Hungry Cat Game: A Semester-long Project for Introductory Mechanics

Faculty Commons material developed by Deva O'Neil - Published August 5, 2022

A game is built, physics topic by physics topic, culminating in a scene in which a "cat" (orange sphere) is moved around to eat cat treats. The cat is controlled through the user's keyboard input: arrow keys provide the force on the cat in 2 dimensions. The cat treat dispenser launches treats according to the laws of projectile motion with no air resistance. Each time the cat eats a treat, the dispenser provides another one. There is a roomba sliding around providing elastic collisions with the cat. (It doesn't suck up the cat treat, although that would be an interesting addition.) The first few activities introduce students to vectors/position and velocity. Then acceleration/force is added. Projectile motion, inelastic collisions (cat + treat), and elastic collisions (cat + roomba) are added later.

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