SnakeFormer: Half Snake, Half Platformer! (Post Ludum Dare Compo Edition)

A few months ago, I made my first puzzle game ever for Ludum Dare 29. It was well received (#16 in Innovation!) and players called it “clever” and “challenging”, but the difficulty curve was too steep. Now, I finally found the time to make a post-compo edition with more and easier tutorial levels to ease the beginning and a really hard one where you can test your mettle! I humbly present:

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Snake meets platformer physics!

A short puzzle game combining two
well-known concepts to form a unique hybrid.

Play right here in your browser!
(And maybe rate it! Or share it with friends who might like it.)

Download for Windows, OS/X or Linux!

SnakeFormer – Half Snake, Half Platformer (Post Ludum Dare Compo Edition)

“But,” you might say, “only 9 levels?” Yeah, for now. I think it’s enough to demonstrate the concept well and especially the later levels might take some time to solve. I’m pondering releasing it on Android soon, and maybe, just maybe, I’ll search for a level designer and get more levels made. If you like it and want more of it, please leave a comment!

Credits:

Screenshots:

    

    

An EyeTracker Perspective Experiment

A month ago at the last Berlin Mini Game Jam, I set out to experiment and get acquainted with the Tobii EyeX which can track where your eyes are – and more importantly, where exactly you look on the screen. The obvious thing would be to use that gaze tracking, but out of ideas and inspired by Amazon Fire Dynamic Perspective, I tried to use the actual eye tracking to make the monitor behave like a window into a real-life scene.

An EyeTracker Perspective Experiment

EyeTracker Perspective Experiment

Download for Windows!

My goal was to create the illusion of actual 3D, but maybe due to my scene not being very exciting that turned out rather boring. It looked a bit more interesting once I dropped the “real-life window” idea and made it more a “choose your perspective with head movement” control by exaggerating the movement. By then, I had only half an hour left and no gameplay, so I did the obvious: I added polka and bouncing balls that shoot where you look! Maybe it could have been an interesting horror game with good assets and actual gameplay – although for an immersive perspective horror game, I would probably rather use an Oculus Rift.

And man, it’s hard to come up with good ideas for this device. While eye tracking is widely established for user testing, it’s rather new when it comes to being used in games themselves. I certainly don’t make it easier for myself with my rules for experiments with new technology:

  1. The new technology must be used for a part of the core gameplay.
  2. The benefits (e.g. immersion, precision, ease of use, unique aspects) of using the new technology over traditional technology must outweigh the disadvantages for the intended purpose.

Eye trackers seems to be more suited for passive or highly situative supporting roles – targeting, for example, seems to be easier and more precisely done with a joystick or a mouse for most purposes. But by now, I have a really cool idea that I want to experiment with next time. Can’t wait until I get a new laptop with USB3 so I can try my hand at eye tracking again!

Credits:

webcat

For a university course, I was tasked to make a thing with JavaScript/Crafty. Since I am not particularly fond of HTML5, I wanted to do something playful that I couldn’t do with any other technology. Please welcome with me: webcat.

webcat

webcat

1) Take this link up there and drag it to the bookmark bar or favourites.

2) Go to some other page (Wikipedia works well, for example).

3) Click on the bookmark/favourite “webcat” link!

There isn’t anything to do but running around and double-jumping, but hey, now you can add a cat to any webpage you want!

Credits:

Hammertennis: ChainJam 4 Players Edition

A few weeks ago, I participated in the ChainJam. It was about making 4 player local multiplayer games, each lasting only one minute – and then we’d take all of them and string them randomly together, playing one after another and keeping the score throughout the game. It’s pretty well explained here!

Since my previous tries to remake my beloved Hammertennis as a Unity game failed, I used the ChainJam as an excuse to experiment some more. After a day of coding (and a little revision later to make it able to work as a stand-alone), I got this:

Hammertennis: ChainJam 4 Players Edition

Try to keep balls in your territory to score points!

Playable with gamepads or multiple keyboards.

Play it online here!

So – am I content with it? Gameplay-wise, I am not – it keeps the uncontrollability that was fun in the original Hammertennis, but because it’s so cramped and you now have 4 players instead of two, the interaction feels more meaningless. I learned to use RageSpline and Farseer though, and I am quite happy with the visual look I achieved. I think it’s a huge step forward from my usual programmer art. So – no, the game isn’t that great, but I think it’ll help me a lot when I try to make the next revision in the Hammertennis prototype series!

Credits:

SwapSwatch

Many moons ago, when the earth was still young and Astrid and Pete still lived in Berlin, Heiko, Kelsey and me formed a jam team with them – a team whose epic adventures will be told throughout the centuries. We also made a silly little jam game for a theme long forgotten:

SwapSwatch

You’re trying to collect all the colors!
Sadly you can’t suck colors yourself.

Cuttlefishs to the resue! Don the right cuttlefish
to fill your color reservoir in the respective zone.
Also do the reasonable thing: Let him spit ink at your opponent!

But beware of the police clouds, giving fines to everyone
who is in the wrong color zone with a cuttlefish.

A super serious game for two players
on keyboard or XBox360 controllers!

Download for Windows!

SwapSwatch: Cuttlefish Color Collector

I have no idea what we were thinking. Don’t ask. I regret nothing.

Credits