Theory Play Share & Discuss

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Teach Particles
with Planetoid Pioneers

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Theory

Particle Effects

This lesson teaches you to modify the tools and weapons of the game and get to know particle effects.

Teacher Resources

  • Theory: This lesson teaches your students how to modify particle effects in Planetoid Pioneers.
  • Play: The students continue learning game modification by modifying their copy of Planetoid Pioneers.
  • Share & Discuss: These topics focus on modding.

Particles

Particles

  • A simple graphic element which the game’s engine can draw repeatedly at any time.
  • Often short-lived effects
  • Do not usually react to one another or to the physics engine (exception: 2D Crush)
  • Particles are created on the screen with the emitter object
  • Particles can be animated or static
  • In practice, all game engines support particles
  • Examples of use: smoke, fire, shell casings, gas

Particles

Teacher Resources

Play

Lesson Goal #1

Today we’re making a new weapon for the pioneer and getting to know the particle system.

Teacher Resources

More detailed instructions can be found on the next sheets.

How to Play

As soon as you start the game, you get to play!

Gameplay screenshot

For tutorials and help, press Esc.

Gameplay screenshot

To enter the edit mode, press F2.

Gameplay screenshot

Download Resources

Make a new gun:

  1. Download the water hose: goo.gl/HzUWJ1
  2. Place the PNG file to the PP\Textures\Tool folder

Gameplay screenshot

Teacher Resources

Tell the students to download this water gun image by typing the URL in the slide. Once everyone has downloaded this image, move on to the next slide.

Direct link: https://s3.amazonaws.com/tganalytics/assets/lessonassets/planetoid_pioneers/watergun.png

Changing the Graphics

How to get the downloaded picture into the game:

A) Access the editing mode by pressing F2. Open Blueprint library by pressing F6. Load Weapon: Assult Rifle to editor.

B) Rename the Weapon: Assault Rifle in the blueprint segment as Weapon MyWaterGun (all of the tools in Planetoid Pioneers are marked with titles beginning with Weapon).

C) Save the blueprint. This will create a new object in the library.

D) Access the texture library by pressing F3. Select the image you just downloaded from the library.

E) Get back to the editor (if you closed the window, you can press F2 to reopen it). In the Objects list, choose the Subobject Tool. Replace this graphic by dragging the picture from the texture library on the MO Texture section.

F) Select the new graphics for the object from the clip out of the picture (the red borders show what is selected).

G) Repeat steps E to F changing the picture of the Magazine.

H) Save the blueprint by pressing the Save Blueprint button.

I) Relaunch the game (F9) and create a new watergun (F2 and the Insert button) on the ground near the robot. Test the weapon.

J) The weapon can be modified. For example, its size is a little bit small. Remember to save all the changes you’ve made with the Save Blueprint button and then restart the game (F9).

Changing the graphics

Teacher Resources

Tell the students to start a new game: "Press F2 to access editing. Next we are going to change the graphics of the tool."

Selecting Particle Effects For Editing

How to select particle effects for editing:

A) Start by selecting the object tab (‘2’).

B) Select the shooting particle you want to mod (Bullets Heavy or something else) in the drop down menu. The list has multiple particles that the weapon uses when it operates.

C) Once you’ve selected the particle, continue modifying it in the particle menu (‘6’).

Selecting particle effects

Teacher Resources

Go through the steps a to c. Suggest them to select the particle Bullets Heavy. Please note that the actual name of the shot particle can change depending on the game version and the tool you are editing. However, you can see the selected particle pointing forward from the barrel of the tool in the blueprint editor (F4).

Lesson Goal #2

Try out what kind of particle effects can be added to the gun. You can make the changes visible by saving the blueprint in the object page and by restarting the game by pressing F9. If you don’t know what an option does, you can hover your mouse over an option, which will display the tooltip information.

Teacher Resources

The particle system of 2D Crush (the game’s engine) has so many different small options and possibilities that it’s not feasible to list them all here. In practice, the students can get to know these options by experimenting with the game and trying out all the options by themselves.

It’s a good idea to go through some pages of the particle system (next sheets) and then assign the students a task.

Modifying Particle Effects

Selecting particle effects

Teacher Resources

In the image above you can find the following options:

Blueprint-editor

  • Can show the origin direction and lights of particles. When modifying particles, you can see the particle effects added to the object.

Particle system window

  • The top shows the name of the particle being edited.
  • It’s recommended that you click on the option Emitting. This will show the particle effect in Blueprint Editor.

Particle

  • Determines the layer of the particle in the screen (0 = on top of everything)
  • Determines which texture the particle uses: you can drag whatever single texture from the texture library here (F3)

Trail

  • Does the particle leave a trail as it moves, and what color is this trail?
  • Does the color blend into the background?

Glow

  • Does the particle glow as it flies, and which color is it?

Emitting

  • How often is the particle object created?
  • At what point is it created and what is its starting speed?
  • Recoil is also set in this segment.

Child PS EMIT

  • Particles can have subparticles as their children, which follow it.
  • Child objects are objects that inherit their properties from the master object. For example, in a computer’s browser window text bars and links are child objects for the window.

Bounce

  • Does the particle bounce when it hits something?
  • Will the particle go through, does it cause bumps or holes in a plane?

Lesson Goal #3

Modify the weapon particles and turn them into something new. Show the teacher and everyone else what you’ve created.

Try changing the texture of the particle.

Share & Discuss

Share & Discuss

  • What kind of particle effect modifications did you come up with?
  • Did anyone try to add lights? How did that work?

Tasks after Playing

What can you do with particle effects?

Show Notes

Many kinds of things. The core idea of particles is that they react to the environment around them.

What can’t you do with particle effects?

Show Notes

Particles can’t be modified after they have been created because they are not game objects in the same way as the pioneers and weapons are. You can’t control particles after they have been created.

How are the particle effects of the 2D Crush engine different when compared to other games you’ve played?

Show Notes

In many games, particles are just drawn graphical elements on the screen, which do not react to other objects. The particles of 2D Crush react to the environment and physics in surprisingly varied ways.

Additional Tasks

Consider how you could make the following effects with particles:

  • open fire
  • water fountain
  • gas

Teacher Resources

If there is time, you can let the students engage in free play, playing the game and using the editor. You can also assign additional tasks and homework should you choose so. For example, designing particles is both a rewarding and time-consuming task.