So I participated in js13k again this year, this time sticking to my cards better and decided to make an eye- as much as a brain-bending puzzle game called Edge Not Found. After working for almost a year in TypeScript (and Canvas) for my job, I feel I have a lot more experience working with the browser, along with the things I’ve learned from my entry last year. So here’s another larger-than-13kb postmortem about a smallen-than-13kb game.
js13k last year was the most fun I’ve had with a game jam. There’s a lot of activity from devs on Twitter (though not overwhelmingly so), the month-long deadline is very relaxed compared to some other game jams (you’ll finish on time even if you contribute just half a kilobyte per day!), and there are simply some amazing technical marvels that people create even despite all these limitations.
And, of course, a seed for a game idea. I’ve made a couple Sokoban variants before, and my next idea was to have the level continue infinitely into all directions. A small spoiler warning, though: I’ll vaguely describe some of the puzzle mechanics (though no puzzle solutions!) in this postmortem, so you might want to play the game a bit before reading on.
Yes! Fake Illusions (the game I’ve spent a year and a half developing, and will probably continue to work on for a bit) is now out on both Steam and itch. It’s great to finally have it out of the door, and I’m curious about how it will perform on both platforms.
It has been a little bit of final sprint to get to this point, but the application is nice and stable now. I feel it’s the first game that I’ve made that I feel comfortable slapping a price tag on. So we’ll see how it goes! There’s also a new launch trailer to go along with it.
If you want to request a review copy or want to use the game for educational purposes, feel free to reach out for a free copy: my contact details are on the top of this page.
Thank you and enjoy!
There have been a lot of games about optical illusions recently, but most of these have focused around impossible geometry in Esher-esque environments. However, many more interesting visual phenomenons are still unexplored in games. I had the idea of hiding “fake” optical illusions inside real ones, and having the player point out the cheater. After an initial prototype with a few illusions, I’ve spent the last year and a half working on expanding this idea, and I’m currently preparing it to launch on Steam soon!
Because the game idea is so unique and visual-focused, it runs at a high risk of being very inaccessible to play, for example for people with bad eyesight, colorblindness, or other handicaps. I have some experience with this subject when designing the accessible precision platformer Mobility, so I wanted to ensure the same accessibility for this game, even though the two game ideas are wildly different. Today, I’d like to run through my design choices for keeping Fake Illusions accessible while still embracing minimalism and surrealism.
Since lots of people are currently stuck at home because of the corona virus, and I really wanted to contribute to notGDC this year, I’ve decided to write about something that I wanted to share for a while now: tools to prevent yourself from getting distracted while using a computer.
When using any internet-connected device, the line between exertion and relaxation can blur very quickly—and I can relate. In my case, one time during an internship , I got side tracked and started watching… a Tetris competition. Of course I got caught: that was the moment where it dawned on me that the freedom to get distracted was too much responsibility for me. So I decided to take away some of that freedom, and opted to add measures on my computer to achieve that. I’ve used a lot of productivity tools over the years, so I’d like to share with you what I’ve learned and what worked for me.
Some context, though. I’m 22 years old, lived in a student house for around the past four years, and for the last months I’ve lived in an apartment by myself, working remotely. Most of the recommendations here will be Windows applications or browser extensions. I also have as few apps on my phone as possible to minimize distraction there (a “dumbphone” of sorts).
Some of the methods I’m using might be a little extreme, because I need it to stay sharp and motivated. So you might not be able to use very single tip here, but I still hope these pieces of software and other tips will suit your use cases!
That’s a wrap on 2019, the year where I barely played Steam games in favor of itch, the year that Switch eShop discounts started getting amazing, and also a year where I graduated and moved away from my student house. Oh, and I also made a bunch of smaller games, while wrapping up Fake Illusions. Whew!
Here are some games I liked. Like last year, I just played these games this year, since I don’t really care about their original release date. The order of games is also pretty much “in the order I can think of them”, so take it with a grain of salt. Maybe two.