Tintash Games

Internship, Summer 2011

Woody Woodpecker

This iOS game, commissioned by Chillingo & Universal studios, is a Tiny Wings style hill-jumper with a racing component. Hill jumpers have only one-mechanic: the user controls whether the character exerts a force downwards. The goal is to use this to slide fast down hills and then slide up on the next hill to jump as far as you can before gravity kicks in. In Woody, players can race against computer-operated opponents, and each character has a couple of special moves to slow other players down.

My role was to design and implement the logic of the speed at which the computer-controlled opponents moved. We started out studying the design of many popular racing games, noticing that the goal is not just to provide a realistic motion to computer-generated characters but also to keep the race interesting so as to provide a significant challenge. Our resultant implementation accomplishes this rather simply. We started by creating an ideal logic, what a player would do to play the terrain perfectly. We then make this more human by probabilistically offsetting the character off this ideal course.

When characters are off the screen, it is both needless and computationally expensive to maintain details of the terrain they are theoretically over. In such cases characters are assigned constant speeds. Characters ahead of the player continue to move along with a speed determined using a pre-determined skill level (each race is conducted against a varied skill set of computer-operated characters). Characters behind the player move with a constant speed determined both by their skill level and their distance from the player, with their speed increasing the farther they are from the player to ensure a competitive race.