It's the holidays and people are out driving, but the roads are still under construction! It's up to you to make sure that people still make it to their destinations.
In this simple puzzle-like game, you have to rearrange road segments so that drivers can reach the exits of each map. On some maps, there are tourist sites that drivers will want to drive-by and see before leaving.
Click on road tiles in order to move them about (you can also use the cursor keys). If you become impatient waiting for cars, press the space bar to cause a car to enter the map and to make them move faster. You receive bonus points if you don't move any of the road tiles after a car has entered the map though.
The game requires Java Webstart (it should come as part of Java). I think there's a bug in Java 1.4 that requires my game to have full security permissions in order to run properly. This problem does not exist in Java 1.5, so you should run it with 1.5 or higher. (Apparently, some platforms, cough...cough...MacOS...cough, don't currently support Java 1.5. They also seem to have problems with the jnlp MIME type. In that case, try this link instead, which should work with Java 1.4--you might have to save the link somewhere and then double-click it for it to work.) Also, in Linux, WebStart often does not get installed properly, so it's probably easier to simply download the whole game to your computer first.
If you click on the above link, you can download the whole game to your computer. On the Mac and Windows, you can just double-click the everything.jar file to start the game (sorry for the lame icon in Windows, I don't think Sun provides a way to change it). Under linux, you can run it with "java -jar everything.jar" or something like that.
After playing around with J2ME a bit, I thought it might be cool to write a little J2ME game. I had been sitting around on this little puzzle game idea for 5 or so years, and I thought it would make a good candidate for being made into a J2ME game. Unfortunately, after I drew the first set of graphics tiles, I realized that everything was much too small to see anything, so I thought I would just write a normal Java game instead.
I think the game is sorely lacking in sound and music. I had actually spent a couple of days trying to put together some annoying repetitive background music, but the music program I had didn't support direct midi-to-wav conversion, and the sound hardware in my computer couldn't handle the conversion without introducing a lot of noise, so I opted to simply leave out the sound for now. I was thinking of maybe outputting midi music directly, but midi support in Java seems not to be fully deployed yet.
The graphics are uninspired but functional. I initially tried going for a less "straight-line" and "pixel perfect" look, but that's actually hard to achieve with limited artistic talent. Instead, I just took my usual approach of calculating the exact positions of where things should go, and putting things there. I had a few problems with colour management (once again I drew all my graphics with colour management on, only discover that everything looked terrible once I turned colour management off), but otherwise the graphics-work was uneventful.
I didn't spend a lot of fine tuning the levels. Being a fan of sliding-tile games, I have no idea how easy the beginning levels need to be. And due to my limited hand-eye coordination, I'm never a good judge of how hard the later levels need to be either. I think the game would probably benefit from a more gradual difficulty ramp-up and longer (or simply more) levels. It's probably good enough though.
I would say that I put in about a week or so of work into the game, which is about right. Obviously, being able to reuse existing code helped a lot.