Two figures silhouetted by a rainbow background toss multi-colored balls back and forth.

Juggle Panic

Sole developer / Mar 2018

Overview

A two-player juggling extravaganza! The first player to drop five balls loses, with many alternate game modes that add some variety to the mix.

The title "Juggle Panic" written in goofy wobbly letters, which falls away to reveal two silhouettes against a rainbow background and the instructions "First to drop 5 balls loses".
The text "Sudden death activated!" appears above a pair of silhouetted figures. One picks up and throws a ball, the other fails to catch, and they erupt in rainbow "Win" and "Lose" text.
"Leapfrog mode activated!" appears above two froggy figures attempting to juggle balls while hopping back and forth.

Development

Juggle Panic was developed for an indie multiplayer game night hosted by DBAA in New York City. It was created over the course of three weeks with the goal of making a fun non-violent local multiplayer game.

A significant portion of the game's sprite sheet is devoted to many different smear and bounce frames to make the balls feel extra rubbery.

My favorite tid-bit: some players would blame the game if they didn't catch a ball ("I totally caught that!"). So I added a little arrow that appears whenever a ball hits the ground, so that players have more feedback on where the ball was when they failed to catch it... except the arrow is always drawn a bit further away from the player than it should be. The screenshake hides the deception and gets players to more often accept that they missed the ball.

Reception

I've shown Juggle Panic at a number of events and it's always well-received. It was made to be super easy to pick up, super quick to play, and charmingly fun from the get-go so I feel like it succeeds at what it was trying to do.

Kids are especially into it which is just the most heart-meltingly adorable thing I've ever experienced.

Juggle Panic was listed in 10 Non-Violent Multiplayer Games that Aren't Sports-Related by the wonderful Jupiter Hadley.