Pogo Grapple Racecars

For Klik of the Month 58 I took the Clockwise Carburetors assets and built another one-button racing game, this time with a considerably more complicated control scheme. The intention here is for you to get four friends playing the game at once and figuring the controls out together, but if you want me to spell it out, I’ll explain below.

How it works:

When your car is rising, your button shoots out a grappling hook at 45 degrees up from your horizontal velocity. You swing around the grapple point, the length of the rope decreasing over time. (Eventually the length goes negative and starts glitching the fuck out. I may eventually fix this.) You let go of the rope but retain your swinging velocity when you release the button.

When your car is falling, your button initiates a charged jump. After you land, you jump as soon as you release the button. The sooner you release the button, the more vertical the jump will be, but it will always reverse your horizontal direction. You can see your car rotate to give some indication of the verticality vs. horizontality of your jump.

To complete a lap, you must touch all four corners of the track.

Strategy: it’s easier to go up the right side than the left. The most reliable way to climb is to grapple repeatedly, releasing the rope on the upswing and immediately grappling again while you’re still rising. It helps to also be moving away from the wall you’re currently grappling — this may be difficult after the rope gets too short.

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    Jim, 2012-04-22 22:23:01

    Possible changes that come to mind for the sequel:
    – Choose grapple any time you’re in the air; pause on landing to provide a window for charged jump.
    – Choose grapple after having held the button a certain amount of time and still not having landed. (Implementing a “landing soon” lookahead is too much work for a one- or two-hour game!)
    – Choose grapple any time you’re in the air, but make it take time to send out the line, and switch to charged jump if you land before it connects. (I thought of this while typing the previous two items; if I’d thought of this during development I’d definitely have done it.)

    I made the charged jump switch directions basically so that it was possible to switch directions. I actually intended to make the jump direction sweep over a larger arc and cover jumping both forwards and backwards, but it was harder than trivial there wasn’t time to figure out where my math was wrong.

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