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Programmable Platformer

What is it?

A game in which the player must literally reprogram the source code while they are playing it. The game is set up as a metroidvania, and the player is presented with gameplay challenges that require coding and in-game abilities.

What's the backstory?

This project was developed in March 2018 for the Meta Game Jam. I resumed development for a few months in Spring 2020.

What did I contribute?

My primary goal was to create a game that didn't just simulate coding but allowed the player to literally reprogram the game in real-time. This technical requirement lead me to choose JavaScript. Programming the engine was an incredible design challenge.

For the sake of gameplay progression, the player needs to slowly discover the engine's code. So I had to create mechanics that give the player interesting ways of interacting with the code, and I had to create various techniques of "hiding" chunks of the engine code.

Also, I built into the code various kinds of "fail-safes" in order to avoid run-time errors and to roll-back certain changes.

In more recent versions, I've added sound effects that slow down / speed up as the game's time scale changes.

Who has worked on the project?

Tyreece Talbert, Collin Pattison, and myself