The Grid

2-Player Frenetic Grid Survival

Can you outsmart your opponent? The grid changes depending on the players’ movement and it’s up to you to trap and destroy your enemy!

Developed in ActionScript 3.0 for Game Studio 2 at the New York Film Academy (3 months).

Can be played with a Keyboard.

Platforms available: Any platform that runs SWF files

Controls

Keyboard:

  • Player 1 Movement (ESDF keys)
  • Player 1 Jump (Space bar)
  • Player 2 Movement (Arrow keys)
  • Player 2 Jump (Right Shift button)
  • Start/Restart Game (G key)

Rules

  • You lose when you either land on a red tile or a red tile spawns under you (they are deadly)
  • Tiles gradually change from white to red when a player is in contact with them (they flash before turning to red)
  • Players are invincible during a jump
  • Players cannot clip through each other
  • Players cannot clip through red tiles (they are essentially a wall)

Download Links

Click HERE for the SWF file.

Postmortem

The Grid was the second game I ever made, right after Indrik. I was a little more confident with my programming skills, but soon I realized that Actionscript 3.0 was too confusing to be fully understood (at least by me). To be fair, from the start we all agreed that the scope would be way smaller than what we wanted previously with Indrik so at least we wouldn’t fall in the same trap as before.

I quickly pitched in an idea I had from when I played one of the multiplayer minigames from Kirby 64 – The Crystal Shards back in the day. On that mode, players smash the ground to create a line that kills anyone on it. I wanted to make a game where players move around a square grid and each tile decayed progressively as long as a player was touching it. When a tile decayed enough it would become a deadly red tile that would kill anyone standing on it. While it seems very different form Kirby’s game, once you play The Grid you can quickly see the similarities between them.

This project, like Indrik, demanded a lot of work from me, especially because by the end of the semester we had a few students dropping out of the course, so I ended up doing pretty much everything, from coding to every single asset. I tried my best to face that situation as a learning opportunity and I think I was able to get through it only because I did so.

The Grid was also the first game in which I tried to implement controller support. We only had PS3 controllers available at NYFA and unfortunately Actionscript 3.0 was not very friendly regarding the use of external peripherals aside the keyboard and a mouse (I’m still not even sure if you can use controllers with Actionscript). What I did instead was to install a program called MotioninJoy that mapped keyboard keys to a controller connected to the computer by an USB cable.

The results were pretty cool as players now were able to play a little further away from the TV and they didn’t have to share their gaming peripheral. Another advantage was that controllers, believe it or not, are more intuitive than keyboard and mouse as gaming tools, so many playtesters were able to learn the rules and mechanics of the game faster than our previous testers.

To me, The Grid turned out as a very fun game. Sure, it has extremely simplistic graphics (some may call it lazy), confusing in-game instructions (it assumes you have a working MotioninJoy enabled controller so there are no keyboard instructions) and very glitchy… However, it was nice to have my first finished game ready to show to my teachers. Differently from Indrik, this time everything that I planned for the game was implemented so I was very happy to have acquired this cool skill of being able to scope a project properly.