Entering a 13k HTML5 Game Competition
Tuesday, 4th September 2012, 16:31
I've applied for jobs in the past just because they had a coding challenge that interested me, sad I know, but what can you do. Then I notice this JS13KGames competition pop up on the DailyJS website, a place I check regularly for ooh-that's-an-interesting-module type posts.
Update (30/01/2018): Unfortunately DailyJS went offline a while ago, but if you like that sort of thing then definitely try http://www.echojs.com/latest/0 instead!
So tempted to enter this, not because I think I can win, but because ever since I did that ZX Spectrum Loading Screen Simulator a few months ago, I've been toying with making a retro style game in HTML5. Or more specifically making a library so others can do them.
Always the library, never the application, that's me.
Anyway, after seeing that you can push pixels around (even double sized ones) fast enough on a Canvas to get that retro look, I started to think about making some sort of Out Run inspired racing game. This arcade SEGA classic came out in 1986, when I was at a very impressionable age, and it blew me (and many like me) away with the amazing super fast way it resized and threw sprites at you.
We had to wait until around 1989 and the likes of Hard Drivin before 3D polygons were starting to look okay. So games before that used flat 2D objects and just resized them until they were blockier than a 10ft LEGO brick made out of LEGO bricks.
SEGA actually did the whole sprite scaling thing a year earlier, with Space Harrier, but Out Run has marginally deeper memories for me, most likely because of the second left level where the road went all hilly as you drove through a rocky tunnel, or bunch of rocky bridges, who knows what they are supposed to actually be.
Anyway, I love a bit of retro, and a 13k limit on all assets and code is certainly a challenge and definitely geared nicely towards a retro style game. But with limited time to code it, making a realistic decision on what is possible would be sensible, a finished game is better than a non-working tech demo.
So I'm reminded of a ZX Spectrum classic 3D Deathchase, of which perhaps some even simpler form of may both fill my need to write a sprite scaler and some sort of racing experience.
This is my inspiration, and whilst I'm sure I can get some sort of racing through tree gaps going quite easily, it also needs sound, and 13k is not good when it comes to sound. I may have to make some very low resolution looping mp3s, and music is going to be right out.
I'll let you know how I get on.