May #1GAM Entry: Hungry Frogs

The updates have been coming in quickly towards the end of the month, but my May project for One Game a Month is finished.

Download Hungry Frogs for Linux 64-bit (352 kb tar.gz file)

May #1GAM

Rather, it is finished enough. You can control the frog by jumping and turning around. If you fall in the water, the frog slowly swims back to the nearest lily pad. Flies will move across the screen in a straight line from left to right, and you need to jump to eat them. If you miss half of them in a given round, the game is over. Otherwise, the flies move faster each round, making it more difficult to catch them.

I didn’t take many screenshots as I thought the rectangles made for an uninteresting still shot, but I did make videos to demonstrate progress of the game’s development.

First, getting the jumping physics to work:

Then, landing on lily pads and swimming when you fall in the water:

Then, some game play, with edible flies:

And the final version, with faster flies each round and a game over screen if you miss too many:

I moved the frog’s tongue down as I realized it looked strange at the top of the head and I wasn’t going to have time to replace the white rectangle with a nice animated frog image. I would have liked to have flies moving in fly-like ways instead of straight lines. I really appreciate how the developers of Frogs and Flies nailed it in the constraints of an Atari 2600’s memory and processing power.

I’m not sure I’m happy with how easy it is now. Originally it was difficult to catch flies, so I expanded the tongue’s collision detection to include the frog’s body as well as a space around the tongue. Now it might be too forgiving, although there’s a gap if the frog is moving fast enough that from one frame to the next the collision box goes around the fly’s location. I’d fix that next if I had more time.

I’ve never made a platformer before, and this project was a good start. I am pleased with the jumping physics, although I need to figure out a better way to determine the maximum heights of jumps.

All in all, it was a fun project to make, even if it is once again another project with scope cut drastically to make the deadline.

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