Over the years I’ve worked on many games, some big, some small. I’ve found that the smaller the game, the more fun I seem to have making it. So I set out to make the smallest game I possibly could, and it was a blast.
Ladies and gentlemen, I give you the smallest game I’ve ever released. I call it “Tiny Ski!”, and it’s 960 bytes of pure magic. Please watch this short demonstration and continue reading for more info and source code.
I love MAGFest, there’s nothing else like it. It’s not like a regular convention, and I don’t know how best to describe it to those who haven’t been there. Something like a giant all-hours party for gamers, but that doesn’t really do it justice. It’s more like a community of very cool and weird people that live, game, and party together for 4 days straight once a year. My game Piroot was chosen to be in the MAGFest Indie Showcase. In this post I will recap my MAGFest experience, what I learned, and analyze the data I collected.
I just got back from MAGFest and it was truly awesome as always! I’m working on another post about showing my game Piroot in the Indie Showcase, but I wanted to first talk about my experience running MAGJam, a 2 hour table top game jam at MAGFest.
This year we had over 100 people show up, split into 20 teams. It was an amazing experience, thanks to some talented volunteers and a fantastic group of participants. If you are planning a tabletop jam like this, feel free to steal my ideas and make them better.
I have made huge progress in the past few weeks. Previously I could speed run the demo in under 5 minutes. Now I’ve yet to get through it in under 10 minutes even when skipping as much as possible. I think for a first time player it would take 20-30 minutes. So, yeah, there’s much more to the game. I still have another large area that I want to build before MAGFest that has some water to play around in. The demo build on itch has been updated!
Mini Boss fight!
Completely re-tweaked physics and re-balanced everything
Added more to the level and polished existing areas
Several more varieties of rolling enemies
Low health enemies have random chance of going haywire
Missile launcher player weapon, homes in and can be controlled manually
Tiles that drop when touched and rebuild after a few seconds
Limited player’s weapon range, forces you to get closer to enemies
The procedural tile randomization is also really cool. I wanted something to help with repeating patterns of tiles without needing to do the level design work to add variation. I also don’t want to do the art work to create a ton of different variations. This kind of look is iconic to the Metroid series and it just really helps break up the repeating patterns.
So I set up a simple algorithm to add some randomization. It searches for these blue rock tiles that are surround by that same tile. The it randomly swaps it for 3 other tiles and applies some rotation and mirroring to further mix it up. It is super simple but I may use some more complex algorithms in the future. This kind of thing will be a big help on both the art and level design side.
I’ve worked on many games, but I want to talk a little about how this specific project evolved because I’ve actually been working on it for over a decade!
Almost 10 years ago I first posted about it on the Box2D fourms. I was talking about building my own game engine to make an adventure game spanning a circular planet. At that point I had a very rough prototype of the game with the circular gravity mechanics in place. It was a totally different game then, but the overall shape of the map has not changed much.
Map of 2D Game Prototype From 2009
Keep reading to learn more about Piroot’s origins…
Today I am announcing the game that I have been working on, please enjoy this short video that introduces the gameplay…
Unfortunately my version of WordPress chokes on the actual name so here I’ll just have to just call it Piroot. In this game you will experience an epic story that will literally span an entire planet. You will begin with only the ability to roll and end flying around the planet with relative ease. The technology that I have developed allows for an extremely attractive looking and smooth running open world game with no load times. The game includes a fully integrated level editor for people who want to make their own adventures and uses my own open source game engine.