Of Sparks and Squirrels
Have you ever wanted to build your very own game? Well, if you’ve got an Xbox One or PC, then a great place to start taking those first few adventurous steps into the game creation process is Project Spark. Developed by Team Dakota, Project Spark is essentially the Microsoft equivalent of Sony’s Little Big Planet series, with a healthy splash of Halo‘s Forge mode thrown in for good measure. In other words, the game is a free-form games builder that provides players with a simple palette of tools from which they can craft a surprisingly large variety of games and worlds to play in.
You’d be forgiven for thinking that a game that mixes elements from both a futuristic sci-fi FPS’s multiplayer editing suite, and the wackiness and carefree creative abandon of a cute but world building game would be a total disaster. However, that’s not the case; Project Spark is one of the hidden gems on the Xbox One, and well worth a look if you’ve got some creative virtual muscles to flex. Whether you want to recreate your all-time favourite platformer in minute detail, indulge in some creative landscaping or create your very own gaming masterpiece from scratch, Project Spark is a great place for budding games developers to start tinkering away. You can even upload your creations so others can play through them, and likewise download other players’ content and remix it to your heart’s content.
The game originally launched in December of 2013 as an open beta on PC, but started to gain more momentum in March 2014 when it launched on Xbox One. At the time, Minecraft had yet to make the generational leap from the Xbox 360 to the Xbox One, so Project Spark found itself in the rather fortuitous position of being the only major world-creation game on Microsoft’s new console.
Since Minecraft’s release however, things have been rather quiet on the Project Spark front…so just why is it exactly that I’m writing about it over a year later? Well, the first part of Conker’s Big Reunion just released yesterday, that’s why. A sequel game of sorts to the N64’s Conker’s Bad Fur Day, Big Reunion is an episodic adventure set within Project Spark (as paid DLC) which stars everyone’s favourite boozy squirrel in a quest to pay off a rather hefty bar tab he’s steadily accrued.
While I have to say that, personally, I would have much preferred to get a complete brand new stand-alone Conker game, I’m just pleased that we’re getting more Conker content at all, even if it is delivered in a bit of a fiddly piecemeal fashion. Bad Fur Day was a much-loved game during the twilight years of the N64 (later re-released as Conker: Live & Reloaded on the original Xbox), so a continuation of the franchise will hopefully give fans a further incentive to go back to Spark if they’ve been away, or try it out for the first time.
What’s interesting about this IP crossover is that once you’ve finished romping around in the main Big Reunion content, you have the option to have a pop at making your own Conker game…well, at a price anyway. You see, Project Spark functions as a free-to-play title, albeit one that is rather heavy on microtransactions – you can download and start playing the game with the main creation toolset, but you’ll find that certain cosmetic items and features are locked behind pay walls. Yes, this does mean that unless you start shelling out cold hard cash for items other than the basic starting props, everything you make does tend to look a bit Fable-esque (whether you want it to or not), but the good news is that all the important features of the game are free. Besides, with some clever design and imagination, players have even found clever ways to turn the default cutesy artstyle and bright colour palettes into effective vehicles for horror games – check out the faithful recreation of P.T. by user SpawnN8NE for a good (and spooky) example.
So, if you wanting to specifically make your own particular nuanced recreation of The Great Mighty Poo boss battle from Bad Fur Day, then you’re going to have to pick up Conker DLC assests, roll up your sleeves and prepare to get your hands dirty. If, however, you’re just wanting to get stuck in to Project Spark and have a pop at making your own game, then I might just be able to help you out.
The following guide will show you how to make a very basic game in Project Spark on the Xbox One without spending a penny on extra aesthetics. We’re going to go through step-by-step how to make a simple 3D platforming game, with coins to collect and enemies to beat along the way to the goal. Okay, so let’s get started. To the main menu…and beyond!
A Whole New World
Once you’ve started the game up, and the flashy introduction sequence has finished, you should be faced with a menu that looks like this (Figure 1):
Use the d-pad/left stick over the Create option and press A to select it. One thing to note here is that if this is your first time playing Project Spark, the menu items and your onscreen cursor may be faintly outlined and look like the display shown in Figure 2 below:
Don’t worry; this just means that you haven’t ‘activated’ each option yet (the game’s way of awarding XP or experience points, which you can use to unlock new things). All you have to do is move your (unhelpfully faint) cursor to your desired choice press the A button to activate it; the selected choice will change to a bright green colour and a short verbal prompt from the in-game narrator will play. So if you can’t see where your cursor bracket is at first, don’t panic; press A and you’ll be able to see it turn green on whichever options it’s currently over.
Okay, so to recap, with the Create option highlighted, press the A button and you should now be whisked away to a screen that looks like this:
Move the cursor to the far left option, Empty World, and press A. This will generate a new world template for you to customise to your heart’s content. You should now see a screen that looks like this, complete with a small chap in a yellow shirt – this will be our playable character in the game, but before we get to him, let’s run through the basic cursor and camera controls, and two of the main creation tools. He’ll still be there waiting patiently for us, so there’s no rush, take your time!
Lights, Camera, Cursor
The game will give you a quick tutorial on how to move and control the cursor and camera; the cursor is the big yellow sphere that’s currently around the character and is controlled with the left stick. The camera can be rotated using the right stick, or ‘orbited’ as the game likes to fancily put it, around your cursor so you can see what’s around your cursor at different angles. You can also zoom in and out with the camera by clicking in the right stick – there’s a close, medium and far setting, and you cycle through them in that order with each click. I’d recommend leaving the camera zoomed in close for the time being so you can clearly see what you’re doing, but go with whatever zoom setting works best for you.
You can also control the height of the cursor by pressing X to make it go down, and alternatively you can press Y to make it go up. Nice and simple!
Have a go now at practising with the cursor and camera controls. Once you’re feeling ready and you’ve got these basic controls under your belt, we can start our game by making a nice big area of land to build it on.
At The Mountains Of Madness
Okay, so we can move the cursor around using the left stick, look at it from different angles using the right stick, and control its in-game height by using X to go lower and Y to go higher. Let’s use our newly acquired giant yellow cursor ball skills to make some mountains.
Press the A button – this will extend the PAINT tool side bar on the left hand side of the screen, to show that it is the currently selected choice. We will do some painting soon, don’t worry, but first we’re going to make some land to put our paint on. Press down on the d-pad/left stick once to highlight the SCULPT toolset, and press the A button on Expand option (the first option in the SCULPT menu).
The cursor will now change to a clear circle with an orange outline, to show that we’re currently in the SCULPT toolset. Expand lets us use the cursor to raise the terrain within the reach of the cursor by holding the right trigger, and lower it using the left trigger. Holding the left bumper brings up the Expand edit menu, and you’ll see that you have a few more variables with which to tweak the Expand tool. Scale changes the size of the cursor’s area, Shape changes the shape of the cursor (you can choose a square shape or cylinder as different cursor shapes) and Intensity controls how subtle or extreme you want the change in terrain to be. You can move between these variables by continuing to keep the left bumper held and moving the d-pad/left stick right and left, and you can change the numerical value of each variable by keeping the left bumper held and moving the right stick up or down. Phew, that’s a lot of directions and button presses to learn, but here comes the fun part, trust me.
Press the right trigger to create a raised area of land; we want a fairly large area to use for our game, so I’d recommend tweaking the Expand tool’s edit menu settings to about 40% Scale and 80% Intensity. Don’t worry about our character in the yellow shirt, he’s a tough little fellow and will be fine if you move terrain around and under his feet. Pressing the left trigger lowers the land with the same settings that we set for Scale, Intensity etc. so you can create varying landscapes of your choice – mountains, valleys, canyons, you name it. Don’t forget you can click in the right stick to cycle through the three zoom modes so you can get a good look at your landscape at different distances to get a sense of its size and scale.
Keep on using Expand by pressing the right trigger until you have something that looks roughly like the picture below – for simplicity’s sake, let’s make a basic long strip of land on which to build our game. Don’t worry, it doesn’t have to be exactly like the picture below so feel free to use your imagination if you want to design a different landscape.
Also, don’t worry too much about mistakes – Project Spark allows you to quickly go back and undo any errors you’ve made by pressing the View button so you can quickly undo a wrong move. Whenever you make an action, a coloured bar will appear at the bottom of the screen to signify that you are taking an action. The colour of the bar signifies the type of actions you’re making; Orange signifies actions performed in SCULPT or PAINT, green represents actions made in BIOME (the topmost toolset, used for putting vegetation onto your created landscapes) and actions taken in the PROP toolset (used for putting items into your game world) appear as blue on the bar. We’re currently using the Expand tool which is part of the SCULPT toolset menu, so the bar is orange to match the orange SCULPT colour scheme.
You can keep pressing the View button each time you want to go back and undo your steps in reverse order, or can also hold the View button and move the right stick left and right to scrub backwards and forwards along the orange bar to edit out your mistakes instead. Once you’re happy with your newly created chunk of land, it’s time to get your paintbrushes ready as we’re going back to the PAINT tool next.
Painting & Decorating
Right then, we’ve got a nice big slab of land on our screens, now it’s time to slap a nice coat of paint on it…and by paint I mean a coat of lush green vegetation, not your regular tin of Dulux.
Press the A button and then press up on the d-pad/left stick to go back to the PAINT tool, and then press A again to select it. This will bring up the PAINT palette menu at the bottom of the screen, directly above the orange undo bar, and your screen should now look a little something like this.
Press right and left on the d-pad to select what sort of foliage-themed ‘paint’ you’d like using the little glowing white cursor in the paint menu, located just above the orange undo menu. For our example, let’s go with the nice grassy looking second paint choice in Free Slots, as indicated in Figure 10 above.
Like with the Expand tool, hold the right trigger and move the left stick to paint your strip of land a nice leafy green with the cursor. You can also bring up the edit menu for the PAINT tool by holding down the left bumper and tweaking the variables for the tool in the same way we did for Expand; with left bumper held down, move between the options by using left and right on the d-pad/ left stick, and increase/decrease the value of the selected option by pressing up or down on the right stick. Pressing left trigger will ‘unpaint’ an area, so you can revert any areas you aren’t happy with back to the default blue colour if you want.
You should now be the proud owner of a lovely green strip of land like the one in Figure 11 below. Again, not to worry if yours is slightly different; as Bob Ross often said, we don’t make mistakes, just happy accidents.
Before we move on, let’s paint a path from one end of the island to the other for our hero to travel on. Let’s select the fourth paint in Temperate Woodland as a nice rural-looking choice of path.
Your grassy island, complete with a weather-beaten path, should look something like Figure 12 below; again albeit with your own personal little quirks and artistic flourishes of course.
Prop Goes The Weasel
So, we’ve done some painting, let’s crack on with decorating the island with some props – items and objects that we can put in our game. Press A to bring up the side menu bar, and move down to the PROP toolset option, and select the first highlighted choice, Add & Edit Props, by pressing the A button. This will bring up the PROP tool’s palette menu, which will take the place of the PAINT palette menu at the bottom of the screen.
The Add & Edit Props tool allows you to add and tweak the props and items you want to place in your game, and it’s where you can start to customise the look and feel of your game. Before we move on, let’s move our character to the start of our path so he’ll be ready to set off on his quest. To do this, having selected Add & Edit Props with the A button, hover the cursor (now a small blue crosshair-like circle) over him, and press the right trigger. Now, moving the left stick, you can move your character to your desired placement spot – let’s stick him at the far left of our path; we’ll put some more items at the right end of the path, along with our goal.
Once you’re happy with your character’s placement, first press the left trigger to snap your character to your freshly painted ground – this means that your hero won’t end up stuck in the ground when you start to play, which, let’s face it, wouldn’t be an awful lot of fun. Snapping your character to a surface, or any other object or prop, is just an easy way of getting the game to automatically attach the item you want to the desired surface you’re wanting them to stand on, in a single neat button press.
Once you’ve pressed left trigger to snap your character, press the B button to set the new position and drop your character into place. You’ll notice in Figure 14 above that when you press B to set your character’s position, the character preview window at the top of the screen will change to show the new starting position of the player when you play the game.
So our character is in place ready to start the game, let’s add in a nice big tree at the other end of our island as some pleasant scenery. We’re still in the Add & Edit Props tool, so simply press up on the d-pad to open up the prop gallery. The prop palette just displays a small selection of the most commonly used props here, not the full catalogue of goodies on offer in the gallery, so I’ll show you how to search in the full prop gallery screen (see Figure 15 below).
Here, we can select objects, characters, effects and lots of other fascinating things to put in our game. All the props are divided up into different categories – you’ll see each category is highlighted in the top left corner with a symbol and matching text. To cycle through the different categories of props, first press up on the d-pad/left stick to move the cursor to the symbols at the top left of the screen, and then press left and right on the d-pad/left stick to move through them, using the A button to select the category you want.
We want a tree, which is in the object section, so as it’s the default category that loads up, you can just simply scroll through all the choices by pressing/holding right on the d-pad/left stick. However, as there’s quite a lot of objects to choose from, that would take quite a lot of time, so let’s do something quicker! Move the d-pad/left stick to the right and then up, so that the green cursor is over the search bar, the small blue rectangular box at the top right of the screen displaying the text Begin typing to search. Press the A button, and then use the virtual keyboard to enter the word ‘tree’ before pressing the Menu button to begin the search.
This will bring up all the objects that have been tagged as trees by the game. Let’s go with the majestic Woodland Tree – Old B as the tree of choice for our game, which can be seen below in Figure 17. Move the cursor over the tree and select it by pressing the A button.
You’ll now see a massive blue outline of the tree in the game. Looks like we’ve picked a particularly epic tree! Using the left stick, move the tree to where you want to place it in the game – for our example, let’s put it at the far right of your island. We place the tree in a very similar manner to the way we placed our character – once you’re happy with its position, press the left trigger to snap the tree to the ground (the roots will disappear and be below the ground, but much like with trees in real life, that’s normal), but this time, press right trigger to put the tree into the game instead of the B button. The reason for this is that pressing the right trigger creates a new object from the selected prop, for example the tree we’ve just placed, from scratch. When we placed our character on the path, he already was in the game to start with, so rather than making another character by pressing right trigger, we pressed the B button to just set his new position instead.
Okay, so we’ve got a nice leafy tree in our game. Let’s add a few more things to the game and then we can play it – we’re nearly there now!
Money, Money, Money
All the classic video game characters were usually obsessed with a single thing back in the early 1990s – money. Mario has always been obsessed about grabbing as many coins as possible while stomping on Koopa Troopas, and Sonic was always on the hunt for golden rings (presumably to send off to Cash 4 Gold for a nice hefty sum, the cheeky swine), so we’ll go with the same age-old video game goal – collect the coins and get to the goal! First let’s put in some nice shiny golden coins for our character to collect.
Open up the Add & Edit Props tool’s gallery menu screen again by pressing up on the d-pad. This time, let’s go to the search bar and search for ‘coin’.
Once the search results have loaded, you should just have two choices of coin props available – a Coin and a Coin Pile. Let’s resist the urge to go for the Coin Pile (as tempting as it is) and press the A button to select the Coin.
Using the same steps we used to put the tree on our island, place a line of coins along the path up to the base of the tree for our hero to collect. Use left trigger to snap the coins to the ground, and press right trigger to place a coin on the current spot the cursor is on. If you hold left bumper, like we saw with EXPAND and PAINT earlier, you can bring up the edit menu for the current prop you’re holding. We can change size of the coins if we wish using Scale, and there are options to rotate them so you can choose which direction they face. Don’t worry too much about their direction though; like any good video game coin worth it’s money (sorry, had to get that one in there), they rotate on the spot so you can just focus on where you want to place them. If you make a mistake and place a coin in the wrong spot, don’t forget you can either undo it by pressing the view button, or you can hover the cursor over the offending coin, hold the left bumper and press the X button to delete it.
We’re nearly ready to test our game, but first, let’s make things a bit more difficult for our character; we’ll give him some goblins to fight off along the way! These goblins will not be best pleased that the player will be trying to collect the coins we’ve just put down and will attack when the player gets too close!
Once you’re happy with your trail of coins, open up the Add & Edit Props gallery screen again by pressing up on the d-pad. The screen will still be displaying results for our earlier coin search, so first we need to go to the search bar again, press the A button to bring up the keyboard, and this time delete the word coin by pressing the X button, followed by the Menu button. This will clear the search results and let us search the full catalogue of props again. Move your cursor to the top left of the screen, and over the character tab (indicated by the silhouette of a head), pressing the A button to select it.
The character tab contains, surprise, surprise, a selection of characters you can put into your game. From here, you can choose characters both to play as, and also put other characters into your game for you to fight against/interact with. We’re going to be controlling the man with the yellow shirt already standing on our island, so let’s pick the green Shrek-like Goblin Bruiser as our enemy template by moving the green cursor over him and pressing the A button.
You’ll now have the blue outline of the goblin as your cursor, just like when we placed the tree and the coins. Let’s place 3 goblins in the grass along our path; spread them out a bit so they don’t all bother you at once! I recommend putting one at the start near your character, one somewhere in the middle, and another at the far end near the tree. You’ll also want your goblins to be facing your character; we have to give the goblins a fighting chance after all. Move your first goblin to where you want it to go, and before you place it, hold down left bumper to bring up the edit menu for the goblin, move the cursor over Rotate Y (short for Y-axis) using the d-pad/left stick and then rotate the right stick so the green directional symbol that appears on the ground is facing your character.
Remember once you’ve got your goblin in it’s desired spot and it’s facing the right way, do the usual routine of pressing left trigger to snap it to the ground, followed by right trigger to place it. Repeat this process for as many goblins as you want, and like I said earlier, three is probably a good number.
Once you’ve got your three goblins in place in the grass guarding their trail of coins on the path, let’s test out our game so far! Press the Menu button to bring up the pause screen. Here, you can see options to save your game, get in-game tutorials and, perhaps most importantly of all, test your game. Move the cursor over the Test option and press the A Button.
Now you’re able to play and test out your very own game. Run along the path, collect the coins and get the goblins! The default pre-set controls for our yellow-clad hero are:
|B||Forward roll dodge|
|Y||Fireball attack (projectile)|
|Left Stick||Move character|
|Right Stick||Move Camera|
As you move down the path collecting coins, and you start to get close to each goblin, they will come towards you to attack – which is why it’s a good idea to spread them out a bit, you don’t want all three angry goblins wandering over to hit you at once! Having said that, if you keep an eye on the red health meter in the top left of the screen, you’ll see that they don’t do very much damage, and if you mash the X button on each one you should be able to take them down very easily.
See how you feel about the placement of your coins and goblins – I had to test my map out a number of times as I had trouble placing the coins in a straight line (pretty basic I know, I settled for a gentle curve instead), and some of my goblins were a bit too far away from the path for my liking (those pesky creatures) so don’t worry if things aren’t how you like them at first – you can press start and then select Edit at any time to go back to the create screen, which is the screen we’ve been doing all of our, yep, yeah you guessed it, creating and editing in so far. Keep going back and forth between Test and Edit until you are happy with the layout of your game so far.
Let’s recap. We’ve made an island, we’ve painted it with grass and a path and we’ve planted a big tree for decoration. We’ve added coins to collect, goblins to bash and we’ve tried out our game using the Test function in the pause menu and gone back to tweak it using the Edit function in the pause menu. All that’s left to add for our 3D platformer masterpiece is a goal – an endpoint that marks the end of the game.
Once again, let’s look back to some of those original classic games from the NES and Megadrive era to guide our inspirations. What did Mario always find at the end of his levels? Aside from the disappointment of being greeted by yet another Toad and the news that the princess was in another castle, Mario would find a flagpole, so we’ll take a leaf (albeit not a super leaf from Super Mario Bros. 3 that would turn us into racoons) out of his book and use a flag as our end of level goal too!
First of all, let’s put a flag of our own into the game. Again, to quickly recap, you can do this by pressing the A button to open the side menu, scrolling your cursor down using the d-pad/left stick to the PROP option and pressing the A button again to select the Add & Edit Props tool. Then, scroll your cursor up to the search bar and type in ‘flag’. We’ll use the Village Flag for our goal. Place the flag at the far end of the path, in front of the tree, like in Figure 31 below. Don’t forget the usual routine of snapping the flag using left trigger and placing it using right trigger.
Okay, so we have a flag to use as a goal, but what next? We have to open up the flag’s brain – yes, really! Don’t worry, it’s not a gooey pink brain I’m talking about; every object in Project Spark has an AI brain which can be programmed to do different things. In our case, we want to program our game to end once we touch the flag. Move your cursor over the flag, hold left bumper and press the Y button to bring up the Brain editor.
If your blood turned to ice when you read the word program, don’t worry! Project Spark uses a system called ‘Koding’ (woah, the crazy spelling must mean it’s cool, or extremely violent) which lets you program without having to know how to write and read code. You just have to learn how to read Kode instead, but as you’ll see, it’s quite straightforward. All the Kode programing works like an ‘if-then’ statement – once you open the brain of a flag, you’ll see two boxes, a blue WHEN box, and a green DO box. The WHEN box is the the equivalent of if, and the DO is the equivalent of then:
WHEN these criteria are met, DO this action.
All of this sounds quite complicated I know, but in practice it becomes quite easy. First of all, we need to tell the flag when the player reaches it. Press the A button on the + symbol to the right of the WHEN box.
Then go to Sensors – bump.
You’ll see that the bump criteria we’ve just been coding has appeared in the blue WHEN box. Next, click on the same blue + symbol again and this time go to Objects – Player.
This line of Kode now means that when the player touches the flag, something happens. We want that something to be for the player to have won the game and for it to finish.
Now move across to the green + symbol on the DO box and press the A button.
Then, press right bumper to display the second page of brain options. Select Brains – switch page.
This means the game will stop running instructions on one page and will move to another once the player reaches the flag – in our case, the instructions for finishing the game. An object’s brain can only run one set of instructions at once – as Project Spark says itself in one of the tutorials:
“Switching Pages is like changing states; like going from being asleep to being awake. You can’t be both at once”.
Once we’ve finished contemplating Project Spark‘s philosophical musings on the finer technicalities of human sleep, we need to again press the A button on the green DO + symbol to tell the game which next page of Kode to switch to.
Press right bumper, select Brains, and then next page. Your first brain page of Kode should look now like this:
From this screen, press right bumper to switch to the new brain page. You can see which page you’re currently on by looking at the numbers at the top of the screen just above and to the left of the blue search bar. On this new brain page, we’re going to tell the game what to do once the player reaches the flag.
This time, instead of editing the blue WHEN side first, scroll the cursor right to the green DO + symbol and press the A button to select it. We’re going to get the game to display a victory message when the player reaches the flag. Select Appearance – Display – display.
Selecting the green DO+ symbol again, go to Values – Text – new text, and enter what text you want the player to see once they reach the flag – let’s go with ‘Congratulations!’ for our example. Press the Menu button once you’re happy with your text.
Your screen will now look like this:
Now we need to tell the game where to display our text when the player touches the flag. Once again, on the same line, press the A button on the green DO + symbol and then select Modifers – Positioning – Screen Location – screen centre (the button onscreen actually reads screen center, but I refuse to bow to the American spelling). Your screen will now look like this:
We have one more modifier to add to this line of code, and that’s to tell the game what size font we want the game to display our victory message in. We want the text to be nice and big, so it’s a fitting testament to the player’s skill at successfully navigating the deadly goblin-infested path they’ve just battled their way along.
That’s right, once again select the green DO + symbol by pressing A and then go to Modifiers – Font Size – x-large font. You will now have a screen that looks like this:
That’s the first line of Kode completed on the second brain page for the flag – together with our flag’s first brain page, the game will now understand to display the victory message once the player touches the flag. We’re not done yet though, we’ve still got a few lines of Kode to put into this brain to get a nice flashy ending sequence working, but we’re close to our finished game.
Move the d-pad/left stick down to the second line of Kode and press the A button on the second DO + symbol to select it. You can easily keep track of which line of Kode you’re currently on by looking at which line the horizontal blue cursor is on.
Then select Appearance – Display – fade.
Next, select the DO + symbol on the second line again, and this time go to Modifers – Transition Time.
After that, select the DO + symbol once more for this line and go to Values – Number – new number. Now we need to enter a time value (in seconds) for the length of time we want the screen fade to take. Let’s enter a value of ‘3’ and then press the Menu button.
Your completed second line of Kode will now look like this:
This full second line now means that the game will take 3 seconds to fade out to black once the player touches the flag. We’re very nearly done, trust me! There’s just one last line of Kode to input, and it’s to tell the game to actually finish once the player touches the flag.
Move the cursor down using the d-pad/left stick and start a third line of Kode by pressing the A button on the green DO + symbol. Again, the blue horizontal lines of the cursor show you which line of Kode you’re currently selecting, and each line of Kode is numbered on the far left. Once you’ve pressed the A button on the DO + symbol, go to Appearance – Display – game over. This instruction will tell the game to end, but we also need to delay the ending so we can have chance to read the victory text.
The second to last step (very nearly done, don’t worry) is to move the d-pad/left stick to the left and select the blue WHEN (still on the third line), press the A button to select the + sign and then go to Timing and Logic – countdown timer.
Finally, press the A button to select the WHEN + symbol one more time and then go to Values – Number – new number to enter a value for the end of game timer. Let’s go with 3 again, so enter it using the virtual keyboard and press the Menu button to complete the last bit of kode for your first game.
Speaking of victory messages, congratulations! You’ve just successfully created your very first Project Spark game. The final page of code for the second page of your flag’s now swelling brain will look like this:
Don’t forget to save your map by pressing the Menu button and then Save, and then Save As to give your game a special name, and use Save + Share to upload your masterpiece onto the Project Spark servers so your friends can download and play your game too. Once you’re happy with your game and it’s saved, go to Exit, and then select Play, and away you go!
If you want to download the map I’ve created whilst making this guide to tweak it, remix it, or simply destroy it, then from Project Spark‘s main menu go to Play, then Community, and search for ‘Everybody Plays Tutorial Game’ in the search bar at the top right of the screen.
The steps we’ve gone through in this guide to make your own basic game are really only the tip of the iceberg. The worlds and games available to download from other Project Spark creators show off some remarkable skill and ingenuity in their design, which makes them a great place to learn new tips and tricks for your own creations. There’s also in-game tutorials that will teach you how to build games similar to the one we’ve just created, as well as several others that will guide you through how to build many different types of games. New content, help, items, tools and other bits and pieces are regularly added to the game via regular updates, so you shouldn’t run out of things to do or make any time soon.
I hope that this guide was helpful in getting you up and running with making your first game; perhaps it’ll be the initial spark (get it?) of inspiration to get you making many, many more.