Sidescrolling Platformer ~Part 6~ Parallax Scrolling and Multi-Layer Visuals

Welcome to the sixth installment of the AS3 Side Scrolling Platformer tutorial series.

The background scrolls. The player collides with walls, and can jump (and even double jump). Our laws of physics have been established, and the basic mechanics are coded. In other words, we have built a working prototype. In this tutorial, we will step our platformer up a notch by adding in fancier visuals, and even the capability for layers of parallax scrolling, which will give the game the sense of depth which it is lacking.

This is a pretty good tutorial, which will really improve your game if you’ve been following along. When all is said and done, this is what we will accomplish:

(click to activate, and control with the arrow keys)

Continue reading for a step-by-step guide on making this game

AS3 Health Bar Tutorial (Mini-Lesson)

I’ve received a request to teach how to make a health bar in actionscript 3. Health bars can be found in all sorts of games, so I decided not to confine it to a single tutorial series. Instead, I’ve made this the first of a new section of Mini-Lessons on this site, to cover miscellaneous small game mechanics which can be used in a variety of games.

This tutorial is heavily image-based :-)

Here’s the demo of what we are going to create in this tutorial.

Easy to make. Easy to customize.

Pretty cool, huh?

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News! Birthday, domain name, stats, and more!

This is the final month of this site’s first year. That’s right, next month, on March 5, AS3GameTuts is turning 1! (Feel free to wish us a happy birthday!)

Thanks to all of your amazing support over the past year. With little advertising at all, this site has been viewed over ten thousand times since its creation, mostly during the past few months.

Check out the graph of the site views over the past year,with February only 6 days under way.

If you’ve visited this site before, you would have seen the URL listed as as3gametuts.wordpress.com.

But check it out — we now have a brand new domain name: AS3GameTuts.com

You can think of this as marking the graduation out of the “beta” version of the site :-)

The first year has been great, with 3 tutorial series and a couple of extra posts thrown in for fun. But the next year will be much, much greater for AS3 Game Tuts. Stay tuned for even more tutorials, including the conclusion to the platformer, a turn-based RPG, an overhead shooter, an overhead adventure (think classic Legend of Zelda), as well as a plethora of mini lessons, extra tips, and maybe even some guest posts. Stay tuned. (I’ll try to keep to this promise… if I’m falling behind, feel free to give me a gentle reminder.)

The goal of this site is to help you all learn to make the games you’ve dreamed of creating. Hopefully my choice of tutorials which I plan to write accomplishes this, but if there is anything you would like to know, I am completely open to suggestions and requests.

So please, if there is anything you wish for me to write about, or even if you just have a general comment or suggestion about the site, fill out the following form. Thanks!

Sidescrolling Platformer ~Part 5~ Double Jumping

I know, in Part 4 I promised to cover the fancy visuals and parallax scrolling next, but here’s one more nifty game mechanic I wanted to add in first. (It’s quick.)

Double Jumping! Perhaps the greatest — most unrealistic — most lovable game mechanic ever.

This isn’t necessary for all games, and maybe you don’t want to add double jumping to your platformer game. But if you do want to add it, all that it requires is a bit of logic and a couple of Boolean variables. Plus, it will allow you to design cooler environments because the player will be able to reach more places than before.

This is what it will look like:

(Click on the preview below to activate it, then use the arrow keys to move around. Press the up arrow twice to double jump.)

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Sidescrolling Platformer ~Part 4~ Gravity and Jumping

In Part 3 we took a simple, scrollable background and added a layer of realistic player interaction by adding collisions and smoother movement. But we didn’t have the time to finish our player interaction by adding gravity and jumping, so that’s what we’ll do in this part. We are also going to add a few small tweaks to earlier game mechanics so that everything runs better.

Get ready for another great tutorial. I put more time into this one than I expected to.

Gravity

Adding gravity is actually really easy. If you have any experience with Physics, you know that gravity causes an acceleration on objects. And an acceleration is nothing more than a change in speed. In an ideal situation on earth, an object’s velocity downwards increases by 9.8 meters per second for every second that it’s falling. So in our game, we will increase the speed of the player by a certain number for every frame that he is falling.

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Sidescrolling Platformer ~Part 3~ The Player

In our last tutorial we programmed the background so that it scrolls when we control it with the arrow keys. But as cool as that is, it isn’t enough. Right now the player is nothing more than a a static object on the side of the stage. What we’re going to do in this tutorial is program the player to interact with the background.

Player Mechanics

What code do we add for the player? That’s a BIG question… the fate of our entire game pretty much depends upon how the player interacts with the environment. In order to stay organized, I’ll outline all the basic concepts the player should follow:

  • Smooth Movement: The player should accelerate smoothly upon pressing the arrow key, and glide to a stop due to friction when the arrow key is released.
  • Collisions: The player should not be able to walk through walls, fall through the ground, or jump through ceilings.
  • Gravity: The player should be pulled downwards unless he is standing on the ground.
  • Jumping: If the player is standing on the ground, he should be able to jump upwards.

Continue reading

Sidescrolling Platformer ~Part 2~ Scrolling the Background with the Arrow Keys

After setting up the basic outline of the platformer in Part 1, we will create a scrolling effect for the background in this tutorial which will be controlled by the arrow keys.

Keyboard Controls

One of the most useful things to be able to do with AS3 is to use the keyboard to control the game. It requires a bit of code, but once you learn to do it you will have a very important building block for any game.

Start out by adding the following code to the Actions panel on frame 1 of the timeline:

Continue reading