Where to begin?

Im looking to create a simple platformer but have no coding experience and have no idea on where to get started. I tried looking through the luea manual but that didnt help at all. How do I get a level or main menu designed, what does it take to create an actual level. I am a visual learner not a manual one. What are the limitations? Sorry for the extreme lack of knowledge, I will sincerely appreciate any help that you put forth. Cheers!

Start simpler. You need to set smaller, achievable goals on the way to the “big” goal.

There are no limitations.

Start with the examples. Read them, understand how they work. Modify them to reproduce aspects of your end goal. Put together the building blocks of code you’ll need for your final idea.

I’d look at getting a solid handle on the screen and drawing - once you can make what you want show up where you want when you want - well, hats half the battle.

@Arashi541 I would suggest taking a look at the wiki: https://bitbucket.org/TwoLivesLeft/codea/wiki/Home - it’s largely text, so not visual, but it is much more approachable than the Lua manual.

I’d start much simpler then a platformer - set yourself a simple goal, such as re-creating an example project, or making a small change. See how it works. Then set yourself another goal, and so on.

I typically start with the main character(s) and draw it anywhere on the screen.

I then move the drawing off to a class and give the class an x,y.

Next, give the chracter some behaviors. Depending on what they are some of those go to the character class where other become functions that manipulate character data from outside the class.

This doesn’t always proceed in order, sometime I’ll shift to working on the background or other characters or object.

Leave the main menu and concept of levels for later. You’ll want to play around with your platformer without rules at first to be able to tinker with it.

For a platformer I’d recommend…

  1. Draw your character

  2. Draw some other objects/background

If it’s a scrolling platformer

  1. Move all the objects keeping the character in basically the same spot (scrolling) I typically use a table of the objects and decrement their x,y.

  2. populate the off screen objects that will scroll on. I tend to go random but you can also make it all like a true level.

  3. collision detect - what occurs when your main character is near an object (death, stop falling, can’t jump up, etc.) So far I’ve stuck with really really simple, just when two things are close. In a future version gravity/physics will be built in.

Thanks! I guess I am focusing too much with the big picture. I just have this urge to jump in and let wherever it take me, take me.

Heh - there’s nothing at all wrong with just jumping in. You won’t get a platformer out of it (at least not immediately) - but you’ll get something. Random experimentation has made a ton of useful things - Nylon, lexan, and teflon were all accidents.

Don’t forget silly putty

I’m just beginning myself, it’s hard to know how to piece it all together at first. Never quite sure what’s already been implemented, or could be had just for searching. But understanding it all is another thing altogether.

Digging out my old Computer Graphics textbook, for a start. I know I can ‘draw a line’ - and that there are ‘image’ and ‘context’ ‘things’ to be had. But there’s much that seems to be available, yet definitions or examples not readily found. When I’m typing code, I can see ‘point’ come up as a possibility, for instance–but haven’t found anywhere where ‘point’ is defined. Doesn’t seem to be a Lua function or constant; can’t find it defined in the Reference under Graphics or anywhere else I’ve looked, for that matter. So, I’m building some functions from the ground up – determine a real-world coordinate system - 2D, map to a ‘viewport’ window, clip/draw lines as appropriate, etc… And probably has all been done already, but this way I will truly understand it. Maybe later, I’ll find better ways. Or maybe I will do ray-tracing in 3d – I’m only on Chapter 3!)

While much material is available–and the more examples that I study, the more I’ll learn of course–much is hard to research. If we could get a searchable, somewhat comprehensive reference, that would be a great help!

Of course, for any specific help (rather than ‘general’ learning as above), one can always ask. If anyone’s done it, you’ll be sure to get a response.