Author Topic: Missile Command is an OS X version of the classic game... Missile Command  (Read 2763 times)

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Software Santa

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Missile Command is an OS X version of the classic game... Missile Command!

Missile Command
by Durandal Brytting

based on example code by Mark Pazolli
and using some fonts and sound effects from iDevGames resources
and also featuring a song by the esteemed electronic music magicians 047 )

Version history can be found at the bottom of the file, for those who desperately need to know every little bit of news and are too lazy to launch the game and find out the fun way! ^_~

What is this, eh?
Missile Command is a version of the classic game... Missile Command. I never actually played the true Missile Command, but Avadis Tevanian Jr's MacMissiles or Mac Command from 1985 was an important part of my childhood. I hope he doesn't sue my pants off for shamelessly ripping off his old icon for the game. And his city.

This game is based on a simple missiles game by Mark Pazolli which was meant to teach some Cocoa to people. I started modifying his code in 2003 and now I feel finished enough to release it. (No I did not work on it for the most part of all those years.) His game was intentionally simple so it would be easy to understand the code, but now it is a bit more advanced and I gave it music and stuff. Whatever, just play it. Here's some stuff:

Oh my god I feel so lost, what's going on!? What do I do??
First, start a new game in the good old way which we've all known and loved since 1984 and really shouldn't need any explanation. You'll get a bunch of cities at the bottom of the screen. They're yours and the point of the game is to protect them. Before long you'll also see some white lines at the top of the screen. They're not yours, they are evil laser beams from outer space! Earth is under attack from the alien civilizations on the distant planet Mexterminator and its small moon Pjäxor! Fortunately, Earth just built some super advanced missile platforms that could easily fend off the attack. But some twit poured butter all over the mainframe and the missiles must now be controlled manually! Oh no! So that's what you do. Or to put it in another way, you click on the screen to make a missile explode there and any laser beams that enter the explosion will disappear, and no longer be a threat to your cities. You need to watch out: after a while, the lasers may start splitting up and stuff.

Our intelligence indicates that the aliens have also begun to alter the planet's atmosphere. If this is true, it may cause the formation of enormous gas clouds that drift through the air. With any luck this won't happen, but if it does, let's hope that they don't get so thick that they obscure your aim!

Since you may run out of ammo later on in the game, we have some friendly people standing just outside the screen carrying crates of extra ammunition. They will throw the ammo crates in every now and then. Let them fall down to the bottom of the screen to collect the extra ammo, or you can blow them up. Think about it, they are full of missiles! It will be a big explosion...

Finally, the greatest feature of this game is that when you've died, you can press command-C in order to conveniently copy your score into the clipboard in a nice format, for quick and easy pasting into IRC or iChat or wherever you want to brag about how much you rule at this game. (Blog, forum, e-mails to me... =)

Aah! There are some kinda other lasers here!
Yep, there are a bunch of rare specials. First, as you know humanity colonized the moon long ago. Since then, politicians have lived there in jacuzzis sipping drinks all day, but now that aliens are attacking, the lunar colony is finally useful for something. (Good thing we never got around to blasting the moon out of orbit and sending the politicians to Jupiter like we planned!) Whenever the politicians feel like it, they will fire a purple beam at you, which will encase one of your cities in a protective purple bubble, and shield it from any attacks! This is very useful, so don't go detonating that bubble in mid-air now.

The aliens also have some surprises in their arsenal. They have constructed a blue beam, which is a little scary. It was intended to be even scarier, but there was a manufacturing problem which they chose to ignore, or treat as a feature instead of a bug. When you shoot at it, the beam will just absorb all the energy of your explosion! The manufacturing problem is that the beam is too unstable to handle the energy surge, so it will split into two slower beams.

And unfortunately for you, the aliens eventually managed to fix that manufacturing problem and develop the red beam. This is often the worst thing that can happen to you. The red beam will absorb explosions and instead of splitting, it will continue right ahead at the same speed, although the energy from the explosion will cause it to get slightly denser. If you can manage to get it dense enough, it will become unstable and burst into a huge explosion! The aliens keep improving this weapon constantly, so we can only hope that you have enough time - and ammo - to feed this beast enough firepower to detonate before it reaches the city!

You're stupid, the lasers don't explode when I blast 'em!
Well, you have to catch the front of the laser beam in the explosion. The rest of that white line is just, like, smoke or something.

Laser beams are not white and do not smoke!
I'm not a physicist. (And smoking is really bad!!)

Speaking of which, aliens? Laser beams? What are you talking about, aren't we shooting lasers to defend ourselves against missiles??
Well, that was in the 80s. This is the 00s and now we have aliens. And those white lines aren't really laser beams, that's just what the humans think. (Well, they are thick enough to pour butter into the mainframe...) After I released the first version, it has been brought to my attention that what's actually going on is this: The Evil Aliensâ„¢ hurl plasma bolts toward the innocent humans in their cities. Thanks to the brilliant strategist Henriok Balooba, who had anticipated such a move, the humans have developed an ingenious counter measure. The defence mechanism is made out of two components. First a railgun shoots a cloud of Volatilium balls into the atmosphere at lightning speed. When the Volatilium balls reach the desired area an extremely potent laser ignites the balls causing them to ionize into a large cascading plasma cloud. The rapidly expanding plasma cloud triggers  the tighly focused plasma bolts to detonate in a similar fashion, thus rendering them harmless.

...right. So what's up with the "2 players" option in preferences?
That's just a thing I added when I thought nobody would ever play this game. It was just for fun, but then I found it to be so fun that I decided everyone should be able to access it. If you check the box, you'll get a little spaceship in the bottom left corner fo the screen at your next game. (YES that IS a spaceship! I feel so old!!) You can have a buddy flying around with the ship while you blast missiles, or you can fly it yourself while you blast missiles. The ship thrusts with W and turns with A and D. It is possible to land with the spaceship - but you'd better be careful, it's really fragile. The ship can also make laser beams explode in the air, if you fly into them. For a while, until you explode instead.

This game is impossible!
Yes the game is impossible. Back in the day when games were still good, games were generally impossible. That's the point. You can't win at Missile Command, just like you can't win at Daleks or NS Shaft or Crystal Quest and so on.

And the music doesn't seem random to me.
*sigh* kids these days, with their winnable games and "more random" iTunes playlists... Why, in my days- ach, the music is just random, och hör sen!

Several of the songs in this game seem familiar to me... But I can't put my finger on why!
I know... Strange, isn't it?

Many thanks to everyone at #macnytt who beta tested the game and especially David Remahl who also helped me... um, "compose" the soundtrack.
« Last Edit: March 28, 2014, 11:38:49 AM by Software Santa »


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