New 8bitrocket Game Release: Tunnel Panic

New 8bitrocket Game Release: Tunnel Panic

Tunnel Panic is the first game from the Essential Flash Games book to be released into the wild in a viral fashion. It’s self sponsored (by the book of all things). The original version of this game is featured in chapter 12 of the EFG Book as a way to demonstrate viral Flash games. In this chapter we build a simple game in a few hours and then explain how to add Mochi ads and leader boards to the game. We also go into detail on sponsorships and discuss our friends at and their offerings in detail.


This version of the game has been slightly enhanced sonically and visually from the book version, but the very simple game play remains essentially the same. It is a game of survival where you must pilot your space cruiser through the decidedly 8-bit looking tunnel for as long as possible, dodging everything. You only have a single control button, the Space Bar. Pressing it will move your ship up. As you progress the canyon will become narrower and filled with more objects to dodge. The game is meant to be played for about 1 to 2 minutes tops.

The game play and style isn’t very original as I have played some games like it, but the story in the chapter is that you (as a indie game developer) as asked to make a retro looking version of this type of Flash game. It isn’t meant to be the most original game, but it is meant to be an original looking take on the genre.

This is the only game in the book that uses a “dirty rect” blit erase technique. The “exhaust” and the “aurora” particles in the background of the tunnel are blitted to a canvas and are erased by applying a 32bit transparent eraser the size of the object on each frame tick. The “aurora” particles only change (and are dirty-rect erased) when the canyon color changes. The exhaust particles move from right to left behind the ship so they need to be erased on each frame tick. This creates a little bit of artifacting, but it is ok for the “special effects” in the game. The background colored 8-but aurora squares are not actually in the book version. I added those for a little extra zarjaz for this viral version. Also, the original in-game music now is a much longer, “re-mixed” version of the song that can be downloaded from the book site (when the book is released). This game is up on Mochi, Flash Game License and Flash Game Distribution as a way of promoting the book and hopefully making back a few pennies on the dollar for each shirt Steve and I lost writing the book (and the games in it) over the last several months.

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