First Date Joe is a bad date simulator. It is a submission for The Programmers Hangout game jam and probably the first game that has been produced using ct.js and Traviso. You can pet the dog. When I get the time I hope to release the combined toolset (which includes a visual editor to develop worlds such as Joe's). The minigames are pretty much straight from Cosmo Myzrail Gorynych's ct.js examples - despite what the NPCs claim.

What worked...

  • Traviso and ct.js both delivered - yet again! Traviso now has TypeScript support! Cosmo Myzrail Gorynych work continues to be an inspiration.
  • The visual editor (built for this project and not yet released) made making Traviso worlds much easier.
  • Not using a real pee sound in the game has probably benefited my mental health in the long run. 😁
  • I feel the game sort of strikes the right balance telling the story of an obnoxious guy but in a not too offensive or judgemental way.
  • The sound - which I always leave until last - does actually make a big difference. Especially Jahzzar's Last Dance.

What didn't...

  • Developing a new engine (or engine mix in this case) to deliver on a game jam is a tough ask. Engine development always takes longer and is more frustrating than you expect.
  • Isometric sprite/tile assets look great but are still fiddly and annoying. Affinity Photo not copying blank space doesn't help.
  • Games like this work best when there is a big world to explore and autonomy. First Date Joe's small world leads the player to feel a little claustrophobic in an almost linear storyline.
  • The toolset may struggle with really big worlds! I was thinking about a project linking feature in ct.js to solve this. At the moment I just manually copy everything from smaller project to a huge project in a text editor.
  • Probably needs some more diversity! I did make the princess a game developer though!

Is it or its toolset open source?

Not yet. But hopefully soon (when I catch my breath 😉).

What's next?

Probably something completely different but one day I may come back and try to tell a really deep immersive love story using Traviso.

What changed?

Lots of small stuff. On the 4th of September, I spent what wound up being a night making a number of small changes to improve performance on mobile and Safari. The game now:

  • Has its fonts listed as blocking (better looking start screen)
  • Appears bigger on mobile (both the walking around parts and the UI elements of the Greed mini-game)
  • No longer skips touches on mobile
  • Has the jump button change direction
  • Uses MP3 instead of OGG (unfortunate but necessary for music to play on Safari)
  • Has speech bubble text appear without needing to move the player (finally)

Some of these will fortunately translate over to any future Traviso game.


The credit list for this one is huge!

  • Jahzzar produced Last Dance - the sound track (CC BY-SA 3.0)
  • Cosmo Myzrail Gorynych produced ct.js - the memory card, Greed and timed lock minigames (MIT license)
  • Hakan Karlidag produced Traviso - the isometric engine behind the immersive world (MIT license)
  • Lukas Küstenmacher produced the dungeon art Gothic Archways (CC-BY 4.0)
  • Apostrophic Labs produced Desyrel (Apostrophic Labs License), Dalton Magg produced Ubuntu (Ubuntu font licence) and Eduardo Tunni produced Lemon (OFL)
  • Eugène Delacroix, Caspar David Friedrich, Hokusai, Piet Mondrian, Monet, Edvard Munch, Georges Seurat and Vincent van Gogh produced the gallery works (more for your interest than anything else)
  • Marv Martian said "damn it" (CC0), agent_vivid said "hmmm" (CC Sampling+), QUARTETOFANTASTICO got people saying "awww" (CC0), conleec recorded some footsteps (CC0), lonemonk got people clapping (CC BY 3.0), krystofjakobe got a tram ticket (CC BY 3.0), schultzanagger was refreshed (CC0) and Garuda1982 got a dog barking (CC BY 3.0)
  • Charles Sanchez (CharlesGabriel),  Daniel Eddeland (daneeklu),  DarkwallLKE,  David Conway Jr. (JaidynReiman),  ElizaWy,  Evert,  Johannes Sjölund (wulax),  Lanea Zimmerman (Sharm),  Manuel Riecke (MrBeast),  Matthew Krohn (makrohn),  Michael Whitlock (bigbeargames),  Nila122,  Stephen Challener (Redshrike),  Thane Brimhall (pennomi),  Tracy,  Tuomo Untinen (reemax),  bluecarrot16,  gr3yh47,  laetissima, Stephen Challener (Redshrike), Mandi Paugh, William.Thompsonj, Benjamin K. Smith (BenCreating), Sander Frenken (castelonia), Joe White, Lanea Zimmerman (Sharm), Marcel van de Steeg (MadMarcel) and Luke Mehl all contributed to the Liberated Pixel Cup (CC BY 3.0) and I'm very glad they did


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An NPC: Beat my timed game!
(my wooden lock game appears)

This is very true! I need to give you a bigger shout-out. The mini-games are pretty much all Cosmo's work. As is pretty much all of both Greed games! It's a great a tool Cosmo!