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.

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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:

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Sidescrolling Platformer ~Part 1~ Setup and Planning

Welcome to my new tutorial series: how to make a simple art-based sidescrolling platformer game! You guys requested it, so here it is:

(This tutorial will be a bit more advanced, but still very understandable for a beginner or intermediate programmer. If you are completely new to programming check out my quick Getting Started series, and then try out the Pong tutorials for more experience.)

Why make a sidescroller?

Because they are awesome. In terms of how fun a game is, sidescrolling games are pretty much as good as you can get, at least in the 2D game world. This can be seen in the wild popularity of the original Mario, Metroid, Megaman, or Sonic the Hedgehog titles, as well as modern classics like the Fancy Pants Adventures. If you can master the basic mechanics behind a side scrolling game, you will have a versatile game engine from which you can build tons of awesome games.

Without further ado, let’s get into our game.

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