August 19th-22nd 2011 :: Theme: Escape
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Escape from Flatland: an Adventure of Two Dimensions

by pdyxs - 48 Hour Competition Entry

This game is somewhat of an adaptation of Flatland, by Edwin A. Abbot, though that wasn't really my intention going in.

My intention, instead, was to use the Facebook API and social network to create an asynchonous co-operative experience, where players worked together to complete the game and the story.

I've done this to the extent that the game is quite possibly impossible to finish alone, and still very hard to finish when working with others (note: the social aspect is hidden at first, but becomes consequential once you get to the later levels, and hopefully will become apparent).

This is pretty much an experiment, partly in story and partly in social media. I'd love to hear your takes on it.

(please note that for the social aspect to work at all, it requires you and one of your facebook friends to play. It also only really kicks in after you're both at level 10. This is something that the game would ideally flag more, but I didn't get around to it...).

More notes can be found on the webpage.

(for those looking at the source - note that I took the php files off the source viewer as they were being executed rather than viewed for some reason. They'll still be in the zip, with database info stripped out, of course)

UPDATE: Added commentary on youtube.
MORE UPDATE: Postmortem!

Downloads and Links




tnelsond says ...
Aug 22, 2011 @ 5:22pm

How do I get the social part to work? Does it write something on my wall or what?

toastie says ...
Aug 22, 2011 @ 5:46pm

Wow, that's really great! I'm a big fan of Flatland and this is both true to the book and fun to play!

pdyxs says ...
Aug 22, 2011 @ 11:54pm

@tnelsond - this is probably where it falls down a bit - the social part requires you and one of your facebook friends to play, and only really kicks in if you're both at level 10.

pdyxs says ...
Aug 22, 2011 @ 11:55pm

@toastie - thanks - glad you enjoyed it!

FireSlash says ...
Aug 23, 2011 @ 12:45am

Neat idea! A bit frustrating at times due to the controls being a bit touchy, but very fun.

Jacic says ...
Aug 23, 2011 @ 5:00pm

Great game, and unique idea!

Arron Fowler says ...
Aug 24, 2011 @ 11:42am

I really like what you have done here. My favourite so far. Simple look hides the depth of the subtle gameplay. Really pleased to have played it.

Aug 24, 2011 @ 3:29pm

The breaking-model is quite awesome.

N0_Named_Guy says ...
Aug 24, 2011 @ 10:33pm

Liked the game. Didn't test the social part, so I am not evaluating it... (And I know first hand that it is a pain in the arse to develop for the Facebook API =P) Cool story, couldn't get pass the level where there were all those lines... That was to be expected... [I have no friends who like this kind of stuff *cries*]. So, great game! Hope you publish it as a Facebook app, and build a user base from that =) Only one complaint: slippery controls... The triangle rotates way too fast, and moves slowly (in relation to the rotation speed).

d_m says ...
Aug 25, 2011 @ 3:57am

This was an aamzing game! I managed to escape, but then got stuck not having a partner. The idea was really smart, the controls and breaking were cool, the plot and story were really fun. Minor criticism--it seemed like the other shapes could move/rotate in any direction whereas the protagonist can only "thrust" forward, which is a big disadvantage. Maybe I was just imagining that? Overall amazing game, great job!

pdyxs says ...
Aug 25, 2011 @ 4:34am

Wow - thanks for all the awesome feedback guys, glad you all liked it.

@N0_Named_Guy - yeah, the controls were done right at the start and I didn't really tweak them. I'm really confused as to how to publish it as a facebook app, it keeps asking me for different urls and then not telling me how to give it a name etc... do you know of any good guides?

@d_m Hmm - woulda been cool to allow you to go forward in any direction, but the controls'd get a little complex. You'll notice that the regular shapes are able to thrust in any direction, but isosceles triangles don't (as they have one, much pointier edge they always attack with).

Andrew says ...
Aug 26, 2011 @ 1:36am

I liked the breaking mechanic, gave it a real sense of strategy. But the lines.. oooh the lines.

panzermancer says ...
Aug 26, 2011 @ 3:14am

Suggestion for the controls:

-Have the triangle always face the mouse
-When holding down LMB, they advance toward the mouse.
-When holding space, they retreat away from the mouse.

Otherwise, a fantastic game, honestly.

pdyxs says ...
Aug 26, 2011 @ 4:57am

@Andrew - yeah, the lines are pretty hard to kill...

@panzermancer - Yeah, mouse control would've been a good thing to implement (tbh i'd have probably made it a choice, as i mostly play games on my laptop and get annoyed when there's no keyboard only option :P)

Rudy says ...
Aug 26, 2011 @ 6:31pm

Very cool idea and story fits great with the theme. Controls are too responsive. Nice geometry/collision/slicing, but the triangle tends to "stick" and slide on walls. Also tiny hits cause insta-slicing. I can see potential. Not sure I'm into the whole "social" thing.

SusanTheCat says ...
Aug 27, 2011 @ 2:24am

I was sad when the music stopped. I really enjoyed the music. (And the game!)

Mjiig says ...
Aug 28, 2011 @ 11:47am

This was a fantastic idea, and for the most part a fantastic implementation, but even though me and a friend were signed in and i was well ahead of him, he never got an ally. We were both playing at the same time, is that the problem?

pdyxs says ...
Aug 28, 2011 @ 12:15pm

@Rudy - yeah, the sticking a sliding either needed to become a feature that was taught or needed to be fixed...

@SusanTheCat - Yeah, that was a bug that got fixed the the updated version...

@Mjing - Your friends' stats only get updated on startup - it isn't the most graceful implementation, but I was wary of having too many server calls (probably unnecessarily...)

angrygeometry says ...
Aug 28, 2011 @ 11:30pm

this is great! a very interesting idea executed well. the controls were a little stiff sometimes, but i really liked this. nice work.

Danik says ...
Aug 29, 2011 @ 8:24pm

It's a really interesting prototype/experiment.
I think it would be easier to control the player if there was some momentum. Maybe it should control like asteroids, but with more friction, so that you can get some sideways movement, slide around and attack from the side.
Very different from most of the other games, innovative!

MacTuitui says ...
Sep 3, 2011 @ 11:31am

Very very nice. One of the best for me. The theme, the interpretation and the implementation are nice and innovative. Good job!

thristhart says ...
Sep 9, 2011 @ 9:18pm

A promising game absolutely ruined for me by the controls. Aaaaagh so clunky. Mouse controls: nessecary

RichMakeGame says ...
Sep 10, 2011 @ 9:47pm

phew. i was determined to finish but damn I think you made some mean level designs! to the point where managing to finish often felt way more luck-based than when I actively tried to be skilful or tactical. I did better just rushing over and over and hoping for the best :). but anyway despite all that it's a great achievement, full points for innovation. I never managed to read the end text though because I get killed so quick, which is a shame

dave84 says ...
Sep 12, 2011 @ 11:26pm

Very unique mechanic. A great adaption of Flatland. In addition, your postmortem was excellent.

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