Adventures in Machine Learning

Design and Build Your Own Platformer Game with Python Arcade

Python Arcade – How to Design and Build Your Own Platformer Game

Have you ever wanted to design your own video game? If so, youre in luck! With Python Arcade, you can easily build your own platformer game that is fun, challenging, and unique.

Whether youre an experienced programmer or a novice, this article will provide you with step-by-step instructions for designing and building your very own game.

Installing Python arcade

Before we get started designing our game, we need to install the Python arcade library. This can be done using pip, which is a package manager for Python.

Simply run the following command in your terminal or command prompt:


pip install arcade


This will install the latest stable version of Python arcade on your system.

Designing the Game

Now that we have Python arcade installed, it’s time to start designing our game. Let’s begin by defining what a platformer game is and its characteristics.

What Is a Platform Game?

A platformer game, also known as a platform game or simply platformer, is a type of video game where the focus is on jumping, running, and climbing through various levels and obstacles.

Platform games often involve a protagonist who must navigate through these levels while avoiding enemies and collecting items.

Game Story

Before we start designing levels for our platformer game, we need to come up with a story. Our story will influence the levels we design and provide a reason for the player to complete their objectives.

The story can involve a number of things, including the main character’s background, their goals, and the obstacles they must overcome.

Game Mechanics

Now that we have a story, we can start designing our game mechanics. Game mechanics refer to the rules and methods that govern how your game should be played.

Start by defining the player controls for our game such as the keyboard input or joystick input.

Game Assets

Next, we need to create game assets, which include game images, sprites, and sound effects. These can be designed using various tools and software.

You can also find game asset sources online that you can use for free or purchase licenses for.

Defining the Program Structure

Before we start writing code for our game, it’s important to have a clear project structure in mind. This includes creating directories and organizing files to ensure that our code is organized and easy to navigate.

Defining the Game Structure in Python arcade

Now that we have a clear project structure, we can start building our game. Well start by implementing the arcade window, which is the main window where our game will be displayed.

Next, well create a class structure that describes the characters and objects in our game. By creating a class for each character or object, we can easily modify or add new features to our game.

Adding Initial Game Functionality

With our class structure in place, we can now start adding initial game functionality. This includes opening our game window, defining any game constants, creating sprite lists, and implementing a physics engine.

What Is a Physics Engine?

A physics engine is a software component that simulates physical phenomena, like gravity, forces, and object collisions.

In our game, it’ll be the software that determines how game objects interact with each other.


By following these simple steps, you can design and build your very own platformer game using Python arcade. It can be as complex or as simple as you like, with countless possibilities along the way.

The key is to have fun while you do it. Happy gaming!

Building Game Levels and

Defining the Player

In the previous sections, we’ve covered how to install Python arcade and design a simple platformer game. Now it’s time to dive deeper into the level design and player mechanics.

Building Game Levels

To design a level in Python arcade, we need to use a Tiled map editor. Tiled is a free and open-source software that allows us to create tilemaps – a collection of tiles that form a level.

Here’s a step-by-step process for designing a level in Tiled:

Step 1: Downloading and Starting Tiled

You can download Tiled from the official website, Once downloaded, open Tiled and create a new map.

Step 2: Creating a Tileset

As previously mentioned, a tileset is a collection of tiles that you use to create a level. We need to create a tileset that will be used for our game.

This can be done by importing images or sprites and creating tiles. A tile can be a block, a background element, or anything else you want to use in your game.

Step 3: Defining the Tileset

Once we have our tileset, we need to define it in Tiled. This involves specifying properties such as its size, the spacing between each tile, and any custom properties we want to add.

Step 4: Defining Map Layers

A layer is a logical organization of tiles in a tilemap. We need to define the layers for our game.

There are different types of layers in Tiled, such as tile layers, object layers, and image layers. Step 5: Designing a Level

Now that we’ve defined our tileset and layers, we can start designing a level by placing tiles on different layers.

We can place platforms, obstacles, enemies, and anything else we need to make our game challenging. Step 6: Building a Level

Once the level design is complete, we can export our level as a .tmx file and then use it in our Python arcade game.

Step 7: Defining Custom Properties

To add more functionality to our game elements, we can define custom properties in Tiled. This allows us to store additional information about each game element, such as its health, speed, and damage.

Step 8: Reading Game Levels

In Python arcade, we need to load the game levels we designed in Tiled. This can be done using arcade’s TileMap class, which reads the .tmx file and constructs a tilemap out of it.

We can then render the tilemap on the screen to display our game level.

Defining the Player

Now that we have a level, we need to define the player mechanics. This involves updating and drawing the player sprite, moving the player sprite, and scrolling the viewport.

Updating and Drawing

We first need to create a sprite for the player and update it at every game loop iteration. This involves changing its position, animation, and other attributes.

We can then draw the player sprite on the game window using arcade’s sprite rendering functionality.

Moving the Player Sprite

In order to move the player sprite, we need to listen to keyboard or joystick events and update its position based on the player’s input. We can also add animations to the player sprite to create a more dynamic visual experience.

Scrolling the Viewport

Finally, we need to move the viewport so that the player sprite stays in the center of the screen. This involves moving both the player sprite and the background tiles.

We can accomplish this by creating a camera object in Python arcade and modifying its position based on the player sprite’s position.


In this expansion, we’ve covered how to design game levels using Tiled and its integration with Python arcade. We’ve also looked at player mechanics such as sprite updating and drawing, moving the player sprite, and scrolling the viewport.

By following these steps, we can create a fun and engaging platformer game that will keep players entertained for hours.

Adding Extra Features

In the previous sections, weve covered how to design levels and define player mechanics in Python arcade. In this section, well cover some extra features that can take our game to the next level.

On-Screen Score

A great way to improve the player’s engagement with the game is to add an on-screen score display. This will give the player a sense of accomplishment and progression.

To add an on-screen score display in Python arcade, we need to create a new class that inherits from arcade.text and draw the score text in the update() method.

Joystick and Game Controllers

While keyboard input is great, it’s also a good idea to support joystick and game controllers in our game. This allows for more interactive gameplay and enhances the gaming experience.

Python arcade makes this easy by providing support for any joystick or game controller that is recognized by the computer’s operating system.

Title and Other Screens

Another way to improve the player’s engagement with the game is to create additional screens such as a title screen, level completion screen, or game over screen. This allows the player to get a break from the main gameplay and adds to the overall experience of the game.

Moving Enemies and Platforms

Moving enemies and platforms can add more variety and complexity to the levels of our game. To move enemies, we need to create a new update() function in the enemy class that computes its new position based on its current position and any other required variables.

For platforms, we need to create a new class that inherits from arcade.Sprite and define its movement in the update() function.


In conclusion, Python arcade provides a great platform for developing 2D platform games. With its rich set of features and modules, we can easily design, create, and add extra features to our game.

Weve covered important topics such as level design, player mechanics, score display, joystick and game controller support, title and other screens, and moving enemies and platforms. Using these tools in creative ways can help us create a fun and engaging game that players will love to play.

In this article, we explored the process of designing and building a platform game using Python arcade. We covered the installation of Python arcade, designing game levels, defining the player, and adding extra features to the game.

By following these steps, we can create a fun and engaging platformer game that players will love to play. The article emphasized how important it is to have a clear plan, a logical process, and a creative mindset when building a game.

The key takeaway is that with Python arcade, you can easily create a game that is unique, challenging, and enjoyable for players of all levels.

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