You have two options if you want to create your own game using SLUDGE. You can start from scratch or, as is recommended (especially if you've never used SLUDGE before) you can start from one of the existing examples and adapt it.
Start the SLUDGE project manager and click "New" in the "File" menu. It's best to create a new directory for your new project... do this by clicking the new folder icon in the standard Windows file dialog box which appears and then rename the folder to something more appropriate. Now open the new folder and type a name for the project file. Presto - a brand new SLUDGE project is born.
It's probably best to make a copy of the directory containing the example (using Explorer on Windows or Finder on Mac), just in case things go wrong - or if you need the original example again in the future. Find the folder which contains the example and copy it elsewhere, changing the name if necessary. Load the project by opening the folder and double-clicking the project icon (the name will end with the extension ".SLP").
First, make sure you can compile it without changing it. Hit the "Compile" button, or "Compile and run" if you want to run it automatically afterwards.
Now have a look through the code in the example and see if you can work out which bits do what. If you want to try changing something in the code, change it. Compile the project again and you should see your changes. If you get an error, take another look at your code and see if you can work out what's wrong... SLUDGE commands are case-sensitive, which means if the SLUDGE compiler finds the word blankScreen it will understand exactly what you mean, but it will complain if you type BLANKSCREEN or bLaNkScReEn.
Design a room using a paint package. Make sure it's the same size (or smaller) than the screen width and height set for the project - they're shown at the bottom of the project manager window. (You can change the values if you want a different sized window.) Save your image to a TGA image file. Find a file in the example which defines a room (this is different from one example to the next, but none of the examples consist of too many files so this should be a simple enough task). Look for the line which loads the picture - it will look like this.
addOverlay ('somefile.tga', 0, 0);
Change the file handle to the name of your new picture. The next time you compile and run your game, it should have your picture in it. In order to tell the program where characters can and can't walk, you can design your own floors using the SLUDGE floor maker program. Of course, you'll probably want to change the objects, where they are, what happens when a player uses them...
And if you've got this far, you can probably survive on your own. If you need to know what a certain function does, or if you want to know which other functions are available, take a look at the Alphabetical List of Built-in Functions or, for general SLUDGE programming tips, take a look at some of the other sections which the SLUDGE Language Reference Manual has to offer.
SLUDGE and this SLUDGE documentation are copyright Hungry Software and contributors 2000-2012