Small Free Game- Traffic Control

I like learning new skills and nothing motivates me to learn something quicker than a cool game project. Several weeks ago, a friend asked if I was available to help on a game. I was, except the game was in JavaScript which I last used to make a table-top Dungeons & Dragons DM app in something like 10th grade in what I can only imagine must have been truly monstrous code. So I set aside 3 days to learn the language and make a game. A self-imposed game jam!

Fortunately JavaScript is similar to Lua in many ways, so even though my previous experience was nil undefined, I was up-and-running pretty quickly. Still learning the new tech constrained my dev time and how “fancy” I could be. I needed a concept that could be effectively presented with relatively simple shapes and colors.

I was pacing back-and-forth trying to pick a game mechanic when it hit me. Well maybe that’s a bit unfair since I was the one moving and I’d definitely known the table was there before, but I was deep in thought. Anyway, one apocryphal inspiration tale later, I decided to decided to go with a concept of using switches to keep moving objects from running into hazards on the way to a goal.

Photoshopped-border screenshot time:

Play Here (Any HTML5-capable web browser. Untested on mobile.)

You’re still reading so you must want to know more about Traffic Control!

*What you see here was actually the result of spending a 4th day later to polish a bit more. The original version only had 5 levels. Now there are 10 with 2 new hazards!

*If you can Lua, you can probably JavaScript. (Going the other way is fine too.) In both languages “objects” are actually hash tables you store functions and members in that are inited by a “prototype class.”

*I’m still not sure what I think about the last 2 levels. I feel like the fire hazards introduce a type of gameplay that’s different from the “plan-ahead-and-execute” style the previous levels build on. Were I to spend more design time on this, that’s where I’d look.

*The fitness of a language can be inferred by how quickly you can make it look like C++.

*The game I worked with my friend on was Alteil Horizons. An online card-dueling game that was in a time crunch to get a demo ready before it’s now-successful-but-still-ongoing (for now) kickstarter.

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