On Conway West

kirkjerk's picture

thought I'd try a blog entry.

Fun time for KotM #4

So maybe I was cheating a bit by thinking what I'd want to do. And that was: a game based on cellular automata, specifically, John Conway's Game of Life.

(Wikipedia has a great page on that: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Conway's_Game_of_Life )

I didn't think KnP was up for it so I went back to processing.org, like I did for most of the 100-in-1. (I think I got a little intimidated by what I forgot about KnP)

I warmed up in the afternoon on this: http://kisrael.com/temp/conwayice/
that's 3D plotting and rotation of generations of Life.

I thought about trying to do a platform game, I really love the idea of unsual platform game setups (esp. because of KnPs weird and wonky default behavior... too bad it's not easy to make platform-y enemies, except ones that just walk back and forth)

But anyway, the event started, and I started from scratch, except I lifted the actual life code from elsewhere. I also tried to grab some of the movement code from http://kisrael.com/features/java/cosmicarkatamari/ -- originally the player controlled quite a bit more like the ghost, but i realized making the player constrained to the grid felt better .... )

So anyway, the game. I had some different ideas, like having multiple enemies making "bombing runs", but this kind of organically emerged. The ghost farting out random blobs worked at least well as I hoped it would, in terms of triggering "Life" events. The gameplay, grab the treasure, health depletes, is nothing too special, but I think it works, more or less. Other details: the ghost is actually using a nice transparency effect. the goal cross wasn't obvious enough so I had it flash colors.

At one point, 90 minutes into it, I thought I lost EVERYTHING of the game, but few, the processing editor unlocked.

You can also see the game online at http://kirkjerk.com/features/java/conwaywest/ and the zip is at http://kirkjerk.com/features/java/conwaywest/conwaywest.zip

If you look at some of the other games I've done in Java, http://kisrael.com/features/java/ , penultimate section, it looks like I'm developing a bit of a visual style. Just like my HTML style though, it's very utilitarian, based as much on what's easy to do than aesthetic goals... just blasting text to the screen for title and/or ending screens, and score/live read outs along the top or bottom. Plus I tend to use the gray background a lot, which is kind of a "processing" thing.

So, I really liked some of the other works this time, especially the great SFX of "Klik of the Kollossus" -- the use of a tiny character was quite striking, I always dig stuff like that. And "Assassinatrix Adventures" was right sexy.

conwaywest.zip160.74 KB