In this detailed five-part tutorial series, I'll show you how to make a frantic side-scrolling shoot-'em-up, complete with multiple levels, parallax scrolling, lots of enemies, power-ups, and even a boss battle. We'll make the whole thing with the free Construct 2 gamedev tool, meaning you don't need any previous programming or game development knowledge. Let's get started!
Play the Final Game Demo
Here's what we'll be working towards throughout the whole of this series:
The full game has power-ups, multiple levels and enemies, a parallax-scrolling background, and a big boss fight! The difficulty has been reduced to help show off the features in this demo, but of course you can make your game as easy or hard as you like.
In this first part of the tutorial, we'll just focus on the setup, the background, and the player's ship.
Install Construct 2
For this series, you can use the free version of the Construct 2 game editor - it has all the features you'll need, and is not time-restricted.
There are many versions of Construct 2 available, as it is rapidly updated. In this tutorial series, I used version r110.2 beta but then switched to version r111 beta for its new "Function" feature. You don't need to worry about this: just download version r111 beta and you'll be fine!
It's straightforward to install Construct 2, but do note that it's currently only available for Windows. (Check out Jamie Cross's Asteroids tutorial if you'd like a beginner-friendly shoot-'em-up tutorial that works on OS X.)
Get the Assets
The graphics for the spaceship, flying saucers, starscape, and space background are all included in our Totally Free Space-Based Shoot-'Em-Up Sprite Pack, so you should download those.
You'll also need the tutorial download ZIP: this includes a few extra sprites, like power-ups and bullets, and some sounds that I made with the excellent bfxr tool. Feel free to use these for anything else, if you like!
The tutorial download ZIP also includes the final source of the game, in case you prefer to learn by experimenting with a completed project.
Watch the Screencasts
Parallax Scrolling Background
Tip: At around 2:50, make sure you also set the Fullscreen property to
Off to prevent issues later. (This feature was added to C2 after this video was recorded.)