Gamefroot this week!

Don't get ahead of yourself!

 

 

Hey guys and welcome to another episode of ‘Man that Game is Good’! You’ll notice that starting from today these blog posts will be branching out a tad. Not only will I be sharing with you the bestest user games on the site, but I will also share with you features about upcoming Gamefroot games and the odd user tip to get you guys making even better games, so that I can mention them here!

So let’s get into it! If you are looking for a nice, simple platform game then take a look at Paul by Tracey McKenzie. This is an enjoyable and accessible game to all with a few cheeky traps to catch you up as you search for the end point, battling robots and Asian business men as you go (you’ll have to ask Tracey as to the significance of the business men). The overall design is interesting and varied, and it is satisfying to get to that end point after having been tricked out of it (admittedly on more than one occasion). I would love to see more games from Tracey that build upon this clean and user friendly format. Keep up the good work Tracey!

Another short but sweet game that I have to mention is Fresh Sushi Adventures by fightproject. As soon as you open this game you’ll see why it’s worth a look. It is always great to see you guys using your own tiles in a game to create the customized world that is right for you. So then, it is flippin’ wondrous to see these fellows’ friendly faces darting about the screen, it is marvellous to witness the alternate facial expressions as you or your enemies kick the bucket, but most of all it is simply awesome that the lead character can hold a gun..i mean, how is he gripping that thing? Does he have it wedged in his nose? That is talent…thank you happy face man for making me smile today.

If you are looking for a real challenge this week, then take a look at Death Pizza v 0.1 by Richard de Jonge. This game is awesome and should offer you plenty of tricky platform challenges to overcome! First off, I love that this game starts you off with a clear and precise focus, narrated beautifully. The music fits great to the fiery background, and the walk speed tweak has created a really nifty ‘slide’ effect; so make sure to be careful every time you jump to a new platform, cause you may just slide right into a bucket of fresh hot flame! This game is really nicely laid out, with a very simple architecture and appropriate use of tiles. The appearance of the firework effect, which is available in an items’ advanced features, creates another rather pleasing aesthetic to the bubbling lava as it spews tiny orange pixels into the air. And the really good news is that Richard has promised us that there will be more levels to come!!  YES! This game is great, so go play it!

Well that’s it my fellow gamers until next week, when I will be reviewing the greatly anticipated sequel to our most played game, Super Froot Box!!! Get yourself ready for that one and have a great week!!

Rayne Leafe and the Gamefroot team.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Share your games

Note: an updated version of this tutorial is here http://gamefroot.com/knowledgebase/publishing-your-game-to-share-it-with-the-world/

 

Sharing your Gamefroot creations is simple. If you have published your game then it will appear on the Browse Games page (if it is popular enough), and the All Games page.

To share a specific game with people, click the share button underneath the game on the Gamefroot website.

Continue reading “Share your games”

Oops! Play counter reset

Sorry folks! Due to a technical error we lost play counts between Friday the 11th May and Tuesday the 15th of May. Over 5000 plays had been misallocated, and as such many games were getting inaccurate play counts, therefere we had no choice but to reset counts between these dates.

We don’t want people to think that their games have hardly been played – it’s simply not true. Your games are all being played! We have now fixed the play counter, so from now on you will all be seeing accurate play counts.

Once again, we apologize for any inconvenience regarding the play counts. We are striving to make the best game sharing experience possible, so we appreciate your feedback.

We are proud of the work that everyone out there in the Gamefroot community has been doing, so keep on making and sharing your awesome games!

Games of the week – Week Two!

 

The gates of hell!

Good day to you fellow gamers and welcome to our second instalment of Games of the Week; where we play your games and tell you how great you are for making them!

So to our first feature game this week, Desolation by Obsidian. I think this is the best user game created to date, and with only one life and no opportunity for gaining more, this is a real challenge. The game serves as a simple platform, seeing the character travelling through the desert to find civilisation, encountering mummies and death traps along the way! The game uses very effective placement of moving tiles, levers and spiked objects to create a game that not only offers the traditional, ‘oh no don’t land on that spiky thing’ challenge, but also the ‘how on earth will I get past this obstacle’ challenge, also known as…problem solving!! And boy oh boy, it’s hard. Take my heed – finishing this game may never happen for you, but enjoy it while you’re alive.

The next game for special mention this week is The Fall of Batman by Angus Mcquade, or as I like to call it, Long-jump Olympics. This game has a nice overall thematic look to it, and as suggested in my fake title, has some really long jumps in it. You will have to jump over spikes, water, flame, robots…you name it, all whilst dodging enemy fire and moving through the level towards the end where you have to ‘kill Cristian Bale’. It’s a fairly short game and definitely beatable, but it might take you a few tries, and you’ll have a jolly ‘ol time taking down the bat in black!

Lastly is a pretty awesome game called Redemption by jaminscript. Why is this game so impressive? Well just take a look! Your character, the son of Diable, decides he doesn’t want to live in Hell any more, so he sets off to the world above, collecting keys to open gates, rescuing some of his little red friends, jumping over moving cars and navigating clouds to reach the gates of heaven and partake in a giant cheesecake…yes really. This isn’t a challenging game, but its use of customized tiles is fantastic, it’s theme is well executed, and isn’t that little red fella cute? Nice work!

That’s it for this week. I’ll check in next week with the latest batch of awesome games. 😉 Keep up the good work gamers!

Rayne Leafe and the Gamefroot team.

Pimp my Game – Create your own game background

Note: this tutorial has been updated here http://gamefroot.com/knowledgebase/create-your-own-background-image/

 

With Gamefroot we make it easy for the entry level game designer to effortlessly create a game using the default assets, but for the next level of game designer* we offer a lot more customization. You can design your own characters, terrain, in-game items, and backgrounds. You can then upload these assets into Gamefroot to build games that are uniquely your own. In this series of tutorials I’m going to show you how to do all of that to create a masterpiece you can be proud of.

*To take advantage of Gamefroot’s customization it is important that you have image editing software and a working knowledge of how to use it.

Gamefroot Backgrounds

In Gamefroot the background is the image that appears behind everything in your game. A good background can create a lot of atmosphere in a game. For example: a game about zombies with a moonlit graveyard for a background will seem dramatic and scary, but the same game with a bright blue sky for a background wouldn’t have the same impact.

 

 

Game backgrounds remain static in games. Background images must be 768 pixels wide by 512 pixels high.

 

Designing your background

Consider the visual style of your game. How do you want the rest of your game to look – in what style have you done the terrain, the items, and the characters? Think about the atmosphere or mood of the level. You can evoke different moods with the colors you use. Think about how detailed you want your background. If your background is too overpowering could that be distracting and ruin the game?

Remember the scale of the characters and the terrain. If there are buildings or some other kind of background terrain in your background, make sure they are appropriately sized so that they seem in the distance if they are supposed to be far away. Also remember that as objects are further into the distance they appear duller and have less contrast.

I thought about all of these things when I was creating an Arabian themed background for the Gamefroot default backgrounds. The visual style we were going for was a kind of detailed pixel art look. It had to suit the characters and terrain that we had already made.

I sketched out a layout of some sand dunes and trees with domed buildings, but testing it out in a game revealed some problems with scale (the trees were way too big).

So I rearranged everything to create a layout that worked a lot better.

Then I went over the whole composition and cleaned it all up. In this background image, as the trees, buildings and mountains reach further into the distance they become more and more faded. To ensure the style of the terrain and the background worked together, I replicated the tree tiles and put them away in the distance. The golden brown colors in the terrain tiles have also been carried through.

Here’s the background in a game. Using a background with tiles and characters that fit the style can make your game feel professional and polished.

 

Be sure to pay a decent amount of attention to making your backgrounds – it definitely pays off.

Uploading and testing your Background

Once you have finished making your background, save it as a PNG, JPG or GIF file. Then load up your level on Gamefroot and open the Level Properties. Click “Choose file” to select an image from your computer.

Once you have selected your background image it will show up as a thumbnail in the level properties. Click “Done” to go back to your level.

Then preview your game to see what your new background image looks like in game. If you are unhappy with it, go back into your image editor and tweak until it looks right.

Multiple levels, multiple backgrounds

If you want a game with multiple levels then you can really show off your artistic ability and create a customized background for each level. This can make your game feel much more varied and immersive. For an example of this, play the Isaac Newton game.

Happy game making!

 

Pimp my Game – Make your own terrain and items

Note: this tutorial has now been updated here http://gamefroot.com/knowledgebase/how-to-draw-your-own-game-objects/

 

With Gamefroot we make it easy for the entry level game designer to effortlessly create a game using the default assets, but for the next level of game designer* we offer a lot more customization. You can design your own characters, terrain, in-game items, and backgrounds. You can then upload these assets into Gamefroot to build games that are uniquely your own. In this series of tutorials I’m going to show you how to do all of that to create a masterpiece you can be proud of. *To take advantage of Gamefroot’s customization it is important that you have image editing software and a working knowledge of how to use it.

Gamefroot terrain tiles and item tiles

The single largest element in most games is the terrain tiles, so making your own terrain tiles is very important in game customization. All tiles in Gamefroot must be 48 pixels high and 48 pixels wide, and they must be PNG or GIF files. You can have objects bigger than a single 48 x 48 tile by making an object out of multiple tiles, or you can make an object smaller than 48 x 48 by leaving transparent space around the object inside the tile.

Designing tiles

Think about the purpose of the tile. Is this an item? Will this tile be an obstacle? Remember that the whole tile will be solid, not just the part of the tile with artwork on it. If it is going to be a background tile then this doesn’t matter – the player won’t be bumping into it.

Also remember that terrain has 2 layers – take advantage of this to make cool layered effects.

Consider the visual style of your game. Draw up your concepts, and test them out with your other game elements to make sure they don’t clash or look weird. When I draw tiles I often work at 400 percent of the actual tile size – that way I can work on the details, and then shrink the artwork down to its proper size and make any tweaks that are needed.

If you are working on pixel art, you can do the opposite – work small and upscale it for the final version.

Once you are happy with your artwork, cut it into 48 x 48 pixel images and save them as either PNG or GIF files (PNG files have better transparency).

 

Uploading and testing your own tiles

Now that you are ready to upload your new tiles, open up Gamefroot and select the Terrain Tab. Click the + button, browse to the image file on your hard drive, and select one or more images to upload.

uploading-terrain-tile1.jpg

upload-terrain-2.jpg

Click Begin Upload and the files will start to upload. Once they have all been uploaded, close this box and your new terrain tiles will appear in “Your Terrain” tab.

upload-terrain-3.jpg

The exact same process above applies to item tiles as well.

Now you can make games entirely out of your own tiles!

Happy game making!

 

 

Let’s get Advanced – Make a Spring

Note: this tutorial is out of date. You can use the concepts from this tutorial combined with the up-to-date tutorials listed below:

 

You can make some really cool things in Gamefroot’s Advanced Behavior Editor, and there are a few core blocks that you can use over and over again to make interesting things happen. Today we will focus on using message blocks to trigger other blocks.

 

You can use message blocks to send specific messages that activate other behavior blocks, and you can set time delays on these messages. (These kinds of messages are different to in-game messages – they only send messages to other behaviors and these messages are not shown to the player in-game.)

In this tutorial we are going to use the power of timed messages to make a spring that launches the player into the air.

Continue reading “Let’s get Advanced – Make a Spring”

Games of the Week – Launch Week

Killer saw crossing!

 

Hey folks! It’s been great to see so many of you trying out the game creator this week, whether to test out the engine in a spare 15 minutes, or to create a multi-levelled platform with enthralling plot, gripping characters and challenging gameplay. Nice work to everyone who has published a game, and kudos to those of you who experimented with uploading your own tiles and images. We thought it would be cool to recognise the games that we really enjoy as you guys are making them, and share them with you on a weekly basis. So with little more to say, I bid thee welcome to the first Gamefroot Featured Games blog! What better incentive for you guys to make killer games, than to have them end up mentioned on this glorious platform and shared with the world!

So let us begin! The first game I want to mention this week is called Jumper by Robbie Waara. In essence this is a straightforward platform game; jump around, collect a few things, find the route onwards and don’t die. Unfortunately on my first play through all I did was die, then die, then die some more, but thankfully Robbie had the wondrous idea to provide the player with 10 lives straight out of the bat. Through clever placement of spike items (items that kill on contact), moving tiles and transporters, this game provides a real challenge. Not since Super Mario Sunshine have I felt such hair ripping frustration; taking the wrong transporter and ending up right back at the beginning, or losing my way entirely and falling into a big lava pool of death. However, the game provides just enough checkpoints and life to give you hope that yes, you can reach the end. So to the main flaw of this game…there does not appear to be an end point, but the game provides enough intricate game play to keep you looking for it, whether it is there or not. This game is a great example of creative design using the standard set of items and tools available in the game creator.

Next up is ScottQuest by joshn41, a quirky multi-levelled game which sees the player on a quest to retrieve science, which has been completely stolen from the world. In the first level, armed with a set of Schroedinger Duelling Cats (also known as pistols), you set off, battling your way thorough a mixture of flame throwing villains and skeleton Nazi’s. The challenge in this level comes from enemy damage, but there are also a few nice moments created using moving tiles and spike objects. Thankfully, ‘science coins’ both give you points and restore health – so the level is very manageable. Stick with it and you will be rewarded with 3 more levels, each with a different set of challenges. The last level is a boss battle featuring a jumped up Batman character with a hefty life supply. Holy Batman…Batman.  Unfortunately the science-less world motif doesn’t go much further than the first few story points, but it a nice entrance into this enjoyable game, which exhibits a few personal customisations and a marvellously nerdy sense of humour.

The Secret Tomb by banksethan is another notable game this week. This plot driven game sees you, the Indiana Jones-style Adventurer, set off to find the aforementioned secret tomb! In the first level you must find 6 artefacts on your way to the games end point. Some of these artefacts include a ‘double-sided War Chest with a victorious Pharoah crushing the Nubians’ and ‘A decorated throne with a Pharoah and his wife (who is actually his sister)!’. By no means is this a difficult game, as the mummies that are scattered throughout can be killed with one hit and do not do too much frequent damage to your health; you are more likely to lose a life on a moving spike tile. However the theme is well used throughout, and although the two levels are not currently linked, the second level does uphold the same theme with creative platform design leading you to eventually find the hidden tomb. Nice effort!

So that’s it for this week! We really can’t wait to see what you guys start coming up with, once you get to grips with the engine, and once you have uncovered the glory and limitless potential that are found within an item’s advanced behaviours. Check it out, create, design, play and we’ll be back next week with to share our favourites with you!

Happy gaming!

Rayne Leafe and the Gamefroot Team

Welcome to Gamefroot

Hi I’m Dan from the Gamefroot team.

Making games has been a dream of mine ever since I was a wee little thing playing on my Commodore 64.

Well kinda.

I think back then I just wanted to blow things up and read 2000AD comics, my first actual memory of wanting to make a game was after completing Leisure Suite Larry. I was well upset that Leisure Suit Larry 2 didn’t exist at the time so I wrote my own game – it never went anyway but it was the thought that counts. All you old school Sierra fans know what I’m talking about when I say this, but has there ever been a more engaging and awesome game then Quest for Glory? Nope. There definitely hasn’t.

So here I am years later, about to launch an HTML5 Game Creation tool that would allow me or anybody else in the world to create their own game. If you can use a web browser and if you can use mouse to click and drag – then you can use Gamefroot. The bar has finally been lowered – other people have promised it but none have been as easy as this, with Gamefroot you no longer need to be a programmer to make games!

What is awesome about Gamefroot in my opinion? Gamefroot allows you to make awesome games. It allows you to make big games, small games, adventure games, happy games, sad games, story based games, space games, sci-fi games, and with our Scratch-based user Interface for creating advanced behaviors, you can pretty much make any type of game your imagination can come up with.

Thanks for checking us out!

Best,

Dan Milward

Prepping for Launch

The bar is stocked, the balloons ordered and the DJ is hired. But back at Gamefroot Central in Wellington, NZ the Gf crew is still cranking through the final details before takeoff.  Vlad,  Jesse and Abi are going through each of the games one last time and you can frequently hear someone in the office suddenly jumping out of their chair to yell “booya!” or muttering words we’d better not publish here.

Brett and Brian are still fine tuning the website and the game creator itself.  They’re funny in how different they see programming, so we often hear them debating development in the office.

Dave is our go to graphics guy and he’s been helping everyone with everything, whether its creating a game monster, working up graphics for the website or grabbing screenshots.

To say things are buzzing in the office is an understatement – and it seems everyday we have new reporters in to interview Dan, or an office of kids testing games or the creator. We’re psyched that Tuesday is launch