HaxePunk shooting game tutorial: Part 7

posted on Oct 02, 2014 in Haxe, OpenFL, Game design, HaxePunk
HaxePunk shooting game pause tutorial

Pausing a game is basic, but very common and perhaps even essential functionality. Today we'll make our HaxePunk shooter game pausable.

When a game is paused, the gameplay stops. This means that the player stops responding to keyboard inputs, there is no collision being checked, no entity is moved... That's already a lot of things to disable.

But disabling all of this is actually very simple, when you realize that all of that functionality is dependent on the scene's update function, which is called every frame.

All we need to do is skip that function when the game is paused.

How do you actually accomplish this?

Take a look at the updated MainScene.hx code:

package ;

import com.haxepunk.graphics.atlas.TextureAtlas;
import com.haxepunk.graphics.Image;
import com.haxepunk.HXP;
import com.haxepunk.Scene;
import com.haxepunk.utils.Input;
import com.haxepunk.utils.Key;

class MainScene extends Scene
	private var player:PlayerShip;
	private var spawnInterval:Int;
	private var enemyGraphic:Image;
	private var explosion:Explosion;
	private var score:Score;
	private var paused:Bool;
	private var pausedText:PausedText;
	public function new()
		Input.define("up", [Key.UP, Key.W]);
		Input.define("down", [Key.DOWN, Key.S]);
		Input.define("left", [Key.LEFT, Key.A]);
		Input.define("right", [Key.RIGHT, Key.D]);
		var atlas:TextureAtlas = TextureAtlas.loadTexturePacker("atlas/atlas.xml");
		enemyGraphic = new Image(atlas.getRegion("enemyShip"));
		player = new PlayerShip(atlas);
		spawnInterval = Math.round(Math.random() * 50) + 50;
		explosion = new Explosion(atlas);
		score = new Score();
		paused = false;
		pausedText = new PausedText();
		pausedText.visible = false;
	override public function update() {	
		if (Input.pressed(Key.P)) {
		if (paused) return;
		if (spawnInterval == 0) {
			var enemy = new EnemyShip(enemyGraphic, explosion, score);
			enemy.x = Math.round(Math.random() * (HXP.width-64));
			enemy.y = -50;
			spawnInterval = Math.round(Math.random() * 20)+30;
	public function togglePause() {
		paused = !paused;
		pausedText.visible = !pausedText.visible;

I created a "paused" boolean, which is false by the default.

If you look at the update() function, you'll see that the first thing I do there is check whether the P key is pressed (I will bind the pause toggling functionality to the P key), and a togglePause() method is called if it is.

The togglePause() function sets the "paused" variable's value to its opposite value.

The second thing I do in the update() function is check whether the paused value is true, and if it is - I return from the function. This skips the rest of the function, and, since the scene's update() method updates all the entities, all that entity functionality is paused as well.

There's also a PausedText instance, which is added to the scene but is made invisible in the beginning. The visibility of this entity is also toggled in the togglePause() function.

The code of PausedText.hx looks like this:

package ;
import com.haxepunk.Entity;
import com.haxepunk.graphics.Text;
import com.haxepunk.HXP;
import openfl.text.TextFormatAlign;

 * Paused state indicator.
 * @author Kirill Poletaev
class PausedText extends Entity
	private var pausedText:Text;

	public function new() 
		pausedText = new Text("Paused", 0, HXP.height / 2 - 20, HXP.width);
		pausedText.align = TextFormatAlign.CENTER;
		pausedText.size = 40;
		graphic = pausedText;
		layer = -3;

As you can see, it's a simple Entity subclass, which displays the "Paused" text message as long as the game is paused.

And that's how you pause a game in HaxePunk. This kind of approach also works with any other framework or environment where all entities share a common update loop.

We will add a life counter and player collision detection in the next part!


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