Thaius and the Ice Caverns is my 1-bit game submission for Daniel Linssen's bit jam on itch.io. It's a game where you play as Thaius, who's traversing icy blue mazes for glory. Thaius can't see very well though, and can barely understand what's in front of him. Sorry Thaius, but your vision is the dumps.
The game is presented through a 1x1x2 display. I hope that the game is accessible to visually-impared people who typically wouldn't be able to see the action of a video game.
The objective of the game is to get to the goal in all six levels.
The display for Thaius and the Ice Caverns only changes between two shades of blue: one dark and one light. The game will also play a high-pitched tone for a light shade and a low-pitched tone for the dark shade. If you don't want any sound, you can mute/unmute the game with the M key.
This game takes place from the first person perspective. Use the arrow keys to move throughout the dungeon. Pressing the up arrow key makes you step forward. Pressing the left and right arrow keys will turn you left and right 90 degrees, respectively. Pressing the down arrow key makes you step backward while facing forward.
The 1-bit display will show a pattern based on what you see in front of you. A continuous light shade (high pitch) indicates empty space, while a continuious dark shade (low pitch) indicates a wall of the cavern. Different flickering patterns between light and dark indicate an object in front of you. These objects can include, keys, locks, and the goal of a level.
To complete a level you must walk on top of the goal. You'll know you've found a goal when it flickers in a unique pattern.
Press the space key to start the game. The game will flicker rapidly between dark/light when you start or complete a level. When you finish all six levels, the game ends. You can press space to play again.
Keep the sound on! You can mute it with the M key, but it's easier to discern between the flickering patterns by sound rather than light.
Visualizing the cavern can be difficult, so I'd recommend kicking it old school and mapping out your environment with a pen and paper as you move. That way you can find your way arround much more quickly.
Remember, you can do it! I believe in you.
I found the restrictions for bit-jam both incredibly endearing and incredibly frustrating! While making something interesting with only two states of output seemed incredibly hard, it also encouraged me to make the most out of the limitations and actually produce a game. In the end, I was pretty satisfied that I actually figured something out!
I settled on the first-person maze game idea pretty quickly and had time to think about it, so programming it was pretty straightforward. I ended up copy/pasting a lot of code for certain parts, which was annoying since my code-smell detectors were going off like crazy. Overall though, I'm happy with how quickly I was able to implement the design.
Next time though, I'm definetly doing something with graphics again!
You can play the game here on itch.io. You'll want to use a modern browser, if possible. If you also participated in bit jam, be sure to let me know you did! I'd love to play your game too.
This game was made possible with the Phaser 2 library. I'd reccomend it for 2D browser games!
© 2016 Daniel Savage