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So, here it is, the full 4089 bytes of it, a-steroids4k for the gamepoetry 4k flash game compo.

I’ve been wanting to remake an old retro game with new mechanics for some time now but I’ve never had an idea I though worthwhile, there’s way too many half assed remakes out there and it’s hard to beat really innovative ones like 1D tetris or some crazy space invaders version. This is my take on asteroids. I played the original on the proper hardware a few weeks ago and was amazed by two things; The XY-vector screen is *really* bright and it’s hard. Very hard.

So I wanted to juxtapose the underpowered feel and make the player way more powerful, this is a bit tricky without making the game far too easy. The easyness wouldn’t be a problem in itself, but to feel really powerful you need to have a baseline of “weakness” to contrast against.

The basic mechanics came to me on a train ride, luckily I had my trusty laptop near and could churn out some quick proof of concept code then and there. It was only later the 4k competition was announced. I’ve done a game for a 5k compo in the past and enjoyed it immensely, the result of this was lost in a hdd crash and is unfortunately not available anymore. When I started slimming down the game was at about 29k. I ripped out all the sound and got down to 18k (yes, the sounds were tiny). I’d love to post screenshots, but, honestly the game has looked more or less the same ever since it’s conception. Ever since then it’s been a lot of aggressive cutting and small amounts of putting back in.

The full source code is under the  MIT License, but a word of warning is in place, this is essentially obfuscated code seeing that I needed to shave of some extra bytes to get the text in there.  I also put it up on wonderfl for your fiddling pleasure. I bet there’s a good 20% of savings in there that I just missed, I’ll be thrilled by any modifications to it!

Posted in 4k, code, Games |

12 Responses to a-steroids4k

  1. That’s pretty awesome! It’s like a classic game design technique, the player’s actions vary depending on the current situation, and they have actions which interfere with each other…It’s so simple, but with everything extraneous stripped out it really showcases the design. I can tell the size restrictions forced you to make the graphics extremely primitive, but they still look pretty polished and they have a nice retro-ish feel to them. (The laser beam is cool!) The action is fast and smooth, which is great. My one complaint is that I wish there were slightly more instructions…”Click mouse” at the very least, since there’s nothing that actually *tells* you to do that. (Everything else is explained well with the tips; I especially like the “10/300” prompts that elegantly tell you “Something will happen when you hit 300!”.)

    All in all, great work!

  2. This is amazing!!! A brilliant idea and excellently executed. This is the most original idea I’ve seen of all of the 4K entries so far and should win. Well done!

  3. very fun indeed, i like the new balance where you have to really dare those big blocks by trying to swoop up the loot, trying to stay away but at the same time trying to keep close. thrilling! perlingon gives this 5 krusbär.

  4. :O How is it possible that you have so many classes and this is still only 4kb?! I thought using classes resulted in a huge file size (the people at 8bitrocket managed to reduce their game by 800 bytes by taking out the classes). And, even more so, as3 takes up a lot more space than as2 does. It is still amazing that you managed to fit so much into 4kb. This was a really enjoyable game, good luck.

  5. Great work! 😀 It’s both technically impressive AND lots of fun to play! Good luck in the competition!

  6. Pingback: Jonas Westin » Blog Archive » a-steroids4k

  7. This is one of the best shmups I’ve played in a long time. I’m going to try to create something similar. No I can’t really understand your code but I’ll figure something out when I get done with my current project. This game fits with my sites motto “games ya wanna beat”. I have posted about it on my blog. This is right up there with graviroids http://crashtestgames.com/graviroids/ .
    Great Job!

  8. Pingback: Another forty bytes the dust. | prototyprally

  9. Wow! I absolutely love this game 😀 While i was going through the source, i couldn’t understand a bit.. so i thought if it’s possible for you to turn this game into tutorial? Like comment some lines and maybe rename some variables? I could learn so much from this.. Thank you 🙂

  10. Hi Jonas, just to let you know I’m going to use your game as a preloader for a game I’ve just finished (something for people to fiddle with while they’re waiting for the 5mb loading to be completed).
    Hope you don’t mind, of course I’ll credit you. Write me a mail if there’s an issue. Thanks!

  11. Incredible game design. The controls are just perfect, stupid simple, engaging and challenging in a perfect balance.

    Gött mos.

  12. This is awsome because it’s a clear contrast to Devil May Cry that have awsome graphics but needs no skill to master the gameplay (wich makes it boring,square square square)

    Leonardo "Brazil Rules", November 13, 2010 at 00:03

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