Top-Down RPG Shooter — Part 1 — Setting Up

Hello everyone! If you’re reading this, that means you haven’t given up on AS3GameTuts, despite my year-long hiatus. Thanks for your patience!

Today I’m going to start up a brand new tutorial series that I’m really excited about. How to make a top-down RPG shooter game! This tutorial is going to be slightly faster-paced than my previous tutorials. If you haven’t programmed before, I’d recommend starting with my Pong series, and then proceeding with the Platformer before you attempt this. We will be coding using AS3 in external .as files, instead of using the timeline.

What is a Top-Down RPG Shooter?

Personally, I think this is a pretty awesome game genre. I find these types of games to be genuinely fun to play.

In case you’re unfamiliar with the genre, let’s break it down:

Top-Down

Top-down refers to the perspective of the game. The world is seen from a bird’s-eye-view, and the player can move around horizontally and vertically. Prominent examples include early titles in the Legend of Zelda and Pokemon series. These games both use tile-based maps, which our game will not, for simplicity’s sake. Instead, we will draw each map individually, giving the game a more unique, hand-drawn look. (You are, of course, welcome to modify the game to use tiles, but I won’t be doing it in this tutorial.)

Our game won’t have a scrolling map. Instead, our map will be built from a series of screens that the player can walk through. When the player walks off one edge of the screen, the map will flip to the next screen.

top down rpg shooter game pokemon map

Pokemon Ruby and Sapphire feature great tile-based top-down maps.

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POLL: What should my next tutorials cover?

Hey everyone, I know I haven’t personally written a tutorial in awhile, but I’m planning on writing a few in the upcoming months. I want to make sure I cover the material that you would all most appreciate. This is your chance to let me know what you want to learn.

If what you really want to learn isn’t on this list, or if you want to vote for multiple answers, just leave me a comment.

Personally I’m leaning towards the top-down shooter, because I’m getting a bit bored of the other series — but if you all vote I promise to go with the winner.

Thanks for your input,

Ben

 

PS. I’m still looking for guest writers. If you’re interested in giving back to the community by writing a tutorial, email me at as3gametuts@gmail.com

PSS. If you want to be more involved in the AS3GameTuts community, join the forum, here: http://as3gametuts.forumatic.com

Sidescrolling Platformer – Part 13 – Enemy Interactivity

As I announced in the last post, I am extremely busy right now. Luckily for you, a member of the community has already stepped up and written a Part 13 for this side scrolling tutorial! In this tutorial, you’ll learn to create “bumper” objects for your enemies to interact with, which will let them patrol back and forth. You’ll also look for collisions between the player and the enemies, so you can take damage in your game. Cool!

I’ll hand it over now to the newest guest writer around here, Ed Nordmeyer (thanks, Ed!)

Ben covered creating enemies and making them disappear when they’re shot in lesson 12, so in lucky lesson 13, in this guest tutorial, I’ve picked up where the last lesson left off in the side scrolling platform game.

This will cover making the enemies move, how to block them in so they’ll patrol in a simple side-to-side motion, and have them interact with your player if they touch you. Following in Ben’s footsteps, if I had to choose between making the code readable or making the code ultra efficient and take up the least amount of lines, I tried to make the code as easy as possible to understand.

Creating the Bumper class

If you’ve followed the tutorial steps so far, you’ll find that creating the bumper class is very, very similar to the other classes made so far. For the artwork, I just made a square that was about a 25×25 pixels in size. I created this block on the background layer outside of what the player screen shows when you’re running the game. We’ll go back and made the blocks transparent later, but for now I’d recommend making them easy to see to help placing them on the screen from our code.

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Sidescrolling Platformer — Part 12 — Basic Enemies

Welcome back to the side scrolling tutorial series. In this session, we will be adding (very) basic enemies to the game, which you can shoot and destroy with the bullets we created previously. This will create a lot of possibilities for what you can do with your game. In later tutorials we will add a scoring system and more advanced A.I. (artificial intelligence) to the enemies, but for now let’s focus on: creating the Enemy class, adding a few enemies to the game map, and destroying them when they are hit by a bullet.

Creating the Enemy Class

Creating the Enemy class is very similar to creating the Bullet class. If you just read Part 10 and Part 11, most of this step will look the same as when we made the Bullet class and symbol.

First, we need art. We need to create a Movie Clip object to represent the enemy on the stage. Feel free to decorate your enemy however you choose — it could be a random, inanimate object, a crazy monster, or anywhere in between.

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Sidescrolling Platformer — Part 11 — Fixing the bullets

Although we did get some functional bullets last time by using the Bullet class, we still need to make some major improvements. First of all, the bullets are added directly to the stage and have no idea about the scrollX and scrollY variables, so they don’t react when the player moves left, right, up, or down. Also, the bullets move at a sluggish pace — if they did react to the player’s movements, you could practically outrun them. Finally, they are never actually removed from the stage, so we waste precious memory that slows down the game. Imagine that we fired 1,000,000 bullets. The game would still be keeping track of all of them, constantly updating their positions, even if they are no longer on the stage. There’s some more code we can add to the bullets to handle all of this, and we are going to implement it in this tutorial.

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Sidescrolling Platformer — Part 10 — Shooting

Welcome back to the flash game tutorial: how to make a side scrolling platformer game in actionscript 3. I can’t believe we’re already up to part ten! As you can probably tell from the title, this tutorial part will exclusively feature shooting. Not all platformer games require this feature, but I’ve had a bunch of requests for this tutorial — probably because side scrolling shooters are an amazing game genre (for example, the classic Metroid games). We don’t have anything yet for our bullets to interact with, but don’t worry — next tutorial we will add the enemies. For now, let’s just focus on getting our hero to shoot.

Here is a preliminary demo of what we’ll be creating. Use the space bar to fire.

An External Actionscript File

…I knew this moment would arrive eventually… the moment when — *gasp* — we finally need to use a custom class and an external actionscript file. If you’ve never programmed anything with Object Oriented Programming before, and you’ve never created an external .as file, this might seem intimidating. Or perhaps you have no idea what I’m talking about. No matter where you stand right now, I hope that by the end of this tutorial you will have a solid idea of what external classes are, why we use them, and how to create a Class for the bullets. In future tutorials we will go into more depth on the topic.

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Sidescrolling Platformer — Part 9 — Animated Player Movements

All great platformers have animated heroes. Even Super Mario, which was released in 1985, used several animations for the player. Why? Because it would look completely unrealistic if Mario just stood frozen in one animation while he runs and jumps around the level. So it makes sense that we should add animations to our player. This will add yet another step of realism to the game.

Try running, jumping, or standing still. See how the player’s animation state reacts:

My art could definitely be improved, but I’ll demonstrate how to create these 3 animations for simplicity’s sake.

The Structure

The most important aspect of giving any game element multiple animation states, is to make sure you structure it correctly. When I first started programming, I tried to put all of the animations on a single timeline, and the resulting structure was too cluttered and complicated that it was difficult to make things work the way I wanted them to. So now I’m sharing with you a simpler method.

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