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@oguzgelal /flappy_pong.js Secret
Last active Nov 18, 2016

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Flappy Pong
/********* VARIABLES *********/
// We control which screen is active by settings / updating
// gameScreen variable. We display the correct screen according
// to the value of this variable.
//
// 0: Initial Screen
// 1: Game Screen
// 2: Game-over Screen
var gameScreen = 0;
// gameplay settings
var gravity = 0.3;
var airfriction = 0.00001;
var friction = 0.1;
// scoring
var score = 0;
var maxHealth = 100;
var health = 100;
var healthDecrease = 1;
var healthBarWidth = 60;
// ball settings
var ballX, ballY;
var ballSpeedVert = 0;
var ballSpeedHorizon = 0;
var ballSize = 20;
var ballColor;
// racket settings
var racketColor;
var racketWidth = 100;
var racketHeight = 10;
// wall settings
var wallSpeed = 5;
var wallInterval = 1000;
var lastAddTime = 0;
var minGapHeight = 200;
var maxGapHeight = 300;
var wallWidth = 80;
var wallColors;
var walls = [];
/********* SETUP BLOCK *********/
function setup() {
createCanvas(500, 500);
// set the initial coordinates of the ball
ballX=width/4;
ballY=height/5;
smooth();
ballColor = color(0);
racketColor = color(0);
wallColors = color(44, 62, 80)
}
/********* DRAW BLOCK *********/
function draw() {
// Display the contents of the current screen
if (gameScreen == 0) {
initScreen();
} else if (gameScreen == 1) {
gameplayScreen();
} else if (gameScreen == 2) {
gameOverScreen();
}
}
/********* SCREEN CONTENTS *********/
function initScreen() {
background(236, 240, 241);
textAlign(CENTER);
fill(52, 73, 94);
textSize(70);
text("Flappy Pong", width/2, height/2);
textSize(15);
text("Click to start", width/2, height-30);
}
function gameplayScreen() {
background(236, 240, 241);
drawRacket();
watchRacketBounce();
drawBall();
applyGravity();
applyHorizontalSpeed();
keepInScreen();
drawHealthBar();
printScore();
wallAdder();
wallHandler();
}
function gameOverScreen() {
background(44, 62, 80);
textAlign(CENTER);
fill(236, 240, 241);
textSize(12);
text("Your Score", width/2, height/2 - 120);
textSize(130);
text(score, width/2, height/2);
textSize(15);
text("Click to Restart", width/2, height-30);
}
/********* INPUTS *********/
function mousePressed() {
// if we are on the initial screen when clicked, start the game
if (gameScreen==0) {
startGame();
}
if (gameScreen==2) {
restart();
}
}
/********* OTHER FUNCTIONS *********/
// This method sets the necessery variables to start the game
function startGame() {
gameScreen=1;
}
function gameOver() {
gameScreen=2;
}
function restart() {
score = 0;
health = maxHealth;
ballX=width/4;
ballY=height/5;
lastAddTime = 0;
walls = [];
gameScreen = 1;
}
function drawBall() {
fill(ballColor);
ellipse(ballX, ballY, ballSize, ballSize);
}
function drawRacket() {
fill(racketColor);
rectMode(CENTER);
rect(mouseX, mouseY, racketWidth, racketHeight, 5);
}
function wallAdder() {
if (millis()-lastAddTime > wallInterval) {
var randHeight = round(random(minGapHeight, maxGapHeight));
var randY = round(random(0, height-randHeight));
// {gapWallX, gapWallY, gapWallWidth, gapWallHeight, scored}
var randWall = [width, randY, wallWidth, randHeight, 0];
walls.push(randWall);
lastAddTime = millis();
}
}
function wallHandler() {
for (var i = 0; i < walls.length; i++) {
wallRemover(i);
wallMover(i);
wallDrawer(i);
watchWallCollision(i);
}
}
function wallDrawer(index) {
var wall = walls[index];
// get gap wall settings
var gapWallX = wall[0];
var gapWallY = wall[1];
var gapWallWidth = wall[2];
var gapWallHeight = wall[3];
// draw actual walls
rectMode(CORNER);
noStroke();
strokeCap(ROUND);
fill(wallColors);
rect(gapWallX, 0, gapWallWidth, gapWallY, 0, 0, 15, 15);
rect(gapWallX, gapWallY+gapWallHeight, gapWallWidth, height-(gapWallY+gapWallHeight), 15, 15, 0, 0);
}
function wallMover(index) {
var wall = walls[index];
wall[0] -= wallSpeed;
}
function wallRemover(index) {
var wall = walls[index];
if (wall[0]+wall[2] <= 0) {
walls.splice(index, 1);
}
}
function watchWallCollision(index) {
var wall = walls[index];
// get gap wall settings
var gapWallX = wall[0];
var gapWallY = wall[1];
var gapWallWidth = wall[2];
var gapWallHeight = wall[3];
var wallScored = wall[4];
var wallTopX = gapWallX;
var wallTopY = 0;
var wallTopWidth = gapWallWidth;
var wallTopHeight = gapWallY;
var wallBottomX = gapWallX;
var wallBottomY = gapWallY+gapWallHeight;
var wallBottomWidth = gapWallWidth;
var wallBottomHeight = height-(gapWallY+gapWallHeight);
if (
(ballX+(ballSize/2)>wallTopX) &&
(ballX-(ballSize/2)<wallTopX+wallTopWidth) &&
(ballY+(ballSize/2)>wallTopY) &&
(ballY-(ballSize/2)<wallTopY+wallTopHeight)
) {
decreaseHealth();
}
if (
(ballX+(ballSize/2)>wallBottomX) &&
(ballX-(ballSize/2)<wallBottomX+wallBottomWidth) &&
(ballY+(ballSize/2)>wallBottomY) &&
(ballY-(ballSize/2)<wallBottomY+wallBottomHeight)
) {
decreaseHealth();
}
if (ballX > gapWallX+(gapWallWidth/2) && wallScored==0) {
wallScored=1;
wall[4]=1;
addScore();
}
}
function drawHealthBar() {
noStroke();
fill(189, 195, 199);
rectMode(CORNER);
rect(ballX-(healthBarWidth/2), ballY - 30, healthBarWidth, 5);
if (health > 60) {
fill(46, 204, 113);
} else if (health > 30) {
fill(230, 126, 34);
} else {
fill(231, 76, 60);
}
rectMode(CORNER);
rect(ballX-(healthBarWidth/2), ballY - 30, healthBarWidth*(health/maxHealth), 5);
}
function decreaseHealth() {
health -= healthDecrease;
if (health <= 0) {
gameOver();
}
}
function addScore() {
score++;
}
function printScore() {
textAlign(CENTER);
fill(0);
textSize(30);
text(score, height/2, 50);
}
function watchRacketBounce() {
var overhead = mouseY - pmouseY;
if ((ballX+(ballSize/2) > mouseX-(racketWidth/2)) && (ballX-(ballSize/2) < mouseX+(racketWidth/2))) {
if (dist(ballX, ballY, ballX, mouseY)<=(ballSize/2)+abs(overhead)) {
makeBounceBottom(mouseY);
ballSpeedHorizon = (ballX - mouseX)/10;
// racket moving up
if (overhead<0) {
ballY+=(overhead/2);
ballSpeedVert+=(overhead/2);
}
}
}
}
function applyGravity() {
ballSpeedVert += gravity;
ballY += ballSpeedVert;
ballSpeedVert -= (ballSpeedVert * airfriction);
}
function applyHorizontalSpeed() {
ballX += ballSpeedHorizon;
ballSpeedHorizon -= (ballSpeedHorizon * airfriction);
}
// ball falls and hits the floor (or other surface)
function makeBounceBottom(surface) {
ballY = surface-(ballSize/2);
ballSpeedVert*=-1;
ballSpeedVert -= (ballSpeedVert * friction);
}
// ball rises and hits the ceiling (or other surface)
function makeBounceTop(surface) {
ballY = surface+(ballSize/2);
ballSpeedVert*=-1;
ballSpeedVert -= (ballSpeedVert * friction);
}
// ball hits object from left side
function makeBounceLeft(surface) {
ballX = surface+(ballSize/2);
ballSpeedHorizon*=-1;
ballSpeedHorizon -= (ballSpeedHorizon * friction);
}
// ball hits object from right side
function makeBounceRight(surface) {
ballX = surface-(ballSize/2);
ballSpeedHorizon*=-1;
ballSpeedHorizon -= (ballSpeedHorizon * friction);
}
// keep ball in the screen
function keepInScreen() {
// ball hits floor
if (ballY+(ballSize/2) > height) {
makeBounceBottom(height);
}
// ball hits ceiling
if (ballY-(ballSize/2) < 0) {
makeBounceTop(0);
}
// ball hits left of the screen
if (ballX-(ballSize/2) < 0) {
makeBounceLeft(0);
}
// ball hits right of the screen
if (ballX+(ballSize/2) > width) {
makeBounceRight(width);
}
}

Ultimete Guide to Processing Part II - Building a Simple Game

This is the second part of the ultimate guide to processing. In the first part, I tried to give a basic walkthrough to the Processing language. If you haven't read the first part, you can find it here. In this section, we will step by step implement our own game. Each step will be explained in detail. Then, we will port the game to work on the web.

Before we begin, here is the code of the DVD logo exercise I told about from the previous part. If you have any questions, you can leave a comment or shoot me an email. Please don't hesitate to do the same for this article as well.

The Game

[GAME EMBEDDED HERE]

This is the game we will build in this article. This game is sort of a combination of Flappy Bird, Pong and Brick Breaker. The reason I picked a game like this is that it has most of the concepts that beginners struggle with when learning game development. This is based on my experienced from when I was a teaching assistant, helping new learners with Processing. These concepts includes gravity, collisions, keeping scores, handling different screens and keyboard/mouse interactions. Flappy Pong has all of them in it.

Without using object oriented programming (OOP) concepts, it is not easy to build very complex games, such as platform games with multiple levels, players, entities etc. As we move along, you'll see how codes get complicated really fast. I did my best to keep it organised and simple.

I advice you to follow the article, grab the full codes, play with them on your own, and start thinking about your own game quickly as possible. Then, start implementing it. I will be glad to help you with your game as you move along. You know how to reach me.

So let's begin.

Building Flappy Pong

Step 1 - Initialize & Handling Different Screens

First step is to initialize our project. For starters, we will write our setup and draw blocks as usual, nothing fancy or new. Then, we will handle different screens (ie. Initial screen, game screen, game over screen etc.). So the question arises, how do we make Processing show the correct page at the correct time ?

Accomplishing this task is fairly simple. We will have a global variable that stores the information of the currently active screen. We then draw the contents of the correct screen depending on the variable. In the draw block, we will have an if statement that checks the variable and displays the contents of the screen accordingly. Whenever we want to change the screen, we will change that variable to the number of screen we want it to display. With that said, here is what our skeleton codes looks like:

/********* VARIABLES *********/

// We control which screen is active by settings / updating
// gameScreen variable. We display the correct screen according
// to the value of this variable.
//
// 0: Initial Screen
// 1: Game Screen
// 2: Game-over Screen

int gameScreen = 0;

/********* SETUP BLOCK *********/

void setup() {
  size(500, 500);
}


/********* DRAW BLOCK *********/

void draw() {
  // Display the contents of the current screen
  if (gameScreen == 0) {
    initScreen();
  } else if (gameScreen == 1) {
    gameScreen();
  } else if (gameScreen == 2) {
    gameOverScreen();
  }
}


/********* SCREEN CONTENTS *********/

void initScreen() {
  // codes of initial screen
}
void gameScreen() {
  // codes of game screen
}
void gameOverScreen() {
  // codes for game over screen
}


/********* INPUTS *********/

public void mousePressed() {
  // if we are on the initial screen when clicked, start the game
  if (gameScreen==0) {
    startGame();
  }
}


/********* OTHER FUNCTIONS *********/

// This method sets the necessery variables to start the game  
void startGame() {
  gameScreen=1;
}

This may look scary at first, but all we did is to build the basic structure and seperate different parts by the comment blocks.

As you can see, we define different methods for display, which contains the contents the screen. In our draw block, we simply check the value of our gameScreen variable, and call the correct method accordingly.

In the void mousePressed(){...} part, we are listening to mouse clicks and if the active screen is 0, the initial screen, we call the startGame() method which starts the game as you'd expect. The first line of this method changes gameScreen variable to 1, the game screen.

If this is understood, the next step is to implement our initial screen. To do that, we will be editing the initScreen() method. Here it goes:

void initScreen() {
  background(0);
  textAlign(CENTER);
  text("Click to start", height/2, width/2);
}

Now our initial screen has a black background and a simple text, "Click to start", located in the middle and aligned to the center. But when we click, nothing happens. We haven't yet specified any content for our game screen. The method gameScreen() doesn't have anything in it, so we aren't covering the previous contents drawn from the last screen (the text) by having background() as the first line of draw. That's why the text is still there, eventhough the text() line is not being called anymore (remember the moving ball which leaves a trace behind from the last part). The background is still black for the same reason. So let's go ahead and begin implementing the game screen.

void gameScreen() {
  background(255);
}

After this change, you can notice that the background turns white & the text disappears.

Step 2 - Creating the ball & Gravity implementation

Now, we will start working on the game screen. We will first create our ball. We should define variables for its coordinates, color and size because we might want to change those values later on. For instalce, if we want to increate the size of the ball as the player scores higher so that the game will be harder. We will need to change its size, so it should be a variable. We will define speed of the ball as well, after we implement the gravity.

First, let's add the following:

...
int ballX, ballY;
int ballSize = 20;
int ballColor = color(0);
...
void setup() {
  ...
  ballX=width/4;
  ballY=height/5;
}
...
void gameScreen() {
  ...
  drawBall();
}
...
void drawBall() {
  fill(ballColor);
  ellipse(ballX, ballY, ballSize, ballSize);
}

We defined the coordinates as global variables, created a method that draw the ball called it in the game screen method. Only thing to pay attention here is, we initiated coordinates, but we defined them in setup(). The reason we did that is, we wanted the ball to start at one fourth from left and one fifth from top. There is no particular reason we want that, but that is a good point for the ball to start. So we needed to get the width and height of the sketch dynamically. The sketch size is defined in setup(), after the first line. width and height are not set before the setup() runs, that's why we couldn't achieve this if we defined the variables on top.

Gravity

Now implementing gravity is easy actually, there are only a few tricks. Here is the implementation first:

...
float gravity = 1;
float ballSpeedVert = 0;
...
void gameScreen() {
  ...
  applyGravity();
  keepInScreen();
}
...
void applyGravity() {
  ballSpeedVert += gravity;
  ballY += ballSpeedVert;
}
void makeBounceBottom(float surface) {
  ballY = surface-(ballSize/2);
  ballSpeedVert*=-1;
}
void makeBounceTop(float surface) {
  ballY = surface+(ballSize/2);
  ballSpeedVert*=-1;
}
// keep ball in the screen
void keepInScreen() {
  // ball hits floor
  if (ballY+(ballSize/2) > height) { 
    makeBounceBottom(height);
  }
  // ball hits ceiling
  if (ballY-(ballSize/2) < 0) {
    makeBounceTop(0);
  }
}

And the is the result:

Hold your horses, physicist. I know that's not how gravity works in real life. The variable we defined as gravity is just a numeric value that we add to ballSpeedVert on every loop. And ballSpeedVert is the vertical speed of the ball, which is added to the Y coordinate of the ball (ballY) on each loop. We watch the coordinates of the ball and make sure it stays in the screen. If we didn't, ball would fall to infinity. For now, our ball only moves vertically. So we watch the floor and ceiling boundries of the screen. With keepInScreen() method, we check if ballY (+ the radius) is less than height, and similarly ballY (- the radius) is more than 0. If the conditions don't meet, we make the ball bounce (from the bottom or the top) with makeBounceBottom() and makeBounceTop() methods. To make the ball bounce, we simply move the ball to exact location where it had to bounce and multiply the vertical speed (ballSpeedVert) with -1 (multiplying with -1 changes the sign). When the speed value has a minus sign, adding Y coordinate the speed becomes ballY + (-ballSpeedVert), which is ballY - ballSpeedVert. So the ball immediately changes its direction with the same speed. Then, as we add gravity to ballSpeedVert and ballSpeedVert has a negative value, it starts to get close to 0, eventually becomes 0, and starts increasing again. That makes the ball rise, rise slower, stop and start falling.

There is a problem though. The ball keeps bouncing. If this was a real world scenario, the ball would have faced a) air friction, b) friction everytime it touches a surface. That's the behaviour we want for our game. So implementing this is easy. We add the following:

...
float airfriction = 0.0001;
float friction = 0.1;
...
void applyGravity() {
  ...
  ballSpeedVert -= (ballSpeedVert * airfriction);
}
void makeBounceBottom(int surface) {
  ...
  ballSpeedVert -= (ballSpeedVert * friction);
}
void makeBounceTop(int surface) {
  ...
  ballSpeedVert -= (ballSpeedVert * friction);
}

And what we get is:

As the name suggests, friction is the surface friction and airfriction is the friction of air. So obviously, friction has to apply each time the ball touches any surface. aurfriction however has to apply constantly. So that's what we did. applyGravity() method runs on each loop, so we take away 0.0001 percent of its current value from ballSpeedVert on every loop. makeBounceBottom() and makeBounceTop() methods runs when ball touches any surface. So in those methods, we did the same thing, only this time with friction.

Step 3 - Creating the racket

Now we need a racket make the ball bounce on. We should be controlling the racket. Let's make it controllable with the mouse. Here are the codes first:

...
color racketColor = color(0);
float racketWidth = 100;
float racketHeight = 10;
...
void gameScreen() {
  ...
  drawRacket();
  ...
}
...
void drawRacket(){
  fill(racketColor);
  rectMode(CENTER);
  rect(mouseX, mouseY, racketWidth, racketHeight);
}

We defined the color, width and height of the racket as a global variable, we might want them to change while the gameplay. We implemented a method drawRacket() which does what its name suggests. We set the rectMode to center, so our racket is aligned to the center of our cursor.

Now that we created the racket, we have to make the ball bounce on it.

...
int racketBounceRate = 20;
...
void gameScreen() {
  ...
  watchRacketBounce();
  ...
}
...
void watchRacketBounce() {
  float overhead = mouseY - pmouseY;
  if ((ballX+(ballSize/2) > mouseX-(racketWidth/2)) && (ballX-(ballSize/2) < mouseX+(racketWidth/2))) {
    if (dist(ballX, ballY, ballX, mouseY)<=(ballSize/2)+abs(overhead)) {
      makeBounceBottom(mouseY);
      // racket moving up
      if (overhead<0) {
        ballY+=overhead;
        ballSpeedVert+=overhead;
      }
    }
  }
}

And here is the result:

So what watchRacketBounce() does is, it makes sure the racket and the ball collides. There are two things to check here, is the ball and the racket lined up a) horizontally and b) vertically. The first if statement checks if the X coordinate of the right side of the ball is greater than the X coordinate of the left side of the racket (and the other way around). If it is, second statement checks if the distance between the ball and the racket is smaller than or equal to the radius of the ball (which means they are colliding). So if these conditions meet, makeBounceBottom() method gets called and the ball bounces on our racket (at mouseY, where the racket is).

Have you notice the variable overhead which is calculated by mouseY - pmouseY ? pmouseX and pmouseY variables store the coordinates of the mouse at the previous frame. As the mouse can move very fast, there is a good chance we might miss to detect the distance between the ball and the racket correctly in between frames if the mouse is moving towards the ball fast enough. So, we take the difference of the mouse coordinates in between frames and take that into account while detecting distance. The faster mouse is moving, the grater distance is acceptable.

We also use overhead for another reason. We detect which way the mouse is moving by checking the sign of overhead. If overhead is negative, mouse was somewhere below in the previous frame so our mouse (racket) is moving up. In that case, we want to add an extra speed to the ball and move it a little further than regular bounce to simulate the effect of hitting the ball with the racket. If overhead is less than 0, we add it to ballY and ballSpeedVert to make the ball go higher and faster. So the faster racket hits the ball, the higher and faster it will move up.

Step 4 - Horizontal movement & Controlling the ball

This section, we will add a horizontal movement to the ball. Then, we will make it possible to control the ball horizontally with our racket. Here we go:

...
// we will start with 0, but for we give 10 just for testing
float ballSpeedHorizon = 10;
...
void gameScreen() {
  ...
  applyHorizontalSpeed();
  ...
}
...
void applyHorizontalSpeed(){
  ballX += ballSpeedHorizon;
  ballSpeedHorizon -= (ballSpeedHorizon * airfriction);
}
void makeBounceLeft(float surface){
  ballX = surface+(ballSize/2);
  ballSpeedHorizon*=-1;
  ballSpeedHorizon -= (ballSpeedHorizon * friction);
}
void makeBounceRight(float surface){
  ballX = surface-(ballSize/2);
  ballSpeedHorizon*=-1;
  ballSpeedHorizon -= (ballSpeedHorizon * friction);
}
...
void keepInScreen() {
  ...
  if (ballX-(ballSize/2) < 0){
    makeBounceLeft(0);
  }
  if (ballX+(ballSize/2) > width){
    makeBounceRight(width);
  }
}

And the result is:

The idea here is the same as the way we did for vertical movement. We created a horizontal speed variable, ballSpeedHorizon. We created a method to apply the horizontal speed to the ballX and take away the air friction. We added two more if statements to the keepInScreen() method which will watch the ball for hitting the left and right sides of the screen. Finally we created makeBounceLeft() and makeBounceRight() methods to handle the bounces from left and right.

Now that we added a horizontal speed to the game, we want to control the ball with the racket. As in the famous Atari game Breakout and in all other brick breaking games, the ball should go left or right according to the point it hit the racket. The edges of the racket should give the ball more horizontal speed whereas the middle shouldn't have an effect. Codes first, lets go:

void watchRacketBounce() {
  ...
  if ((ballX+(ballSize/2) > mouseX-(racketWidth/2)) && (ballX-(ballSize/2) < mouseX+(racketWidth/2))) {
    if (dist(ballX, ballY, ballX, mouseY)<=(ballSize/2)+abs(overhead)) {
      ...
      ballSpeedHorizon = (ballX - mouseX)/5;
      ...
    }
  }
}

Results as:

Adding that simple line to the watchRacketBounce() did the job. What we did is, we found the distance of the point that ball hits the racket from the center of the racket with ballX - mouseX. Then, we make it the horizontal speed. The actual difference is too much, so I gave a few shots and figured that one tenth of the value feels the most neatural.

Step 5 - Creating the walls

Our sketch looks more like a game at each step. In this step, we will add walls coming towards us, just like in Flappy Bird. Let's begin, shall we ?

...
int wallSpeed = 5;
int wallInterval = 1000;
float lastAddTime = 0;
int minGapHeight = 200;
int maxGapHeight = 300;
int wallWidth = 80;
color wallColors = color(0);
// This arraylist stores data of the gaps between the walls. Actuals walls are drawn accordingly.
// [gapWallX, gapWallY, gapWallWidth, gapWallHeight]
ArrayList<int[]> walls = new ArrayList<int[]>();
...
void gameScreen() {
  ...
  wallAdder();
  wallHandler();
}
...
void wallAdder() {
  if (millis()-lastAddTime > wallInterval) {
    int randHeight = round(random(minGapHeight, maxGapHeight));
    int randY = round(random(0, height-randHeight));
    // {gapWallX, gapWallY, gapWallWidth, gapWallHeight}
    int[] randWall = {width, randY, wallWidth, randHeight}; 
    walls.add(randWall);
    lastAddTime = millis();
  }
}
void wallHandler() {
  for (int i = 0; i < walls.size(); i++) {
    wallRemover(i);
    wallMover(i);
    wallDrawer(i);
  }
}
void wallDrawer(int index) {
  int[] wall = walls.get(index);
  // get gap wall settings 
  int gapWallX = wall[0];
  int gapWallY = wall[1];
  int gapWallWidth = wall[2];
  int gapWallHeight = wall[3];
  // draw actual walls
  rectMode(CORNER);
  fill(wallColors);
  rect(gapWallX, 0, gapWallWidth, gapWallY);
  rect(gapWallX, gapWallY+gapWallHeight, gapWallWidth, height-(gapWallY+gapWallHeight));
}
void wallMover(int index) {
  int[] wall = walls.get(index);
  wall[0] -= wallSpeed;
}
void wallRemover(int index) {
  int[] wall = walls.get(index);
  if (wall[0]+wall[2] <= 0) {
    walls.remove(index);
  }
}

And that resulted as:

Even though the codes looks long and scary, I promise there is nothing hard to understand. First thing to notice is ArrayList. For those of you who don't know what an ArrayList is, it is just an implementation of list that acts like an Array, but it has some advantages over it. It is resizeable, it has usefull methods like list.add(index), list.get(index) and list.remove(index). We keep the wall data as integer arrays within the arraylist. The data we keep in the arrays are for the gap wall (ie. the gap between two walls). The arrays contain the values:

[gap wall X, gap wall Y, gap wall width, gap wall height]

The actual walls are drawn based on the gap wall values. Note that all these could be handled better and cleaner using classes, but since I told I'm not going to be using Object Oriented Programming (OOP) concepts, this is how we'll handle it. We have two base methods to manage the walls, wallAdder() and wallHandler.

wallAdder() method simply adds new walls in every wallInterval millisecond to the arraylist. We have a global variable lastAddTime which stores the time when the last wall was added (in milliseconds). If the current millisecond millis() minus the last added millisecond lastAddTime is larger than the our interval value wallInterval, that means it is time to add a new wall. Random gap variables are than generated based on the global variables defined at the very top. Then a new wall (integer array that stores the gap wall data) is added into the arraylist and the lastAddTime is set to the current millisecond millis().

wallHandler() loops through the current walls that is in the arraylist. And for each item at each loop, it calls wallRemover(i), wallMover(i) and wallDrawer(i) by the index value of the arraylist. These methods do what their name suggests. wallDrawer() draws the actual walls based on the gap wall data. It grabs the wall data array from the arraylist, and calls rect() method to draw the walls to where they should actually be. wallMover() method grabs the element from the arraylist, changes its X location based on the wallSpeed global variable. Finally, wallRemover() removes the walls from the arraylist which are out of the screen. If we didn't do that, Processing would have treated them as they are still in the screen. And that would have been a huge loss in performance. So when a wall is removed from the arraylist, it doesn't get drawn on the next loops.

The final challenging thing left to do is to detect the collusions of the ball and the walls.

void wallHandler() {
  for (int i = 0; i < walls.size(); i++) {
    ...
    watchWallCollision(i);
  }
}
...
void watchWallCollision(int index) {
  int[] wall = walls.get(index);
  // get gap wall settings 
  int gapWallX = wall[0];
  int gapWallY = wall[1];
  int gapWallWidth = wall[2];
  int gapWallHeight = wall[3];
  int wallTopX = gapWallX;
  int wallTopY = 0;
  int wallTopWidth = gapWallWidth;
  int wallTopHeight = gapWallY;
  int wallBottomX = gapWallX;
  int wallBottomY = gapWallY+gapWallHeight;
  int wallBottomWidth = gapWallWidth;
  int wallBottomHeight = height-(gapWallY+gapWallHeight);

  if (
    (ballX+(ballSize/2)>wallTopX) &&
    (ballX-(ballSize/2)<wallTopX+wallTopWidth) &&
    (ballY+(ballSize/2)>wallTopY) &&
    (ballY-(ballSize/2)<wallTopY+wallTopHeight)
    ) {
    // collides with upper wall
  }
  
  if (
    (ballX+(ballSize/2)>wallBottomX) &&
    (ballX-(ballSize/2)<wallBottomX+wallBottomWidth) &&
    (ballY+(ballSize/2)>wallBottomY) &&
    (ballY-(ballSize/2)<wallBottomY+wallBottomHeight)
    ) {
    // collides with lower wall
  }
}

watchWallCollision() method gets called for each wall on each loop. We grab the coordinates of the gap wall, calculate the coordinates of the actual walls (top and bottom) and we check if the coordinates of the ball collides with the walls.

Step 5 - Health and score

Now that we can detect the collisions of the ball and the walls, we can decide on the game mechanics. After some tuning to the game, I managed to make the game remotely playable. But still, it is very hard. My first thought on the game was to make it like Flappy Bird, when the ball touches the walls, game ends. But then I realised it would be impossible to play. So here is what I thought:

There should be a health bar on top of the ball. The ball should lose health while it is touching the walls. With this logic, it doesn't make sense to make the ball bounce back from the walls. So when the health is 0, the game should end and we should switch to game over screen. So here we go:

int maxHealth = 100;
float health = 100;
float healthDecrease = 1;
int healthBarWidth = 60;
...
void gameScreen() {
  ...
  drawHealthBar();
  ...
}
...
void drawHealthBar() {
  noStroke();
  fill(236, 240, 241);
  rectMode(CORNER);
  rect(ballX-(healthBarWidth/2), ballY - 30, healthBarWidth, 5);
  if (health > 60) {
    fill(46, 204, 113);
  } else if (health > 30) {
    fill(230, 126, 34);
  } else {
    fill(231, 76, 60);
  }
  rectMode(CORNER);
  rect(ballX-(healthBarWidth/2), ballY - 30, healthBarWidth*(health/maxHealth), 5);
}
void decreaseHealth(){
  health -= healthDecrease;
  if (health <= 0){
    gameOver();
  }
}

And here is a simple run:

We created a global variable health to keep the health of the ball. And then created a method drawHealthBar() which draws two rectangles on top of the ball. First one is the base health bar, other is the active one that shows the current health. The width of the second one is dynamic, and is calculated by healthBarWidth*(health/maxHealth), the ratio of our current health with respect to the with of the health bar. Finally, the fill colors are set according to the value of health.

Last but not least, scores... Let's begin.

...
void gameOverScreen() {
  background(0);
  textAlign(CENTER);
  fill(255);
  textSize(30);
  text("Game Over", height/2, width/2 - 20);
  textSize(15);
  text("Click to Restart", height/2, width/2 + 10);
}
...
void wallAdder() {
  if (millis()-lastAddTime > wallInterval) {
    ...
    // added another value at the end of the array
    int[] randWall = {width, randY, wallWidth, randHeight, 0}; 
    ...
  }
}
void watchWallCollision(int index) {
  ...
  int wallScored = wall[4];
  ...
  if (ballX > gapWallX+(gapWallWidth/2) && wallScored==0) {
    wallScored=1;
    wall[4]=1;
    score();
  }
}
void score() {
  score++;
}
void printScore(){
  textAlign(CENTER);
  fill(0);
  textSize(30); 
  text(score, height/2, 50);
}

We needed to score when the ball passes a wall. But we need to add maximum 1 score per wall. Meaning, if the ball passes a wall than goes back and passes it again, another score shouldn't be added. To achieve this, we added another variable to the gap wall array within the arraylist. The new variable stores 0 if the ball didn't yet pass that wall and 1 if it did. Then, we modified the watchWallCollision() method. We added a condition that fires score() method and marks the wall as passed when the ball passes a wall which is not passed before.

We are now about to finished this game. Last thing to do is click to restart. We need to set all the variables we used to their initial value, and restart the game. Here it is:

...
public void mousePressed() {
  ...
  if (gameScreen==2){
    restart();
  }
}
...
void restart() {
  score = 0;
  health = maxHealth;
  ballX=width/4;
  ballY=height/5;
  lastAddTime = 0;
  walls.clear();
  gameScreen = 0;
}

Let's add some more colors.

Voila! Full codes for the game can be found here.

Porting Flappy Pong for web with p5js

p5js is a Javascript interpreter for processing. It is not a simple library that is capable of running processing codes, instead, p5js takes in pure Javascript codes. Our task is to convert Processing codes into Javascript following p5js format. The library has a set of functions and a syntax similar to Processing, and we have to do certain changes to our code to make them compatible with Javascript.

First of all, we need to create a simple index.html and add p5.min.js to our header. We also created another file called flappy_pong.js which will house our converted codes.

<html>
	<head>
		<title>Flappy Pong</title>
		<script tyle="text/javascript" src="https://cdnjs.cloudflare.com/ajax/libs/p5.js/0.4.19/p5.min.js"></script>
		<script tyle="text/javascript" src="flappy_pong.js"></script>
		<style>
			canvas {
				box-shadow: 0 0 20px lightgray;
			}
		</style>
	</head>
	<body>
	</body>
</html>

Our strategy while converting the codes should be copying and pasting all our codes into flappy_pong.js and then making all the changes. And that's what I did. And here are the steps I took to update the codes:

  • Javascript is an untyped languages (ie. there is no type declarations like int and float). So we need to change all the type declarations to var.

  • There is no void in Javascript. We should change all to function

  • We need to remove the type declarations of arguments of functions. (ie. function wallMover(var index) { to function wallMover(index) { )

  • There is no ArrayList in Javascript. But we can achieve the same thing using Javascript objects. We make the following changes:

    • ArrayList<int[]> walls = new ArrayList<int[]>(); to var walls = [];

    • walls.clear(); to walls = [];

    • walls.add(randWall); to walls.push(randWall);

    • walls.remove(index); to walls.splice(index,1);

    • walls.get(index); to walls[index]

    • walls.size() to walls.length

  • Change the declaration of the array var randWall = {width, randY, wallWidth, randHeight, 0}; to var randWall = [width, randY, wallWidth, randHeight, 0];

  • Remove all public keywords.

  • Move all color(0) declarations into function setup() because color() will not be defined before setup() call.

  • Change size(500, 500); to createCanvas(500, 500);

  • Rename function gameScreen(){ to something else like function gamePlayScreen(){ because we already have a global variable named gameScreen. When we were working with processing, one was void and one was an int. But Javascript confuses these since it is untyped.

  • Same thing goes for score(). I renamed it to addScore().

Full Javascript codes can be found here.

Conclusion

In this article, I tried to explain how to build a very simple game with Processing. However what we did in this article is just the tip of the iceberg. With Processing, about anything could be achieved. It is in my opinion the best tool to program your imagination. My actual intention with this article is, rather than teaching Processing and building a game, it was to prove that programming isn't that hard. Building your own game isn't just an imagination. I wanted to show you that with a little effort and enthusiasm, you can do it. Like Obama says, anyone can do it. And fellow reader, you should too. I really hope this two articles inspires everyone to give it a shot.

Thank you all.

/********* VARIABLES *********/
// We control which screen is active by settings / updating
// gameScreen variable. We display the correct screen according
// to the value of this variable.
//
// 0: Initial Screen
// 1: Game Screen
// 2: Game-over Screen
int gameScreen = 0;
// gameplay settings
float gravity = .3;
float airfriction = 0.00001;
float friction = 0.1;
// scoring
int score = 0;
int maxHealth = 100;
float health = 100;
float healthDecrease = 1;
int healthBarWidth = 60;
// ball settings
float ballX, ballY;
float ballSpeedVert = 0;
float ballSpeedHorizon = 0;
float ballSize = 20;
color ballColor = color(0);
// racket settings
color racketColor = color(0);
float racketWidth = 100;
float racketHeight = 10;
// wall settings
int wallSpeed = 5;
int wallInterval = 1000;
float lastAddTime = 0;
int minGapHeight = 200;
int maxGapHeight = 300;
int wallWidth = 80;
color wallColors = color(44, 62, 80);
// This arraylist stores data of the gaps between the walls. Actuals walls are drawn accordingly.
// [gapWallX, gapWallY, gapWallWidth, gapWallHeight, scored]
ArrayList<int[]> walls = new ArrayList<int[]>();
/********* SETUP BLOCK *********/
void setup() {
size(500, 500);
// set the initial coordinates of the ball
ballX=width/4;
ballY=height/5;
smooth();
}
/********* DRAW BLOCK *********/
void draw() {
// Display the contents of the current screen
if (gameScreen == 0) {
initScreen();
} else if (gameScreen == 1) {
gameScreen();
} else if (gameScreen == 2) {
gameOverScreen();
}
}
/********* SCREEN CONTENTS *********/
void initScreen() {
background(236, 240, 241);
textAlign(CENTER);
fill(52, 73, 94);
textSize(70);
text("Flappy Pong", width/2, height/2);
textSize(15);
text("Click to start", width/2, height-30);
}
void gameScreen() {
background(236, 240, 241);
drawRacket();
watchRacketBounce();
drawBall();
applyGravity();
applyHorizontalSpeed();
keepInScreen();
drawHealthBar();
printScore();
wallAdder();
wallHandler();
}
void gameOverScreen() {
background(44, 62, 80);
textAlign(CENTER);
fill(236, 240, 241);
textSize(12);
text("Your Score", width/2, height/2 - 120);
textSize(130);
text(score, width/2, height/2);
textSize(15);
text("Click to Restart", width/2, height-30);
}
/********* INPUTS *********/
public void mousePressed() {
// if we are on the initial screen when clicked, start the game
if (gameScreen==0) {
startGame();
}
if (gameScreen==2) {
restart();
}
}
/********* OTHER FUNCTIONS *********/
// This method sets the necessery variables to start the game
void startGame() {
gameScreen=1;
}
void gameOver() {
gameScreen=2;
}
void restart() {
score = 0;
health = maxHealth;
ballX=width/4;
ballY=height/5;
lastAddTime = 0;
walls.clear();
gameScreen = 1;
}
void drawBall() {
fill(ballColor);
ellipse(ballX, ballY, ballSize, ballSize);
}
void drawRacket() {
fill(racketColor);
rectMode(CENTER);
rect(mouseX, mouseY, racketWidth, racketHeight, 5);
}
void wallAdder() {
if (millis()-lastAddTime > wallInterval) {
int randHeight = round(random(minGapHeight, maxGapHeight));
int randY = round(random(0, height-randHeight));
// {gapWallX, gapWallY, gapWallWidth, gapWallHeight, scored}
int[] randWall = {width, randY, wallWidth, randHeight, 0};
walls.add(randWall);
lastAddTime = millis();
}
}
void wallHandler() {
for (int i = 0; i < walls.size(); i++) {
wallRemover(i);
wallMover(i);
wallDrawer(i);
watchWallCollision(i);
}
}
void wallDrawer(int index) {
int[] wall = walls.get(index);
// get gap wall settings
int gapWallX = wall[0];
int gapWallY = wall[1];
int gapWallWidth = wall[2];
int gapWallHeight = wall[3];
// draw actual walls
rectMode(CORNER);
noStroke();
strokeCap(ROUND);
fill(wallColors);
rect(gapWallX, 0, gapWallWidth, gapWallY, 0, 0, 15, 15);
rect(gapWallX, gapWallY+gapWallHeight, gapWallWidth, height-(gapWallY+gapWallHeight), 15, 15, 0, 0);
}
void wallMover(int index) {
int[] wall = walls.get(index);
wall[0] -= wallSpeed;
}
void wallRemover(int index) {
int[] wall = walls.get(index);
if (wall[0]+wall[2] <= 0) {
walls.remove(index);
}
}
void watchWallCollision(int index) {
int[] wall = walls.get(index);
// get gap wall settings
int gapWallX = wall[0];
int gapWallY = wall[1];
int gapWallWidth = wall[2];
int gapWallHeight = wall[3];
int wallScored = wall[4];
int wallTopX = gapWallX;
int wallTopY = 0;
int wallTopWidth = gapWallWidth;
int wallTopHeight = gapWallY;
int wallBottomX = gapWallX;
int wallBottomY = gapWallY+gapWallHeight;
int wallBottomWidth = gapWallWidth;
int wallBottomHeight = height-(gapWallY+gapWallHeight);
if (
(ballX+(ballSize/2)>wallTopX) &&
(ballX-(ballSize/2)<wallTopX+wallTopWidth) &&
(ballY+(ballSize/2)>wallTopY) &&
(ballY-(ballSize/2)<wallTopY+wallTopHeight)
) {
decreaseHealth();
}
if (
(ballX+(ballSize/2)>wallBottomX) &&
(ballX-(ballSize/2)<wallBottomX+wallBottomWidth) &&
(ballY+(ballSize/2)>wallBottomY) &&
(ballY-(ballSize/2)<wallBottomY+wallBottomHeight)
) {
decreaseHealth();
}
if (ballX > gapWallX+(gapWallWidth/2) && wallScored==0) {
wallScored=1;
wall[4]=1;
score();
}
}
void drawHealthBar() {
noStroke();
fill(189, 195, 199);
rectMode(CORNER);
rect(ballX-(healthBarWidth/2), ballY - 30, healthBarWidth, 5);
if (health > 60) {
fill(46, 204, 113);
} else if (health > 30) {
fill(230, 126, 34);
} else {
fill(231, 76, 60);
}
rectMode(CORNER);
rect(ballX-(healthBarWidth/2), ballY - 30, healthBarWidth*(health/maxHealth), 5);
}
void decreaseHealth() {
health -= healthDecrease;
if (health <= 0) {
gameOver();
}
}
void score() {
score++;
}
void printScore() {
textAlign(CENTER);
fill(0);
textSize(30);
text(score, height/2, 50);
}
void watchRacketBounce() {
float overhead = mouseY - pmouseY;
if ((ballX+(ballSize/2) > mouseX-(racketWidth/2)) && (ballX-(ballSize/2) < mouseX+(racketWidth/2))) {
if (dist(ballX, ballY, ballX, mouseY)<=(ballSize/2)+abs(overhead)) {
makeBounceBottom(mouseY);
ballSpeedHorizon = (ballX - mouseX)/10;
// racket moving up
if (overhead<0) {
ballY+=(overhead/2);
ballSpeedVert+=(overhead/2);
}
}
}
}
void applyGravity() {
ballSpeedVert += gravity;
ballY += ballSpeedVert;
ballSpeedVert -= (ballSpeedVert * airfriction);
}
void applyHorizontalSpeed() {
ballX += ballSpeedHorizon;
ballSpeedHorizon -= (ballSpeedHorizon * airfriction);
}
// ball falls and hits the floor (or other surface)
void makeBounceBottom(float surface) {
ballY = surface-(ballSize/2);
ballSpeedVert*=-1;
ballSpeedVert -= (ballSpeedVert * friction);
}
// ball rises and hits the ceiling (or other surface)
void makeBounceTop(float surface) {
ballY = surface+(ballSize/2);
ballSpeedVert*=-1;
ballSpeedVert -= (ballSpeedVert * friction);
}
// ball hits object from left side
void makeBounceLeft(float surface) {
ballX = surface+(ballSize/2);
ballSpeedHorizon*=-1;
ballSpeedHorizon -= (ballSpeedHorizon * friction);
}
// ball hits object from right side
void makeBounceRight(float surface) {
ballX = surface-(ballSize/2);
ballSpeedHorizon*=-1;
ballSpeedHorizon -= (ballSpeedHorizon * friction);
}
// keep ball in the screen
void keepInScreen() {
// ball hits floor
if (ballY+(ballSize/2) > height) {
makeBounceBottom(height);
}
// ball hits ceiling
if (ballY-(ballSize/2) < 0) {
makeBounceTop(0);
}
// ball hits left of the screen
if (ballX-(ballSize/2) < 0) {
makeBounceLeft(0);
}
// ball hits right of the screen
if (ballX+(ballSize/2) > width) {
makeBounceRight(width);
}
}
<html>
<head>
<title>Flappy Pong</title>
<script tyle="text/javascript" src="https://cdnjs.cloudflare.com/ajax/libs/p5.js/0.4.19/p5.min.js"></script>
<script tyle="text/javascript" src="flappy_pong.js"></script>
<style>
canvas {
box-shadow: 0 0 20px lightgray;
}
</style>
</head>
<body>
</body>
</html>
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