Ludum Dare 35 — April 15th-18th, 2016 — Theme: Shapeshift

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Changelings' Lair

by Haighstrom - Compo Entry

A Dungeon Keeper type game. With a statue of a fat bear you need to protect for some reason.

I was a bit over ambitious for this LD and I reeeeeally ran out of time, so sorry for the bits that aren't working so well / seem a bit unfinished. I had a huge list of other things I wanted to add (especially more things for the player to do) but sadly I had to wrap it up. Will defo keep working on this one post-compo, so let me know what else you'd have liked to see in your feedback. :)

It's just about all working and sort of balanced! I didn't much like the theme, but I added some small nods to "shapeshifting".

There are some instructions in-game, but based on some feedback below that people can't work out how to play:

-Your objective is to protect the bearshrine through various waves of enemies.
-You do this by building rooms which attract creatures to your dungeon
-You have to choose which of your Creatures to "shapeshift" into Workers, so you can mine gold (you do this by casting "Morph Worker" on them)
-Your units will do stuff like use rooms and fight enemies on their own, although they are a bit thick sometimes (since their AI was written by me)
-The unit stats are all hidden to you, the player, so you have to watch them carefully during fights to see which ones are good (generally the more expensive the room that attracts them, the better they are)

-Creatures spawn automatically from your portal
-Workers can only be created by casting "Morph Worker" on a Creature
-Workers ONLY gather gold from mines, they can't fight or do anything else
-The Mine lets Workers gather Gold
-Creatures do various tasks, including fight enemies, but DON'T mine gold
-The Library attracts blue blobs and lets them gather extra mana for you (i didn't have time to make an animation for this, sorry it's not obvious)
-The Healing room heals injured Creatures
-The other rooms just attract stronger Creatures
-Building more than one of the same room will mean it's more likely to get the creatures it attracts (e.g. get loads of libraries if you want blue blobs)
-Only 3 guys can use one room at the same time. So for example if you have 6 Workers, you need 2 Mines.

The best way to start each level is:
-Buy a Mine
-Cast Morph Worker on a Creature
Now you have a Worker gathering gold. Probably want a library next to start attracting blue blobs, and gathering Mana. Then it's up to you.

Downloads and Links




Linver says ...
Apr 18, 2016 @ 4:55am

Why did you skip humor voiting? It is good.
I have fun from unlocks\ new morphs, but I can't speed up the game. It do game very boring after one loose

Wevel says ...
Apr 18, 2016 @ 5:41pm

Cool strategy game, could do with a bit more of a description as to what rooms do

Wirdo91 says ...
Apr 18, 2016 @ 5:49pm

Didn't really get what the library was for, and heal didn't seem to work, but overall, nice game.

DifferentName says ...
Apr 18, 2016 @ 6:13pm

Wow, there's a lot going on in this game. I like the art like the little crabs, and I like the ambition of what this game is going for. I feel like there's not a lot I could do though, aside from waiting for more gold to get mined so I could build another room.

I think I would have liked the Guide to explain more of what I'm supposed to do instead of what everything is, but I think I got the hang of it after I realized which units were mine, and that it's inspired by Dungeon Keeper.

Also, my game also has a Bear! Yay for Bears!

DifferentName says ...
Apr 18, 2016 @ 6:14pm

Oh yeah, and I love the Click to Continue screen. Totally would have given some humor points for that.

Drusilla says ...
Apr 18, 2016 @ 8:01pm

The bear is very cute. There didn't seem to be a whole lot for my units to do early on, it seemed very casual.

sP0CkEr2 says ...
Apr 19, 2016 @ 4:20am

oh i really liked this game - very well done - added to my favorites

Hempuli says ...
Apr 19, 2016 @ 10:27am

I had fun watching the little creatures scurry around. The game is fairly slow-paced which makes have to retry a bit frustrating, and I felt like my options were pretty limited most of the time. Still, a very enjoyable little building game! :)

MrBoxBox says ...
Apr 19, 2016 @ 8:20pm

This is a very nice game. However I feel like there isn't that much to do here. Most of the time im just waiting for more mana and gold to build up. I also didn't really have a clue what all the rooms did until i read the description.
The placement of the rooms didn't seem to matter that much.
Maybe the enemies should prioritize your workers so you should place your mines as far away from the enemy spawn and the bear idol. Maybe the player could even design the layout of the dungeon rather than placing rooms in pre-determined locations.
Now what i liked about this game.
I loved watching all the creatures wander about inside the fortress.
I think the economic side of this game has some potential. It was fun to get miners and see the gold go up faster and faster. There is also an interesting risk in having too many miners as you can't have as much fighters and libaries to generate mana.
I find the graphics in this game in general to be really charming. They remind me of dos games in the early 90's.

Overall this is a good game with a lot of ambition. I would be interested to see you develop this further. I'd also like to thank you for your comment on my game. I found it very informative and it motivated me to keep working on it and gave me some idea how to improve it.

pixelpotions says ...
Apr 20, 2016 @ 5:16pm

To be this minimalist and still look cool is a really hard job, and you did it!
It's a really simple but cool game! Only thing that I could mention, in other hand, is the speed of the game. A possible solution could be a speed up button!
Good entry anyway!

MalyTimi says ...
Apr 20, 2016 @ 7:21pm

Woow Great strategy game:D fun 5/5

Yumeito says ...
Apr 21, 2016 @ 8:12pm

Nice Game:)

tomdeal says ...
Apr 21, 2016 @ 8:17pm

cool game, very complex for such a short timespan.

M2tias says ...
Apr 21, 2016 @ 8:27pm

Nice casual strategy game! Reminds me of rymdkapsel, which is a good thing :D
I liked the graphics and music, most of the graphics are good enough for even a longer project. Maybe a better fighting visualisation or something would have been nice, but I can't really complain about anything else.
Except when I click outside of the window, it would be nice if it didn't read the key input. I lost my progress because of that ;___;

Cerno_b says ...
Apr 21, 2016 @ 8:40pm

So you went ahead and made a lo-fi Dungeon Keeper in just two days. That is pretty insane by itself.

The execution is very neat, I love the pixel art, the music and the sheer volume of content.

I found a bug though that made it fairly easy to win the game (unless that is by design). When I heal the bear, it does not cost me 10 mana but instead it gains me 10 mana. So it means I cannot lose and I can easily rack up mana points to get more workers to get more gold to get the good rooms to kick out the heroes.

All in all one of my Compo favorites of LD35. Great work, would definitely be worth pursuing further. A well made, low resolution content-rich Dungeon Keeper game would be something I could see people pay for. I might.

Haighstrom says ...
Apr 21, 2016 @ 10:41pm

Thanks for your kind reviews :)

I think with some work this game could turn out great as a longer project, but I just didn't have time to make everything the game needed in such a short space of time! I did want the pace of the game to be slow, but currently there's just not enough to do. I think letting the player dig out their own rooms is a must, really, and maybe some of the exploration that Dungeon Keeper had would be good to some extent too. I'll get on it post-compo!

I noticed this bug, Cerno_b. It's actually that there's no check you have enough mana to buy Heal, so you can spend it and go into the negative. But my text class is so bad that it can't render negative signs (so there's just a space before the first number)... I'll fix this later.

Haighstrom says ...
Apr 21, 2016 @ 10:43pm

And M2tias, I also get annoyed that "r" key registers when you go type on another window and restarts the level. But my window class doesn't have "focussed/unfocussed" events firing properly yet (my DLL is a personal library - it's all written in native C# by me, so it's a bit limited and buggy).

Haighstrom says ...
Apr 21, 2016 @ 10:46pm

And I definitely need to build more graphical effects, to show WTF is happening in the library :)

zoeinfp says ...
Apr 24, 2016 @ 3:01pm

Wow ! Really good job in just few days !! It's almost a complete game.

SIN Gaiiden2 says ...
May 4, 2016 @ 2:38pm

nice concept :) keep up :)
try our game plz

TheCain says ...
May 6, 2016 @ 2:15am

My biggest complaint is that the game is too slow paced. The money is earned very slowly, and when I lost the second level I didn't feel like replaying.
I think there is potential here, but it needs a little polish.

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