These are projects posted by the students of Dr. Gove Allen at Brigham Young University. These students have taken one semester-long course on VBA and generally have had no prior programming experience

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Rocket Town - awesome VBA Game, + Outlook to Excel script

This is the rocket game I created to supplement my VBA semester project.

In a nut shell, I made good use of named ranges and then offset each range by one to simulate motion. After each cycle I check the named ranges to see if any ranges overlap. If the rocket overlaps with an object, there has been a collision and the game is over. When the object reaches the center of the screen, the next object is generated. When the object reaches the end of the screen, it is destroy.

In addition to this project I created an Outlook VBA script that strips data out of emails and stores it in a spreadsheet.

Executive Summary

For my semester project I began by addressing a business problem in the place where I work, Seven Peaks Water Park. As an employee in the IT department as well as the Point of Sale Specialist, I receive a lot of emails from automated devices that fill up my inbox, as well as emails from various managers requesting timely information that may go unnoticed if my inbox fills up quickly with less important messages. One particular email that I receive several times a day is generated from our website with customer information when a patron requests information about “group events” (i.e. a family party they would like to hold at a discounted rate).

These emails have been collecting in my inbox during the off season and will eventually need to be passed on to an employee responsible for contacting each one. The preferred method of distributing contact information at this business is spreadsheet form, so I created an outlook marco in VBA that iterates through my outlook inbox and finds automated message of this type, then parses the contents of the email and extracts the important information using regular expressions and appends it to an excel spreadsheet so that no person is left un-contacted and the process of contacting each person is greatly facilitated by the fact that its presented neatly in a spread sheet and no one has to transfer it from emails to user-friendly form.

*In addition to this business solution, I challenged myself a bit further by creating an excel-based computer game done entirely in VBA. I named this game Rocket Town; the objective is to navigate a rocket around obstacles that are randomly placed in your path. This application presented many unforeseen challenges and proved to be an excellent learning exercise.

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