1: Getting Started
2: Building Logic
5: Game Mechanics
6: Advanced Topics
7: Testing & Tuning
8: The Last 10%
M1: Mobile - Intro
M2: Mobile - Basics
M3: Mobile - Services
M4: Mobile - Publishing
B: How-To Guides
3.0 Drafts (In Progress)
Working with Behaviors
Taking advantage of existing Behaviors is a great way to get a game up and running quickly.
Eventually, however, you’ll come across a Behavior that you want to tweak, or you’ll want to implement functionality for which no Behavior exists at all. For these cases, you’ll need to dive into Stencyl’s Design Mode.
Note: This article is mainly a "how-to" article that familiarizes you with our signature block-snapping interface. If you're searching for an article on how to "think" and tackle problems, that will be covered in a future article.
Let’s continue with the vertical shoot ‘em up game we were creating in our last article. We’ll see how we can create a simple laser-shooting Behavior from scratch.
1) Go ahead and click the Create New button in the toolbar, since we’ll be creating a new resource.
2) Choose the Behavior resource type, enter a name (such as "Fire Laser"), and click Create.
Note: You might be curious about those other modes... Both are for advanced users.
Code Mode lets you create Behaviors by writing straight-up code.
Freeform Mode lets you add arbitrary code, entirely outside our Behavior system.
After clicking Create, Design Mode appears. Let’s take a moment to get acquainted with the interface.
The main interface is divided into three parts – the event pane, the workspace, and the palette.
Adding an Event
Reminder: Events are the building blocks of Behaviors. In short, they’re things that happen in your game that can trigger some kind of action, or response.
Let’s go ahead and create an event that will let our ship fire a laser.
1) Click Add Event, and select Keyboard from the Input menu.
2) An Event wrapper block pops up. When the Event is triggered, any blocks placed inside the wrapper block will be executed.
3) Notice the two dropdown boxes. if you click on one, you’ll notice you can select from multiple options. Let’s first choose a control for firing the laser.
Note: Controls are map physical keys on your keyboard to human-friendly names. If you flip to the Controls page under the game's Dashboard, you can see what physical key Fire1 maps to.
Now we need to define the actions that should occur whenever the Fire1 control is pressed. These actions are called the Event Response.
Specifically, we need to first create a laser Actor Type and then set its velocity.
Tip: The Search Box
We can use the search box inside the palette to help find the blocks we need. Just type in a word that appears as part of a block’s text, and press Enter/Return.
Part 1 - Finding Blocks
1) Use the search box inside the palette, to find the following blocks:
2) While holding the Alt key, drag the x of [Self] block to a new location to create a copy of the block.
Tip: Holding Alt and dragging a block will automatically clone it.
Part 2 - Fill in the Fields
The white rectangles inside these blocks are called fields. You can change a field’s value in several ways:
Part 3 - Fill out the Event
4) Use your drag-and-drop, point-and-click, and typing skills to create the following logic snippet, and “snap” it inside the Event wrapper block, like so:
In words, we’re creating a bullet Actor 20 units above the player’s ship and are setting its vertical speed to -20 (meaning 20 in the “up” direction).
Note: See this article if you’re wondering what a “recycled” Actor is.
5) If you want to test the Behavior out, attach it to your ship like we did in the previous article, or use the Attach to Actor Type button.
That's all there is to building a simple Behavior. Assuming you know what kind of logic you're building, it's a matter of gathering blocks via whatever method you're comforatable with, filling in their blanks, and piecing them together into a functional stack that represents the functionality you desire.
Challenge: A New Weapon
Add a second event to the Behavior that causes the ship to fire a different weapon when a “special attack” control is pressed.
Last Updated: 2012-04-15 by Joe
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