Breakout Tutorial using Pygame: Adding the Paddle

break-out-gameThis tutorial is the second tutorial in a series of five Pygame tutorials:

Learning Objectives

In this second tutorial on how to create the retro arcade game Breakout using PyGame, we are looking at creating our first sprite.

Consider a sprite as an object. An object can have different properties (e.g. width, height, colour, etc.) and methods (e.g. jump(), hide(), moveForward(), etc.). Like in the industry an object is built from a mould. In computing the mould/template is called a Class.

So, by creating our first sprite we will implement OOP (Object Orientated Programming). We will create our first Class called Paddle and derive our first object from this class.

Our first Class

So let’s look at the code for our Paddle Class:
To start with the first method we will need in our class is the __init__() method. It’s called a constructor. It is used when the object is first created to initalise the main properties of the object (e.g. its x and y position, dimensions, colour, etc.)

import pygame
BLACK = (0,0,0)

class Paddle(pygame.sprite.Sprite):
    #This class represents a paddle. It derives from the "Sprite" class in Pygame.
    def __init__(self, color, width, height):
        # Call the parent class (Sprite) constructor
        # Pass in the color of the paddle, its width and height.
        # Set the background color and set it to be transparent
        self.image = pygame.Surface([width, height])
        # Draw the paddle (a rectangle!)
        pygame.draw.rect(self.image, color, [0, 0, width, height])
        # Fetch the rectangle object that has the dimensions of the image.
        self.rect = self.image.get_rect()

Later on we will add more properties and methods to this class. But before doing so we will look at how we can use it to create our first object: the pladdle.

So let’s save our class as a python file called

Our first Object

Now that we have a Class we can create/instantiate an object from this Class. (Remember a Class is like a mould. It enables you to create as many objects as you need using the same mould.)

Let’s go back to our file (from previous tutorial) to edit its content.

First let’s add at the top of the code an import statement to import our Paddle class.

#Let's import the Paddle Class
from paddle import Paddle

Then we need to create and position our paddle in our main program using the following lines of code:

paddle = Paddle(LIGHTBLUE, 100, 10)
paddle.rect.x = 350
paddle.rect.y = 560

Let’s reuse the code from the first tutorial.

On lines 3/4 notice how we are using the import command to link to our Paddle Class python file (

On line 25 we are declaring a list called all_sprites_list that will store all the sprites we will create in our game. (For now just one sprite, the paddle)

On lines 27 to 30, we are instantiating an paddle object using the Paddle class. Notice how when declaring our first object we use the parameters from its constructor (__init__()), in this case, the colour, width and height of the paddle we want to create.

Now that we have created our first sprite we need to add it to our list of spites: all_sprites_list. This is what happens on line 33.

Finally, within the main program loop, on line 64 we are refreshing the screen and drawing all the sprites from our list: all_sprites_list.

Here is the full code:

#Import the pygame library and initialise the game engine
import pygame
#Let's import the Paddle Class
from paddle import Paddle


# Define some colors
WHITE = (255,255,255)
DARKBLUE = (36,90,190)
LIGHTBLUE = (0,176,240)
RED = (255,0,0)
ORANGE = (255,100,0)
YELLOW = (255,255,0)

score = 0
lives = 3

# Open a new window
size = (800, 600)
screen = pygame.display.set_mode(size)
pygame.display.set_caption("Breakout Game")

#This will be a list that will contain all the sprites we intend to use in our game.
all_sprites_list = pygame.sprite.Group()

#Create the Paddle
paddle = Paddle(LIGHTBLUE, 100, 10)
paddle.rect.x = 350
paddle.rect.y = 560

# Add the paddle to the list of sprites

# The loop will carry on until the user exits the game (e.g. clicks the close button).
carryOn = True

# The clock will be used to control how fast the screen updates
clock = pygame.time.Clock()

# -------- Main Program Loop -----------
while carryOn:
    # --- Main event loop
    for event in pygame.event.get(): # User did something
        if event.type == pygame.QUIT: # If user clicked close
              carryOn = False # Flag that we are done so we exit this loop

    # --- Game logic should go here

    # --- Drawing code should go here
    # First, clear the screen to dark blue.
    pygame.draw.line(screen, WHITE, [0, 38], [800, 38], 2)

    #Display the score and the number of lives at the top of the screen
    font = pygame.font.Font(None, 34)
    text = font.render("Score: " + str(score), 1, WHITE)
    screen.blit(text, (20,10))
    text = font.render("Lives: " + str(lives), 1, WHITE)
    screen.blit(text, (650,10))

    #Now let's draw all the sprites in one go. (For now we only have 2 sprites!)

    # --- Go ahead and update the screen with what we've drawn.

    # --- Limit to 60 frames per second

#Once we have exited the main program loop we can stop the game engine:

That’s it… You are now ready to move to our third tutorial to learn how to control your sprites using the arrow keys.
Breakout Tutorial using PygameControlling the paddle

Did you like this challenge?

Click on a star to rate it!

Average rating 4.6 / 5. Vote count: 9

No votes so far! Be the first to rate this post.

As you found this challenge interesting...

Follow us on social media!

Tagged with: