Ben Haderle

Game Designer and Programmer


This spring, I'm taking Bennet Foddy's Pixel Prototype Studio class at the NYU Gamecenter. We use PICO-8 to make one prototype a week, due every sunday at midnight. I'm going to try my best to post them as I make them. Enjoy!

Week 3 - Horace Goes Skiing

This week our assignment was to clone one game from another list of 70s and 80s arcade/PC games. I chose Horace Goes Skiing by William Tang and Beam Software released in 1982 for the ZX Spectrum, Commodore 64, and Dragon 32. Play the original here! There wasn't anything particularly challenging to program in Horace, rather the scope was pretty large for a week and 1982. The game begins in a Frogger-clone where the player has to navigate across the street to the ski shop and before they can actually go skiing. The original game actually has a fairly good car AI so that faster cars can manuever through traffic so I did a rough implementation of that which mostly works. I had to learn how to check for collision with all the procedurally generated cars and all the obstacles in the skiing portion. The skiing mechanics definitely could use more work in order to feel more like the original. Currently, it's just not that fun to ski. Overall, development went well, but programming the basic functionality and doing the neccessary sprites took so long that it kind of burnt me out and I didn't have motivationtime to do music. However, I think it succeeds in being a functional clone of the original Horace Goes Skiing.

As a side note, I did read a little more about William Tang (the creator of Horace), but couldn't seem to find where he is/what he's up to nowadays. I would love some closure to that so please reach out if you can find anything....

Week 2 - Arcade Volleyball

This week our assignment was to clone one game from a list of 70s and 80s arcade/PC games. I chose Arcade Volleyball by Rhett Anderson released in 1988 for the Commodore 64. Play the original here! The hardest aspect of this was writing collision and tuning player speed and ball speed to match the original. My collision is still a little off, but it didn't take that long to write because it's hardcoded, not a system. It's just such a simple game that it didn't really need it. I learned how to do a basic collision system and 2 player input in PICO-8 and made a faithful clone of Arcade Volleyball.

Week 1 - Desert

This week our assignment was to make significant modifications to one of four prototypes Bennett provided for us. The goal was just to get familiar with PICO-8. I chose a narrative, western themed game and made it a resource management survival game. I was trying to see if I could represent my experience hiking through the desert in Southern California. I think it was fairly successful. I learned the basic ins and outs of PICO-8 and successfully tested a design idea.