I’m at a pretty happy stopping point with this now. The UI for interacting with the blocks is pretty stable, I’ve got all the visual elements I was looking for, and although the memory footprint is (much) higher than it ought to be, it’s not overflowing Java’s heap space like it was a couple hours ago
The game is called Blokks, and it’s split up into a free-form practice mode (which comes highly recommended) and a slightly more structured “challenge” mode. I didn’t have time to implement the logic for the challenge mode, however, so I’m relying on the honor system to believe that you successfully made it through the (four measley) challenges
Oh, yeah — you can play it online here: http://www.andrewberman.org/projects/pulpfizz/blokks/
Now, it’s time to get some sleep and move on to some “real” work tomorrow — it’s been fun!
I spent most of the past day trying to tweak the “hand” user interface so it feels right… I’m pretty satisfied with that result, but I’ve sorely neglected the final goal of actually making a game out of it. We’ll see what the next 17 hours will bring
Here’s my first tower so far:
As you can see, the nice thing about virtual physics is that you can make them a little bit more relaxed than real life. Now, I just need to stop playing with these blocks and turn this code into something resembling a real game!
Perhaps something similar to this is being done by many others, but when I think of ‘tower’, I think of only one thing: building with blocks. My main goal is to make it almost as much fun to play with blocks in a virtual world as it is in real life!
It remains to be seen how well I can transform a 40-year old, pixel-constrained, utterly inhumane piece of computer hardware (i.e. the mouse) into something even as crudely delicate and artistic as a 4-year old’s hand. It’s a formidable UI challenge for sure, so I’m looking forward to giving it my best shot!
That being said, i wouldn’t hold your breath.
I thought I’d introduce myself before the competition begins tonight (today? Tomorrow? I’m on GMT over here, so I’m too lazy to do the math). Partly because it’s in the rules, and partly because it’s the polite thing to do .
In terms of design, I’m interested in exploring novel user interfaces—similar to the Experimental Gameplay Project, but focusing more on how the user is interacting with the game. I think that most software could benefit from being a little more game-like, and conversely, games could benefit from the modularity and encapsulation necessary for well-designed software.
Ok, enough pontificating. Just one more day of work to get through. Then, let the games begin!