In 2013 to 2014, I made some game prototypes in Haxe to get some ideas down but I felt they were all too rough to consider complete. I thought the ideas they looked at were more interesting than the actual games themselves, so I wrote them up here.
- Stroop (Stony Brook Game Developers Spring Game Jam)
- Standoff (Stony Brook Computing Society Hackathon)
Stroop was an experiment based on the psychological phenomenon called the “Stroop Effect.” To create a standard Stroop Effect, a series of words are colored and the subject must recite the color of the words in order. However, the words themselves might be describing a color, so the cognitive dissonance to recite the color of the word causes a delayed reaction.
See the above image for an example.
Not satisfied with making a color based Stroop Effect, I attempted to create Stroop Effects based on other stimuli, such as font size, font style, and auditory stimuli such as ears and volume. I know of modifications of the Stroop Effect that are based on counting, location, and incongruent captions, but as far as I know, I had created explored the Stroop effect through stimuli that hadn’t been documented before.
Still, the game was glitchy and not really fun, so I abandoned it.
Stroop was also my first attempt at making a game use Haxe NME.
Standoff was my attempt to make a minimalist multiplayer game. It was also my first attempt at a multiplayer game. The fastest way to make a multiplayer game I thought was to make it local, based on the same keyboard. And I wanted there to be a non-transitive (rock-paper-scissors) dynamic going on so that would be the driving conflict.
So I made Standoff. Originally for 3 players (key input wouldn’t register with too many keys pressed), the two players are trying to beat each other in a top down 2D arena. I tried to make a somewhat intuitive non-transitive scheme, so I colored the players Red, Green, and Blue, like Fire, Grass, and Water (Fire beats Grass beats Water beats Fire, like Pokemon).
Then, when I cut it down to two players, I realized there needed to be a way to change the dynamic so the “hunter becomes the hunted.” So, I instituted a ball, so that it transforms the player who catches it. So the players play between trying to catch each other and catching the ball.
All that said, the draft is rather raw, as I worked on it for 4 hours during a Stony Brook Hackathon. The game does get a kernel of fun for a good 5 minutes between two people, which I am glad to have, and I realize I could do further work to expand that 5 minute period. It was my first attempt at a multiplayer game in 4 hours, so I consider it a success.
Stopwatch was an experiment I made in the Fall of 2013. I wanted to make the very minimum of a game that encouraged competitive behavior. So it was just about reflexively pushing a button at a forever increasing scale. I also thought of different difficulty modes, implemented menus, saving… and, er, even a permadeath mode. It’s one of my more complete projects, but it still wasn’t that interesting so I abandoned it. If you’d like, you can check it out here:
Play Stopwatch here – Self-hosted
This was a game I made in March 2014 where I wanted to experiment with controller input and some thoughts I had on game theory. In a way, it was a kind of expansion on the multiplayer 2D arena ideas in Standoff.
So in Cavemen, you play as six cavemen controlled on two controllers– 3 players per controller. Each player gets two inputs, a control stick or control pad for moving a caveman around and a button to swing one’s club to hit other cavemen with.
In the game, each caveman is slowly starving over time and must compete for the limited amount of food on the screen. When swinging, the caveman slows down and is vulnerable from behind. When two cavemen hit each other as they are both swinging their clubs, they both get knocked down and are temporarily paralyzed. This makes them free to be hit by other cavemen with. The idea is that through players’ aggression with each other (further emphasized by competing for space on the physical controllers), perhaps players would constantly be in a struggle for self-preservation and cycle of aggression. Hence, perhaps the players would be reduced to cavemen.
The game was only implemented using an Xbox 360 controller and a Logitch F310 as input, and it didn’t really keep players’ attention, so I’ve moved on and since abandoned the project.