December 17th-20th, 2010
Theme: Discovery

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

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Scanno Domini

by Tom Francis - Competition Entry

Scanno is a top-down shooter in which you encounter randomly generated enemy robots, scan them to unlock their parts, then kill them and take all their guns, shields and engines for yourself.

It requires you to both avoid discovery - while scanning enemy bots - and discover new randomly generated bots.

There were a few glitches in the compo version that I didn't spot in time, so I've added a link to a patched version that fixes them. Obviously judge the compo version, but play the patched one if you just want to have fun - it's a lot better.

Controls are basic and mostly explained in-game, but for reference here's the list:

Left mouse: move (hold to keep chasing the cursor)
Right mouse: fire
R: restart
Esc: quit

In the patched version, use the number keys to pick a resolution the first time you play. It'll remember your choice in a file called resolution.txt, which you can edit if you want to try a different one.

This is my first ever finished game, made in Game Maker in two days with and SFXR for graphics and sound respectively. I am terrible at art. Thanks for trying it out, any and all comments appreciated!

Downloads and Links




Tom Francis says ...
Dec 20, 2010 @ 1:55am

In that screenshot, I have failed to avoid detection.

Tom Francis says ...
Dec 20, 2010 @ 2:43am

Here's the readme, don't know if I can edit it back in:

Scanno Domini

A game about scanning stuff and then shooting it and becoming it.

Firstly, I am sorry about the tutorial.

Secondly, the game runs at 1024x600 but it won't try to change your monitor's resolution.
That may make it a little shrunk on high res monitors - I'll get a variable res version out,
I just didn't have time to look up how you do that in Game Maker.

Thirdly, press R to restart! Can't believe I forgot to put that in there somewhere. As you
may notice, you do come back from the dead if the coast is clear. But there's something of a
defect in the AI where they'll sometimes stand over your corpse for evermore, contemplating
what they have done.

Fourthly, the full controls are:

Left Mouse: move (hold to steer)
Right Mouse: shoot (hold to keep shooting)
R: restart (note to self, make sure you mention this in-game)
Esc: quit

Fifthly, there is a goal, of sorts. Try to kill everything. You'll find there's a bit of a
difficulty spike at a certain point, and there is a small acknowledgment for surviving it.
That's all, though, no boss or story or reward.

Sixthly, there is a sort of knack to moving in one direction and firing in the other. Click
far away, right click at your opponent while you travel.

Seventhly, there is a fairly major bug I didn't notice before submitting. Other than the
various possible crashes, I mean. You'll know it if you find it.

That's about it. Let me know what you think on my blog:

alexlarioza says ...
Dec 20, 2010 @ 3:14am

Nifty game you have here. FYI You can fix bugs, just leave a note in your entry and leave the old file up.

Devenger says ...
Dec 20, 2010 @ 3:31am

Good fun. Played up until the difficulty spike, then got royally trounced. Certainly there's a technique to fighting them once they're onto you, it just eludes me this late at night. Liked the spambot/web-ad styled tutorial text - 'scan secretly now forever my lord'... disliked how your blog flagged my comment as spam. ;)

ippa says ...
Dec 20, 2010 @ 11:28pm

Pretty hard :). I like the enemy scanners-idea. Could be more polished, wouldn't mind seeing what I shoot for example :p.

Dslayer27 says ...
Dec 20, 2010 @ 11:54pm

neat game, the theme would have been great for LD18

ranklar says ...
Dec 21, 2010 @ 4:31am

Nice game! I enjoyed playing it, need a good end game for improvement, and keep the robot from being able to leave the screen (and thus disappear). Some music would have been nice, but decent sound effects, I enjoyed it, good job mate.

Tom Francis says ...
Dec 21, 2010 @ 9:53am

Thanks everyone! Yeah, difficulty spike is a bit broken at the moment.

Hadn't thought about it, but you're right - this would have been kinda cool for LD18's theme of Enemies as Weapons.

Alex, thanks for letting me know - I'll get a bug fixed version up (with resolution/screen size options too hopefully) in the next day or two.

Ninja Dodo says ...
Dec 21, 2010 @ 11:04pm

I like the sneaky scanning mechanic.

Only a couple criticisms spring to mind:

I would make it so the help text stays on screen at all times. Several help bubbles passed (a little quickly btw) without me being able to read them because they were half off-screen. Putting in a rule that nudges them back if they stray off-screen would help usability.

I definitely think you should add more texture (perhaps robot tracks) or other objects to the environment because it's hard to judge movement when your only reference is the enemy and a few barely visible hills.

Also, I would maaaybe add some inertia to the avatar so that he doesn't stop dead when reaching his destination or when turning. Giving it a little more weight might be more satisfying. Same for the camera.

I got this crash at one point (maybe the log is useful):

action number 2
of Alarm Event for alarm 7
for object oBot:

Error in code at line 4:
at position 41: Negative array index"

Ninja Dodo says ...
Dec 21, 2010 @ 11:09pm

That last one is more personal preference though. I like games that have physics-like controls.

Tom Francis says ...
Dec 22, 2010 @ 12:49am

Thanks for the detailed feedback! Yeah, bot tracks were on my to-do list but I didn't get to them.

Tutorial messages used to follow the player, but I got really irritated with them obsuring schematic messages and the like once I got scanning. Didn't have time to come up with a graceful solution for dismissal, so let the player wander off if he wanted. You're right, though, they should probably stick around longer - always hard to judge when you know what they say :)

The patched version I've just linked should fix that crash.

drZool says ...
Dec 22, 2010 @ 11:25am

I think the concept is good. Tweak the controls and make better visual feedback on what you pickup and you are set.

jolle says ...
Dec 22, 2010 @ 4:45pm

Congrats on your first finished game!

A score counter or something would be nice.

Supermini_man says ...
Dec 26, 2010 @ 5:00pm

Cool concept, I think that with some polish it could be a very nice post compo game. :)

Endurion says ...
Dec 31, 2010 @ 7:23am

This came as a very surprising fun game!
I like the concept, and also that you generated things randomly. As it seems I got pretty lucky during my first game 'cause I blazed through the bots with ease. Not so on my latter attempts.
Very nice! This basically needs a few different weapons and a long term goal. Hope you keep working on it!

arielsan says ...
Dec 31, 2010 @ 10:56pm

Cant see clearly the enemies, colors are to soft, but I really like your game.

Mirroar says ...
Jan 7, 2011 @ 10:38pm

"That sounds ominous..." D:

MrPhil says ...
Jan 8, 2011 @ 8:06pm

Fun. The start was rough and I didn't understand the difference between scanning a live robot and a dead on at first.

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