When you first login to http://creator.gamesalad.com, you will see the GameSalad Dashboard. From here, you can start a new project, open a previous project, or see your list of published projects.
Let’s start by creating a new project based on a template. To do that, click the “New” tab in the upper left side of the screen.
This will show you a list of all the templates you can choose from. For this tutorial, we’re going to use the Wizard Run template. Click on the template labeled Wizard Run to add it to your project list.
After you click the Wizard Run template you should see a notification pop up in the bottom left of the screen. After that happens head back to your project list by clicking the “My Projects” tab in the upper left (right under the “New” tab).
You should see the “wizardrun_starter” project in your project list now! Go ahead and click it when it’s done importing to open it up.
GameSalad is split into 2 major parts. The Scene and Actor editors.
When you open the Wizard Run project you created, the Scene Editor will appear.
The Scene Editor is split into 3 sections:
If you click on the Scenes tab in the Library, you’ll see the list of scenes in your game. You can click the “+” button in the top right to add a new scene, or click the trashcan button next to a scene to delete it.
If you click on the Actors tab in the Library, you’ll see a list of all the actors in this project. Clicking on an actor will switch your view from the Scene Editor to the Actor Editor.
Just like the Scene Editor, the Actor Editor is made up of 3 sections:
If all of this seems a little overwhelming, don’t worry! We’ll be going into what everything is in a little more detail below.
There’s a few key concepts you’ll need to understand to use GameSalad. Most notably, you’ll need to know what actors, scenes, attributes, and behaviors are.
Simply put, actors represent every object inside your game that the player can (or can’t) see and interact with. In this Wizard Run game there’s some already made actors such as the wizard that the player controls, the bricks that the wizard stands on, and the dragon.
You can add new actors “+” button in the top right of the Library with the Actors tab selected.
Actors by themselves don’t do anything! Behaviors are bits of logic that you can add to actors to make them do what you want. For example, if you wanted to have an actor move, you could add a Move behavior to it!
Rules are a special kind of behavior that hold other behaviors inside of it. Rules also have conditions (that you give them) that stop the behaviors inside them from running until something specific happens.
Using the same example as above, if you wanted to have an actor move only when the right arrow key is down, you’d need a Move behavior inside of a Rule with a “key” condition with the right arrow key selected!
You can add behaviors to actors in two ways:
Attributes inside GameSalad store all the data for your game just like variables do for computer programs! There’s 6 different types of attributes that hold different types of values:
Each actor inside GameSalad has a lot of built-in attributes that you can access, but you cancreate your own attributes too so the possibilities are endless! Some of the built-in attributes are an actor’s width, height, and even physics attributes like an actor’s density or velocity.
The last thing that’s important to know about attributes is that there’s both game attributes and actor attributes. Game attributes can be viewed by and changed by every actor inside your game, while actor attributes can only be viewed and changed by the actor they’re on.
You can create your own game or actor attributes through the “+” button in the top right of the Inspector area.
The last major concept to understand is scenes. Simply put, scenes are what the player sees when playing the game. Scenes are where you add your actors so that the player can interact with them. You can think of a scene as an individual level for your game.
You can view your existing scenes and create new ones in the Scene tab of the Library. This is also where you’ll select which scene you want to edit.
In the Wizard Run project provided, there’s some pre-made actors already available that you can check out, edit, and use! The actors were created with custom attributes to make editing different aspects of the game easy and intuitive.
For example, if you want to make the character you control move faster or slower, you can open the Actor Editor for the actor named “Player”, and edit the “PlayerSpeed” attribute in the Inspector.
If you select this actor and look in the Inspector, you’ll see an attribute with the text “Your Name Here” inside it. You can replace that text with your name to have it display on the Intro scene!
It moves through changing its built-in linear velocity x and y attributes, and changes the built-in graphics attribute “flipHorizontally” to make sure that the animation is facing the correct direction that the actor is moving.
You can change the Player actor’s gravity, speed, and jump power via attributes in the Inspector.
You can easily change the distance the Dragon travels before turning around and the speed it moves at through actor attributes.
For example, based on the following order, if you had a key on the “Intro” scene, and it collided with the Player actor, it would change the scene currently being displayed to the “Level 1” scene.
Using the same example, if you moved the “You Win” scene in front of the “Level 1” scene, when the collision occurs the scene would change to the “You Win” scene instead.
Now that your name is filled in, go ahead and preview the project by clicking the green preview button at the top right of the editor!
If the game is showing up a little bit too big or small for your screen, you can use the zoom dropdown on the left side of the of the window to resize it.
You should see your name below the text “Wizard Run with GameSalad”. Go ahead and click the start button and play through the first level.
The game is set up to use the left and right arrow keys for movement, and the spacebar for jumping. Once you grab the key, you should be taken to a new scene that’s blank except for the text “Delete this image and layout your own level here!”.
Click the “X” button in the Preview browser tab to close it.
The next thing we’ll need to do is get rid of that text we saw and put together our own level!
Select the text on the scene and delete it using your delete key, so that you’re left with a completely blank scene.
Here’s what my level looks like:
Once you’ve laid out a level, preview the game again and make sure you can beat it! If you make it through your level and collect the key, you should see the You Win scene.
After you’ve created a level that’s beatable and can make it all the way through the game, try editing the Player actor’s attributes, adding more logic to actors, or creating your own actors to make the game unique!
There’s 3 provided attributes that you can easily change that will greatly affect how the game plays, and those are Gravity, PlayerSpeed, and JumpPower. They’re all actor attributes for the Player actor.
When you’re done playing around with the attributes, try taking on one of the challenges below!
Find and modify assets (art and sounds) for your game.
Make each level of your game more challenging than the previous level. Here are some ideas to get you started:
Can you add something for the player to collect along the way that increases a score value? Or perhaps you could give the player a score based off how fast they complete the levels.