Finally, I reached that point in any project where you ask yourself, "Is this thing ready for other people to actually see?" and you answer confidently and enthusiastically, "... I guess?". So, with that out of the way, I shared Escape Krypton with a handful of friends yesterday which resulted in the site seeing 49 unique visitors and nearly 2,800 games played! I guess those handful of friends also shared with their friends which was a welcome surprise.
As you can see, I also added counters to the site to display some stats. Along with that update, I also wanted to add a little more interactiveness to the leaderboard and integrated Twilio SMS notifications.
Players provide their phone numbers during score submission and will be notified if their rank drops, and can also select a "taunt" to send along with that message to all the players they pass on the leaderboard.
This was very amusing when there were only 3-4 of us playing, but it quickly became a little spammy and caused friction during the score submission process. Instead of that, I'd like to prioritize the ease at which players can enter their names onto the leaderboard without forcing them to enter their phone number. For the time being I've made phone numbers optional which I probably should have done to begin with. Also, without SMS verification this can be quickly overrun with fake numbers. These changes will go into the Trello backlog for future upates.
Now that the game is in a state that I'm relatively happy with for now, I'll primarily be working on refactoring the codebase and just cleaning it up in general. I not only migrated the game into TypeScript, Next.js, and some React etc., but I also added features to the game during that process which led me to neglect some areas that could've used some extra love.
The younger 2015 version of me made a hilariously naive decision when I first made this game, which was to implement the "Game Over" scores modal in a combination of HTML/CSS and HTML Canvas. I think I probably started off rendering the modal box and buttons in Canvas because I was just in that mode throughout the game design, but then realized I needed click handlers on the buttons which you can't exactly attach to elements drawn in canvas. That realization with the looming demo day deadline led me to quickly float some text in HTML over the canvas and attach click handlers to them. Honestly, it's not terrible, but could've been simplified by just being entirely HTML/CSS without the additional dependency on the canvas.
On a positive note, I did take the opportunity to implement certain abstractions
that I had not done the first time around by creating a
GameObject interface which is implemented
by all moving game objects, such as all the Kryptonite, background objects (Stars, Shooting Stars,
Planets, etc), and of course Superman himself. The orignal game I made implemented it with
ducktyping which was a fine approach, but having an explicit contract, especially with the
addition of several new game objects, made everything much clearer to work with.
Overall, I'm happy so many found the game amusing enough to log that many games played on it in a single day. It's given me motivation to keep working on it and polishing it up. At the end of the day I know this can never be really "launched" to the public due to copyrights and what not, but it's just a fun game that I've enjoyed working on and am glad that others are able to share in that even just for a short while. Who knows, maybe I'll repurpose the ideas here into a whole new game one day.