Downloading and Installing of Moondust development kit

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Welcome to the introductory guide on getting started with the Moondust Project! This section covers downloading and installing the Engine and Editor modules.

So what is Moondust? The Moondust Project is a cross-platform game engine and development toolset that allows game creators to create platformers and other types of games.

The Moondust Project is offered in two editions.

  • DevKit - Includes the Editor, Engine (runtime) and other tools.
  • Runtime - Includes only the Moondust Engine.


The three currently supported platforms are Windows, Linux and macOS.


The Moondust Project is compatible with the SMBX engine and can be used to create levels, worlds and episodes that can be exported for and played entirely with the SMBX engine.


Setting Everything Up

To begin downloading the Moondust Project, click on the appropriate link on the Main Page. An online installer is available which will download and install all necessary components. Note that an alternative download option that consists of ZIP files is available as well.

Installing Moondust with the Online Installer

Usage of Online Installer is simple and Easy:

  • Download online installer
  • Double-click the online installer file
  • Follow the prompts
  • Done

Note: When you will use Online Installer, special folders such as "worlds" to store playable levels and episodes, "screenshots" where you will find in-game screenshots made by you some time ago, "logs" with debug logs of editor/engine working process and *.ini files with settings of PGE will be stored into:

  • "%UserProfile%\.PGE_Project" on Windows
  • "~/.PGE_Project" on Linux
  • "~/Library/Application Support/PGE Project" on Mac OS X folders.

If you have a portable variant of the Moondust kit, everything will be stored in the same folder where Moondust applications are stored. To make Moondust by portable you need to make an INI file (pge_editor.ini, pge_engine.ini or pge_calibrator.ini) with next contents:

[Main]
force-portable=1

and put them into the Moondust application folder.

Manual instalation of Moondust

If you have no ability to use Online Installer, don't worry, you have to install everything yourself:

  • Download ZIP-file with Moondust package (it contains Editor, Engine, PNG2GIFs, PNG2GIFs, Pallete Filter, Music Player, and Player Calibrator)
  • Download one or multiple config packs from this page (if you already have an SMBX engine, you can download a tiny "SMBX Integration" configuration pack, but highly recommended to download one of the full configuration packages)
  • Unpack Moondust package into any folder and enter into it
  • Find the "configs" folder (if not exist - make it), and unpack contents of downloaded config packs into it.
  • Done.
Notice Note: some config packs such as "SMBX Integration" have their configure tools which are will be automatically executed on the first usage, and there are can be relaunched from "Configuration" -> "Run configure tool" menu.


Components of Moondust

Applications:

  • Editor - is an IDE which provides making a levels, world maps, NPC.txt configs and configuring of the episodes. Editor also provides shells and tools to maintains graphics, audio-files to fix broken parts.
  • Engine - provides ability to play, test and debug levels and episodes.
  • GIFs2PNG - is a console tool which provides batch conversion of SMBX's masked GIF graphics into transparent true-color PNG images.
  • PNG2GIFs - is a console tool which provides batch conversion of true-color transparency PNG graphics into SMBX specific *.GIF+*m.GIF format.
  • Playable Calibrator - is a special tool which provides ability to configure playable character: metrics of hitbox, GFX offsets and animations.
  • LazyFixTool - is a console tool which automatizing fixing of lazily-made masks in the old episodes (masks made by simple copy-pasting)
  • MusPlayer - a simple music player which provides ability to test any music file before using it in the game. Can be used as default music player for most of unsupported file formats.
  • Maintainer - a helpful utility which provides a set of various conversion and repairing tools.

Important Paths

Those folders you will find in the Moondust application folder if you have portable version or ~/.PGE_Project or %UserProfile%\.PGE_Project folder if you have been installed Moondust kit via online installer:

  • worlds - folder where you can put level files to play them from "Play level" menu. and subfolders with episodes to play episode from "1 player Game" and "2 player game" menus.
  • screenshots - folder where you can find screenshots made via engine with F12 key.
  • logs - folder which contents technical logs of Moondust applications working which you can use in debug process.
  • configs - a folder where you can put a configuration package to be used with PGE. You can put config packs to any: Application or User directory, PGE supports both folders. Place config packs into User profile directory if you don't wanna use admin rights to write changes into application folder.

Those folders are always in application directory only

  • languages - are contains locales with translations of Moondust Applications to world languages
  • themes - folder which contains custom GUI themes of the editor. You can customize view of editor (icons, cursors, images) with making a custom theme. To choice active theme, open in the editor "Tools -> Application properties" menu and find the "View" tab where you will found the Themes combo box with list of available themes.

Next lesson

Next: PGE Editor, Introducing