Paper Snake Game

Created 2023-04-30 / Edited 2023-07-20

Creating a simple snake game with the help of ChatGPT.

Pixelated snake, possibly in the desert, somewhat two-dimensional. Image by Bing Image Creator.

I was chatting with Mario about a school project he was working on. Essentially, he needed to write a program in Elm (based on a list of lesser-used languages) that exemplified what the language is typically used for. Since Elm is a highly reactive, web-centric language, I suggested creating a game. He chose Snake, a simple and solid option.

For some reason, I began contemplating Snake, specifically considering potential design or game elements that could be added to it. Two ideas came to mind. The first was to render the snake as a flat piece of paper, with each segment possibly being a tiny scrap of paper, and animate it in a style reminiscent of stop-motion animation. The second idea involved the snake "jumping over" or "diving under" its existing segments. I'm sure these ideas have been explored before, but they sounded fun :)

Mario completed his traditional Snake game before I could even share my paper-snake concept with him, so I decided to give it a try myself. I also wanted to practice using TypeScript. After finding a nice PhaserJS + Typescript + Vite template I was off and running!

While experimenting with various technologies, I thought I'd mix in some practice with ChatGPT. I loaded it up and began asking questions about building a Snake game using this stack. Since the Snake game concept is so common and straightforward... I found that ChatGPT had TONS of knowledge about implementing Snake. I prompted it in a few different ways to incorporate my style and game concepts, and I think it saved me hours of research time.

Within one afternoon, I (or should I say, we?) had a working game with the jumping feature and everything! I'm pretty sure ChatGPT could have written almost this whole thing from scratch/memory, btw. But it also followed my direction on naming and organization.

GIF demonstrating Paper Snake. Red shadows are when the snake is jumping.

It does not yet look like super cool paper animations, heh.

You can see the current version of the game and the corresponding github repo for paper-snakes.

Comment by replying on Mastodon!