Friday, October 11, 2013

Captain Rogers (Game Review)

When I saw Captain Rogers in the Marketplace, it jogged a recent memory. Oh, yes, the guys who wrote Captain Rogers had an article about their experiences writing the app and putting it in the marketplace.

You can read that first if you want in this tutorial: http://mobile.tutsplus.com/tutorials/firefox-os/preparing-for-firefox-os/

The tutorial is called "Preparing for Firefox OS" and has some good things to think about. The game itself was written by Andrzej Mazur (coder) and Robert Podg├│rski (graphics). The tutorial was written by Andrzej and covers subjects like moz-opaque, CSS Transform Scaling, and Nearest Neighbor Rendering. Also references a cool article on optimizing for Firefox games at https://hacks.mozilla.org/2013/05/optimizing-your-javascript-game-for-firefox-os/. Andrzej even includes a manifest and permissions code, which is useful.

He wrote a separate article about working with Clay.Io at http://enclavegames.com/blog/2013/07/26/captain-rogers-with-clay-dot-io-the-joyful-fun-of-leaderboards-and-achievements/

Also, he lets us know that the game was written using the game library, Impact.js at http://impactjs.com/. which has a cool game creation editor and I seem to remember a book on Amazon Kindle!

And if that wasn't enough, he's shared a big fat set of links to information about creating HTML5 games. You go, Andrzej!

It's nice when people share and I hope to do the same when I get further along the coding road. Right now I'm splitting my time between playing games and writing them. So back to playing games.



How does Captain Rogers play?

Well, it has a user interface I still can't get used to after several tries. The art is nice and the idea of flying through asteroids and picking up power pills is fun enough, but the game is designed for one finger tapping. Which isn't a bad idea, but the way it is done is hard for me.

Captain Rogers flies through space from left to right. This is a common space shooter style. The asteroids are moving from right to left and you must dodge them. The issue is that you tap to move your ship up and ... let go to move to move the ship down.



I'm not sure if I'm just not cool with up and down in space. What pulls the ship down when you don't tap the screen? Gravity? What makes it go up? A hidden thruster? The concepts seldom really matter, but I can't get the hang of it. My I can't aim well enough and die pretty fast.

So it didn't work for me and I can't even tell you if there are different levels or what happens when you get to the end. Even the game "A Space Shooter for Two Bucks." Had more entertainment value!

On the other hand, I applaud using a different control mechanism. Most phone space shooters use a variety of places you have to touch to make the ship turn, shoot, speed up, or slow down.

Wait! I want to shoot things!!! There's no bullets. I've been shooting things in space since the first Asteroids arcade game and it just seems unnatural to hop/limp out of the way of the dang things.

But the game may work for you. So I'm going to waffle and give the game a 3 for effort and I'll be curious if anyone finds this control mechanism useful.

The Help was a little crowded but when I went back to look at it after playing a bit, it made more sense:






The art is fun and cheery, but I still can't wrap my finger around it. But there's a big plus to this game which is that it is on Git Hub (where?) and there are other Captain Rogers games already http://m.blackmoondev.com/crkarmax/. So give the Captain a break because he's trying to share what he knows.

Cost: Free
Genre: Arcade
Score: 3 (out of 5)
Tested on: ZTE Open (Firefox OS)
Get it at: Firefox Marketplace