It's time to create my first game

I’ve owned Codea for a long while but I haven’t done much except admire the work of others. I don’t have much of a programing background but I am familiar with the very basics. For my first effort I would like to create something similar to the original lunar lander using vector graphics and touch controls. I’ve tried reading programming books in the past and it hasn’t really sunk in. I guess I’m more of a hands on person. I’m not even sure if Codea is the right tool for this job.

I’m thinking to get started and I could create the basic game play mechanics using basic shapes and a flat landscape. After that build a proper landscape, ship design, and maybe even a random level creator. Does this sound like a feasible plan?

Yes sounds a good plan. Certainly doable in Codea (I wrote a step by step tutorial on this here -

However, you will almost certainly get more out of it if you implement it yourself first.

If you’d like some concrete suggestions, I’ll offer these:

  1. Go to the 2D physics sample project and duplicate it so you can mess with it.
  2. Start to play with the physics engine by choosing one of the demos with falling objects and figuring out how to vary the gravity.
  3. Start to understand how to make Codea respond to touches by making the gravity turn on or turn off every time you tap the screen.
  4. Get more specific with the physics engine by figuring out how to apply an upward force to the falling objects every time you tap the screen.

If you get that much under your belt you should be well on your way. A lot of the heavy lifting has been done for you already in the sample projects.

@Klink - it’s not a difficult project, unless you haven’t had much practice with Codea and Lua. I’m hoping you know something about tables, moving objects around the screen, and how to program different game states in Codea (eg menu, playing the game, end of the game, etc). If not, I suggest you learn these first.

We have quite a number of youngsters who start out wanting to make a game with very little knowledge, and they end up asking us to basically write everything for them, and to explain stuff which is well documented, which wastes our time and is really annoying.

Ideally, you should know enough to get started, and be able to figure out most of your own solutions to problems. We are happy to help if you get stuck and to provide suggestions, but it should be occasional rather than continuous.

I think Codea would be absolutely perfect for this. My advice would be (from an aesthetic point of view), don’t do a straight port of the old lunar lander, but think about how to reinvent it slightly for mobile. Eg instead of directly controlling the lander itself, device orientation could influence gravity, swipes on the screen could be lunar wind etc.

Thanks for all the suggestions. I’m going to look at your tutorial @West and look at the demo’s @UberGoober provided. I agree @yojimbo2000 an exact clone would be boring but I’ll start there and see where things go. Giant lunar spiders have to be in order somewhere. :slight_smile: Finally, @Ignatz my goal is to learn and the game is a secondary objective. So I’ll probably ask for pointers but not actual code.

good luck and have fun!

Hey @West , I just loaded up your lander tutorial game. It’s the perfect demo for me to play around with. Thanks so much!

@Klink - glad it’s of use. Let me know if you have any questions. There are also a couple of other tutorials in a similar vein