Welcome to part 4 of the Pong tutorial series. Please make sure you have read Part 1, Part 2, and Part 3.
Step Four: Program the Computer-controlled Paddle
OK, so the last tutorial was pretty short and sweet. So lets waste no time getting into the next step. This step is pretty important because we begin to look at a very important step in game programming: AI (which stands for Artificial Intelligence).
Any time when the computer itself needs to control something (like an enemy in a game) and perform certain actions depending on certain conditions, we call this AI. Now, our AI is fairly basic. We need the computer’s paddle to move up and down to try to block the ball from getting past. It would be easy to make the cpuPaddle ALWAYS block the ball — all we would do is constantly set the cpuPaddle.y to the ball.y position. But how do we give the computer the intelligence to act like a normal player, sometimes succeeding and other times failing?
Welcome to Part 2 of the Actionscript 3 Flash game tutorial series for Pong!
Make sure you check out Part 1 if you haven’t done that already. And if you are completely new to programming, my Getting Started tutorials are the place for you.
Enough talk, let’s code.
Step Two: Program the basic game loop and the ball
First things first, we need to name each instance of our game pieces — this is what we’ll use to refer to each object in the code. Name the paddle on the left “playerPaddle” (no quotes), the paddle on the right “cpuPaddle”, and the ball can just be named “ball”.
In 1972 Atari pioneered the video game industry with the release of Pong. If you think of classic games, Pong is almost always near the top of the list. So it is fitting that Pong should be at least one of your first flash games you make. In this tutorial, we are going to create a complete Pong game from start to finish.
This is intended for beginners, but if you have never programmed at all before you should check out my Getting Started tutorial first.
This is what we are going to create over the next 6 tutorials: