Smile, you're on camera!

Yes, exactly like that! Just like using a camera to shoot your friends having fun at a party, you can use similar concepts to what you already intuitively know, to add camera functionality to your game. Why could a camera be important? It gives dimension to a 2D game and is required for 3D games. You couldn't have a true 3D game without a camera (although you can fake to a certain extent with art). In a 2D game a camera could add functionality like a mini-map.

The basics of using a camera

There are a few basic points to know when getting started using a Camera object.

  • There are 2 types of cameras: perspective camera and orthographic camera. Perspective camera can be thought of as how we see every day objects...near and far. Orthographic camera can be thought of as a flat, top down view to a Scene.
  • Every Scene automatically creates a default camera, based on the projection properties of the Director object.

For more detailed information, please review the camera documentation.

Getting Started

Creating a demo project

The easiest thing to do is to run cocos new CameraDemo -l cpp -d . to create a new Cocos project. We can re-use the default HelloWorldScene class to get us started.


First, to be sure, let's create a few variables to help us with screen size and then quickly navigate around the screen as needed. Example, using origin and visibleSize that are already defined in the default class:

cocos2d::Vec2 centerPosition = cocos2d::Vec2(visibleSize.width / 2.f, visibleSize.height / 2.f);
cocos2d::Vec2 leftPosition = cocos2d::Vec2(visibleSize.width / 4.f, visibleSize.height / 2.f);
cocos2d::Vec2 rightPosition = cocos2d::Vec2((visibleSize.width / 2.f + visibleSize.width / 4.f), 
    visibleSize.height / 2.f);

Second, let's create a few Sprite objects to use in our Scene. Maybe just two:

/* Creatingthe sprites */
/* Sprite 1 */
    auto alien1 = Sprite::create("Blue_Front1.png");

/* Sprite 2 */
    auto alien2 = Sprite::create("White_Front1.png");

Creating a camera

You can create as many Camera objects as you need although it is wise to use care and consider the task at hand before creating many Camera objects to handle tasks other methods are better suited to handle.

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