Python is a high-level programming language renowned for its simplicity and ease of use. One of the many benefits of Python is its ability to handle game development. The Snake Game is a popular game that can be developed using Python without the need for external libraries like pygame. In this article, we will explore how beginners can create the Snake Game using Python without pygame.
Before we start, it is crucial to have Python installed on your computer. You can download Python from the official website, and you should also have a basic understanding of Python syntax.
Step 1: Setting up the Environment
Once you have Python installed, the next step is to set up the programming environment. We recommend using an Integrated Development Environment (IDE) that comes with a code editor and a runtime environment. PyCharm, Visual Studio and Spyder are popular IDEs amongst Python developers.
Step 2: Importing Python Libraries
After setting up the environment, it's time to import the required Python libraries to build the game. These libraries are:
- turtle – a Python graphics library for creating games and drawing shapes.
- random – a library for generating random numbers for game mechanics.
To import these libraries, include the following code at the beginning of your Python script.
Step 3: Creating the Game Screen
In this step, we will create the game screen where the game will be played. The turtle library can be used to create the game window. Here is an example code to create the game screen.
window = turtle.Screen()
In this code, we created a screen with a background color of green and dimensions of 600×600 pixels. We disabled automatic updates to the window with the "window.tracer(0)" command.
Step 4: Defining the Snake
The snake is the main character of the game. It moves on the screen and eats food to grow longer. Here is an example code to create the snake using turtle:
snake = turtle.Turtle()
snake.direction = "stop"
In this code, we created a turtle object named "snake". The penup() method on the object ensures that there is no trace of the turtle's movement. We set the snake's starting position to (0, 0) on the screen and set its direction to "stop". We also defined the speed of the snake using the speed(0) method.
Step 5: Moving the Snake
In this step, we will define a function that will move the snake around the screen.
if snake.direction == "up":
y = snake.ycor()
snake.sety(y + 20)
if snake.direction == "down":
y = snake.ycor()
snake.sety(y – 20)
if snake.direction == "right":
x = snake.xcor()
snake.setx(x + 20)
if snake.direction == "left":
x = snake.xcor()
snake.setx(x – 20)
Here, we defined the move() function that checks the snake's direction to move it around the screen. We used the setx() and sety() methods to change the snake's coordinates based on its direction.
Step 6: Defining the Keyboard Controls
In this step, we will define the keyboard controls for the game. These controls will allow the user to change the snake's direction using the arrow keys.
if snake.direction != "down":
snake.direction = "up"
if snake.direction != "up":
snake.direction = "down"
if snake.direction != "left":
snake.direction = "right"
if snake.direction != "right":
snake.direction = "left"
The go_up(), go_down(), go_right() and go_left() functions will be called when the corresponding arrow keys are pressed. We also added a check to ensure that the user can't move the snake in the opposite direction i.e., if the snake is moving up, you can't move it down.
To bind these functions to the arrow keys, use the following code:
The listen() method on the "window" object ensures that the window is listening for key presses. We then bind each function to its corresponding arrow key using the onkeypress() method.
Step 7: Adding Food to the Screen
The snake needs to eat food to grow longer. Here is an example code to add food to the screen.
food = turtle.Turtle()
In this code, we created a turtle object named "food". The penup() method ensures that there is no trace of the turtle's movement. We set the food's starting position to (0, 100) on the screen. We also defined the food's speed using the speed(0) method.
Step 8: Implementing Collision Detection
In this step, we will implement collision detection between the snake and food. When the snake collides with the food, it will grow longer, and the food will move to a new random location on the screen.
We will create a function named "collision". Here is an example of how it works.
def collision(t1, t2):
if t1.distance(t2) < 20:
x = random.randint(-290, 290)
y = random.randint(-290, 290)
Firstly, we check if the distance between the snake and food is less than 20. If this is true, we generate a new random position for the food using the randint() method. Then, we use the goto() method to move the food to the new position. Lastly, we return True to indicate that a collision has occurred.
We then call this collision() function in the game loop and check if a collision has occurred. If this is true, we use the turtle library to create a new snake segment to make the snake grow longer.
Step 9: Implementing the Game Loop
Finally, we will implement the game loop that controls the game's flow. Here is an example of how it works.
if collision(snake, food):
seg = turtle.Turtle()
for i in range(len(segments)-1, 0, -1):
x = segments[i-1].xcor()
y = segments[i-1].ycor()
if len(segments) > 0:
x = snake.xcor()
y = snake.ycor()
delay = 0.1
In this code, we created a while loop that continues to run until the game is over. We updated the window using the update() method. We then called the move() function to move the snake around the screen. If a collision occurs, we add a new snake segment to make the snake grow longer.
We then loop through the segments array and move each segment to the position of the segment in front of it. This allows the snake's body to follow its head. If there are segments, we move the first segment to the position of the snake's head.
Lastly, we added a delay of 0.1 seconds using the time library's sleep() method to control the game's speed.
In conclusion, creating the Snake Game in Python is a great way for beginners to learn Python programming. Python's turtle library offers a simple yet effective way to draw and create games without using external libraries like pygame. By following these steps, beginners can create a functioning version of the Snake Game. Practice makes perfect; you can expand the game mechanics or experiment with different ideas to improve the playing experience.
let's dive deeper into some of the topics covered in the article.
Python Libraries for Game Development
Python has many libraries to support game development. Some popular libraries include pygame, PyOpenGL, and Pygame Zero. However, for beginners, the turtle library offers a simple and straightforward way to build games. It is a built-in library in Python, so you do not need to install it separately.
The turtle library offers a variety of methods to control the movement and appearance of the turtle object. It is also possible to create subclasses that add additional functionality to the turtle. Turtle graphics, in combination with the standard Python libraries, provide a powerful, easy-to-learn way to build games.
Collision detection is an essential element when developing games. It is the process of detecting whether two objects have collided. In our example, the collision function determines if the snake's head is touching the food object.
After detecting a collision between two objects, different actions can be taken. In some games, colliding objects may be destroyed, and in other games, they may change color or size. In our Snake Game, when the snake's head touches the food object, a new food object is placed on the screen, and the snake grows longer.
A game loop is a continuous process that controls the flow of the game. At its heart, it is a simple loop that repeats as long as the game is running. The loop checks for collisions, updates the game state, and redraws the screen. The delay function at the end of the loop sets the game's speed by pausing the loop for a specified amount of time.
In our Snake Game, the game loop code moves the snake, checks for a collision with the food, and updates the segments of the snake's body. It then uses the delay function to control the game's speed, ensuring that the game runs at a steady pace.
Building a Snake Game using Python without using external libraries like pygame is a great way for beginners to start learning Python programming. With Python's turtle library, creating a game is much easier and the program's amount of lines is limited. It makes it easy to control the graphics, objects, and game mechanics, while at the same time focusing on code clarity. Hopefully, this article has provided you with a great introduction to game programming with Python.
What libraries are required to build the Snake Game in Python without pygame?
Answer: The required libraries are the built-in turtle and random libraries in Python.
Can the turtle library be used to create graphics in Python?
Answer: Yes, the turtle library is a powerful graphics library built into Python that can be used to create games and draw shapes.
What is collision detection, and why is it important in game development?
Answer: Collision detection is the process of detecting whether two objects have collided. It is essential in game development because it determines if the game state needs to change in response to a player's action or some other event.
What is a game loop, and how does it work?
Answer: The game loop is a continuous process that controls the flow of the game. It checks for input, updates the game state, and redraws the screen. The loop repeats as long as the game is running and controls the speed of the game.
Can beginners create the Snake Game without using external libraries like pygame?
Answer: Yes, beginners can create the Snake Game without external libraries like pygame. Using the built-in turtle and random libraries, beginners can create a functioning version of the game.