Create better-looking tile based games with AS3 Color Matrix Filter

Some years ago I showed you how to use the AS3 Color Matrix Filter in the post Understanding AS3 ColorMatrixFilter class, and since then a lot of sites around the web are showing how to manipulate image colors with this technique.

Today I am giving you a tip about the use of ColorMatrixFilter class in tile based games. Imagine a tile based game with a lot of tiles of the same kind, like A Blocky Christmas.

Placing tens of tiles with the same image or color will make your level look flat, that’s why most developers use to draw more textures for the same tile and place them randomly on the stage to give the level a better look.

That’s the same thing you can do with ColorMatrixFilter class, look at this script:

package {
	import flash.display.Sprite;
	import flash.events.MouseEvent;
	import flash.filters.ColorMatrixFilter;
	public class Main extends Sprite {
		var randomness:Number=1;
		var randomRange:Number=0.2;
		var tileCanvas:Sprite=new Sprite();
		public function Main() {
			addChild(tileCanvas);
			for (var i:Number=0; i<20; i++) {
				for (var j:Number=0; j<15; j++) {
					var tile:Tile=new Tile();
					addChild(tile);
					tile.x=32*i;
					tile.y=32*j;
				}
			}
			stage.addEventListener(MouseEvent.CLICK,generateTiles);
		}
		private function generateTiles(e:MouseEvent):void {
			removeChild(tileCanvas);
			tileCanvas=new Sprite();
			addChild(tileCanvas);
			for (var i:Number=0; i<20; i++) {
				for (var j:Number=0; j<15; j++) {
					var tile:Tile=new Tile();
					addChild(tile);
					tile.x=32*i;
					tile.y=32*j;
					if (randomness>Math.random()) {
						var colorMatrix:Array = new Array();
						var colorOffset:Number=Math.random()*randomRange;
						colorMatrix=colorMatrix.concat([1-randomRange/2+colorOffset,0,0,0,0]);
						colorMatrix=colorMatrix.concat([0,1-randomRange/2+colorOffset,0,0,0]);
						colorMatrix=colorMatrix.concat([0,0,1-randomRange/2+colorOffset,0,0]);
						colorMatrix=colorMatrix.concat([0,0,0,1,0]);
						var finalFilter:ColorMatrixFilter=new ColorMatrixFilter(colorMatrix);
						tile.filters=[finalFilter];
					}
				}
			}
		}
	}
}

The first highlighted code just places some Tile sprites on the screen, while the second places them and applies small random changes to the colors.

Look at the result:

At the first run, you’ll see a flat, plain bunch of tiles. Click on the movie with the mouse to randomly generate a new level using Color Matrix Filter on Tile sprite.

Download the source code.

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214 GAME PROTOTYPES EXPLAINED WITH SOURCE CODE
// 1+2=3
// 100 rounds
// 10000000
// 2 Cars
// 2048
// A Blocky Christmas
// A Jumping Block
// A Life of Logic
// Angry Birds
// Angry Birds Space
// Artillery
// Astro-PANIC!
// Avoider
// Back to Square One
// Ball Game
// Ball vs Ball
// Ball: Revamped
// Balloon Invasion
// BallPusher
// Ballz
// Bar Balance
// Bejeweled
// Biggification
// Block it
// Blockage
// Bloons
// Boids
// Bombuzal
// Boom Dots
// Bouncing Ball
// Bouncing Ball 2
// Bouncy Light
// BoxHead
// Breakout
// Bricks
// Bubble Chaos
// Bubbles 2
// Card Game
// Castle Ramble
// Chronotron
// Circle Chain
// Circle Path
// Circle Race
// Circular endless runner
// Cirplosion
// CLOCKS - The Game
// Color Hit
// Color Jump
// ColorFill
// Columns
// Concentration
// Crossy Road
// Crush the Castle
// Cube Jump
// CubesOut
// Dash N Blast
// Dashy Panda
// Deflection
// Diamond Digger Saga
// Don't touch the spikes
// Dots
// Down The Mountain
// Drag and Match
// Draw Game
// Drop Wizard
// DROP'd
// Dudeski
// Dungeon Raid
// Educational Game
// Elasticity
// Endless Runner
// Erase Box
// Eskiv
// Farm Heroes Saga
// Filler
// Flappy Bird
// Fling
// Flipping Legend
// Floaty Light
// Fuse Ballz
// GearTaker
// Gem Sweeper
// Globe
// Goat Rider
// Gold Miner
// Grindstone
// GuessNext
// Helicopter
// Hero Emblems
// Hero Slide
// Hexagonal Tiles
// HookPod
// Hop Hop Hop Underwater
// Horizontal Endless Runner
// Hundreds
// Hungry Hero
// Hurry it's Christmas
// InkTd
// Iromeku
// Jet Set Willy
// Jigsaw Game
// Knife Hit
// Knightfall
// Legends of Runeterra
// Lep's World
// Line Rider
// Lumines
// Magick
// MagOrMin
// Mass Attack
// Math Game
// Maze
// Meeblings
// Memdot
// Metro Siberia Underground
// Mike Dangers
// Mikey Hooks
// Nano War
// Nodes
// o:anquan
// One Button Game
// One Tap RPG
// Ononmin
// Pacco
// Perfect Square!
// Perfectionism
// Phyballs
// Pixel Purge
// PixelField
// Planet Revenge
// Plants Vs Zombies
// Platform
// Platform game
// Plus+Plus
// Pocket Snap
// Poker
// Pool
// Pop the Lock
// Pop to Save
// Poux
// Pudi
// Pumpkin Story
// Puppet Bird
// Pyramids of Ra
// qomp
// Quick Switch
// Racing
// Radical
// Rebuild Chile
// Renju
// Rise Above
// Risky Road
// Roguelike
// Roly Poly
// Run Around
// Rush Hour
// SameGame
// SamePhysics
// Save the Totem
// Security
// Serious Scramblers
// Shrink it
// Sling
// Slingy
// Snowflakes
// Sokoban
// Space Checkers
// Space is Key
// Spellfall
// Spinny Gun
// Splitter
// Spring Ninja
// Sproing
// Stabilize!
// Stack
// Stick Hero
// String Avoider
// Stringy
// Sudoku
// Super Mario Bros
// Surfingers
// Survival Horror
// Talesworth Adventure
// Tetris
// The Impossible Line
// The Moops - Combos of Joy
// The Next Arrow
// Threes
// Tic Tac Toe
// Timberman
// Tiny Wings
// Tipsy Tower
// Toony
// Totem Destroyer
// Tower Defense
// Trick Shot
// Tunnelball
// Turn
// Turnellio
// TwinSpin
// vvvvvv
// Warp Shift
// Way of an Idea
// Whack a Creep
// Wheel of Fortune
// Where's my Water
// Wish Upon a Star
// Word Game
// Wordle
// Worms
// Yanga
// Yeah Bunny
// Zhed
// zNumbers