A blue-scarfed figure dodges a snowball from a red-scarfed figure, then throws a snowball of their own.

Snowball Showdown

Sole developer / Dec 2018

Overview

A one-button 1v1 blizzard standoff! Players mash to pack their snowballs then throw them at each other... but pressing the button at just the right moment allows a player to dodge and return fire.

Two figures stare at one another beneath the text "Snowball Showdown".
Two figures in a snowy field bow to one another, then bend down and begin packing snowballs.
A figure in a red scarf throws a snowball at a figure in a blue scarf. The blue-scarfed figure falls over in defeat while the red-scarfed figure celebrates their victory.

Development

Snowball Showdown was developed for the 2018 PICO-8 Advent Calendar organized by Bigaston—an extremely cute project with the goal of spreading some community cheer among PICO-8 devs.

I liked the idea of a one-button duel that's essentially a game of chicken: the longer you wait to throw your snowball, the faster it will travel and the less likely your opponent will be able to react in time to dodge it. But the longer you wait, the more likely it is that your opponent will throw their snowball before you. It's sorta self-balancing in a neat way.

In retrospect, rather than having the snowball travel faster the longer you wait, I should have had the players move closer over time. That would have been a more intuitive way to communicate the increasing tension and the decreasing reaction time.