December 17th-20th, 2010
Theme: Discovery

More Info: /ludum-dare-19-has-begun/

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Universal Conquest

by Endurion - Competition Entry

Universal Conquest

This game is an entry for the 48 Hour Game Development Competition #19 Ludum Dare (
It requires Windows 95/98/ME/2000/XP and DirectX 8. A sound card is highly recommended for high class
white noise sound effects.
You start this at your own risk. I take no responsibilities whatsoever if something happens to your PC.

The given theme:

The Gameplay:
Travel to other stars. Search for ore or technology to sell at home. Buy better equipment to access
farther away star systems and more planets. Discover the alien home system and find their base
to establish first contact.

Control by mouse during menu screens, cursor keys during surface parts and Q or A to fire your weapon (once applicable).

The Sourcecode:
The full sourcecode plus a VS 2003 solution is included, so you can basically change the game as much as you want to.
If you do so then please be fair and

A) keep mentioning where you found the sourcecode and include a link to my homepage and
B) notify me if you intend to release a modified version.

The code itself isn't very clean and includes some ugly hacks, but that's the sake of time schedules.

Press Alt-Enter to toggle window/fullscreen mode

The author:

Georg "Endurion" Rottensteiner

You can download this game from the authors homepage
On the homepage you find also a lot of other games for free.

If you want to report bugs or have ideas for additions email me at

Downloads and Links




Eckolin says ...
Dec 21, 2010 @ 9:38pm

Found the alien base with 5 systems left to check. Such luck, eh?

ranklar says ...
Dec 22, 2010 @ 4:08am

Wow this could have been a really fun game, unfortunately it was horrendously boring, and I think I have the vehicle noise stuck in my head forever. No idea how I was mining the zinc, or not as the case might be... the zinc would go up or down randomly (it seemed). I spent a long time trying to collect enough to have credits to buy a new vehicle and eventually gave up. I bought the gold scanner, which apparently would allow me to collect gold, but was never able to find any. I was not able to find anything other than the same sprites on the rock planets, over and over. GREAT concept, it really was, and the framework is there, it just needs lots of tweaks to make it enjoyable to play.

Endurion says ...
Dec 22, 2010 @ 1:51pm

Yeah, I see there is a bit of explanation missing. The resource bars on the left show the distance to the ore source. You need to reach 100% to mine it. Once you've got one of the mineral locators you'll see an arrow once you're close enough. Helps a lot.
I wanted to put more diversity on the planets, but alas, it wasn't meant to be :)

ranklar says ...
Dec 22, 2010 @ 5:07pm

That explanation makes a lot more sense! I kept freaking out wondering why what I thought was the zinc counter was going down! THanks Endurion, I would keep working on it, I really think it could be a really fun game. As it was, I really enjoyed the concept,thanks again.

barigorokarl says ...
Dec 22, 2010 @ 10:46pm

I see starcontrol 2 everywhere ;) Mind you, I liked that game a lot! Do something to the sound and the graphics and I'll play it ;)

KoryWazHere says ...
Dec 23, 2010 @ 12:28pm

Feels like an old mac game I used to play at gandma's house, oh the memories =)

k_wright says ...
Dec 23, 2010 @ 11:11pm

For whatever reason the link did not work.

Endurion says ...
Dec 24, 2010 @ 6:45am

The link should work now, sorry about that.

Jonny D says ...
Dec 24, 2010 @ 4:35pm

Once I read some comments and read that the Zinc meter is a distance indicator, I was able to enjoy it.

ACodeGerm says ...
Dec 24, 2010 @ 11:03pm

Took me a minute to figure out how the meter worked but once I did it was pretty good. Surprisingly easy to die since your eyes are fixated on the bottom left.

Discovering how the game world works fits with the theme so it kinda balances out the frustration :P

If this game was in Flash it would fit right in on Kongregate with other games that use the same type of progression (Shopping Cart Hero, Toss the Turtle, etc).

dertom says ...
Dec 25, 2010 @ 10:54pm

For me the link is still broken! Actually your whole domain does not respond!?

Endurion says ...
Dec 26, 2010 @ 7:04am

Hmm, that's weird. I can't notice anything unusual and can also access it without problems. I'll see to contact the provider.

dertom says ...
Dec 26, 2010 @ 10:43am

Ok,..I tried the link again and now it worked!?Really strange.So I had the opportunity to discover your planets ;D Good game good job!

thristhart says ...
Dec 26, 2010 @ 3:12pm

grraaaah that vehicle sound will be in my nightmares tonight. I spent a while gathering zinc under the assumption that I would be sent back to the ship when I ran out of oxygen. Nope, I died. Which had the consequence of me not wanting to play anymore because I lost everything I had :(

ippa says ...
Dec 26, 2010 @ 4:42pm

I liked the idea, and the vehicle controls was just right. And good fit for the theme.

But I drove around for on maybe 50%+ of the planetes for 5+ minutes straight without finding anything except rocks/dust and +45 of zinc. Wasn't clear what zinc was for, selling later I figured :P.

Maybe you could throw the player a bone earlier on, letting him find something to get a taste of how stuff worked.

And a mini-map once on a planet, maybe with classic RTS "fog-of-war".. I had no idea how big each planet was, was I driving around in circles etc?

I think some tweaks could really make a big impact on the overall fun.

(Btw, here seems to be the easiest way to reply to your comment so you see it. You commented on my game here: ... you can JUMP with UP-ARROW. That will get you past the beds and all the other terrain. Good luck! )

jolle says ...
Dec 27, 2010 @ 6:43pm

This is the game I've played the longest so far, which is both good and bad. It was really fun until it was just a lot of grind. I never completed it (don't entirely know what how to win, but I assume it was finding an alien base or something). Lots of comments:
- At the start, I didn't figure out what to do. Once I realized what the Zinc counter was, things looked up.
- The oxygen thing was sort of unnecessary, and I felt that there should have been some out leave to orbit when it was low, if it are to be kept at all.
- The first vehicle ran at double speed if you held both Up and Down. The speed was practical but the key combination was not. I suspect it was a bug.
- The game at times sort of reminded me of parts of mass effect and x-com.
- I didn't like that you had to switch between keyboard and mouse, some kind of keyboard control outside the planet mode would have helped.
- Would have been good to see the total value of collected materials and/or be given a notice when you can buy something new at the store.
- As mentioned, at some point, it was just too much grind.
- The combat, when it suddenly appeared, could use heavy improvements.

arielsan says ...
Dec 29, 2010 @ 12:53am

I played almost 30 mins and I get killed with 1 bullet :(

Really great game, I want to play it again...

Endurion says ...
Dec 29, 2010 @ 9:04pm

Sorry about that, arielsan. There's quite a few balancing problems, esp. also the high prices for the last few items. I reduced the chance of alien tech too much. I'm working on an improved version, which is ported to my common framework.

philomory says ...
Jan 8, 2011 @ 12:11am

Okay, first thing's first, this game brought back fond memories of Ur-Quan Masters (aka Star Control 2). I think once voting is done I'm gonna go revisit that game.

Spoilers ahead in the rest of the review.

Now, the first part of the game was quite fun. By that I mean, exploring and amassing credits to buy upgrades. It took quite a bit of time, but I was still enjoying myself by the time I finally saved up enough credits to get the final upgrade. "Now," I thought to myself, "Time to go find the aliens."

Problem was, there are just *way* too many green systems. I ended up clearing probably half of them before I finally got killed because I let my attention wane. I spent hours playing the game, which on the one hand says good things about the game, but, by the end, it felt more like a chore than entertainment.

I did find one world that persisted in being green despite not having any alien tech. A glance at the source made me suspect that that was where the alien base was supposed to be, but as far as I could tell the whole system was empty. I plucked every resource from every planet in that system, and found nothing. So it may have been a bug; maybe two systems were in the same spot, and I couldn't click the green one? Not sure. Another reason I suspect the aliens were supposed to be based there is that that region of space is the only one that seemed to have enemies in it.

Anyway, this has the beginnings of a great game, but for future LDs, maybe it'd be better if the game could be completed in less than an hour? Please? ;)

Anyway, all that said, I *did* like it. Just... throw the player a bone in terms of clues to the location of the base.

jovoc says ...
Jan 9, 2011 @ 12:19am

I found some invisible zinc. Nice start but pretty incomplete. Waaay too many stars in the world map, looks impossible to visit them all. I'd love to play a more complete version of this.

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