Sunday, January 7, 2007

Shall We Play a Game?

I found a website called Sploder where they claim you can create your own web-based game. The thing is, they are all pretty much the same game, you really are only designing a level of that game. Each "level" designed is stand-alone. None are connected with each other, other than if someone created a series of them.

The basic theme is a top-down space ship shooter with one of two goals: Capture the Crystals or Destroy the Enemy. So game play is similar in all of the creations, only the layout and included objects differ. This is a good thing in that someone who has played one Sploder game can easily hop into another and know pretty much what to expect. The downside is after a while of playing them, they all tend to blur together and become a bit monotonous.

Sploder's level design is fairly unique, and more than a little fun to play around with by itself. You are given a basic map with several walls already in place. On these walls are nodes. You use the nodes to reshape the map by mouse dragging them, causing the walls the stretch linearly in the direction you move the node. You can place or delete nodes with a single mouse click, or move placed ones along the line. This allows you to create almost any shape you want, excluding round walls, limited only by the point to point linear walls. Of course, placing several close spaced nodes and shaping it correctly can give the illusion of curvature.

Inside your newly created map can be placed several different object types: obstacles, power-ups, enemies, and crystals. Adding a crystal to your map automatically turns your map into a Capture the Crystals game. The selection is limited, and no obvious descriptions of each object is given beyond their names. Trial and error, or playing a previously created game, will give you a quick idea of what each object does.

You can test your game at any time with a handy included Test feature. After you're done, you Save the game and Publish it. It prompts you to name your creation and give it some tags. Less obvious is a Description button allowing you to add some text to describe the newly created game. And, even if you've tested, saved, and published your game, you can go back and edit it, saving the newly added or adjusted features.

Once Published, you are able to get a link to your game, as well as code to allow embedding of the game on a web page. This is another great feature, and one which I took advantage of below. ~.^

All in all, Sploder is a fun site with many pre-created games to try out. Registration is fast and free, if you choose to try your hand at creating a game of your own. I did, and you can play my little game below.

It's called Raivynn's Rampage and I created pretty fast last night. It is tough, but with some practice you should be able to navigate the maze and capture all the Crystals scattered about. So, have fun and try not to die too much. (All the Health Boosts I placed should help with that!)

Weapon choices are listed at the bottom of the screen. Movement and targeting are done by mouse. Hold down the left mouse button and move it to control your ship. Moving the mouse without holding the left button will spin your ship in place. I've provided two helpers to start you off. Good luck and enjoy!

EDIT: It has come to my attention that the embedded game may not play well for some people. It may graphically freeze and you will be unable to move. So, I am providing a direct link to the game as well: Raivynn's Rampage

Oh, and a very special No-Prize to the person who figures out the message contained in the maze! Another No-Prize to whomever can tell me where the audio clip that plays when you load the blog page is from. ~.^


Geoff said...

Nice post.

Looks like your embed code is missing something. Try copying the game code from the site again.


Raivynn said...

I recopied the embed code from the Sploder website, but it is still mucking up. Oh, well, it is in extreme beta and there is a direct link to it. I was a little turned off of the community forums by the sheer amount of off topic posts in each thread, however. =(