Bike or Die! is a trial bike racing game for Palm OS devices by Toyspring Games. It has been critically acclaimed and has continued to be popular for over two years due to the humorous graphics, fun game play, free level editor, and heavy online competition, in addition to support for most Palm handhelds. The game has more than 1700 levels, in which the players try to ride the bike to collect the flags as quickly as possible. Bike or Die! allows players to submit their replays to Toyspring's server, where you can compare your times to other players from across the world. You can also view other players' public games here.
Bike or Die! can be played casually, or competitively in the online Hall of Fame by submitting recordings of their games.
Bike or Die! is a five star commercial game that has been downloaded over 15,000 times . It has attracted a community since its beginnings , and today has the biggest forum for any one Palm PDA game . Several levelpacks have been downloaded over 1,000 times, and The Extreme Files has been downloaded nearly 2,000 times . Bike or Die! has remained an active community despite the decline of the Palm gaming community in general.
Bike or Die! History
Bike or Die! was first released on July 12, 2004.
- Version 1.0 - July 12, 2004
- Version 1.1 - July 26 (unknown upgrade)
- Version 1.2 - August 12 (unknown upgrade)
- Version 1.2t - Unknown (added special music control and vibration to the tapwave zodiac, but was merged with Version 1.3)
- Version 1.3 - December 24 (made the game run at the same speed on all Palms)
- Version 1.3g - February 12, 2005 (fixed recording submission from Palms)
- Version 1.3h - March 2 (allowed all hardware buttons to work with the game, and added controls for the Treo 650)
- Version 1.4 - October 15, 2006 (new features, including the Updraft, Ghost Bike, and SD file management)
- Version 1.4a - November 20 (fixed bugs)
- Version 1.4b - February 17, 2007 (fixes a bug in loading extremaly complex levels - like the Kristopher's "Infinity" from the "Scary Files" levelpack)
Bike or Design (Level Editor) Version History
- Version 1.1 - Unknown
- Version 1.2 - October 21, 2006 (supported new features of Bike or Die Version 1.4)
- Version 1.2a - November 20 (supported hi-res+ (again))
Hall of Fame Level History
The Hall of Fame competitions started with only twenty-five levels, which were built into Bike or Die! After people began to redistribute their levels on the Web, SiuLun's Levels were added to the Hall of Fame almost two months later (September 1, 2004), adding eleven more levels. Master KO's Levels (13 levels) on October 29, 2004 and Orr's Levels (12 levels) followed on November 10, 2004. You Qi's Levels (10 levels) came in March 3, 2005, during You Qi's short reign as Time Trial Champion.
By that time, several hundred levels were available, so instead of using levelpacks made by a single person, compilation packs, with levels made by several designers, became a standard. The Summer Pack (16 levels) became part of the Time Trial on June 24, 2005, although the levels were made before then.
After a long time, on March 22, 2006 Newbie pack was release consisting 16 levels. Followed by Sweet Fifteen on August 21, 2006 with 15 levels in it. Together with the new Bike or Die version 1.4, the New Deal pack was released on October 15, 2006 adding 15 more levels to the competition. This pack use the new features of Bike or Die such as updraft and slippery surfaces.
After a long discussion, debates and votes of several players, on February 24, 2007 there is a new levelpack called Old School contains 15 levels of old levels that created before but too interesting to left behind at the Hall of Fame. It follows with the Next Generation levelpack (15 levels) which entering the Time Trial Championship on March 11.
Time Trial Champion History
Competition has reached insane levels, as players try to lead the biggest Hall of Fame competition. The first long-term Time Trial Champion was Rachman!, who is still considered to be among the best players. PrayeR was the next Time Trial Champion, followed by DavidKing. Mike Flips and Cirenco may soon be the new Time Trial Champions.
Official Site History
The Bike or Die! site was not complete when Bike or Die! released, but has grown to meet the popularity among the players.
- Forum — March 2, 2005 (let people start threads instead of commenting on peoples' games)
- Levelpack explorer — March 2 (let users navigate the growing library of levels)
- Monster Level List — March 4 (shows all of the levels on one page)
- Chat room — December 6, 2006
- Flash Tool — December 6 (let people make online movies from the levels they made. Previously, you could only see movies for levels in the Hall of Fame.)
Playing the Game
Controls and Objectives
The game itself involves using a Palm's keys to control the movement of the biker. The player must guide the biker through all of the checkpoint flags (if there are any). The level is completed when the biker reaches the finish flag. (If there is no finish flag, then the biker only has to pass the checkpoints.) In each level, there are usually obstacles and challenging terrain that will cause the biker to crash and fall of the bike. When this happens, the word "Failed" appears on the screen and the player must restart the level from the beginning. A player crashes when they either run into a mine (which is an object that is randomly placed in some levels - or sometimes strategically placed) or when the biker's body hits the ground or a wall. The bike is very springy and can wheelie, flip, do jumps, etc. However, if they bike has too much force when hitting an object, the bike will go through the ground, the biker will crash, and the level must be restarted.
The game has very few rules. Get the flags without dying. Some players have manipulated the physics, forcing the bike wheels through the ground to the finish on the other side.
Elements of the Game
- Updraft (New to Version 1.4 - November 2006)
- Slippery Surfaces (New to Version 1.4 - November 2006)
Settings (Menu Options)
- Control Settings
- Recording Settings
- Sound Settings
- Bike or Die! comes with multiple sound settings: no sound, realistic sounds, and simple sounds. Simple sounds are beeps, which are the only sound types available on older Palm handhelds (e.g. Handspring Visors, older Palm Inc. models like the III series, and older Sony Clie handhelds like the TG615) while the realistic sounds are full-quality sound samples, for newer Palms. Some of the Bike or Die! sound samples include people cheering and making comments and realistic bike sounds, but an additional data file (.PDB) with the sound data is needed for the realistic sounds.
- Special Features for the Tapwave Zodiac
- Since the Tapwave Zodiac has unique gaming features, there was originally a version of Bike or Die! exclusively for it. Regular Palms could use v1.2, and the Zodiac could use 1.2T. V1.2T had exclusive features, and could be purchased directly from Tapwave.
Those two versions were merged in v1.3, which ran on all Palms. It had the Zodiac enhanced features (except v1.3 no longer let Zodiac owners look around the screen with the analog controller), but hid them from all other Palms. The Zodiac features have remained in all versions of Bike or Die! since v1.3. Bike or Die! v1.2T is outdated, and should be replaced with the latest version.
V1.2T and all newer versions of Bike or Die! support vibration when run on the Zodiac, for when the bike hits the ground. They also support music control on the Zodiac via menus built directly into Bike or Die! The music control can associate each level with a certain song, or just turn a certain song on when Bike or Die starts.
Gameplay involves working your way through a levelpack. A levelpack is a pack of levels (any amount of levels) that a player can play. However, only the first two levels of each pack are available to be played. A level can only be played if one of the prior two levels have been beaten. Therefore it is possible to get stuck at a certain level and not be able to move on. The Easter Eggs can help in this situation.
Bike or Die! comes with 25 levels, and an addition 1700+ levels can be downloaded from the Bike or Die! web site. 163 of these levels are currently in the Time Trial competition. Most of these levels were made by players, and selected for the Time Trial by popular demand. Levels are occasionally added to the Time Trial in groups of 10-16 levels.
New players should start off by trying to beat all of the levels. Then, they should set benchmarks, usually 25 points at a time. For example, after beating all the levels, they should then say, I will now get every score to at least rank 150. Then 125, then 100, then 75, then 50, then 25.... This strategy allows new players to improve their skills and rank at the same time in an organized manner. Another way to do well is to take a totally different approach. you can choose a level and focus intentily on that level until you have produced medal time. then you can keep doing so until you have ammased a pile of medals. A current active player Vega has done this quite well and has almost unbeatable times on most of the levels that he has played.
Bike or Design (Level Editor)
The Bike or Design program is separate from Bike or Die!, but it is free once you have purchased the game. The level editor runs on essentially all Palm handhelds, and has been a success due to its effective simplicity.
Using the Level Editor
Players can use the editing tool in order to create their own levels or to edit levels that they have downloaded onto their palm. There is an official tutorial on how to use Bike or Design here. Players can edit existing levels to make them easier, or they can make a new levelpack, with multiple levels, and submit the levelpack to the Bike or Die! site. These levels are shown at the site, and can be freely downloaded by other players. Some levels on the Bike or Die! site will become part of the Hall of Fame, which means the pros will play these levels for months.
- Some players use the editing tool to edit Hall of Fame levelpacks. They can change the starting location so that they can practice certain parts of the level in order to get better at the level. This is useful because some levels are really long and instead of playing many times for a minute just to get to the hard part, players can now start at the hard part right away and save a lot of time. A game played on an edited Hall of Fame level can no longer be submitted to the Hall of Fame competition, so not saving the edited changes is always a smart idea.
- Make the level near the middle of the editing area. The closer to the boundaries, the more likely the level will not work.
- Hall of Fame levels must be clear and to the point, not sloppy and confusing.
- If a floor does not appear to be solid, split that line segment into two parts and it will become solid and the biker will not fall through.
- Before you make a level, try defining your work area by enlarging the original square to create the borders of the level you are going to make.
- Keep Bottles in mind; if a player has to press fewer than five keys in order to beat the level, it may be a Bottle level. Look at Bottle, Shelf, and Downhill madness. None of them need over 10 key presses to get a top time.
A good idea for a pack is to have a theme. many levelpacks do but most don't. many great levels are made due to a theme.
Making Levels Others Will Want to Play
With over 1700 levels now available, people will not play every level that is released. Most players want very easy levels, as long as they don't finish them too quickly. This is why the Extreme Files levelpack was exceptionally successful; it contained over 100 levels, which were easy to complete, so many players were able to play them all.
- Have a clear message of what the player should do in your levels.
- Most levels should be beatable by all with the exception of a few levels.
- Make sure there are tricks that skilled players can figure out. This makes all my levels interesting for all types of players. This is also how all the Hall of Fame levels so far have been done. Whenever a new player mentions a level, all the skilled players immediately think, "I know the trick for that level."
- Do not make the level hard to see due to the color scheme.
- If a level begins with 10 seconds of doing nothing (constantly accelerating, or just coasting), the level becomes boring or annoying to complete. There always needs to be excitement and too much of nothing will ruin a level.
- Because there are all these new features out, people will try to make levels with all the features, and use tons of features to make the levels cool. Instead of doing that, which creates confusion, keep the levels simple with only a little bit of the new features. Don't use endless updrafts. Be smart when using the new features.
- Test your levels! This is really important. No matter what skill level you are, test your levels to make sure they are beatable. If you can not beat a level, ask a more skilled player to look at it if you need to. If the level can not be beat within the first 10 minutes, or you don't think it can ever be beat, usually the best idea is to make it an easier level, or get rid of the level. Although Braking School and Cave Dweller were difficult, the players at least all knew they were beatable from looking at them. Also, someone else's opinion is always helpful as you can see your level from an outsider's perspective.
- Never put two really hard levels in a row. If you do, a lot of players may possibly get stuck and not be able to advance in your levelpack. The exception to this rule is if the levels are at the end of the pack, like Newbie pack (Parachute and Die or Die). These levels became available to most people, and since they were the last 2 levels, nobody got stuck.
- Keep the levels between 10–30 seconds for them to be most enjoyable. The majority of people enjoy shorter, faster levels. Longer levels can be enjoyable, but a majority of the levels should be the shorter kind with a few longer levels spaced out in between.
- Level should look professional if you want them to get into the Hall of Fame. Make sure all your lines are smooth. As well, make sure there are no places where the bike falls through the ground. If this is happening, split the line segment that the biker can fall through into two or more smaller lines.
- Naming the levels is also important. Try making clever names that relate to your level, instead of random names.
- Themed levels can also be a nice feature of a level pack. Konecnik and Konecnik Down were themed levels. Even Kristopher's new pack Biker Meets World has a nice theme within the Ribbon levels. There can also be themed levelpacks, such as Mike's pack, MF Olympics and Kristopher's The Maze levelpack.
- If you do not have any ideas for a level and are experiencing "Bike or Die Editor's Block" you have two choices. 1) Talk to Dr. Cirenco, who can always help. 2) Look around you and create a level from anything you see.
- Watch the size! Levels don't have to take up the whole area in Bike or Design. Better yet, don't ever do that. The smaller a level, usually the better the level. Large levels are bad for many reasons. Firstly, they take forever to beat. Secondly, the load time can be painful. Finally, if you die near the end, you have to start ALL over. However, there is a limit to how small a level should be. They really shouldn't be any smaller the Bottle, just for times sake. (The Bottle is a good example, look at how close the times are!)
- Simplicity is sweet. Don't try to make a level as complex as the Chaos Theory. Try to keep it simple.
- Make the levels fun! Try to add certain obstacles that challenge the person who is playing the level! Challenges make the game more fun. If you make a level really easy and boring, then no one will want to play it.
- Do not try to make a level like Underground that has a secret route on purpose. It's more fun to let the players try to find cool ways to do the level that you didn't intend them to be able to do in the first place.
Publishing Your Levelpacks Online
Levelpacks, which store a group of levels, are stored in .PRC files. If you have made a levelpack, you can add them to the official levelpack list by emailing Sz. There are three ways to get the levelpacks attached to emails.
- Hotsync your Palm, then search your hard drive for the file by name. The levelpack should be in C:\Program Files\Palm… You do not need to submit the accompanying results file, with your progress.
- Go to the Bike or Die! menu, then go to Select Level→More. Highlight the levelpack, then click on the SD icon, and move the levelpack to your SD card. The levelpack will be stored in Card\Palm\Programs\BikeorDie\Levelpacks. You can access the levelpack on your computer through an SD card reader.
- Use your Treo to email the file directly. [Tutorial needed]
Bike or Die! Online
The Official Bike or Die! Site
The official site has an original forum and Hall of Fame competition. The site has been exceptionally successful, and is second to no other Palm gaming site, because of the movies, which allow a player to watch the games from other players.
Forums There is a Bike or Die forum on the official website where players can discuss anything they would like to.
Submitted game recordings can be converted to Flash files for online viewing. Players can choose for their runs to be public or private. A public run means that all other players can watch a video of the run. Players choose to make their runs private when they have discovered a new trick that they do not wish anyone else to discover.
The Head-to-Head feature was added early in March 2007, and shows two bikes on the same level. See it here.
Entering the Competition The Hall of Fame provides much competition. (See below.) To enter the competition, you have to get the saved games from your Palm to the online server. There are three ways to do this. To start uploading your recordings now, click here. That page also explains the uploading process in detail.
- You can manually select recordings one at a time, and upload them through the Submit Form. This is the slowest way, but it can work without Java. If you store your recordings on an SD card, and have an SD card reader, you can submit them from your SD card this way, without Hotsyncing.
- You can use the Java Sync program to upload all of your latest recordings. After initial setup, this program will only needs two clicks to submit all of your games. However, you need to Hotsync your Palm before running this program.
- A third option is to use the Bike or Die! game to submit directly from your Palm through its Internet connection. This is best for the Treo Palms, but can also work through WiFi on some Palms.
Hall of Fame
The Hall of Fame is a set of online competitions based upon 163 official levels. Players can enter the competition by submitting recordings of their games. There are several divisions to the Hall of Fame, and more may be added later. The following are the 11 levelpacks with the 163 levels used for the Hall of Fame competitions.
- Standard Levels
- Riding School
- Riding School Part 2
- Double Sprint
- Sinus Mountains
- The Right Way
- Wheel Insider
- Vertical Avenue
- Vanilla Sky
- Clay Serpent
- Big Cheese
- Downhill Madness
- Jurassic Parking
- Golden Gate
- Touch Bricks
- U Jump
- Spike Cave
- Me vs. The Gravity
- The Well
- Pipe Universe
- SiuLun's Levels
- Jump Over
- Up! Up! Up!
- Watch your head
- Up stairs
- Master KO's Levels
- Purple Palace
- Omaha Beach
- Moon Madness
- Bike Impossible
- Midnight Mess
- Sleeps With The Fishes
- Human Insides
- Bike O'Clock
- Konecnik Down
- OrR's Levels
- OrR's Cave
- Loop 1
- Loop 2
- Loop 3
- Cave 2
- You Qi Levels
- Mount Kinabalu
- KL City Centre
- You Qi
- Home Sweet Home
- Finding Mice
- Oil Drop
- Summer Pack
- Red Murder
- Grand Canyon
- Hank Chill
- Cave Dweller
- Catapult Back
- Obstacalis Muchus
- Fear Of The Dark
- Jump or Die
- Newbie Pack
- Jumping Trial
- ƒlip that ƒlipper...
- Way Up There
- Double-back Jumps
- Foothill Half Circle
- Sharper Than Glass
- ‡urn I‡, ‡wis‡ I‡, E‡c.
- Spike Mountain
- Die or Die!
- Sweet Fifteen
- Mostly Harmless
- Piece Of Cake
- Olympic Rings
- Sinus Revisited
- The Beach
- 100 Yard Dash
- Love maze
- Angry Man
- Alien Sculpture
- Braking school
- New Deal
- Bigger Than Life
- Wet Stone
- Lunar Ice
- Half Normal
- Pick Five
- Old School
- Hill Marathon
- Red Sox 1
- Borszczuk's Delight
- The Default Cave
- Like a Glove
- Welcome to the Jungle
- Rock Climber
- Save the Princess!!
- Inside Building
- Leap of Faith
- Next Generation
- Superman Returns
- Ice Skating
- Mike's Level
- Jive in the Five
- FBI: Hidden Lair
- 50m Swim
- Mario 1-1
- Can You Bike Right?
- Pirates of the Caribbean
- Batman Begins
- King Kong
- So Close, Yet So Far
- Coal Miner Rescue
Bottles This term comes from the level Bottle in Master Ko's levels. In this level, a special route was discovered. It was the fastest possible route on the level. Every other time either tied this specific time (6.26 seconds) or was slightly behind. Many many people are within the same tenth of a second as all the scores have "bottled up" around the fastest score. This level caused problems in the Time Trial until the newer, current scoring method was implemented. Shelf also hurt the Time Trial under the old ranking method, as it featured over 30 people tied with the fastest score of 7.74 seconds. The new scoring method in the Time Trial has fixed problems from Shelf and Bottle, but both Bottle and Shelf still affect the Medals by Country and the Golden Club competitions as much as any other level, which some see as unfair. The times on these levels may not be beatable, so it may be impossible to take the Gold medals for these levels from the current medalists.
This competition is the competition that most people focus on because it was the first competition, and (this is debatable) ranks the players according to skill most accurately. The Time Trial Champion is the player who has the most points in all Hall of Fame levels, combined.
The scoring method was changed in November 2006, but the changes had little effect towards the better players. The change mainly fixed the scoring problems for Bottle, Shelf, and Downhill Madness. The current system awards 100 points to the person with the fastest time. In the event of a tie, both players get 100 points. Then second and third place gets 99 and 98 points, and so on. There is a curve, so a player ranked #50 in a level gets (100 - 50 = 50) points, but a person ranked #100 in a level will get (100 - 75 points = 25) for that level. The points for all 163 levels are added, and the player with the most points will be the time trial champion. This method, as opposed to the Golden Club, favors players who play all of the levels poorly, instead of the players who will just play a few levels well. It also puts equal weight on each level, instead of putting importance on the larger levels. On February 17, 2007 the scoring method is added with Bonus Point system. This system will give some bonus points for top 15 of each level.
|Rank||Standard Scoring||After Bonus Points Were Added||Bonus Points Given|
In this competition, the time it takes a player to beat all 163 Hall of Fame levels is added, and the player with the shortest time wins. This competition puts emphasis on the larger levels. It used to be only players who have completed all levels can enter this competition, which keeps even some good players from this competition. But now the competition has change a little bit thanks to Bones idea. Now you don't have to complete all levelpacks to enter this competition. Players are arranged in groups according to the number of levelpacks. Only the subsequent levelpacks are counted, e.g. Standard + SiuLun's + Master KO's + Newbie count as 3 LP because OrR's was skipped. So now the Total Race will not become empty after adding new levelpacks!
Medals by Country
Each player can select the country that they live in as their "home country." Then, every medal that they get can go towards their respective country's medal ranking. This ranking shows the country with the most golds first, if there is a tie, it shows the one with the most silvers. The U.S. has always stayed near the top, due to many American players, however, there are certain countries that are in the top 5 due to a single champion such as Cirenco from Chile, and Mike Flips from Canada. Controversy Some players have been known to switch countries in order to make one country the best. For example, 5 players from the U.K. might join together in Thailand and this will make Thailand jump up the rankings and the U.K. will fall.
This competition focuses on gold medals. For each day a player has a gold medal, they are awarded 1 point. This competition was made to remember the former players in Bike or Die! If a player stops playing, he will lose his rank in the Time Trial as soon as new levels are added, but he will stay in the Golden Club for a long time. Rachman!, player #75 of 4000, is still one of the Top 10 Golden Club champions, even though he has not played in over a year. The fastest time on any Hall of Fame level receives a gold medal. The second place receives silver, and the third place bronze. This is a way of showing off your skills and is also the key to the Golden Club competition.
Strategies In order to get a gold, a player must be really dedicated to the level, or they must be creative and find a new route that is faster than what other people have thought of. New players should not be afraid to spend many many hours and thousands of tries in order to get a gold medal. Since a gold medal really showcases talent, it is a worthwhile endeavor.
Controversy There has been much controversy with the scoring for this club. The forums on the official Bike or Die website discuss many of these issues. The key issues are that some (including Mike Flips, who wrote this paragraph :-P) feel that this club caters to the older players who played when the game first came out and it was easier to get golds.
This competition involves submitting a "freestyle" run. Other players then get the chance to vote on this run if they like it. Each player gets 3 votes on any freestyle run of their choice. The run with the most votes is also the Freestyle Champion.
Controversy Since not a lot of people vote, the freestyle contest is not very prestigious. It also means that it is very difficult to move up in this ranking. The number 1 run also gets a gold medal for their accomplishment. This is controversial because there are not enough people who care about the competition to vote for another run and the number 1 run may not deserve the gold. Another issue has been people creating fake accounts in order to vote for their own game.
Other Bike or Die! References
There have been several third party references to Bike or Die!, including fan sites, reviews, and level redistribution.
Places to Buy Bike or Die
Reviews Bike or Die! has received many five star reviews, by both customers and official reviewers.
- Handango Over a dozen customer reviews all give five stars.
- Mobile Tech Review Full review gives five stars for Fun Meter and Addictivity.
- My Treo Customers all give positive reviews.
- Palm Gear Customer reviews all give five stars.
Third Party Level Redistribution Levels have been primarily redistributed at palmgear.com. Early levels were sold for under $5, but most are free now (at least 90%), due to the quantity of levels. Some levelpacks, such as The¥Pack Levels 1.0, have been downloaded nearly 2,000 times from Palmgear, in addition to being downloaded from several other sites. These numbers suggest a Bike or Die! audience much bigger than the Bike or Die! web site shows.
- This is the amount of levels in the Hall of Fame competitions. These levels were specially chosen from the 1700 different levels.
- This is a term is from the level Bottle in Master Ko's levels. In this level, a special route was discovered. It was the fastest possible route on the level. Every other time either tied this specific time (6.26 seconds) or was slightly behind. Many many people are within the same tenth of a second as all the scores have "bottled up" around the fastest score.
- Hall of Fame
- This is a set of online competitions. Players can enter the competition by submitting recordings of their games.
- These are the things to avoid in Bike or Die! They look like explosive mines!
- X-Moto, a GPL'd clone of Elasto Mania for Linux, Windows and Mac OS X systems (X-moto homepage)
- Motorama, a commercial clone
- Elastomania, the original game
- Bike or Die! official homepage
- Kristopher Windsor's Bike or Die! site
- The unofficial Bike or Die! movies site
- Bike or Die! at Click Gamer
- Bike or Die! - Palmgear.com. Palmgear. Palmgear (2007-04-09). Retrieved on 2007-04-09.
- Create or Die! - Emuboards. Emuboards. Emuboards (2007-04-09). Retrieved on 2007-04-09.
- Bike or Die!. Bike or Die!. Toyspring (2007-04-09). Retrieved on 2007-04-09.
- Bike or Die! - Palmgear.com. Palmgear. Palmgear (2007-04-09). Retrieved on 2007-04-09.