Posted by Andrew Wegener on 8th October 2012
Our first assignment was to create an Atari-like game. We are using a free, new – well, new to me – program called Scratch. It’s a great visual, easy to understand tool for learning programming. No coding is necessary to create games, but it can be used to create mods and add custom blocks.
I started by doing research on some old Atari games. My family used to own one a long, long time ago, but I hardly remember playing. From the options I found, I chose Frogger. I searched Frogger on the Scratch forum and found a simple, Atari-looking version of Frogger. I downloaded it and tested it. It add increasing difficulty per level, lives, and sounds. However, we couldn’t just submit a downloaded file. I began editing sprites and realized I had to change the logic (code) of the game, too. It was about this time that I decided to make a football game. I decided to portray one of the biggest rivalries in college football, especially from where I come from – Michigan State University’s Spartans and University of Michigan’s Wolverines. Frogger = MSU player, cars = UofM defense, street = field, other side of the road = end zone, lives = downs. The code for the defense was easy (shown below).
Humorously, the players still make car noises (it’s a scare tactic that they teach in the pros). But to summarize, they are hidden, wait 0-5 seconds, appear on the left, go “vrrrooooom” while moving right (and animated legs which I did on my own –> big deal), then hide when the touch the each of the screen and begin waiting to appear on the left again.
When I finished making the players move, it was too predictable, therefore not as challenging as I wanted. I changed the code to vary some of the defensive players so they were unrealistically good compared to the actual team (I’m biased. Clearly an MSU fan). Shown below is the logic for the Wolverine that runs left instead of right like the others.
I believe by default the direction of all sprites is right, so the only change I made was “point in direction -90 [left]” and side the X position to 290 instead of -290 (start from the right instead of left). Boom. Variation.
One variation wasn’t enough for me. I wanted to challenge myself and try to make a defenseman that would run back and forth without disappearing. This meant I add to make my own logic from scratch (badoom psh – oh how I love nerd humor). ”Bouncy Man” as I call him, was a bit more complex than the other defenders (shown below).
The biggest issue was setting the proper coordinates for Bouncy Man to turn around at. Once that was worked out, he worked like a Pikachu on toast (aka good).
In addition, the Spartan was the same code as Frogger, just with a new sprite. Lastly, I added the touchdown and game over sprites to appear when designated. Over all, I like the game because it is never ending. Each level is more difficult than the one before and the game only ends when you lose.
TOUCHDOWN! GO GREEN! GO WHITE! WOOOOOOO!!!!