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

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Hart of the Forest

by adsilcott - Jam Entry

Please note: this is a very unfinished entry.

Play as a Druid using his shapeshifting powers to save your villagers.
Bring them to the Sacred Circle sanctuary in the center of the map.
Use A S D to change to a Human, Stag, or Bear.


*About this Game: a Mini-Postmortem*

This game still needs a lot of work to realize the ideas we set out to create. The goal, over the next short while, is to add the remaining features to a post-jam version that will get this the rest of the way.

As imagined, this will be a game that asks you to venture out from a safe place at the center of a map, to find friendly villagers that are lost in the woods. Although the villagers will follow you when you come near, they (and you) are under attack from a forest full of enemies that will shoot at you and your people.

As a Druid, you will be able to shapeshift into the mythological White Hart, able to move swiftly through the forest, heal your villagers, and detect hidden enemies who look like your people. (A number of the villagers are corrupted, and will try to follow you back to the Sacred Grove, causing you to lose the game.)

To protect yourself, you will have a bow and arrow -- useful against an attacker or two, maybe, but when you get overrun, you are forced to assume your second form: the fearsome Dark Bear, who can both give and take tremendous damage, but causes your gathered villagers to flee in terror.

The goal is to create a fast-paced game that forces you to think strategically about how best to protect your people and defeat your enemies, and that gives you both a feeling of power and a sense of the consequences of tapping into it.

We ran into an unbelievable amount of technical hurdles in developing this game, but we're hopeful that the post-Jam version will let us fill out the remaining features soon.

We hope it's worth noting that everything here was developed for the jam: 3D models, textures, animations, scripts, interface graphics and features, and music. It was an ambitious project, but we've learned a lot, and are looking forward to putting the rest together soon.

We hope this description helps give some context to the Jam version, and we'd love feedback about the post-Jam features as they arrive. Thanks, all!


*Hart of the Forest*

As darkness falls upon the sacred forest, your people call in desperation upon the sacred spirit of the forest to deliver them from the blight that has fallen upon your ancestral homeland. And though your Druid blood longs to answer their cries, your guardianship hides a terrible secret.

For although you indeed carry the sacred blood of legendary White Hart — ancestral protector of the forest — so too does your blood begin to run black with the first signs of the terrible blight.

Find and save your people — deliver them from the menace of the blight-corrupted invaders of your woods, back to the safety of the Sacred Grove. Call upon the Druidic magic of your animal form — the fleet White Hart — to race to their aid.

But do not let them see the other animal magic that now grows within you — the fearsome spirit of the Dark Bear, vicious warrior spirit feared by all who dwell in these woods — lest your people realize that you now rapidly become the very thing you must protect them from.

Can you save your people before the corruption claims them all?

Downloads and Links




Lancelot Gao says ...
Apr 19, 2016 @ 2:26am

Very fun. The graphics are beautiful. Great work!I like the music so much!

EthanBierlein says ...
Apr 19, 2016 @ 3:50am

Neat concept! I enjoyed the music very much.

hellojed says ...
Apr 19, 2016 @ 5:47am

Kinda looks and feels a bit like Black And White. Good music and art.

Fumiko says ...
Apr 19, 2016 @ 8:52am

The graphics are beautiful for a jam game. I really like the animal meshes. Even with the lack of gameplay the game gets its message through - I think it would've been a very enjoyable experience, if finished. Still well done. :)

MintArcade says ...
Apr 19, 2016 @ 3:19pm

Music really fit and bring nice ambiance to the game. Well done!

pokipsy says ...
Apr 19, 2016 @ 3:27pm

Great work on art and music. The post-Jam features you planned to implement sound promising :)

Trickman says ...
Apr 19, 2016 @ 4:35pm

Beautiful graphics and music! I hope you can pull this game through and finish it, looks promising!

pixel_maniacs says ...
Apr 19, 2016 @ 4:36pm

Wow, nice artwork, onderful animations. I like it. Nice entry!

RealityCheck says ...
Apr 19, 2016 @ 4:46pm

Graphics were gorgeous... especially the main menu screen which I really liked. I also enjoyed running around as a deer collecting villagers. Too bad there were things (obviously) missing, but the potential is there for a very interesting game. Good effort!

AceyT says ...
Apr 19, 2016 @ 5:00pm

I liked the experienced, really nice and pleasant scene even unfinished

I think I encountered a bug, sometimes my UI would glitch when I was too far away, and then, once I was back at the sanctuary, my counter of saved villager would go infinitely up

tomdeal says ...
Apr 19, 2016 @ 5:13pm

Great music, graphics and animations. Also a good concept, I'd like to see more of it in the future :-)

adsilcott says ...
Apr 19, 2016 @ 5:14pm

@AceyT Thanks for the bug report, I appreciate that! I noticed the villager score bug too and I hope to fix that soon. Not sure about the other one but I'll check it out. Thanks!

Sir Magic says ...
Apr 19, 2016 @ 5:57pm

I really like this, the shapeshifting mechanic is used extremely well and I like how the villagers follow the human and run from the wolf. However, there was a slight bug with the counter as a villager got stuck in a stone and the counter kept getting higher (up to 100 and then went back to 90)

luckyy says ...
Apr 19, 2016 @ 5:59pm

Kind of confusing in the beginning, but its looking quite cool :)

Ken Ichi says ...
Apr 19, 2016 @ 11:39pm

Awesome game!

PowerSpark says ...
Apr 19, 2016 @ 11:48pm

Great graphics! Good luck with completing it.

AnaGF says ...
Apr 19, 2016 @ 11:56pm

Maybe it needs a bit more of gameplay, but it is good anyways. Graphics and audio are awesome.

Stechas says ...
Apr 19, 2016 @ 11:59pm

Beautifully crafted game that is also pretty inside in sense of mechanics. I think that the effort you have put into this game was worth it.

EdoMiyamoto says ...
Apr 20, 2016 @ 12:04am

Nice game, I can imagine what it could become with time, it's great :)

OU GDA says ...
Apr 20, 2016 @ 12:30am

I think your art and music is very impressive for a game jam. Well done, but the game mechanics themselves need to be fleshed out some more.

Mase says ...
Apr 20, 2016 @ 12:44am

I tried to shepherd some blighted invaders into the circle but they didn't seem interested. :(
More variety in the scenery would be good... it needs some rocks and streams to break up the intense green-ness. The animations and textures are nice though.

aCoupleGames says ...
Apr 20, 2016 @ 1:27am

nice work guys :) the mood is really interesting.

Odyssey says ...
Apr 20, 2016 @ 1:28am

Great concept, graphics are great

SantiHisteria says ...
Apr 20, 2016 @ 11:48am

Wow... GREAT work in this game.

zzapp says ...
Apr 20, 2016 @ 2:16pm

The graphics and audio were nice and idea is good, its a shame you weren't able fully implement your concepts.

Nexus64 says ...
Apr 20, 2016 @ 8:03pm

The music and graphics are pretty good.
The problem is the really basic gamplay. Also... What is the point of the human form?, is slower than the deer and can't scare like the bear.

Matzigon says ...
Apr 20, 2016 @ 8:38pm

Nice game, looks really good, too bad it's not finished as it should be. Keep working! :)

Geckoo1337 says ...
Apr 21, 2016 @ 5:12am

The aesthetic is beautiful for a jam game. Also I enjoyed the music. Well done - Nice game which could become with time a great project ++

mkghoster says ...
Apr 21, 2016 @ 8:04pm

Nice little game with chill ambient music.

jakass says ...
Apr 22, 2016 @ 5:23pm

Very fun! I like to play the game :D

siryakko says ...
Apr 23, 2016 @ 11:09am

The art direction is so beautiful, the concept is good to. Great job

goffmog says ...
Apr 24, 2016 @ 4:59pm

This game is beautiful in absolutely every way and the amount of work that must have gone in to those models,textures and animations, and that music, is staggering. Well done indeed! This concept definitely deserves to be made into a full game.

BubuIIC says ...
Apr 25, 2016 @ 3:29pm

It's a pity, it's not quite finished. It looks really cool and the overall mood is just right for the theme. But it lacks in gameplay at this stage.
But nevertheless it is really well done!

LeoM says ...
Apr 25, 2016 @ 5:53pm

Nice graphics and animations.
Waiting for the finished version now. ;)

ekkiiiii says ...
Apr 25, 2016 @ 7:54pm

Graphics are beautiful and controls work well. You can tell that the game is unfinished. But I get the idea of what you want to achieve.
Nice attempt! Can't wait to play the more finished version.

kaovhmf says ...
Apr 25, 2016 @ 10:17pm

This game is quite promising! Quite a shame that the scope was maybe a bit too big for a jam, but both the art and the music are neat. The lack of bugs is also impressive, even though the gameplay is clearly unfinished.

Farelle says ...
Apr 27, 2016 @ 9:42am

that was enjoyable :D I really liked the music and I liked how combining the forms abilities was feeling so fluent :) I just had no idea if there will be an end to collecting villagers so I stopped at 23.

medidog says ...
May 1, 2016 @ 5:12am

Gorgeous game! I also like some of the concepts that you have not yet to be include in the jam version,like the idea of villagers who are corrupted. But I am glad you did not finish some of the ideas,like including bow and arrows in this. I think that can ruin the game's peaceful mood, and killing can change the game completely.

bogdan.tana says ...
May 9, 2016 @ 9:30pm

Really content-rich concept. I definitely want to see more of this.

Asturk says ...
May 10, 2016 @ 12:48am

Thats a very good game, and i really enjoyed so much this music, on of the best musics i found so far on this Jam. I just got somehow confused with the game goals there, but i really like the touch you gave there. Nice Job!

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