In this 45-minute screencast tutorial, I'll show you how to make an avoider game like Flappy Bird, step by step, using the free GameSalad Creator tool. You don't need to have any previous programming experience or game development knowledge, I'll provide all the artwork, and you can follow along whether you're on Windows or OS X. Let's get started!
Play the Game
If the embedded game doesn't work, try playing it on the GameSalad Arcade.
Click to make Buzzy Bee fly upwards. Try to avoid the obstacles and make it as far as you can!
Download GameSalad Creator
GameSalad Creator is a tool for creating games without needing to write any code. The free version allows you to develop games for the web (as seen above) and for Mac—and even for the iPhone App Store, if you have an iOS Developer account.
There's also a paid version, which lets you export your games for Android, add iAds and in-app purchases, tweet players' scores to Twitter, and more. For this tutorial, all you need is the free version.
Download the free version here. It only requires an email address and confirmation that you are over 13, and is available for Mac OS X Lion (and above), Windows Vista, and Windows 7.
Note for Windows Users
Although GameSalad for Windows is, for the most part, the same as GameSalad for OS X, there are a few issues. There is a detailed post on the GameSalad forums listing these problems, with tips explaining how to get around them.
You may also like to check out my side-by-side comparison video of the two versions.
Watch the Screencast
Make sure you download the source files before getting started.
In this screencast, you learned how to make a game like Flappy Bird. But don't stop there! Use this as a base to add your own twist to the game—or, even better, use the techniques you've learned to make a brand new game from scratch. Take a look at the Flappy Jam games for inspiration. Have fun!