We are one game behind, not in making games that would be silly. No. We are one game behind telling people that we made some games.
I was planning on writing some junk about MacRL which we just declared finished and discovered that I forgot to mention that DmazeD was all grown up and available on all the app stores you can shake a stick at.
We missed the planed Febuary gamejam due to illness, a terrible illness. Naturally this meant that as soon as we both recovered we then spent 10x as long making a game instead.
So this game has much more effort as the other jams and it also has the new score/profile/menu code to handle local high scores. A step towards reintegration into our online score system used in all the flash games. This includes a brag option for posting spam to twitter, please use it if you like the game.
The game is a maze game, its an attempt to recreate the fear of playing 3D monster maze on a ZX81, only without the 3D (I can 3D easily, but I *choose* not to). There is only a small amount of visibility around the player to try and achieve this. Drawn simply with a full screen GLES shader blacking out all the bits I don't want you to see. I did have a nice little fuzzy video effect going on in the darkness but it got cut back due to GLES compatibility issues.
I need to work out a random number generator that doesn't require high precision numbers so can be used safely in gles pixel shaders. Surprisingly I couldn't find anything online. The main problem is the way integers work inside shaders, they lock when they get too high rather than overflow wrapping like "normal" integers. Great for color calculations but a bit annoying for random numbers since overflow is often an important part of the calculation. It is probably safe to use high precision but I don't want to rely on it and it seems like a solvable problem. Just need to spend some time and research on it. Again this is only a GLES problem, I guess most people don't really care about it.
The visible bubble in the darkness is drawn with a heartbeat, so you get regular glimpses of further away. I think this helps to up the fear. Adding a sound effect on top was tried at the start but ended up too much noise so got removed.
What this means is you are often never sure exactly where the bear is, most deaths are of the wtf BOOM variety when he jumps out of nowhere despite you being convinced hes on the other size of the maze.
The bear wanders the maze talking, the words he says come from Wim Wenders 1991 film "Bis ans Ende der Welt" search youtube for Bounty Bear if you don't believe me :)
The bear also has a tune (again taken from the same scene) depending on how close you are to the bear, his tune increases in volume and the girls tune decreases. The heartbeat of the darkness also increases with proximity so we have quite a few clues, even if you cant always see him.
All sounds in this game where created by Shi and a microphone, no turn tables or other sound systems where used.
The movement control of the girl is modeled after pac man, IE once you start moving to the right you can press up and she will keep moving right and take the next turning up. This works quite well with touchscreens and swipes (you may also swipe with a mouse if you wish) although its not as good as keys and it still needs some tweaking to make it better. Sadly touch screen controls for games are always terrible, use a keyboard if you can.
The bear AI is pretty simple, if you can see the bear, the bear takes the shortest route towards you. If you can't see the bear then the bear just wanders the maze randomly. So you can hide your head in the sand by standing still (this reduces your visibility bubble) and hoping he goes away.
Difficulty increases with each level just by increasing the speed of the bear. Your speed is increased depending on how many sweets you eat, provided you eat all of them on the previous levels you will always start the level faster than the bear. The sweets also give an increased temporary speed boost on the level where they are consumed. So make sure you eat a bunch at the start for extra safety.
Bonus score when you exit a level is given depending on how close the bear is to you at the time. There is a little bit of risk/reward going on just by making the bear chase you to the exit rather than jumping through it immediately you can gain score. That along with optionally needing to eat all the sweets in each level to keep your speed up makes for a few simple but interesting decisions in the game. Mostly you will die from choosing to take too many risks.
Score high for great success!
That is DmazeD, you should go play it now, check out the over complicated download page at
Plenty of different versions available for download from there. Win / Linux / Android / Raspberry PI they probably all work or you can try and use Chrome/NaCl to play it online :)