Maybe about 3 days into half-term this week I got bored enough that I decided I would a go at making a game, something simple I thought, well, why not start from the very bottom - Pong.
And that’s just what I did. It became kinda fun after a while actually, my favorite part was making a function to calculate the impact angle of the ball relative to the center of the paddle, that’s probably the only real world application of Maths where I’ve thought co-ordinate geometry was really useful to me.
The AI was fun to play around with too, I felt like an adult nurturing a child to walk, first of it just slammed into everything at max speed; and then later it became more intelligent, predicting the trajectory and using simulated vision to know when and when not to move.
Anyway, enough talk, here’s some gameplay:
The AI gets progressively harder the more points you score, increasing in height, having longer reaction time due to larger vision, and the ball gets faster, which results in some pretty fun play offs at around 8 points when the AI get stepped up a notch.
I focused more on this game on making the game pleasing to look and sound, as well as the general feel; I really tried to make the game feel juicy and exciting to play, I incorporated a few subtle particle effects, and a large trail on the ball if you’d hit it fast enough. I also made use of tweening, or ‘in-betweening’, which is basically where you move something over time, instead of just snapping to a location.
With tweening you can do stuff like making the paddle move backwards when the ball hits it to give the ball a real sense of harsh impact, also, when the ball is at ‘hyperspeed’, and it hits the paddle I made use of screenshake to make it seem really powerful.
Overall I enjoyed making it, and I enjoyed the feedback from the LÖVE community who gave me several ideas on how to make the game better, you can read the thread about the game release on the LÖVE forum here.
Here’s a small log of the games progress: (images & webms)
First things first
Everything working as expected.jpg
Getting the ball rolling
Very basic AI
Getting the ball to bounce without bugging out