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The Amphetamine Trip

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Gamze come in many flavors summer family-friendly and fun some are dark and hardcore and then there’s amphetamine look if you’re a game designer there are only two reasons to name your game amphetamines either it’s about drugs or you were under drugs so what was it amphetamine is a 2d platformer which is advertised as and i quote an exciting jump and run game that

Offers some unique visual effects you must fight eleven evil monsters with your magic weapons based on debian statistics alone the package has been installed by thousands upon thousands of people and yet all the screenshots you can find on google are screenshots from the first couple of minutes of the game why well i think i might know why of course if the game is

Poorly made reviewers might simply be uninterested to spend any time and effort on it that much is clear but it strange that no gamer has ever felt the need to share exciting screenshots of later levels is it possible that no one has actually reached those later levels well let me show you the situation and you do the math the game starts off in an epic tomb and

At first your brain might get a bit confused it’s like those optical illusions where you don’t understand what you’re looking at you try jumping in the blocks only to find that a lot of them are just background don’t worry get used to it telling what is background and what is not is going to be an ongoing challenge you grab a weapon you open the gate you charge

Forward at first it’s all good kill a couple of enemies swim through some spikes your normal vacation in a tomb you then face the log door there also seems to be some sort of a moving platform locked in place there is a switch it’s clear what to do you jump first couple of jumps don’t quite get you there maybe the key got stuck or the game requires you to be extra

Precise it’s clear you can totally reach it so you jump again and again and again and again and again as time goes by and you’re still jumping to no avail you realize something must be wrong in fact at first you can’t believe this is happening maybe this is a puzzle or there are some additional controls but none of these hypotheses pan out after running around

The level you are left in front of a closed door with a switch in plain view with a seemingly very reachable edge and yourself standing below not able to get up there has the world gone mad so what do normal people do at this point they close the app probably never to return in my case as a reviewer i have a responsibility to my audience to do proper research and

To make sure i gave the game ample opportunity guys i was added for 30 minutes straight and i know this doesn’t sound like a lot but imagine doing this for literally 30 minutes now why would i do it it’s basic psychology you start off impartial thinking i’m just going to do this for a while i don’t care but slowly and inevitably your blood begins to boil because

It seems that you should be able to do it i mean i’m like 99% there so you start looking for patterns what if i first faced the other direction what if i jump and use a weapon at the same time what if i jump and move around the corridor and you begin to get invested in this i even looked into a config folder just in case there is a file which has something like

Annoying jump and you just have to switch it off of course there was nothing and so i kept trying i even made it once somehow i found myself on top of this ledge having no idea how it happened i analyzed every single frame but could find no clues nor was i able to reproduce this random success probably this was just a fluke of the physics engine and so eventually

I just gave up but wait i can’t believe the world is so dumb i can’t believe the developer was so dumb so it’s not to see that their game is virtual and playable there has to be a solution to this or at least an explanation so i went to to synaptic package manager’ and look through all the installed files and i kid you not i found something that i just joked

About a minute ago a config file called am conf i could not believe my eyes the file exposed basic physics engine parameters among them is a variable called k jump velocity which was set at 22 so i changed it to 23 my faith in humanity was restored i was ecstatic it was a sense of accomplishment unlike any other but only for a while then the realization came i

Now actually have to play this game the first thing you notice about amphetamine are the sound effects and you have two choices and during the torture or turn sound off but since i already played god in this world once i decided to go a step further it turned out that all the sound effects are just a bunch of wav files so i went ahead and corrected some of the

Okay ones completely replaced the nastier once and made sure that the volume across effects is fairly consistent essentially reworking much of the game sound design i’m several days into playing this game but i still can’t get used to the controls the choice of keys is horrendous you use control to fire excess which weapons in space to jump so that seems like a

Good deal but you use tab to operate switches and because so much of the game involves hitting a switch and then immediately reacting to things going from tab into the space area and positioning your fingers exactly over the right keys that’s just too much to process during a tense moment in the game what do i do now and you’re probably dead the user account file

Actually exposes the keiko’s but i was not immediately able to find which key codes are these this is where i’m a bit disappointed with myself maybe i had to spend more effort at the time since later i found that those are sdl key codes and this is an stl based app but on the other hand it would have been nice if this information was included in the file since sdl

Key codes are not the results you get if you search for key codes typically you get results around system key codes and those don’t match i also remember thinking that maybe this effort is not worth it and i’m gonna be fine eventually but believe if you want to take a stab at this game change the freaking controls the config file mentions a run button the standard

Help screen in the game though says nothing about it the button is c and it does work but not all the time and i found little use for it having many different weapons seems like a fun idea and indeed the amount of weapons is staggering there are eight of them for reference ultimate doom had eight weapons for a little 2d platformer game that seems like a lot but in

Reality your brain has to spend way too much processing power trying to understand what’s going on on the screen which weapon is activated and how much ammo was left in fact the latter is really difficult to gauge from the ui you have this bar and you never know exactly how many shots you have left you just see decreasing slightly and that’s a problem because you

Don’t automatically switch to another weapon once you’re out of ammo you just suddenly stop firing and it takes you a couple of seconds to understand what’s going on but which time you are probably dead but another important thing is that you can never remember the order of the weapons so you have to quickly go through them during battle and some of them don’t

Have and some of them are just not right for this situation and they’re just way too many by the time you get to the one you need you’re probably then sure you can switch them by using the numeric keys one through eight but doing this during battle is still difficult you don’t want to move your hand away from the main controls and i like say doom there is no

Place to run around and buy yourself time you’re usually stuck in these tiny 2d corridors you also don’t actually do that much shooting so remembering which weapon is which is not going to come naturally it’s a disaster i tried searching for a better word but believe me this is the most accurate one playing amateur platformer games you kind of get used to flaky

Collision detection subpar gravity logic awkward constants that make everything jerky and difficult to control but at least you know what you’re working with and can start developing workarounds and tricks the amphetamine physics engine is unlike anything i have ever encountered in my life it lacks consistency it’s a little difficult to explain and it’s not easy

To get on video because it’s inconsistent but the bottom line is that the engine would behave differently at different times the simplest case would be say you’re laboring awaits some jump the platform you’re trying to reach seems just a bit too far so you’re trying trying trying never really making it only to suddenly start reaching it with absolutely no problem

Overshooting even and you can’t believe you ever had any problems with this jump and you’re doing everything exactly the same it’s just that the characters speed across the screen has visibly changed i was not able to figure out what triggers this change but this happened to me on several occasions up to the point that certain parts of the game became dramatically

Easier or harder because the character slowed down or sped up i do think it might have something to do with the mysterious run button like the game might randomly trigger run mode you can’t turn off but this is a hypothesis i was not able to confirm but not only that the parameters of the engine seem to somehow depend on game resolution so that playing the game

In full-screen is a very different experience compared to windowed mode in fact i found windowed mode to generally be easier everything in full screen mode seemed jerky less predictable and i literally could not perform some jumps that only were with a smaller screen maybe there is some time with frames and cpu cycles or pixels or god knows what else but the end

Result is that playing amphetamine is going to feel differently at different times on different machines and in different resolutions and of course the usual quirks apply if the passage is too narrow you might have a very hard time jumping through every block will have an invisible wall protruding out of it so that you always have to move slightly to the right

Player width seems to be dependent on which weapon the character is carrying the water is annoying it has this thick equality when you jump out of it but unfortunately jumps would randomly fail which could be absolutely lethal in many parts of the game i can’t count the amount of times they died because i could not jump out of the water or lava fast enough and then

There is another offender when your character is hurt the engine will not give you a cool-down period therefore if you’re stuck between a wall and an enemy you’re pretty much dead that way even the weakest monster is capable of killing you the attack will simply continue to be propagated as long as you’re touching the enemy additionally the sound effect is also

Retriggered several times a second creating a horrible screech that won’t stop even after you’re dead and what you hear is actually not as bad as what you get with the standard version i replace the sound of you getting hurt with an incredibly quiet sample so that when it gets multiplied it’s not as deafening as the original and it’s still very bad you would think

That with a game that emphasizes lighting you’re going to enjoy some nicely lit levels forget it maybe because the developer wanted to show off his lighting engine through contrast but many many areas in the game are just sadistically dark i frequently had to put my face right in front of the screen in order to see anything enemies and platforms don’t have their

Own brightness and are really well concealed by the darkness which means that in many cases you’re looking at barely visible shadows the monsters themselves are actually quite okay they’re all very different with unique abilities and at the same time they all have an aiming algorithm and are able to avoid projectiles that’s pretty advanced for a 2d platformer and

This is probably the strongest aspect of the game i can definitely remember a couple of really enjoyable battles and this is where the majority of problems lie because even with all the issues we talked about so far you could still design some nice levels and make it an esoteric granite but somewhat enjoyable experience but that’s not where the game decides to go

Instead with its inconsistent engine and poor controls it focuses on grueling dexterity exercises requiring you to perform pixel-perfect maneuvers that stretch the limits of your character’s physical abilities even when everything is working perfectly the game is a long series of arduous stretches from checkpoint to checkpoint again and again you have to jump into

The abyss hoping to land on that precious group of pixels that you can barely even make out on the dark right here’s a situation you get teleported into thin air and instantly fall into a pool of lava from which there is no escape so the goal is while you’re being teleported jump slightly to the left which will allow you to land on a platform the platform contains

A moving floor and if upon landing on it you don’t immediately make another jump it will throw you off into a pool of lava and not only that but the checkpoint from which you’re starting your trial is itself located in a pool of lava so as soon as you reload you’re safe you have to immediately jump out otherwise the lava will start hurting you and that’s not even

The most difficult part of the level another thing is constantly waiting it is normal to have moving platforms with paths that spans several screens which means that if you missed one you’ll have to stand there and wait wait wait and the game takes this brutality many steps further one of the most ruthless perverse and just plain barbaric attacks on human dignity

Is this part you exit the checkpoint and teleport on to a narrow pillar and then you have to wait a really really long time let’s experience this together after a mind-numbing 30 seconds and moving platform emerges you have to jump down onto it which takes quite a bit of practice and it then begins it’s sedated trip shoving you directly into spikes and as you

Try to jump one over you find yourself falling into the abyss since the engine gives you no cooldown period whatsoever standing on the spikes drains your health in a matter of seconds you can do it once maybe twice but then you’re faced with these two spikes and you’re done so you have to stand on the very edge of the platform and you get to that result through

Painful trial and error now your actual attempts take two maybe four seconds and then you’re back at the checkpoint and back to waiting for 30 seconds each time it dulls your senses it’s not fun this doesn’t add anything to the game i’m not even sure there is that much skill involved it just wastes your time time you won’t get back when i encounter this i decided

To time box myself if i don’t go through this within an hour i simply refuse to be bullied like this i’ll just stop the game right there no review nothing but somehow i manage to defeat this bit in exactly one hour but if we do the math most of that hour was spent waiting at least 15 minutes i spent on that pillar just standing there i can tell you this the game

Definitely succeeds in giving you a feeling of accomplishment once you beat it but it’s not the kind of accomplishment that you look back at fondly it’s the kind of feeling you get after a long illness the only thing you want is to get on with your life and pretend that these several past days never happened amphetamine has been included in repositories since

2012 and once something enters a repository it very rarely leaves especially if it’s a game so amphetamine is here to stay and since this is open source it might make sense to outline what could be done to make the game at least somewhat playable first reduce the amount of weapons i would also remove the ammo limitation it’s unnecessary and you just end up not

Being able to use many of the weapon for long stretches of time since rewriting the physics engine is unlikely to ever happen i would focus on redoing the levels with proper game design this game could be made into a relatively enjoyable experience no jumping exercises remove the moving platform trials none of it is fun i would also fix the sound effects like i

Did but do it properly and remove the saundra triggering effect and allow to save the game at any point and redraw the monsters and the main character and fix the lighting and change the unreadable font and rename the game and remove it from standard repositories apart from a section where a compare sound effects you never actually hear how the game really sounds

The effects are so poorly done that before filming i thinned out the nastier sounds with an in queue and a compressor so if you plan on installing the game turn down your volume the last boss is well made and i actually enjoyed the battle the funny part about it is that if you die you can just wait and the boss will eventually kill itself you

Transcribed from video
The Amphetamine Trip By Bad GeekliveBroadcastDetails{isLiveNowfalsestartTimestamp2019-11-16T210026+0000endTimestamp2019-11-16T211942+0000}