Thursday, June 02, 2016


Some day, I will stop thinking of ways to ruin Tetris. But it is not this day.

A little while ago my brain finally realized that two very familiar sets of numbers match up.  Ten main keys on a computer keyboard's homerow, four main rows of ten keys each.  Ten columns in a Tetris playing field, four orientations for Tetris pieces.  And that was that.  From that moment, I had no choice.
A version of Tetris requiring most of the keyboard had to exist.  If it already did, I couldn't find it.  So now the world has one more Tetris clone.
KBtris has a steep learning curve, which is something I would normally shy away from in a game.  But the idea is too compelling.  Traditionally, when a Tetris piece appears, even if you are a master player you still have to get your fingers or thumbs to input something like:
Now, you can do the same thing with:
One keystroke will both rotate your piece to the desired orientation and move it to the desired column.  This of course means you need to _have_ a desired orientation and column, and then hit the correct key out of forty.  It's efficient, but you need all your fingers and your wits about you to get started.  From there, it's not completely unlike learning the piano.

I've played a lot of Tetris in my life; I consider it one of the purest gaming experiences imaginable.  My first goal now that KBtris exists is to get as good and as fast as I can at it.  I'm curious whether I'll be able to keep up with friends who are faster typists.

Beyond that, I want to see someone get really good.  Way beyond my abilities.  I want to see a KBtris Olympian and be shamed.

Maybe _then_ I'll stop thinking up ways to ruin Tetris.

No comments: