This is the game I made at the Berlin Mini Jam on April 2014.  One of the themes was “The elephant in the room”.  I had been talking about Qix with a couple of friends the day before, so I decided to write a Qix / Xonix clone where the image that you uncover is that of an elephant.

The photo is licensed under Creative Commons – ShareAlike – Attribution, by the flickr user “onthegotours”.  I found it through a quick search through google images.

The original game was single player.  It was very popular at the time, and there were countless clones made for arcade machines.  As I was talking about it during the jam I was very surprised to see that most people didn’t know about the game, given its importance in the history of video games, being the canonical example of the game mechanic of “uncovering an image by capturing areas”.

I wanted to do a local multiplayer 2-player version for tablets, and I even came up with a control scheme that would work, in theory, on a touchpad.  Aside from some bugs in the code that controls the movement of the enemies, the main problem at the jam was the realization that this game doesn’t quite work on tablets.  The reason is that the game progresses from the borders of the playing field towards the center.  Since the controls I devised relied on being able to tap on the position of a player avatar in the game, this meant frequently pressing the tablet’s function buttons by accident, closing the game.  I couldn’t come up with a simple fix for that, and was left with the feeling that the problem is with the way the game is designed.

After the jam I removed the tablet-specific code and left it as a game for desktop computers. It’s still a race against the other player to cover most of the screen, it’s now controlled from the keyboard (wasd for player 1, cursors for player 2).  I didn’t feel like spending any time polishing the game visually, the rough placeholder art is still there.

Made with Löve2D 0.9.1.


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