Circules: Son of Compassball
When magnets are just too hard to understand
Coming soon for Android
Day 6 retrospective
Our original intention with this second game was to try to allow control in a way that is more physically representative and involved than most. The idea was a one-player circular version of the classic game Pong, where you would control your paddle by rotating your entire phone, rather than by using some kind of push button or touch.
We began intending the game to be played flat, where the phone would be held with the screen pointing straight up and the paddle would decide it’s location based on readings from the compass. By keeping the paddle on a single point in relation to the real world, like say magnetic North, then rotating the phone would allow you to move the paddle on screen.
After getting the paddle control working using the compass (pointing South instead of North, but that doesn’t really matter) our testing found that it was not very precise. Trying to get the paddle in place to reflect the ball needed more precise readings than we were able to get from the compass. That was when we made the decision to instead use the accelerometer, and fix the paddle to the bottom of the screen, by using gravity to locate the phone’s orientation. This gave much more precise readings, and allowed enough control for the game to be played.
After getting the paddle control to work, we figured out the math to make things bounce off the walls accurately, and then to check if the ball was trying to leave the circle within the arc of the paddle or not. With that, the mechanics of the game were largely figured out. Then all we had to do was add a scoring system, and we had a working product.
As an after-thought we added a slow start to the ball so that there is time for the player to react to the starting of a new game randomly placing the ball.
While we had produce a minimal product that we felt was adequate given time constraints, we knew that to really polish the game we should add a start menu, and a high score tracker. To make the game more interesting, we considered the two options of advancing the difficulty of the game by either progressively shrinking the size of the paddle, or by speeding up the ball.Sun, 13 Mar 2011 23:51:00