Game Dev Movement cheatsheet with examples

aka My Cheat Sheet of Helpful Code

I created a blog post way back title Game Snippets I Always Forget. I put it up basically as a dumping ground for random game related bits of code I found myself looking up over.. and over. A few of them are a bit cryptic but that’s mostly due to me quickly logging in and pasting before Id forget. While now I have (most) memorized I figured I would revisit the article and add some examples that may help others out. The following are examples dealing with movement, angles, and directions.

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Simple 2d Terrain With Midpoint Displacement

Codepen terrain

Screenshot from scrolling terrain and shooting stars demo on

In a few of my demos I’ve used 2d terrain. I love the effect and its really easy to do especially in 2d. The algorithm I use most is Diamond Square also known as Midpoint Displacement. What’s great about the algorithm besides its easy of use is that it can be used for simple 2d terrain as well as with 3d terrain. For now I will just be talking about generating 2d terrain, in a future article I will discuss how to use the same algorithm to make create height maps that can be used in turn to create 3d terrain.

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Burn Away Effect Explanation

This explanation doesn’t show any code more of just an overview of how to achieve a simple but cool looking effect.

I’ve seen variations this effect used in different places, one of the more recent examples I can think of is the loading screens from Red Orchestra 2. RO2’s effect definitely uses a different method than mine but it gave me an idea to try something similar. I ended up with a similiar effect using pixel manipulation, and a tiny bit of Cellular Automaton.

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3d Shading with Points

I was checking out some old books the other day and I came across Commodore Step by Step Graphics Vol 3. It had an interesting looking screenshot for a bit of code, which showed shaded spheres entirely made of points. I thought the effect would look cool if multiple ones were layered over each other to look like planets and moons. So I converted the Basic over to JavaScript using the canvas element to replicate the effect.

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Creating a canvas platformer tutorial part two

Wow, so its been a while since I’ve posted anything. I’ve been kind of busy, and was forcing myself not to post anything unless it was going to be part two of the tutorial. With that said lets begin! For all the code and fully working demo scroll to the bottom.

Last we left off we had a pretty complete demo where we could run and jump around the screen. Now we are going to add some objects that the player can actually collide into!

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Creating a canvas platformer tutorial part one

I’ve seen a few questions on Stackoverflow lately dealing with how to smoothly move an object around on the canvas. This will be the first part, of my first ever attempted tutorial series. So please bear with me as I can sometimes be very confusing (to myself included) when trying to convey any topics dealing with development.

What we will be making

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JavaScript time between dates

A person asked a question in my post about sorting dates in Javascript, basically on how to return a measurement of time between dates, such as days, hours, minutes, seconds. I haven’t really ever had to do something like this so I figured I would see if it was as easy as I assumed it would be in JS. This is what I came up with.

var dob = new Date("9/28/1982"),
    today = new Date("9/21/2010");

// Days between dates

// Years between dates

Returns pretty accurate results, Im not accounting for leap years so it thinks I’m already 28 even though I still have a few days to go.

How to get the week in a month for a date with Javascript

Working on my calendar application and I needed to get what week in the current month a day occurs on. Unfortunately I couldn’t find anything like this in the JavaScript Date object so this is the function I came up with

Date.prototype.getMonthWeek = function(){
	var firstDay = new Date(this.getFullYear(), this.getMonth(), 1).getDay();
	return Math.ceil((this.getDate() + firstDay)/7);

Thanks to mutilator for helping out with the actual math to figure it out.

Javascript Sorting by date time

Im currently working on a web based calendar and I needed to sort my event object by date real quick. So the first thing I did was a quick search  on sorting an object by date time. Google becomes such second nature I immediately think of doing that first sometimes before fleshing out a whole solution in my mind. The first result I was brought to was this page on While the authors solution will work I thought why do even need this complexity? This is what I came up with when I stepped away from Google realizing this was a very trivial task

* Function : sortDate(Date, Date)
* Description : Sorts an object based on date
function sortDate(a,b)
    var a = new Date(a.startDateTime),
        b = new Date(b.startDateTime);
    return (a.getTime() - b.getTime());

My object has a property called startDateTime, but this can easily be modified. All I do is a quick comparison of the UNIX time stamp and its sorted. Mainly just hoping this eventually ranks higher than the result I found on Google.