Category: Technology


So you’re looking to build a game similar to 1942 right? Well with Pulado it is pretty easy to build a scrolling shoot ’em up (aka shmup) like this. Games like this are also called bullet hell games because there are so many bullets flying everywhere. Pulado comes with a simple template called Epic Dog Fighter which contains all of the ingredients for you to create a similar game and then tweak out to your hearts content.

The first thing you should go is go to the Pulado Members area (if you don’t have an account you can sign up to make your own games first) and click the New Game button. Select the “Plane Shooter” template and then fill in the name, description, and tag fields with those items for your game.

Once you have created your own game using this template you can now select your game from the list and you will be able to preview the existing game.  When you are ready you should click on the Player tab to start tweaking your game. The first options to tweak out are the player character (which in this case is a WWII fighter plane). You can change it to a different avatar or leave it the same. You can also increase or decrease the player movement speed and how many lives they have when they start the game. You can probably ignore the Advanced section for now.

Next up you can configure the weapon #1 and weapon #2 for your fighter plane. Weapon #1 is controlled by the CTRL key and weapon #2 is controlled by the X key. Think of Weapon #1 as your machingun and Weapon #2 as your powerful bomb weapon. In the weapon sections you will have Weapon #1 set to Bullets, the graphic set to some bullet graphics, and you can also configure the rate of fire and projectile velocity. With the Bullets type it will loop the graphic animation over and over until the bullet leaves the play area at which point it will despawn.

For Weapon #2 you will want to have the Bombs type selected, a bomb graphic selected, and you can set the sound for the bomb. Additionally you can also set the projectile velocity and rate of fire of the bombs as well at this point. When you select the Bombs type it will load the graphic that you select (usually a SWF file) and it will play it until the end of it’s animation at which point it will disappear. After you have made any changes make sure to click the Save button at the bottom to lock in the changes.

Next up you will want to edit your opponents for this shmup game. In this case we have a bunch of different opponent planes. With this game type we have the Complex Falling movement type selected. Complex Falling will use all kinds of different movement types combined together. Each time a different opponent spawns they will get a different movement type to give you a very dynamic game and keep the players on their toes. You can also set the opponent movement speed, how many opponents to start the game with, and how many opponents can be alive at the same time. Once the Max Concurrent Enemies is reached no more will spawn until one despawns (dies or flies off the screen).

Also keep in mind with this section that under the Advanced area you can select One Enemy graphic or Multiple Enemy graphics. If you select Multiple Enemies the engine will randomly choose a frame from the animation and use it as the enemy each time a new enemy is spawned. Within that one keyframe you should have a looping MovieClip. If you have One Enemy selected it will just play that single MovieClip animation repeatedly and spawn it for each enemy. The last piece of information about the Multiple Enemies option is that the last frame in the list of keyframes will be used as the Boss graphic if you turn on Bosses in the Gameplay tab.

The Weapon #1 and Weapon #2 section for the Opponents is pretty much the same as for the player. With the exception that Weapon #2 will fire at angles out to the side of the opponent instead of being a screen clearing bomb like the player’s weapon #2. Again you can configure the rate of fire and projectile velocities of the opponent weapons plus their sounds and graphics in this section if you like.

If you made any changes in the section be sure to click the Save button at the bottom to lock in your new settings. And one of the final things we want to show you which is important for this kind of bullet hell game is the Powerups section.

Click on the Powerups tab in the Pulado game creator and from there you will be able to select which types of powerups you would like the player to be able to collect while they play the game. You can choose from things like rapid fire, multifire, extra lives, and more. You want to make sure that Multifire is selected because that will contribute to your bullet hell game. Each time you pick up a multifire powerup you will start firing an extra stream of bullets (up to 6 or 7 streams). If you die or you pick up some other type of powerup like Rapid Fire you will go back to just one stream of bullets again.

You could also check the boxes for Rapid Fire and Homing powerups if you like to give your game more variety. If you make any changes here click save to lock them in.

That’s it! That is all there is to creating a basic game in the same style as 1942 and other similar scrolling shoot ’em up games. There are of coarse other options you can move on and configure as well like the Background tab where you can customize the look of the background graphics in addition to where, when, and how fast those background graphics will scroll. You can very easily create a parallax using the settings. Also don’t forget about the Gameplay tab where you can configure things like how many hitpoints the player and opponents will have in addition to things like opponent Bosses.

You can now preview, publish, and promote your game. Keep in mind that you can come back at any time and tweak your game (even after it has been published). You game is hosted in the cloud for your convenience. If you haven’t created an account on Pulado.com yet head over there and start making your own shmup game like 1942 right now using our make your own games creator.

Click to create your own games today!

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There are a lot of game creation tools and frameworks out there. However, a lot of them actually use the Flash player from Adobe to publish to. If you want to build games using the same tools that all of the frameworks use and learn the actual code behind all of that you should use Flash 8 or the latest version Flash Pro CS5.5. Some of the more programmer types are also using third party tools like FlashDevelop and Flex however I prefer Flash itself for the graphical layout and FlashDevelop for it’s code IDE.

There are a couple of different flash game tutorial sites that I would like to highlight along with this post. They provide a huge leg up to getting started with Flash by providing sample source code to do all kinds of gamish things like firing projectiles, moving your player, and creating explosions. The scripts come in ActionScript 2 and ActionScript 3 so there is a broad range of coverage for Flash 8 and Flash Pro CS5.5. The Pulado engine (which you could also use to make your own games too) was built using Flash 8 and we use all of the sites below to help us develop new features for the engine.

First up we have FreeActionScript.com which is exceedingly helpful. They really provide clear and concise tutorials on how exactly to make a lot of elements that go into games. The first example I am highlighting is their Car Movement tutorial script. This is a must have starting place if you want to develop any kind of top down car game

Next up we have a multiple different projectile script with turrets which shows you how to make beam lasers, machine gun style projectiles, and more. A couple other enemy AI tutorials he has could also be re-purposed for homing missiles.

And finally we have a script tutorial about how to make dynamic explosions in real time. This is a pretty good script because explosions are hard and this makes a pretty good looking one. It is an alternative to having a pre-created explosion that is the same every time.

There are literally hundreds of different script tutorials on the site including everything from parallax scrolling, bubble effects, enemy AI that follows the player, enemy AI that patrols an area, player movement in all eight directions with easing, smoke and fire effects, particle effects with gravity, collision detection, tool tips, RPG style inventories, find the closest enemy for targeting, and many more.

The second site we want to highlight is Kirupa.com which also has a huge number of tutorials where they explain in detail how to do a bunch of different game related things using ActionScript. There are also a few video tutorials on their site. Some of their tutorials include how to do parallax’s, how to create your menus and hyperlinks (for the interface in your game), how to draw effectively in Flash, how to create tiled backgrounds, how to create random movement, collision detection, snow, motion blur, and much much more.

The last site we want to highlight is gotoAndLearn.com where they have a bunch of sample source code and a huge number of video tutorials with a lot of advanced topics. For example they have some tutorials on how to use the latest native extensions in Adobe AIR for Android, examples on how to create particle effects with the new Starling Framework, and setting up your own isometric 3D engine. They also have a pretty good forum which has tens of thousands of topics on ActionScript 2 and ActionScript 3. The forum is probably the most important resource they provide as far as helping you figure out something with ActionScript that you might be stuck on.

You can get a copy of Flash 8 here for $50 or you can get a free trial of Flash Pro CS5.5 here on Adobe’s site (after 30 days you have to upgrade to the paid version). What are you waiting for? Grab yourself a copy of Flash and start building games!

Slashdot has a question up titled “Ask Slashdot: Tools For Teaching High School Kids How To Make Games?” which asks what would be a good game engine to use with a high school class to make some games. Here is a rundown of all of the game creators we’ve posted about on this blog so far. I really recommend the first three (Gamestar, Sploder, and Pulado) for getting your game design on and then the second four (Stencyl, Construct 2, GameSalad, and Unity 3d) for getting your game programming on.

http://www.gamestarmechanic.com/ GameStar — web client — publishes to web/flash — free
http://www.sploder.com/ Sploder– web client — publishes to web/flash — free
http://www.pulado.com/ Pulado (make your own games) — web client — publishes to web/flash/cloud — free

http://www.stencyl.com/ Stencyl — desktop client — publishes to web/flash/ios — free
http://www.scirra.com/ Construct 2 — desktop client — publishes to web/HTML5 — free and paid
http://www.gamesalad.com/ GameSalad — desktop mac client — publishes to web/HTML5/android/ios — free and paid
http://www.unity3d.com/ Unity 3D — desktop client — publishes to web/flash/android/ios — free and paid

http://marketsmaster.org/flash_professional_8/ Flash 8 — desktop client — publishes to web/flash/android — free and paid
http://www.adobe.com/cfusion/tdrc/index.cfm?product=flash Flash Pro CS5.5 — desktop client — publishes to web/flash/android/ios — free and paid

http://www.gamegonzo.com/create/ GameGonzo — web client — publishes to web/flash — free
http://www.yoyogames.com/gamemaker/html5 GameMaker — desktop client — publishes to web/HTML5 — free and paid
http://www.sharendipity.com/ Sharendipity– web client — publishes to web/flash — free
http://www.pictogame.com/ PictoGame– web client — publishes to web/flash — free
http://scratch.mit.edu/ Scratch  — desktop client — publishes to web/java — free
http://starwarsgamecreator.cartoonnetwork.com/ Star Wars — web client — publishes to web/flash — free
http://www.nick.com/games/spongebob-game-builder/ SpongeBob — web client — publishes to web/flash — free

I have also includes links to Flash 8 and Adobe Flash Pro CS5.5. Flash 8 is much more suited to artists and simple coding while Flash Pro CS5.5 is the latest version which is more suited to programmers and also publishes games to Android and iOS. There are all kinds of tutorials for building games straight in Flash (without any other frameworks).

I’ve looked at this Citrus Engine which is a platform game creator built with and for Flash before but previously it was not free to use. I check back in with it today and discovered that it is now perfectly free to use. I would assume that you need to be a somewhat experienced developer to be able to use the Citrus Engine because it uses ActionScript 3 but it also has a drag and drop Level Architect. The demo game on the homepage of their site is really really nice. Super smooth and contains very simple platform style functionality such as jumping and collecting items. And because it is built in Flash that means it will run on Android devices (and it might be possible to compile it in AIR for Android and iOS).

Here is a screen shot of the Level Architect that you could use to design levels for use in the Citrus Engine. According to their blog there are also other level editors available for the engine. Emanuele Feronato also has a blog post titled How to create a Flash platformer using Citrus Engine which shows how to build a simple level with Citrus Engine. It looks like he does it via code however. The level editor is also built in Adobe AIR.

I didn’t really want to dig into this platform creator when they were charging for it but now that it is free I’m sure I will find a project to use it with. If you aren’t quite into the coding part of creating games yet or if you just want to quickly prototype ideas before building your game in Citrus you might try to make your own games with the Pulado game designer first. If you run into the need for more advanced features and as you become more experiences with creating games then you could dive in and make something truely magical with the Citrus Engine.

Head over and test out the Citrus Engine for yourself here.

The Unity 3D engine released their Flash exporter as a public beta today. Unity is a game creation tool that exports to iOS, Android, their own Web Player, and now to Flash. So you can use all of their awesome game creation tools and then be able to play it on probably 90-99% of machines out there in the browser because of the Flash plugin. Unity is not really for the beginner though. We covered the Unity 3D engine a couple days ago in our post titled How To Make Free Games With Unity 3D if you want to know more in depth information about it.

In any event I downloaded the public beat today and loaded up their Angry Bots demo project. Brought up the build settings, select Flash as the platform to target and clicked Build. It created an SWF file for me and then I loaded it up in the browser. It looks and works pretty amazing. Play it for yourself. The next thing I tried was to load up a new Flash 11 project in Flash Pro CS5.5 and then load up the Unity SWF file inside my own SWF and add it as a child to my own canvas. This worked like a charm as well. Now I have a game published out with Unity with vector Flash elements sitting on top of it. I guess this could also mean that you could load up a game built with the Pulado make your own games engine and then use Unity for cut scenes or visa versa. It would also let you build an AS3 arcade in Flash with Unity and Pulado games side by side in the same arcade. Or even how about using the MochiMedia High Scores API with Unity published to Flash? Sweet.

Here is the code I used to load up the Unity published SWF into a Flash CS5.5 project:

import flash.display.*;
import flash.net.URLRequest;

var ldr:Loader = new Loader();
var url:String = “angrybots.swf”;
var urlReq:URLRequest = new URLRequest(url);
ldr.load(urlReq);
addChild(ldr);

What this would allow you to do is load up your own preroll ad or even game play tracking code like Playtomic around your Unity published game. They also have a contest going on for the next two weeks or so to see who can create the best Unity to Flash published game so that could be interesting as well.

Head over and get the Unity 3.5 public beta and try out the Flash export feature for yourself!

In some of the other posts on this blog we mainly talk about game creation tools which are drag and drop and programming is not required. However, in this post we are going to talk about Unity 3D which is an advanced game creation tool which has it’s own web player which is similar to Flash (though the amount of people who have it installed is not quite as many as Flash). As you may have guessed Unity 3D is a game creation tool mainly for 3D games as that is what it does best. Additionally, it will publish your games to iOS and Android (not to mention the Wii, PS3, and Xbox 360). However, only publishing to the web is free as the other platforms require a paid license.

Unity 3D is not for the feint of heart or if you are easily distributed. It can take longer to build an create a 3D game that it does for a 2D. Unity 3D also requires programming. If you are looking for something more drag and drop with no coding required you should try something like Pulado to make your own games. It comes with demos and things but be prepared to write code before you download it. According to their website it does include an editor that has real time editing. So you can be “playing” through the game and at the same time you can jump in and start editing objects at the same time. The scriping languages that you can use to code in Unity 3D are Javascript (which is very similar to ActionScript), C#, and a Python variant called Boo.

Unity 3D also has an asset library and store where other users can sell components and assets that they have created to other users of Unity 3D. This is a really handy service to have because it allows people to modify the engine or provide assets that you can then just purchase without having the take the time to re-invent the wheel yourself.

The main drawbacks for using Unity 3D are probably the paid licenses for publishing to mobile and the fact that it takes a special plugin that users have to download in order to start playing games on the web built with Unity 3D. This will get easier as more and more people have the plugin installed. Additionally, they are working on the ability for Unity 3D to export to an SWF file which would then be playable in any browser that has Flash installed. Suffice to say that sounds pretty cool. If you are looking to have a multiplayer game it also supports the same kind of multiuser servers that support Flash like SmartFox and Electrotank.

If you already know how to script and or create 3D art and you want to make a 3D game then Unity 3D is probably one of the best ways to go right now. Check it out here.

So you want to build your own online game website for free right? Fupa Games has a database of over 50,000 flash games that you can use for precisely that purpose. The underlying technology that makes it happen is a REST API which allows access to that database of games. Fupa Games also provide the code that you need to start using the web API right away. You do have to create an account on Fupa.com in order to get a developer API key to use with the REST API. Most of the 50,000 games are created by third party developers distributed through Mochi Distribution from MochiMedia.com. Games created with the Pulado Flash Game Engine are also in the Fupa Games database. Each of the games comes with a description, two different size thumbnails, a description, title, star ratings, and the number of plays that the game has had.

Using the “Flash Game Site In A Box” which comes in PHP, ASP, and ASP.NET versions you can upload it to your website and have a complete website in minutes. You do have to have your own web hosting already in order to use the code but web hosting is pretty easy to get if you don’t have it (just check Google for hosting sites that support PHP or ASP). The only requirement for using the Fupa Games REST API is that you link the the site back to Fupa.com.

The 50,000+ games come in a number of different categories including Action, Adventure, Board Games, Cards, Casino, Customize, Dress Up, Driving, Education, Facebook, Fighting, Jigsaw, Memory, Multiplayer, Other, Puzzles, Rhythm, Shooting, Sports, Strategy, and Word. Once you have the code installed on your site you can tweak it to highlight the games that you want to highlight and what categories that you want to feature. Fupa.com also provides an IFRAME version of the site which you can place on your site and get access to all of the games if your hosting doesn’t allow you to add your own code. Check out the Fupa Games Channel to get the code for the IFRAME.

Fupa Games also provides email tech support if you have any problems installing or using the REST API. What are you waiting for? Make your online game website for free with the Fupa Games API today!

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.