Tutorial 1: Fruits of the Forest

Download and instal the Game Maker software before you begin the tutorials.
Use the Fruits_Design_Document.pdf as you work through the steps below.
Use the Fruits_Tutorial.pdf if you prefer to use a print version of these steps.

Learning steps


Step 1:
Click the Game Maker icon on your desktop to open a new Game Maker file. Open Game Maker in Simple Mode for now.
Follow the steps in to learn how to change to Simple Mode if you accidentally choose Advanced Mode.
Step 2
Follow the steps in to learn the basic features of Game Maker.
Step 3
The game you will make is called Fruits of the Forest. Every game needs a good story or narrative and clear instructions on how to play. In Game Maker, you write this in the Game Information section.
Follow the steps in to set up the Game Information for the Fruits of the Forest game you will make.
Step 4
The game you will make is a simple paddle game where the paddle is a red butterfly, the ball is a yellow butterfly and the things you are trying to hit with the ball are fruit.
We first need to create the sprites for these objects, or choose the images for what we want these objects to look like in our game.
Follow the steps in to learn how to create your sprites and then do it yourself in your own new Game Maker file.
Step 5
Next you create the objects for your game (the paddle, ball and fruit) which will have the sprites you’ve just added as their images.
Follow the steps in to learn how to add objects to your game.
Step 6
Now you add a room (level 1) to your game and select a background for that room.
Follow the steps in to learn how to do this.
Remember to save your program before running it.
Step 7
When you test ran your game you would have seen only the empty room you just added (level 1) with its background but nothing else. That is because you need to place the objects in your game in the rooms where you want them to appear.
Follow the steps in to learn how to do this.
Remember to save your program before running it.
Step 8
Next you need to give the player some control over the paddle. You need to tell the computer to move the paddle left if the player presses the left arrow key, to move right when the player presses the right arrow key, and to stop the paddle moving when the player is not pressing any key.
Follow the steps in to learn how to do this.
Remember to save your program before running it.
Step 9
Its time to start the ball moving. You also need to make the ball bounce off the paddle and the fruit when it hits them, and to make the fruit disappear when the ball hits it.
Follow the steps in to learn how to do this.
Remember to save your program before running it.
Step 10
You may have noticed that the ball and paddle sometimes leave the screen in your game. You need to create an invisible wall that the ball bounces off and the paddle stops at.
Follow the steps in to learn how to do this.
Remember to save your program before running it.
Step 11
Congratulations! You have made a very simple game but you need now to make the game end more smoothly. First, you need to make a “Game Over” message when the player misses the ball and loses the game.
Follow the steps in to learn how to do this.
Remember to save your program before running it. Press the escape key to stop playing.
Step 12
Next you need to tell the computer when the player has won the game and to show a “Congratulations” message.
Follow the steps in to learn how to do this.
Remember to save your program before running it. Press the escape key to stop playing.
Step 13
The game design improves when there is more feedback for player actions as this immerses the player in the game and helps them know how well they are doing as they play. We can use sounds and scores to provide this meaningful feedback to the player. Think about some important events in the game where you could add sounds for player actions.
Follow the steps in to learn how to do this.
Remember to save your program before running it. Press the escape key to stop playing.
Step 14
We can also use scoring and a High Score Table to provide feedback for the player and to create a sense of challenge.
Follow the steps in to learn how to do this.
Remember to save your program before running it. Press the escape key to stop playing.
Step 15
Now it’s time for you to take a challenge and add more challenge to your game:
You are going to add bugs that surround the fruit. Add four instances of a bug object to your game, surrounding the fruit. Make each bug disappear when the ball hits it, scoring 10 points and making a ‘bug’ sound. Also, make the ball bounce back off each bug. Try to do this yourself.
If you have difficulties, follow the steps in to learn how to do this.
Remember to save your program before running it. Press the escape key to stop playing.
Step 16
Now it’s time to add butterfly kisses to your game. You need to make the red butterfly blow butterfly kisses when the player presses the space bar, to get the bugs and fruit. This will make your game more interactive, because you are giving the player choice. The player will have to decide whether to blow butterfly kisses or not. This is an interesting decision for the player because when they are blowing a butterfly kiss it is difficult to concentrate on hitting the ball with the paddle. Interactivity in a game, when the player has to make decisions, is an important part of good game design.
Follow the steps in to learn how to make your paddle blow butterfly kisses. Remember to save your program before running it. Press the escape key to stop playing.
Step 17
To make the player’s decision about blowing butterfly kisses even more challenging we can limit the number of butterfly kisses the player can use to three for each level of the game. The player will now have to decide when to use their three butterfly kisses in each level of the game. You will add a new level to your game in the next step.
Follow the steps in to learn how to make your paddle only able to blow three butterfly kisses per level.
Remember to save your program before running it. Press the escape key to stop playing.
Step 18
It’s time to add a new level to your game. Follow the steps in to learn how to add a new room to your game and how to make the game move to the next room when the current level is completed.
Professional game designers often design their games to have a number of levels that is a multiple of 3. This is because they design their games to have an equal number of easy, medium and hard levels.
Try adding two new levels to your game and make one easier and one harder. The level you have already made will be the medium level.
Hint: the easier level could have no bugs and the harder level could have more bugs and fruit as well as a new obstacle (a bug that flies across the room and which the ball bounces off) to add more challenge.
When you have completed the challenge, or if you have difficulties, follow the steps in to learn one way to do this. Remember to save your program before running it. Press the escape key to stop playing.
Step 20
Now you will add ‘lives’ to your game. follow the steps in to learn how to do this.
Remember to save your program before running it. Press the escape key to stop playing.

Step 21
There are still a few things to do to make your game look and feel like a ‘real’ game. Start by making sure you have written your Game Information. Revisit to remind yourself how to do this. A player can access this information at any time when playing your game by pressing the F1 key.
It is also important to have a consistent ‘look and feel’ in any game you design. Follow the steps in to learn how to change the appearance of the High Score Table. Remember to save your program before running it. Press the escape key to stop playing. Now try to change the appearance of the Game Information yourself. Click on Game Information and choose a font, font colour and background colour that suits your game.
Step 22
Follow the steps in to learn how to create a ‘front-end’ or title screen for your game. You will learn how to add a ‘start’ button which the player must click to play the game and a ‘story’ button which the player can click to read the game information, including the game narrative and the controls. You will also add some theme music to this title screen.
Now try to add a ‘scores’ button to your title screen which the player can click to see the high score table.
Step 23
Remember you can press the F4 key to toggle between full-screen mode when you play your game. You can also set the game up to run in full-screen mode automatically. Follow the steps in to learn how to do this.
Congratulations!! You have completed this tutorial.
If you use this tutorial in the classroom you could also have the students:
  • discuss with each other how their game’s design could be improved or developed (think about challenge, interactivity and immersion)
  • modify or develop the Fruits of the Forest program, perhaps designing new levels
  • design and develop their own game based on what they have learned.

Note: The steps in this tutorial were created using Game Maker 6.1 and some of the process may differ in subsequent versions of the software.