Colin Northway

How to play Johann Sebastian Joust without Move controllers, a laptop, or the game

How to play Johann Sebastian Joust without Move controllers, a laptop, or the game

Colin Northway is a game developer who is finishing up the promising Incredipede, and he's doing so in a very unique way; by traveling the world and coding from the road. He's also a huge fan of Johann Sebastian Joust, but his lifestyle makes it hard to carry around a series of laptops and piles of Move controllers. He's had to get creative to get his fix. The first attempt at the game took place during a backyard meeting with a group of indie developers, and it involved apples and plates. They called the game Japple. “No one had Move controllers so I just grabbed an apple and a plate and challenged Mike Boxleiter. It worked well enough that we got a nice five-player game going until the sun went down. Andy's girlfriend Aubrey was a little dismayed that we used the apples she hand-picked earlier in the day for Japple, so the rule was you had to eat the apple when it was over so that it wasn't a waste,” Northway said. “They were bruised but tasty, having been spiced with the glory of victory.” The goal was simple: You had to keep your apple on your plate and knock the apple of your opponent's plate. Here's a quick video of a killing blow.There are other ways to play Joust, and the next day on the beach they had to recreate the game once again. “I gathered up some rocks and flat sticks, drew a court in the sand, and we played for hours. Aubrey has Aikido skills and at one point grabbed my foot and hop-walked me right out of the ring. Mike once lured me into the water and then reverse-head-butted the rock off my stick.” These analog versions of Joust can be played without a copy of the game, using items you have around the house, but they're not as good as the electronic version. “It works but it isn't as good as the real thing. Lots of games end in ties since you can't really be sure who went out first and it obviously doesn't have the speed differences,” Northway explained. “Another odd difference is that when you play J.S. Joust out on the street people get really curious and want to play. When you play a low-fi analog people just think you're crazy.” There are games everywhere, even outside. You just have to go find them.