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September 02, 2014, 01:21:04 PM
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mcc
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« on: February 20, 2009, 01:15:54 AM »

So, this is a game I made. I've been working on it for awhile and I just finished it. It's called "Jumpman". There are mac and PC versions and you can get it at:

http://runhello.com/

There's also a video of the game at that page.

The idea of this game ( if it's OK for me to get pretentious for a minute Smiley ) was to kind of imagine this platonic form of the generic "really old platformer"*, like from the age of the 2600 and the Apple //, and then to try to take the world that these games described sort of "at face value". All those old games (for hardware reasons, of course) seemed to kind of take place in a world of floating neon blocks where faceless creatures slide endlessly back and forth for no reason. I wanted to imagine a world that was really just built that way.



The thought was to kind of take all the things that have become possible in games in the last 29 years-- physics, 45 degree angles, a z axis-- and bring the new technology into an early-80s-style platformer while at the same time changing the platformer's basic nature as little as possible. The hope is to try to make you believe that every 2600-era platformer would have looked like this if only you'd pulled the camera back about 4 feet. Like, every old game had something where you could walk off one side of the screen and suddenly appear on the other, right? What was actually happening there? Did space in the world where Pac-Man lives just happen to loop back on itself every ten feet? What would happen if you just took the camera and turned it a little bit to the right, would you see Pac-Man duplicated every 10 feet stretching off into the distance forever...?



The gameplay in Jumpman is, as the premise would suggest, pretty standard for a 2D platformer (although, about as hard as I could make it) but there are a few new mechanics added that are hopefully fun. Most of these have to do with exploring the idea of taking a single "level" from a platformer and trying to bring out all the possibilities latent in it, thinking, if you just jostle the components or look at it from a different angle it becomes something totally different. Like, if you think about it, the levels in these games were basically just abstract blocks-- in the days before those fancy-schmancy tiles there was nothing really to distinguish wall from ceiling. You could take a level map from one of those games, hold it sideways or upside down, and half the time you'd have an equally valid level map.

So, Jumpman outright lets you do that. There are controls to "turn the world" in the middle of play and rotate things such that the walls become floors and ceilings. In a lot of levels you have to do this to progress. There's some neat things you can do with this, like sorta you can walljump by just tilting the wall just enough to get footing on it. Etc.

Anyway the end result of all this is a game that (I hope) is built out of just a few simple, familiar components, but that comes at these components with just enough of a weird perspective to make some really fun and unique and occasionally fairly complicated situations emerge.

--- --- --- ---

If anyone cares, I started making this game about a year ago after I played "Passage", which kind of blew my mind and showed me just how complicated a really simple game can get (this + Knytt were basically the only modern indie games I had played at that point) and at about the same time a particularly sadistic romhack called "Kaizo Mario World" (which is really fun when you give it a chance!). The early-80s graphics were partially at first a way to make a video game with very few art resources, but the more I got into the project the more the game sort of turned into an intentional love letter to the apple // games I'd played as a kid and the more I kinda started to like the aesthetic on its own terms. I'm now actually planning to try to play with the whole alternate-dimension-of-apple-// thing more in future projects (Hence "RUN HELLO"...).

Anyway thanks for listening to me ramble, and I hope you enjoy this Smiley
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My projects:<br />Games: Jumpman Retro-futuristic platforming iJumpman iPhone version Drumcircle PC+smartphone music toy<br />More: RUN HELLO
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« Reply #1 on: February 20, 2009, 01:26:55 AM »

This is really amazing. It really turns on its head what you expect from a retro platformer.
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« Reply #2 on: February 20, 2009, 02:52:25 AM »

I was pleasantly surprised by this.  It's quite well polished.  I got stuck on the first porcupine level I came to, though Cry  (edit: got past it, stuck on a later level now Smiley )

Quote
The thought was to kind of take all the things that have become possible in games in the last 29 years-- physics, 45 degree angles, a z axis--
There's a lot more than that that's become possible in the last 29 years :D

The tiling picture is pretty nice; I made a small prototype from a similar idea a while back.

(also: kudos for the mac build)

edit: the slidiness of the character I have yet to get used to...

I like how dying doesn't reset the level.
« Last Edit: February 20, 2009, 03:18:08 AM by stephen lavelle » Logged
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« Reply #3 on: February 20, 2009, 06:39:53 AM »

I like it, the character moves like a wet soap Grin Some puzzles remind me of Ball Revamped and the bee in Psychosomnium, two other awesome games .

The way levels slide into play looks really sexy, there's something about planning out how I'm going to beat the level ahead whilst I'm still getting hammered on the current that gives it depth.

I also like how the level doesn't reset, means I can suicide-powerball some spikes.

 Beer!
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« Reply #4 on: February 20, 2009, 08:21:35 AM »

this is awesome. as in awesome-amazing.

but damn, I'm stuck at path 7 when there's a happy ball, a pit and you can't rotate.
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« Reply #5 on: February 20, 2009, 08:42:30 AM »

This game is awesome and all but... what the fffffffff?!?



This is impossible.  The hitbox on the player is too large to slide in there without getting hit.  I mean, come on... i can see the end from here! Huh?
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« Reply #6 on: February 20, 2009, 08:46:21 AM »

Rotate so that the ball kills the slime  Coffee
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« Reply #7 on: February 20, 2009, 08:54:41 AM »

The ball is too wide for the hole.
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« Reply #8 on: February 20, 2009, 08:56:47 AM »

At least that's what She said...
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« Reply #9 on: February 20, 2009, 09:15:15 AM »

it doesn't quite fit, but if you rotate about enough it'll kill it
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« Reply #10 on: February 20, 2009, 10:13:43 AM »

I just finished your game in one session

77:17

313 lives lost

Finished, and going mental

Crazy game, great fun but I used some profanity that I didnt even know I had in me Tongue

Especially since this laptop isn't the fastest and I had lag at times, while timing was so important oftenly.

One innovative thing after the other, just when I thought it couldn't get crazier, it did.

This game is awesome but I'm totally out of energy now Tongue

Some proof that I did make it: it finishes with a level which is literally the end: a the end logo with a square and a few hunters. The ending sequence, where you credit platformers.net among others, is jumpman sitting under a tree Tongue
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« Reply #11 on: February 20, 2009, 10:17:41 AM »

This game is awesome and all but... what the fffffffff?!?



This is impossible.  The hitbox on the player is too large to slide in there without getting hit.  I mean, come on... i can see the end from here! Huh?

Trust me, you can't see the end from there Tongue
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« Reply #12 on: February 20, 2009, 10:34:46 AM »

it doesn't quite fit, but if you rotate about enough it'll kill it

Okay then, I'll give it another shot.  But I was stuck on that level for like ten minutes before giving up Sad

It really is a pretty slick game though Grin
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« Reply #13 on: February 20, 2009, 10:42:10 AM »

I'm not going to spoil anything, but beating the last level, before going to the credits, that bit is awesome Tongue
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« Reply #14 on: February 20, 2009, 11:50:24 AM »

The idea of this game ( if it's OK for me to get pretentious for a minute Smiley ) was to kind of imagine this platonic form of the generic "really old platformer"*, like from the age of the 2600 and the Apple //, and then to try to take the world that these games described sort of "at face value".

What about the actual Apple II (C64 FTW!) era game Jumpman?



http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jumpman

 Undecided
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