Glimpse at a Circuits Game

Posted in: Circuit Game, Wednesday Update | March 29, 2013 | No Comments

Spring is finally in the air, which means many things.  The equinox, extreme amounts of rain, calculating logarithms, and massive amounts of silly in-post advertising.  And going in line with the freshness of the season, I’ve got a lot of fresh games in the works.

Last week I showed off new art for my Electricity and Magnetism game.  What’s that you say? That’s a boring name?  Ah, right, for my game *lights laptop on fire and starts typing with his teeth* ~~!!The Electric Shocktopus!!~~.  (Yes, all that punctuation is required.)

Anyway, that’s not the only game I’m working on…


Circuits Game

This one is quite early on in the process, but our prototype is under way.  This game is one of many firsts for me.  For one thing, I’m collaborating with someone on it, so it is a joint venture.  That’s a big change from my previous projects, and it is nice to get some fresh perspectives in game design.  My partner in crime: Piotr, a physics grad student with a penchant for programming.

Also, though, we’re making the game in HTML5.  That’s completely new to me.  I’ve done flash games, and iOS games (with Objective-C for those of you keeping track at home), but never HTML5.  It has, though, the allure of working everywhere*, iDevices, androids, online, whatever.  I’ll note, my background is not in programming, so this has been a bit of a learning curve getting into the new language.  But now that things are underway, it’s coming together.

The game itself is a circuit puzzle game.  Picture a circuit simulator like iCircuit or some such thing, and you’ll have some idea of where things stand.


Squint your eyes until you can imagine it being really pretty...

Squint your eyes until you can imagine it being really pretty…


And, hey, look at that!  The light bulb is lit up!  So as you can see, the game is *kinda* working.  Piotr has done a great job working on the simulator, and the interface is functional so you can drag and drop pieces in and change the circuit.  Eventually, we’re planning on adding in puzzle elements.  Maybe there’ll be a ‘broken’ circuit that you need to fix somehow.  Or maybe you’ll have to fry some resistors and release some magic black smoke.  Or the level will be a maze of wires.  Or there’ll be a rad octopus jumping around the circuit.  Ah, wait, wrong game.

It’s exciting to watch things progressing with this game — two people can certainly move quite a bit faster than one.  What do you think?  What would *you* like to see in a game about circuits?  Let me know in the comments below!

So there you go.  Springtime means plenty of new games are popping up.  Shocktopus.  The Circuits Game.  (And: the evolution game… but that’s for another blog post!)



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A Shocking First Look

Posted in: Electric Shocktopus, Wednesday Update | March 20, 2013 | No Comments

Remember the Electromagnetism game I’d been showing off before? I had some basic, basic images that I posted, such as this one:


OMG that's pretty!

OMG that’s pretty!


But the game is no longer just boxes.  No!  There are patterns, shading, shapes… *AND* a brand spanking new character, seen here for the first time:


Electric Shocktopus

Coming soon* to computers near you


Oh my goodness, an octopus?  That shoots sparks?  He must have an interesting back story.  I want to know more.  Was he driven into action by an electric eel?  And for that matter, how can he do the Right Hand Rule if he doesn’t have a right hand?  Whoa.

In any case, as a quick review, this ‘Shocktopus’ runs and jumps around his world (like, say, Mario or Super Meat Boy).  The twist is that he can change his electric charge at will.  If he’s positively charged, he’ll repel from positive platforms — getting flung high into the sky.

The levels are looking a bit different, too.  The bland squares have been replaced by less-bland squares (aka programmer art):


Electric Shocktopus Screenshot

I use the term ‘programmer art’ loosely…



Just filler art, mind you.  For instance, the octopus will not be going after bananas — I don’t think.  But hey, who knows?

I’ve also been working on non-art related parts of the game.  The physics simulation (and it is, in the vein of Velocity Raptor, a true simulation) has been improved.  It now includes not only point charges and magnetic fields, but also conductors.   If your character goes into a hollow conductor, for example, he’ll be shielded from outside electric fields (namely, it’s a Faraday Cage).

A bunch of progress, but still a long way to go.  Stay tuned for updates about the Electric Shocktopus.  And, lest I forget, stay tuned updates on the other games I’m working on, too!



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