Description

You don’t need to know anything about game development or computer programming when you use the Stencyl toolkit. This book guides you through the whole process of creating a game, publishing and profiting from it.

  • Learn important skills that will enable you to quickly create exciting video games, without the complexity of traditional programming languages

  • Find out how to maximize potential profits through licencing, paid-sponsorship and in-game advertising

  • Explore numerous step-by-step tutorials that will guide you through the essential features of Stencyl’s powerful game-development toolkit

  • In Detail

    Creating video games has traditionally been a long and complicated process, requiring years of experience and a vast array of skills. However, with the introduction of comprehensive game-development toolkits such as Stencyl, the fun has returned to the art of game-creation – anyone who has the desire to create their own video game can now do so with almost any desktop computer and a free software download from the Internet!

    Learning Stencyl 3.x Game Development: Beginner's Guide will put you on the fast-track to learning the essentials of the powerful Stencyl game-development toolkit. You will develop a complete, ready-to-publish video game including in-game advertising, by following the clear, step-by-step tutorials, supported by numerous screenshots and practical examples.

    This book will guide you through all the important steps required to develop and publish your video game. Starting with the installation and testing of the Stencyl toolkit, you will very quickly advance to the fun and exciting process of creating a playable game. The step-by-step tutorials will guide you from a blank screen, right through to giving your game that final polish and sharing it with the rest of the world.

    Whilst developing your feature-complete video game, you will learn how to easily detect collisions in your game using Stencyl’s built-in physics engine. You’ll discover how to use the powerful animation tools included in Stencyl’s toolkit, and you’ll find out how to make your game shine with sounds and visual special effects. You will also discover how Stencyl makes it easy to utilize the touch-screen and accelerometer features of smartphones and tablet computers.

    You will learn all the essential skills required to develop a video game from scratch – right through to publishing a game on the Internet and testing games on the most popular mobile devices.

    Table of Contents

    1. Learning Stencyl 3.x Game Development Beginner's Guide
      1. Table of Contents
      2. Learning Stencyl 3.x Game Development Beginner's Guide
      3. Credits
      4. Foreword
      5. About the Author
      6. Acknowledgement
      7. About the Reviewers
      8. www.PacktPub.com
        1. Support files, eBooks, discount offers and more
          1. Why Subscribe?
          2. Free Access for Packt account holders
      9. Preface
        1. What this book covers
        2. What you need for this book
        3. Who this book is for
        4. Conventions
        5. Time for action – heading
          1. What just happened?
          2. Have a go hero – heading
        6. Reader feedback
        7. Customer support
          1. Downloading the example code
          2. Downloading the color images of this book
          3. Errata
          4. Piracy
          5. Questions
      10. 1. Introduction
        1. How Stencyl works
        2. How we'll learn to use Stencyl
        3. Why Stencyl is a great development tool
          1. Rapid prototyping and development
          2. No code development
          3. Sharing resources with other Stencyl developers
        4. Platforms that Stencyl runs on
          1. Stencyl target platforms
            1. Targeting specific devices
            2. Publishing desktop games
            3. Publishing to iOS devices
            4. Publishing to Android
        5. What makes Stencyl different
          1. Stencyl runs on almost any desktop computer
          2. Stencyl creates native code
          3. You don't need to be a coder
          4. Using the free version of Stencyl
          5. Using the free version of Stencyl with this book
        6. Successful games created with Stencyl
          1. The Stencyl Showcase
        7. Installing Stencyl and testing the setup
          1. Installing Stencyl
            1. Microsoft Windows
        8. Time for action – downloading and installing Stencyl on Windows
          1. What just happened?
            1. Mac OS X
        9. Time for action – downloading and installing Stencyl for Mac OS X
          1. What just happened?
            1. Linux
        10. Time for action – downloading and installing Stencyl for Linux
          1. What just happened?
          2. Creating a Stencyl account
        11. Time for action – creating an account and signing in
          1. What just happened?
          2. Have a go hero
          3. Testing the Stencyl installation
        12. Time For action – testing Stencyl
          1. What just happened?
          2. Have a go hero
        13. Summary
      11. 2. Let's Make a Game!
        1. Using the downloaded game files
          1. Let's get started!
        2. Creating a new game
        3. Time for action – creating a new game
          1. What just happened?
        4. Creating a blank scene
        5. Time for action – creating a blank scene
          1. What just happened?
        6. Downloading resources from StencylForge
        7. Time for action – downloading an actor
          1. What just happened?
          2. Have a go hero – searching StencylForge for interesting actors
        8. Understanding the Stencyl Dashboard
        9. Adding an actor into a scene
        10. Time for action – adding an actor to the jungle scene
          1. What just happened?
        11. Testing the game
        12. Time for action – testing the game
          1. What just happened?
        13. Downloading and using tiles for scenery
        14. Time for action – downloading tiles from StencylForge
          1. What just happened?
          2. Have a go hero – searching StencylForge for tilesets
          3. Adding tiles into the scene
        15. Time for action – adding tiles into the scene
          1. What just happened?
          2. Working with tiles
            1. Deleting tiles from a scene
            2. Replacing existing tiles in a scene
            3. Moving tiles in a scene
            4. Selecting multiple tiles
            5. Placing multiple copies of tiles
          3. Have a go hero – experimenting with tiles in the scene
          4. Finalizing the initial design
          5. Have a go hero – tidying up the scene
        16. Reviewing our progress
        17. Using behaviors to interact with our game
          1. Working with behaviors
            1. Adding behaviors
        18. Time for action – attaching a behavior to an actor
          1. What just happened?
            1. Configuring behaviors with Attributes
        19. Time for action – configuring the behavior
          1. What just happened?
          2. Have a go hero – configuring the remaining animations
            1. Save the game!
        20. Testing the game
        21. Time for action – testing the game to find a problem!
          1. What just happened?
        22. Improving the scene mechanics
        23. Time for action – adding gravity to the Jungle scene
          1. What just happened?
          2. Keeping an actor in a scene
        24. Time for action – attaching another behavior to the actor
          1. What just happened?
          2. Increasing the width of the gameplay area
        25. Time for action – increasing the width of the scene
          1. What just happened?
          2. Have a go hero – adding more tiles to the scene
        26. Making the screen scroll
        27. Time for action – attaching the Camera Follow behavior
          1. What just happened?
          2. Adding some interesting scenery
          3. Have a go hero – adding some interesting tiles to the scene
            1. Fine-tuning the level design
            2. Finding game testers
        28. Summary
      12. 3. Detecting Collisions
        1. Working with collision detection in Stencyl
        2. Time for action – enabling the Debug Drawing feature
          1. What just happened?
        3. Modifying an actor's collision shapes
        4. Time for Action – modifying the monkey's collision shapes
          1. What just happened?
          2. Adding multiple collision shapes
        5. Time for action – adding more collision shapes to the monkey
          1. What just happened?
          2. Planning the collision shapes
          3. Have a go hero
          4. Testing the updated collision bounds
        6. Configuring collision shapes for tiles
        7. Time for action – modifying the collision bounds of a tile
          1. What just happened?
          2. Have a go hero
        8. Adding enemies and collectibles
          1. Downloading the enemies and collectibles
          2. Placing the new actors into the jungle scene
        9. Working with collision groups
        10. Time for action – examining the collision group settings
          1. What just happened?
          2. Viewing the actors' collision groups
        11. Time for action – examining the Players and Actors groups
          1. What just happened?
          2. Creating a new collision group
        12. Time for action – creating a collision group for enemy actors
          1. What just happened?
          2. Have a go hero
          3. Configuring collisions for the fruit actors
        13. Using collision sensors
        14. Time for action – configuring the fruit as a sensor
          1. What just happened?
          2. Have a go hero
        15. Implementing terrain collision shapes
        16. Time for action – adding a terrain collision area to the scene
          1. What just happened?
          2. Have a go hero
          3. What else can we improve?
        17. Summary
      13. 4. Creating Behaviors
        1. Creating custom behaviors
          1. Creating our first custom behavior
        2. Time for action – creating a behavior
          1. What just happened?
        3. Time for action – adding an action and attaching to it an actor
          1. What just happened?
          2. The actor's behavior screen
          3. Adding an additional event to a behavior
        4. Time for action – adding an event and renaming the behavior
          1. What just happened?
          2. Understanding the instruction block palette
          3. Considering future refinements
          4. A review of the gameplay
          5. Introducing a new challenge
          6. Have a go hero – downloading and configuring the statue
        5. Creating a timed event
        6. Time for action – creating a behavior to drop the statues
          1. What just happened?
          2. Identifying and resolving problems
        7. Examining screen size and scene size
        8. Time for action – adjusting the drop-location of the statue
          1. What just happened?
          2. Examining the scene instruction blocks
          3. Preparing for future changes
        9. Time for action – making the behavior more flexible
          1. What just happened?
        10. Introducing randomness into our game
        11. Time for action – introducing randomness to our behavior
          1. What just happened?
          2. Optimizing the number of actors
        12. Time for action – making the statues disappear after a delay
          1. What just happened?
        13. Implementing our first special effect
        14. Time for action – making the statues disappear after a delay
          1. What just happened?
          2. Experimenting with the timings
          3. Have a go hero – making the fruit fade when collected
        15. Understanding active actors
          1. Experiencing a freezing statue
          2. The origin of the actors
        16. Time for action – stopping the statues from becoming inactive
          1. What just happened?
          2. There's more than one way
          3. Have a go hero – using the offscreen bounds block
        17. Creating a countdown timer
        18. Time for action – creating a countdown timer
          1. What just happened?
          2. Examining the debug blocks
        19. Implementing decision making into our game
        20. Time for action – listening for the countdown to reach zero
          1. What just happened?
          2. What if? Otherwise…
        21. Repositioning an actor during gameplay
        22. Time for action – creating an event to relocate the monkey
          1. What just happened?
        23. Triggering custom events in our behaviors
        24. Time for action – triggering a custom event
          1. What just happened?
          2. Triggers and more triggers
          3. Taking time to learn the available blocks
            1. Learning from the provided behaviors
        25. Summary
      14. 5. Animation in Stencyl
        1. Creating an actor using an imported image file
        2. Time for action – importing an image into the Animation Editor
          1. What just happened?
        3. Understanding Stencyl's animation terminology
          1. Animation frames
          2. Animation settings
            1. Name
            2. Looping
            3. Synchronized
            4. Origin Point
            5. Default animation
          3. Have a go hero
        4. Importing a ready-made sprite sheet
        5. Time for action – importing a sprite sheet
          1. What just happened?
        6. Fine-tuning an animation's frame durations
        7. Time for action – modifying an animation's frame durations
          1. What just happened?
          2. Have a go hero
        8. Editing animation frames
        9. Time for action – editing an existing frame with Pencyl
          1. What just happened?
          2. Using an alternative graphics tool
        10. Time for action – changing the default graphics editor
          1. What just happened?
          2. Have a go hero
        11. Using instruction blocks to control animations
        12. Time for action – switching animations with instruction blocks
          1. What just happened?
          2. Have a go hero
        13. Implementing tweening with instruction blocks
        14. Time for action – using the grow instruction block
          1. What just happened?
          2. Have a go hero
        15. Summary
      15. 6. Managing and Displaying Information
        1. A review of our progress
        2. Planning ahead – what else does our game need?
        3. Displaying a countdown timer on the screen
        4. Time for action – displaying the countdown timer on the screen
          1. What just happened?
        5. Configuring fonts
        6. Time for action – specifying a font for use in our game
          1. What just happened?
          2. Using font files in Stencyl
          3. Have a go hero
        7. Creating a game attribute to count lives
        8. Time for action – creating a Lives game attribute
          1. What just happened?
          2. Using game attributes
        9. Time for action – decrementing the number of lives
          1. What just happened?
          2. No more click-by-click steps!
        10. Time for action – detecting when Lives reaches zero
          1. What just happened?
          2. Have a go hero
          3. Removing debug instructions
        11. Using graphics to display information
        12. Time for action – displaying a timer bar
          1. What just happened?
          2. Activating and deactivating instruction blocks
          3. Have a go hero
        13. Counting collected actors
        14. Time for action – counting the fruit
          1. What just happened?
        15. Time for action – detecting when all fruits have been collected
          1. What just happened?
          2. Preventing multiple collisions from being detected
        16. Keeping track of the levels
        17. Time for action – adding a game attribute to record the level
          1. What just happened?
          2. Fixing the never-ending game!
          3. Have a go hero
        18. Summary
      16. 7. Polishing the Game
        1. Adding a background and foreground
        2. Time for action – adding a background to the Jungle scene
          1. What just happened?
          2. Have a go hero
          3. Viewing foregrounds and backgrounds in the Scene Editor
          4. More about foregrounds and backgrounds
        3. Creating a visual special effect
          1. Making the ground shake
        4. Time for action – making the ground shake
          1. What just happened?
          2. Have a go hero
        5. Creating additional levels
        6. Time for action – renaming, duplicating, and modifying a level
          1. What just happened?
          2. Progressing through the levels
        7. Time for action – implementing level progression
          1. What just happened?
          2. Adding even more levels
          3. Have a go hero
        8. Adding a pause feature
          1. Preparing the pause banner framework
        9. Time for action – creating the pause framework
          1. What just happened?
          2. Implementing the pause feature
        10. Time for action – implementing the main pause routine
          1. What just happened?
            1. Summary of the pause routine configuration
          2. Have a go hero
        11. Implementing a level progression routine
          1. Displaying the message and buttons
        12. Time for action – displaying the message and buttons
          1. What just happened?
          2. Responding to the player's selection
        13. Time for action – responding to the player's selection
          1. What just happened?
          2. Have a go hero
        14. Creating a game over message
          1. Reusing the existing banner event
        15. Time for action – modifying the existing banner event
          1. What just happened?
          2. Understanding internal attribute names
          3. Updating attribute names
          4. Displaying the game-over banner
        16. Time for action – displaying the game over banner
          1. What just happened?
        17. Creating a Main Menu scene
        18. Time for action – displaying the introduction scene
          1. What just happened?
          2. Have a go hero
        19. Finalizing the game-completed scene
        20. Time for action – implementing the game-completed scene
          1. What just happened?
          2. Have a go hero – improving the game-completed scene
        21. Summary
      17. 8. Implementing Sounds
        1. Adding a jumping sound effect
        2. Time for action – implementing a jumping sound effect
          1. What just happened?
          2. Have a go hero
        3. Examining the play sound instruction blocks
        4. Organizing sounds in the game
        5. Adding a pickup sound effect
        6. Time for action – implementing a pickup sound effect
          1. What just happened?
          2. Have a go hero
        7. Adding a soundtrack
        8. Time for action – adding a soundtrack
          1. What just happened?
          2. Have a go hero
        9. Understanding sound types in Stencyl
          1. Audio file requirements
          2. Looping music
        10. Importing sounds into Stencyl
        11. Time for action – importing a sound effect
          1. What just happened?
          2. Have a go hero
        12. Summary
      18. 9. Publishing and Making Money from Your Games
        1. Publishing to the Stencyl Arcade
        2. Time for action – publishing to the Stencyl Arcade
          1. What just happened?
          2. Have a go hero – changing our game's configuration
        3. Making money with in-game advertising
          1. Third-party advertisement providers
          2. Implementing in-game advertising
        4. Time for action – inserting an advertisement into our game
          1. What just happened?
          2. Have a go hero – finalizing the MochiAds configuration
            1. The Mochi Media review process
            2. Preloaders and advertising
        5. Obtaining sponsorship
          1. Understanding sponsorships
            1. Primary sponsorship
            2. Secondary sponsorship
            3. Exclusive sponsorship
          2. Sponsorship payments
          3. Where to find sponsorship
            1. Flash Game License (FGL)
            2. Industry networking
        6. Improving our opportunities for sponsorship
          1. Mobile game monetization opportunities
            1. In-app purchases
            2. App store sales
        7. Summary
      19. 10. Targeting Mobile Platforms
        1. Understanding testing versus publishing
          1. Testing games with the free version of Stencyl
          2. Publishing Stencyl games
            1. Developer licensing for Google Android devices
            2. Developer licensing for Apple iOS devices
            3. Mobile game distribution costs
        2. Considering certification requirements
        3. Examining platform differences
        4. Testing on a mobile device
          1. Testing on an Android device
        5. Time for action – testing on an Android device
          1. What just happened?
          2. Testing on an iOS device
        6. Time for action – testing on an iOS device
          1. What just happened?
        7. Utilizing the accelerometer
        8. Time for action – experimenting with the accelerometer
          1. What just happened?
          2. Understanding accelerometer feedback
            1. Understanding the x axis feedback
            2. Understanding the y axis feedback
            3. Understanding the x axis feedback
          3. Using the accelerometer in a game
        9. Time for action – creating an accelerometer-controlled game
          1. What just happened?
            1. Autorotate
        10. Implementing touchscreen controls
        11. Time for action – implementing touchscreen controls
          1. What just happened?
        12. Exploring additional mobile device features
        13. Summary
      20. A. Planning, Resources, and Legal Issues
        1. The planning process
          1. Where to start
          2. Starting with concept drawings
          3. Starting with a prototype
          4. Finding the fun
            1. Starting small
            2. Using placeholder graphics
            3. Setting small goals
            4. Avoiding burn-out
        2. Third-party tools
          1. Graphics tools
            1. GIMP
            2. Inkscape
            3. GraphicsGale
          2. Audio Tools
            1. Audacity
            2. SFXR
            3. inudge
        3. Third-party assets
          1. Graphics resources
          2. Sound resources
        4. Additional resources
          1. Fonts
          2. StencylForge
          3. Books
          4. Websites
        5. Legal issues
          1. Use of third-party assets
            1. Copyright
            2. Public domain
            3. Licensed works
              1. Royalty-free
          2. A note about collaboration
          3. Clearing up some myths
            1. Myth 1
            2. Myth 2
            3. Myth 3
            4. Myth 4
            5. Myth 5
            6. Myth 6
            7. When it is safe to use third-party game assets
        6. Progressing with Stencyl game development
        7. Summary
      21. Index