»26th December 2017

Missile Command Ex

Here's another game I've made on Scratch. This one is my version of MISSILE COMMAND. This was over a few hours at work and at home. Other games I've put on here recently are Dominion Ex and Pizza Worm.

Use the mouse to fire missiles. Press space to start. There really aren't all that many controls.

Story

You have been appointed Director of MISSILE COMMAND, a new initiative set up to defend against missile attacks by THE ENEMY.

MISSILE COMMAND is comprised of three bases that can launch cutting-edge surface-to-air missiles armed with nuclear warheads.

The Government expect MISSILE COMMAND to be a cost effective deterrent to the hostile actions of THE ENEMY.

The public are afraid of nuclear attacks by THE ENEMY but may grow equally suspicious of MISSILE COMMAND.

Fail to intercept ENEMY missiles or squander government money with careless actions, and MISSILE COMMAND will be shut down.

Strategy

Try to hit multiple enemy missiles with your own, this will earn you an efficiency bonus.

Long-range radar will warn you of incoming bombers. Pay attention for the air raid siren sound.

Bombers can sometimes dive very low before releasing their payload. This becomes more of an issue after level 5.

Each base can take three hits before it is put out of action. After each level, your bases are repaired for one point of damage. If a base is knocked out, you won't be able to reload missiles as quickly--it is very easy to get overwhelmed in later levels if you lose a base.

Some ENEMY missiles will by poorly targeted and may miss your bases entirely. Stray missiles should still be intercepted to avoid heavy fines.

The fine for a missile going stray (off the side of the screen) is not as heavy as for a missile that detonates on the ground.

Sometimes ENEMY bomber pilots misjudge their approach vectors and will crash into the ground.

Your own missiles cannot damage your bases, neither can crashing bombers.

Inspiration and Background Information

I have been trying to make as many different games on Scratch as I can so that I have plenty of ideas for Scratch lessons. The initial setting up for this game is too much for it to really be suitable for use in lessons, but it's still a pretty cool game.

This was inspired by the original Missile Command but more directly by shareware favourite Patriot Command. A neat feature of Patriot Command was that at the end of the shareware demo you got a message about spiralling funding costs meaning the missile defence had to be shut down. I thought this was a pretty cool idea and tried to base the entire game on the premise of 'what if I turn an arcade classic into a historical simulation?' Well it's not particularly historically accurate but I've made a few historical additions which should hopefully make the game unique.

I like the idea of injecting a story into what could otherwise be just a pure, abstract arcade game.

I also like the idea of throwing curve balls to the player and making things suddenly and unexpectedly more difficult. Get past level 5 and read all the text between levels. Notice what happens to your 'score'.

I tried to put a few more imaginative lose conditions in the game. I think I could do with one or two more, particularly after level 5.

I would have to make the system for moving between levels easier to work with, but I would like to add some branching plot points in the game.

This is another step towards my idea for a strategy game that you cannot win. Because it turns out sometimes you just can't win, no matter how clever you are.

Defcon by Introversion is obviously a big influence on the visual style of the game. I don't find Defcon a particularly fun game, but I love the visual design and mood of it.


All photographs kindly stolen from Wikipedia

I've been listening to Mogwai - Atomic almost continuously since first hearing it as the soundtrack to the documentary Atomic: Living in Dread and Promise. Both the documentary and the soundtrack are awesome. I ripped off the song Weak Force for the theme music to the game.

I also ripped off John Carpenter's pulsing electronic basslines for the theme music. See: Assault on Precinct 13 theme.

The music that plays inbetween levels, 'Fallout', was more loosely inspired by ripped off from Mogwai - Atomic. Maybe, the song 'Little Boy'?

All of the sound effects are original and were created using the free Vacuum monosynth plugin on Pro Tools.



Extar, over, out.

Extar

TCP/IP, it's fucking me off. Other protocols doing little more. Definitely got worse. Now making me curse. Removing IPX. Will it ever work? Never!