Back in August I was accepted to the first edition of the Season of Docs - Google’s program to connect open source software with technical writers. I was set to write a hyper-casual game tutorial built in GDevelop engine.
Ewa, as a graphic designer, wanted to challenge herself to build a game using tools for non-programmers for some time now, and GDevelop was the perfect opportunity, so we went for it. We’ve discussed project ideas and ended up with Geometry Monster - an endless type of game targeting mobile devices (but working on desktop as well) where a cute monster is collecting shapes and trying to avoid bombs. Simple enough for the three-months-long project, but as much feature complete and close to the fully finished game as possible.
As a technical writer I was covering the writing part, but was waiting for Ewa to finish the game so I don’t need to rewrite the tutorial if something changes, and there’s always stuff that changes. It was the first time when I was writing a tutorial based on the game demo not created by myself.
She can write about her part more, but it took her longer than she expected. Having a programmer mindset help a lot, even if you’re using a tool that don’t expect that from you. I wasn’t helping much either as I was busy managing js13kGames (as every year), and doing some travel (to MozFest and WebBR).
We obviously had to push through the last weeks before the deadline, but after all we’ve delivered, and I think the tutorial is good. Florian, the GDevelop author, was helping us all the way - the game is more or less what we planned. You can check all the chapters on the GDevelop wiki:
- Install and setup
- Creating the first scene
- Introducing main character
- Desktop and mobile controls
- Adding and moving shapes
- Collision detection
- Sounds fun
- Tracking the score
- Adding bombs
- More lives
- Game over
- Main menu
- Juice it!
The tutorial goes all the way from installing the software, setting it up, creating scenes, main character, touch and keyboard controls, collectible objects, collisions, sounds, counting the score, having extra lives, and the whole game over and new game cycle. The last chapter touches on particle effects and making the game progressively harder as the objects fall down faster indefinitely.
There are some missing pieces though - we wanted to be more active on the forums, and help with the exporting tools, especially for Facebook Instant Games. Season of Docs project oficially ends today, but we do hope to contribute more to GDevelop documentation, tools, and community in the coming months.