StickyMan, a thought experiment in manipulating gravity

I developed StickyMan (source here ), a quickie game idea during the Baltimore Hackathon a few months ago. The question I wanted to answer was, “What if Lode Runner got stuck in an Escher painting?”. The idea is that gravity is relative, and every time you hit a wall, that wall becomes the ground. I had fun fudging with the transforms until it more or less functioned. If I had more time, the plan was to make it so that you had to use gravity to indirectly manipulate different colored boxes into different holes, as if you were in charge of the shipping department for MC Escher.

More explanation after the break.

I’ve often longed for and dreamed of the chance to walk through one of Eschers grand halls and stairways, most notably those in Relativity:

Since I haven’t come up with a great way to realize this physically, the next best idea was to make it into a game. Using the JBox2D library made the implementation fairly straightforward- just set up gravity in the right direction, then change it as needed. Player controls were a little more difficult, since they needed to change direction depending on where the gravity vector was- I ended up multiplying the gravity force by a sine or cosine to rotate it to the correct direction for left and right. Jumping works similarly, except that there is a bug in how landing is detected, so you can jump up and up through a pile of boxes.

Some games that include similar concepts:
* Echochrome, a PS 3 game where you manipulate the 3D camera perspective of a game to change the 2D reality that a character experiences- it’s mind blowing if you haven’t seen it before:

* And yet it moves, a very similar platformer, where the player has direct control of gravity, and needs to use it to manipulate the world around him

* Neverball, a game where you tilt the floor of a maze in order to manipulate a marble to collect coins and reach end gates.

It turns out there are a bunch of other games that also explore this mechanic, but this one is mine! Enjoy.

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