Posts Tagged ‘tutorial’

  • 16×16 Pixel Art Tutorial

    Apparently pixel art is cool once again, and if you are reading this blog, chances are, you like pixel art. As my first actual article on the site, I thought I’d make a little tutorial on how to pixel your own 16*16 sprite, that you can use as a favicon for your website or game. There are many ways to go about pushing pixels, and this is just one of them. Sadly, this tutorial will not teach you how to draw or come up with nice ideas, sorry. Also I will not go into program-specific details, you need to have some basic familiarity with the software you want to use.

    Fire up your app of choice (mine is GraFX2, but you may be more comfortable with Photoshop, GIMP or what-have-you), and make a new 16*16 pixel document.  Done? OK, now take my hand and I’ll walk you through the steps of pixeling a frog.

    Step 1 – OUTLINES

    What to do:
    Using black colour, make a little drawing inside the bounds. Now, 16×16 pixels can seem like a very small space, and it is, but it will teach you the first lesson of pixel art, to make each pixel count.
    Important: 
    Make sure your drawing is fully articulated and readable at this stage. If you start with a bad drawing, no amount of polish will be able to save you.

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  • Flash Game Dev Tip #13 – Building a retro platform game in Flixel, Part 2

    Tip 13: Building a retro platform game in Flixel, Part 2

    Note: This tutorial was originally written for .net magazine. I’m now allowed to publish it here, so read on and enjoy! Part 1 is also available.

    Download the tutorial files

    In the previous issue we took the open-source Flash game framework Flixel (www.flixel.org), and used it to create an 8-bit styled retro platform game. By the end of part 1 the player could run and jump around the scrolling level, collecting stars on the way. We covered a lot of ground and if possible you are urged to check out issue 218 and the associated downloads before diving into this part.

    With the basics of the game in place it’s time to spice things up. We will add a title page to present the game, baddies to provide obstructions to the player, and mix it all up with suitably retro sounding chip music and sound effects. Please download the tutorial files and look through the source alongside reading the article, because for the sake of space not all code can be included in print.

    Sprinkling a little Nutmeg

    As with most things in life, first impressions are everything. If you don’t captivate the player within a few moments of your game, you are likely to lose them. This is especially true with games that are free to play online. As the choice is so wide you really need a compelling reason for them to stick around. A great title page can be a good way to achieve this. It should show them the name of your game, perhaps offer-up some of the key characters or themes, and be backed up with a short piece of music that fits the mood you’re trying to set.

    Our game is called Nutmeg (a play on the title of this magazine) and our title page features the main character in a suitably jovial but dynamic pose, and the game logo.

    Nutmeg is the title of our game. Our chirpy chick character defining the feeling we want to convey before the game has even started.

    To really capture the feel of retro console games our title page will feature an attract mode. This term is taken from arcade machines that used to run short sequences of the game, to attract you to part with your 10p pieces. Our title page has been designed with a transparent background and aliasing so that it can be overlaid onto the game level which will scroll horizontally back and forth.

    Our assembled title page. The background scrolls horizontally, showing off the level behind the logo.

    To display the logo in an interesting way we’ll use one of the SpecialFX plugins from the Flixel Power Tools. First we activate the Special FX plugin and create an instance of it:

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  • Flash Game Dev Tip #12 – Building a retro platform game in Flixel, Part 1

    Tip 12: Building a retro platform game in Flixel, Part 1

    Note: This tutorial was originally written for .net magazine. I’m now allowed to publish it here, so read on and enjoy! Part 2 will follow next week.

    Download the tutorial files

    Retro style games are becoming more popular than ever online. Commonly referred to as “8-bit” these games have pixel-art graphics and “chip tune” music that apes the consoles of old, but often have surprisingly innovative gameplay mechanics. And Flash has turned out to be the perfect tool for creating them, as hit titles like Canabalt and Fathom demonstrate.

    Fathom was one of the first games built with Flixel and is a good example of what it can do.

    This may seem at odds with a technology known for its vector graphics and timeline animation. But under the hood Flash is perfectly capable of pushing around large volumes of pixels which is exactly what is required. Flixel is a game framework born from a desire to create 8-bit style games. But it has evolved into a powerful way to rapidly create games in Flash. With a strong community and plug-ins available it’s the perfect choice to create our game with. In this two part series we’ll explore how Flixel works and build a retro-styled platform game in the process.

    Download the tutorial files and look through the source code alongside reading the article, because for the sake of space not all of it can be covered here and we’ve got a lot of ground to cover.

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  • My .net magazine “Build a Retro game in Flixel” article is now out

    .net magazine is apparently the “world’s best-selling magazine for web designers” which may be of little interest to game developers reading this, however issue 217 just hit the news stands and it contains Part 1 of my article on building an 8-bit inspired retro platformer in flixel :)

    The article starts from ground zero and builds up, covering sprite sheets, tile maps, cameras and collision. Written for almost total beginners, with lots of well commented source code (available as a download) to accompany,  it should serve as a gentle introduction to flash game dev. I will post the article on my blog eventually, but not for a couple of months. So if you’d like to see it earlier take a wander into your local newsagents, or you should be able to buy the issue online from the .net site. Part 2 will appear in issue 218 (September 2011)

    Click here to buy .net magazine issue 217 (august 2011)

  • Flod Beginners Guide now available for easy .mod replay in AS3

    Flod Beginners Guide

    As the AS3 Soundtracker replay library Flod gains traction, so I have been receiving more emails saying “Help!”. Apparently people are having trouble dissecting just the replay sections from FlodPro (the full player interface). So to address this I have created the Beginners Guide to Flod. This download offers you source code that does nothing but replay a mod file. No file browser, no FlodPro, no UI, no hassle!

    The guide includes source for both FlexSDK + FlashDevelop users, and also for Flash CS4 (if you really must code on the timeline.) I have included examples for plain vanilla replay, and also replay with the flectrum active:  the funky looking vu-meter seen in the screen shot above. Pick whichever is most useful for your production.

    You can download the Beginners Guide from the updated Flod page.