Digital Illustration

Railroad Chicken

Back in June I spent a week with the lovely folk of Lucky Frame doing a mini-residency. I had a blast hanging out with Yann, Jon and Sean; spending the week testing out Bad Hotel, talking about faintly ridiculous game ideas, and building ‘Railroad Chicken’.

We spent a lot of the week focusing on momentary games – where much of the gameplay is about waiting for an event, followed by the player’s momentary reaction to it. The wonderful ‘Ready, Steady, Bang’ is a great example of the genre. A lot of the games I was introduced to by the Lucky Framers also used a single device for multiplayer games. Two (or more) players huddled round an iPhone is immediately funny, and seemingly straightforward games can become enormously tactical and complex very quickly (like FingerBattle & pyoing).

The aim of the week was to build a very playable test of a concept which we quickly named “Railroad Chicken”. It’s a two-player, one-device, momentary game which tests players’ daring in a safe, chicken-based environment. I also wanted it to look pretty.

Graphics were made in Blender and Illustrator, and sprite sheeted with Texture Packer, and I built the game in Flash using Starling. Yann generously provided the sounds. Here it is. Find a friend to try it out with:

The Aim

You have but one aim: to best your fellow man. It’s a game that demands you prove your daring, train dodging, bravery in a safe, chicken-based environment.

How to Play

Find a friend. Press and hold your designated key to indicate your readiness to dodge an oncoming train. Your chicken isn’t ready for this game. He’ll never be ready, so you need to tie him down. Release the key / chicken before your hapless bird is hit by the train… but after your opponent.

Which keys?

You may need to write these down:

Player 1: The A Key.

Player 2: The B Key.

Having animated the chicken, it seems like a surprisingly handy graphic for all kinds of quick games. I may try and combine this sprite sheet with the CreateJS libraries to create some HTML5 mini games:

If you need a struggling chicken for anything you’re working on (you do), you can download the sprite sheet and its XML here.