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

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Single Cycles

by mildmojo - Jam Entry

Race your unicycle around the little globe as fast as you can!

Local multiplayer one-button racer for the web! Everyone can play! Open your browser, grab a key, and hang on tight! Careful, though: build up too much speed and you'll take off, losing traction and slowing you down.

* Strategy: Hold your key to accelerate, but let off before you fly off the planet and lose speed.

I developed this game solo in 72 hours. The game is built on the HTML5 canvas and Javascript. Libraries at work behind the scenes include CraftyJS, Jukebox, Underscore.js, and jQuery. Sound effects were generated by the always-lovely sfxr (flash port at superflashbros.net). The game has been tested in Firefox 11 and Chrome 18 for OSX.

I had plans for multiple unicycles, multiple planets, more advanced physics, and a lot more feedback to players. I've had the whole one-button UI flow worked out for a while and this was going to be the proof of concept. As is, I barely squeaked in under the Jam submission deadline (with SECONDS to spare!), so I wasn't able to realize anything more than the basic gameplay.

The sound isn't great in Chrome. I think Zynga lists this as a known issue with Jukebox on Chrome, something to do with Chrome's audio codecs. Use Firefox if you can.

The game swallows most keystrokes, so your browser shortcut keys probably won't work while the game is displayed. This is the price of admission.

The player color selection is overly simple and gets confused when multiple players join and leave. There are only 10 colors in this version, so they repeat if you have more than 10 players. Also, the player tint is supposed to apply to the sprite, not the background, but there's a long-standing bug in CraftyJS that I haven't gotten around to patching.

You'll find there are some key combinations on your keyboard that work better than others when you have several players. Anyone who played local multiplayer shareware games in the '90s remembers this problem. =) Experiment in the pregame to make sure everyone's key works when all the others are held down. Try hooking up a game controller or wiimote and binding the buttons to keys to cram even more players in!

Each and every smidge of feedback is fabulous; please do leave a note or hit me up on Twitter (@mildmojo) if you have any words for me. And thanks for giving it a try. Really, thanks.

Downloads and Links




scribble says ...
Apr 24, 2012 @ 6:26am

Very nicely done.

JonathanG says ...
Apr 24, 2012 @ 3:26pm

We played this with three players. It is hilarious and made us laugh but was very difficult to tell which colour we were and how to actually play/win. The joining mechanic is cool though!

Shigor says ...
Apr 24, 2012 @ 5:45pm

As one button games go, this one is clearly the best... COuldn't test with anyone, so played my left hand against my right, damn right won every time :/

mortehu says ...
Apr 24, 2012 @ 6:20pm

I loved the mechanism for choosing your avatar name. Did not understand how to win. Seemed like the winning strategy was to never let go of the key.

Andrew says ...
Apr 24, 2012 @ 8:31pm

It's deceptively simple, but getting the right tap-tap-erry is tricky.

mildmojo says ...
Apr 25, 2012 @ 6:36am

Thanks for the feedback, guys! I made a couple of tiny bugfixes for badly broken liftoffs under high CPU load, broken player names, and to make the names actually show up during the race. If that's overstepping the 'minor fixes' rule, I'll call it my one 'bent' rule for the Jam.

Cosmologicon says ...
Apr 25, 2012 @ 12:31pm

Brilliant control scheme!

gnx says ...
Apr 26, 2012 @ 5:13am

I like one-button mechanics. Unfortunately I had to play this single player so I don't think I got the most fun out of it.

vigrid says ...
Apr 26, 2012 @ 10:53am

Hehe, interesting idea. Forever alone I was. :(

tacograveyard says ...
Apr 26, 2012 @ 3:14pm

Very cool. The multiplayer mechanism and racer selection is clever.

Awennor says ...
Apr 28, 2012 @ 12:27am

Innovative mechanic, but it feels a little bit confusing

jwolf says ...
Apr 28, 2012 @ 9:51pm

Simple, clever idea, with a clean implementation. It would be nice to see some of the other features that you've mentioned, but I think it works well as it is (although it does benefit from having more players).

This concept might be work well for async. network multiplayer too, if you're feeling extremely ambitious.

DDRKirby(ISQ) says ...
Apr 29, 2012 @ 7:58am

Pretty fun for such a simple concept. BWUUUEEEP!

R3ason says ...
May 2, 2012 @ 4:54am

Ha! Amazing concept! Executed brilliantly! :D It is a tad bit hard to keep track of everyone (simply because the world is, well, "tiny")! But a minor issue that I feel wouldn't have been there had you not been restrained by the theme. Great game all around. Bookmarking to show all my friends! Thanks for making this!

mildmojo says ...
May 2, 2012 @ 5:52am

@jwolf: Thanks! Networked play would be cool, but I think I'd have to run the simulation on the server to make it fair. Separately, I've been playing with a small lobby system plus the Faye pub/sub async messaging framework, which might be enough for multiplayer.

@R3eason: Wow, incredible praise! Thanks for trying it out! I agree, it's tough to keep track of the players. Fixing Crafty's tint feature would help (tint the sprite, not the background), as would a larger planet. I haven't figured out the right way to scale my raster graphics with CraftyJS yet.

Izzimach says ...
May 3, 2012 @ 3:54am

The one-button controls are elegant, and it's great that each player can pick any key on the keyboard. The "Tiny World" might be a little too tiny, though, since it gets pretty hard to follow what's happening with 3+ players.

Datamosh says ...
May 3, 2012 @ 6:11am

Multiplayeeer! Haven't tried it with other players yet, but I'll totally do. It's really fun, congratulations.

Make A Game says ...
May 5, 2012 @ 12:43am

This is a very simple, yet fun concept. Kudos for the multiplayer which really brought out our competitive side! I would love to see some visual improvement! Awesome job for the daring approach.

May 6, 2012 @ 12:07pm

Ha! Lovely.

May 13, 2012 @ 8:11am

cool controls and nice idea :) Simon

mildmojo says ...
May 14, 2012 @ 12:02am

Thanks for the feedback, everyone. It's been a pleasure seeing what other people think of the game and I've had a blast playing/rating all the other great games from this compo.

May 14, 2012 @ 12:08am

Great control ideas, nice work :)

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