About Trip Trap

Since I’ll be going to Global Game Jam this week, I might as well ramble about the games I made there. First, back in 2010, I had an assignment where I had to prototype a game by myself. This is what it came out to be: Trip Trap.

For info and source-code, check out the Trip Trap page. I’ve only successfully ran it on Linux. Download SDL, Ruby 1.9 and Rubygems (typically, Ruby 1.9 comes bundled with Rubygems) using your operating system’s package manager or installer. With Rubygems, install RubyGame (gem install rubygame). If by some miracle, the above procedure succeeds, run “ruby trip_trap.rb” in the folder the source was unzipped in.

I have a funny story about this game. The theme was “deception,” so I had an idea like Left Arrow Moves Left where you’d fight words in a 2D Zelda game fashion. At the same time, I wanted to experiment with the scripting language, Ruby (excellent language, by the way; very intuitive).

This wasn’t a good idea. At all. I attempted to learn and understand how to program with the RubyGame library, but that took up the entire first day of the event. I panicked. Eventually, I came upon a sample script that controlled a white block with floaty controls…and ended up copying-and-pasting it for all the game elements. Thus was born the prototype, Trip Trap: a game where you are chased by bees, and need to maneuver around traps in such a way that the chasing bees — unable to stop — will fly into it. The hit-detection, enemy behavior, and physics all had to be programmed by me alone.

The gameplay turned out to be compelling…when it worked. I’ve made a lot of levels where the game seemed to have ended prematurely, but a few struck as well-rounded and action-packed. That was enough to convince me: last year, I finally got started on revamping this concept into a full-fledged game. I’ll be talking about it in the near-future, so keep your ears open for more news.

Edit: You can make it work on Windows! It’s complicated, though. You need to install Ruby and DevKit first. Then install RubyGame.

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