Wednesday, April 28, 2010


I started working on this project Sunday afternoon and finished Monday evening. It's the old arcade classic Pong, with a few extra twists!

Use the mouse to control your paddle.

Players can either be computer-controller (CPU) or controlled by you (Human).

Source code is here:

It was a fun little project, and most importantly it was a project I finished.

I used the Model-View-Controller pattern when creating it:

  1. Paddles and Balls each have a model class, with basic data properties. Like radius, or width. These classes are derived off event dispatcher so that a "data changed" event can be sent when ever a property changes.
  2. I created a PaddleView and BallView class, derived off of Sprite, to visually represent the model class. These Views can only be created by passing a model into their constructor. The View listens to the Models "data changed" event and updates their view correspondingly when something changes.
  3. Finally we have a PaddleController and ModelController. These must be instantiated by passing a view into the contructor, or through a factory function which creates a model and view for the controller automatically. The Controller listens to events sent from the View, like UI events, and interprets what to do with them. In the case of the ball, the controller is responsible for adjusting the ball's path as it hits corners and paddles. The PaddleController controls the paddle's direction and AI.
The AI is very basic. It finds the ball with the closest current position and moves along the y-axis to match the ball's position. There is a slight heuristic so that the paddle favors balls that are closer to it along the horizontal axis, as the paddle can move quicker up and down rather than waiting for the ball to come to it. In the future I would like to have the paddle move toward the future position of the ball (based on its current angle and speed) rather than the present position of the ball.

Enjoy! I appreciate any feedback.

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

To actually finish a project

If you're anything like me you start many projects but rarely if ever finish them. That's why the latest project I've started is ridiculously simple, and I can actually complete it in a reasonable time. The project is the 30+ year-old video game Pong.

I created it in flash. It took about eight hours to complete.

I will upload it as soon as I figure out how.

Editting blog posts on the iphone is brutal BTW. I wonder if there's an app for that?