In this tutorial, we will create a particle engine for a 2D game. A particle engine (or particle system) is a technique that is used to simulate many effects including fire, sparks, flowing water, falling snow, dust, or abstract effects, like glowing trails or effects from a magic spell. You can really do a lot with a particle engine. Often, they are done in 3D, but for this tutorial, we will look at how to implement one in 2D. As an example of what you can use particle effects for, take a look at the screenshot below, which is from an Asteroids clone that I recently made, which uses a particle system:
In this image, the ship's engine exhaust and the trail for the bonus are visible, which were both implemented with a particle engine. Particle engines were also used for other effects in the game as well. In this tutorial, we will create a particle engine similar to the trail for the bonuses in the Asteroids game above.
Particle Engine Images
The first thing we will need to do is to get images for the particle engine. You can use any images you want, though you are free to use the images below if you want.
Download these images and add them to the content of your project like we have done before.
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