C# Tutorial – Create a Platform Drop-Down Game

In this tutorial, we will create a classic drop down game, the main purpose of this game to last in the game play for as long as you can without reaching the top or falling to the bottom. This game is fully created in Visual Studio using C# programming and we did not use any of the extra game engines or external classes.

Lesson Objective –

  • Creating a fully working game in Visual Studio using C#
  • Use of picture boxes
  • Use of labels
  • Using keyboard events for left or right
  • Artificially creating gravity for the player
  • Using loops in the component controls
  • Animating multiple picture boxes together in a loop
  • Using a high score system to see what you scored in the last session of the game.

Video Tutorial

Start Visual Studio under the C# programming language select Windows Form Application, name the project DropDown and click OK.

This is the initial windows form screen. If you click on the form and then find the properties window which is usually located in the bottom right of the window. If you cannot find it there then simply right click on the form and click on properties. Inside the properties window you will find an option called Size. Change the size of the form to 630, 770. This means 630 pixels width and 770 pixels height.

Find a panel control in the tool box and drag it to the form.

While the panel is selected on the form, go to the properties window and change the size to 580, 600. Remember we are changing the PANEL’s height and width not the forms.

While the panel is selected, locate the Back Color option and change it to BLACK.

This is what the Game screen looks like right now.

Select the label component from the tool box. Drag and drop it to the Panel

Change the text in the properties window for the label to Score: 0

Click on the font option and now click on the three dotted button …

This box will come up, in this box we can change the font size and style. So pick BOLD and size 16. CLICK OK.

Go back to the form and click and drag a picture box to the panel. Make sure the picture box is inside the panel

Click on the picture box and it will be selected in the panel.

Check the back color property in the properties window and change the back color to RED.

Inside the properties window find the option called tag and type platform. Since we are planning to have multiple platforms we can use the tag option to identify which are the platforms in this game.

This is the first picture box done in this panel. Notice we have stretched it so covers just about half of the width of the original pane. Make sure the left side of it is touching the left part of the panel.

Now add the another 3 picture boxes, use the same steps as the first one but you can chose different size and back colour for each of them. We have done so with ours check the image above.

Adding the Player –

Add another picture box from the tool box, this picture box will be used as our player on the screen.

Choose a white back colour for this picture box.

Change the name to player in the properties window

Change the size to 50, 40

This should be the final view of the player picture box

You can place the character anywhere in the screen, we chose to place it on top of the green one (2nd platform)

Find the timer object in the tool box and add it to the form.

In the properties window for the timer object, name the timer gameTimer, change Enabled to True and change the Interval to 20. All this is for the properties of the timer.

Now go to the events window for the timer, its right next to the properties icon in the Window. In the Tick option type playtimer this will be name of the event which controls the timer. All of the game instructions will be mainly focused inside the events.

Now click on the form and click on the events window.

Find the key down and the key up events in the list.

Write keyisdown for the key down events.

Write keyisup for the key up events.

Now lets go to the Code view for the game. Right click on the form and you will see the code view. You can also press F7.

This is what the code view looks like so far, we have added 3 events to this code and we will adding out variables next.

Add the variables before the public Form1() line. Make space before them and then add the variables as seen below.


        Random rnd = new Random();
        int gravity = 8;
        int score = 0;
        int speed = 12;
        bool moveLeft;
        bool moveRight;

Random rnd = new Random();

In this line is creating a new random instance. We are calling it RND and it will help us to generate random numbers.

int gravity = 8;

This line above is the integer called gravity and we will give it a value of 8.

int score = 0;

this line above we are creating a score variable and it will have 0 value in it.

int speed = 12;

The integer above is a speed variable which will hold the value 12.

bool moveLeft;

Above we are creating a Boolean called moveLeft. By default it has a value of False. Next is the moveRight Boolean with the same default value of False.

Key Down Event

        private void keyisdown(object sender, KeyEventArgs e)
            if (e.KeyCode == Keys.Left)
                moveLeft = true;
            if (e.KeyCode == Keys.Right)
                moveRight = true;

In the function above we have mapped out two key presses for the game, Left and Right.

If key code equals to left we change the move left Boolean from false to true. This way the program will be notified when the left key has been pressed. The same logic is inputted for the right key.

Key Up Event

        private void keyisup(object sender, KeyEventArgs e)
            if (e.KeyCode == Keys.Left)
                moveLeft = false;
            if (e.KeyCode == Keys.Right)
                moveRight = false;


In the function we are changing the move left and right Booleans back to false when the keys are up. When either of these Booleans are turned from true to false the program will be notified and it will give us a chance adjust the game according this.

Timer Event

private void playtimer(object sender, EventArgs e)
            player.Top += gravity; // drop the player from the top
            label1.Text = "Score: " + score; // show the score on the label

            if (moveLeft && player.Left > 1)
                // if move left is true and player left is greater than 1
                player.Left -= speed;
                //move player to the left
            if (moveRight && player.Left + player.Width < panel1.Width)
                //if player right is true and player left plus player width is greater than panel1s width
                player.Left += speed;
                //move player to the right

            foreach (Control x in panel1.Controls)
                // this for loop has a control called x and will be used to search for components
                // in the panel 1
                if (x is PictureBox && x.Tag == "platform")
                    // if x is type of picture box and has a tag string platform
                    x.Top -= 5;
                    // move the x to the top by 5 pixels

                    if (x.Top < panel1.Top - x.Height)
                        // if x's top is less then panel 1 top minus x's height
                        x.Top = panel1.Height + x.Height;
                        // reposion x top to bottom of panel 1

                        x.Width = rnd.Next(100, 400);
                        // give x a random width
                        // increase score by one

                    if (player.Bounds.IntersectsWith(x.Bounds))
                        // if player collides with the x
                        gravity = 0;
                        // change gravity value to 0
                        player.Top = x.Top - player.Height;
                        //stop the player from going through the picture box and position it on top
                        gravity = 8;
                        // if not then change gravity to 8

            if (player.Top + player.Height < 0 || player.Top > panel1.Height)
                //if player top reaches top of the panel OR
                // player drops to the bottom of the panel
                // stop the timer



As you can see the timer event is Long so we have commented on the code to ensure you go through each line of code and see what they do. Few things to remember

First make sure you follow the code thoroughly and second make sure you follow the curly brackets for example the initial program has a open and closing curly brackets {} and then we have the if statements which also have two and the for loop has two as well. So make sure you follow it. Also ensure the semi colons are placed end of the lines.

Screen Shots

There you go all of the elements in this game is working correctly, I can move the player box left and right and the platforms are moving up as we planned. Have a go with your own game and see if everything is working as it should.




3 responses to “C# Tutorial – Create a Platform Drop-Down Game”

  1. Jean Melkovsky says:

    Thank you for your wonderful tutorials! The only thing is that where you say the label should be dragged and dropped to the panel, you obviously mean to the form. Otherwise, everything works perfectly.

  2. Anhar Ali says:

    Thank you for the feedback. ?

  3. nyihtwe says:

    How to add restart game function