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Grounds Up

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CHAPTER 3: YOUR FIRST PROJECT
In the Sphere base directory, run "editor.exe", this is the SDE (Sphere Development Environment). Before you run to #sphere complaining, yes, it is unstable. That's being worked on.


1. Anyway, go to File->New->Project. A window will appear with two fields: Project Name and Game Title. Project Name is the name of your project, i.e., what the directory for your project is called. Game Title is exactly that (and what the menu displays).
I'm going to call the project "Demo" and the Game Title "Fooland".
Click OK. This will now create a directory sphere/games/demo


2. You now have a window with a bunch of folders and an item that says "Game Settings". Double click this. Four fields: Game Title (explained already), Main Script, Screen Width, and Screen Height.
Main Script: There are no scripts right now, so don't worry about this.
Screen Width/Height: This is the screen resolution you want to run at. Sphere can run at any resolution your video driver can handle. Example resolutions, of course, are 320x240, 640x480, 800x600, 1024x768, 1280x960, 1280x1024, etc. I don't reccomend running a Sphere game above 800x600. I even found 800x600 (using sphere_gl with a geforce 2 ultra) on a PII400 to be quite taxing. Typical console RPGs (SNES, etc) run at 320x240, which might not look the best. However, I'm going to select the default of 320x240.
Click OK. You'll come back here in a while.

3. Okay, so now there are all these folders you saw earlier. What are all of them for? Let me give you a brief overview of the structure of a Sphere game:
Maps: Maps are towns, overworld maps, dungeons, etc. Maps are composed of many evenly-placed tiles to create a world. Your character walks around on these, etc.
Spritesets: Spritesets (entities, sprites, whatever) are what you might use for people in your game. Your character has a spriteset, the shopkeeper has a spriteset, and even the monsters can be spritesets.
Scripts: This is what controls the action in your game. Your battle system, item, equipment, spell, etc system will all be defined by a script. Scripts are in the JavaScript scripting language using Spidermonkey with added functions for Sphere.
Sounds: Just that. Anything from a "ka-ching!" to confirm items bought to a gentle melody for a town.
Fonts: The look of the text in your game.
Window Styles: Think of an RPG. There are always boxes around most text like menus, speech, etc. These boxes are themed by a "window style".
Images: BMP, PNG, JPG, GIF, whatever. These are images you might use for your game. An example might be a title screen or a monster you fight.
Animations: AVI, MNG, etc. FMV, monster animations (depending on how you set that up), etc.

So let's get to it!
  
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