Löve – What is Love? An Introduction

Screenshot 2015-11-23 12.21.17

Since my old tutorials were made in 2010 it was time for an update. This is an updated tutorial on Löve. It assumes the Löve version 0.9.2 but a lot of this article might remain relevant to later versions.

In the age of Gamemaker and Unity Löve still stands out as one of my favorite rapid prototyping frameworks. Lua is ideal for the quick ‘n dirty approach where other languages like C# would be overkill. It makes sense to learn Lua and the Löve framework because Lua is used in many different applications today and also in other game engines likes pico-8. Another great feature of Löve is that it is also very easy to distribute, which makes your creations accessible to wider audience.

Multi-platform & Open

The idea behind love is that you create .love files which can be run by the love executable on every platform, e.g. linux, OSX or windows. The .love files are renamed .zip files in which you put your project source files. Another side effect of this is that you can always unzip any .love file you find, view the source and learn from it.

Documentation

The best way to start learning is to check out the wiki on love2d.org. You can find a Getting Started Guide there which helps you install and set up a basic working environment.

Löve is mainly build on the following component:

  • SDL, simple directmedia layer
  • OpenGL, well known graphics library
  • OpenAL, for sounds
  • LuaJIT a variant of Lua, as the programming language

The great thing is that you don’t have to know anything about the first three components to create a game with it! Really the only thing you need to learn is Lua.

For beginners, I highly recommend reading Programming in Lua by Roberto Ierusalimschy who also is the leading architect of the language. That said, I will be covering some of the basics of Lua in this tutorial series.

What can be created?

The frontpage of Löve has some excellent examples of games made with Löve. This includes games like Mari0 and Move Or Die.

mari0

You see, Löve is not only a fast and easy to learn language but also has the power to be used in bigger projects. I hope this series of tutorial can give you some help so you can start to build your dream games soon.

 
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Pico-8 Palette CLR for OSX

Pico-8 is an awesome fantasy console by lexaloffle. I really wanted to use the palette in other pixel art editors so I made a clr file, to be used with the standard color picker under OSX.

How To Use:

  1. Download the pico8.clr

  2. Copy the file to ~/Library/Colors/

If you open your color picker (for example in the amazing pikopixel pixel art editor) you will be able to find it in the drop down menu under the ‘Color Palettes’ tab.

Screenshot 2015-11-16 17.57.05

Have fun!

 
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Minipixel Style – A New Indie Aesthetic

Thinking about game design and art is one of my hobbies. And I admit it: I love pixel art. And the last couple of years were a renaissance of pixel art fueled by the indie boom and games like minecraft. And right as you think you have seen it all – a new style seems to emerge: the minipixels

What?

Pixel art is often seen scaled up by 2x, 3x or more. Minipixels are different. The art usually isn’t scaled at all but still the edges are hard and no anti-alias is used. Pixelart is very small and detailed but minipixels are usually bigger pictures with bigger uniform areas since there is no upscaling involved in the postprocess. It can be made with the same tools as pixelart: the pen tool in PS/GIMP and by turning of anti-aliasing for your fills.

Examples

Relic Hunters is a free game that uses this for it’s feature art and mixes it with more ‘traditional’ pixel art:

01

http://www.relichunters.com.br/

The colors are totally different but in Orcish Inn we also see minipixels. Steven Colling, the developer of orcish inn, calls this a “grispy style”.

shot_a_typical_inn

http://orcish-inn.stevencolling.com

(Disclaimer: I work on the music for that game. But that does not change that I really like the graphics that Steven made!)

Is this is a thing now?

I don’t know if this a thing or will be. But I think it might be. It is nice to look at when used correctly and a nice fresh breeze after years of blocky pixels. Do you have more examples? Do you like this style? Do you want to see more games with this?

 
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MUDJAM

Starting monday you can submit to MUDJAM on itch! MUDJAM accepts anything related to Multi User Dungeons, be it a tool, a small MUD experiment or anything else. Even if it is not finished you should submit – see it as a learning experience.

mudjam

MUDs might not be the most popular at the moment but is still a niche interesting for some. MUDJAM is a playground where you can test things out.

My plan for MUDJAM is to write a small, small MUD that can be played from the browser and is mostly hypertext…but we will see how far this goes.

Let me know if you enter for example here in the comments or on twitter @headchant or #MUDJAM

 
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New Project | The resource Paradox

I am trying to do a devlog of sorts and in this first episode I want to talk a little bit about the project in general. I am working on this under the causacreations name together with Georg Hobmeier and our illustrator/artist. The project temporarily named “Minewars” is a small game about the problems of mines in india.

tumblr_inline_nkokl1PirB1sqjolw

The game is being made with the help of the MFG Baden-Württemberg. It will be a light strategy game for Web/iOS/Android and is scheduled for release in december of 2015*.

More about the game and the philosophy behind on causacreations.net

  • We are really trying but this may be subject to change!
 
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Ludum Dare 31: Theme Ideas

Ludum Dare 31 begins tonight! I tried to come up for an idea for every Theme in the final voting round.

After the End

Point and Click Adventure: You end up in hell and you want to find out your cause of death.

Artificial Life

Multiplayer: ‘Guess who’-style game with generated faces. At first all character portraits look the same: plain and without any characteristics. Every round you can select one/a few character/s and give him a task to do in his life. This task shapes the look of the characters portrait.

Avoid the Light

You play ‘depression’ and try to kill your host during a long and dark winter night in scandinavia. Try to control the host by inserting evil thoughts into his routine. Time the thoughts right for multipliers. Make him avoid light to gain more strength.

Borders

Card Game: A deck building game where you are playing a country/state and your hand(=local economy) is partly open. Trade with other players to help your hand to synergize and grow. Winner is the player who has the largest economy when all playing cards are in hands.

Chaos

You play Mother Hulda (Frau Holle) and need to create chaos snow patterns by combining and shaking an assortment of feather pillows. Each spring your doings will be judged by a jury of snowing-conaisseurs.

Color is Everything

Tetris with different colored sub-monoids that merge?

Death is Useful

Read medical files and turn off life support for the right patients.

Deep Space

Trivia game about space and wikipedia is allowed. but there is no sound in space. (and no text)

Deja vu

Speedrun Text adventure + dance pad/guitar hero game: recognize/learn patterns in the room descriptions to traverse them faster

End Where You Started

Screenwrapped(goes out one side, comes in the other) billard game.

Entire Game on One Screen

RPG: Huge, huge fantasy overworld map and you play a tiny, tiny pixel.

Everything Falls Apart

Sing at the right tone to break different glasses thrown at you by your angry neighbour.

Generation

Metroidvania with generated levels

Isolation

Plattformer where you have to seperate the plattforms from a energy unit in order to use them.

Machines

OlliOlli-inspired: 2D-Motorcycle downhill stunts and racing

One Rule

Online-voting game(maybe using twitch?): every X minutes a new rule is introduced, can be selected from 4 four different rules. But the First rule is: The voters that voted against the winning vote are the peasants and the voters that voted for the winning vote are the lords.

Playing Both Sides

Asynchronous-Multiplayer: Turn based strategy game. Upload a game(=set of turns) to the database or play against one.

You Are Not Supposed To Be Here

Actionshooter game where you can walk only in walls.

You Can’t Stop

2D Physics game with drugs

SHMUP/Snowball Fight Simulator. Build a snowman by rolling snow. Use your rolled balls to fight off kids from the other team. Also, distract them while they build their snowman.

 
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