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Stencyl - Alien Shootout - Crash Course 2

This is based on the Stencyl Crash Course-2 from the Stencyl website.

There are 23 episodes in this tutorial series and goes from theory right through to a working 2D Shoot 'Em Up game.  As well as following the Crash Course 2 Stencyl Tutorial, it also takes the programmer through the three challenges that were posed on the stencyl Website.  The full source and project files are available from the YouTube videos by clicking on the 'Information / More' icon that appears in the top right hand corner of the screen or by clicking on the Menu Item 'Source file Request' on this website.  - Enjoy!

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Stencyl 2d Game Video Tutorial Alien Shootout 01/17 by Oliver Leamy - Introduction

What is the game all about and what will it look like?  It is called Alien ShootOut and is based on the Stencyl Crash Course 2 Game.  This beginners video tutorial starts at the very beginning and assumes nothing.  There is no programming involved at this step – just the concepts.  For example – what are actors?  In this case an actor is the spaceship controlled by the player.  It is also the bullets that are fired at the aliens and, of course, the aliens are also actors as well.  As you can see, the concepts are very straightforward – but it is on these simple building blocks that we craft the game together! 


Stencyl 2d Game Video Tutorial Alien Shootout 02/17 by Oliver Leamy – Stencyl Download

In this video tutorial we continue learning how to create a 2D game (Alien ShootOut also known as Crash Course 2) using the Stencyl programming system software.  We start by looking at the Stencyl website and download the software package itself.  After downloading, we then install and make sure that it works. This tutorial is aimed at the absolute beginner / novice programmer.

Stencyl 2d Game Tutorial Alien Shootout 03/17 by Oliver Leamy – Download Assets

In this video tutorial we continue learning how to create a 2D game (Alien ShootOut also known as Crash Course 2) using the Stencyl programming system software.  This time we concentrate on the assets that are available for this Alien Shootout Game.  We show where they are available on the internet, how to download them and where is the best place to store them on your computer.  After downloading all the assets, the various files are explained in detail so that the novice programmer understands how they will be used.  This tutorial completes the preparation – the next tutorial starts using the Stencyl package itself – roll on Tutorial 04! This tutorial is aimed at the beginner programmer.


Stencyl 2d Game Tutorial Alien Shootout 04/17 by Oliver Leamy – Setting the Scene

In this video tutorial we continue learning how to create a 2D game (Alien ShootOut also known as Crash Course 2) using the Stencyl programming system software.  We get our first sight of the Stencyl package in action.  All those assets that we downloaded in Tutorial 03 – now we import some of them and get a better understanding of what they will be used for.  The background, the images for each actor, how they animate and so on.  Also, there is a description of a game and how scenes (or levels) exist.  Finally, we see how to run a game from within Stencyl.  Great basics on getting to know the environment! This tutorial is aimed at the beginner / novice programmer.

Stencyl 2d Game Tutorial Alien Shootout 05/17 by Oliver Leamy – Actor Actions

In this video tutorial we continue learning how to create a 2D game (Alien ShootOut also known as Crash Course 2) using the Stencyl programming system software.  Now we start making the scene look more like an Alien Shootout.  This tutorial concentrates on defining the actions – The Alien, The Bullet and The SpaceShip.  For each one we allocate an image and animate those that can be animated.  Next the actors are put into the initial positions on the screen and finally the scene is tested to make sure that they look right and animations are working properly.  All done without writing even one word of code! This tutorial is aimed at the beginner / novice programmer.

Stencyl 2d Game Tutorial Alien Shootout 06/17 by Oliver Leamy – Colliding Groups

In this video tutorial we continue learning how to create a 2D game (Alien ShootOut also known as Crash Course 2) using the Stencyl programming system software.  The actors have been created, now we need to group them according to their type – all aliens in one group, all bullets in another group and the spaceship is in the ‘player’ group.  There is nothing complex here.  We then define which groups can collide with each other.  Do you know what?  Now we have done just about all we can do without writing code.  It is time to work out the rules for the game – that will come in Tutorial 07.  This tutorial is aimed at the beginner / novice programmer. 



Stencyl 2d Game Tutorial Alien Shootout 07/17 by Oliver Leamy – Actor LifeCycles

In this video tutorial we continue learning how to create a 2D game (Alien ShootOut also known as Crash Course 2) using the Stencyl programming system software.  Time to re-group before we enter into battle!  Sit down and take a breather, consider the theory of how the game will run – what exactly will Stencyl do for us.  For starters, we have seen that it loads our scene onto the screen of the PC (or tablet, phone etc).  To do that it creates each actor that we have defined and positons them where we want them.  This action of creating an actor is crucial because the whole purpose of the gaming engine is to keep track of each actor’s life cycle right from birth to death.  We examine this life cycle and write down the rules for each act (group).  This is the blueprint for our game – so it is important to stop, think and write down as much as possible BECAUSE the next tutorial is where we start creating code – at long last says you! This tutorial is aimed at the beginner / novice programmer.



Stencyl 2d Game Tutorial Alien Shootout 08/17 by Oliver Leamy – Events at Scene Load

In this video tutorial we continue learning how to create a 2D game (Alien ShootOut also known as Crash Course 2) using the Stencyl programming system software.  The time has come to start looking at code – but it is not the traditional type of code-  No, this uses the format developed at MIT and polished up by Google – The ScratchIt system.  Stencyl have taken it a bit further along the development road and tweaked it for 2D gaming.  We look at event driven software and in particular the event caused by Stencyl loading up our scene.  And what about all those parameters / attributes that we defined when designing the game – well we find out how to set them all up.  We encounter our first ‘loop’ and some simple maths – nothing worse than multiplication!  Finally, we introduce the importance of putting in comments and how to print out results to check the program flow. This tutorial is aimed at the beginner / novice programmer.


Stencyl 2d Game Tutorial Alien Shootout 09/17 by Oliver Leamy – Advanced Debugging

In this video tutorial we continue learning how to create a 2D game (Alien ShootOut also known as Crash Course 2) using the Stencyl programming system software.  In the previous tutorial we ended up with the basic ‘pre-packaged’ debugging system.  We found this to be very cumbersome and hard to find the real nuggets of information in the clutter.  In this tutorial we find out how to add extensions to Stencyl – where to find them, download them and then incorporate them into a game.  The extension we look at is The HUD Console that can be used for debugging.  Finally we show how the output is more meaningful than that pre-packaged with Stencyl.  A really worthwhile side trip! This tutorial is aimed at the beginner / novice programmer.



Stencyl 2d Game Tutorial Alien Shootout 10/17 by Oliver Leamy – Program The Actors

In this video tutorial we continue learning how to create a 2D game (Alien ShootOut also known as Crash Course 2) using the Stencyl programming system software.  Now we are really getting down to seeing things change on the screen.  The main player is the space ship so now we see how pressing keys on the keyboard will move the ship left or right.  How we make sure that it doesn’t disappear off the left or right boundary.  Another thing we learn is how to create an actor dynamically – what I mean is to create an actor through code and have that actor appear on the screen.  I am, of course talking about bullets.  We see how the spaceship creates bullet actors and sends them on their merry way.  It is really beginning to look like an Alien Shoot Out now! This tutorial is aimed at the beginner / novice programmer.



Stencyl 2d Game Tutorial Alien Shootout 11/17 by Oliver Leamy – Lifecycle of Bullet

In this video tutorial we continue learning how to create a 2D game (Alien ShootOut also known as Crash Course 2) using the Stencyl programming system software.  The Spaceship is moving along nicely now – so time to turn our attention to the life-cycle of another actor – the bullet.  We see that working on birth/life/death is a key concept in games.  As an aside we delve a little more deeply into the DEBUG system so that we can ‘see’ into the game as it is executed.  As part of this side-tour we get to understand the difference between the ‘When Updating’ event and the ‘When Drawing’ event.  Finally, we are told how to move blocks of code from one event to another – rather than re-inventing the wheel.  All good fun! This tutorial is aimed at the beginner / novice programmer.


Stencyl 2d Game Tutorial Alien Shootout 12/17 by Oliver Leamy – Debug Using Draw

In this video tutorial we continue learning how to create a 2D (Alien ShootOut also known as Crash Course 2) game using the Stencyl programming system software.  It seems that even the HUD Console extension to the Stencyl Game Engine has its limitations when looking at DEBUG information.  In this tutorial, we see how to use standard draw snippets to show up the debug information in a non-obtrusive manner.  Debugging is important!  This tutorial is aimed at the beginner / novice programmer. 


Stencyl 2d Game Tutorial Alien Shootout 13/17 by Oliver Leamy – Bullets Die

In this video tutorial we continue learning how to create a 2D (Alien ShootOut also known as Crash Course 2) game using the Stencyl programming system software.  We are moving along nicely programming our Alien Shootout 2D Game.  The bullets were created by The SpaceShip and now we start looking at how bullets die.  To handle this we look at 2 new pre-packaged Event Types – When an Actor Leaves the Screen and When an Actor Collides.  Finally, having worked out how the bullet commits suicide, we have to work out how the Alien is informed that it has been hit.  We do this by creating a Special Behaviour that the Alien can understand.  Complicated?  Not really – just have a look – it Is very logical – just like Spock!  This tutorial is aimed at the beginner / novice programmer.


Stencyl 2d Game Tutorial Alien Shootout 14/17 by Oliver Leamy – Alien Hit

In this video tutorial we continue learning how to create a 2D game (Alien ShootOut also known as Crash Course 2) using the Stencyl programming system software.  This segment is part of Crash Course 2 Challenge 2.  Time for the Alien to commit suicide – or is it?  Just because the Alien is hit, doesn’t mean that he (or she, or maybe it?) has to die.  One of the parameters we came up with earlier on was the concept of health.  We decided that the alien dies slowly and has to be hit 3 times before dead.  This throws up some interesting problems with regards to coding but as long as we keep our heads we will be OK.  The whole basis of Stencyl visual click-drag-drop programming based on events means that we can break the most complicated task into simple, small easily understood chunks.  Don’t you believe me?  Tut, tut.  Go on, have a peek!  This tutorial is aimed at the beginner / novice programmer.


Stencyl 2d Game Tutorial Alien Shootout 15/17 by Oliver Leamy – Music and Display

In this video tutorial we continue learning how to create a 2D game (Alien ShootOut also known as Crash Course 2 and specifically Challenge 2) using the Stencyl programming system software.  Surprising how time flies – we are almost at the end of the series!  In this one we put a bit of shine on the game – how about some music?  In the 2nd tutorial we were told how to download the assets, and 2 files in that folder were MUSIC and and EXPLOSION.  Now we see how to play the music throughout the game and also to play the explosion sound every time a bullet hits the alien.  And talking of aliens, we also work out how to kill him off after hitting it 3 times.  Finally, we display some game parameters – a countdown clock. The amount of ammo remaining and the number of aliens still alive – these are the parameters that determine when the game ends.  This tutorial is aimed at the beginner / novice programmer.


Stencyl 2d Game Tutorial Alien Shootout 16/17 by Oliver Leamy – Game Calculation

In this video tutorial we continue learning how to create a 2D game (Alien ShootOut also known as Crash Course 2 and specifically Challenge 2) using the Stencyl programming system software.  Time Gentlemen Please!  We have come to the end (well nearly).  Game Calculations – how to determine the outcome.  All Aliens Dead – You’ve won!  Out of Time – You’ve Lost!  Out of Ammo (and some aliens still alive) – You’ve lost.  Again, we are building on previous work, there are no new concepts in this tutorial just reinforcing the things that have already been learned – setting up variable, reading variables, for loops, if statements – just more of the same.  The interesting thing is that no program is more than about 10 blocks long.  Despite all of that – I make a mistake which I fix in the next final tutorial.  This tutorial is aimed at the beginner / novice programmer.


Stencyl 2d Game Tutorial Alien Shootout 17/17 by Oliver Leamy - Conclusion

In this video tutorial we continue learning how to create a 2D game (Alien ShootOut also known as Crash Course 2 and specifically Challenge 2) using the Stencyl programming system software.  Concluding episode.  All good things must come to an end.  I hope you have enjoyed the journey.  In this tutorial I explain my mistake(s) and give some pointers on the way that I like to see programmes formatted so that the people coming after you will be able to maintain or expand on them easily.  It is all about good housekeeping!  Now you have your first ‘shoot-em-up’ game done – look for other tutorials on my channel where I will expand on the principles learned here.  This tutorial is aimed at the beginner / novice programmer.



Stencyl Tutorial Crash Course 2 Game Challenge 1 (Beginners) 18/20

In this video tutorial we progress beyond the Crash Course2 to the challenges using the Stencyl programming system software.  Challenger1 – the Alien Moves. We see the three challenges but challenge-2 has already been incorporated so we look at Challenger-1 where the Alien Moves.  This tutorial looks at setting up the key attributes



Stencyl Tutorial Crash Course 2 Game Challenge 1 (Beginners) 19/20

In this ‘how to’ education video tutorial for beginners in Stencyl, we progress beyond the Crash Course2 to the challenges using the Stencyl programming system software.  In Challenge-1 the programmer is asked to modify the basic game so that the enemy (The Alien) moves and in this tutorial (Part 1 of 3) we take an overview of the problems that we will have to tackle and set up the necessary attributes (Parameters) that we will need to control the movement of the Alien.  


Stencyl Tutorial Crash Course 2 Game Challenge 1 (Beginners) 20/20

In this ‘how to’ education video tutorial for beginners in Stencyl, we progress beyond the Crash Course2 to the challenges using the Stencyl programming system software.  In Challenge-1 the programmer is asked to modify the basic game so that the enemy (The Alien) moves and in this tutorial (Part 3 of 3) we look at what happens when 2 aliens collide with each other.  And then, since this is a ‘new level’ it makes sense to change the rules of the game when deciding what causes the game to complete – should the number of bullets increase, what about the number of Alien Lives – since the alien moves – should the number of lives decrease and finally what about the game clock – is there enough time to allow a reasonable adept player complete the game in time?



Stencyl Tutorial Crash Course 2 Game Challenge 3 SETUP (Beginners) 21/23

In this ‘how to’ education video tutorial for beginners in Stencyl, we progress beyond the Crash Course2 to the challenges using the Stencyl programming system software.  In Challenge-3 the programmer is asked to modify the basic game so that the enemy (The Alien) moves fires at the player.  In this tutorial we setup the new actors and configurations.  This entails creating a new bullet actor using Pixel Editing Software (we use one from the online website www.pixlr.com).  With a new actor, we also have to create a new group and set up new collision configurations.  With this final challenge, we also have to modify the game parameters as the game can now end if we die.


Stencyl Tutorial Crash Course 2 Game Challenge 3 FIRE (Beginners) 22/23

In this ‘how to’ education video tutorial for beginners in Stencyl, we progress beyond the Crash Course2 to the challenges using the Stencyl programming system software.  In Challenge-3 the programmer is asked to modify the basic game so that the enemy (The Alien) moves fires at the player.  In this tutorial we concentrate on controlling how the Alien will fire bullets.  Firstly, we have to set up a rule prohibiting the Alien from firing before the player has time to ‘get comfortable’.  This could be done using something like ‘press any key to start’ but for simplicity, we set a timer to determine the start for the alien.  In order to keep some sense of randomness, the alien is given a random interval between firing bullets so the player cannot easily anticipate when one will be fired.


Stencyl Tutorial Crash Course 2 Game Challenge 3 GAME OVER (Beginners) 23/23

In this ‘how to’ education video tutorial for beginners in Stencyl, we progress beyond the Crash Course2 to the challenges using the Stencyl programming system software.  In Challenge-3 the programmer is asked to modify the basic game so that the enemy (The Alien) moves fires at the player.  In this tutorial we concentrate on two final aspects of the game.  Firstly, we look at the alien bullet lifecycle.  How does it die?  It can die when it exits the screen and also if it hits the player (spaceship).  Secondly we take another look at the game parameters – how does the game end?  We have to add code to cater for when we (the spaceship) are hit.  We also look at changing the basic parameters like ammunition available, time etc..  This is the final tutorial in Crash Course 2 and give the beginner / novice programmer a great insight into the Stencyl Programming Software and a solid base to work from for future programming exercises.


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