Midterm Project – Yerkebulan Imanbayev


With this project, I decided to focus on the classic game of “Whack-A-Mole.” Initially, I was planning to recreate the game, but then after the realization that it will become more of an exercise than a project, I decided to change the concept. I thought of it more realistically and what a game like that might possibly entail – and one of the interpretations of it could be that it is animal abuse. Therefore, I decided to expand on that concept and use the game as a platform to share awareness about animal abuse. That’s why instead of “whacking” a mole, the user has to “whack” a politician who committed or contributed to animal abuse.

Game features:

When the user hits any key to be redirected to the “game” window, they can see the time and the score being displayed. There are two characters in front of them: the mole and the politician. There is only one way to win in this game: to whack the politician 30 times in the span of 20 seconds. However, there are two different ways to lose in this game: the user can accidentally click on the mole – in which case they lose automatically – or they do not manage to whack the politician 30 times in the span of 20 minutes.

Generally, I attempted to make the game design appealing by creating the background image using DALL-E 2. The colors of the buttons and the text were picked so as to ensure legibility and conveyance of the sense of fun, quirky arcade games that we all know and love. The game is also designed to ensure that all buttons have a sound attached to them, including the background sound that is constantly playing unless the user is on the “win” or “loss” window.


There were multiple issues I faced when I first started working on the project. Due to a large number of lines in the code, it was very hard for me to keep track of my variables and the functions. That is why my first step in tackling all of those issues was to give my variables a sensible name and making sure to comment on confusing parts of my code.

The next issue I faced was positioning my characters in the ellipses. I did not know how to do that because the function that contained the coordinates for my ellipses was separate from the class that contained the coordinates for my characters. That is when one of my friends suggested using a double array. After the coordinates of the ellipses were placed in the double array, they were called in the class as the coordinates for the characters.

  //creating an array to hold the coordinates of all the ellipses to refer to it later on
  arrayEllipses = [
    [95, 225],
    [95, 325],
    [95, 425],
    [235, 225],
    [235, 325],
    [235, 425],
    [375, 225],
    [375, 325],
    [375, 425],
//pulling out random elements from my array
   this.randomNumberPolitician = int(random(0, 9));
   this.randomNumberMole = int(random(0, 9));
   //check if the integer is the same; if so, choose a different hole for the mole
   while (this.randomNumberPolitician == this.randomNumberMole) {
     hoverMole = false;
     this.randomNumberPolitician = int(random(0, 9));
     this.randomNumberMole = int(random(0, 9));

   //changing the position of the politician if the image is clicked
   if (hoverPolitician && mouseIsPressed) {
     this.politicianX = arrayEllipses[this.randomNumberPolitician][0];
     this.politicianY = arrayEllipses[this.randomNumberPolitician][1];
     this.moleX = arrayEllipses[this.randomNumberMole][0];
     this.moleY = arrayEllipses[this.randomNumberMole][1];

One of the elements in the code embedded above was my solution for the next issue I faced: because the coordinates assigned to the characters came from the same array, they were inevitably going to be equal at some point, leading to the mole and the politician appearing in the same ellipse. My way of tackling that was creating a “while()” function that would randomize their position again if their coordinates were equal.

This led me to a different issue: at times, when the character clicks on the politician after their coordinates were reorganized (because they matched as mentioned in the paragraph earlier) the code would consider that to be clicking on the mole and would lead to a loss. I minimized the issue to the best of my abilities by decreasing the range of coordinates that would be considered a “click” for the mole. Despite minimizing that, there is still that probability.

Future improvements:

In the future, I would definitely want to improve the issue mentioned in the previous paragraph in a way that would leave no room for the possibility of losing if the politician was clicked. In the same vein, I would also want to create a more efficient way to match the coordinates of the characters to the coordinates of the ellipses. Despite using the double array, the values within the array were hard-coded.

I would also like to make the design of the characters more game-like by having them appear from under the hole as opposed to simply popping up. I believe that it would make the interaction more user-friendly.

Overall, despite certain issues within the code, I am proud of my work as someone who is learning programming for the first time, and I believe I was able to create a game that the user can play, restart, and enjoy.

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