LunaBug 4K

Here’s an early version of LunaBug4K. I’m also working on Kaboom4K, already posted in this forum. I haven’t submitted either yet officially as contest entries, but will after a little more work.

The game is fairly simple, and is controlled via mouse. There’s a kind of moon-like scrolling background (randomly generated), and you are represented very simply as a dot with a line sticking out in the direction you are facing. Because you’re in hovering above the surface (via, um, an anti-grav field, yeah that’s it), your movement is totally frictionless and pseudo-zero-gee. In other words, you can spin around and face 180 degrees away from your direction of travel. There are shadows to indicate your height. As of now, your height is a constant (not changeable).

You move the mouse to point your “craft” in the direction you want to go, and then you hold down the mouse button to apply thrust. So stopping involves turning around and applying enough thrust in the opposite direction to cancel out your motion. A bit like the old arcade game Asteroids.

Unlike Asteroids, the object of this game is to TOUCH the other objects. They are “lunabugs” and you catch them by touching them. Level one has one lunabug, level two has two lunabugs, and so forth.

You’ll actually see TWO lines sticking out of your circle. One is the nose of your “craft” and shows which way you are pointing. It’s light blue, and casts a shadow. The other line is a directional vector to your current target (and it won’t cast a shadow… think of it as a Heads Up Display). This will be green if it is far away, yellow if close, and red if REALLY close. It doesn’t always point to the closest bug, but it should always point to the same bug until you capture it, at which point it will switch to the next bug.

There’s a time limit, and if you catch all the bugs on a level, your score is increased by the amount of milliseconds remaining, and you move to the next level. Each level gives you one minute to catch one bug. So, in other words, the time limit on Level 1 is 1 minute, and the time limit of Level 5 is 5 minutes, and so on.

This is probably too easy. I can generally catch each bug in about 30 seconds, so this may change.



  1. I’ve only tested this with Java 1.4, not 1.5.
  2. I have not tested this on Mac or Linux, only on Windows so far.
  3. The machine being used for testing is a 2GHz P4 running Windows XP, with 512MB of RAM.

JAR File (2835 bytes):
JNLP File (655 bytes):

I still have some work to do, but I welcome any comments. Yes, I do have quite a bit more space to work with here.

Unlike Kaboom4K, the animation here is completely time-based and not frame-based. However, I imagine the quality of animation may vary considerably on different machines. The general speed of objects should not, however.

The direction indicator is broken. Sometimes it says the “bug” is far away in one direction when really it is very close in the other direction… moving just a little bit in the opposite direction of the indicator makes it snap around and change colour from green to red.

Interesting, quite funky idea.

Think it would be nicer if one was allowed to move the mouse after pressing the mouse button. As it is now the thrust direction stays fixed when you move the mouse around, but that is a minor issue. How about a minimap. When there are a lot of dots - bugs was it? - then you don’t want to go for the one furthest away, so that might be nicer than the red - green line.

Good start.

Updated the jar file (now actually 3 bytes smaller from 2835 bytes to 2832 bytes) and added the minimap and being able to drag the mouse around while holding the button. Also added a particle system showing your thrust. How did I add that in while reducing the byte count? By removing the targetting system, which, as was mentioned by swpalmer, is buggy.

Also updated the screenshot above.

Cool game, altough a tad bit to easy. I came to level 10 on the first try before I closed it down manually (who knows how long I would have come).