Ozone Commander (ICM Midterm)

My idea for my midterm is to complete the first steps for a larger game, tentatively titled ‘Ozone Commander’. In Ozone Commander, the player controls two physical ‘paddles’ (think large potentiometers) to swing two paddles along predetermined paths above a rotating representation of Earth. The game can also be played with two players with each controlling one paddle.

The objective is to score points by blocking the bombs that drop on earth with your paddles. As you progress, the bombs drop at a faster rate. As the Earth gets hit, you begin to see a vague outline of yourself projected above the earth, frantically working the paddles. As the situation worsens, the image of the player pulses red and becomes more apparent, heightening the pressure on the player(s). In two player mode, players can earn extra points by ‘saving’ a bomb missed by the other player, creating a cooperative/competitive dynamic.

My goal is to use the webcam in a way that helps the player better feel the intensity of the gameplay. Programming my own physical controls/arcade cabinet via Arduino is also a priority, having been limited to the keyboard and mouse in the past. I’d also like to work in other technologies/techniques from the semester, such as a dynamically updating high score table.

For this first week, I focused on generating paths for the two paddles that seem natural. I created a class for the ‘bombs’ and initialized an array of inactive bombs. Randomly, bombs will be chosen to fall (or made active) with random velocities. Later, this will be modified to reflect the increasing stages of difficulty. I programmed a for loop that will illustrate a fading ‘trail’ behind each bomb.

My biggest challenge at this point is figuring out how to make the paddles follow the predetermined path of the portions of the ellipses I’ve drawn.