Game Programming at scriptedfun

Game Programming for Beginners: Video Tutorials, Source Code, and Articles

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Multiplayer Dots and Boxes

Hi everyone! I finally managed to complete a game using Nonoba’s Multiplayer API, and this is what I came up with:

Multiplayer Dots and Boxes screenshot

Please play the game now – and bring a friend with you! If you have your own site / blog / page, I highly encourage you to embed the game in it as well. Basically, please help me promote this game all over the net!

I had a lot of fun implementing this classic pencil and paper game, writing the client in pure ActionScript using the free Flex SDK, and the server using Visual C# Express. This is truly an exciting time to be a game developer – multiplayer Flash games that can be played across different sites all over the net can now be built easily using free tools only!

To put things back on track, I hope to release the source code of the game in a week or so, but in the meantime, please share this game with all your friends! Thank you!

Co-founders of Codemasters made ‘Commanders of the Order of the British Empire (CBE)’

Full story at the BBC.

I am happy that the brothers David and Richard Darling, who started their company in the mid-80′s, were honored for their “services to the computer games industry”. They have blazed a trail for independent game developers to follow, and I am truly grateful to them for their pioneering efforts as bedroom coders.

David and Richard, I salute you.

New Google favicon

I visited both Google and Gmail just now, and noticed that the favicons for these sites have changed, to a blue letter g. See for yourself, and be sure to refresh the page.

It would be interesting to know the story behind this. And how this seemingly small change will affect Google’s bottom line. What is the marketing department at Google expecting from this? :D

Can tweaking your site’s favicon increase traffic, or make your site more successful?

More information at blogoscoped.

Poor Man’s Flash

John Hattan has written a review of Express Animator on GameDev.net, and Flex SDK / Silverlight developers who do not have access to the corresponding designer’s tools (Flash / Expression Blend) might find his review interesting. Express Animator, as stated in the product name, is a tool that allows you to make animations, and publish them in SWF format for Flash, or XAML format for Silverlight. This basically allows you to make animations for your Flex / Silverlight project for just US$39, instead of paying US$699 for Flash or US$499 for Expression Blend. You won’t be getting all the features of the more expensive products, but you might be surprised to know that Express Animator has features which the other two do not, such as “hierarchical bones”. From the review:

In fact, the combination of Express Animator with the free Flex or MTASC compiler would make for a pretty good “Poor Man’s Flash” product that could be used to make full Flash CS3 quality games, and for quite a bit less than the $699 that you’d spend on a new license of Flash CS3.

Music and Sound Effects for Games

A great article called Tools of the Trade has just been posted on MochiLand. It gives a list of software and libraries which you can use to generate sound effects and music for your games.

Among the different aspects of game development, I think I’m weakest at sound matters. This is something that has to change though, with the success that audio-based games have been having, such as the IGF winner Audiosurf and the Python-based Frets on Fire.

It’s good that Kunal Joshi pointed out in the comments the amazing DrPetter’s sfxr, an excellent (and free!) piece of software that generates retro-style sound effects. This was used by Kian in his very funny, and VERY ORIGINAL (you have to see it!) game You Have To Burn The Rope.

Make a Flash Game for Free

One of the main reasons why people aren’t able to make their own Flash games is because the development environment is expensive. Currently, a copy of Flash CS3 Professional costs US$699, an amount which most people can’t just pull out of their wallet (although I think that this price is very reasonable, considering the product’s quality and the possibilities that it offers).

Fortunately, there are several alternatives to Flash for making Flash content. One of these alternatives is the Flex SDK, a free product which Adobe itself offers.

I’ve spent some time with the Flex SDK over the past months, and I’ve had success in writing games with it. Herder is my first game with the Flex SDK, and I have a few others which I haven’t had the chance to release yet. The Flex SDK is NOT Flash however – the development style is different. But this is good in my opinion, because making games with the Flex SDK is very similar to making games with a traditional programming language like C++, C#, or Python. Instead of the graphical approach that Flash offers, the Flex SDK offers a code-centered development platform.

If you want to make games for the web now, I suggest that you look into the Flex SDK. With this product, you can even make Flash content using Linux!

The article Intro to the Flex SDK on GameDev.net is a good starting point for anyone who wants to learn how to make games using the Flex SDK. Hopefully, I’ll have the chance to make my own tutorials as well. Any suggestions? :)

Sorry, e-mail subscribers! And some thoughts on web games with Python…

Hi everyone! First of all, I would like to apologize to all the e-mail subscribers who received a bunch of old posts in their e-mail recently. I’ve been tweaking my site to feature the content people find most useful on the front page, and this had the unintended side effect of sending out an e-mail containing the “front-paged” articles. I hope that this didn’t bother you.

Yes, it has been a very long time since I posted on Python. As I have said some time earlier, I’m trying to refocus this site to deal with more general game development. A side effect of this is, I’ve spent a lot more time coding and learning, and no time writing :( . In particular, I’ve been looking at writing games using Adobe’s Flex SDK.

I find working with Flex appealing because of the potential of the output to reach a large number of people. But Python is a language that is very close to my heart, and I’d be very interested in a Python based environment that would allow me to make games for the web. Fortunately, such an environment exists already, in the form of Microsoft’s Silverlight, paired up with IronPython. I’ve been dabbling with this platform as well, and I hope to write games for it once the platform matures.

If you’re interested in learning more about writing web games with Python, I recommend the excellent article Creating a Game Using Python and Silverlight 1.1. Are there any other resources about game programming using Silverlight/Python that you would recommend?

Herder – now in Flash

Herder, a one button game, now in Flash!

I haven’t posted anything in a very, very long time, and I apologize for this. Recently, I have had time to pursue game programming again, and as a result, I was able to learn programming Flash games using the free Flex SDK, a programmer-oriented SWF development tool from Adobe. For my first project, I have decided to rewrite my favorite one-button game, Herder, and it is now available to play on my site, and also on Facebook, if you want to compete with your friends for the highest score. Here’s a video:

The video and screenshots are available on the game pages. I hope to write more about this project and Flex programming in general, but in the meantime, I’d be happy to hear your comments. Enjoy the game! :)

Herder – a one button web game

Play Herder Now!

Hi everyone. I know that it’s been a very, very long time since I last posted. I’ve been doing some thinking about the direction that this site should take, and I was able to make some “preliminary decisions” in the process, which I hope to explain more in a future post.

In the meantime, I would like to present my most recent project, Herder, which you can now play online using any Java-enabled browser. Basically, this is a port of one of the Python/Pygame projects that I did before, and is my first project made with the Processing programming environment, which I’m trying to learn to use at the moment.

I’d love to hear about what you think about the game, and I would really appreciate any comments and suggestions that you may have. Please post them below. Thank you so much for trying out Herder, and I hope you liked it. :)

Arinoid with Sound

Arinoid now has sound! I think that sound plays a very important role in the overall game experience, and I hope that you will all like this minor update.

Download Arinoid with Sound. Requires Python and Pygame.

The sounds were taken from Flashkit, which I think is a fantastic resource for game developers looking for free sound effects and free sound loops for background music. There are many sound samples to choose from, and they are neatly categorized to make browsing easier. What makes browsing the sound collection fun is the site’s use of preview consoles, which allows the user to play sound samples on the page, with matching visualization. Once you find what you want, you may download the sound sample as an MP3 or as a WAV, which may be used immediately in your game, or edited using an audio editor like the highly-recommended Audacity.

Picking sounds for this project was a very interesting activity – there were so many sounds to choose from! I hope that my choices were okay :).

I would really appreciate it, and I’m sure everyone would, if you know of a resource which can help game developers add sound to their games easily, just like Flashkit, and share it with us! :) Just leave a comment if you have something in mind. I suppose that these types of resources will be particularly useful for those who plan to join PyWeek 3 :). Thanks in advance!

Video Tutorial 4 – Arinoid – Ball Physics

arkanoid clone ball physics

At last, video tutorial 4 is here! I would like to apologize for the terrible delay, and thank you so much for your patience! :)

You may notice some mistakes in the screenshots though – in particular when the code that converts between integers and floating point numbers is displayed. The highlighted code is correct, but the way that it appears in the following slides (without the float and int conversions) is incorrect.

The transcript for this will be available shortly, and the fifth video tutorial is in the works. Thank you so much, especially to all those who have left comments of encouragement! They really keep me going :). I hope you find these helpful!

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