Ever wanted to make your own video game? Yeah, me too. But I was always put off by the fact that it seemed so darn complicated, and frankly I don’t have the time to learn more scripting languages.
Step forward Eclipse, a free 2D game creation application that allows you to produce your own Zelda-style RPG adventures without having to script anything yourself (although that is an option). It uses a point and click system to help you make games, which can then be shared and played online as an MMORPG.
Getting started with Eclipse can be a bit fiddly, so here’s a guide to setting up. Once you’ve licked this bit you can really immerse yourself in the world of game creation. Given enough patience, time and creative thinking, Eclipse can help you create really absorbing stories.
1. Begin by downloading the Eclipse Library Files. Unzip the file and double-click the Library Files.bat file to install the files on your PC.
2. Now download Eclipse. Once the download is complete, extract the files to a folder on your computer. Open up the Eclipse folder and find the Server folder. Double-click on it and launch the Server.exe application. This server needs to be running for you to edit and play games.
3. Now, go open up the Eclipse folder again and find the Client folder. Run the Client.exe application. You should see a screen inviting you to create an account. Create an account (this is free) then log in with your details.
4. Select the option to create a New Character, then give your hero a name. You can alter their stats, as well as their gender, if you like. Click Create to finish.
5. Don’t be put off by the black screen at this point. You need to set access permissions before you can start editing. To do this, go to the Server window and click on the Players tab. Your name should show up here in the list (try clicking Refresh if not). Select your name then click the Give Access button. Set the access level to 5, which logs you as the owner.
6. You can now begin making games in Eclipse. Press F1 to open the main menu, which allows you to tinker around with all the various settings in the game.
7. To create a character click the Edit NPCs button in the Administration Panel. You can insert a monster by highlighting the monster option and clicking OK. You can now edit the attributes of the character such as the sprite itself, strength and powers, spawn rate and behavior.
8. To put the character in your map, hit F1 and go to Edit Map. Go to Properties, then click the NPCs tab. Choose a spot and go to your monster. You can put him in a particular place or tell him to respawn randomly. Go back to the General tab, click Apply and the baddie with appear on the map.
9. You can now experiment with adding more characters, editing the map, adding music, creating spells, building shops and much, much more. All this is done through the F1 editing menu. Obviously it’ll take a long time to build up your game, but it’s great fun at the same time. For more in-depth information about using Eclipse, check out the tutorials section of the developer’s site.