split.merge.steal

A long time ago I decided to do an exercise from a game design textbook. The exercise was to design a simple game around a territory capturing mechanic. I think the exercise was from the first chapter or something, but I got so very distracted after building that game that I haven't been back to the book since. What distracted me was that I decided to make it possible for people to make and share games that used the same type of board/moves. Finally, the resulting game editor/player is ready to share! I think this could maybe be a good tool for people to practice their game design without getting distracted by computery bullshit like I did?

I would really love it if you would try this out and make some games. I would love it even more if you would share those games with me!

Please Play Again

Float around in a sea of encouragement. Can you get to the end? Of course you can!!

This game was made for js13k 2013, for which the theme is bad luck.

show author's notes

I made this game for the js13k contest, which had a theme of bad luck this year. Originally, I was inspired to make a game about bad luck and entitlement. I quickly decided that I wanted to make a game where the only way to win was to give up.

Unfortunately, this important aspect of the game was not well communicated to the player, and many players had a reactions of anger and/or confusion. Although the execution isn't perfect, I still like the idea. One thing that added to the confusion was that each level introduced something new. When the final, unbeatable level arrives, it can appear that the player is simply missing some new mechanic.

Something I have considered since the competition was adding an alert when the player attempted to close the tab, congratulating them on giving up.

Another design goal I had in this game was to have minimal to no instructions. Overall, I think this worked out pretty well, as the players I observed seemed to discover the simple controls and mechanics fairly quickly with a bit of experimentation.

The lack of information on goals and controls probably aggravated the problem with players becoming frustrated when the game becomes impossible.

good

  • fun mechanics
  • visual aesthetic was nice, and required no assets

bad

  • I didn't get into even the top 20
  • I didn't get any feedback from the judges
  • failure to communicate to the player when they won the game (by walking away)

Spin Cycle

Stop the spinners at the right time to progress, stop them faster for more points! Randomly-generated levels (if you want to call them that) and infinite mode! Is this a roguelike? no.

show author's notes

A long time ago, as BlackBerry prepared to launch their foray into the tablet market, they announced a promotion for developers: make a PlayBook app, get a PlayBook. One of the technologies you could use to make the app was HTML5, which, at the time, was still somewhat new. I decided this was the perfect time for me to get my feet wet with web-based game development, and so I started planning and making this game.

The game is sort of fun, it's kind of like a more boring version of Super Hexagon (although I had the idea before Super Hexagon was released, and I didn't ever play its predecessor, Hexagon). I learned much more about web design/technologies making this game than I did about game design. The game part stayed fairly static from an early point, but the UI/UX/implementation went through several major revisions. Finally, it has landed on something I'm pretty happy with and ready to share.