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  • Writer's pictureBruce

Let's create an MPAGD game - Part 3 - The Block Editor

Updated: Oct 30, 2021

The Block editor is where you will create the 8px by 8px blocks that we will use to design the screens of our game.

MPAGD allows blocks to have different properties, these are called BLOCKTYPES.

When you first open up the Block Editor, you can see there are already two Blocks that have been created:

Similar to the Sprite Editor, the Block Editor lets us choose the foreground and background colours that we we can use, then we just click in the grid to design the block.

We can also change the Blocktype by clicking the current type on the right hand side to cycle through the available types.

At the bottom of the Block Editor is the bank of currently available blocks. Currently there are two, the first block, is an EMPTYBLOCK type. EMPTYBLOCKS allow the player to pass through them unhindered. Lets leave this one alone for now, it's best not to mess around with it as this is the block that will be used by default when you create a SCREEN.

Click on the other block, the one with a brickwork pattern

As we can see, this is a WALLBLOCK type. WALLBLOCKS cannot be passed through by the player, but in a platform game for example, you can use them for walls, floors and platforms that the player can walk on and jump on to.

Let's create a new Block. As with the SPRITE EDITOR we can press X to add a new one.

Next, we'll change the BLOCKTYPE to PLATFORMBLOCK. Keep clicking the blocktype until it reaches PLATFORMBLOCK. Then choose some colours, and design your PLATFORMBLOCK in the grid...

A PLATFORMBLOCK is similar to a WALLBLOCK in that a sprite can walk on it, however they can also jump through it to get on top of it. There are a number of other BLOCKTYPES available that I'll cover later, but for now, we have enough.

OK. We've got a player sprite, and a few we'll create a screen that the player can play stop the SCREEN the Editors Menu and select SCREENS.

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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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