I have always been fascinated with how orbital physics work. When I heard about Newton’s Cannonball, it really made my head spin. After studying how these principles actually work, however, I realize it isn’t much more complicated than an intense game of tetherball.
This particular sketch is a combination of a number of weeks worth of work that includes using vector math to replicate the behavior of large masses, some particle behaviors for when the spaceship is flying through the air and crashes, and the most challenging aspect: the initial slingshot launch. Play it below, and try to achieve orbit on your first try!
Update: I’ve adapted a version of this game for phones! It’s actually more fun to play on a mobile device. Enjoy! Click here for the phone version!
Source code below: