Puzzles. Games that make you think. They’ve existed for thousands of years, and now anyone can make one with Puzzle Script. It’s a free, simple game creation tool designed specifically for html5 block-pushing puzzle games – although by mucking around in it’s basic scripting system, it’s easy to make many other types of games. You can easily use it as a prototyping tool for a commercial game, or if you really wanted you could sell the html5 game somewhere like itch.io. I used it to prototype my puzzle game The Nodus, and I absolutely love it!
The Nodus (Puzzle Script prototype)
Puzzle Script is a simple scripting language. To make a character push a crate, all you need to write is:
[ > Player | Crate ] -> [ > Player | > Crate ]
Which literally means, if the player is next to a crate and moves towards it, then move the player and the crate. The arrows indicate direction, so to make a character pull a crate, just flip the arrows like this:
[ < Player | Crate ] -> [ < Player | < Crate ]
The programming is so easy to learn and use, you can pick up the basics right away in my tutorials. Games made with it are instantly shareable online. All you do is click the Share button and it gives you a game link you can immediately paste anywhere that links to your game.
To design levels you get a visual level editor (Fig 1). Left click places a tile, right click erases a tile. The levels can be any shape or size, using as many different objects as you want. All objects are 5 x 5 pixels, simplifying making graphics so you can focus on game design instead.
There is also sound effect generation right inside the editor. Just click on the different icons to create different sounds for use in your projects.
It is quite easy to do music through linking youtube video’s, which my tutorials cover. One glance at the gallery of games on the main Puzzle Script website shows the degree of flexibility with this engine. It also does automatic saving and loading for you, so all you have to do is make a game.
Something else interesting about Puzzle Script is that many of the games have a ‘Hack’ button. This means that people can click on it and modify all of the source code so that they can create their own version of the game. It truly is a community project.
Puzzle Script is one of the coolest games creation tools I’ve ever seen, and it’s so much fun. It’s a tender entry point for those wanting to learn programming, and a brilliant game design tool for everyone else. It’s instant online sharing and simple functionality makes it unparalleled for a sliding puzzle games creation tool. I highly recommend Puzzle Script.
I released a game that was originally designed in Puzzle Script called The Nodus. It’s available on Android and iOS. You can see what it’s like in the trailer below. All the basic gameplay functionality was possible to prototype in PuzzleScript.