Create game programming tutorials in microStudio

microStudio offers a few series of interactive Tutorials to get you easily started. You can actually make similar tutorials of your own, to teach any specific use of microStudio to anyone. It could be about programming, creating sprites, doing level design, making a specific kind of game... or anything you can think of.

Once you have created your own tutorial, you can easily share it by sending a simple link. You can also make your tutorial public on microStudio Explore section, or on your profile page only if you choose to make it "Unlisted".

In a very microStudio way, you can already test your tutorial while creating it ; you can have the tutorial running in a separate tab and see the changes applied live to it! It could even be on a different PC!

The link below is an example of a tutorial made in microStudio... which teaches you how to create a tutorial in microStudio:


it is actually the tutorial version of this article!

Create your own tutorial

Your tutorial will have a set of steps. Each step has text content to be displayed to the user and will also have the ability to highlight elements on the microStudio UI, to move and resize the tutorial window, to navigate automatically through microStudio main sections and in the project tabs.

Create a project

You start by creating your tutorial as a microStudio project. While creating your project, open the Advanced settings and select "Tutorial" as Project Type.

Your tutorial will be edited in the Doc tab of your project. The format you will use is simply markdown, with a few elements specific to tutorials. First create the main title of your Tutorial:

# Title of my Tutorial

Create Steps

You can create a series of steps. The marker for a new tutorial step will be a level 2 markdown title (line starting with ##), such as ## Step 1. All that follows this marker will belong to that step, until a new step marker is found. There you can add text, or a level 3+ title such as ### Title of my Step 3.

Add the following to your doc file, to create a simple sequence of 3 steps:

## Step 1

### Step 1 title

## Step 2

### Step 2 title

## Step 3

### Step 3 title

Test your tutorial

Notice that because you have set project type to Tutorial, microStudio has added a button Start Tutorial on the right. If you forgot to do it, it is still time to open your project options and change Project Type to "Tutorial".

You can now click the button Start Tutorial, which will open your work in progress in another browser tab. Just like regular microStudio projects, your tutorial updates automagically while you are editing it! You can thus switch to the other tab and back anytime to see how your tutorial is improving.

Add more content

You may now add more text content to your steps. You can use markdown formatting to create titles, use emphasis, insert blocks of code, tables etc. Just remember that titles of level 1 (#) and 2 (##) are reserved (respectively for the title of your tutorial and to mark the beginning of a new step of the tutorial).

Let's add content into our Step 1:

## Step 1

### Step 1 title

This is a paragraph of text with *some italics* and **some bold** characters.

// This is a code block
x = x + 1

This is a list:

* item 1
* item 2

##### I am a subtitle and below is a table:

|x|the coordinate along the horizontal axis|

[Link to microStudio](https://microstudio.dev)

Special commands

All the syntax shown above is just standard markdown. The tutorial engine allows you to trigger special commands at any step. These commands allow you to position and resize the tutorial window, to highlight elements of the user interface or to navigate to different sections of microStudio.

In order to use them, you will add command lines right after the step definition mark. A command line starts with a colon :

## Step 2

:position 40,40,30,30

:navigate projects.sprites

Text paragraph ...

In the example above, we use the commands positionand navigate in step "Step 2" of our tutorial. The available commands will be explained below.

Position and resize tutorial window

You can set the position and size of the tutorial window with the :position command. This is especially useful when you think the tutorial window may be hiding a part of the UI that the user should be able to see.

## This step requires some specific part of the UI to be visible

:position 40,40,30,30

This command accepts 4 comma-separated arguments: x, y, width, height

argument description
x The X position of the top-left corner of the tutorial window, in percentage of the total window width ; range: [0,100]
y The Y position of the top-left corner of the tutorial window, in percentage of the total window height ; range: [0,100]
width The width of the tutorial window, expressed in percentage of the total window width
height The height of the tutorial window, expressed in percentage of the total window height

Add an overlay

You can add a full-window overlay which will hide the microStudio UI and make it inaccessible to the user. Use it when you want to make sure the user will read your tutorial step, without being distracted or without touching the microStudio UI until the next step.

## This step adds an overlay to hide microStudio UI


Navigate to main section or project tab

You can force navigation to a specific section of the microStudio UI:

## This step forces navigation to the Tutorials section of the microStudio site

:navigate tutorials
accepted values
value Navigation target
explore the Explore section of the site
projects the user's projects section of the site ("Create" in the main menu)
tutorials the Tutorials section of the site
doc the Documentation section of the site
about the About section of the site
projects.code the code tab of user's project (assuming a project is already opened)
projects.sprites the sprites tab of user's project (assuming a project is already opened)
projects.maps the code maps of user's project (assuming a project is already opened)
projects.sounds the code sounds of user's project (assuming a project is already opened)
projects.music the music tab of user's project (assuming a project is already opened)
projects.doc the doc tab of user's project (assuming a project is already opened)
projects.options the settings tab of user's project (assuming a project is already opened)
projects.publish the publish tab of user's project (assuming a project is already opened)

Highlighting UI elements

You can set your tutorial step to highlight some part of the microStudio user interface. You do that by using the command :highlight followed by a CSS selector for the HTML element you want to highlight. You can use the built-in inspector in your browser to find the proper selector for your chosen element. Most UI elements have a unique id, in which case the selector is just # followed by the id.

## This step will highlight the Explore menu button, which HTML id is menu-explore

:highlight #menu-explore

In case you just want the user to click the highlighted element, you can allow the tutorial window to jump automatically to the next step as soon as the user will click the element. You do that by adding the command line:



You can easily share your tutorial to others by just sending them a copy of the URL your browser opened when you clicked on "Start Tutorial". You can also make it public in the explore section of microStudio, just like any other project, through the Publish tab of your project. You can mark it "Unlisted" if you want it to only show up on your user public page.

Copying / pasting from examples

There is a good source of examples in the built-in Tutorials section of microStudio. You can click on the file icon of each tutorial, to display the raw source code of the tutorial, from which you may copy and paste the parts you are interested in.

huh, neat

How do you highlight the 'create new project' button?

I have been thinking of giving the tutorial engine in microScript a try. Problem is, doing a good job might be require too much thinking :)

@VoicerYT Here is how to highlight the button 'create new project':

:highlight #create-project-button

You can check how it is done in https://microstudio.dev/i/microstudio/createtutorials/

I found an interesting thing about tutorial projects. I was wondering if code in the tutorial project could be seen or executed. When the tutorial runs, it begins with a fresh dev page of guest or user if logged in. From there they would create a project and follow the tutorial, so no preexisting code besides the three functions exists.

Coming from microstudio.io/mrderry, students will see the tutorial and can RUN it which starts the tutorial, or choose to EXPLORE which will open the project in .../i/mrderry and there they can see my code in the project.

What is surprising is that the code in the tutorial can run as a game, with microstudio.io/mrderry/tutorial_name

That could be useful to demonstrate what the project in the tutorial is supposed to do, if they got it right. So my question is, can a link be executed inside the tutorial from the markdown code?

UPDATE: Yes it can, works fine!

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