Let’s Make a Game: Snake

Note: this tutorial is out of date. You can use concepts from this tutorial, plus updated ones listed below:

 

snake

The classic game “Snake” is fun because of it’s simplicity and replayability. You start out as a small snake made up of one or two blocks, and you grow longer each time you eat something. You have to avoid colliding with yourself, which becomes progressively harder as your tail grows longer. The entire game only contains a few elements, but you can play it over and over – that makes it a perfect candidate for a “Let’s Make a Game” Tutorial!

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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!