Monday, 10 July 2017

js13k 2017 approaches!

It's that time of year again; the js13k contest starts in a few weeks and I've been thinking about it. If you don't know about the contest, one has to make a game that runs in a browser in under 13kb of code+data+resources (13kb is very, very little - perhaps a 2% of the size of the page you are currently reading).

My 2015 game cargo-72 was a scrolling platformer (all built with ascii art); in 2016 I made complicit which is a visually pretty, fast bullet hell shoot'em up (with a twist). They both did well in the judged contest and, much more importantly for me, in the contestant voted awards.

So this year I want to create a beautiful-looking puzzle game which isn't reflex oriented. This is challenging technically because puzzle games need lots of hand-crafted levels which takes human time and steals a big chunk that 13kb storage if you have 20 or so levels.

This is the basic list of features I'd like for my entry this year:

  • Elegant, minimal meta-game interfacing with access to all levels
  • Persistent local storage of progress and achievements
  • Very elegant, abstract representation of the game play with minimal interface.
  • Unique appearance for each level - algorithmic backgrounds and feature generation.
  • Playable without external instructions - tutorials if needed.
  • Simple but varied audio effects for events and UI responses.
  • Game play that extends over 20+ levels which might take several hours to consume and at its hardest will be challenging to most adult players.
  • Playable/usable on all screens and devices.

I've got a few ideas for the project and a few sketches I will publish soon.

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