Project Description

Published On: January 10th, 20230 Comments

GAM 606, Rapid Game Development; Pong Game

Ah yes, the Pong Game. Every aspiring game developer has to try their hand at this at some point. My first time writing Pong was in Intro to C++ in high school, some twenty years ago (my first attempt at AI programming? perhaps!)

This was the first project in Rapid Game Development, and a great reality check for the rest of the semester. I came into the class having spent the summer working on a side project of my own, during which time I spent days refining my program’s architecture, refactoring and rewriting as it became clear that some things just didn’t belong where they ended up. To try and avoid this, I painstakingly planned out the Pong game, worrying about putting the wrong components in the wrong class. As a result, the game, while pleasingly architected and coded in a fairly minimalist way, is kind of boring! Maybe that’s an inherent limitation of the form, but this was a great lesson in how important it is to focus on iterating on gameplay features by actually building and playing them as soon as possible.

Programming Notes

  • The ball is using the Unity physics engine for collisions, which can lead to the occasional janky or strange movement; I don’t think I leaned on the Unity physics engine as heavily as I did here for the rest of the semester as a result.
  • The UI is using the new Unity UI Toolkit, which is complete overkill but still worth knowing as well as the (eventually) outgoing UI tools.
  • Input is also handled using the new Unity Input System (both examples of overcomplicating this project due to beginning-of-the-semester-optimism).

As usual, I’m using ScriptableObject Events for much of the inter-script communication (such as New Game, Pause, Game Over, etc.) and an Animation Curve plus a timer on the Bumper’s local transform position to “fire” the bumper. (I decided against posting the code for this on GitHub since it’s nothing fancy or complicated.)

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