Thomas Iu

Game Designer




Photon Cage



Photon Cage is a top-down shooter in which the player pilots a starfighter. Players anticipate the beam weapons of enemy fighters to avoid them, and counter-attack with their own beam. Players must wisely choose how to expend their attack energy, which also depletes over time, and try to earn the best score possible before energy is exhausted.

I was the sole developer on this game. I designed the game, scripted all its features, created some of the art and animation, and integrated the remaining royalty-free art and sounds.


My Work On This Game:

  • Designed player and enemy abilities and properties to create engaging, balanced combat

  • Specified game objectives

  • Scripted all game features in Scratch scripting system, including attacks, spawning, player controls, enemy behavior, animation, audio, and menus

  • Designed enemy attacks as instant beams to force players to remain aware of distant threats and carefully anticipate times to counter-attack

  • Designed the player's attacks, respawns, and play-time to all drain the same resource, encouraging thoughtful decision-making and supporting varying play styles.

  • Designed enemy behavior with a bias toward attacking the bottom of the screen to force player to move around the area instead of hugging the bottom

  • Selected and integrated art assets

  • Created animations

  • Wrote in-game text

  • Selected, edited, and integrated audio

  • Refined the game based on player feedback


Photon Cage is a game I designed and scripted in Scratch. With this game, I wanted to create a vertical shooter in which the gameplay did not rely on dodging nearby bullets. The speed-of-light energy beams cannot be dodged. They force the players to anticipate attacks instead, by paying attention to far away enemies rather than the space immediately around themselves.

I finished creating the basic gameplay in 1 week, and then spent another 3 weeks refining the gameplay experience.

This became a fairly popular game in the Scratch community, which earned it front page status on the Scratch sharing site for a few weeks.

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