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Introduction to Game DevelopmentEdit

There are three main disciplines in game development: Art, Design, and Programming.

Artists create the content for the games (3D models, animations, textures, etc). Artists tipically use several programs to create content such as Adobe Photoshop for images and 3DS Max or Maya for 3D models. Wild Pockets is not a replacement for these tools, it is a game engine that will take content created using these tools and allows the developer to use them in real-time interactive applications.

Designers are generally responsible for coming up with the game ideas (story, gameplay, etc) and they also add the content that the artists create into the game. Designers usually create, or assist in the creation of: levels, characters, cut-scenes, and other things of that nature.

Programmers actually create the interactive applications, they implement the rules and mechanics of the game, they take the player's input (button presses) and make objects move and interact with each other, they create the tools and technology to give the impression of intelligence and story, etc. They do this by creating scripts that dictate the behavior of the game engine.


The Wild Pockets PlatformEdit

Wild Pockets is a browser-based 3D game engine. There are two parts to the platform: the builder and the scripting system.

In the builder the developer places objects in the game world and adjusts various properties of those objects such as weight, texture, position, rotation, size, etc. Then the developer creates scripts that manipulate these objects from user input (or automatically, like a rotating gear).

This manual will explain how to use the builder to set up your pockets (games), as well as explain how the scripts tie into the builder. Once you understand how to work within the builder, you should head over to the The Programming Manual and learn how to program with Lua so you can make the objects in your pocket do cool things.


The Builder InterfaceEdit

WindowsEdit

When you start the builder the most commonly used windows will be automatically opened and docked on the right side of the screen. The buttons you see below are the corresponding window's Tabs. Tabs are buttons that appear when a window is docked, and they are used to open and select docked windows. Throughout this manual you will learn about the uses and functionality of these windows, but here is a brief overview of the most important windows in Wild Pockets:

Global Props Tab

Global Properties - Contains settings and properties related to the Scene itself (Lights, Gravity and Scene Script).

Obj Props Tab

Object Properties - Allows the user to change several properties and settings of the currently selected object.

Library Tab

Library - A listing of all public assets from every user of Wild Pockets.

Explorer Tab

Folder Explorer - View and edit your server directory (and any other directory you have permission to access).

Debug Tab

Debug Console - Get error information, print() statements, and execute Lua code directly in the builder.

Help Tab

Function Documentation - A complete overview of the Wild Pockets API. A useful help resource.

Tips Tab

Tips & Tricks - A window with useful links and information regarding the Wild Pockets game builder.

DockingEdit

You can dock windows on the Right and Bottom edges of the builder. Docked windows can be easily accessed by clicking their tabs. You can minimize a dock by clicking the '-' (minus) button on the top right corner of a window. If a window is not docked when it is minimized it will automatically be docked. When a dock is minimized the entire contents of the windows are hidden, and only the tabs are displayed on the edge of the screen. To re-open a dock, simply click on a Window Tab.

By having windows docked you can work on the game or level with the builder without losing any screen space on windows that you don't need to use at the moment. Also, minimized windows remain open (just hidden), so when you click a tab of a minimized window it will remain where you left it.

To dock a window simply click on its titlebar or tab, and drag it to the Right, or Bottom edges of the screen. A blue outline rectangle will display where the window will be docked.


Notes:Edit

  1. There are certain windows in the builder that can be closed. These are either modal (require the attention of the user) or they can have multiple instances opened at the same time (Folder Explorer). Windows that can be closed contain 'X's on the top right corner. Windows that can't be closed must be opened or docked at all times.
  2. Currently it's not possible to change the order of the Window Tabs when they are docked, but it's something we're looking into.


Creating, Saving and Opening PocketsEdit

A Pocket is a game or application developed in Wild Pockets. Pocket is a term used to describe anything created using the Wild Pockets engine.

The builder saves out .scene files, and each game (or Pocket) contains only one scene file. Scene files contain all of the objects (and their properties) that you place in the builder environment. Make sure that you save the scene before you quit the builder, otherwise you will lose all of your work!

To save a scene simply click "File -> Save" in the menu toolbar on top of the screen and give your project a name. The "Save As" button allows you to save the same project within another folder, or with another name.

To open a scene just click "File -> Open" and use the Folder Explorer to find the scene file, then double click it, or select it and click "Open".

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