April 20th-23rd 2012 :: 10 Year Anniversary! :: Theme: Tiny World

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Solar Sailor

by vilya - 48 Hour Compo Entry

Race against other (tiny) planets around a galactic-scale race course! Make it through each of the yellow gates in the right order to complete the course; first to the finish line wins. The grey line points you towards the next gate you have to pass through. Watch out for the gravitational pull of the brown planets scattered around the course!

There are four planets racing each time. Between 0 and two of them can be players. For a real challenge, try controlling both players 1 and 2 yourself!

This requires a WebGL-enabled browser. Recent versions of Chrome, Firefox and Safari all work; Internet Explorer doesn't.

Note that Safari requires you to manually switch WebGL support on: go to Preferences > Advanced and check the "Show Develop Menu" box, then go into the Develop menu and tick "Enable WebGL".

Downloads and Links




Werxzy says ...
Apr 23, 2012 @ 4:51am

It doesn't seem to load for me.

vilya says ...
Apr 23, 2012 @ 10:22am

Werxzy: thanks for trying to try the game! :-)

You'll need a WebGL-enabled browser to play it. Recent versions of Chrome, Firefox and Safari all work, but in Safari you have to explicitly switch WebGL support on. I'll add some instructions to the notes section above.

Unfortunately Internet Explorer, as of version 9, still doesn't support WebGL.

robashton says ...
Apr 24, 2012 @ 2:30pm

I really tried to get the hang of the controls, but failed - I couldn't make it around the course even once.

Great concept though, would love to see this made a bit more intuitive for us noobs.

tacograveyard says ...
Apr 24, 2012 @ 2:33pm

Interesting racing game. The controls felt a bit too delicate. After a few tries I got the hang of it though!

vilya says ...
Apr 24, 2012 @ 3:58pm

Rob: thanks for the kind words. In hindsight the controls *are* pretty confusing. The WSAD keys control your directional acceleration (i.e. W accelerates up, A accelerates left, etc), but I think most people expected W and S to accelerate/decelerate and A/D to turn.

Next time I'll make sure I put in a tutorial! :-)

invaderJim says ...
Apr 24, 2012 @ 5:01pm

It's actually a fun little racer once you get used to the controls. Good job :D

ratboy2713 says ...
Apr 24, 2012 @ 5:36pm

An interesting take on a standard racing game, though could have used some graphics and audio.

Andrew says ...
Apr 24, 2012 @ 7:04pm

The game is actually larger than my screen, and I could be wrong but I think I started rubberbanding and bouncing off the sides of the map at ludicrous speeds.

vilya says ...
Apr 24, 2012 @ 7:27pm

Andrew: sorry about that! I thought about putting up an alternate version running in a 512x512 window, but forgot in the last minute rush to meet the deadline. If it's not against the rules, I'll put one up now - it's just a matter of changing the width & height attributes on the canvas tag in the html.

jonnopon3000 says ...
Apr 24, 2012 @ 7:57pm

Loaded fine, but I had the same problems as Andrew: large game screen, and I found the controls far too sensitive.

Shigor says ...
Apr 24, 2012 @ 10:13pm

Controls are bit too sensitive. Good idea, but it's extremely minimalistic.

vilya says ...
Apr 25, 2012 @ 8:44am

The controls actually control acceleration rather than velocity; if you let go of the button you stop accelerating but you keep going at the same speed. So tap the button to speed up instead of holding it down. I thought that would make it more fun, but it looks like it's just been too confusing. Oh well, lesson for next time...

Shigor: I wasn't intended to be quite so minimalistic, I just ran out of time! :-/

davidwparker says ...
Apr 25, 2012 @ 8:09pm

Like others said, extremely sensitive controls. But it was fun once I got the hang of it. It would be nice to add mario-kart style attacks or something.

Good job using WebGL :)

mortehu says ...
Apr 25, 2012 @ 9:21pm

First attempt: Did not understand anything. Second attempt: Read the instructions, overshot many targets. Third attempt: Decided that the maximum velocity was many times higher than the "maximum steerable velocity" and won. Too bad there's only one level.

vilya says ...
Apr 25, 2012 @ 10:32pm

davidwparker: It was my first time using WebGL & loved it. Will definitely use it again. I see you used it too - off to play your game now...

mortehu: thanks for sticking with it! Would have loved to do more levels. My content pipeline came together really nicely... about an hour before the deadline. :-)

Terra says ...
Apr 26, 2012 @ 12:28am

Pretty fun! Personally I think the controls are fine, you just need to get used to them. I thought it having the controls be a bit floaty makes sense, you are in space after all.

I wish there were multiple laps per race!

Rex Peppers says ...
Apr 26, 2012 @ 12:32am

Took me a few tries, but I finally won the race! Really like the main menu and the game concept is solid. Maybe in a future version the gravity of a planet could have an effect on the other planets?

daredevildave says ...
Apr 26, 2012 @ 8:07pm

I won! Kind of crazy, and perhaps could do with a little explanation of what is going on. An interesting concept though.

Apr 26, 2012 @ 9:03pm

Nice idea, but the controls are a little too hard... and it needs music or something, and maybe sprites instead of just circles.

vilya says ...
Apr 26, 2012 @ 11:47pm

It's kind of nice to see that comments here are mostly about things I wanted to do but didn't have time for. Validates the idea at least, if not the execution. Thanks everyone! :-)

RobProductions: rather than sprites, I really wanted to do a geometry wars style line-drawings-with-glow-effect. I wasted a fair bit of time trying to get that working but had to cut it in the end. Music... yeah. I really need to figure out how to do that. I think that's the #1 lesson from this effort.

R3ason says ...
Apr 27, 2012 @ 6:39am

oi! Controls are pretty sensitive (had to reload after I started rocketing all over the place!). I like the idea though. Definitely puts a new twist on just a regular 'ole racing game. Thanks!

vilya says ...
Apr 27, 2012 @ 8:29am

R3ason: you can press Esc to quit the game and get back to the menu & and if you press Esc again from there you go back to the title screen. Yet another thing I forgot to mention anywhere - sorry.

jwolf says ...
Apr 28, 2012 @ 1:25am

That's a pretty cool take on a racing game! Took a bit to figure out what you were supposed to do.

Like some of the others, the view was much too large for my screen too.

vilya says ...
Apr 28, 2012 @ 1:51am

jwolf: Thanks! Did you try the link to the smaller window version? It runs at 512x512 instead of 1024x1024.

Endurion says ...
Apr 29, 2012 @ 7:22am

Sorry, WebGL won't happen here.
Sounds like fun though!

schnerble says ...
Apr 29, 2012 @ 4:36pm

Had some issues figuring out what to do, but after a bit of messing around it's quite fun :) One system I ran it on had some probably WebGL-related problems, though: the map didn't fit on screen, and the player planet wasn't immediately visible - and at one stage the frame rate dropped and then I was catapulted around the map at super speed. Still, good idea, and nice work on getting multiplayer in!

vilya says ...
Apr 29, 2012 @ 5:03pm

schnerble: I was trying to keep everything frame rate independent, so was scaling acceleration by the time since the last frame. Unfortunately, if there's a long slow-down, it'll be scaling by a lot. I hindsight, I could have dealt with this easily by capping the scaling factor - it just didn't occur to me during the comp.

DaveDobson says ...
May 2, 2012 @ 10:05pm

Fun and interesting; I think it would be cool with two players but I only have me, and controlling both was hard. I like the control system and the directional arrow, and the panning in and out as needed. Some bigger graphics and sounds would help complete it.

KevinWorkman says ...
May 4, 2012 @ 3:19am

I wanted to play this, but nothing shows up. I'm using the latest version of firefox.

vilya says ...
May 4, 2012 @ 1:00pm

KevinWorkman: sorry it didn't work for you! Have you been able to run any other WebGL-based games? If not, it might be because firefox refuses to run WebGL on certain graphics cards. They have a web page saying which ones are blocked here (I'm not sure how current this list is):


If your card is on the list, that's probably why you're seeing the blank page. There are instructions at the bottom of that page on how to force-enable WebGL, which you can try if you're feeling brave. Alternatively, you might have better luck running it in Chrome instead.

Hope that helps!

ericdpitts says ...
May 7, 2012 @ 11:24pm

Fun little racing game! The controls did feel a bit off, but I have to admit I had fun bouncing around the screen off of the sides when I lost control. :P W/S to accelerate and A/D to turn would have been a bit more intuitive, I think.

tomhunt says ...
May 9, 2012 @ 10:05pm

I thought this was an interesting concept. As others have mentioned, I found the controls to be a little difficult, and I couldn't win the first race. It took me a bit of bumbling around before I figured out that the little vector thing is pointing me toward the thing I'm supposed to move toward. Maybe some additional player feedback mechanisms might be good there.

On a side note, I've done acceleration-based controls before, and I've gotten similar feedback from people about how they were a bit tricky to get the hang of, even though I had no problem myself after playtesting it a million times.

ChainedLupine says ...
May 14, 2012 @ 12:04am

Interesting concept, but the controls are way too sensitive for me!

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