W.I.P. '🐬 Show' (working title)

Making a little game with crank-only control: Take control of an aquatic creature and race, jump and dive, (deep) within (and above) the water.


Turning the crank gives both direction and acceleration, which gives it that appropriate 'swimming' feel. I can't really share what that'd feel on a Playdate at the moment, as I'm not ready to share, but to give you an idea:

  • It's a follow up, of sorts, to a very small game-jam game for pico-8 I made at the beginning of this year; visje
  • Which in turn has some similarities to a bigger (single android-phone, 4 players) game I made even earlier, where you've just one button to control your 'tadpole'; 1.B.E. - One Button Each by remco

Working with the C-API, since I plan to do some more advanced after this game (time permitting), but I think I might port the 'surface' of the game back to Lua (since it has co-routines out of the box and those work well for animations), once I refactored it so the code isn't horrible.

Hoping to release before December this year, on itch, initially.

Feedback appreciated! :slight_smile:

edit: As requested below, newer .gif which shows off the smooth frame-rate better (and I tried out a new above water bg pattern -- I think I might need to use an image instead of a pattern though...)


This looks Great. Weird, which is just my thing :slight_smile: I'm getting both Eco the Dolphin and Pilotwings vibes from this which, again, makes it just my type of game.

The gif frame rate badge shows 50 but the actual gif looks less smooth than that. is it processed in some way?

I played your pico8 game and the left/right wiggle is a control scheme I used for a very old prototype of mine, a kayaking game back in 2002. It had water currents and gates and the left/right waggling control and that was about it. Thanks for the memory!

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Thanks! :smiley:

The software I use to capture gifs is very rudimentary. Both in the simulator and on actual hardware the framerate is actually as smooth as the FPS counter indicates.

Funny you should mention rowing, as 'visje' was originally going to be about a rowboat ... Then I made a mistake when drawing the boat with linesegments --crossing the middle two lines instead of them being in parallel, and creating a fake 3D effect-- which together with te controls I had already made felt a lot like swimming; and a fish was born instead.


Looks fun! Simulator can capture GIFs, by the way: one of the camera icons at the bottom.


Sometimes the best part of game development is finding out where mistakes take you. Looking forward to your game!

(And, as said above, capture silky-smooth GIFs using the Simulator itself)

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Hey Remco, nice to see a former colleague here! This looks like fun!

If you want some feedback; I'd change the look of the above-water part as it wasn't immediately clear to me that it was supposed to be that. Despite the nice water effect.

Good luck!

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Hi Nino!

Yeah, it was a nice surprise to see you had already made a game :grin: -- & one I like as well.

Thanks for the tip. Jumping from and back in the water is like half of the fun of the game, so it's important that the player immediately understands what's water & what's below.

I'd love to see it at 50fps. Any chance you could replace the GIF at the top?

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Yes, happy to do so, see the edit :arrow_double_up: :slight_smile:

(I also tried out a new above-water pattern -- I don't think it works, but the art will probably need an overhaul anyway.)


So smooth!

Patterns are tricky.

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