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

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by mike.cullingham - Jam Entry

Update (2016-04-24): Based on feedback, I added "cheat codes" to skip by the hard levels. "Enter"/"Return" to go to the next level. "Backspace" to go to the previous level. No other changes to the game. It's otherwise as submitted, warts, bugs, and all.

All graphics, sounds, and code by @mike_cullingham. Tools used are: GIMP, bfxr, & GameMaker Studio.

The Rectomancer has the ability to swap the dimensions of blocks (height becomes width, width becomes height). Collect 3 stars on each level.

Keyboard + Mouse controls:
A/D = Move Left/Right
W = Jump
Mouse = aim
Mouse Left Button = shoot

Gamepad controls (tested with XBox360 controller):
Left Analog Stick = Move Left/Right
Left Trigger/Shoulder = Jump
Right Analog Stick = aim
Right Trigger/Shoulder = shoot

Downloads and Links




Pellanor says ...
Apr 18, 2016 @ 9:44pm

Very nice puzzle game. I enjoyed launching myself across the screen :)

Would be nice to have him pointing where you're aming while standing still.

RodneyWeis says ...
Apr 19, 2016 @ 4:34am

Great game - the concept is well-executed and the shapeshifting theme is central to the game play. Great job!

broknecho says ...
Apr 20, 2016 @ 3:26am

Lots of LOL moments when the physics would shoot you somewhere you didn't quite expect. Really neat idea.

I found the jumping a little floaty and the collision sometimes seemed a little off from what I expected but overall i really liked this.

Great job!

bablawn says ...
Apr 20, 2016 @ 4:40am

HOLY HECK that packs a punch.

I got stuck on the level where they stack 3 blocks :( I'm also bad at puzzles.

HylianEvil says ...
Apr 20, 2016 @ 3:43pm

Great job! I laughed when my dude got splattered into the wall. Player controls need a little work and it'd be nice to have some background music. Overall, great game!

Solifuge says ...
Apr 21, 2016 @ 1:26am

This was a lot of fun! Enjoyed the puzzle design, and the simplicity of the core mechanic. You got a lot of mileage out of flipping rectangles! The level with the 3 stacked blocks was by far the toughest one for me, but I was able to beat it. Loved the catapulting, and getting smashed by the occasional mistakenly swapped block.

Ellian says ...
Apr 21, 2016 @ 10:17pm

Alright, I wasn't sure where this was going, but getting smashed to death into a wall was hella fun!
The physics are kind of hilariously great. good work!

caelanrp says ...
Apr 22, 2016 @ 4:05am

Very nice entry. One of the neatest concepts for a game I've seen, but controls are SUPER frustrating. Still, I liked it a lot. I had some good laughs getting turned into hamburger by an expanding block, too.

BrainSlugs83 says ...
Apr 22, 2016 @ 4:45am

I really liked the over the top blood and gore when you got yourself smashed.

Weeping Rupee says ...
Apr 22, 2016 @ 5:28am

Really cool puzzles for such a simple mechanic. Very nice.

Pickens Inc. says ...
Apr 22, 2016 @ 10:26am

You're one letter change away from making this a VERY different game, hahaha. May I suggest a change in name, perhaps to "Quadromancer"?

I was definitely surprised when I slammed my self into a wall, rendering myself into a ball of viscera and blood, haha, definitely elicited a chuckle. Nice!

Apr 23, 2016 @ 3:19am

Great game! Clever and with very well built mechanics. (Huumm, wingardium Rectoosaaa!)

Great job Mike! ^_^

Chaserbrown says ...
Apr 23, 2016 @ 8:47pm

Nice puzzle game! The mechanics were well thought of, and it was very fun! The physics were often times strange and unpredictable, but good job!

saucygames says ...
Apr 23, 2016 @ 9:30pm

This was really fun and cool way for platforming, loved when you could squish yourself.

PS I got stuck on the level after the vertical jumping level with 3 blocks

Apr 24, 2016 @ 7:09pm

Cool game, loved the hero "mage" graphics. Did you make it by hand?

The puzzle game principle is also very nice, you were able to renew the interest of each puzzle with new features at each level.

Apr 24, 2016 @ 8:03pm

@Pellanor: Agreed on the pointing issue. It's a late introduced bug when I tried to ensure that you could flip back and forth between gamepad and mouse+keyboard... didn't have time to fix it. Thanks for the feedback.

@RodneyWeis: Thanks!

@broknecho: Yeah, I know of at least 2 major flaws in my physics, not even taking into account the floatiness. But thanks for that feedback.

@bablawn: New "cheat code" can skip by that level. Sorry... I admit it's a really challenging/finicky one.

@HylianEvil: Would be curious about which controls didn't work (keyboard/mouse or gamepad). Also always keen to hear suggestions.

@Solifuge: Thanks. Exactly what I was going for.

@Ellian: Thanks. Physics are awesome to mess with.

@caelanrp: Thanks for that feedback. Was it gamepad or keyboard+mouse that you found frustrating?

@BrainSlugs83: I think exploding gibs have a place in my future games as well. They were fun to code and play with.

@Weeping Rupee: Thanks.

@Pickens Inc.: I thought of that a few seconds after coming up with this title, but at the end of the day decided to just stick with it because I didn't like the alternatives. Glad you enjoyed it.

@Tchaikovsky Lins: Thanks!

@Chaserbrown: Thanks. And yeah, the physics aren't perfect. Had to do my own calculations since everything overlaps all the time and that breaks normal GameMaker collision detection.

@saucygames: Thanks. I've updated the exe with some "cheat codes" since that particular level is pretty hard.

@Mathieu Muller: yep, the mage is handdrawn in GIMP using the windows surface pen. Great tool.

Xanjos says ...
Apr 25, 2016 @ 8:16pm

Managed to finish all the levels but this was a very fun entry and I absolutely loved how you've incorporated the theme.

SpringCabal says ...
Apr 26, 2016 @ 5:44am

I had great fun playing this game. The puzzles were simple enough and if I were to fail it was due to derpy physics which made the whole thing enjoyable. It's probably one of the most enjoyable games I've played this LD.
My only complaint would be that it could've used better graphics and audio, but that obviously wasn't the focus.
Good work!

Steven Miller says ...
Apr 26, 2016 @ 6:56am

Really great game! I played through to the end, and the puzzles were very fun and well designed. I loved the graphics as well.

local minimum says ...
Apr 26, 2016 @ 7:51pm

Really liked how your idea allowed for some nice puzzle design. Enjoyed playing through a couple of the levels. It is definitely a core concept that could be expanded upon. Besides the audio being quite minimal, it would also be nice if the wizard wasn't so slow and jumping more followed the "normal" pattern of elevated gravity to make jumps snappy. All in all though, a very nice entry.

Apr 28, 2016 @ 8:53pm

Really neat game. I included it in my video compilation series of Ludum Dare games, if you’d like to check them out :)

Swynfel says ...
Apr 30, 2016 @ 1:46pm

Really really cool idea.

Most of the shape transformation were really smooth and really well done, the speed shifting gives you is a super cool idea. However, sometimes it has a weird behaviour, which is sad because apart from that it was perfect : once it finishes transforming into a horizontal rectangle, if you touch it you're slung horizontally (sometimes it kills you...) I also think that the area of effect of the slinging in general (even when it's correctly happening) is a little too big.

They are some displaying problems when the rectangles shape-shift, but that's minor.

The graphics where really well done, especially the wizard, but not only. Maybe make some tiles instead of the blackness, and it would be awesome.

The controls were very responsive (cool !) but the jump was a little too slow... Once you're in the air you stay their too long (I think). Maybe you could increase the gravity a little and give the wizard a higher jumping power ? It would make the game a little more dynamic, and the player will stop feeling like his controlling a real grand-pa.

I criticized a lot but this game was actually very fun to play. Very good level design I think : you made a lot of different puzzles with a simple (but well executed) mechanics.

Congratulations for this game, I hope you'll continue working on it!

May 1, 2016 @ 1:12am

@Xanjos: Awesome. Glad you made it all the way through. Thanks for playing!

@SpringCabal: You're right about the graphics and music not being the focus. I wanted to spend more time on music this LD (because it's easily the area where I feel weakest), but lost too much time to getting the basic mechanics at least playable (not totally bug free but playable).

@Steven Miller: Thanks for playing!

@local minimum: Totally agree on the wizard jumping mechanics. That's something I regret not playing with just a little bit more.

@Jupiter_Hadley: Thank for the Let's Play video. So appreciated.

@Swynfel: Thanks for all that feedback. I completely agree with the weird behaviour on transformation (due to trying to resolve overlaps in a single frame rather than allow multiple frames to overlap). The display problems were a kick myself moment, because it was just a problem with my tweening function going negative when it should've had a lower bound. Completely agree with all the other comments about graphics & controls. Thanks again for the feedback. It's much appreciated. Don't know yet whether I'll continue, but if I do I have a ton of ideas.

pixelpotions says ...
May 6, 2016 @ 3:07pm

Love the mechanics! Such a fun way to use the theme! Excellent job!

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