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In retrospect

Ultimately, Simple Invaders lives up to its name: It's a no-frills application, unlikely to command much attention from video gamers used to the 3D exploits of Lara Croft and her like. Yet what's in the movie doesn't represent a dead-end, but a sound starting point for extending your own scripting skills. There are a number of possibilities for enhancements, and you're heartily encouraged to try them. Consider these, for instance:

  • What, no explosions? When an alien is shot (or makes a successful landing), no animation marks the event—just a sound effect. One useful enhancement would be to add appropriate visual effects, and perhaps make them vary in size and intensity: a quick palette switch to briefly turn the Stage into a crimson landscape, for instance.

  • How about a multiple-player version? The single-frame game itself wouldn't need modification, just the scripts that track and display the scores. Another variation, a Shockwave version that tracks the all-time high scores of mul tiple users, could be created simply by continually updating an external HTML text file.

  • How about adding customizable creatures? Thanks to Director's multiple Cast management features, it would be easy to substitute in any number of designs for the aliens. How about letting the end users choose—or better yet, providing them with an option to design their own aliens? And the customization need not be limited to appearance; behaviors can be written to encapsulate any number of different personality types.

  • And how about providing true network-based interplay? Since Director 8 allows for multiuser applications over the Internet (or any networked environment), two people can play a game from different places anywhere in the world.


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