Space Invaders Design

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Space Invaders is a classic arcade game created in 1978 by Tomohiro Nishikado and published by Taito. This design is about a Space Invaders-like game and it is a good third game design activity for students who have already completed the Frogger and Sokoban tutorials.


Earth is under attack from rows of bomb dropping aliens, and you need to defend it! The rows of aliens begin at the top of the screen, and you control a laser cannon at the bottom of the screen. Your goal is to earn points by shooting the aliens before they can land. The aliens march back and forth, and each time the end of the screen is reached they will drop one row closer to the bottom. Shoot them all, and you move on to the next (tougher) level, but if even one of them lands the game is over. From time to time a flying saucer will pass by along the top of the screen; shoot this to earn extra points. Just above your laser canon are three shields; these can be used to hide from the alien's bombs, but will also block your own shots. You begin the game with a limited number of laser canons, and if all of them are bombed the game ends. (



Follow the gamelet design process:

  • Identify game objects, called agents, by locating nouns in the game description
  • Categorize agents into user controlled agents, agents that move or do other things by themselves (sometimes also called artificial intelligence agents), and completely passible agents acting as props such as the backgrounds.
  • Identify agent interaction by locating verbs in the game description


This is another Scalable Game Design starter game. You need no background in programming, AgentSheets or other tools, although it is helpful to have completed the Frogger design tutorials and Sokoban design tutorials.

Computational Thinking Patterns

  • Absorb: Lasers and Bombs need to be absorbed if they do not hit a valid target.
  • Collision: When Lasers hit an alien or a bomb hits a player a collision has occurred.
  • Generate: Laser beams will be generated by the player's cannon and Bombs by the aliens.
  • Script: The Mothership will coordinate the alien invasion, letting the alien ships know which way to move during the game.


ISTE National Educational Technology Standards:

  • Creativity and Innovation. design and implementation of a game, create originals works: creating artwork and game levels
  • Critical Thinking, Problem Solving, and Decision Making. Plan and manage activities to develop a solution or complete a project: follow game design process.
  • Technology Operations and Concepts. understand and use technology systems: use authoring tool, organized project folder; troubleshoot systems and applications: run, test and debug program.


  • Make your third more complicated but complete game
  • Apply design process to identify objects and interactions
  • computational thinking: basic object interaction, creating object instances, rule based programming, and message sending.

Grading Requirements, Assessment, Success Criteria, etc.

External links