2014 Winter Game Project – Lunar Lander

2014 was when I really got interested in game development. Throughout the winter and into 2015 summer, I was interested in all aspects of game creation– everything from the code to the art.

Lunar Lander really appealed to my obsession with space at the time and brought everything together that I had previously worked on in one single project. Angles, horizontal and vertical velocities, and simple world generation are just a few examples of the components that define the programming side of Lunar Lander.

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Finished product.

I had worked with horizontal and vertical velocities before in games like Asteroid, but I hadn’t explored anything with a constant downward vector (gravity) before Lunar Lander. This downward force really defines this game from other space games, as it’s a rare component that other games usually don’t have.

I also explored simple level generation while making this game. Normally it would be fairly easy to make a random sequence of lines to represent hills and valleys, but Lunar Lander requires little spots where the ship can land with ease. Thus, it took a bit of thinking to be able to implement landing strips into normal world generation.

The preliminary work on level generation would prove invaluable in my future projects because it built a foundation for the general logic required for building simple worlds.

The code can be found here (Java, 37 kb) : https://drive.google.com/file/d/0Bz_0wgRmDpKqS2xSMjNuekJQbTA/view?usp=sharing

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2014 Winter Game Project – Asteroid

2014 was when I really got interested in game development. Throughout the winter and into 2015 summer, I was interested in all aspects of game creation– everything from the code to the art.

One of the first projects that propelled me into my obsession with game creation was the classic arcade game Asteroid. Prior to this, I dabbled in basic 2D side scrollers. Asteroid was a lot different than before because I had to worry about special polygons as well as turning the polygon a full 360 degrees instead of having rigid up-down-left-right movements.

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Ship and one asteroid.

Learning how to make polygons was simple enough, and it looked wonderful. It was a breath of fresh air from my previous games in which almost 95% of the objects were filled rectangles. The hard part came when I had to figure out how to rotate the ship and propel it in the way is was angled. Thankfully, I had payed attention in my pre-calculus classes so I knew it had something to do with sine and cosine. After a lot of googling and thinking, I figured out the basic equations needed to rotate. It was difficult for me to grasp at first because the ship needed to essentially be at the origin at all time, in order to be rotated, but also at its correct position on the board. Thanks to pre-calculus again, I knew how graph transformations worked, and figured it out after a short period of time.

An unexpected challenge while creating this game was figuring out how the logic for asteroids was going to work. It was fun figuring out how to break asteroids into smaller pieces and how to spawn them randomly without interfering with the player.

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Ship blowing up an asteroid.

This was a great introduction to polygon games, teaching me a lot about the process as a whole.

The source code can be found here (Java, 36kb): https://drive.google.com/file/d/0Bz_0wgRmDpKqNUFhak80V1dxdFU/view?usp=sharing