Tutorial: Using Cocos Creator to create a Sokoban style game

Tutorial: Using Cocos Creator to create a Sokoban style game

Using Cocos Creator to create a Sokoban style game

Before beginning

Before you start building this demo game, let’s download the tutorial from GitHub. You can download
the completed version as well, but try to build your game with us first.

If you have trouble with this lesson, please study the following documentation:

1. How is this game divided?

The game has designed a total of four modules:

  • Start the game (menuLayer)
  • Level selection (levelLayer)
  • Game play view (gameLayer)
  • Game settlement (gameOverLayer)
1.1 Add the main script for the game

Right-click the Script folder, create a new JavaScript file, and rename it gameLayer. The script is then added to the Canvas node of the gameLayer scene. After adding the necessary property inspector parameters to the script, please edit the gameLayer script to use the following code:

//gameLayer.js code
extends: cc.Component,

properties: {
	bg : cc.Node,
	menuLayer : cc.Node,
	levelLayer : cc.Node,
	gameLayer : cc.Node,
	gameControlLayer : cc.Node,
	gameOverLayer : cc.Node,
	//menuLayer view element
	startBtn : cc.Node,
	titleImg : cc.Node,
	iconImg : cc.Node,
	loadingTxt : cc.Node,

	//levelLayer view element
	levelScroll : cc.Node,
	levelContent : cc.Node,

	//gameLayer view element
	levelTxt : cc.Node,
	curNum : cc.Node,
	bestNum : cc.Node,

	itemImgAtlas: cc.SpriteAtlas,
	levelImgAtlas: cc.SpriteAtlas,

	levelItemPrefab : cc.Prefab,

After the code is added, save the code and see the effect in the editor:

Each property is exposed as a box in the Property Inspector panel of the component. Notice the yellow boxes in the image. These help to identify the type of object. Only resources, nodes, and components that are consistent with these types can be placed in the box. After the binding is complete, it has the following effect:

2. Designing the main menu layer

All the resources required for the game are already in the assets directory of the teaching project. You can use these resources to start designing the game. The game, at this point, still lacks a game start interface. We will begin to design this scene, called menuLayer.

2.1 Laying out the menuLayer interface

Double-click the gameLayer scene in the Scene folder to enter the scene editor interface. In the teaching project, we have retained the UI layout that has been designed, but you can also use your imagination to adjust the scene design. The resource path for this interface is: assets/resources/Texture/img/. To learn about scene creation, please refer to the Scene production workflow document.

For reference, this is how we initially designed the scene:

The menuLayer node is displayed by default at the beginning of the game. The displaying and hiding of each level can be controlled by code that switches to each of the different modules. Interface design ideas: after the player enters the game, click on the start game button, trigger the button click on the callback function, that loads the game scene and starts the game. Use the following code, as the callback function to start the game:

//gameLayer.js code
//callback of the start game button
startBtnCallBack(event, customEventData){
    if(this.curLayer == 1){
	this.curLayer = 1;

    	cc.callFunc(() => {
        	this.startBtn.scale = 1.0;
        	this.menuLayer.opacity = 255;
        	this.menuLayer.active = false;

	this.levelLayer.active = true;
	this.levelLayer.opacity = 0;
    	cc.callFunc(() => {

The button callback function is then added to the Click Events array of the cc.Button component. You can do this in the Cocos Creator editor:

Let’s add a small animation so that the node constantly zooms in and out. The main API used is the action system. The code is as follows:

//gameLayer.js code
//start button animation
    this.startBtn.scale = 1.0;
        cc.scaleTo(0.6, 1.5), 
        cc.scaleTo(0.6, 1.0)

Save the code, run the game, preview it for the web, and you can see the following effects:

3. Design levelLayer module

The design of the level selection interface is divided into two parts:

  • Level interface display
    • By reading the configuration file, loading the level prefabricated resources consistent with the configuration data, displaying all levels
  • Update level information
    • Update each level information according to the game

3.1 Level interface display

All levels in the game will be placed in a ScrollView component node. First, create the checkpoint node levelItem in the Content node of the ScrollView.

Next, drag the node into the Prefab folder, make a prefabricated resource levelItem, and then delete the checkpoint node under the Content node.

During the loading process of the level selection interface, the height of the content node of the ScrollView component is recalculated after reading the level configuration file. The following is example code for the level interface to load and display the level node:

//gameLayer.js code
//create a checkpoint interface sub-node
createLavelItem (){
    //select level callback
    let callfunc = level => {            
	//load and display levelItem
    for(let i = 0; i < this.allLevelCount; i++){
        let node = cc.instantiate(this.levelItemPrefab);
        node.parent = this.levelScroll;
        let levelItem = node.getComponent("levelItem");
    //set container height
    this.levelContent.height = Math.ceil(this.allLevelCount / 5) * 135 + 20;

3.2 Update level information

Add a levelItem script component to the levelItem preform.

The levelItem script component is responsible for updating information. It mainly controls whether it is clickable, the number of customs stars, the level of the level, and the click event to enter. The levelItem script component updates the UI code as follows:

//levelItem.js code
 * @description: Show the number of stars
 * @param {boolean} isOpen   //whether or not to turn it on
 * @param {starCount} Number of stars
 * @param {cc.SpriteAtlas} levelImgAtlas   //texture map
 * @param {number} level 
 * @return: 
showStar(isOpen, starCount, levelImgAtlas, level){
    this.itemBg.attr({"_level_" : level});
        this.itemBg.getComponent(cc.Sprite).spriteFrame = levelImgAtlas.getSpriteFrame("pass_bg");
        this.starImg.active = true;
        this.starImg.getComponent(cc.Sprite).spriteFrame = levelImgAtlas.getSpriteFrame("point" + starCount);
        this.levelTxt.opacity = 255;
        this.itemBg.getComponent(cc.Button).interactable = true;
        this.itemBg.getComponent(cc.Sprite).spriteFrame = levelImgAtlas.getSpriteFrame("lock");
        this.starImg.active = false;
        this.levelTxt.opacity = 125;
        this.itemBg.getComponent(cc.Button).interactable = false;
    this.levelTxt.getComponent(cc.Label).string = level;

You can store the player’s status through cc.sys.localStorage API. The status of can be divided into three states: cleared, just opened and unopened. The specific implementation is as follows:

// gameLayer.js code
// refresh the information on the level
    let finishLevel = parseInt(cc.sys.localStorage.getItem("finishLevel") || 0);  //get finish level record
    for(let i = 1; i <= this.allLevelCount; i++){
        // finish level
        if(i <= finishLevel){
            let data = parseInt(cc.sys.localStorage.getItem("levelStar" + i) || 0);
            this.tabLevel[i - 1].showStar(true, data, this.levelImgAtlas, i);
        // new round
        else if(i == (finishLevel + 1)){
            this.tabLevel[i - 1].showStar(true, 0, this.levelImgAtlas, i);
        // unopened level
            this.tabLevel[i - 1].showStar(false, 0, this.levelImgAtlas, i);

Save the code, run the preview, click the start game button to see the level interface loaded and displayed:

4. Designing the main game layer

The design of the gameLayer module is also divided into two parts:

  • Load and display the interface
  • Game operation judgment

4.1 Load and display the interface

Use levelConfig.json to configure each level of information in the game.

Each level consists of multiple rows and columns of squares. Each level information contains content, allRow, allCol, heroRow, heroCol, allBox attributes, allRow and allCol record the total number of rows and columns, heroRow and heroCol record the location of heroes, and allBox records the total number of boxes. 'content` is the core, record the attributes of each box, and display different objects, such as walls, floors, objects, and boxes, according to different attributes. You can add any number of levels by modifying the configuration.

Read all the data of the level and display different objects according to the properties of each location. The main code could be something like:

//gameLayer.js code
//create a level
    let levelContent = this.allLevelConfig[level].content;
    this.allRow = this.allLevelConfig[level].allRow;
    this.allCol = this.allLevelConfig[level].allCol;
    this.heroRow = this.allLevelConfig[level].heroRow;
    this.heroCol = this.allLevelConfig[level].heroCol;
    // calculate block size
    this.boxW = this.allWidth / this.allCol;
    this.boxH = this.boxW;
    // calculation of starting coordinates
    let sPosX = -(this.allWidth / 2) + (this.boxW / 2);
    let sPosY = (this.allWidth / 2) - (this.boxW / 2);
    // calculate the offset of coordinates, operation rules (wide spread, set high coordinates)
    let offset = 0;
    if(this.allRow > this.allCol){
        offset = ((this.allRow - this.allCol) * this.boxH) / 2;
        offset = ((this.allRow - this.allCol) * this.boxH) / 2;
    this.landArrays = [];   //map container
    this.palace = [];       //initialize map data
    for(let i = 0; i < this.allRow; i++){
        this.landArrays[i] = [];  
        this.palace[i] = [];
    for(let i = 0; i < this.allRow; i++){    //row
        for(let j = 0; j < this.allCol; j++){     //col
            let x = sPosX + (this.boxW * j);
            let y = sPosY - (this.boxH * i) + offset;
            let node = this.createBoxItem(i, j, levelContent[i * this.allCol + j], cc.v2(x, y));
            this.landArrays[i][j] = node;
            node.width = this.boxW;
            node.height = this.boxH;
    // show character
    this.setLandFrame(this.heroRow, this.heroCol, boxType.HERO);

And next:

//gameLayer.js code
//create elements based on type
createBoxItem(row, col, type, pos){
    let node = new cc.Node();
    let sprite = node.addComponent(cc.Sprite);
    let button = node.addComponent(cc.Button);
    sprite.spriteFrame = this.itemImgAtlas.getSpriteFrame("p" + type);
    node.parent = this.gameControlLayer;
    node.position = pos;
    if(type == boxType.WALL){  //Metope, named wall_row_col
        node.name = "wall_" + row + "_" + col;
        node.attr({"_type_" : type});
    else if(type == boxType.NONE){  //Blank area, named none_row_col
        node.name = "none_" + row + "_" + col;
        node.attr({"_type_" : type});
    else{  //game interface, named land_row_col
        node.name = "land_" + row + "_" + col;
        node.attr({"_type_" : type});
        node.attr({"_row_" : row});
        node.attr({"_col_" : col});
        button.interactable = true;
        button.target = node;
        button.node.on('click', this.clickCallBack, this);
        if(type == boxType.ENDBOX){  //boxes at the target point, add 1 directly to the number of boxes completed
            this.finishBoxCount += 1;
    this.palace[row][col] = type;
    return node;

All elements of the game are placed in the gameControlLayer node:

After the start of the game, the effects displayed are as follows (the first level, other levels are similar)

4.2 Game operation judgment

After the route is calculated, the player moves. If the player clicks on the box area, we first need to detect whether there are obstacles in front of the box. If not, push the box. By switching the pictures of the map and modifying the location type it can achieve the effect of pushing the box. When clicking on the map, we can obtain the location to get the optimal path, and the character runs to the specified point. The implementation code is as follows:

//gameLayer.js code
//click on the map element
clickCallBack : function(event, customEventData){
  let target = event.target;
  //minimum path length
  this.minPath = this.allCol * this.allRow + 1;
  //optimal route
  this.bestMap = [];
  //end position
  this.end = {};
  this.end.row  = target._row_;
  this.end.col = target._col_;
  //starting point position
  this.start = {};
  this.start.row = this.heroRow;
  this.start.col = this.heroCol;
  //determine the type of end point
  let endType = this.palace[this.end.row][this.end.col];
  if((endType == boxType.LAND) || (endType == boxType.BODY)){  //It is an open space or a target point, and the trajectory is calculated directly.
      this.getPath(this.start, 0, []);
      if(this.minPath <= this.allCol * this.allRow){
          console.log("Unable to find path to reach");
  else if((endType == boxType.BOX) || (endType == boxType.ENDBOX)){ //It's a box. Determine if it can be pushed.
      //calculate the distance between the box and the character
      let lr = this.end.row - this.start.row;
      let lc = this.end.col - this.start.col;
      if((Math.abs(lr) + Math.abs(lc)) == 1){  //The box is in the upper, lower, left and right directions of the characters
          //calculate if there are any obstacles in the propulsion azimuth
          let nextr = this.end.row + lr;
          let nextc = this.end.col + lc;
          let t = this.palace[nextr][nextc];
          if(t && (t != boxType.WALL) && (t != boxType.BOX) && (t != boxType.ENDBOX)){  //there are no obstacles, no walls, push the box.
              //character position restoration
              this.setLandFrame(this.start.row, this.start.col, this.palace[this.start.row][this.start.col]);
              //box location type
              let bt = this.palace[this.end.row][this.end.col];
              if(bt == boxType.ENDBOX){      //the type of box with a target object, restored to the target point
                  this.palace[this.end.row][this.end.col] = boxType.BODY;
                  this.finishBoxCount -= 1;
                  this.palace[this.end.row][this.end.col] = boxType.LAND;
              //the location of the box becomes a figure, but the type is saved as an empty space or target point
              this.setLandFrame(this.end.row, this.end.col, boxType.HERO);
              //the position in front of the box becomes a box
              let nt = this.palace[nextr][nextc];
              if(nt == boxType.BODY){  //there is a target point, set the box type to have a target box
                  this.palace[nextr][nextc] = boxType.ENDBOX;
                  this.finishBoxCount += 1;
              else {
                  this.palace[nextr][nextc] = boxType.BOX;
              this.setLandFrame(nextr, nextc, this.palace[nextr][nextc]);
              this.curStepNum += 1;
              //refresh step
              //refresh character position
              this.heroRow = this.end.row;
              this.heroCol = this.end.col;
      else{   //target point error

And next:

//gamePlayer.js code
//get the optimal path algorithm, curPos records the current coordinates, step records the number of steps
getPath : function(curPos, step, result){
    //determine whether or not to reach the end point
    if((curPos.row == this.end.row) && (curPos.col == this.end.col)){
        if(step < this.minPath){
            this.bestMap = [];
            for(let i = 0; i < result.length; i++){
            this.minPath = step; //if the current number of arrival steps is smaller than the minimum value, modify the minimum value
            result = [];
    for(let i = (curPos.row - 1); i <= (curPos.row + 1); i++){
        for(let j = (curPos.col - 1); j <= (curPos.col + 1); j++){
            //jump over the line
            if((i < 0) || (i >= this.allRow) || (j < 0) || (j >= this.allCol)){
            if((i != curPos.row) && (j != curPos.col)){//Ignore bevel
            else if(this.palace[i][j] && ((this.palace[i][j] == boxType.LAND) || (this.palace[i][j] == boxType.BODY))){
                let tmp = this.palace[i][j];
                this.palace[i][j] = boxType.WALL;  //Marked as unwalkable

                //save alignment
                let r = {};
                r.row = i;
                r.col = j;

                this.getPath(r, step + 1, result);
                this.palace[i][j] = tmp;  //Try to end, unmark

5. Designing the game over layer

At the end of the game, according to the success of pushing a number of boxes, e need to determine if the player was successful. If the player was successful, update the level information accordingly. Example code:

//gameLayer.js code
//game end detection
    let count = this.allLevelConfig[this.curLevel].allBox;
    // all pushed to the specified position.
    if(this.finishBoxCount == count){   
        this.gameOverLayer.active = true;
        this.gameOverLayer.opacity = 1; 

        // number of levels completed by refresh
        let finishLevel = parseInt(cc.sys.localStorage.getItem("finishLevel") || 0);
        if(this.curLevel > finishLevel){
            cc.sys.localStorage.setItem("finishLevel", this.curLevel);

        // refresh star level
        cc.sys.localStorage.setItem("levelStar" + this.curLevel, 3);

        // refresh the most Uber number
        let best = parseInt(cc.sys.localStorage.getItem("levelBest" + this.curLevel) || 0);
        if((this.curStepNum < best) || (best == 0)){
            cc.sys.localStorage.setItem("levelBest" + this.curLevel, this.curStepNum);

An image for reference:

6. Introduction of the author

The author of this tutorial is caizj.cn from the Cocos Creator Chinese Forum and also maintains a GitHub profile.