Quick Start Guide
Hi there! In this article, you will read introductory information about playing and creating the game in MANU.
When you download and install the MANU engine. Launch it and press
Create New. You can create new project from one of our templates. To know how to open the existing projects, go to Welcome Screen.
This time choose Platformer Kit. After that, you will open a project that already has game objects and customized animations. You can test the Game Mode and even modify the project as you want. So, let’s start!
In MANU, by default, all projects open in Edit Mode. The central panel on the top of the workspace has 3 different tabs with different modes of the game: Edit Mode, Animation Mode and Game Mode (to know more, go to Workspace Modes).
The left panel contains the
Main Menubutton with program options, Scene Tree with all the objects in the scene, the Library tab that helps to insert default objects into the scene and the Assets that represent a list of all user-created prefabs.
Whenever you select any object in the scene, the Inspector and Gizmo Panel appear. The Inspector contains all the information related to the selected object: Properties, Material, Physics, Variables. To know more about each related tab, click on them.
The Gizmo Panel is used for switching between gizmo types: Move, Rotate, Scale, and Collider. Gizmos allow you to manipulate selected objects right in the scene. By default, the Move Gizmo is selected, which also includes move by step settings: Move smoothly, Move by 1 and Move by 10. Move smoothly is selected by default; you can change it as needed. The Rotate Gizmo also includes settings which allow you to adjust the rotation by selecting different options. To know more about the Gizmo Panel, visit Using 3D Gizmo to Manipulate Objects.
In Animation Mode, you can see 2 panels. The left panel is the same as in the Edit Mode. However, there are some options that are only available in Animation Mode and do not work in Edit Mode; and vice versa, options that are available in Edit Mode do not work in Animation Mode. You can find all available animations in the Scene Tree. The bottom panel is contextual and only visible when you choose the animation from the list. It has 2 tabs Timeline and Triggers. Both are related to the selected animation. To know more, go to Timeline and Triggers.
The usage of the scene view camera will help you to see the scene from multiple angles. MANU offers several ways to move the camera around:
- To orbit around the selection object, use
ALT + LMB Drag
- To zoom, just use the mouse wheel
- To pan and move in any directions, use
SPACE + LMB Drag
- To focus on the selected object, double click on it in the scene tree or press
Now is your turn, try to play around with the camera. More shortcuts for controlling the camera you can find here Keyboard shortcuts.
MANU provides Platformer Kit as a template, that you can use as a great starting point to develop your own game project. The template is designed for playing in the genre of side-scroller platformer. It contains basic objects, from which more complex objects are created. The template represents a polygon based on which you can create a new level of the game.
In Game Mode, you will see the Main Character who can move left or right. To know more, see the article about Main Character.
The main character's task is to pass all the obstacles, collect crystals, find the key and free his friend from the house with the key. At the top of the main character's head, you will see hints on how to overcome obstacles and cope with tasks.
The walking mechanic is controlled by the
Left arrowkeys in the Game Mode. The jumping mechanic is controlled by a
SPACEkey. To double jump, hit
SPACEtwice. To complete the wall jump, hold the
Left arrowkeys and hit
SPACE. To use the crouch mechanic, hit
C + Right arrowor
C + Left arrow. That’s all you need to know to pass this level successfully. Let’s play!
You can use this template for your Game Project. But first, let’s observe some components of the Scene.
The example level is created from prefab objects as it is easy to modify them. The Prefab object is kind of a template from which you can create new Prefab instances in the scene. To know how to create Prefabs and to know more about them go to Assets. When an object is converted to a Prefab, all its properties are synchronized between all the prefab instances. If you make changes to any copy of the prefab, then the changes will affect all interrelated prefabs. For example, if you decide to change the color of one tree, then the prefab trees will sync with the modified tree.
The houses and trees perform mostly a decorative function in the scene. The process of building a house is creative and largely depends on your preferences. You can easily copy the existing one or you can use the components that are located at the right of the scene. All parts of the house are modular and easy to join to each other. Use gizmos on the Gizmo Panel to perform manipulations with selected objects. You can also adjust the Move Gizmo settings by selecting either Move smoothly, Move by 1 or Move by 10. If Move smoothly is selected, it will move the object around the scene smoothly. Move by 1 and Move by 10 options allow you to define the distance for movement. For example, if you choose Move by 1, the selected object will move in increments of 1 meter. After selecting the number, use gizmo arrows to connect parts of the house together.
Physics is not applied to the parts of the house; therefore, the Main Character can simply walk through the house, if you decide to build it on his way. However, if you add Physics to it (you can easily do it if you go to the right panel and click on the Physics tab), thеn the Main Character won't be able to go through the house; he will have to jump over it.
However, there is no need to enable physics for the whole house. Moreover, a large number of physical objects in the Scene can lead to high CPU usage. If you need to make a certain wall impassable, we recommend that you add a Collider with the Static type of rigid body and place it next to the desired wall. For example, the Collider was used to build House 1 in this template.
Blocks with physics are used to create the obstacle course for the Main Character. He can jump on the block, but he can't pass through it, because the block has the Static type of rigid body. All objects with physics will be impenetrable to the Main Character except objects with the Ghost rigid body. To know more, read Physics.
Let’s copy a block with physics "Floor_4x4_Block" and put it on the main character’s way. As you can see, the Main Character can’t go through it.
The Physics tab contains a list of physical properties of an object, such as type of the rigid body, collider, friction, bounciness and other parameters. The block we selected is a static object; it has certain friction and bounciness values, collider; and it is possible to hang on it. You can change all these properties according to your preference. To know about types of Physics and their settings, go here.
Creating a hierarchy in the Scene Tree allows you to move/copy/duplicate everything that is included in a single folder, such as "House" or "Trap Base". For example, "Trap Pike", "Animation" and "Attack" are nested in the "Trap Base". Try to move the "Trap Base" using the gizmo arrows; and you will see how the entire structure of the "Trap Base" moves with everything that is included in it. Hierarchy allows you to establish parent-child relationships between objects in the Scene. To know more, go to Scene Tree.
The "Trap Saw" is also an example of using a hierarchy. Select "Trap Saw" in the "Scene Tree" by double-clicking; and you will see that you can move the entire structure, everything that is placed in the "Trap Saw" folder.
Houses are compound objects as well. They consist of walls, roofs, windows and doors. All objects of one house are placed in the House folder. If you make any manipulations with the House folder in the Scene Tree, it will also affect the whole building. If you delete the main House folder, the house will disappear from the Scene.
There are plenty of animated objects in the Scene, such as pikes, saws, crystals, the key, the elevator and the door. Let's look at the main objects and their animations.
Some objects are grouped together and represent the model. Now let's see how the main models are assembled and how their animations work.
Let's look at the crystal and what kind of animations it has. Switch to Animation Mode and open "Yellow Crystal" in the Scene Tree. The folder contains 2 animations: "Idle" and "Picked". The "Idle" animation has 2 tracks: Position Y and Rotation Y.
Position Y sets the movement of the object up and down. All keyframes here have the specific coordinate values of the crystal on the Y-axis. If you hover over the keyframes on this track you will see their absolute values.
Rotation Y launches the rotation of a crystal around its axis. This track has a more complex animation method. It uses the formula
origin+180to assign the value to the following keyframe.
originvalue is equal to the current value from the scene. The use of this formula leads to the rotation of the crystal.
Let's move on to the "Picked" animation. "Picked" launches what should happen when a character grabs a crystal. The crystal will disappear and make a sound.
As you can see, "Picked" has a sound track with specific audio that is output to the master channel.
Now let's look at the construction of "Trap_Saw".
It includes "Trap Saw" and "Trap Razor" folders. Two "Columns" and "Trap Gear" are placed in the "Trap Saw". Here, the "Columns" are used as the saw axle. The whole folder is animated by the "Move" animation. All three objects move together because they are all inserted in one folder. If you need to animate several objects, it is reasonable to put them in one folder and animate this folder. It makes sense to combine objects into folders when you need to subordinate several objects to some actions, such as animation.
The "Move" animation has 2 tracks. The Position Y track sets the movement of the "Trap Saw" by using keyframes with absolute values. The audio track has a sound that is output to a specific speaker located in the same hierarchy/folder as the "Saw". Therefore, you will be able to hear the sound when the main character is near the "Saw".
Let's look at the "Pike" and what it is made of and what kind of animations it has. The pike consists of 2 objects. It has a "Trap Base" and a "Trap Pike". The "Trap Pike" is inserted into the "Trap Base". Let's see the "Attack" animation.
Let's see what the "Attack" animation includes. As you can see, in this animation, another animation is played. The "Attack" consists of the inserted animation "Hurt", to view it you need to go to the "Main Character" folder. Follow this path to find it: "Main Character" / "Main Character Body" / "Animations for states" / "Hurt". In this case, "Attack" plays the "Hurt" animation.
Let's look at the animation that was created for the "Key". Find the key in scene and click "Follow" animation in the Scene Tree. "Follow" animation uses system formulas and launches what should happen to the key when it is picked up by the "Main Character". The key will start moving with the "Main Character" above his head in the scene. To know more about formulas, which you can use in the keyframes to set up custom behaviours, go here.
If you hover over keyframes, you can see the system formulas that were used to create the animation "Follow".
Now, we suggest you take a look at the "Quest Completed" animation. Here, "Quest Completed" is a cut-scene animation where the "Main Character" saves another character. Go through the animation panel, and you will see what you can do in MANU. You can create large complex animations using different types of animation tracks.
Now let’s create the animation for a new object.
In Edit Mode, deselect all objects. Hit the
Main Menubutton and import the "coin_with_star_icon.obj" from your computer . To know more about how to do it, go here How to Import the Object.
The imported object will appear right in the center of the Scene in position 0,0,0. Click on the folder "coin_with_star_icon" in the Scene Tree and use Move Gizmo to transfer it wherever you need it in the scene.
Let's put it in front of the "Main Character". Look at the Inspector , and you will see that position values for the "coin_with_star_icon" have changed. Then select "coin" and let’s see and remember Position Y for the "coin".
Now hit the Physics tab on the Inspector to enable physics for the new object and choose Ghost for its rigid body. Note, only Kinematic and Ghost rigid bodies can be animated. For the ghost objects, you can choose a suitable collider and its size. To know more about physics, ghost objects and collider types, go to Physics.
Switch to Animation Mode. Select "coin_with_star_icon" in the Screen Tree and by right-clicking choose
Create Animation. A new animation will be created within the folder and the Timeline panel will appear at the bottom of the screen.
We will animate "сoin"; therefore, hover over the "coin" on the Scene tree and by right-clicking choose
Add to Timeline.
Let's make the "coin" move up and down. To do it, you need to add a track that will determine the moving of the "coin" along the Y-axis. If you hover over the coin track, a button
Add New Animated Trackwill appear there.
Then you need to select Position Y in Properties. Now, we can see its place on the Y-axis. The first keyframe shows the current value from the scene. If you hover over this point the word origin will appear. Origin value is equal to the current value from the scene. You can use the system formulas to create the animation. To make it clear, let’s set the absolute value for the keyframes on the track. Switch to the Edit Mode and click on the "coin"; then look at the Inspector and what value is set for its Position Y. It is important to know since we will animate the coordinate values in which this coin is located (the values that we see in the Inspector). As you can see, the Position Y value is equal to
0. Let’s use it for the first keyframe.
So, switch to the Animation Mode again, find our animation in the Scene Tree, and instead of the word
Hover over the animation track to select a time point at which you want to set another keyframe. Let's set the keyframe for 1 second. At the new time point set the value
1, then, extend the track to 2 seconds and set
0as the value of position Y. To loop the animation, the end of the animation must coincide with the beginning of the animation. To enable the loop for the animation, you need to click on the Loop button.
You can drag the keyframe to change the time value. The orange vertical bar is the Timeline Playhead; you can move it and see how the animation works at the exact time point. Hit the
Playbutton on the timeline to see how the animation plays. To know more about the Timeline, go here.
Let’s make the "coin" rotate. Add another track that sets the rotation of the coin around its axis. Hover over the "coin" in the timeline and add Rotation Y properties. The first keyframe with origin value (current value from the scene) will appear.
To set the second keyframe use the system formula:
origin + 360. To know more about system formulas, go to Formulas. Let's set the second keyframe for 2 seconds to make this track the same length as the first one.
For an animation to be launched in the game, you have to set up a trigger for it. Triggers are set up in the Triggers tab, which is located next to the Timeline tab. Now let's try to set up a trigger that will trigger animation for the "coin". Hit the Trigger tab and you will see the Triggers Panel.
To add triggers, click on the icon
Add New Triggerand you will see the types of triggers that you can use to start the animation. For more information about Triggers, please refer to the Triggers section.
To start the animation, we have created, select the
On Launch Scenetrigger, which means that our animation will start as soon as the game starts. Let's now launch the game and see what we've got.
Now, try to experiment with the "coin" and create your animation for it.
After you finish with the animation set up you can turn the "coin_with_star_icon" into a prefab. Prefabs allow you to create, configure, and store an object complete with all its components, property values, and child objects as a reusable asset. More information about prefabs here. To create a prefab, in Edit Mode, go to the Scene Tree, hover over "coin_with_star_icon", and select
Create Prefabfrom the contextual menu by right-clicking.
Now you can duplicate the prefab and move the prefab’s instances by Move Gizmo. To duplicate a prefab, select the prefab and choose the
Duplicateoption from the contextual menu.
As you can see the prefab and its copies have the same folder contents. Now try to change the color of one "coin". To do it select "coin" in any copy of prefab, go to the Materials tab. All changes completed to material and physics settings will be automatically applied to all other instances of a prefab group. However, you can freely place different prefabs instances around the game, because it does not apply to the transform settings.
A few more tips before you go to create your game project.
To select an object, press
ALTand click on the object (without
ALT, a group of objects will be selected). To place the selected object in the center of viewport, click on
For double-click on the object on the Screen Tree.
To move the object, simply select it in the scene, switch to Move Gizmo on the top center and use arrows. You also can use the Transform Section in Inspector to move precisely. To move the object in two directions at the same time, just hit the square of the specific sides and move your mouse. To know more about Gizmo Panel, go to Using 3D Gizmo to Manipulate Objects.
To remove objects, select them in the scene and press
DELETEkey or select them in the Scene Tree and choose the
Deleteoption by right-clicking. You also can copy and duplicate them in the Scene Tree.
To add new objects, go to the Library on the left panel or import them using the Main Menu.
Now you know everything about how to diversify this example project and make your own game. Try adding more pikes, animate them as you want, drag the saws, delete or duplicate crystals, add new objects and swap existing ones. By means of MANU tools, you can easily do it, just use your imagination. Nail it!
To save the current project, go to
Saveor use shortcut
CMD + Son macOS /
CTRL + Son windows.
To export this project into a finished (ready-to-play) game go to
Exportor use shortcut
CMD + Eon macOS /
CTRL + Eon windows.
You can name your game and choose the location where you want to save your game. By default, you will be offered to name the game as project name. After that choose the platform, you use and press
Export. Wait a little bit. Congratulations you just have developed your first game in MANU. Are you ready to play?
Now, you can share your results with your friends. Suggest them to play the game that was created by you. Don't forget to share with us as well. Publish your game project on Discord and social media. Don’t forget to use the hashtag #madewithmanu and you will definitely receive feedback and comments from us! Keep up to date with all MANU news, connect and stay in touch by following us on social media.
Congratulations on your first achievement with MANU! Way to go!