Monday, January 18, 2016

A Phaser Game With Mouse/Touch Input

I'm back from Texas and have mostly recovered from the events of last week. I still have a bit of a cold, but I'm not letting it stop me from getting a simple game ready for inclusion in a comic this week. This game will use mouse/touch input instead of the keyboard like my last one did, so I had to figure out how to use sprite dragging in Phaser.

Like most things have been with Phaser so far, it took a few tries to get it all correct but in the end it all seems really simple. It revolves around enabling input on individual Sprites, enabling drag, and then optionally listening for drag-related events.

Here is the complete source code for a Sprite-dragging demo:

var init = function() {

    var game = new Phaser.Game(width, height, Phaser.CANVAS, "gameArea", {
        preload : preload,
        create : create

    function selectFrog(sprite, pointer) {
        sprite.frame = 1; // frog in the air

    function releaseFrog(sprite, pointer) {
        sprite.frame = 0; // frog sitting

    function preload() {
        this.load.spritesheet('frog', 'assets/sprites/frog.png', 79, 60);

    function create() {

        this.stage.backgroundColor = "#999999";

        var frog = this.add.sprite(50, 50, "frog", 0);
        frog.inputEnabled = true;
        frog.input.enableDrag(true);, this);, this);



window.onload = function() {

The selectFrog and releaseFrog functions are the event handlers for the drag start and drag stop events. In this example, all they do is log something to the console and change the frame of the sprite. In my upcoming game, I do more in here such as tween animations and game logic.

When I make the frog sprite in the create function of my example, setting inputEnabled to true is the first step. Without this, you can't do anything with input to the individual sprite. Once that is done, you can set the specific input behaviors. The very next line, frog.input.enableDrag(true), turns on drag-ability. The single parameter passed to the function sets whether or not the Sprite should re-center itself to the cursor upon being drug. I passed true, which will cause the center of the sprite to jump to the position of the cursor when the drag starts. If this isn't what you want, you can also say false and drag from any part of the sprite - not just center.

When dragging is enabled, the sprite will fire off events for drags starting and stopping. I added the selectFrog and releaseFrog functions as event handlers using the onDragStart and onDragStop fields of the sprite's events field. Note the parameters that get passed to these event handlers when they fire. The first is the sprite object that was the subject of the drag and the second is the Pointer object. There's lots of information on the Pointer object about the state of the pointer if you want any of that to matter in your game.

If you've tried the code above and are using a mouse, you might be disappointed that the cursor changes to that text-select I-beam cursor thing while you drag the frog. If you'd like it to stay as the default cursor while you drag, no problem! You can simply override the cursor style in the create function. Just add this line: = "default";

Now the cursor will always be the default pointer regardless of what you are clicking or dragging in the game. If you'd like the cursor to turn into the click-here hand whenever it's over the frog (dragging or not), there's also the useHandCursor field on the input object. If you add this line to the create function instead...

frog.input.useHandCursor = true; will turn the cursor into the hand when you mouse-over the frog. I didn't care for that personally, but it might be useful in certain situations.

Now that you've read all this, you probably want to see this sprite-dragging in action. Sorry, but the game I was making is not actually in today's comic. You have to wait until later in the week. Click the image or link below for today's comic. comic for 18 January 2016

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