[Post-mortem]Cirque

Introduction

Cirque is an abstract rotational action game, inspired loosely by Super Hexagon.

I really enjoyed the simplicity of the controls in the iOS Super Hexagon. Touch the left half of the screen to spin left; the right half does the opposite. It’s elegant compared to virtual d-pads. Cirque is a browser game, but maybe I’m taking of taking a stab at mobile.

Steiner Chain

The first real challenge was getting the outer ring of circles to form nicely around the center circle. If you think about it, the radii of the outer and inner circles have to be a of a certain ratio for that to happen. Now, I’ve never been that good with geometry, but after searching around I stumbled on the mathematical concept known as a Steiner Chain.

“Given two circles with one interior to the other, if small tangent circles can be inscribed around the region between the two circles such that the final circle is tangent to the first, the circles form a Steiner chain.” Wolfram Math World

Pretty fascinating stuff, especially when you vary the sizes of the outer circles.

Structure

The biggest problem faced with this project was probably how to structure the gameplay. I wanted to make this an endless, highscore-chasing sort of game. Initially I wanted to make just a single level, with the difficulty slowly increasing. But I suspect it would have been really frustrating to be forced to play through the easier parts of the game again. The current game implements a “save point” of sorts; when a player dies he can restart the current level.

Conclusion

I’m not really sure where to go on from here. It still doesn’t feel that fun as it is. I’m gathering feedback to see if it sparks of any interesting ideas. Let me know what you think!

Play Cirque

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