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The scripting terrain

To begin the programming process, Dekel identified the need for scripts that perform the following distinct tasks:

  • Automatic animation. The aliens need to wag their tentacles, and they need to move downward in a coordinated rank and file. Likewise, the missiles need to move upward when launched, blazing all the while.

  • User-based action. The missile launcher needs to be moveable along a horizontal coordinate, and some means of firing needs to be provided.

  • Event interpretation. When has a missile scored a direct hit? When has an alien successfully landed? Scripts are needed to determine these key events and to dictate what action should be taken as a result.

  • Score keeping. Rather than place a set value on hitting an alien, Dekel decided to put a premium on proximity: The closer to the ground the alien gets, the more points awarded when it's hit. Scripts have to keep running tallies of aliens hit, of launchers used, and of the top score of preceding games.


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