There are a lot of game making tools out there that claim to require no programming or make your life easier. Of all of the ‘no programming’ game creation tools, I would say Fusion 2.5 is the best. There are a lot of very good features about Fusion if you want to create small games, particularly if they are physics based and 2D.
For larger commercial projects, I personally have moved on to Unity (which is getting better with some no-programming tools that you can get from the asset store) and I am considering Monogame, which is a purely C# programming framework. But these tools have a higher learning curve than Fusion and you’ll get the best out of them if you know C#, which I recommend learning.
I used Unity to make Puzzledorf.
However, Fusion is a great place to start because a lot of what you learn you can apply to programming. And some people have made successful commercial games in Fusion – the problem is that a big game is hard to manage in Fusion.
Knowing how to make games in Fusion definitely helped me to learn C# and Unity. Let’s talk a bit more about what Fusion can do.
In Fusion you won’t write any code. Instead you use a visual interface known as the Event Editor.
In the above Fig 2 I’ve shown a quick screenshot of the event editor. Where it says ‘Repeat while “Right Arrow” is pressed’ – that’s an event. Those 6 quick events are all you need to have a character running, jumping and colliding with platforms. To get the character jumping, I simply told the program that when you press spacebar, he needs to jump. You can easily control many other variables such as how high he jumps, how quickly he ascends and descends, manipulate gravity and much more. For these sorts of physics based games, particularly 2D platformers or top down games, Fusion is great thanks to its in-built physics system.
To create levels, it’s as simple as grabbing objects and putting them on the screen, as shown in Fig 3 below. Just click and drag.
Creating objects and graphics to put in your level is simple too. You create a new object then double click to enter the animation editor. In the animation editor you can draw with the tools provided, or you can open up your own animations from images on your computer.
Once you’ve created the objects, getting them to interact with each other is simple. You go to the event editor and right click on “New Condition” (Fig 5). In this case, we’re going to check if our hero is touching the building, and if he is, we want the hero to stop moving so he doesn’t fall through.
In the New Condition window we right click the hero and select ‘Collisions’ and then we click ‘Another Object’, which literally means, ‘Check if the Hero is collisiding with another object’.
You choose which objects you want to check for a collision between, and then the game will check for collisions. To decide what happens during a collision, we move our mouse over to the box underneath our hero (Fig 7), right click and up comes a set of options.
We want the hero to stop moving so he doesn’t fall through the floor, so we select “Movement” then “Stop. This will tell the game that when a collision occurs between the hero and the building, stop the hero’s movement. A little tick appears to tell you that you’ve put an event inside the box.
There are lots of preset movements to make your life simpler. Below is an example of an 8-directional movement system that Fusion has in-built. All you have to do is select it from a list of options and Fusion sets it up for you. If there’s one thing about Fusion, it’s easy to learn.
I used Fusion to create a number of small games. Fusion is a great tool for those new to game development and programming, but it can be used to make commercial games as well. That being said, for very large projects, it can become cumbersome to find out where errors are and keep track of everything.
If it’s a game that can make use of the inbuilt physics, that’s where Fusion shines the best. Some experienced programmers may prefer using something like Unity and C#, which is what I have moved on to, but I would recommend anyone try the free version of Fusion and trying some tutorials to see for themselves what they think. Fusion was a great tool to get started in game making, and it will teach you the fundamentals of programming to make learning code easier. You will be able to make your first couple of apps with it and have a fun, learning a lot through the process. You can get Fusion here