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Ludus Game Starter Kit

An HTML5 Platformer Game Starter Kit for Windows8 Store

by Christer (McFunkypants) Kaitila



Welcome to Ludus, brave adventurer!

Ludus is a dirt-simple game engine that uses html5 canvas. It was designed specifically for mario/sonic style platformer games but could be used for any genre with minimal changes. It boasts great performance, and requires only free tools.

The word Ludus means PLAY/GAME/TRAINING in latin. The Ludus engine is designed to be a great way to learn to make games.

Sure, there are bigger and more complex game engines.

This one is designed to be easy to play around with.

Why? It was created to run real-world games that have a beginning, middle, and end. It was optimized to run on less powerful systems and touch-screen tablets. It is simple, but goes beyond the level of a "tech demo" to encapsulate all the required functionality you might need to make a polished game, such as GUI and sound.


Rubba Rabbit

Gwendolynn the Lionhearted

There are two example games:

Rubba Rabbit, a bouncy, fast, bright platformer, and

Gwendolynn the Lionhearted, a dark, dangerous metroidvania.

YouTube Video of the games:

Both games are available for play online in any browser as well as a download on the Windows 8 store.

Play them in your web browser here:

Download the apps from the Windows 8 Store here:

You can also run the index.html files on a localhost webserver (they have to be run using a web server due to browser security sandboxing).

Finally, if you wish you can install the store apps by right-clicking the .ps1 files inside a subfolder of "apppackages" (if you are using an administrator account).


You could make your own game just by changing the artwork: it is possible to make a new game without ever touching a line of code. All you would need to do is modify the .png and .mp3 art assets as well as the level#.js level data files.

The best tool to create in-game worlds is TILED ( which exports data in .json format.

Check out the example .tmx source files and see if you can make your own game! Once you've made a level, export as .json and then run the _buildlevels.bat file to convert JSON to JSONP data to a new level#.js file.

The one important thing to remember is that each layer is important. The order matters. The bottom-most layer is for regular world tiles that the player will collide with. The rest are for pickups, bouncy platforms, dangerous spikes, and so on.

Additionally, you should modify the game settings in the MAP MENU -> MAP PROPERTIES dialog. Gravity, speed and the player's starting position are all stored there.


The only source code file you will want to modify, if you choose to start coding, is ludus.js. Inside, you'll notice all sorts of variables at the top which you can modify to your heart's content. Note that some of these variables are overwritten by whatever is defined inside the level data.

With regard to the structure of the code, the most important thing to know is that the game is controlled by STATE objects.

Each state (title screen, in-game, and between level transitions) is a class object that has a .setup(), .update() and .draw() function. You could add new states for things like boss battles, inventory screens or a high score table.

See these class constructors: function TitleScreenState() function LevelTransitionScreenState() function PlayState()


Christer Kaitila @McFunkypants on twitter


I gratefully acknowledge the following open source projects:

JAWSJS canvas engine by Ippa Lix (LGPL license)

HOWLERJS sound engine by James Simpson (MIT license)

TWEENJS engine by sole, mrdoob, et al (MIT license)

TILED map editor by Thorbjørn Lindeijer

Informal summary of licenses: you can use/modify ludus.js for any purpose, free or commercial, and do not have to make your project open source. Enjoy! Please give credit.

The artwork in the example games is CC-BY (attribution) Please refer to the main menu credits button for details. If you reuse these assets, give credit - they deserve it!

Gwendolynn World Tiles: Richard "Jetrel" Kettering Gwendolynn World Tiles: Carl "Surt" Olsson Gwendolynn Characters: Richard "Jetrel" Kettering Gwendolyn Music: Zero Project Rubba Rabbit World Tiles: Carl "Surt" Olsson Rubba Rabbit Character: Stephen "Redshrike" Challener Rubba Rabbit Music: Christer "McFunkypants" Kaitila Pickups (fruit/treasure) icons: Henrique "7Soul" Lazarini GUI, Particles, other art: Christer "McFunkypants" Kaitila


Ludus HTML5 Platformer Game Starter Kit for Windows8 Store by Christer (McFunkypants) Kaitila




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