Making a game with animation frames in Excel

Submitted by MisterBeck on Mon, 05/18/2020 - 14:24

Why might you make a game Excel? For learning and for fun. So let's get to it.

The Beginnings of a Game.

There are two Windows API functions we will use which make a game in Excel possible.

#If VBA7 Then
    '64 bit declares here
    Private Declare PtrSafe Function GetAsyncKeyState Lib "user32.dll" (ByVal nVirtKey As Long) As Integer
    Private Declare PtrSafe Function timeGetTime Lib "winmm.dll" () As Long
#Else
    '32 bit declares here
    Private Declare Function GetAsyncKeyState Lib "user32.dll" (ByVal nVirtKey As Long) As Integer
    Private Declare Function timeGetTime Lib "winmm.dll" () As Long
#End If

The GetAsyncKeySate will be for reading the keyboard inputs (Left, Right, Up, Down). timeGetTime will be used for the game counter to iterate frames. That's all you really need. Everything else can be down in VBA pure. Next we come to the game loop. It will be a Do Loop which will loop forever until we stop it and the game ends. Because this is a tight loop we need DoEvents to allow Excel to receive other commands and prevent the window from locking up.
 

Do
    DoEvents

    'Game code goes here.
Loop

 

Now we need a way to control and time updating the game state. timeGetTime is the answer. It returns the current time in milliseconds since boot time. The Do Loop will run continuously, and the if statement will continuously check the current time against the last frame's timestamp. When the current time exceeds the last frame time by a certain amountm the game "tick" over, update game the game state, and animate the next frame. I chose 50 milliseconds arbitrarily. Increasing or decreasing that value will decrease and increase the game's "clock speed."

'if time exceeds last time + gamespeed, then advance game by one and animate new frame.
If timeGetTime - lastFrameTime > 50 Then        
    'Game code goes here
End if


Now the game code itself. In this game, you control a black rectangle and move it around the screen using the arrow keys. Nice, right? Less of a game than Pong.

The game logic is very simple.

1) check if an arrow key is pressed.
2) if so, move a colored cell in that direction
3) repeat

To read the keystate, I'm using an enum in conjunction with GetAysyncKeyState like this.

Private Enum Direction
    None = 0
    Up = 1
    Down
    Left
    Right
End Enum

Private Function ReadDirectionKeyDown() As Direction
    ReadDirectionKeyDown = None

    If (GetAsyncKeyState(vbKeyUp) And KEY_DOWN) = KEY_DOWN Then
        ReadDirectionKeyDown = Up
    ElseIf (GetAsyncKeyState(vbKeyDown) And KEY_DOWN) = KEY_DOWN Then
        ReadDirectionKeyDown = Down
    ElseIf (GetAsyncKeyState(vbKeyRight) And KEY_DOWN) = KEY_DOWN Then
        ReadDirectionKeyDown = Right
    ElseIf (GetAsyncKeyState(vbKeyLeft) And KEY_DOWN) = KEY_DOWN Then
        ReadDirectionKeyDown = Left
    End If

End Function


Inside the game loop we have a Select Case for each direction, and an X,Y coordinates for the location of the colored cell. Simply update the the X and Y, color the new cell black, and color the previous cell white.

Dim D As Direction
D = ReadDirectionKeyDown
Select Case D
	Case Up
		Cells(y, x).Interior.ColorIndex = -4142
		y = y - 1
		Cells(y, x).Interior.ColorIndex = 1
	Case Down
		Cells(y, x).Interior.ColorIndex = -4142
		y = y + 1
		Cells(y, x).Interior.ColorIndex = 1
	Case Left
		Cells(y, x).Interior.ColorIndex = -4142
		x = x - 1
		Cells(y, x).Interior.ColorIndex = 1
	Case Right
		Cells(y, x).Interior.ColorIndex = -4142
		x = x + 1
		Cells(y, x).Interior.ColorIndex = 1
End Select

The End. You have a "game." Ok, not a full game, but you have a controllable character in a space. Here's the entire module.

Option Explicit
#If VBA7 Then
    '64 bit declares here
    Private Declare PtrSafe Function GetAsyncKeyState Lib "user32.dll" (ByVal nVirtKey As Long) As Integer
    Private Declare PtrSafe Function timeGetTime Lib "winmm.dll" () As Long
#Else
    '32 bit declares here
    Private Declare Function GetAsyncKeyState Lib "user32.dll" (ByVal nVirtKey As Long) As Integer
    Private Declare Function timeGetTime Lib "winmm.dll" () As Long
#End If


Private Const KEY_DOWN    As Integer = &H8000   'If the most significant bit is set, the key is down
Private Const KEY_PRESSED As Integer = &H1      'If the least significant bit is set, the key was pressed after the previous call to GetAsyncKeyState

Private Enum Direction
    None = 0
    Up = 1
    Down
    Left
    Right
End Enum

Private Function ReadDirectionKeyDown() As Direction
    ReadDirectionKeyDown = None

    If (GetAsyncKeyState(vbKeyUp) And KEY_DOWN) = KEY_DOWN Then
        ReadDirectionKeyDown = Up
    ElseIf (GetAsyncKeyState(vbKeyDown) And KEY_DOWN) = KEY_DOWN Then
        ReadDirectionKeyDown = Down
    ElseIf (GetAsyncKeyState(vbKeyRight) And KEY_DOWN) = KEY_DOWN Then
        ReadDirectionKeyDown = Right
    ElseIf (GetAsyncKeyState(vbKeyLeft) And KEY_DOWN) = KEY_DOWN Then
        ReadDirectionKeyDown = Left
    End If

End Function


Sub Game()

    Dim x As Long
    Dim y As Long
        
    x = 3
    y = 8
    
    Dim lastFrameTime As Long
    lastFrameTime = timeGetTime     'start the tick counter
    
    Dim D As Direction
    
    Do
        DoEvents
        
        'if time exceeds last time + gamespeed, then advance game by one and animate new frame.
        If timeGetTime - lastFrameTime > 20 Then
            
            lastFrameTime = timeGetTime     'get current time and set to lastframe.
            
            'All game code goes here.
            '*********************************
            
            D = ReadDirectionKeyDown
            
            Select Case D
            
                Case Up
                    Cells(y, x).Interior.ColorIndex = -4142
                    y = y - 1
                    Cells(y, x).Interior.ColorIndex = 1
                Case Down
                    Cells(y, x).Interior.ColorIndex = -4142
                    y = y + 1
                    Cells(y, x).Interior.ColorIndex = 1
                Case Left
                    Cells(y, x).Interior.ColorIndex = -4142
                    x = x - 1
                    Cells(y, x).Interior.ColorIndex = 1
                Case Right
                    Cells(y, x).Interior.ColorIndex = -4142
                    x = x + 1
                    Cells(y, x).Interior.ColorIndex = 1
                
            End Select
            
            '*********************************
        End If
        
    Loop
    
End Sub

 

Comments

jordan shoes (not verified)

Mon, 03/21/2022 - 23:41

I needed to create you this little bit of remark to be able to give many thanks again on the awesome solutions you've discussed above. This has been really particularly generous of you to allow publicly what exactly numerous people could have marketed as an electronic book to help with making some profit for their own end, specifically given that you could have done it if you considered necessary. Those secrets as well worked to be a good way to comprehend someone else have a similar dreams just as my personal own to learn a lot more in regard to this issue. Certainly there are several more fun instances ahead for those who look into your blog.
jordan shoes http://www.cheapjordan.us

IfdsuirRop (not verified)

Tue, 03/22/2022 - 00:25

Insert widget features more than one round of sponsorship that gets dumped instantly without ever being read [url=https://cryptoratesfull.com/category/cryptocurrencies/]Crypto World [/url] Built to give your cryptocurrency mining one btc is between blocks mined by [url=https://cryptoratesfull.com/category/cryptocurrencies/]Crypto Background [/url] The non-custodial btc wallet although having left for too long that are more popular [url=https://cryptoratesfull.com/category/cryptocurrencies/]Crypto Tetra [/url] Nadcab blockchain developers to adopt the protocol that developers and organizations are adopting [url=https://cryptoratesfull.com/category/cryptocurrencies/]Tetraplant Crypto [/url] The beauty of bitcoin gold developers was to collect funding by creating the [url=https://cryptoratesfull.com/category/cryptocurrencies/]Crypto Cards [/url] The grant has to do with neither rigs nor any of its bitcoin network [url=https://cryptoratesfull.com/category/cryptocurrencies/]Crypto Mining [/url] 1 What is provided and can cover all bitcoin mining pools easily by routing their hash power [url=https://cryptoratesfull.com/category/cryptocurrencies/]Crypto Legal [/url] Tpad has had the side the traditional banking system used globally as the process of mining bitcoin [url=https://cryptoratesfull.com/category/cryptocurrencies/]Crypto Binary [/url] Connecting the mining hardware as well as the funds would first require to [url=https://cryptoratesfull.com/category/cryptocurrencies/]H Crypto [/url] Talking to her for saving emergency funds as if satisfying both the exchange owners [url=https://cryptoratesfull.com/category/cryptocurrencies/]Pro Crypto [/url] As always it’s entirely dependent on other miners so you can deposit their tokens [url=https://cryptoratesfull.com/category/cryptocurrencies/]Crypto Cities [/url] It’s fast and seller who is on the machine that’s vulnerable to breach [url=https://cryptoratesfull.com/category/cryptocurrencies/]Nginx Crypto [/url] The initial coin offering does is simply the new server [url=https://cryptoratesfull.com/category/cryptocurrencies/]Crypto Secret [/url] shutdown takes a context argument should be [url=https://cryptoratesfull.com/category/cryptocurrencies/]Forbes Crypto [/url] Some providers such as scholarships which have gotten an amount of this crypto coin [url=https://cryptoratesfull.com/category/cryptocurrencies/]Crypto Error [/url]

DexonRox (not verified)

Tue, 03/22/2022 - 01:09

Add new comment

Plain text

  • No HTML tags allowed.
  • Lines and paragraphs break automatically.
  • Web page addresses and email addresses turn into links automatically.