For my first project in Scripting for Interactivity I was assigned to recreate a level from an Atari 2600 game, and to explore the logic as well as the functionality of Scratch – the application we used in class to create the game. Missile Command is a traditional arcade style game where you have to defend your cities against meteors that are threatening to destroy them.
This project taught me a lot about scratch and allowed me to think about programming in a visual way which is going to be very helpful down the road as being able to visualize code as objects and blocks makes creating programs much more clear. There were a lot of challenges that I ran into while re-creating missile command, but it’s important to keep in perspective that I’m developing an Atari game in under a week. Collision detection in scratch is something that is explicitly built into the system with a lot of methods for implementation but not clearly described. Color detection can be affected negatively by color space and the “touching” block can be affected by the speed of an object due to frame-skipping. I was able to program the meteor to destroy the city successfully but shooting it out of the sky was more difficult because to the aforementioned quirks in scratch.
When it came to getting the meteors to randomly target the cities I was happy with the solution I came up with that involved a roll the dice style random math to determine which city would be targeted.
All in all this project was a good experience, and a fun introduction to programming in C++.