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In-Depth Information
Reload the game (or fire up http://mh5gd.com/ch2/missiles/ ) and test out firing some missiles. You can adjust
reloadTime to see the effect it has on the speed missiles are fired.
A space shooter isn't any fun without enemies, so next you will add some enemies into the game by creating an
Enemy sprite class. Although there will be multiple types of enemies, they are all represented by the same class
and differentiated only by different templates for their image and movement.
Calculating Enemy Movement
You define the movement for enemies with an equation that contains a few pluggable parameters that enable
enemies to exhibit relatively complex behavior without a lot of code. The equation sets the velocity of an enemy
at a given time since it was added to the board:
vx = A + B * sin(C * t + D)
vy = E + F * sin(G * t + H)
All the letters A through H represent constant numbers. Don't let these equations intimidate you. All they
say is that the velocity of an enemy is based on a constant value plus a value that repeats cyclically. (Using
a sine enables the cyclical value.) Using an equation such as this allows the game to add enemies that twirl
around the screen in interesting patterns and adds some dynamism to the game that a bunch of enemies flying
in a straight line wouldn't. Sines and cosines are used often in game development for animation because they
provide a mechanism for smooth movement transitions. See Table 2-1 for a description of the effect each para-
meter A-H has on the movement of an enemy.
NOTE Parabolas created with quadratic equations ( a + bx + cx*x ) are also useful for this but don't provide
periodic behavior, so they aren't quite as useful in this situation.
Table 2-1: Parameter Descriptions
Parameter Description
A
Constant horizontal velocity
B
Strength of horizontal sinusoidal velocity
C
Period of horizontal sinusoidal velocity
D
Time shift of horizontal sinusoidal velocity
E
Constant vertical velocity
F
Strength of vertical sinusoidal velocity
G
Period of vertical sinusoidal velocity
A number of different combinations of values produce different behaviors. If B and F are set to zero, then
the enemy flies straight because the sinusoidal component in both directions is zero. If F and A are set to zero,
then the enemy flies with a constant y velocity but moves back and forth smoothly in the x direction.

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