Id like to create book to help beginners about solarus editor

Started by 20degree, September 06, 2015, 06:35:39 PM

Previous topic - Next topic
I strongly suggest Latex, since the final document can be separated in several files that will be included later, and since it is text-based, it works perfectly in a git flow (merges and diff will be easy). Traductions in foreign languages will also be easy. Moreover, Latex is FOSS, and widely used for books. It can of course generates a PDF file.

Wikipedia (if you don't know Latex):

Latex final result, even with default formatting, is beautiful and very professional. I can help you to get a nice design. You can of course include pictures in Latex, and even vectors (if you you EPS or PDF files). However, it is not a WYSIWYG program, but some WYSIWYG editors exist, on Windows, OSX and Linux.

The disavantages of a big odt document or google drive document are :

  • Impossible to version file
  • Hard to handle forks and pull requests (have to be made by hand)
  • Everyone has to work on the same file
  • Hard to get a profesional result (in my opinion)
  • Images are containded in the document, and are not external assets we can modify without modifying the document

The walktrough Zelda Dx guide is made wonderfull, id like to have such talents as drawing, design, etc. My strength is more about the organisation and structure; but it's quite possible there have great peoples here with more experiences then me.

I'm at leas gonna tell what i do believe is important:
1 - My link to the FileDropper, putting the pages as panoramic is better. Why? Because peoples dont like too much scrooling up and down some pages.
2 - The background image (same image on each pages) should be of big size and have 300dpi (dots per inchs), so when the pdf is zoomed the pixels dont apear too fast.
3 - The images in the pages should have some dimensions as height but not much, doing images too big could make images in some invisible table want to be on the next pages.
4 - The inner images on the pages should have a resolution of 96dpi, this because of the quality if some peoples want to zoom in the pdf file; but not like 300dpi this because when the content weight too much then the total pdf file weight too much.
5 - If there is too much content "How to do this and that" the pdf file should always be less then 5MB (mega bytes). Why? Because if peoples want to share the pdf file by e-mail, i know that standard e-mail account can not send and receive a file that is higher then 5mb. So if necessary it could have as: (First Book, Second Book, Third Book, etc.), this like books that say: "Volume 1, Volume 2, Volume 3, etc."
6 - We must always put ourself into some beginners shoes, peoples that have no knowledges in scripting programming, no knowledge in how importing images, animating caracters, etc. Thinking as some 6 -8 years kid that would want to do things with Solarus.
7 - Some peoples might find it bad this thing that i know is also important. It is that each pages we must repeat most step by step with explications. Why? Because we dont know if a reader want to go directly to a section and not looking the previous sections and explications. So each "How to do this and that" should be explained step by step.
8 - Before creating some pages, it is important that we do some brainstorming; that we try to exchange our ideas (it is a team work) not an individual work.
9 - The fonts writing the pages must be common fonts on multiple operating system. This to be sure that reader gonna see the text on the pages. Comon fonts i know is: (Arial, Courrier, Helvetica, Times New Roman), there maybe more; but i'm sure that these police fonts you are gonna find them on your operating system wether it is Windows, Mac Os X, Linux, Ubuntu, Cisco, etc.
10 - The last thing i believe is important to help Solarus for the pdf book(s), we must think as "How to do this and that with step by step and details explications". To explain it more (what Solarus users would like to know how to do); this before creating pages. So we can make some brainstorming and figure out the pages from start to finish.

Here is my old second free book:
Here is my old third free book:

These old free pdf books ive made are also about the software Futurepinball i have writen in the past. Just sharing so peoples can know reading the pages, what i mean by giving some step by step exercises with details. But mostly to make peoples understand, that i have repeated some explications as other pages (because not knowing if some reader gonna want to go directly to a section from the index); that's why i say it's also important to explain step by step from start to finish each "How to do this and that".

I do believe that Solarus even as a beginner my self have some great potentials and i do believe there are great talents here.

Well i hope at leass that peoples understand the important things i find, that i think is also essential to help Solarus?


Sorry for double posting, but here is what I thought of today.

Chapter 1: Project Setup
-Making a new map
-Loading a new map
-Saving Project

Chapter 2: Making a map
-Test Run
-Map Size
-Custom tilesets
-Custom Animation
-Repeat clone selected tile
-Storage - Copy/paste

Chapter 3: Treasures
-Hidden under Grass/rock/etc treasures
-Hidden treasures (Invisible items)
-Other treasures

Chapter 4: Saving Game
-Setting path
-Setting up save script
-User Wine save file Location
-User Windows save file location
-Preventing item save reset

Chapter 5: Jumpers
-Jumping distance
-Common jumping glitches
-Diagonal Jumping
-Front jumping
-Backward jumping

Chapter 6: TeleTransporters

Chapter 7: Stairs, Platforms, Elevators, and Holes

Chapter 8: Forest, Jungle, lake, Sea

Chapter 9: Swimming and Water Transportation

Chapter 10: Switch to Trigger

Chapter 11: Obstacles and Tricks

Chapter 12: Currency

Chapter 13: Shops and Trade

Chapter 14: NPC (Non-Player-Characters)

Chapter 15: Dynamic Tiles

Chapter 16: Entrances and Doors

Chapter 17: Timer events

Chapter 18: Movements actions

Chapter 19: Title Screen and Menus

Chapter 20: Scrolling Credits

Chapter 21: Distribution


Chapter 22: Sprite setup

Chapter 23:  Hud Display

Chapter 24: Currency display

Chapter 25: Inventory

Chapter 26: Combat

Chapter 27: Guard with Weapons and shield

Chapter 28: Returning weapons (Boomerang)

Chapter 29: Projectiles

Chapter 30: Explosions and Destructable objects

Chapter 31: Day and night cycle

Chapter 32: Weather (Fog, Rain, etc)

Chapter 33: Enemy AI

Chapter 34: World map

Chapter 35:  Coordinats/location (Play location display or motion sensor)

Chapter 36: Cheat system

Chapter 37: Kinematics

Chapter 38:

Chapter 39:
Solarus Works on ReactOS Opensource Windows OS

Zutokaza you seem to have some great ideas, that's wonderfull!!

I have made a zip file that is near 4.3MB of size. It include an Open Office design with some notepad text file describing a little the Open Office, an jpg image, an Photoshop v7 psd file. Even if i know that the zip file has no virus, i always encourage peoples to antivirus scan; i dont want to be accused of anythings.

Here is the link:

It's not much but it is a start.


I edited my post for the table of contents above. It can still use a lot of work, organizing, and spiffing up, but it can give everyone an idea of what needs to be done. I will try to add more over the month, mostly sub sections in the contents.

I will be teaching my wife solarus in 2 months, so I will probably post that stuff for the book if no one beats me to it.  ;D

Quote from: 20degree on September 11, 2015, 01:42:58 AM
Zutokaza you seem to have some great ideas, that's wonderfull!!

I have made a zip file that is near 4.3MB of size. It include an Open Office design with some notepad text file describing a little the Open Office, an jpg image, an Photoshop v7 psd file. Even if i know that the zip file has no virus, i always encourage peoples to antivirus scan; i dont want to be accused of anythings.

Here is the link:

It's not much but it is a start.

I use Linux, so no virus will affect me. Not without my permission anyway. Haha
Solarus Works on ReactOS Opensource Windows OS

Solarus Works on ReactOS Opensource Windows OS

Free graphics and sounds are useful not only for the book, but more generally to make quests without Nintendo content.
This is the goal of the Children of Solarus project:
I shared your links to them, they can be very helpful.

September 11, 2015, 09:04:12 AM #22 Last Edit: September 11, 2015, 09:10:10 AM by Christopho
Now about the books, you don't have to follow closely the chapters of my tutorials. The order of chapters of the tutorial was influenced by what was available at some point in Solarus.
For example, chapter 36 is about blocks and chapter 55 is about destructible objects, because they were not customizable enough in previous versions to deserve a chapter at that time.
Also, I was trying to alternate between chapters with code and chapters on using the quest editor.

Maybe you could organize the book in 3 or 4 big parts, each part having a common theme with its own chapters.

Part 1: Using the quest editor
Getting started, sprites, dialogs, tilesets, treasures, entities (teletransporters, NPCs, jumpers, enemies, stairs, dynamic tiles, blocs...), Lua basics
(Maybe part 1 should be splitted in more parts?)

Part 2: Lua scripting
Lua/engine interaction, how to use the documentation, creating an enemy, creating an item...

Part 3: Menus
HUD, inventory, map, savegame menu...

Part 4: Advanced
Metatables, complex custom weapons, dungeon system...

Yes, the table of contents can be set up better.

Also, Open game art has an unlimited supply of free music. Pixel art is a bit tougher to find for a Zelda Style ARPG. I am pretty sure there might be more luck at finding free pixel art on Deviant art, but the reliability of being true open source pixel art is very low.

The following were made for RPG Maker, but Solarus has flexible mapping, so it should still be useable. BUT! One has to make sure they are not just edits of RPG Maker art because there would be license issues. And a lot of  fan art.....too much fan art....

This person has a lot of CC-BY 3.0 Pixel art, but I don't know if can be considered CC-By because a lot are RPG Maker RTP edits. One will notice the license on the lower right side as you scroll down. Credit is required and credit should always be given in my matter if not required.

If I notice some real CC-BY art, then I will post a link.


A Zelda like Tileset.  It is CC-BY 3.0.

More of his stuff

Free sprite characters created for RPG Maker, but are unique and can be used in other Game engines. CC-BY

Solarus Works on ReactOS Opensource Windows OS

I feel like repeating myself but if you want a nice result like the Zelda DX PDF Walkthrough I made with Renkineko, you'll have to use a more profesional tool than LibreOffice/OpenOffice.  :) Our Zelda DX walkthrough was made in 2 times :

  • First version: Renkineko wrote everything in separated files.
  • Second version: I used every file made by Renkineko in an Adobe Illustrator project.
You can begin by sending to each other by mail or the forum a single odt file, but I can assure you this is the less handy way to collaborate ... :D

Anyway, if you want a profesional result at the end but still don't want to use a better tool, I think I will re-wrote everything in Latex because I would like everything related to Solarus to look polished :P

Do you know O'Reilly book editor? It's the more famous computing book editor in the world, and they use Latex. Someone has made a template to make your Latex document look like a O'Reilly book (link on

In the first place, you could help Renkineko with his written tutorials on the Solarus wiki (only in French for the moment). Don't hesitate to ask him for help. Once everything is written on the wiki, I can help you to turn the pages into a beautiful book, even better than the one for Zelda DX, since I have mastered better the tools over the last 2 years ;) But you have to write the content before thinking about the visual result. What do you think about that?

Well, collaboration can be done easily with Google Drive and images can be inserted in LibreOffice for a professional looking background for each page. (Same in Google Drive) Also, the LibreOffice files or other formats are converted to Google document format when clicked. That way a open office files formal or any other format won't have to be tossed around. LibreOffice can do professional work and it has everything needed.  A github mentioned before will be good, but what matters now is getting it started.

The whole purpose is to make a book to help others learn Solarus easily and I honestly don't think the look matters unless it will be sold.
Solarus Works on ReactOS Opensource Windows OS

I have forgot that it is important to mention some terms, say that the book is free and that peoples participating are not responsible for some problems and can not be pursuit, su; ask some compensation as financial and others for any reasons at any times and any where.

It is also important to indicate in the book the web full url writen, indicating some opengameart files. This proove the source of the files, it give proper credits to the authors of the files wich make them some good publicity; and not making money with there files (book totally free) they can not say the peoples participating make money with peoples and others.

The authors can not say the peoples making this book gain some profits from it. Also the links point to the website url files, it can not put with the book as some attatchement as cd-rom and other of this kind. Unless there writing autorization to do so, but it's not worth to do it; and it take more energy and time from us.

I write this because i dont want any problems of any kinds, but i write this also for peoples that participate in this project; i dont want that any peoples have any problems of any kinds.

I want to share a link of free pdf books that are guides for authors. I have not read them, i have my ways of life as groceries, pay bills, etc. My personnal knowledge come from simply looking fiew printable books. As i say i'm not a master of the domain. The link i'm gonna give it's free books from a publisher house, that are guides for authors; but as i say i have not read them because of my time.

I do not work for this publishing house, i just have find the link on the web by making a search; i hope it will help?

At the bottom of the page it is writen "all guides" wich make you go on an other webpage. You simply write an email, then the name you could (as suggested) "Solarus Forum" or others. Then you check mark the two squares your interest. The "How long you want to publish", the first rectangle you can choose (18+ months). The next rectangle you can choose as: (Other). Then the submit button. After you click on submit, this will make you go on an other page with the button "Download all guides".

I hope it will help?


Making a (digital) book of Solarus is really a fantastic idea.

Like Christopho already mentioned the book needs only a few chunks.

Here is my idea of the contents:

  • Chapter 1: Introduction

    • 1. What is Solarus?
    • 2. How to install?
    • 3. Starting your first project
    • 4. Saving and loading projects
    • 5. Explain what can be found in the editor (like the map editor, sprite editor, dialog editor etc...)
      No details of how building works yet, only where to find them. Also some explanation of the UI (zooming, grid, options-menu, etc..).

  • Chapter 2: Basic Mapping

    • Explain chapter 2 - 9 of the video tutorials here

  • Chapter 3: Advanced Mapping

    • Explain chapter 10 - 17 + 19  of the video tutorials here

  • Chapter 4: Lua Scripting

    • Short basic Lua scripting tutorial
    • -- Explain chapter 18, 20 and 22 of the video tutorials here
    • Advanced environments (screen overlays, weather effects, etc..)
    • Ingame events and story chapters (incl camera movements etc..)
    • Advanced enemies and bosses
    • Creating custom equipment and weapons
    • much more...

  • Chapter 5: User Interface

    • 1. Title screen
    • 2. Ingame UI
    • 3. Setup game controls
    • 4. Ingame options UI
    • 5. World map
    • 6. Credits screen

  • Chapter 6: Distribution of your game

    • Explain chapter 24 of the video tutorials here
    • Info on licensing (disclaimer info in case of Zelda content usage for example)

And i'd like to mention. If you need help with graphics or something I can support on that. And if you are using Adobe Indesign i can help too. For my job i am actually working with the Adobe suite software, so no problem with that. ;)

Edit: Chapter 4 and 5 switched as suggested by Christopho.

The contents suggestion of Zeror is great. Maybe switch parts 4 and 5 because Lua is needed for the user interface.
Slight remark: we should write Lua, not LUA. It is not an acronym.

I like the reply number 17 for this: Seem to have multiple things as multiple branchs of a tree.

I also like the reply number 27 for this: Seem for me more oriented as a "How to do this and that".

As for the message saying putting the book pdf free, and maybe sometime some commercial book. I think for the free pdf book it would be better that the instructions repeat some times (i know it make more pages), this for beginners that would simply want to go to some page directly. But for a commercial book, what is important is that the exercises would be with "tiny steps forward" each later sections and not repeat it self too much. Also that the explications of the next sections should be some how related to the previous section; this make readers get not lost or at leass less lost. This also can make some commercial book have less pages, so cost less to potential buyers.

What is also important is think if the images in the pages, the explications of the images should be very details; just in case if the interior of the pages would be printed in black and white, by some publisher even if the images where in colors; or some person that buy an ebook and want to print it in black and white. As you can see, i try my best to think of diverse possibilities and probabilities. To make it a great book.

If there where some commercial book, id like to have some percentage of it. But i think it would be more just and fair if my percentage is less then some peoples that i think are more on the project of mine. This even if my financial situation is very bad, it's important for my self to be just, fair and honest with peoples.