Meteor Escape! Meteor Escape!

November 21, 2012   |   Tech
Agile League

In preparation for our participation in the recent Athens Game Jam, I decided to spend a weekend playing with the JavaScript game engine, ImpactJS. The ImpactJS site describes itself as “The Awesomest Way to Create Even More Awesome HTML5 Games!” which, I have to say, is probably true. If you already know JavaScript, then the learning curve on the Impact Game Engine is surprisingly small, and it’s very easy to jump right in and write your game. It even comes with a great tool to graphically build game levels. My only warning would be that it’s pretty addictive, so be prepared for some late nights.
I decided to write a game where a character (or multiple characters, online) are running around trying to avoid meteors. I did all the “artwork” myself, but you can imagine that with an actual designer, it would look much better. It’s a simple game, but the exciting part is that it only took about a day or so to learn and put together. Try it below:
[iframe src=”” width=”610″ height=”480″]
I was also surprised by how well Impact works on mobile devices. Mobile device support is practically included with your game. A little bit of fiddling with media queries made it so that Meteor Escape! works on the iPad and iPhone quite well when it is on its own page. Thanks to this, you can pull out your phone no matter where you are and demand that people try your awesome game.
If I’ve sold you on trying out Impact, I recommend watching the Tutorial Videos here. And if you are interested in a multiplayer game,  these video tutorials for building a multiplayer Impact game with Socket.IO are good as well to get you started.
My favorite part of writing games is actually the mistakes. When you’re building a web app, and you make a mistake, you probably just see an error screen with a stack trace. However, when you’re building a game and you make a mistake, you might see your character shoot into space when you try to jump, or be immediately bombarded by 100 meteors falling at once. Far more entertaining.
The next step was of course to make Meteor Escape! multiplayer so that you can run from meteors along with your friends. That version isn’t quite ready for prime time, but we’ll talk about multiplayer games in a future post.