(UPDATE: I've added a special OST cart for the itch.io download, where you can select music from the soundtrack and watch the game play itself while you listen. I hope you enjoy it!)
Here's my new game. It's called Downstream Dream, it's a side-scroller that I guess is somewhere between kart racers and shoot-em-ups. I hope you like it!
It's also published on itch.io if you'd like to support it. Most of the content from that page is duplicated below, but first, a few thanks to BBS members:
To @Liquidream for playtesting, and for lots of encouragement when I felt like giving up.
- To everyone in the Pico-8 community. I'm very grateful that so many are willing to share your creativity and kindness with others. Trading knowledge and games with you all has brought me a lot of joy.
Thank you all!
⬅️➡️⬆️⬇️ = D-Pad or Keyboard Arrow Keys
🅾️ = Button 1 or Keyboard Z
❎ = Button 2 or Keyboard X
⬅️ + 🅾️ - Paddle counter-clockwise
➡️ + 🅾️ - Paddle clockwise
⬆️ + 🅾️ - Steady ahead
⬇️ - Move backwards (with motor)
❎ - Throw
How to Play
From the Developer
My mom loved both adventure and the American southwest; she traveled there many times over her life, and her home was filled with art and souvenirs she'd collected from her visits to the region.
When I was about seven years old, my parents rented a minivan and took me on a long roadtrip across the United States. I don’t remember a lot from that trip other than staring out the window while the landscape slowly changed from cities and farmland, to mountains, to desert, but one memory stands out from the endless monotony of the road; a stop at the Grand Canyon where my mom went white water rafting.
My dad never learned how to swim, and someone needed to watch me anyway, so the two of us waited downstream in the hot afternoon sun, looking for mom's boat to come in. I don’t think the water was particularly rough at that time of year; but like my dad, I’ve never been good at swimming either, and I spent most of the time thinking about how scary the water looked to me. I imagined how if I was on the boat with mom, I would probably fall out and be carried away by the river. She seemed very bold and brave that day!
A couple years before she left this world, mom offered to take me on a trip out west; possibly to Las Vegas, or maybe the Grand Canyon. I politely turned her down for some made-up reason, while the real one probably had something to do with still being in my 20s and wrongly believing that I was too cool to go on vacation with my mother. As a young adult, I assumed that there would always be more time with the people in my life. Now that I'm a little older, I'm learning that there is rarely ever enough. I don’t know where we might have gone or what we might have done on that trip, if I hadn't foolishly said no; but sometimes, it’s nice to dream about it.
Anyway, I hope you enjoy the game. It contains a lot of love, a little regret, and the best game I could make with Pico-8.
Credits and Thanks
- PX9 by @zep
- Local fillp() by @Makke & @Felice
- pic2pico by @Nodepond
- GEM by Paul Hammond ( @pahammond)
Special Thanks To:
Congrats on releasing this ambitious PICO-8 game - you did it! 🥳
Not only that ...it's awesome! 🤩
Everything looks and sounds great - I'm particularly fond of the gr8 music u produced for it 🔊😆🤘
I felt privileged to get a sneak peak at such a well-made (+personal) game.
Bravo on a great looking and sounding game. And thanks for sharing your story...it's easy to see you put a lot of effort and heart into this game. You've certainly shown what PICO8 is capable of if you keep pressing.
I first played outside the BBS here so the mechanics weren't very obvious right away, which is fine, but now that I see the helpers it might make it better. One thing I was trying to figure out was where the end is...?
I got through the first rapids and got passed the bear but then it seemed like the race was on again? I thought maybe the bear was a boss and then I'd win but didn't seem like it. I died during the second race so don't know what's after yet. The bear was a great bonus after getting through the first race but was caught off guard to race again.
And I think my thumb got a cramp from all the button mashing but hey, that's paddling down a river, right? ;P
Again, great job on a very polished game. Be proud.
@morningtoast Thank you so much for your kind words! I think maybe the two things I'm most unsatisfied with are how anticlimactic the transition out of the bear fight is (whether u win or lose), and that the paddling mechanics don't feel as connected to the action button as I'd like. I squeezed every token I could and even implemented dumb wrappers like return ceil(rnd()), lol, but just couldn't manage to tie up those loose ends. You actually don't need to smash the paddle button that much, about once every half second or to the beat of the music will do, but I imagine everyone instinctively hits it as fast as they can, including myself!
I had a thought to maybe take the cart and see if turning the button pressing off would make it feel better.
Just hold down the button but you don't just want to have it down all the time or else...something...you get tired or lose control...dunno, the trick to keep the meter in the middle or something. I know you're at token limit so not suggesting changes, just thinking out loud.
But dude, the bear was awesome. It was such a delight to see after finishing the race. I was like "oh now what" and then it was like, "oh shit, a bear!" He killed me with his salmon.
@morningtoast Ah, so the cheat code is u only have to change the btnp() call to btn(), lol. The feel of the boats was kind of informed by all the hours I spent playing Rock n' Roll Racing as a kid. I always intended for the player to have to smash the btn repeatedly, but being able to hold it saved me a repetitive stress injury during development, lol. I debated a lot over whether or not u should just be able to hold it, but the game felt less lively like that imo!
Heartbreaking story behind the game's origin, I am genuinely sorry for your loss.
The Music, some of the best I've heard in Pico8. Super catchy and complex!
The Gameplay, challenging and unique. Albeit very hard to get the hang of on keyboard alone. I'll add this to my faves so I can get the hang of this!
Ahh bro I'm crying over here! The love you put into this game really comes through. Thanks for sharing it with us! I had a great time playing. Update: I bought the soundtrack, and I'm listening while I work this evening. Thanks for making it available!
@mac Wow! I think you’re the first person to get the Itch release just for the soundtrack. That really means a lot to me, thank you so much!
@inphanta Thanks again for the video! It’s a really cool feeling to watch someone else play through a game I made, I’m grateful to you for that experience, and for you sharing the game with your audience!
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