New Game: Fishing

I was reading the Taxonomy of Fishing Mini-games article on Game Developer and it made me wonder what a Blinks fishing game might look like. I thought it would cool to make a game that’s more chill and relaxing.

No GIFs this time as most of the tiles are blue and I still haven’t figured out how to photograph them well.

Here’s the github repo. You need to build it with BGA’s custom blinklib. There’s a chance I might split this into two sketches since I have a ton of ideas yet to implement, but for now it still fits in one.

This is still WIP, but it’s at a decent enough state to show off.

After programming, all of your tiles will start as “lake” tiles. The more tiles you have, the larger a lake you can use.

There are three water depths. The tiles that touch the edge (have at least one empty neighbor) are the shallowest “shore” tiles. Of the rest, any tiles touching a shore are “medium” depth tiles and everything else is a “deep” tile. So you’ll need at least 19 tiles to get a single deep tile. You won’t need to have that many to play the game, but it’ll open up more varied gameplay.

You’ll notice a periodic wave outward on the edge tiles. This is the water lapping at the shore.

After some time you may notice fish moving around your lake. They’re easy to miss since they only appear as darker spots on the water. If you wait long enough your lake will be teeming with fish.

To hook fish you’ll need to remove one of the lake tiles and triple click it to turn it into a player fisherfolk tile. This fisherfolk tile will have one white wedge and one colored wedge. The color is your player’s color. Single click the tile while you have it alone to cycle through the available colors.

When you are ready to cast your line, attach your fisherfolk to the shore of your lake. Your tile will start oscillating back and forth between the attached lake tiles. This is like a golf meter to select the direction of your cast.

Press and hold the button to select the direction. While holding, you will see your fisherfolk tile change and start sweeping up and down, towards and away from the lake. This selects the power of your cast. Release the button to cast the line with the given angle and power.

If all is well, you should see your line cast out from your player tile and drop in the lake with a subtle ripple. Casts can go from one to four tiles, depending on the power, and there are multiple angles that you can cast out. If you cast too far, or your cast goes off the edge of the lake, then the line will reel back in and you’ll need to try again. At the moment, this can be annoying to get right. I will tweak the process to improve the UX.

Once cast, it’s a matter of waiting. If a fish swims past your hook (the last wedge in your line) then it will bite. You can tell when this happens because the end of your line will start pulsing.

That’s all I have at the moment. You can’t actually reel in fish yet. Once the fish is on the hook, clicking the player’s button will release it and retract your line. Removing the player tile will also remove your line so you can try casting from a different part of the lake.

Lots of fun stuff left to do:

  • Actually catch fish!
  • Have different type of fish that fight back or get away
  • Methods for luring the fish closer to your line
  • Have your fisherfolk keep track of the fish you successfully caught

I think the “game” part of it will be mostly player-enforced. For instance: first to catch five fish, catch as many fish as you can in five minutes, catch the “best” fish, etc.

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Few updates. Lots of under-the-hood changes to give room for future expansion. I have plans beyond just this game.

You can reel in fish now. Long pressing the button will reel in the line one step. Keep the button down and it will eventually reel all the way in.

Then, when I started adding a way to track the fish that a fisherfolk has caught, I ran out of code space.

So I split the sketch into two: lake tiles and fisherfolk tiles. This is actually good because it gives both room to add the things I have planned. Fisherfolk especially. I want the fish to be the star of the game and want to have some really cool looking anims for different fish types.

Beyond that, I have ideas for another game I can make that share the same Lake tiles, but use a third sketch for a different type of player tile. The question then will be whether I can fit all that gameplay within the Lake tile sketch.

Sounds really intresting so far. Can’t wait to see more of it. Do you want to show the fisherfolk tiles for the “keep tracking” to be able to show of the diffrent fish they cought? You could go by points, for example each time you reel a fish in, the fisherfolk tile will blink on 1 to 6 faces, showing how many points you got for that fish and then maybe add a “showing points”-option, for when you removed the fisherfolk tile from the lake. Like long press to change to a point showing animation. Just ideas.

Yep the idea is that when you remove your fisherfolk tile from the lake you will be able to use it to inspect all the fish you’ve caught (and even throw one back if you want to make room for a better one). While inspecting, you’ll be able to see their animation and stats. I hoping I can make the anims cool enough that players want to see them all.