Bad Guys: Conference Game — Spare Me

Spare Me is a conventional platformer with a bright palette and a whole lot of bowling balls. Make your way to the tiny star to advance to the next level, but proceed with caution. If you get smacked, it’s back to the start of the level.


Trying to get the most variety out of my enemies, these bowling balls can fall at left or right angles, vertically, or directly left or right. Each bowling ball is assigned a random color at startup, so no two playthroughs will look identical.


What cannot be shown in these screenshots is the wild activity and motion paths of these bowling balls. At a glance, the screens are terrifyingly chaotic. Yet with a little attention and patience, exploitable gaps in their trajectories become more and more apparent.


This was an extremely fun project to code because the platformer lab offers a clean and manipulable archetype that is easy to build upon. I used a total of 8 arraylists to get the job done – one for platforms and one for enemies per level.


Far and away my largest difficulty with this project stemmed from the player’s jump physics. Through a bit of crafty (and a little muddled) circumvention, I found a good solution with very few exploits. I’ve been told that the translate() function works well for jump animations, but I couldn’t get it to work. Hopefully in the future I will find a more reliable solution.


And of course, if you can manage to make it through to the end, you’ll find recompense in a greasy bowling alley burger.

Author: Dean Russo