Porting the FlappyBird clone to Godot 4.1 devlog 2

As stated in my FlappyBird devlog 1 entry I originally started the clone in Godot 4, then backported back to Godot 3 because of HTML5 support, and now I’m porting it back again to Godot 4 as there is support again and I want to start getting familiar with it for future projects.

The source code can be found at luevano/flappybirdgodot (main branch). Playable at itch.io:

Table of contents

Porting to Godot 4

Disclaimer: I started the port back in Godot 4.0 something and left the project for a while, then opened the project again in Godot 4.1, and it didn’t ask to convert anything so probably nowadays the conversion is better. Godot’s documentation is pretty useful, I looked at the GDScript reference and GDScript exports and that helped a lot.

General changes

These include the first changes for fixing some of the conflicting code to at least make it run (no gameplay) as well as project settings adjustments.


Now that the game at least runs, next thing is to make it “playable”:


This is the most challenging part as the TileMap system changed drastically, it is basically a from the ground up redesign, luckily the TileMaps I use are really simple. Since this is not intuitive from the get-go, I took some notes on the steps I took to set up the world TileMap.


Instead of using one scene per TileMap only one TileMap can be used with multiple Atlas in the TileSet. Multiple physics layers can now be used per TileSet so you can separate the physics collisions on a per Atlas or Tile basis. The inclusion of Tile patterns also helps when working with multiple Tiles for a single cell “placement”. How I did it:

  1. Created one scene with one TileMap node, called WorldTileMap.tscn, with only one TileSet as multiple Atlas‘ can be used (this would be a single TileSet in Godot 3).
    • To add a TileSet, select the WorldTileMap and go to Inspector -> TileMap -> TileSet then click on “” and then “New TileSet” button.
    • To manipulate a TileSet, it needs to be selected, either by clicking in the Inspector section or on the bottom of the screen (by default) to the left of TileMap, as shown in the image below.
TileMap's TileSet selection highlighted in red, "Add" button in green.
  1. Add two Atlas to the TileSet (one for the ground tiles and another for the pipes) by clicking on the “Add” button (as shown in the image above) and then on “Atlas”.
  2. By selecting an atlas and having the “Setup” selected, change the Name to something recognizable like ground and add the texture atlas (the spritesheet) by dragging and dropping in the “Texture field, as shown in the image below. Take a not of the ID, they start from 0 and increment for each atlas, but if they’re not 0 and 1 change them.
TileSet atlas setup selection highlighted in red, atlas name and id in green.
TileSet atlas setup selection highlighted in red, atlas name and id in green.
  1. I also like to delete unnecessary tiles (for now) by selecting the atlas “Setup” and the “Eraser” tool, as shown in the image below. Then to erase tiles just select them and they’ll be highlighted in black, once deleted they will be grayed out. If you want to activate tiles again just deselect the “Eraser” tool and select wanted tiles.
Atlas setup erase tiles. "Setup" selection and "Eraser" tool highlighted in red and green, respectively.
Atlas setup erase tiles. “Setup” selection and “Eraser” tool highlighted in red and green, respectively.
  1. For the pipes it is a good idea to modify the “tile width” for horizontal 1x2 tiles. This can be acomplished by removing all tiles except for one, then going to the “Select” section of the atlas, selecting a tile and extending it either graphically by using the yellow circles or by using the properties, as shown in the image below.
Atlas resize tile. "Select" selection and "Size in Atlas" highlighted in red and green, respectively.
Atlas resize tile. “Select” selection and “Size in Atlas” highlighted in red and green, respectively.
  1. Add physics (collisions) by selecting the WorldTileMap‘s TileSet and clicking on “Add Element” at the TileMap -> TileSet -> Physics Layer twice, one physics layer per atlas. Then set the collision’s layers and masks accordingly (ground on layer 2, pipe on 3). In my case, based on my already set layers.
    • This will enable physics properties on the tiles when selecting them (by selecting the atlas, being in the correct “Select” section and selecting a tile) and start drawing a polygon with the tools provided. This part is hard to explain in text, but below is an image of how it looks once the polygon is set.
Tile add physics polygon in Physics Layer 0.
Tile add physics polygon on physics layer 0.
- Notice that the polygon is drawn in *Physics Layer 0*. Using the grid option to either `1` or `2` is useful when drawing the polygon, make sure the polygon closes itself or it wont be drawn.
  1. Create a tile pattern by drawing the tiles wanted in the editor and then going to the Patterns tab (to the right of Tiles) in the TileMap, selecting all tiles wanted in the pattern and dragging the tiles to the Patterns window. Added patterns will show in this window as shown in the image below, and assigned with IDs starting from 0.
Tileset pattern.
Tileset pattern.


Basically merged all 3 scripts (ground_tile_map.gd, pipe_tile_map.gd and world_tiles.gd) into one (world_tile_map.gd) and immediatly was able to delete a lot of signal calls between those 3 scripts and redundant code.

The biggest change in the scripting side are the functions to place tiles. For Godot 3:

# place single tile in specific cell
void set_cell(x: int, y: int, tile: int, flip_x: bool = false, flip_y: bool = false, transpose: bool = false, autotile_coord: Vector2 = Vector2( 0, 0 ))
void set_cellv(position: Vector2, tile: int, flip_x: bool = false, flip_y: bool = false, transpose: bool = false, autotile_coord: Vector2 = Vector2( 0, 0 ))

Whereas in Godot 4:

# place single tile in specific cell
void set_cell(layer: int, coords: Vector2i, source_id: int = -1, atlas_coords: Vector2i = Vector2i(-1, -1), alternative_tile: int = 0)
# erase tile at specific cell
void erase_cell(layer: int, coords: Vector2i)

How to use these functions in Godot 4 (new properties or differences/changes):

Setting source_id=-1, atlas_coords=Vector21(-1,-1) or alternative_tile=-1 will delete the tile at coords, similar to just using erase_cell.

With the addition to Tile patterns (to place multiple tiles), there is a new function:

# place pattern
void set_pattern(layer: int, position: Vector2i, pattern: TileMapPattern)

Where position has the same meaning as coords in set_cell/erase_cell, not sure why it has a different name. The pattern can be obtained by using get_pattern method on the tile_set property of the TileMap. Something like:

var pattern: TileMapPattern = tile_set.get_pattern(index)

Other than that, Vector2 needs to be changed to Vector2i.

Changes and improvements

General changes and additions that have nothing to do with porting to Godot 4, things I wanted to add regardless of the version.


The audio in the Godot 3 version was added in the last minute and it was blasting by default with no option to decrease the volume or mute it. To deal with this:

  1. Refactored the code into a single scene/script to have better control.
  2. Added a volume control slider by following this GDQuest guide.
  3. Added a mute button, following the same principle as with the volume control.

The basic code required for these features is the following:

# get audio bus index
var audio_bus_name: String = "Master"
var _bus: int = AudioServer.get_bus_index(audio_bus_name)

# change the volume
var linear_volume: float = 0.5 # 50%, needs to be between 0.0 and 1.0
var db_volume: float = linear_to_db(linear_volume)
AudioServer.set_bus_volume_db(_bus, db_volume)

# mute
AudioServer.set_bus_mute(_bus, true) # false to unmute

Just be careful with how the linear_volume is set (from a button or slider) as it has to be between 0.0 and 1.0.

Event bus

Moved all the signal logic into an event bus to get rid of the coupling I had. This is accomplished by:

  1. Creating a singleton (autoload) script which I called event.gd and can be accessed with Event.
  2. All the signals are now defined in event.gd.
  3. When a signal needs to be emited instead of emitting the signal from any particular script, emit it from the event bus with Event.<signal_name>.emit(<optional_args>).
  4. When connecting to a signal instead of taking a reference to where the signal is defined, simply connect it with with Event.<signal_name>.connect(<callable>[.bind(<optional_args>)])
    • For signals that already send arguments to the callable, they do not need to be specified in bind, only extras are needed here.


Really the only UI I had before was for rendering fonts, and the way fonts work changed a bit. Before, 3 resources were needed as noted in my previous entry:

  1. Font file itself (.ttf for example).
  2. DynamicFontData: used to point to a font file (.ttf) and then used as base resource.
  3. DynamicFont: usable in godot control nodes which holds the DynamicFontData and configuration such as size.

Now only 1 resource is needed: FontFile which is the .ttf file itself or a godot-created resource. There is also a FontVariation option, which takes a FontFile and looks like its used to create fallback options for fonts. The configuration (such as size) is no longer held in the font resource, but rather in the parent control node (like a Label). Double clicking on the .ttf file and disabling antialiasing and compression is something that might be needed. Optionally create a FontLabelSettings which will hold the .ttf file and used as base for Labels. Use “Make Unique” for different sizes. Another option is to use Themes and Variations.

I also created the respective volume button and slider UI for the added audio functionality as well as creating a base Label to avoid repeating configuration on each Label node.


Small changes that don’t affect much:

By David Luévano

Created: Sun, Aug 27, 2023 @ 23:28 UTC

Modified: Fri, Sep 01, 2023 @ 15:29 UTC