I've been tasked to make a platformer, I've never made a tiled game before, is this necessary?

I.e. can I just make different child classes of a Sprite class and add place them on the map, adding their own functionality?

I'm using html5 canvas and JS if that makes a difference.

  • \$\begingroup\$ You don't have to use tiles. You can put sprites at positions. Also you can generate terrain procedurally. Up to you. Also this question is likely to get put on hold... \$\endgroup\$ Oct 24, 2013 at 16:09
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    \$\begingroup\$ Comprehensive article here: higherorderfun.com/blog/2012/05/20/… describes 4 methods of laying out the level geography. \$\endgroup\$ Oct 24, 2013 at 16:21
  • \$\begingroup\$ Yeah I knew this Q would hit my rep of 6 lol. Cheers for the answers, I've made games with XNA and Unity - someone advised me against placing sprites at positions with Canvas/JS wanted confirmation \$\endgroup\$ Oct 24, 2013 at 16:23
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    \$\begingroup\$ i'd advise you to use tiles unless you have a serious gameplay or artistic reason not to do so. tiles make editing levels easy, it's easy to implement smooth movement with them, they're great if you want to procedurally generate or destroy things and they make programming AI so much more easier than if you'd use random geometry. if you want to place random sprites, nothing's stopping you, you still can do that while using tiles. just try to understand that tile based level design will make your life much easier and give you more control over your game. \$\endgroup\$
    – dreta
    Oct 24, 2013 at 18:53
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    \$\begingroup\$ It's not about the time, it's about imposing a fixed set of rules for your game world that, at the same time, are robust enough for most titles. It makes calculations much easier, it's much easier to determine the exact level structure around an entity. With random geometries, you'll have to do ray/etc. queries to get an approximation of what's around and since these are just approximations, you'll still need to impose some set of rules for the level designer. I wish you the best, but it's likely that few months down the road you'll wish you stuck with tiles, lots of people have been there. \$\endgroup\$
    – dreta
    Oct 24, 2013 at 20:24

1 Answer 1


No, platformers do not have to be tile based. You can do "free placement" of sprites as well. See these related questions to learn more:

Recommended method towards making custom maps for a 2d game?

How can I get textures on edge of walls like in Super Metroid and Aquaria?

I'll also add the link Seth shared because it's an excellent resource.


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