C# Tutorial – Create a Breakout game in Visual Studio

In this tutorial we will learn how to create/develop a fully working breakout game using c# and visual studio.  You will learn how to create multiple picture boxes and use them inside of a loop using c# programming language.  This tutorial is aimed for the beginners who are learning how to program and what better way to learn than to clone an all time classic. In this tutorial we are not using any other libraries such as XNA, MonoGame, DirectX or any other. We are simply going use a windows form application and C# programming to completely create a game from scratch.

Lesson Objectives –

1) Create a simple break out game using button, picture boxes and timer

2) Create a control loop to loop through system components and identify picture boxes

3) Create picture boxes with different tags and identify them using c#

4) Keeping score within the game

5) Execute win or lose scenario for the player

6) Animate paddle and ball to give rewarding game play for the user


Full Video Tutorial

Download Breakout Game Project on GitHub

Written Tutorial for the break out game –

Open Visual Studio, Create a new project in C# Windows Form application and name it breakoutgame.

Click on the form and change the following in the properties window

Change the Text to Break Out Game and change the size 924 and 706. 924 is the width of the form and 706 is the height of the form.

Find the BackColor option and change it to black for the form.

We will add a picture box to the form

Change the size to 125 and 23 also change the TAG section to block

Change the BackColor to white so we can see it.

Now we are going to copy this picture box 4 times to side

Now drag across and select all of them and copy and paste to the bottom of it 6 times till you get the same outlook as below.

Now we have total of 35 picture boxes tagged as block in the form. It’s important to remember this number.

All of these picture boxes have the same height, width and tag name which will be used in the code to identify them.

Now add a button to the form

Change the following in the properties for the button

(Name) = player

BackColor = White

Enabled = false

Location = 33, 657

Size = 175, 23

Text = Player

Now let’s add another picture box to form. This picture box will used as the ball.

Once you added the picture box to the form change the properties to the following

(Name) = ball

BackColor = Yellow

Size = 23, 26

Lastly add a label to screen this will keep the score for us.

Change the following in the properties. Place this label on top left corner of the screen.

Font – click on the 3 dots and change the size to 12 and BOLD

ForeColor = Black

BackColor = White

Lastly we need to add our main component the TIMER

Drag the timer to form

Change the following

Enabled = true

Interval = 20

Now let’s get started with the CODE yeaayy

First right click on the form and click on View Code or press F7 on the form, this will take you to the code view and where the real magic begins or lots of headache, lets go with magic for now lol.


This is the basic code which is the template for every windows

Look carefully at how the code is laid out. We made some space on top of the form1() line and entered these variables. All of these variables are declared outside any function so they are classed as global variables.

bool goRight is a Boolean which is set to false by default. We will set it to true when the player press the right button.

bool goLeft is a Boolean which is set to false as before, this will also be set to True when player presses the left button. Both of these Booleans will turn back to false when player releases the said buttons left or right.

int ballx is a integer with the value of 5.

int bally is a integer with the value of 5. Both of these integers are used to move the ball in the X or Y axis in the windows form.

int score is the integer which will hold out total score for the game. This integer will add 1 to itself when we hit a block and take it off the screen.

private Random rnd = new Random();

This line above is creating a new instance of the CLASS, we have created a rnd variable which will be used to create a random number. We will be using this RND variable to select a random colour for the blocks. See below

Inside the Form1 function we are going to run a for each loop which will check the components used in this application. We are able to do various things with for each loop in this case we are looking for picture boxes with the tag of BLOCK.

Start from the top

foreach (Control x in this.Controls)

this is the first declaration of the for each loop. We are giving it a variable called X with the type of control. This will help us identify any component of windows form.

We always start with the open curly bracket after the condition of the loop {

if (x is PictureBox && x.Tag == “block”)

Above we are starting the IF statement to find the picture box for instance we are saying if x is a type of picture AND x has the tag of block then do the following. Once again we start the IF statement with the open curly bracket {

Color randomColor = Color.FromArgb(rnd.Next(256), rnd.Next(256), rnd.Next(256));

we are creating a local variable called randomColor and then we are using the colour properties to randomly choose from a range of RGB (red, green and blue) elements with our RND variable.

x.BackColor = randomColor;

This line assigning a single colour to each x -> picture box found on the form.

Let’s not forget to end the IF statement curly brackets }

and the for loop curly brackets }

Run the game now.

Looking good.

Let go back to for the form and add the key down and key up events

After you have clicked on the Form look at the properties window. Click on the little lightning bolt icon and you will see the following options

Here you add various different events to the form to create your up application.

The two events we want are key down and key up.

Let’s find the key down first.

Type keyisdown (no spaces) and press enter.

you will go back to the code view. Come back to the form view and now find the key up.

type keyisup and press enter.

Let’s find the key is down function and enter the code inside of it.

The code reads that if key code is equals to LEFT AND player button left is greater than 0 then we change the go left to true. This statement stops our player from leaving the form. We always want the player to stay within the playground.

This if statement is for the right key. The same as the left key but a little different. IF the key code is equals to RIGHT AND player left plus the width which gives us the full width to the right of the button is less than 920 which is the width of our form then we change the go right to true. This way the player cannot leave the form to the right either.

Now find the key is up function and enter the code below

In the function above once the player releases the left or right key we change the go left and right back to false. So the player button cannot move when the button isn’t pressed.

Go back to the form design view and double click on the timer

This will automatically create a link for the timer. This is the most important part.

Let’s see how it works with simple 2 lines of code to start off.

ball.Left += ballx; This line of code will move the ball to the left each time the timer ran. ball.Top += bally will move the ball downwards each time the timer runs.

If you run the game now. The yellow square will disappear in the bottom of the screen.


Lets add further instructions for the timer event –

This will be a long function all of the codes are explained on the right side of the table.

private void timer1_Tick(object sender, EventArgs e)


This is the top part of the function. This gives the name of the function and the object which is bound to it. In this case its linked to the timer on the form.
ball.Left += ballx; We discussed this earlier it will move the ball left.
ball.Top += bally; We discussed this line was discussed earlier too.
label1.Text = “Score: ” + score; This line is calling the label1 we added to the form and we will dynamically change the text as the score increased throughout the same. We have inserted the score variable which will increase each time a block is taken out.
if (goLeft) { player.Left -= speed; } // move left This line is checking if the go left variable is true if so then we allow the user to move left by stating -= minus equals to the speed variable. Doing minus equals moves it to the left.
if (goRight) { player.Left += speed; } // move right This line is checking if the go right is equals to true, if so it will do a plus equals to speed meaning it will add the speed towards the right and move the button to the right.
if (player.Left < 1)


goLeft = false; // stop the car from going off screen


Although we have mentioned that we don’t want the player to leave the scene, sometimes it will still allow the player to somewhat overlap the form and leave the scene, however we can put some code in the timer to stop them from moving out. This line is checking if the players left is less than 1 then we change the go left to false.
else if (player.Left + player.Width > 920)


goRight = false;


Same again for this one, we are checking is the player left plus the player width is greater than 920 meaning the right side of the form then we change it back to false. Thus the player paddle doesn’t move out of the scene.
if (ball.Left + ball.Width > ClientSize.Width || ball.Left < 0)


ballx = -ballx;

// this will bounce the object from the left or right side



This if statement is multi condition. They don’t have to be true meaning it can be one OR the other. IF ball left plus the ball width is greater than the form (Client Size) width then OR (||) ball left is less than 0 meaning its on the edge of left side of the screen then we change the ballx from positive to negative. This will reverse the effect and bounce the ball off the sides.
if (ball.Top < 0 || ball.Bounds.IntersectsWith(player.Bounds))


bally = -bally; // this will bounce the object from top and bottom border



IF ball top position is greater than 0 meaning if it hits the TOP of the form OR (||) it intersects with the paddle (player) then we can change the bally from positive to negative. This is bounce the ball off the paddle and from the top of the screen.
if (ball.Top + ball.Height > ClientSize.Height)




In this if statement we are checking if the ball reaches bottom of the screen. If the player cannot reach the ball and misses it then we can run the gameOver function. Once a function is created we can run the function with its name only.
foreach (Control x in this.Controls) As we did before with the colour changing bit we are going to use the same formula to detect the hit between the block and the ball. To begin we start with the for each loop again, we are giving it a variable x as controls.

if (x is PictureBox && x.Tag == “block”)

IF x is a type of picture box AND (&&) x has a tag of block

if (ball.Bounds.IntersectsWith(x.Bounds))

Inside the main if we have set up another if statement, IF ball bounds intersects with bounds of X meaning the blocks then we do the following


bally = -bally;



First we remove the X which collided with the ball

We change the balls direction from up to down by changing the force from positive to negative

And we increase the score by 1. doing ++ sign means it will increase the original number with a number of we can also do score += 1 but both works the same.




These are the left over curly brackets from the IF and for loop.

Always make sure to end them using the closing curly brackets.

if (score > 34)



MessageBox.Show(“You Win”);


We have total of 35 picture boxes on the scene. Each picture box is worth 1 point. So if our player has score over 35 meaning 35 then we can decide that they have won. Run the game over function and show a message box that states you win.
} This is the ending curly bracket of the timer function. Do not forget about this.

We need to add the last function the game.

The game over function will only stop the main timer so the whole game stops.

Full Code For the break out game made in C# with Visual Studio.

Remember to follow this tutorial accurately, at any time if you think there was a mistake go back to the steps.

13 responses to “C# Tutorial – Create a Breakout game in Visual Studio”

  1. Danial says:

    i have followed the exact codes but it is still not working. please help

  2. Anhar Ali says:

    Where is the error?

  3. Anhar Ali says:

    What errors are showing? If you check them and post it here it would be helpful to pin it down.

  4. Jean Melkovsky says:

    A question: why did we make the player a button instead of a picture box?

  5. Anhar Ali says:

    There was no specific reason except I wanted to see if a button can be used to animate and interact with other objects.

  6. Syaadahr says:

    The ball and player didn’t move?? Pls help

  7. Nelson says:

    My error is the ‘private’ it says “The modifier ‘private’ is not valid for this item”.

  8. Anhar Ali says:

    Which line is this private error showing on?

  9. Nelson says:

    124, where there is private void gameOver()

  10. Anhar Ali says:

    Check the curly brackets. It might be because the function before this function is not closed. This function only stops the timer from within. Page 13 of the tutorial will show the code you need double check the codes from there.

  11. Nelson says:

    Alright, thank you i’ll try that.

  12. Nelson says:

    I can now open the game but the picture boxes are not getting hit by the ball, the ball goes through them :/

  13. saalam says:

    How i implement restart code hen game is over

Comment on this tutorial and let us know how you got on -