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Timeloop - Lynx 2020 Competition Entry


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Hi Everyone,


Here is my entry for this year's Lynx Coding Competition hosted by AtariGamer:


Timeloop is a fun game where you play future soccer against your past self(s)!



You'll control a blue robot who have to push the green ball into the goal to score points. Move with D-Pad and press A or B button to Dash. Sounds simple? Well there is a catch: the whole game plays inside an endlessly repeating timeloop!


Every 6 seconds, the timeloop will reset the game. Your previous avatar will turn red, and it will move exactly like you did during the previous timeloop. You will play as another robot, always in blue. Up to 8 robots can play at the same time: your current avatar, and 7 of your previous incarnations. So, in this game you'll face the ultimate opponent: yourself!


There is an increasing "score limit" to reach on each timeloop to be able to continue the game. It starts easy, but quickly become challenging.




My current best score is 40 points. Can you do better?


You can download the game roms and the full commented source code here:



I hope you'll enjoy it!


If you'd like to make a physical version of it, the talented @KevinMos3 created a beautiful label for the game:

timeloop_label_kevinmos3.thumb.jpg.8e1656c68a1315892ca0f0cb902c56ce.jpg  timeloop_label_kevinmos3E.png.305405267c8aa05e0417ab388e3ae045.png


N.B.: The competition depends on public votes, so be sure to rate my game and the other wonderful entries!



Edited by drludos
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Played all the compo games intensively tonight and here are my impressions on Timeloop.


Love the concept! DrLudos, I don't know how you find those ideas, but there is definitely a DrLudo's touch :) I think the realization is great, nice cute and clear graphics, good controls, fast and simple game loop - although it's difficult to understand the scoring system at the beginning. Now what I'm missing is maybe a better ball physic, at the moment it's hard to shoot where you want to shoot - or maybe I'm just bad. Also there seems to be a speedup, but sometimes it is activated sometimes not... 


Weird idead... you know what could be interesting to explore? Well since it's a time loop and you're supposed to know what you other self have done, why cant you just try to neutralize them. Let say for instance that the time loop is a little longuer than 6 seconds, in each time loop you could try to destroy your previous self in order to help you scoring more.


TLDR; Great concept, I would love to see this extended in a full game with maybe more options, more teams and competition, and more time loops?

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Yeah, I think this one still stands out as my favorite for the creativity alone as it's really something different and fresh. Nothing overly involved, just a quick go-to, though it has proven to be somewhat difficult, at least for me personally. Some games were as short as maybe 15 seconds then Game Over lol


Anyways, super cool and love the cart label!

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My favourite of all your games so far, not only Lynx games but all your itch.io games I've tried out. Timeloop is really fun to play, the graphics are appropriate, nice & cute and the game is addicting. Also, even if it's a small game it's polished.

LordKraken mentioned the ball physics, I don't mind them as they are, but it could add even more polish to the game if the ball would feel a bit heavier.

Anyway, this has to be my fave of the 2020 competition! Great work! :) :thumbsup: (Somewhere deep down inside I do wish it'd be a full fledged football game too with league and all. :D )

On 8/23/2020 at 12:20 AM, LordKraken said:

I don't know how you find those ideas, but there is definitely a DrLudo's touch

I wish I could come up with simple yet really fun game ideas like this. I've been looking through a lot of small games for old and new systems for inspiration, but I still find it really, really hard. Do you have some hints on how you come up with your game ideas? :D


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  • 3 weeks later...

Sorry for the late reply, but I thank you a lot for your feedback and comments!


I'm really happy you enjoyed the game, as I honestly had no idea if the game idea would be fun to anyone besides me! I'm taking note of all your feedback and ideas for a possible future updated / enhanced version of the game :). I'll try to keep working on it after the end of the competition.


On 8/24/2020 at 1:08 AM, Turbo Laser Lynx said:

I wish I could come up with simple yet really fun game ideas like this. I've been looking through a lot of small games for old and new systems for inspiration, but I still find it really, really hard. Do you have some hints on how you come up with your game ideas? :D

Well, I'm sure there isn't anything "magic". I'm really glad you enjoy my game ideas, but I also made a lot of games that nobody seems to like! (for example try Math Smashers - I spent about a year on this project, and I seem to be the only one to enjoy it :p)


But I'm happy to share my experience if it can help. I think one the hardest thing to learn when you are creating games is to size your project scope according the time / skills / resources you have at your disposal. That's why many "first projects" are never finished, especially for amateurs. For example, I still haven't finished the 3 or 4 first game projects I started, and likely never will because they are way too big for a single person. It took me a long time to realize this (and by long time, I mean maybe 15 years of amateur game development). What helped me a lot is to participate in game jams.


More specifically, I participated a lot in the "Ludum Dare" game jam (http://ldjam.com/), where you have to make a new game from scratch according to a theme in... 48h. For your first participation, you'll usually end up with nothing finished, or even drop out of the contest because you didn't find a good idea in time (been there...). But with time, you'll learn how long it takes you to make things like music, coding, art, etc. And so you'll be able to make a brand new game in maybe 20 or 30 hours.


I was also heavily inspired by Derek Yu (of Spelunky fame) article about "Finishing a game": https://makegames.tumblr.com/post/1136623767/finishing-a-game


So, I have no "secret" per se, but you should really try to participate in game jams or coding contests that spans over a few days (and not a few months) to train yourself to make a complete game in a very limited time. And then I think ideas will come naturally, as you'll need to come up with a lot of different game ideas to participate in all those game jams ;). Because, in the end, the best way to have a "good game idea" is to try loads of different ideas. The only way to see if it's fun or not is to make a prototype. And the faster you can make a gameplay prototype, the more game ideas you'll be able to try, and thus have the higher chances are of you finding one that is fun to play.


For example, my 2019 Lynx competition entry started as a project I made for a Ludum Dare game jam.

I designed the first version of Growing Ties from scratch (ideas, code, graphics) in 72h. You can try the original version here for reference: http://www.ludoscience.com/EN/games/884-Growing-Ties.html

While the "prototype" version was born in 3 days only (and was definitively playable), it took me something like 2 full months to make the way better Lynx version. But at their core, both versions play the same. The main difference is that the jam version is barebone (a single level focused on the core gameplay, limited gfx and audio) while the Lynx version has way more polish, more levels, more graphics, more sounds, etc. What I mean is having a very restricted time limit forces to focus on the idea / gameplay, and is definitively a good way to train how to make game / to find new game concepts that could became larger games projects with more time.

Edited by drludos
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Thanks for the comprehensive answer! Most of the things I know about game development I learned the hard way haha. :grin: Many of those things I've gotten articulated in some youtube game dev / game design videos the last few years.

It's true about scope, I've been able to finish some small games by cutting out everything unnecessary out and keeping it really simple. My latest project "Baron Lovejoy" I wanted to make a bit bigger and now it's stood still for a long time already. I should probably make something small inbetween again to have some fun.


the best way to have a "good game idea" is to try loads of different ideas

That's true, I've been going through a lot of early arcade games etc. but I think I need to search trough even more games.

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For those of you who are interest in a "behind the scene" look, I've just published all the prototypes (with explanations of the project creation steps) of Timeloop for my supporters on Patreon:



For example, here is what the first version of the game graphics looked like:



The word you are looking for is "ugly." ;)

Edited by drludos
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  • 2 years later...

TOMORROW ZeroPage Homebrew can finally unveil the consolized Atari Lynx II modded by @Igor from Atari Gamer / K-Retro and begin to play all the incredible Lynx homebrew that's been released! We'll be playing Timeloop on our first Lynx LIVE broadcast on Twitch! Hope you can join us!






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