Guide for new custom object designers

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This is a few points of advice for all who want to design their own custom objects.

The process to follow:

Use the stable release!

When making a game with Open Surge, you should use its latest stable release, which can be found at opensurge2d.org. Do not use the development builds, unless you're an advanced user and have a specific reason to do so.

From small things, big things one day come!

Not the other way around. New COD's (custom object designers) want to design a fancy boss first of all, but fails due to the lack of knowledge. Babies need to learn how to eat, crawl, then talk, and once they've got that right they learn to walk.

Should you skip the boss all together? Hell no!

The wiki is your friend!

As a new COD you need to understand the basics of SurgeScript. Study the documentation, and learn from the examples in the scripts/ folder to better understand how scripting works.

Test everything!

There is no better way to learn from the start, so test the scripts, and do this with the SurgeScript documentation opened in your browser so you can get first hand info on what the API offers.

Stick paint the actions

Design on paper the way the boss acts, the way it attacks, it's death sequence and so on. Heck even the guys behind Mortal Kombat uses this method.

Face the bleeding edge!

Make sure to download the latest development version of Open Surge. Why? Because it features new stuff that isn't available in the stable version.

Assemble your toolkit

Get the softwares you need to create your objects. Paint programs, mindmap software, text editors etc, just make sure that you use legit bought software, or freeware if you don't have the cash needed.

Or just use high quality open software to support open-source projects! Please consider Inkscape or GIMP, for example, to manipulate images; or Audacity to edit audio files. There are many other tools free to use and share.

Designing the files

As your knowledge grows so does the idea of the boss you want to design. Now it's time to create the art / sounds you need for the boss.

Putting your dream into action

You've studied the scripting language, made your sketches, assembled the tools and created the needed files. Now it's your time to create the scripts it needs to work properly.

Testing it out

Now comes a period that you need to follow through, and it is the part to test the script you've made. Fact is that this is the period that divides the amateurs from the pro's. Windows has over 3000 test builds before it was even released. Now I'm not saying you have to be that extreme, but test a lot that script so you can get the worst bugs sorted out before you release a beta version.

Release some betas

Now it's time to release a beta of your object here on the forum. Provide a test level where the object is available. Post the known bugs you've found, and ask for assistance to test the object even more. Then you release a new beta until you got the object working the way you want it to act.

Release some candidates

As the last beta is released it's time to release a few release candidates. This object is almost 100% completed. It needs just some fine adjustments.

Time to go viral!

Once the object is finished it's time to spread the word on this and other forums. Find a permanent place for the download to reside, and bask in the awe and glory your creation has given you. Go out, get a soft drink and enjoy the sun.