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Learning Stencyl 3. Creating a game is portrayed not as a sprint, but as a journey upon which you'll build not just a working knowledge of Stencyl, but acquire a general toolbox of techniques and wisdom that will serve you well throughout your game-creating career. When I applied to college, one of my essays detailed my early experiences with game programming.
I was particularly fascinated by a magical spark of life I bestowed upon a lowly breakout clone when I got a ball to bounce off the paddle and break some blocks. It was a euphoric moment because I finally got my first game to work! If you're new to the world of game creation, I offer you this one piece of advice: think big but start small.
Complete some small projects to get the hang of things and see firsthand just how important that last 10 percent is. When you inevitably hit a brick wall, don't give up. Everybody starts somewhere, and when you get that first game working, you'll experience the same joy that I felt when I finally got my first game to work.
Happy Stencyling! Innes Borkwood is a freelance computer consultant and software trainer living in Perth, Western Australia. In addition to consulting and teaching, Innes has also worked as a freelance journalist for national computer magazines in the UK. Since the first personal computers arrived in the UK, Innes has been a dedicated technology enthusiast and electronics hobbyist, with an enthusiasm for participating in, and encouraging, life-long learning.
Innes is happily married to his very understanding wife, Ellen, with whom he has two wonderful children, David and Catherine.
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Thanks to my wife, Ellen, and my children, David and Catherine, for being so accepting of my absence from family life during the many, many hours that I spent at my desk while writing this book. I offer thanks and gratitude to the team at Packt Publishing, whose enthusiasm for this book has ensured that the process of creating it was an enjoyable, rewarding, and challenging experience; it has been a pleasure working with you. For the Technical Reviewers—thank you for your generous comments, helpful suggestions, and for your vigilance in detecting my errors.
For my daughter, Catherine; thank you for proof reading the early drafts, testing the accompanying code, and for providing such helpful, constructive criticism. Joe, thank you for responding to each of my many questions so promptly and comprehensively; I am indebted to you.
Learning Stencyl 3.X Game Development: Beginner's Guide
Jon, thank you for creating Stencyl; it is a wonderful tool that has already enabled, and will continue to enable, many people to find the fun! This book is dedicated to my dear wife, Ellen; thank you for your love, your support, and your encouragement.
Here it is in print; I love you. Originally an inquisitive volunteer, he now handles numerous aspects of Stencyl's operations, including content development, site maintenance, social media, business partnerships, educational outreach, and support. Self-taught, he provided software for more than 20 years in every domain: decision-making methods, artificial learning, robotics, and autonomous systems.
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Technology evangelist, he has chosen to support Stencyl since the migration from Flash to haXe. He actively contributes to the community extensions, translation, and support.
Learning Stencyl 3.x Game Development: Beginner's Guide : Innes Borkwood :
Undoubtedly, you will meet him one day or another on the Stencyl forums. And you will be welcome! Being part of something, implies to be welcomed by a community. Stencyl users are part of one of the best communities I have been in touch with as far as I can remember since the first steps of Internet and Linux. You know that a person uses Stencyl because he or she has sparks in his or her eyes and a child-like spirit to create amazing games.
I have found this in Innes. And if you go through this journey, you might have them too. He has a PhD in computer science from Georgia Tech His research is in computer graphics and computer game development, especially for educational purposes. He has been writing computer games and other computer programs since the Commodore days.
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Creating video games has traditionally been a long and complicated process, requiring years of experience and a vast array of skills. However, with the introduction of comprehensive game-development toolkits such as Stencyl, the fun has returned to the art of game creation—anyone who has the desire to create his or her own video game can now do so with almost any desktop computer and a free software download from the Internet. Stencyl eliminates many of the tedious and time consuming aspects of game development, but getting to grips with such a comprehensive software package can be somewhat daunting—there are so many great features that it's difficult to know where to start!
We're going to start with a blank screen and, before we reach the end of the book, we'll have developed a complete game, ready for publishing. We won't stop with just the basics in place—we're going all the way, right through to including many of the important features that we would expect to find in a professional production!
Chapter 1, Introduction , explains what Stencyl is, how it works, and how we're going to learn the skills that we need to develop our own video games. We'll also install Stencyl and check that the installation is working as expected. Chapter 2, Let's Make a Game! We'll learn how to control our game's main character, design a game level with platforms, and create a scrolling display.
Chapter 3, Detecting Collisions , explores the management of different types of collisions within Stencyl. We'll add enemy characters and collectible items, and we'll fine tune the collision detection by modifying collision shapes. Chapter 4, Creating Behaviors , explains how we can take full control of how our games work, by constructing our own custom gameplay routines.
We'll learn how to use Stencyl's instruction blocks to introduce more advanced features into our game, such as random in-game events and decision making. Chapter 5, Animation in Stencyl , introduces some of the different ways in which we can implement animation in our game. We'll discover how to bring our in-game characters to life with Stencyl's built-in animation and graphics editing tools. Chapter 6, Managing and Displaying Information , focuses on managing information and sharing that information with players of our game. We'll be learning how to display text on screen, keep track of collected items, and also how to display a countdown timer bar.
Chapter 7, Polishing the Game , shows us how to add some essential elements to our game, such as an introductory screen, a game-over message, and a pause feature with a pop-up banner.
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