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

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Space Cows from Taurus

by goffmog - Compo Entry

Space cows from Taurus is a game about shifting* shapes. Specifically shifting blocky spiky space cow shapes into the habitat (for processing into space beef) on a strange alien world, while some tripods seem to have nothing better to do than try to stop you.

Instructions are found ingame.

Obligatory pathetic excuse: This wasn't actually the game mechanic I was originally going for. Hopefully the graphics evoke games like Virus/Zarch and Archipelagos on the Atari ST/Acorn computers back in the day I did originally want to make a kind of Archipelagos clone with the cows able to morph into obelisks but the whole mechanic of spreading a field of corruption failed to work with the way I create the terrain... (blah blah unity and deforming meshes at runtime blah) Also Virus style ship controls turned out to be almost impossible to play with... Funny that ;)

Sorry about the end-states :|

And yes I know it should be "reticulating"

SHIFT (verb): to transfer from one place, position, person, etc., to another:

I'm so glad that this is obvious, plainly spelled out in the first paragraph, and that there will be no comments about the lack of a metamorphosing mechanic.

Downloads and Links




CodeCast says ...
Apr 18, 2016 @ 6:54am

Not really sure what shifts into what, or how?

goffmog says ...
Apr 18, 2016 @ 8:47am

@CodeCast Nothing shifts into anything, because themes that lead to constrained mechanics are rubbish. As I said, there are shapes and you shift them from place to place. As I also said, the original mechanic had you actually turning the cows into things but the eventual game is how it is because after a certain point I had to get some gameplay in that I was going to get done in time. Comments/criticism about the things I *have* done would be really appreciated. Thanks for playing.

Marsouin says ...
Apr 18, 2016 @ 2:07pm

What a beautiful game !

ohi12 says ...
Apr 18, 2016 @ 2:15pm

Great game, fun, and great use of the theme. Not the classic "player changing shapes" game.

Per says ...
Apr 18, 2016 @ 2:26pm

Nice game mechanics and visuals.
I really like the look of the game, although the particles and missiles need some work ;)

goffmog says ...
Apr 18, 2016 @ 2:36pm

@Per guilty as charged - the missiles were a 47th hour addition after the land corruption mechanic failed to work out. They're very much the minimum viable product :)

JNI says ...
Apr 18, 2016 @ 2:37pm

Where is the shift into something?
But best score in humor

KodingNights says ...
Apr 18, 2016 @ 3:00pm

Did not understand that those green thingies were the cows at first. The controls were a little bit too sensitive. However it was quite enjoyable to just fly around looking at the terrain that I will just assume is randomly generated?

MintArcade says ...
Apr 18, 2016 @ 3:00pm

Nice game's visuals. For me controls are very sensetive, but oh it is fun!

goffmog says ...
Apr 18, 2016 @ 3:07pm

@KodingNights I don't understand, do cows not look like that where you're from? Terrain was a big part of the original game-plan and ended up being something of a backdrop. The world is different every time you start and creating the meshes is what's really going on during the progress bar bit.

Apr 18, 2016 @ 3:37pm

The turning was super-sensitive for me, made it very difficult to steer. Maybe mouse-look would have been better? :)

Apr 18, 2016 @ 3:44pm

The ground looks really good! Nice color palette fitting in nicely with the game. And it was quite fun to play :) I also found the controls much to sensitive, and a tip is to make the camera follow more smoothly using the Vector3.Lerp function. Great work! :D

goffmog says ...
Apr 18, 2016 @ 4:11pm

Would indeed have addressed the controls in the suggested ways, it's no exaggeration though to say that all the gameplay elements including controls went in, in the cheapest ways possible, in the last few hours. Thanks for the feedback

egos says ...
Apr 18, 2016 @ 5:29pm

I love cows
Well polished and 5/5 just for the message during loading screen
the rotate speed is a too high for me

TLansdale says ...
Apr 18, 2016 @ 5:32pm

Woo, a fancy terrain! Nice :)

ceosol says ...
Apr 18, 2016 @ 5:33pm

The game was a little difficult to control. I would tap a or d and spin completely around. Any time I descended at all, the red things would appear out of no where.

I think this was a little too big of a project for 48 hours. I hope you have a chance to fine tune it for a post-comp release. But great job getting this far in a short time.

goffmog says ...
Apr 18, 2016 @ 5:47pm

@ceosol Sounds like the controls really were a lot more sensitive for most people than they are for me. I wonder why that is. The red balls are fired from the tripods up to a certain range, but they're fired through a curve so sometimes you won't see them until they land on you... It's lame, but for a mechanic that was thought of and executed in less than an hour I'm perversely proud of it. You're right about scope being an issue but actually it was the scope of the original design that ate up all my time. Thanks for playing!

SuperDolfy says ...
Apr 18, 2016 @ 6:32pm

I completely agree with the stuff said on the loading screen. Other then that, those controls were fun. But it was enjoyable to play.

cornand34 says ...
Apr 18, 2016 @ 6:39pm

Thanks for your comment on my game, i'm glad you liked my lines xD
For your game, i dislike how there is no music, or atleast some sound when i pickup a cow/get hit, it makes the game feel more boring.

MrDave says ...
Apr 18, 2016 @ 6:41pm

Graphically the game looks great. I have a minor complaint that I found the turn speed too fast making it quite hard to control, however that is a minor complaint on what is otherwise a very good game.

goffmog says ...
Apr 18, 2016 @ 6:46pm

@cornand34 Yeah a agree, it's hard achieving mood with only graphics and gameplay. I spent about an hour playing my guitar on Saturday, got some nice weird ambient scary stuff down, and made a ton of sound effects with sxfr but in the end just didn't have time to do any sound code :(

Hempuli says ...
Apr 18, 2016 @ 6:48pm

I ate a lot of cows before I realized what I'm meant to do with them; also the lack of a radar system along with the turning speed of the UFO made playing very hard. I love the look of the landscape as well as how imposing the turrets are!

Reallysketchy says ...
Apr 18, 2016 @ 8:10pm

I like the color scheme and the terrain of the game. Moving was a bit difficult because of how fast you turn, but not terrible. And I love the green blob cows.

Ibzy says ...
Apr 18, 2016 @ 8:28pm

There's no metamorphosing mechanic xD

I jest - shifting of a shape (in this case a green cubish shape of cow) is adequate for me.

Beautiful world and colour scheme, love the random generated world and humourous loading screen.

Agreed that the turning is very very sensitive, but other than that controls well.

Very nice work :)

bluszcz says ...
Apr 18, 2016 @ 10:14pm

Unity version somehow does not work with chromium / linux :(

ceosol says ...
Apr 18, 2016 @ 10:28pm

@goffmog, Ooooooh. I didn't know what the tripod things were. I didn't realize that they were shooting at me :)

goffmog says ...
Apr 18, 2016 @ 10:46pm

@bluszcz Hm, I'm actually surprised Unity webplayer works at all in any Linux browser these days. Sorry about that. I may try a WebGL build too.

Mordokay says ...
Apr 18, 2016 @ 11:32pm

The game looks awesome. Love how the water is moving. One thing I had trouble to master was turning the spaceship. It just turned too fast. Overall good playing experience. +1

kostasvs says ...
Apr 19, 2016 @ 10:59pm

Loved the loading screen :P Saving all the cows would take forever so I didn't finish the game, but it was satisfying to play. Controls fell a little uncomfortable (mainly steering was too fast).

adsilcott says ...
Apr 23, 2016 @ 2:17am

Nice graphics.

ExSpecter says ...
Apr 27, 2016 @ 12:56pm

Really nice looking game :) I like it much!!!

Squid says ...
Apr 30, 2016 @ 6:51pm

It looks like there was a lot of work put into level gen and aesthetics because it looked rely good. You turn way to fast. The turning works well on a controller but there is no support for the other buttons(I don't hold that against you, no one does controller support). Misspelled SpcaeCows. You can escape the level. All in all good game, i liked it!

bentglasstube says ...
Apr 30, 2016 @ 6:53pm

The controls are pretty rough, I found myself spinning way too much. Also, the fact that you can only carry one cow is a bit annoying.

goffmog says ...
May 4, 2016 @ 8:58am

@bentglasstube Thanks for playing and for the feedback. Controls are obviously hypersensitive for a lot of people, though for some reason they're ok for me... there's probably a bug somewhere. As for picking up multiple cows - it isn't explained very well but basically that would ruin the challenge, a new tripod spawns every time you return a cow - and two spawn every time you eat a cow.

stalker1586 says ...
May 4, 2016 @ 3:02pm

Mooo! Game needs music, but it's so steep that even waves in the Taurian fluid moving. Supreme.

ocarson says ...
May 9, 2016 @ 8:05pm

I love the world, I also appreciate that you've made something a bit different which is really cool, its a bit like a 3d defender but with more beef, would be cool to see a version with some more action game mechanics. :)

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