“Chop Chop” – Barfcade Game Jam

I made a little game for the Barfcade game jam called “Chop Chop”. It is possibly the most realistic virtual chopstick all you can eat shrimp simulator available! Postmortem and download after the jump.



  • Player 1 – WASD + Spacebar
  • Player 2 – Arrow keys + Enter or gamepad



For this jam I used my own open source game engine, The Frank Engine. I started off thinking it might be cool to create a chopstick simulator using Box2D physics. The chopsticks are two rectangular shapes held together by a distance joint. I apply an angular acceleration to open and close the chopsticks. There’s some of logic to angle the chopsticks upwards when they are closed to make it easier to eat.  I decided to make the food float so they would be a little easier to grab with the chopsticks. The floating works by applying an slight upward acceleration to food in the soup area. What you see below is the first screenshot I took. At this point I was happy to have an effective the proof of concept for the game, because I wasn’t sure how well it would work with all the physics involved.

snapshot_0000Next I added a second player and a simple scoring system. I just used the level editor to create simple characters which I originally planned on being placeholder but I ended up kind of liking the aesthetic and kept it after some more refinement. There was some special code necessary to control rendering the character’s fingers. The screenshot below was from my first attempt at adding fingers before I realized they were backwards! Eyes were pretty simple to implement, just an offset from center based on vector to the end of their chopsticks.


After that the rest was all polish. I had a bit of fun creating the mouth animations which uses 5 frames of animation in total. I added a custom font for some flavor, the font used is called Karate, by Garry D Jessey. I recorded all the sound effects myself, there’s some burping, chewing, and of course barfing. I pitch shifted most of the sounds to make them a bit funnier. I also added random splashing sounds when stuff is moving around in the soup. I made some music using the Korg Kaossilator on my iPad. Hopefully it sounds vaguely Asian, I probably missed the mark but I didn’t want to spend very long on the music.

snapshot_0012The last thing I added was a simple liquid simulation which you can see the rough beginnings of below as the wavy red line. It is composed of rig of connected springs that absorb part of their neighbor’s speed each frame with some damping. I disturb the surface by checking for collision events and applying movement to springs within a distance from the splash point. I also tweaked the color of the characters so their features would be more visible and added a little bit more detail. The aesthetic could be more consistent (mixing pixel and vector art) but it didn’t seem worth the effort.

snapshot_0016This was a really fun project and I think the result may be my funniest game so far. I spent about two week nights and part of the weekend working on it so I hope it gets a few laughs. There are a ton of other cool games on the Barfcade page you can see here.

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