I wanted to participate in js13k for a while now, so I finally took the dive, similarly to 7drl this year. The resulting game is called BackFlipped, and you can play it on either the competition site or itch! Also, you can check out the source code on Github.
I had some goals:
Here’s a lengthy postmortem detailing my design decisions so I can refer to them later, but also so other people can learn! I might make a separate post about all the optimization tricks I used, but for now the js13k resources are very useful, and I tried most of the tricks listed there.
So I made a rougelike! I have a problem with rougelikes: the games are incredibly punishing, and usually I can’t bring up the patience to continue playing after five permadeaths or so. Also, these games can be complicated, with very little explanation—something I think is amazing in most games, but can be very frustrating in a rougelike where you’re thrown to the wolves almost instantly.
However, I have been fascinated by the genre, regardless of my inability to actually play the games. So when I saw 7drl was happening this year, I wanted to make a minimalist rougelike, also known as a rougelite. Here’s an overview of the gameplay of the game and how it was put together this way.
More years, more games! Looking back, I can only say one thing: Geez, I played a lot of games this year!
Like last years’ lists, this just list games I played this year, not necessarily games that released this year, in no particular order. Also, only itch embeds this year because I’ve played a lot more games on itch, but also because all Steam embeds from last year’s list broke and I’m too lazy to add links/embeds for everything this time around.
I’ve had a couple of people request hints or a solution sheet for How to make a good puzzle, so here it is. If you’re having trouble beating the puzzles, you can check the videos here for hints or the entire solution. Please use it only as a last resort.
The Rubik’s Cube. Sudoku’s. Video games. Puzzles are everywhere, but just how do you make a good puzzle—one that’s fun, and satisfying to solve?
I’ll explain this with levels from Sokoban, a puzzle game where you push boxes to the correct spaces on the grid. I’m demonstrating my points using this game, but they can be applied to most types of puzzles. Since puzzle design is subjective, your mileage may vary, but this is a good starting point that I’m also using for my own puzzle games.