Breakout Tutorial using Pygame – Getting Started

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

Breakout is one of the earliest arcade video games, first released in 1976 by Atari. It was derived from the game Pong (released by Atari in 1972). This one-player game features simple 2D graphics. It consists of one paddle (in more recent version the paddle was replaced by a spaceship) used to return a bouncing ball back and forth across the screen. The aim of the game is to break the bricks of a brick wall by getting the ball to hit/bounce on the bricks. The score correspond to the number of bricks being hit.

In this tutorial we are going to recreate a game of Breakout using Python and the Pygame library. The Pygame library is the perfect library to build basic 2D arcade games and to start developing your OOP skills. (Object-Oriented Programming)

Step 1: Importing and initialising the Pygame library


Your Python code will need to start with the following two lines of code:

#Import the pygame library and initialise the game engine
import pygame
pygame.init()

Step 2: Defining the colours you will use in your game


You will have to declare a constant for each of the main colours used within your game. To help you identify colour codes you may use a colour picker. We will also initialise two global variables, score and lives that we will use later on in the game.

# 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

Step 3: Open a new window


Your game will run in its own window, for which you can decide of a title, a width and a height.

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

Step 4: The main program loop


The main program loop is the key wrapper for your game.

The main program loop will contain 3 main sections:

  • Capturing Events: Used to constantly “listen” to user inputs and react to these. It could be when the user uses the keyboard or the mouse.
  • Implementing the Game Logic. What happens when the game is running? Are cars moving forward, aliens falling from the sky, ghosts chasing you, etc.
  • Refreshing the screen by redrawing the stage and the sprites.

The main program loop will also use a frame rate to decide how often should the program complete the loop (& refresh the screen) per second. To implement this we will use the clock object from the pygame library.

The main program loop will use a timer to decide how many times it will be executed per second.

# Import the pygame library and initialise the game engine
import pygame
pygame.init()

# 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")

# 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. 
    screen.fill(DARKBLUE)
    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))
 
    # --- Go ahead and update the screen with what we've drawn.
    pygame.display.flip()
     
    # --- Limit to 60 frames per second
    clock.tick(60)
 
#Once we have exited the main program loop we can stop the game engine:
pygame.quit()

Next Step?


Your background is ready? Let’s add the first sprite to your project by completing the next tutorial:
Breakout Tutorial using Pygame:Adding the Paddle

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