Creating Your Own Hidden Object Game with VB.NET

Part 1 – The Basics


Have you ever played a hidden object game? If you haven’t, it is a game where you have to find random objects hidden away on the gamescreen. These objects are carefully and smartly embedded into the screen so that it looks as if they are part of the background picture. I am hooked on these games. I can play them for hours and hours, non stop. With this article series, we’ll make our own hidden object game and I’ll describe all the logic involved with these types of games.

Getting / Designing the Pictures

Before we do any code, we need to know what pictures we will need. We’ll also need to know what the background of the game should look like. With all of these in place, we need to strategically hide all the pictures within the background. With this series, I have decided upon 20 pictures :

Name Picture
bird1.gif bird1
bird2.gif bird2
bird3.gif bird3
bird4.gif bird4
cellphone.gif cellphone
earring1.gif earring1
earring2.gif earring2
grapes.gif grapes
key.gif key
lion.gif lion
newspaper.gif newspaper
pencil.gif pencil
rhino.gif Rhino
shoe1.gif shoe1
shoe2.gif shoe2
toilet.gif Toilet
upsidedown.gif upsidedown
violin.gif violin
wallet.gif wallet
zeppelin.gif zeppelin

As you can see, these pictrues don’t have anything in common. They are random pictures that we will use inside our game. This is one of the tricks Hidden Object games use. They use unrelated pictures, which you might not expect, and you need to find them based on the cleverly constructed clues – which we’ll do a bit later. You may be wondering if you should draw these pictures yourself or what. Well, Yes, if you have the correct tools such as CorelDraw and PhotoShop, and obviously the talent to draw, then you can feel free to design them. In normal circumstances, a graphic designer should be involved – as is the case with these games. What I did, because of time restraints, was to draw only a few of the above pictures, the rest I found through Google Images. Keep in mind that the pictures may be copyrighted.

The last image needed for our game screen is the background:

Figure 1 – Background


Once we have the pictures we have decided upon, we need to hide them away in the background. The game player should then find them based on our cryptic clues.

Hannes DuPreez
Ockert J. du Preez is a passionate coder and always willing to learn. He has written hundreds of developer articles over the years detailing his programming quests and adventures. He has written the following books: Visual Studio 2019 In-Depth (BpB Publications) JavaScript for Gurus (BpB Publications) He was the Technical Editor for Professional C++, 5th Edition (Wiley) He was a Microsoft Most Valuable Professional for .NET (2008–2017).

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