Category: Make Your Own Game


So you want to make a game in Flash that is like the classic arcade game Asteroids? One of the easiest ways to start out to do that is to use the Pulado Flash Game Engine. Pulado takes care of all of the coding for you and leaves you to create the assets in Flash (and then assign them to the game sections). Consider this the first step to creating a game in Flash. After you build a few games with Pulado then you can move on if you like and start coding your own Flash games from scratch (or using the artwork you created for use in Pulado).

First create an account on Pulado and then once you are in the members area click New Game to create a new game. There are different game type templates on the left and you want to select the Rock Blaster template. You will want to create a name for your game, enter a description, and enter some tags that describe your game. The game we created is called Uberroids 9000 and gave it a description of “Shoot rocks for the win!”, and these tags “rocks,asteroids,space”. You will want to name your game something other than Asteroids because that name is trademarked by Atari and you want to be original. Click save and this will create a fully formed game similar to Asteroids. However, we are going to dive in and take a look at the settings that make the gameplay similar to Asteroids.

In a game like Asteroids you have the player as a space ship and the opponents are different shaped asteroids. The player also has a weapon that he or she can shoot at the asteroids to blast them apart. So lets talk about how you change those settings. You can click on the Player tab in the game editor and that will allow you to customize your player. The first option you will see is the Avatar option which will let you change the look of your space ship if you want to. You can also customize the style of movement for the space ship, how fast you want the space ship to move, and how many lives you want it to have.

For a game like Asteroids we are going to use the movement style of “Fire 360 Degrees”. This will allow you to use the left right arrow keys to rotate your ship and the forward button to move forward. If you want change the look of your space ship use the “select avatar” link. Below this section as an Advanced option section where you can change things like the scale of your ship, the spawn location, and other things which we won’t really need to change for a game similar to Asteroids.

If you continue scrolling down you will come to the Weapon #1 section. This is where you can customize the look for the bullets that will fire when you press CTRL or Z in your game. You can also change the type of the bullet, the velocity (speed) of each bullet, and how fast the player can fire each bullet. For this game we want the type to be set to “Bullet”. Use the “select graphic” link to customize the bullet graphic. You can customize the sound of the bullet when it fires from here as well. If you like go ahead and tweak the rate of fire and projectile velocity (lower is faster).

Once you have made the changes you want to make you can continue scrolling down where you will encounter the Weapon #2 section. Weapon #2 is controlled by the X button in your game and it is usually setup to be a screen clearing “kill everything” style weapon. You may not need this weapon in your game but it is currently setup to be an expanding bomb. Skip this section for now and scroll down. There is a Save button at the bottom and if you made any changes on this page you should click the Save button to save your changes at this point. When you Save you will be taken back to the Preview tab where you can then test the changes you just made to your game.

The next section we are going to edit is the Opponent tab where you can setup the asteroids. On the Opponents tab the first thing is the Level Difficulty slider. Lower is easier but if you want your game to be harder you can increase the slider. Next we have the Avatar section where you can customize the asteroid graphic (just like you did the player graphic). You can also select the Movement style at this point. For a game like Asteroids we want the “Random Movement / Face Forward” option. This option will make the asteroids spawn in at the edges of the screen and move directly in a random direction (usually at an angle). If they were a space ship graphic they would be pointing forwards. Customize the movement speed of the asteroids, how many asteroids you want to start the game with, and the maximum number of asteroids you want on the screen at the same time. Lastly you can choose to have the asteroids fire projectiles at your or not and in a game like Asteroids the opponents don’t fire weapons so leave that unchecked. There is also an Advanced section here where you can customize scale etc.

You can script the next two sections which are Weapon #1 and Weapon #2 for the opponent as weapons are disabled. Scroll down to the buttom and click Save if you made any changes on this page. Again you can preview your changes now. The next section which we will quickly cover is the Background tab. From here you can select what you want your background for the game to look like. There are multiple background layers but for this game you want only the very bottom one so scroll to the bottom. If you want to change the graphic for the background do so now and then click Save.

The next section we will be editing to create a game like Asteroids is the Gameplay tab. The first part of the Gameplay tab is the Gameplay section and on this section the two options that concern us for this game are the Projectiles Wrap option and the Shatter option. Projectiles Wrap will make it so that when a bullet reaches the edge of the screen it will teleport to the opposite side of the screen. The Shatter option will make it so that when you shoot one of the rocks it will split around into three smaller rocks.

The next two sections on the Gameplay tab are Player Modifiers and Opponent Modifiers. In these sections the Player Wrap option is selected so that when the player reaches the edge of the screen they teleport to the otherside (like the projectiles). You can also customize how many hits the player can take before losing a life here. Farther down in the Opponent Modifiers section the Opponent Wrap is set so that asteroids teleport around at the edges of the screen as well and then Random Opponent is also set which causes an asteroid to randomly wander the screen (separately from the movement type selected on the Opponent tab).

Farther down in the Opponent Modifiers section you can also customize how many asteroids have to be destroyed before you move on to the next level and how many hit points they have. There are all kinds of other options here but they will be left for a different tutorial. If you have made any changes on this tab scroll down and hit the Save button and then preview your changes.

Good job! This tutorial is now complete and I hope you learned how to make a game in Flash similar to Asteroids using Pulado. Now get there and start tweaking out the other settings as we can’t wait to see your take on an arcade classic.

If you haven’t done so yet visit Pulado now and start to make your own games!

Construct 2 is the latest version of the original Construct Classic game creator. It is downloadable software for Windows which allows you to make your own games and export them to HTML5 for play within modern web browsers. Apparently there is no programming involved and the interface itself for building games looks a lot like IDEs like Delphi or Eclipse as far as editing properties of items that you drag and drop within your game. The main format for assets in these games is PNG and you can use all of your own custom content within your games. They do include a variety of graphics that you can also use as well.

There are 3 versions of Construct 2 with the first one being free and having a couple limits. The other two versions are paid and basically just give you more options when building your games (or if you are a business you need the Business version).

The Construct 2 game creator exports to HTML5 which also means that the games should be playable on iOS and Android devices. The spite packs included with the paid version are a space set, a tank battlefield set, and a jungle platform set. They also have their own arcade where you can upload the HTML5 games that you have created with their engine. The top game in the arcade had about 7000 plays and there were only a few games listed (verses the 20,000+ which GameSalad lists for their game creator). Construct 2 does have a physics engine which helps it do platform games and games like Angry Birds.

Additionally when you add assets to your stage you can assign predefined behaviors to the assets (like your player) without coding anything. A lot of the game creators out there take this approach to allowing you to create your own behaviors. When you use the Pulado game create to make your own game however we allow you to customize game behavior using check boxes instead which limits options but is easier.

They have a few demo games on the Construct 2 website which show the power of the engine including a space shooter, a kind of ghost zombie shooter, and a couple other games which demonstrate the physics engine pretty well. Construct 2 looks very clean and may be easier to use but more limited than the other HTML5 game create we reviewed (GameMaker:HTML5). Apparently you can also easily publish your games created with Construct 2 to Facebook and the Chrome Web Store though I’m not sure how much of the publishing process it takes care of.

Check Construct 2 out for yourself and build a game here.

GameGonzo.com is a website that has a game creator which you can use to create your own games. It publishes to Flash and the game editor is also in Flash all in the browser. They have a wide variety of templates for you to use to build different kinds of games. There are arcade game templates, puzzle game templates, and even strategy game templates. A few of the most popular templates are for Jumpers, Platform games, Shooter games, and Racing games. Most of the gameplay is pre-determined for you in the games created with GameGonzo.

The game I picked as a test was a Shooter game. It allowed me to choose 4 different enemy images from their content library. Unlike a lot of other game creators GameGonzo supports full custom content mainly in the force of static images. One interesting feature is that the engine automatically animates the images for you by rocking them back and forth which gives a walking effect to characters. You can test your game in real time and you also have the option if starting the template from scratch or having it import an existing game level (like a platformer). The game also lets you choose a background, music, and sound for your game. All of these options are available even without creating an account first. If GameGonzo doesn’t provide everything you might want in game creation software you could also try using Pulado to make your own games for free. One limiting thing about GameGonzo is that the game window itself is pretty small. However, because it produces games built in Flash this may be a good game creator to use to build games for Android devices.

You can start creating games on GameGonzo for yourself right here.

The latest version of GameMaker is called GameMaker:HTML5 and exports to HTML5 format which can be played in any modern web browser without any plugins like Flash. Additionally HTML5 games can be played on iOS and Android. One issue with HTML5 games is that for the most part they aren’t packaged into a single distributable file like Flash SWF files are. However, Google’s Swiffy Flash to HTML5 convert embeds all of the assets within a single file (so it is possible but that method is not widely used). In any event the GameMaker:HTML5 editor looks pretty complex and full featured. It has it’s own programming language similar to ActionScript which I assume either gets exported to Javascript or there is a Javascript interpret for it which allows it to be run in the browser.

There are a variety of HTML5 game examples built with their software for demo on their site. They even have what looks like an isometric social game combined with a tower defense game called Grave Maker which is pretty impressive. Currently they are charging $99 for GameMaker:HTML5 and it only runs on Windows for now. It also comes with it’s own animation studio image editor so that you don’t need any other software besides GameMake:HTML5 to begin building your game. Additionally because it is all built in Javascript you can plug in external Javscript libraries which allow you to do stats tracking (like Playtomic or Google Analytics) and you can also talk to a server for client/server games (or chat). Lots of possibilities here.

GameMaker:HTML5 lets you customize backgrounds, load up all of your own custom graphics, customize the player, the enemies, fonts, timelines, and pretty much everything down to the code itself. It is much more advanced than a simple game creator. However, the trade off is that it takes longer to build a full on game and you may need to know programming to be able to do that. With the make your own game engine by Pulado most of the hard part of actually creating the structure for the game is provided for the user which leaves them to the actual game design. In any event GameMaker:HTML5 looks like a really nice package.

The GameMaker:HTML5 client also supports collaboration between multiple people on a team using source control which is a really useful feature when you have more than one person working on the same game. According to their timeline they are also working on the ability to directly export iOS and Android app files for the HTML5 games which will save time from having to package the HTML5 games yourself.

Lastly here is a trailer video from them about GameMaker:HTML5. They demo games as broad as everything from Solitaire, to social games, to physics games, and many more all built in HTML5.

Check out the GameMaker:HTML5 client from YoYoGames for yourself here.

Most game creator software has either a very simple editor or a very advanced editor which is what sets Sharendipity apart. They have a simple editor where you can take a set number of templates and customize them quickly to release a new game. On top of that however they also have an advanced editor where you can dig deep into the game and create code components from dragging and dropping various actions together and then combining multiple components together into a simple game to make a complex game. For example they even have a build your own tower defense style game built with their game engine.

This is the simple editor for Sharendipity. It is also interesting that they combine a lot of different technologies to get the job done (usually people use all Flash or all Java or all some download application). Sharendipity has the simple game creator built in Java and then the games publish out as Flash games (smart). In their simple game creator you choose a template of a game you would like to customize like a tower defense game or a filler game and then you can customize the images in the game (flip them around, scale them, or upload your own). In this way it is a lot like the Pulado make your own games engine because you can upload your own custom content. I’m not sure if they allow uploading of SWF files however. You can also customize the images and sounds in your game using the simple editor. It also feels like you can customize the game in real time.

The above image is a screenshot from the Sharendipity advanced editor. It shows their code creator window, a preloader manager (where you can upload your own preloader for the game), and the asset navigator. I’m actually pretty impressed by their editor as they let you build and play the game in real time. Their engine also does physics and I was able to start drawing boxes which automatically had physics attached to them and they interacted in the play area. Once I had boxes on the screen I as then able to drag image assets and assign them to the boxes. Finally I was able to attach custom behaviors to each of the boxes as well. It even comes with more advanced tools like a thread navigator, a breakpoint editor, and a performance profiler. The advanced game editor looks like it is built in Flex (Flash). The advanced editor is pretty advanced as for the most part you’re building a lot of them game yourself from scratch.

Check out Sharendipity for yourself here and if you make a game with it make sure to send it to me!

This MafiaCreator is some what rare for a build your own game tool in that it actually lets you launch your own site using their text based Mafia game software. When you create a game with the MafiaCreator it gives you a URL with your own version of their Mafia game software that you control. MafiaCreator lets you build a game which is very similar to the popular Mafia Wars game by Zynga on Facebook. You become the admin of the game and you get to choose the layout and tweak the settings for the game. It looks like it is pretty actively developed as they just released a bunch of new features today (Dec 15 2011) including an interactive map (check the video).

The top mafia game in their network of mafia games has around 9700 members. You get to choose the name of your mafia game and once it has been created you get full access to the admin interface for the game. From there you can tweak all kinds of settings like how many times a player can be attacked, when a lottery draw occurs, or what areas are available (like race tracks etc). They provide the hosting for your entire game but on the other hand it isn’t located on your own domain name so that is a drawback (apparently you can upgrade to your own domain for a fee). As far as custom content goes you can choose from one of their existing game layouts and upload your own custom header which is nice. Apparently there are over 12 different layouts to choose from. With Pulado you can create your own game with a mafia theme but users can’t battle against each other like MafiaCreator allows you to do.

The MafiaCreator also has micropayments which you as a game creator can receive a percentage of when a user purchased credits through your game. Additionally they provide forums where other game creators can network and debate with each other on tweaking their own individual mafia games.

Check out MafiaCreator and launch your own mafia game here!

Over at Nick.com (which is Nickelodeon) they have a SpongeBob SquarePants game building. I think it uses the same backend technology as the Star Wars game builder but it is a bit more customized for the SpongeBob SquarePants type of player. The game editor comes with 6 tabs which are World, Level, Hero, Music, Goal, and Builder.

World basically lets you choose a background for your game to take place in. Level lets you choose from a variety of pre-created maps (mainly the ground that you walk on) for you game to take place on. On the Hero tab you choose who you want your character to be. The Music tab is pretty self explanatory and there are twenty or so music tracks to choose from. On the Goal tab you can choose from 3 different goal types which are collect everything, defeat all enemies, or reach the exit. And finally we have the Builder tab where you can customize your level a bit by adding in decorations. There is no custom content that you can upload in this game builder (same as the Star Wars one).

For the most part this game builder pretty much lets you build side scrolling (plus up and down) platformers for SpongeBob SquarePants. The three goals gives you a bit more variety on what type of game you can make. In the end you will probably end up with a fun game because so much of the content is already pre-created. The game builder is built in Flash with your web browser and the games themselves also end up as Flash games. This means all of these SpongeBob SquarePants games will also be playable on Android devices. If you are looking for a game builder where you can build your own games using your own custom content you might try Pulado instead.

On the other hand if you just want to build your own fun little SpongeBob game give this a shot!

PicToGame has a huge variety of game templates for you to choose from so you can build your own game. They have Sniper, Tightrope, Halloween, Kisses, MashThemUp, Smash!, Valentine’s Brick, Brick Dollar, Brick Euro, Choco Brick, Brick, Brick Dynomite, Kick Boy, Western Kick Girl, Devil Kick, Western Kick, Nagician ords, Zits Boy, Kick Girl, Zits Girl, Dinosaurs singers, Memory Metal, Singers!, Puzzle, Puzzle Flower, Puzzle 4×4, Quizz, Line Driver, Arm Fight, Dance Dance, Rugby SA, Bodybuilder, Russian Dance, Rugby FR, and Rugby NZ. Most of the games seem to be built in Flash which means they would also work on Android devices. The game editor itself is kind of a mix of Flash and HTML with the editing area being in Flash and then you go on and submit your Flash changes with a HTML page that includes the game title and description.

The names of the templates are pretty self explanatory but they have templates for everything from shooting games, to kissing games, to breakout games, to car racing games. I think the ability to actually tweak the gameplay is pretty limited with these games. They are more about adding in a photo of your face or your friend’s faces into a funny game. For example, in the racing game template you design a track and then everything else is provided for you (the cars and the rest of the game). So the custom content and even custom gameplay is very limited but you do end up with a fun playable game in the end (it just isn’t that unique). Whereas with our Pulado “create your own game” engine you have much more control over custom gameplay and custom assets and artwork. I really like how fast you can create a game with PicToGame however. That has a real appeal.

 

In another example using the MashThemUp template you enter kewords and it does a flickr search to pull in relevant images into what you chose. It’s kind of a space asteroid shooter but it pulls images from flickr instead. This second example looks like it is built in Flex (Flash). I also really like this template because it pulls in random resources based on keywords to be the enemies and bosses. You also get to customize the game type with this template and the behavior and strength of the enemies.

Check out PicToGame for yourself here and start making some simple games today.

Discovery Kids has a small build your own roller coaster game up on their site. It allows you to drag and drop different pieces of a roller coaster together to build a completed roller coaster. Each different piece of the roller coaster has different loops and apparently a fear factor attached to it. The more crazy loops you add to your roller coaster the more fear you put into the potential riders of the roller coaster. Once you have completed your roller coaster you can then test it to see what the virtual people in the game think of your roller coaster (aka how scary it is). All of the pieces to choose from are pre-created so there is no option to create or upload your own content to the game. It is built in Flash.

Test out the build your own roller coaster game for yourself here.

Over at GameScene.com they have a “Make Your Own Game” tool built in Shockwave that lets you mash up a few different types of games. It gives you 5 tabs where you can customize your game including the name, the type of enemy you would like your game to have, how you want the enemy to move, what you want your player to look like, and lastly how hard the game should be.

There is no option to customize the graphics with your own artwork. With only the few options that it does provide for gameplay it allows you to make a surprisingly wide range of different games. One drawback to it is that it is such a small window in order to edit and play your game in. But you edit your game on the tabs and then click test and you are instantly playing the game that you just customized. This game creator is actually the origins for the idea to build Pulado (our build your own games engine). This little Make Your Own Game creator’s strength is in how simple it is to use and how fast you can make a customized game with it.

In less than a minute here was the game that I created with the GameScene “Make Your Own Game” game:

Test out and make your own game with the GameScene “Make Your Own Game” game here. Have fun!