Easter Panic - A Holiday Game Jam Entry

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Presenting Easter Panic:

Finally after precisely 2 years of being on the forum (it’s my cake day today), my first ever published game.

(It’s a bit messy because I rushed it (took me about ~24-30 hours worth of work, though I cheated because I ripped the state machine out of my unpublished Minesweeper game), but it’s functional.)


Images

Animation 1
(.gif donated by @Keyboard_Camper, generated with @FManga’s Project ABE.)


(Stills donated by @filmote.)


Gameplay

It’s based on Google’s recent Kid’s code doodle, and the gameplay is very similar, but a bit awkard without a mouse.

Basically it’s a sort of game/programming teaching tool hybrid.
You have to ‘program’ the Easter Bunny SmallRabbitF to go around collecting Easter eggs.

The Easter Bunny SmallRabbitF doesn’t understand how to sidestep or walk backwards, it can only move forwards and change the direction it’s facing.

It understands 6 instructions:

  • IconNone Nop - do nothing
  • IconMoveForwardMove Forward
  • IconTurnLeft Turn Left
  • IconTurnRight Turn Right
  • IconFor For - start a set of actions that can be repeated
  • IconEnd End - end a for loop

At the moment there’s no pre-run error checking, the program will error as and when it hits the error. This might cause some bugs but I don’t have the time or energy to fix them before the jam ends sadly.

Sadly the controls are a bit awkard because mouse/touch based things don’t map well to button-based systems. (And again, I was pressed for time.)

To edit the bunny’s instructions you use the arrows to move the box-shaped selector to the instruction you want to edit, then press A to go into instruction edit mode.

In instruction edit mode you use up and down to cycle through instructions (they wrap around at nop/end for convinience).

The for instruction is special because it has an argument.
To change to editing the argument you press right so that the indicator arrow is highlighting the argument number.
Then you press up to increment the argument and down to decrement the argument.
The argument to for specifies the number of times the loop will execute.

All the other controls are probably easy enough to figure out and/or are reasonably intuitive.


I will be polishing this up after the Jam (new levels, maybe some sound), but for now it’s considered finished (because I’ve been working on this for at least 12 hours today and I didn’t sleep properly last night so I’m pretty much done).

Planned features include:

  • New levels
  • Level unlocking
  • More titlescreen decoration
  • Better checking for missing fors and ends
  • The opcode list will be changed to a single row with the centre selected and the row scrolling horizontally (like a horizontal version of the level select screen).
  • Opcodes will be viewable without having being selected first

Features being considered:

  • A level editor (providing there’s enough interest)
  • New opcodes
  • Best number of moves saving
  • Storing the best number of moves in the map

Bonus sprites that haven’t found their way into the game yet:

LargeEgg LargeRabbitImage

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Got any pics or vids??

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In other words, nope.
I might dig my camera out after dinner, but it doesn’t like artifical light much (it’s at least half a decade old I think).

Free fake internet points for anyone who conjures some images up though.

Add screencasting and take a screenshot with the Arduboy Manager! :smiley:

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Extra points for the shameless plug :P

I don’t have that installed though, I’ll just wait until I have chance to dig my camera out.

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No hex? :disappointed_relieved:

Edit: Just compiled it like a caveman from source.

This is by far my favorite game of all times! :smiley:
I would love to see more info in the small code cells, but besides that, it is perfect!

Yeah! and EEPROM saves, like a couple of slots to save and retrieve

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People should be encouraged to create a .arduboy file instead of just a .hex file.

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Didn’t have time.

Some of us are 24/7 cavemen :P

I’m surprised by that but glad that people are enjoying it.

It’s surprisingly difficult to fit decent information into 8x8 sprites.

I have a plan for fixing that after the jam (I think editing now would be unfair because the closing date has passed).

Yeah, that’s also on my todo list.
I’m considering several things involving EEPROM including making people unlock later levels by completing earlier ones and saving people’s best solutions.

For now though it’s just the best I could do in what little time I had.

Yes, I will likewise make one of those when I get chance.
I’m busy today but I might have time when I get back later.

@eried I will also probably submit it to your online repo when I have chance to get all the overhead organised. At the time of posting I was most concerned with submitting in time (and I was very tired).

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Congratulations on publishing!

In the current version I’m having trouble with selecting items on the menu (the up arrow doesn’t seem to be functional). @eried really liked the game so I’d like to come back to this and play it some more.

The winking intro is awesome.

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Which menu?
Level select, the opcode menu?

Edit:
If you mean the opcode list, you can currently only use right and left, it moves onto the next row when you get to the end.

I know that’s a bit unintuitive but I was running low on time.
I have a plan to fix that in later updates.


I have many features planned, not being able to add them is making me anxious, but I think it would be unfair to make any changes while the contest is still open (not even bugfixes).

I’ve added a list of features I’ve planned so people can get an idea of what I hope this game will become.

It might be small now, but it has potential and I plan to tap into that potential when the jam is over.

TL;DR: I’m developing the game further, please give feedback.


I’ve started work on improving this game in the last few days.
I’m going to be developing features in branches before deciding which ones stay because I’d like to hear people’s opinions.

So far I’ve made two branches,
one that makes the instructions visible before editing:

and one with a new prototype instruction editing system, which has a different layout and control scheme, and which I feel is slightly closer to what I originally envisioned:

To anyone interested in this game:
Please give feedback on these branches,
I want to know what people do and don’t like about the game and what features you’d most like to see.


As an aside:

I’m not sure how far I’m going to take this game, because I’ve got a concept for a non-holiday themed spritual successor in mind that I might develop in future, and I’m considering just using this as a testbed for that idea.
I might not get round to that however, there are so many projects I want to work on that it’s sometimes hard to stick to one for long.

Development on this might be a bit slow because I think I’m going to have less free time this year.

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Annother possible layout:

Which do people prefer?
Why?
Are there aspects of both that are good?

Maybe it is better that you post a screenshot.

I kinda like to see the steps all the time, but the latest one looks nice :slight_smile:

Maybe, though I think a screenshot is only going to give you a glance into the game,
it won’t really tell you what the new arrangement ‘feels’ like.

Ideas can often seem good in concept, but end up being terrible in practice.

By ‘all the time’ do you mean you’d like the instructions visible behind the ‘edit/run/exit’ menu as well, or that you’d also like them to all be visible when the sequence is running?

Hard to explain without images :stuck_out_tongue:

Also, nobody is going to download them all, compile and try them, that is why I am suggesting images to get feedback.

test2:
test2

test
test

develop
develop

So, what I was saying is that I like test2 and test because the icons, but having the program blocks like develop was convenient.

I have an opinion about using the arrows for changing the instruction:

It looks like using the arrows reduces button-presses but, for me, adds unnecessary guessing. That may seem counter intuitive but imagine a world without having comboBoxes, but using numericUpDowns for selecting stuff… if you want speed, the numericUpDowns might work for some scenarios, like a cashier because the user can remember stuff like: “option 3 is 4 left keypresses”. In this case I think the flow provided by the comboBoxes suits more the game. Adds a comfortably pause while thinking on the solution.

I can suggest an UI that fits:

Note: Down + A is not a combination, is pressing Down (for selecting a instruction slot) then pressing A for opening the instructions. If you want efficiency, even holding A might work (and using the first slot as “cancel”)

They would if it was a more popular game… ; n ;

They are in a particular order, but I get what you mean.

I don’t think showing the next/previous instruction is going to speed up people’s searching significantly,
although it might make them less likely to go past the instruction they want, that much I agree.

(I had originally intended to have run/edit/exit as selectable buttons, I opted for the option menu because I was short on time and I saw a chance to re-use the title screen code.)


I’ve got a few ideas in mind for some different UIs, so I think I’ll go back to the drawing board for a bit to see if I can think of some more ideas.

The main obstacle is the lack of screen space.
(If I could hide the board while an action was being edited then things would be a lot easier.)


At any rate I appreciate the feedback.

Not really, I am pretty sure that even popular stuff don’t get feedback if they require long engagement :smiley: