About project

This tutorial shows how to write Snake Game in JavaScript. It require basic knowledge about objects and methods of arrays. In first part we are going to be able to display map, snake and allow snake to move in chosen direction. This code will be not playable version of game, but I decided to depart this project to fragments because of highest educational value of presenting process of building code, not only final result.

If you are interested in final result you can download it from github.

If you want to write code line by line together lets start typing following these chapters.


In this section we will se how to generate map for snake.

Server setup

Commits 23d7da5a511855efd8e01da219af045d037dba93..26816daa5de0bd3c5203ca61d3b616ac003cfe39

We starting from creating index.html. It can be empty or filled by simple text. I started from this one:

    <title>Snake - game dedicated for Sylwia Daniecka - my girlfriend!</title>
    <h1>I love Sylwia <3</h1>

To serve this document I installed http-server using yarn. I typed:

yarn init

and press Enter such many times as needed. After this i used commad:

yarn add http-server

These command are responsible for shape of file


  "name": "snake_js",
  "version": "1.0.0",
  "main": "index.js",
  "repository": "git@github.com:gustawdaniel/snake_js.git",
  "author": "Daniel Gustaw <gustaw.daniel@gmail.com>",
  "license": "MIT",
  "dependencies": {
    "http-server": "^0.11.1"

Finally I write docs about starting project

# snake_js
Snake game written in javascript using objects. 

# Instaltion

To install dependencies

    yarn install

To run

    node node_modules/http-server/bin/http-server 

Map generation

Commits 26816daa5de0bd3c5203ca61d3b616ac003cfe39..87dbf6d8162dde68ab137ddee78dcb975413d104

We will use jquery so we should type in console

yarn add jquery

Now we place div with id map and append script and style from external files in index.html


     <title>Snake - game dedicated for Sylwia Daniecka - my girlfriend!</title>
+    <link rel="stylesheet" href="css/style.css">
     <h1>I love Sylwia <3</h1>
+    <hr>
+    <h4>TODO:</h4>
+    <ol>
+        <li style="text-decoration: line-through">Add map</li>
+        <li>Add snake</li>
+        <li>Add events</li>
+    </ol>
+    <hr>
+    <main>
+        <div id="map"></div>
+    </main>
+    <script src="node_modules/jquery/dist/jquery.min.js"></script>
+    <script src="js/app.js"></script>

We are interested creating script that iterate over size of map and place for example 10 rows with 10 rectangles in each. This script will be placed in anonymous function in js/app.js


(function () {

    const config = {
        mapWidth: 10,
        mapHeight: 10

    let map = {
        width: config.mapWidth,
        height: config.mapHeight,
        init: function () {
            let mapDiv = $('#map');
            for(let i=0; i<this.height; i++) {
                let rowDiv =$('<div>', {class: "row"});
                for(let j=0; j<this.width; j++) {
                    rowDiv.append($('<div>',{class:"rect", "data-x":i, "data-y":j}));



This script create divs with class rect and place it into divs with class row that are placed into existing dive with id map.

These all divs have zero height so we should define style for him.


.rect {
    width: 30px;
    height: 30px;
    background-color: #dca6d1;
    display: inline-block;
    margin: 2px;

Map should look like this:



Commit d50265a3a5adca92bfe7d5139c0e519e72d853dc..87dbf6d8162dde68ab137ddee78dcb975413d104

To add snake we should chose his color. In constant config responsible for global configuration we describing color of snake.


@@ -2,7 +2,8 @@
     const config = {
         mapWidth: 10,
         mapHeight: 10,
+        snakeColor: "#8165f3"
     let map = {

Now se want to create object of snake. We have to define his initial shape, iterate over his all parts (coordinates) and change background-color of dives with this coordinates. Fortunately we added to divs with class rect attributes data-x and data-y that will help in searching proper elements.


@@ -22,7 +23,17 @@
+    let snake = {
+        body: [{x:5,y:2},{x:4,y:2},{x:3,y:2}],
+        draw: function() {
+            this.body.forEach(function (part) {
+                $(`div.rect[data-x="${part.x}"][data-y="${part.y}"]`).css('background-color',config.snakeColor);
+            })
+        }
+    };
+    snake.draw();

Finally we can proudly check these changes in todo list in index.html adding to text-decoration property line-through


@@ -9,7 +9,7 @@
         <li style="text-decoration: line-through">Add map</li>
-        <li>Add snake</li>
+        <li style="text-decoration: line-through">Add snake</li>
         <li>Add events</li>

Our ma should look like this


Move and events

Commit ae194969e7d2a555c9dc7ed2fb57c81b56775b62..d50265a3a5adca92bfe7d5139c0e519e72d853dc

It is time to add dynamics for our snake.

We start from adding counter to show how many turns have our game.


+    <header>
+        <p class="counter">0</p>
+    </header>
         <div id="map"></div>

And style for this element


+.counter {
+    text-align: right;
+    border: 1px solid black;
+    padding: 7px;
+ }

Now we come back to logic. Firstly we will need color of map, and time of one rund in our configuration. Second value is measured in milliseconds


@@ -3,7 +3,9 @@
     const config = {
         mapWidth: 10,
         mapHeight: 10,
-        snakeColor: "#8165f3"
+        snakeColor: "#8165f3",
+        mapColor: "#dca6d1",
+        roundTime: 1000
     let map = {

Next we want to add method move to snake object that remove his tail and add his head in chosen direction in relate to current head.


@@ -25,15 +25,64 @@
     let snake = {
         body: [{x:5,y:2},{x:4,y:2},{x:3,y:2}],
         draw: function() {
             this.body.forEach(function (part) {
+        },
+        move: function (direction) {
+            let head = Object.assign({}, this.body[0]);

In function move we assign new head to variable head cloning current head. Simple equality would not copy variable but only create reference to the same cell of memory.


+            switch (direction) {
+                case "up":
+                    head.x = head.x -1; break;
+                case "down":
+                    head.x = head.x + 1; break;
+                case "left":
+                    head.y = head.y - 1; break;
+                case "right":
+                    head.y = head.y + 1; break;
+            }

Next in dependence of direction we change coordinates. It can be misleading but x means height and increasing in down direction.


+            this.body.unshift(head);
+            $(`div.rect[data-x="${head.x}"][data-y="${head.y}"]`)
+                .css('background-color',config.snakeColor);
+            let mapCoordinates  = this.body.pop();
+            $(`div.rect[data-x="${mapCoordinates.x}"][data-y="${mapCoordinates.y}"]`)
+                .css('background-color',config.mapColor);
+        }
+    };

Finally we append new head to body by unshift, add snake color to this field, remove tail by pop function and add map color to this coordinate.

Now we want to call move function in interval and allow user to change direction. We need new object - game.


+    let game = {
+        counter: 0,
+        direction: 'right', // right, left, up, down
+        run: function () {
+            snake.move(this.direction);
+        },

Our game should have property with current direction of snake and counter with number of turns. Function run of game contains now move of snake.

When game will start we will call init method of game.

+        init: function () {
+            map.init();
+            snake.draw();
+            setInterval(() => {
+                this.counter ++;
+                $('.counter').text(this.counter);
+                this.run();
+            },config.roundTime);

Init of game means init of map, drawing snake and set interval that increase counter, update it on view, and call run method that move snake.

If snake would have the same direction all time, it could be end, but we want to allow user change direction of snake by pressing arrows on keyboard, for this purpose after defining time interval we defining event listener for keypress that will change direction of snake.


+            document.addEventListener('keypress',(e) => {
+                console.log(e.key);
+                switch (e.key) {
+                    case "ArrowUp":
+                        this.direction = this.direction === "down" ? this.direction : "up"; break;
+                    case "ArrowDown":
+                        this.direction = this.direction === "up" ? this.direction : "down"; break;
+                    case "ArrowLeft":
+                        this.direction = this.direction === "right" ? this.direction : "left"; break;
+                    case "ArrowRight":
+                        this.direction = this.direction === "left" ? this.direction : "right"; break;
+                }
+            })
-    map.init();
-    snake.drow();
+    game.init();



We can now move snake in map. It is can penetrate the walls and himself. There is no apples for eating, but as it was mentioned. It is not final product but first pre release that present rather educational than functional value.

Below I present plans about future releases.

  1. Add map
  2. Add snake
  3. Add events
  1. Add apples
  2. Add boundaries
  3. Add scores
Future (proposed)
  1. Add bad apples
  2. Add two players
  3. Add network gaming

You can propose your own features if you want and add them as comments or issues in github repository. I hope you learned something valuable reading this tutorial.