August 20th-23rd, 2010
Theme: Enemies as Weapons

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by TheLastBanana - Competition Entry

A top-down shoot-'em-up where your only weapons are the enemies themselves.
Controls are WASD to move, and mouse to rotate your ship.
When an enemy runs out of health, it becomes "deactivated". This allows you to attach it to your ship by touching it. When it is attached to your ship, it will begin firing again, harming enemies instead of you!
If all of the ships attached to yours are destroyed, leaving you defenseless, you can ram your ship into an active enemy ship. It will cost you one life point, but it will attach to you.

There are 3 types of enemies:
Fighter (mid-sized) - these are the most common. It takes 3 hits to deactivate it, and it fires projectiles at an average rate. Once attached to your ship, it can be destroyed in one shot.
Cruiser (wide) - these, less common than Fighters, are slightly faster and take 4 hits before they deactivate. Their rate of fire is slower, but their width provides greater cover while attached, and they take 2 shots to destroy once attached to you.
Needle (thin) - as common as Cruisers, Needles are the fastest ship, both in movement speed and rate of fire. However, they also take only one hit to destroy, both when attached to your ship and when active. Because of their small side, they provide limited cover when attached. However, their constant barrage of bullets makes up for it.

Downloads and Links




timgarbos says ...
Aug 23, 2010 @ 4:29am

Great idea! I like idea of picking up the dead enemies. The controls of the ship is nice and seems polished.

My biggest problem was aiming! When I pick up the first deactivated ship and it starts shooting it feels great, but it's like it really doesn't want to shoot its friends. I can't really couldn't understand how/why the weapon rotated around the ship. It might become easier when you pick up more enemies, but it's way too hard to kill the first one.

TheLastBanana says ...
Aug 23, 2010 @ 3:09pm

The ship has a little arrow on it that points toward where the mouse is. Aiming is definitely an issue when you've got a ship attached to your side, though, and the arrow is pretty hard to distinguish. Glad you enjoyed it anyway!

ChainedLupine says ...
Aug 24, 2010 @ 3:18am

I like! I wanted to last longer so I could hear more of the tune. :)

However, the fact that enemies attached only certain unoccupied spots, and only in the direction you are currently facing, made this game almost unplayable for me. It would be easier to understand what's going on if the attached enemies "auto arranged" themselves. I know that gives up part of the gameplay freedom, but I think it's a willing sacrifice in order to get the aiming issues sorted out.

Aug 24, 2010 @ 4:54am

I agree with pretty much everything timgarbos said.

Not sure what I can add, other than to say it was a very fun entry! I probably would have enjoyed it more if the guns were easier to control. Perhaps it doesn't need to mouse control at all, or maybe you could get rid of the keyboard control and make the ship follow the mouse pointer. That way it might be more obvious where the player is facing.

A very nice entry, and I love the music. Well done! :D

TheLastBanana says ...
Aug 24, 2010 @ 3:33pm

Glad to hear everybody liked the music - I don't have all that much experience in music, so the fact that I could create something listenable is great. Maybe I'll polish this up a bit after LD and fix some of the control issues.

Alan Lynn says ...
Aug 25, 2010 @ 10:58am

Personally, I'm not a big fan of the play for as long as you can format. Therefore I would have found your game more enjoyable if it was more like a shoot 'em up (with levels).

My idea for aiming/picking up dead enemies is this: Auto-arrange the dead enemies, and make the center-most one point at the mouse. That way there will always be a shot going directly where the mouse is.

Overall, you have a solid, well-made game. Thanks for taking the time to comment on my entry. :-)

ExciteMike says ...
Aug 26, 2010 @ 3:42pm

Neat! I just wish I could get used to aiming.

Spunkmeyer says ...
Aug 29, 2010 @ 2:09pm

Cool, you finished a game! Some hints for improvement: music load on startup, linear filtered textures, auto arrange of units, start the game a little slower.

Great: You've got music, you've got a highscore list, didn't found a bug! ;-)

zorbathut says ...
Aug 31, 2010 @ 3:15pm

I'm going to agree with the other commentators: this is a fascinating idea that unfortunately really doesn't work with the control system. Maybe tweak it so that the attached gun fragments autorotate so that one gun is always at the "front" of the ship, no matter what?

TheLastBanana says ...
Aug 31, 2010 @ 4:35pm

After Ludum Dare ends, I might take a shot at making this into a Flash game. I'll definitely be having the guns automatically arrange, and I'll probably include a few different control schemes so people can choose what they're more comfortable with. Thanks for the comments, everyone!

HybridMind says ...
Sep 3, 2010 @ 5:04pm

Fun and polished little entry. Found my biggest problem was not being able to comprehend how to aim correctly when I had a ship stuck to my butt. Couldn't wrap my head around that. A lot of fun though when you had a few enemies stuck to you and you could groove out to the chiptune and destroy them. Nice effort!

Doches says ...
Sep 5, 2010 @ 5:48am

Cool idea, and nifty style -- but the mouse rotation kills me. Very minimalist-Captain Forever-y, which is a good thing. Clearly.

Dan C says ...
Sep 6, 2010 @ 4:52pm

I wanted to like this but I found too frustrating to control with the mouse because you don't necessarily have a gun that's facing forwards. It would have been a lot more fun if I could have controlled the rotation using the keyboard.

The enemies take far too many shots to kill considering the slow rate of fire. Annoyingly they seem to take only one shot to kill once they're attached to your ship.

I liked that you could attach to enemies without shooting them first, but it seemed inconsistent when that was allowed and when not.

In the end I found it was easier to not bother attacking and just play the game as an avoid-em-up, but that wasn't fun.

I liked the music. I also liked the graphical style.

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