Arrays for Beginners

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2-dimensional arrays

A 2-dimensional array has a width dimension (x) and a height dimension (y). For example, a 5x5 2-dimensional array would look like this:

The index of the top-left cell is (0,0) ie. x = 0, y = 0. The bottom-right cell is (4,4).

Looping, comparing and setting values is done in a similar way except now we need to specify both the x and y indices.

Example use for a 2-dimensional array

2-d arrays are great for representing grids and so they have a lot of uses in 2d games.

Let’s say we have a block sprite with 3 different colour animations. We want to place 12 blocks in a 4x3 grid and give them random colours. Well, we can use a 2-d array to represent the grid and we can set each cell of the array to a random colour.

Then to display our grid, we loop through the array and create a sprite with it’s position based on the current array indices and it’s animation based on the current array value.


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