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.
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.
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 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.
Here’s the post you’ve all been waiting for… how to connect multiple levels in your platformer!
Try out this demo. Press the down arrow key upon opening the door to warp to the next level:
After adding the door and key last time, the next step is to make the door lead to the next level. “How?”, you might ask… just read on to see the magic unfold.
First, I’d like to apologize for my brief hiatus over the past month — I upgraded to a new computer, and Flash was out of commission for a while. But assuming you haven’t abandoned this site yet, here’s the next part of the side scrolling series.
Last tutorial pretty much finished up the bare-bone mechanics and visuals of a basic platformer. So I figured with this tutorial we’d start adding various extra features to spice up the game. This time, we’re adding a collectible key to the level, as well as a locked door which it will open. This door might be the end of one of your levels, which in turn might load a new level afterwards (although we aren’t coding multiple levels in this tutorial — just the door and key which will allow for this in the future).
Make sure you’ve read up through Part 6 of the series.
One thing you want to do as a game developer is make your players want to come back to your game more than once. And one of the best ways to accomplish this is to enable them to save their data for persistent gameplay. You might expect saving and loading to be tough to implement, but actionscript 3 is helpful enough to include the powerful SharedObject, which makes saving and loading data a piece of cake.
In this tutorial, we will create the following demo. Click the “+1” button a few times to add to your score. If you refresh this webpage without clicking the “save” button, your score will revert to 0 when the page loads. But if you do click the “save” button, your score will load automatically the next time you load the page. Try it out!