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  • Writer's pictureBruce

Let's create an MPAGD game - Part 2 - The Sprite Editor

Updated: Oct 30, 2021

From the Editor menu, select Sprites

OK, so all sprites in MPAGD are 16 x 16 squares.

In the top right of the editor are two colour boxes, on the left is the INK (foreground), on the right the PAPER (background)

IMPORTANT! - these colours (when creating for the Spectrum) are irrelevant and wont affect your game - you set the sprites colour in the code, not here in the editor. On other platforms, like CPC and MSX, you will have different colour options that WILL affect how your sprite displays in your game but we'll cover those another time. You can click on the colour boxes to cycle through the palette - but this will just give you an idea of what the sprite would look like with those colours.

So, for now, lets leave them as they are and lets draw a character.

My game is going to star a flatulent dog... In the main editor just start clicking in the grid to draw your hero (right click will erase a cell)

OK, so, that's one sprite with Stinky Dog facing right, in the editor on the right hand side, at the bottom, is our sprite bank, it should only have 1 sprite in it for now, but I could do with another one where he is facing left.

Press X to add a new sprite, note that the editor refreshes and there's a new space in the Sprite Bank

Then, from the Sprite Bank, click the sprite we created first and Press M to copy it

Now click your new, blank Sprite from the Sprite Bank and Press K to paste in right facing Stinky Dog

Finally press H to flip him horizontally.

Cool, now we have two sprites for Stinky Dog, one for each direction that he is going to move (Left and Right).

Next, were going to take a look at Blocks, these are the tiles that will make up our screens. From the Editor menu select Blocks.

2,008 views2 comments


Lee Parker
Lee Parker
Apr 19, 2021

Hi Bruce, good tutorials. You mention in this tutorial that on the Spectrum, you set the sprite colour in code, I've done this at the top of the (in this case, player) event using spriteink , however when my sprite passes over an empty block which has pixels, it changes the colour of the block until another sprite passes over it. I've seen in other games that the background empty blocks return to their original colour when your sprite leaves it. What am I missing?

Oct 17, 2021
Replying to

Sorry I completely missed this comment! Yes, that will happen, the trick is to change the BLOCK TYPE to WATERBLOCK (or custom or deadly) then the SPRITEINK wont paint it and it will retain its original colour, so sorry for the delay!


Want to support my work?....Buy my games!


Hello, I'm Bruce and I write games for old 8bit computers using Jonathan Cauldwell's excellent Multi-Platform Arcade Games Designer (MPAGD)

I've written a few successful* games for the Sinclair ZX Spectrum and MSX platforms that have been (largely) well received including Twenty Four Hour Parsley People scoring a 10 out of 10 on Planeta Sinclair.

In my blog I am sharing lots of the code that I wrote for my games, in a way that you can use in your own games.   I've commented it so that you'll learn some of the techniques I use to create interesting new mechanics and help your games stand out from the pack.

MPAGD includes lots of standard scripts, they're great to get you started, but if you're new (or just rusty) when it comes to writing code, hopefully my tutorials will help you get started and  turn your imagination into awesome 8 bit games!

All my code is free to use and do with as you please, but if you find them useful please feel free to buy me a coffee ...or better still - buy or download my games :)

*successful is a very relative term in 8bit computer games

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