Jetbot Jumble

#1

Jetbot Jumble.zip (2.9 MB)

A little game I made while taking break from a project I’m working on to take a break from my main project. Each player controls a robot and tries to mash the other player into spikes. Repeat. Originally meant to be a rip-off of Get On Top, I eventually ended up with something a bit different, but the basic idea remains. Eventually I’d like to have an android version, because this type of game is really meant to be played while drinking beer, and who wants to drag their computer to a pub, right?

The controls are simple - arrow keys for the pink player and W, A, D for the teal one. There is no “down” key, but pressing left+right does the trick. Overal the controls are meant to be somewhat difficult - the goal is to survive longer than the other guy, not to fly around the arena gracefully.

There’s a whole bunch of settings in the main menu. I will include some interesting presets later (as well as the option to save your own). For now I’m not competely sure what kind of settings work the best, so please experiment, and if you come up with something fun, please let me know.
One idea is to set high gravity, put spikes on the walls and a normal wall on the floor and join the robots with a very short chain.

There are only three powerups and two curses so far, I’ll be adding more in the future. Let me know if you think of interesting ones to add.

I didn’t have a chance to test it with other people much yet, so any feedback would be greatly appreciated.

Github link: https://github.com/K-Klear/Jetbot_Jumble

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#2

I showed the android version to a couple of friends and we agreed on some stuff.

First off, while I think the controls are just about good enough for desktop, without key-press feedback and possibly due to the smaller screen, playing the game on a phone is a bit harder than intended.

Making the bots easier to control is probably gonna take a bit of fiddling with jet positions and angles. Letting players customize these in the menu was actually on my to-do list, so maybe I’ll just do that and then have a couple of tried and tested layouts sorted by ease of use.

Second, with the controls for each player being on the opposite side of the screen with the phone laying in between the players, the gravity ends up being sideways, which is not intuitive.

I’m considering some fixes for that - either making gravity different for each bot (so each player has their own intuitive “down”) or by making the gravity depend on the bot’s position. A friend suggested placing a sort of a hill in the background that the bots would slip off, giving a visual cue as to how the gravity will behave. I’m undecided on whether to make that hill sharp with two distinct sides with equal (but opposite) gravity or to make it so that gravity gradually weakens, with a zero-g area in the middle. The situation kinda reminds me of Ender’s Game, so I should probably just take Ender’s solution.

Lastly, the current menu is very hard to use by touch input, as some elements are way too small. I knew this - that’s why I only posted the desktop version. If for some weird reason you want to see how it works on adroid, you can bundle it yourself, but it’s really not worth it.

In any case, the overall effect was that I’m suddenly feeling a strong urge to continue with my main project, so I’ll be putting this on hold until I hit a snag there (which could be next week, knowing myself).

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