Player health and scoring

Player health and scoring

April 11, 2017

Project: Learn to clone Timberman with SpriteKit and Swift 3

Let's expand upon your gameplay with a health mechanic to add time pressure to the player's actions and of course the quintessential indicator of success, the score label!

Adding the health bar

The health bar comprises of two assets, the life_bg.png background and the life.png health bar.

Open GameScene.sks and drag life_bg.png to the center of the scene and near the top. Set the Z Position to 100, you want this to be high due to the sushi pieces.

Drag life.png into the center of the the bar, set the Z-Position to 101 and Name to healthBar

How do you think you could gracefully decrease the health bar?

Scaling the bar

There is a really nice way to create the effect of a bar gradually decreasing in size. You can scale it. However, if you try to scale it right now in the scene editor it will scale in a uniform manner, decreasing in size on all sides. This is due to the Anchor Point being set to (0.5,0.5).

Change the Anchor Point of the healthBar to the bottom-left (0,0), you may have to reposition it back into place after you do this. Now setting Scale X to 0.5, looks good :], Set it back to 1.0 when finished.

You now know how to scale the healthBar between 0 and 1 to achieve the desired effect.

Can you code connect the healthBar?

Add the following property to the GameScene class

var healthBar: SKSpriteNode!

Next, add this code to didMove(to view:)

healthBar = childNode(withName: "healthBar") as! SKSpriteNode

Great you now have access to the healthBar object. However, you will want to use another property to track the players health and use this value to update the bar visually.

Health counter

Let's add a CGFloat type property called health and make use again of the didSet property observer to reflect any changes into the healthBar.

Add this property:

var health: CGFloat = 1.0 {
  didSet {    
      /* Scale health bar between 0.0 -> 1.0 e.g 0 -> 100% */
      healthBar.xScale = health

Nice, now where do you think the player should gain health and where should they lose health? You want the player to feel pressured by time, the longer they take to act the more health they lose. When they do act they should gain health. The trick is getting the balance right between loss and gain, something you can tweak yourself from player feedback :]

A great place to add a steady decline would be in the update(_ currentTime:) method.

Add the following to the existing update(_ currentTime:) method:

/* Called before each frame is rendered */
if state != .playing {
/* Decrease Health */
health -= 0.01
/* Has the player ran out of health? */
if health < 0 {

This is also a great place to check for the other type of player death due to lack of health. Again you don't want this to be active until the game is in play.

Run the game... The health bar should tick down and you eventually die and there is nothing you can do about it :[

Adding health

To counter balance this decline you should give the player health every time they successfully punch the sushi.

After the collision check in touchesBegan(_ touches:) add:

/* Increment Health */
health += 0.1

Run the game...

Animated health bar

The player's health goes up, yet there is a small problem here. The health bar can now exceed 100%!

Can you rectify this in the health property observer?

Add this to the start of the didSet observer in the health property:

/* Cap Health */
if health > 1.0 { health = 1.0 }

Run the game again... Excellent

Adding the score

Adding the score is very similar to adding health. You will need to add a SKLabel to the GameScene to display the player's score in the scene and also a counter property to track the score and use this value to refresh the label.

Open GameScene.sks and drag across a Label from the Object Library. can of course set the Position to something like (160,340).

Set the Name to scoreLabel and change the Font to something you like. Score font selection Set the Text to 0 and set the Z-Position to 100

Set the font and the size of the label to something bold that will be easy to read.

Next code connect the scoreLabel, see if you can do this one yourself.

Add a new property to the GameScene class:

var scoreLabel: SKLabelNode!

Then connect it in didMove(to view:):

scoreLabel = childNode(withName: "scoreLabel") as! SKLabelNode

Now that you have access to the label, you will want to add a score counter that can be used to track the player's score and then update the scoreLabel.

Add the following property to the GameScene class:

var score: Int = 0 {
  didSet {
    scoreLabel.text = String(score)

When the score value changes the text property of the scoreLabel is updated to the new value.

Time to give the player some points.

Add the following code in touchesBegan(_ touches:) after: health += 0.1

/* Increment Score */
score += 1

Run the game... Congratulations, you should now have a fully functional game!

Animated MVP


Congratulations you've completed Sushi Neko, give the person next to you a high five.

You learnt to: - Add health and score mechanics - Implement game counters and utilize property observation to update the display objects.

The next chapter will be a recap of everything you have covered so far, well done.


If you have feedback on this tutorial or find any mistakes, please open issues on the GitHub Repository or comment below.

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