Creating A Game

Good Evening. My name is Flynn. My brother and I recently bought an iPad mainly for the reason to create game with the app Codea. We have played around with the app for a while and figured out quite a few interesting combos. But we cannot created even a simple game and we are very confused with many of the options. We really need help to create a descent game. This was the reason we bought an iPad.

The first thing is to learn to program. No game is going to write itself, and it takes quite a lot of skill.

There are lots of tutorials on the wiki link above, I suggest you start there.

I put together a 12 step tutorial on a very simple lander game - which I guess you could call a descent game, but I suspect you meant decent :wink:

All the code and images are available here:

@flynneadie, as the others have said - start simple and keep practising, there is no substitute for practice, practice, practice when it comes to programming.

Set yourselves a simple target (battleships or minesweeper) - don’t worry about the app store yet, work towards it. When that’s done progress to a more complex game (like @West’s lander game), then do a Space Invaders clone, then PacMan, then Tetris, Mario Bros (each of these games uses new concepts like collision detection, complex data structures, interaction in different ways - again as an exercise it’s designed to allow you to gather experience as you learn)

Once you’ve got some experience then start thinking about your first “real” game.

If your short on programming experience then I’d suggest starting with the classic “hello world” and other trivial programming exercises (making use of sequence, selection and iteration) to gain more knowledge.

Oh, one last thing, remember that the “setup” function will be called once and ONCE only when your program first runs (this is where you do the setup for your app) and the “draw” function will be called repeatedly - this is where your game logic will be handled - think of it like a single frame in a movie, by displaying 24 (or in Codea’s case 60) frames per second and moving an object a little bit further each time the illusion of movement is created.

The best advice I’ve ever been given for getting into game programming follows. I’ve read it in a couple of places, and have had game developers reinforce it:

Start with Tetris. This game will give you drawing several different types of shapes, collision detection, a full game loop, scoring conditions, loss conditions, multiple levels. Nothing super complex. Once it’s done, polish it as though you were going to put it on the App Store.

Second is Breakout. Now you have angles to calculate, physics to take into account, player input for moving the paddle from side to side, and all of the above.

Third is Asteroids. Multiple moving items at a time, much more granular collision detection (depending on how you’re cloning it), player movement in the full X, Y axis, and all of the previous.

Fourth is PacMan. Now you have multiple levels, as well as (unbeknownst to most) 4 basic AI’s to code, that need to run concurrently. One of the ghosts always tries to take the shortest route to PacMan (aggressive type), one always runs away (coward type), one tries to cut PacMan off at junctions (tricky type) and one randomly chooses an AI type at specific intervals.

Once you have those 4 coded, you’ll have all of the basic tools needed to do game development. Be sure to polish each of them as though someone came to you and said “I want you to write me a clone of (Tetris | Breakout | Asteroids | PacMan) and we want to sell it on the AppStore.”

It took me roughly a year to get them all done in Python (I’m a lot more familiar with Python). I haven’t written them in Codea yet.

HI Guys thanks. Does anyone have Skype so I can call and be taught?

@flynneadie - um, I doubt you’ll get any takers for that. You need to teach yourself. There are lots of tutorials on the wiki link above.

I would start with Lua, the language behind Codea. I’ve written an ebook on it, here

@flynneadie - what EXACTLY is it you feel you need to be taught, if you make a list of all of the questions you have you can put them on the forum and I’m sure they’ll get answered - there are a LOT of resources already out there (even on the forum) and the examples that are included with Codea will get you off to a good start.

So what is it you feel you need, I’d be happy to help as much as I can.

@flynneadie, what kind of games are you most interested in making? Puzzle, sidescroller, RPG, runner, action/adventure, etc.? If we know a little more about the game you want to make, we can help point you in the right direction. Like others have said, there are many great examples of code in these forums.

I made a small (but legit) game called Expansion, you could look at the code in it if you want to.

My advice for every game is to make a main menu first. It’s a pain to try and add it in later…

You can get a sneak peak at Expansion+ here: Just paste that into your project and press play.

I would also look at

@SkyTheCoder, making the main menu first is definitely some good advice. I am not looking forward to making the menu for RPGenerator since the program is getting more and more robust every day. I have ideas on how to add it in now, but I still have doubts, lol.

@flynneadie Also see @Ignatztutorials on Codea.

By the way, I would put making a game at the bottom of the list of why you should buy an iPad. Pretty much everything is developed on a laptop or PC. I would say 99.99% of apps are made on a computer, with the 0.01% being apps made in Codea. For most things, if you want to make a game or any other application you want to buy a computer. I recently bought a MacBook Pro just for making apps.

I would really like to create am RPG Game would anyone know how to make them.

@flynneadie - seriously, start with the basics, RPG’s often require complex data structures and lot’s of content (as well as the story), if that’s ultimately what you want you’d be better off looking at one of the various RPG maker tools available on desktop machines.

Have you made pong yet? If not I’d suggest it. Its simple. Take the time and make a menu and scoring for it.

@flynneadie, check out my project here:

I am currently building an RPG generator, cleverly titled RPGenerator, :smiley:


Good stuff guys great advice I suggest watching the video tutorials on YouTube