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The Unofficial GameSalad® Textbook
A guide to creating games and apps with GameSalad
Version 2.00 • December, 2012
Created by Photics, an Internet publishing business.
http://photics.com
Copyright © 2010-2012 by Michael Garofalo - all rights reserved. This book, in whole or in
part, may not be copied, transmitted or reproduced, unless legally permitted by law.
Trademarks — GameSalad® and the GameSalad logo are trademarks of GameSalad. The
iPhone®, iPod Touch®, iPad™, iTunes®, Mac®, Mac OS® and Xcode® are trademarks of
Apple Inc. Editorial notice - trademark symbols are used on the first instance of a protected
term. Thereafter, to reduce redundancy, the marks may not be repeated.
Disclaimer — While reasonable efforts have been taken to ensure the accuracy of the
information in this book, there is no warranty. This book is provided “as is” and your use of
this book is at your own risk.
Templates — While the templates were created to help you build your own games, the images
in the template files are not for redistribution.
Foreword
What do you want to be when you grow up? That’s a tough question for a kid to answer, isn’t
it? Even as an adult, I’m still not sure. There are so many interesting things in life. Yet, one
thing has stayed with me. From when I could barely reach the controls of an arcade, I knew
that I enjoyed playing video games.
When I was about five or six, my mom took me to a music store. The walls were lined with
various instruments. Would I learn to play the guitar or bang on the drums? Nope, I was
mesmerized by the Pac-Man® arcade game. A rock star I would not be. Instead, my life
followed a more technical path.
From video games, I learned about computers. From computers I learned about desktop
publishing and the Internet. From the Internet, I learned about web development. All of that
has lead me to game development. It’s almost full circle. As the author of this book, I’m here to
inspire you.
But unlike so many others who frown upon video games, who consider it a colossal waste of
time, I am a connoisseur of this digital art form. Yes, I consider video games to be art. A
tremendous amount work and creativity is required make a game. That’s the point of this
book. It is a comprehensive guide to game development with GameSalad. From conception to
distribution, every aspect of making a game is considered. It’s not an easy journey. But for
those who have an affinity for game development, it can be incredibly satisfying and even
entertaining.
This is more than just some mundane manual for miscellaneous software. It is an appreciation
of life. We are not robots, nor we should try to absorb data like they do. When you are
motivated to learn new things, you are more likely to understand the lessons. Video games are
quite alluring. That’s why I encourage an interest in them. It can lead you to great things in
life, like a rewarding career or at least an entertaining hobby.
Through GameSalad, you can learn about math, physics, logic, marketing, sociology, law,
economics, creative writing, foreign languages and practical job skills. Yet, this book is far from
a classroom environment. It’s all real world. Even if you don’t make the next big game, the
lessons that you can learn here are applicable to other professions.
This book is your guide through the virtual lands of GameSalad development. Will you find
adventure and prosperity along the path of a game developer? I don’t know for sure. Life is
filled with wonders, but it is also filled with uncertainty. This book is designed to help you
steer clear of pitfalls. It’s also designed to help you with the progression of your game
development skills. Ultimately, it’s up to you to succeed. But perhaps through hard work and
determination, you can learn new skills, make profitable games and even have some fun too.
Table of Contents
Section I - GameSalad Introduction!
Chapter #1 - What Is GameSalad?!
6
8
Chapter #2 - Getting Started!
12
Chapter #3 - Game Ideas!
16
Section II - Working With GameSalad!
Chapter #4 - The Basics!
22
24
Behaviors!
31
Display Text!
41
Behaviors Continued!
45
Professional Behaviors!
62
Back to the Basics!
65
Chapter #5 - Math!
75
Chapter #6 - Physics!
95
Section III -Building Blocks!
102
Chapter #7 - Controls!
104
Chapter #8 - Common Game Elements!
120
Chapter #9 - Enemies!
131
Chapter #10 - Setting the Scene!
138
Section IV - Making Content!
142
Chapter #11 - Graphics!
144
Chapter #12 - Audio!
151
Section V - Game Examples!
156
Chapter #13 - Platformer!
158
Chapter #14 - Space Shooter!