The Value of Naming

Imagine, just imagine… If the world, full of 7.6 billion people (at the time of writing and not entirely 100% accurate) had no names. We all had no names, no identities and no attributes… life would be, different to say the last. How different? Well, much harder in many respects. We couldn’t identify each other correctly, how would we address one another and more importantly, how would we filter who is who?

Yes, this post starts off with crazy analogies and that’s what they are… analogies.

So, what am I referencing here in relation to Clickteam Fusion 2.5 (and development in general)? Values and Strings. Alterable Values and Strings also Global Values and Strings.

WYSIWYG laziness

The raw beauty of using a game development tool like Clickteam Fusion 2.5 is having the ability to actually SEE results as you design and develop. It outwits the boring nature of endlessly coding in variables in programming languages. Want to create a new value that is global to the application? Click NEW and then rename it, like so…

then

and finally

We now have a new ‘global value’ which means we can liaise, modify and set this value throughout the application between numerous frames. But the target of this post is not to educate you on what these values do, that’s already listed inside the Academy for members. The objective of this post is to remind you just how important it is to NAME your values, be it global or alterable.

The WYSIWYG availability allows us to get into the nature of being lazy, by taking shortcuts.

“Oh, I need another global value for X” – “I know, let’s just create another and leave it as Global Value AH”. Some people do this, and the same with Alterable Values/Strings for active objects, but whilst this takes only 2 seconds to create and carry on developing, it will cost you thousands of minutes in future development and debugging.

The cost of Debugging

I would put a huge bet on to say, one of the biggest reasons projects don’t get completed, whether it’s a game or an app, is because it gets big, every project will get bigger eventually… more objects, more events and ultimately, more debugging.

Debugging can actually account for about 90% of time wasted between what you thought was nearly the end of development and release. There’s nothing more exciting to see your project come to fruition, to then figure out something went wrong when you play tested it and you have to spend hours, days or even weeks debugging why Object A’s events are breaking Object C’s, K’s, Object T’s and the Window Object.

These things will happen, regardless of what I’m talking about, but you can cut down the time by up to 90% by naming your values.

What’s the point in having an Active Object with 24 alterable values, listed as Alterable Value A, Alterable Value B etc. but having it written down on paper? You then have to reference that bit of paper everytime you need to figure out what value represents what. Just name it. By naming it, you can visually see that value inside the Fusion 2.5 Editors and you can reference it directly inside the Fusion 2.5 expression editor.

Save yourself time with naming values

Check this expression out…

How ugly is that compared to this…

I rest my case.

What’s the reason I am telling you this? Two-fold; to save you an absolute shed-load of time in debugging weird things that are going down in your app and secondly, if you need help off someone else, or Clickteam, you are going to save an absolute world of headache by just naming your values!

Happy developing 🙂

String Manipulation in Clickteam Fusion 2.5

Danny from the ClickFusion Academy here with a full-blown tutorial on how you can manipulate strings inside of Clickteam Fusion 2.5. Don’t forget to check out the ClickFusion Academy (https://clickfusion.academy) for lots more content, tutorials, courses and downloads for Clickteam Fusion 2.5.

In this video tutorial, we take a look at how you can have a list, populated with a series of ‘lines’ or ‘strings’ that hold data. Data we can rip out and manipulate within Fusion 2.5 itself.

Once we have ripped that line of data out, we can pretty much do what we want with it. As you can see from this video tutorial, the premise to a word game engine in less than 6 events. It’s incredible what you can do with Clickteam Fusion 2.5.

Don’t forget to check out these Clickteam Fusion 2.5 video courses online:

Design a Space Shooter (Intermediate/Advanced): Click Here (50% Discount Code Applied)

Clickteam Fusion 2.5 Game Dev Crash Course: Click Here (77% Discount Code Applied)

Build a Platformer in Fusion 2.5: Click Here (50% Discount Code Applied)

Fusion 2.5 Spriter

Import Spriter files to Clickteam Fusion 2.5

If you are a user of Clickteam Fusion 2.5 and BrashMonkey’s Spriter, then you maybe wondering how to import Spriter files directly into Clickteam Fusion 2.5.

Mike from over at BrashMonkey has provided this tutorial video for you to get to grips with how to directly import Spriter files and your artwork (sprites) into Clickteam Fusion 2.5.



What is Spriter?

Spriter is an animation software which allows you to design your own sprites (characters/objects), animate them and then export either as an animation (PNGs) or as a direct animation file (containing all of your separate animations). It is a very robust design solution for your artwork and I highly recommend you check it out over at BrashMonkey.

Is Spriter just for artists?

If you are an artist, or you hire an artist, they, or you, would fall in love with using Spriter for your game art design. It’s intuitive and concentrated interface allows you to piece together your body parts, for example, and then animate the character in real-time using a timeline. You can then choose to either export your character as a flat animation or export the animation file. There are numerous ways (and formats) you can export.

You don’t have to be an artist to use Spriter. Hobbyists and enthusiasts can also use it. It’s very user-friendly and comes with a plethora of tutorials and videos to get to grips.

Where can I download Spriter?

You can download Spriter from the BrashMonkey website. There is also a Pro version of Spriter which you can purchase. Here at the Academy, we highly recommend you check out and download Spriter as it has become an invaluable tool for game developers and game designers worldwide whether Indie or Professional.

If you own Clickteam Fusion 2.5, you should check out the Spriter extension which comes with it. The Spriter extension is compatible with this video tutorial.

Clickteam Fusion 2.5 Crash Logs

Clickteam Fusion 2.5 Crash Logs Tutorial

In this free Clickteam Fusion 2.5 tutorial from the Academy, we will learn how to generate our own crash logs for our game dev and app dev projects. 90% of the time, game and app developers rely on their “testers” to demo the game or app and send back information such as “When did it crash?” “How did it crash?” and you have to solve the logic behind the ultimate question… “WHY did it crash?”.

Whilst nobody expects you to know all the answers (nor Clickteam) it’s not appropriate to point the blame towards the Clickteam Fusion runtime if your game or app is crashing. First you must try and collect as much information from your testers as possible. This is done mostly in the form of Screenshots and/or Videos and information they may have. However, sometimes, this is just not enough.

In this free ClickFusion Academy tutorial video, we will look at how we can create our very own crash log system together. It makes for an interesting watch and you can develop your own for any platform, gathering any kind of information.

Clickteam Fusion Install Extensions

How to Install Extensions in Fusion 2.5

How to install extensions in Clickteam Fusion 2.5

Installing extensions in Clickteam Fusion 2.5 has never been easier. To install an extension, you simply first of all need to access the Extension Manager. You can do this by right-clicking anywhere in the frame and selecting “Insert New Object” like so…

Insert Object Fusion 2.5

or by clicking Insert > New Object from the main menu.



Once you have done this, you will be presented with the Extension list, where it shows you all your currently installed Clickteam Fusion 2.5 Extensions, like so…

Clickteam Fusion Extension Manager

Once you see this dialog, click the ‘Manager‘ button on the right hand side, to bring up the extension manager. It should look like this…

Fusion 2.5 Extension Manager

This will list all the available extensions that you can download and/or install to your Clickteam Fusion 2.5. This will require internet access as Clickteam Fusion needs to download the available list from the CT server.

Problems with Clickteam Extensions

Sometimes, you may come across some problems or errors with installing certain Clickteam or 3rd Party extensions. If so, here is a list of common errors, most are self-explanatory. In order to install a particular extension from an exporter, you must have that particular exporter installed. For example, if you wish to install the Android+ extension, you must have the Android Exporter.



Some of the Install links may appear as a ‘link’. This means, you cannot freely install the selected extension. This is usually the case for if you haven’t purchased this particular extension, it will link you to where you can purchase the extension.

Refreshing the Clickteam Fusion Extension list

To be absolutely sure you have the correct listings of available and up-to-date extensions to download, by or install, click the Refresh button on the right hand side. Fusion 2.5 will then connect to the Clickteam servers and download the latest list of available extensions for you to use.

Car Skid Effect Clickteam Fusion 2.5

Creating a Car Skid effect in Fusion 2.5

How to create a car skid effect in Fusion 2.5

In this tutorial we look at how you can create a ‘skid mark’ effect in Clickteam Fusion 2.5 for your car games.

It’s a relatively simple procedure and it has lots of room for customisation especially on the event you want it to happen. Let’s prepare the playarea…

Preparing the playarea

First of all, drop in your car object and a ‘skid’ active object. It should roughly align in size with your car tyres. It should be half the length of the car. As you can see in my example…

Car Skid Effect

Now, ensure you uncheck ‘Create at Start’ for the skid active object…

Create Object at Start

Now, select your car object, for the sake of this tutorial, we will give it the Racecar movement

Racecar Movement in Fusion 2.5

This is pretty much the playarea setup for this tutorial. Let’s jump into the Event Editor.

Clickteam Fusion 2.5 Events

Once in the Event editor, we can literally perform this routine in one single event! So, let’s decide what conditions we want this skid mark effect to happen under. For the sake of this tutorial, we will go with when the user presses ‘down’ on the keyboard (in order to brake using the Racecar movement). So, in your first event, select the Joystick and then select Joystick > Repeat while joystick is presssed

Your first Clickteam Fusion Event



When the dialog pops up, select the down direction, like so…

Down direction in Fusion

Click OK. You have now inserted the first event. Now we need to Create the skid object. So in this event line, right-click under the Create New Objects icon and select Create Object

Create an Object Fusion 2.5

Select the Skid Mark active and click OK. When it shows the frame editor and asks where to create the object, click on the car…

Create and Position Object

Once you have selected the car, ensure the co-ordinates are 0,0 and click OK.

Now that we have created the object, in the same event we need to apply a few more actions to it. First of all, in this event, right-click under the Skid Mark active and select: Order > Bring to back.

Order Object to Back

This will ensure the Skid Mark object is created underneath the car and doesn’t show up on top of the car. The next thing we need to do is rotate the object so it’s created at the same angle the car is at, we can do this by right-clicking under the skid mark object and selecting Scale / Angle > Set Angle

When the expression dialog appears, right-click on the Car and select Scale / Angle > Get Angle

Set Object Scale in Fusion

Click OK. Now proceed to test your application. Hit F8 on your keyboard…

When trying out the app, press UP arrow on your keyboard to move the car forward. When you press the DOWN arrow, you will notice it creates skid marks…

Skid Marks in Game Fusion 2.5

Applying some polish

We need to apply some ‘polish’ to this effect for two reasons. One, because at the moment, it looks a bit ‘plain’ and secondly, we need to destroy these skid marks after X amount of time as they are consuming resources that they don’t really need to. So jump back to the Frame Editor, select one the Skid Mark object and create an Alterable Value for it. Let’s call it cooldown. Like so…

Now jump back into the event editor. Create a new event. Right-click on the Skid Mark object and select Pick or Count > Compare to the number of “skidmark” objects

When the expression dialog appears, select GREATER and type in 0

Expression Editor Fusion 2.5

Click OK. Now in this event, right-click under the Skid Mark object and select Alterable Values > Add to

When the dialog pops up, select the cooldown value and type 1 in the expression and click OK

Add to Alterable Value

Now in the same event, right-click under the Skid Mark object again and select Effect > Compatibility > Set Semi-Transparency



When the expression dialog appears, right-click on the skid mark object and select Values > Values A to M > Retrieve Cooldown

This will retrieve the current cooldown number (which we add 1 to every frame loop) and will effectively ‘Fade’ the skidmark away. Now for one final event.

Create a new event this time, insert a new condition (new event), right-click on the Skidmark and select Alterable Values > Compare to an alterable value. When the expression dialog appears, ensure Cooldown is the value selected and then select ‘GREATER OR EQUAL’ and type in 128

Click OK. Now we stipulated 128 here because the maximum fade value of semi-transparency is 128, so the object will be completely invisible by this point. We may aswell destroy it. Simply right-click under the skidmark on this event and select Destroy.

Of course, if you want to see a longer trail, just change the deceleration in the movement properties of the car to about 25 (or lower) for a longer stop.


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Clickteam Fusion Platformer Tutorial

Clickteam Fusion 2.5 Platformer Tutorial

Clickteam Fusion 2.5 Platformer Video Tutorial

In this free video platformer tutorial we construct a platformer game with Clickteam Fusion 2.5. This was a live stream recorded on the 12th August 2017 for the ClickFusion Academy which lasted over an hour and a half. We take a look at quite a few features to be implemented inside of this tutorial.

What Extensions Were Used

We specifically used the Platform Movement Object (PMO) which is much better than Fusion 2.5’s built-in platform movement. It gives you greater control over movement and animations for your playable character. No other extensions were used in the making of this basic platformer game.


Platform Effects Added

We added quite a few platform effects in this tutorial. We learn how to use the PMO to create a platform game with full movement and control over animations. We also learn how to use the ‘knockback’ effect when you collide with an enemy. We also learn how to create a ‘coin loss’ effect, asin when you collide with an enemy you lose your coins and have X amount of time to retrieve them.

Another effect we added is when you collect a coin, the coin then spins off towards the score and when it collides with the score, it fades away.

More Tutorials

If you like this Live Stream tutorial, you can access them live and take part in the live chat by becoming a member of the ClickFusion Academy. You will also gain access to over 150+ tutorials already available, lots of downloads, examples and access to our private forums. Click here to learn more.


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Clickteam Fusion Launch or Fire Objects

Create or Fire objects in Clickteam Fusion 2.5

Create or Fire Objects in Clickteam Fusion 2.5

In this free Clickteam Fusion tutorial, I quickly show you how you can create an object in Clickteam Fusion 2.5. For example, if you have a spaceship and want it to fire ‘lasers’ it’s probably best to use the “Create Object” action rather than the “Launch Object” action as you get full control over it’s start position and many other things.


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1000 objects vs 1 object Fusion 2.5

1000 Backdrop Objects vs 1 Active Object

1000 Backdrop Objects or 1 Active Object

In Clickteam Fusion 2.5 the question is still on most peoples lips even today. Do I use 1000 backdrop objects (tiles) or do I use a Single Active (or backdrop)? The answer has fluctuated so much over the years nobody knows where they stand anymore and nobody knows who to believe anymore.

Backdrop or Active Objects Fusion 2.5Backdrop Objects in Runtimes

Back long before the Direct3D (D3D9) or even DX8 for that matter was available in Multimedia Fusion 2, everything was drawn to the screen by the CPU. That’s your computer’s core for those who are not tech savvy. The same processor that is also processing your antivirus program in the background, your Media Player that is playing your music, analysing your computer all of the time and has 200+ other processes to handle to ensure Windows runs correctly.

So Fusion used to use the CPU to draw objects to the screen. This was not a bad method. Once the CPU received the image, it stayed in memory “untouched” and was drawn to the screen just once. If however, the image was changed, then the CPU would delete the backdrop and redraw it. We all know that backdrops rarely change, so in this Standard runtime instance, backdrops are like heaven to the runtime. Draw once, never again and that equals less CPU calls.

Introducing Direct3D (D3D8/9) which used DirectX. The first hardware accelerated runtime for the Clickteam range. It actually uses DirectX and thus in turn means it uses the GPU, which is the Graphics Processing Unit (ie: your graphics card). This was a HUGE advancement in terms of performance and speed in your Clickteam Fusion 2.5 games and apps.

How did it differ from the Standard Runtime? Well in this runtime, it throws everything at the GPU (your graphics card) and leaves the processor untouched (for draw calls at least) and we all know in Game Development that speed and performance of images, animations, scrolling and lots of other stuff is important for your game. However, it does come with a bit of a downside.

Backdrops ARE Active objects

Here is the issue (the ONLY issue with HWA runtimes) backdrops have to be treated like Active objects. Granted at runtime they don’t contain values (alterable values or alterable strings) but they are shipped to the GPU to be rendered but this time, every frame. Unlike I explained above with the CPU scenario where backdrops are only drawn once to the screen (until changed) with any HWA runtime, it has to be drawn 60 times per second (or whatever your frame rate is set to).



So unfortunately that little backdrop you call a platform that never moves, holds no values and only has a collision mask, is being drawn 60 times per second, just like every other object on your screen like counters, active objects, strings and… pretty much everything.

Now, this still isn’t really an issue as most modern day graphics cards are shipping with at least 2GB+ of Onboard RAM and plenty of cores for processing. However, it can ultimately lead to a bog down in your Fusion 2.5 application as more and more is thrown at it and it has to deal with all this and render it to the screen 60 times per second. That’s a lot of work if you have 25,000 platform tiles, 1 player character, 1 health bar, 1 timer, a full-blown HUD, layers, effects… etc.

The Solution

*If* your platforms are taking up a nice big section in your level, then it is more better for both the runtime and the GPU to render out 1 image as opposed to 25,000.

So it’s a good plan to design some of your platforms in your image editor and export them out as ‘chunks’. So rather than this…

Multiple Objects Fusion 2.5

Do this…

Fusion 2.5 One Platform

However, at the scales above, it’s not worth doing this with. If your tiles are much smaller and your level is much bigger then it will be worth it.

You have to remember that each persons laptop, PC or even Mobile Device has a limited amount of GPU resources including memory and processing power so you have to cater for this. In the above example, if your level was relatively small (ie: you see no slow-downs) then don’t bother with the above solution. However if your levels are large(r) and/or contains many more graphics/animations and your game is experiencing a slow-down, then implement the above method to see some more favourable results.

Just to finish off, everything described here is applicable for ALL runtimes except Standard. Yep, that means Mobile/UWP/HTML5/Flash and anything else that isn’t Standard runtime.

Oh and one last tip that works in conjunction with this one, don’t forget to keep all your objects to the nearest power of 2.


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