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Polychaete Live

Features and Implementation


Polychaete is primarily written in "vanilla" ES6 JavaScript. Webpack and Babel are used to transpile from ES6 for greater browser compatibility. External dependencies include EaselJS for sprite animation and movement, Tone.js for synth-based sounds, and js-cookie for easier cookie handling.

See the Development README to learn more about the development process.

Game Objects

All in-game characters/objects extend the GameObject base class. This provides base size, movement/positioning, and sprite functionality. Objects that move automatically based on time extend MovingObject, a subclass of GameObject. This provides direction and velocity attributes and a generic updatePosition method. Functionality unique to specific subclasses includes the following:

  • Diver: Laser firing ability.
  • Bubble: Supports three different bubble sizes and randomly changing x direction. Uses the updatePosition method inherited from MovingObject.
  • LaserBeam: Laser beams move vertically in a straight line, they use the updatePosition method inherited from MovingObject.
  • SeaSponge: Handling of multiple laser beam hits.
  • Shrimp: Provides a dropSeaSponge method which can be called to drop a sea sponge at the shrimp's current position. (Shrimps move vertically in a straight line, so they use the updatePosition method inherited from MovingObject.)
  • Crab: Provides a custom updatePosition method with helper methods to change direction and velocity semi-randomly at 'decision points'.
  • Segment: Polychaete segment movement and connection to adjacent segments (linked-list style).
  • Head: Class/static method to create a new Head based on an existing Segment.
  • Score: Class/static method to display the associated score over an enemy that has been destroyed.

User Interface

  • The Game class manages the overall game state. Due to the complexity of the associated code, position updates and collision detection were moved into separate classes:
    • The PositionHandler class updates the positions of all MovingObjects.
    • The CollisionHandler class handles collision detection for in game objects.
  • The Board class maintains position and rendering of the various game objects on the Canvas, as well as addition and removal of those objects.
  • The KeyHandler provides a keyboard-based user interface to move the diver and fire laser beams.
  • The UIHandler manages state and interactivity of dynamic HTML elements other than the canvas itself, such as popups and buttons.
  • The SoundHandler implements sounds for various in-game actions.

Running Polychaete


An up to date version of npm.

Project Setup

  1. git clone
  2. cd polychaete
  3. npm install
  4. npm run webpack-once

Starting a Local Server

  1. npm install -g http-server (This globally installs a simple web server to serve the page locally)
  2. http-server
  3. Visit http://localhost:8080/


A classic arcade-style game, inspired by Centipede






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