In this video podcast, I discuss the ideas behind the game and the gameplay mechanics of Tappy Lander. You can see lots of gameplay in the video too. I’d love to hear your feedback! Enjoy!
You’ve practiced and taken all variables into account. You zero in on the target. Finally, through the combination of calculation, instinct and luck… SWISH! Two points!
I believe the popularity of physics in games is due to two things.
Being created with Corona SDK and Box 2D, an open source physics engine, Tappy Lander is a game that pits your piloting skills against your biggest enemy, gravity. The physics engine handles the forces of your thrust in a semi-weightless environment splendidly. It also handles collisions so that your ship explodes only when it feels like it should, and the falling debris bounces around on the ground realistically. Although some of the collision code is built from scratch, most of it relies on the Box 2D engine. Friction, bouncy-ness and gravity of each planet varies and is all controlled by Box 2D.
One of the joys of physics is that you get all kinds of fun and sometimes unexpected results. The first time I landed in the prototype I noticed a little bounce. At first I thought “Wow, that looked realistic and cool”. My imagination sparked, I quickly then asked. “What if you get extra points for a higher bounce”?
Both the slide and the bounce trick (seen here in the Tappy Lander Trailer) was made possible and inspired by side effects of the physics code. Some planets have less friction than others, allowing a super long slide if you come in at the right angle with enough thrust. Other planets are softer and bouncier, allowing for a super high bounce. Tricks yield lots of points when done correctly but are very risky and easy to botch.
That’s how physics work in Tappy Lander and now you know the origin of the trick system! Next… I’m not sure what I’ll talk about yet!