Quick Start

Here's all you need to do to get a simple Castle project running:

  1. Download and run Castle.
  2. Click the button to Create a Castle Project.
  3. We'll prompt you for a directory, and then we'll create a file called main.lua.
  4. Open main.lua in your favorite text editor. You're ready to go!

Want some ideas for what to do next? Read the next section of this page, where we'll learn how to draw a circle, print some logs, and move the circle around with the arrow keys.

Make Your First Castle Game

Follow this small tutorial to get oriented with Castle's basic workflow. You'll need a text editor and a few minutes.

Learning to LÖVE

Castle uses a programming language called lua, and a framework called LÖVE. If you're already familiar with LÖVE, you're in luck! Anything you can normally do with LÖVE will work in Castle.

If you aren't familiar with LÖVE, we'll go over some of the basics here. You might find the LÖVE API reference page useful to keep open while you work.

Getting Oriented

If you haven't already, follow the previous Quick Start section of this page. At this point, you should have a two files: project.castle and main.lua. Make sure project.castle is running inside Castle, and open up main.lua in a text editor of your choice.

The Logs View on the bottom of the screen is where you'll see development logs while you work.

The file called project.castle doesn't contain any code. Instead, it contains a few lines of configuration which tell Castle how to run your game. For example, you might notice it contains the line main: main.lua. You are welcome to change anything inside project.castle, but we won't cover it in depth in this tutorial. Instead, we'll focus solely on main.lua.

Drawing a Circle and Reloading

Let's draw a circle on screen. Inside main.lua, find the two lines that say Delete them and replace them with this:, 0.4, 1.0, 1.0)"fill", 100, 100, 20, 32)

If you'd like to change the circle to be red, try replacing the first line with this:, 0.4, 0.4, 1.0)

Save your file, and then, with the Castle’s window focused, press Cmd+R on Mac, or Ctrl+R on Windows to reload and see the changes.

Printing Logs

If you’d like to debug using logs, Castle has a built-in logger. You can show and hide the Logs View in Castle by pressing Cmd+J (Mac) or Ctrl+J (Windows). If you can't already see the Logs View, try pressing these keys now.

To print a log when the up arrow key is pressed, find the love.update(dt) method at the bottom of main.lua and change it to this:

function love.update(dt)
  if love.keyboard.isDown("up") then
    print("up arrow pressed!")

Save main.lua, Reload in Castle (Cmd or Ctrl + R), then try pressing the up arrow on your keyboard. You should see some logs appear.

Moving the Circle

Let's move the circle around with the arrow keys.

  1. At the very top of main.lua, add this:
    local playerPos = {
      x = 100,
      y = 100
  2. Find the line with and change it to this:"fill", playerPos.x, playerPos.y, 20, 32)
  3. Change the contents of love.update(dt) to this:
      if love.keyboard.isDown("right") then 
        playerPos.x = playerPos.x + 256 * dt
      if love.keyboard.isDown("left") then
        playerPos.x = playerPos.x - 256 * dt
      if love.keyboard.isDown("up") then
        playerPos.y = playerPos.y - 256 * dt
      if love.keyboard.isDown("down") then
        playerPos.y = playerPos.y + 256 * dt

Save your revised main.lua, Reload in Castle (Cmd or Ctrl + R), then try moving the circle around with the arrow keys.

That's it for now!

You should now have a simple program where you can move a circle with the arrow keys. What happens next is up to you!

Next Steps

View the source code for the completed tutorial.

Check out our list of Example projects to see more ideas about where you can go from here.

Need help? Or just want to chat with fellow Castlers? Join us on the Castle Discord!

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