I’ve been playing with Clickteam Fusion… I’d heard mixed things about the software but so far I love it!
For the uninitiated, Fusion is a drag and drop software development tool with an emphasis on easy game development. You’re probably familiar with its most famous offspring, Five Nights At Freddy’s. It’s pitched as a more accessible alternative to Game Maker Studio and it’s pretty flexible, but doesn’t feature a scripting language or similar direct coding options. Because of the this the software has a reputation for being too clumsy or simplistic for professional work, but at this stage I’m not a professional and it’s a good learning opportunity.
I picked it up in a Humble Bundle some time ago, but I hadn’t had chance to dive in yet because there’s no mac version in the package, and I’d been having issue with my bootcamp installation. Now I’ve had chance to take a look, I think it’s going to make a great complement to my Python studies. Learning to code is really valuable, but this has let me start learning practical game design without being limited by my coding experience.
I’m still pretty new to it all now, I’ve run a few tutorials that involve making a version of Breakout and one very rough little game where you catch fruit that falls from above, but I wouldn’t be overselling it to say that I could probably take the principles and go away and make a sample game from scratch already. I’m going to do a few more tutorials and then see if I can apply what I’ve learn to a few of my old Python projects or ideas I’ve been saving for when my experience got up. Fortunately the software includes a lot of animated sprites and sound effects you can use out of the box too, so getting straight to the gameplay is pretty easy.
Probably the biggest strength so far is the conditions system, which is effective at laying out the various interactions each object has while in play, while staying readable. It’s remarkably easy to make, for example, a bouncing ball that can drop from wherever you click on the screen and bounces about the frame without disappearing off the edges. There’s a playground vibe to just setting elements differently and seeing how they interact.
Right now I’m not sure how flexible the engine would be at dealing with something like a dialogue heavy RPG or a fast, responsive platformer, but it’s robust enough that I can hit the ground running. Hopefully in future it’ll let me get something with a few more ideas through.
More updates soon!