Ludum Dare 31
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August 19th-22nd 2011 :: Theme: Escape
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Escape Velocity

by Jedi - Jam Entry

You're an indentured pilot, working for EscaCorp interstellar delivery company.

Your father was also a pilot but he crashed the company's ship, leaving you with his debt.

Your boss gives you so little fuel for each trip, you're lucky not to slam into a planet or be lost careening into deep space! You have no choice though; you're just a few deliveries away from earning your freedom!

You have to use the gravity of stars and planets to slingshot your way to the delivery zone!


Use the arrow keys to accelerate but watch your fuel! (METER ON THE LEFT)
F5 resets the game. I said F5 RESETS THE GAME!
Pause pauses :)

Note: The delivery zone is always to your right somewhere.

Thanks for playing! :)

By the way, this is my first Ludum Dare entry. I really appreciate every comment that lets me know someone has played it and REALLY appreciate the great feedback I've been getting!

Post-compo EDITS:
I now have 3 executables in my .zip. See readme.txt and take your pick! Extra-crispy is the latest and greatest and by far the tastiest but is VERY post-compo [latest is v1.2].

New Features Added:
Multiple ships (extra lives).
Menu with multiple difficulties.
Target zone indicator.
Animation and more.

The compo executable is there too (EV_Gross_Compo.exe) and none of it's original assets have been fiddled with.

I now have a linux executable and source! THANKS JohanAR!

Downloads and Links


Ratings

#20Coolness16%
#28Innovation(Jam)2.85
#35Humor(Jam)2.19
#49Fun(Jam)2.24
#49Audio(Jam)1.94
#56Theme(Jam)2.53
#61Overall(Jam)2.38
#85Graphics(Jam)1.60
#161Community2.88

Comments

Jacic says ...
Aug 23, 2011 @ 2:52am

The gravity is buggy and often flung me out of the level. Good job finishing though!

Jedi says ...
Aug 23, 2011 @ 6:23am

Thanks for the comment. There are some bugs i.e. involving moving the window or if your frame rate drops really low it might mess up.

I wonder if what you're describing isn't what I would call "featurey" though ;). I worked hard to tweak the Star-Trek-(go-back-in-time)-slingshot-feel of the gravity and I like it for the gameplay.

Jedi says ...
Aug 23, 2011 @ 6:24am

Oh yeah, occasionally going out of the level was something I just decided to live with. It's WAY easier than, say, tiling the level.

Jedi says ...
Aug 23, 2011 @ 6:44am

I guess I can't edit my own comments here? (Or don't know how). Anyway, thanks again, Jacic. I tried opening a few instances and it's definitely a frame-rate dependence thing :*(. I tried to code for independence as much as I could. I think it's only the big skips that screw everything up. No clue what kind of system requirements I have but they shouldn't be TOO strenuous! Up Next? Physics in a thread with a set step interval. Didn't think I'd really need it. *harumph*

BlueShaman says ...
Aug 23, 2011 @ 4:23pm

I think it's much more about luck than maneuvering... There's far too much speed and so little control to your ship. It was fun attempting the first level for a while, but I never finished it...

Bloodyaugust says ...
Aug 23, 2011 @ 6:13pm

The idea is fun, but the implementation is bad. Keep working on it! Hint: make it slower, in general.

Jedi says ...
Aug 23, 2011 @ 7:09pm

Thanks for the feedback! I'll say more in my postmortem but after watching a friend play, I think a big problem was my "growing up" with the mechanic of the game and knowing how to play it as I went (and not playtesting sooner).

For the record, BlueShaman, it's definitely not down to luck! (Unless you're seeing a bug, which is quite possible) I can beat the 1st level w/ over 90% fuel left about 90% of the time.

Jedi says ...
Aug 25, 2011 @ 5:00am

Thanks again everyone! If this game sucked before, please give it another go!

I've (hopefully) fixed it so it's framerate independent and at least rocks or sucks the same on most every pc.

It was a small change: I was updating the physics every frame feeding it the amount of time passed, now I update the physics with a set stepping (1/200th of a second), updating it multiple times if necessary.

I made this change so the game would play for everyone but RIGHT away I noticed the playability on my pc went up about 150%! I said, "Yup. That was it." ;)

I left the physics otherwise alone. I can now beat my own game about 25% of the time and, at least for me, it's always fun :). Keep the comments coming, please!

Andrew says ...
Aug 25, 2011 @ 9:01am

It's more fun than I would have thought, my greatest issue with it is that when you crash you're taken all the way back to the first level.

Shigor says ...
Aug 25, 2011 @ 10:04pm

It is too hard (postcompo version being slightly better) unless you really spend a lot of time learning it all over again with trial and error. Good idea, but to be it really funny you'd have to slow it down a bit and give player some warning (at least direction to the target would be nice). This way you have to try and try and try (took me about ten tries just to locate the exit in the second level)

Shadow says ...
Aug 26, 2011 @ 12:17am

The game itself is neat. I liked it although the little control you have over the ship was a bit frustrating.
I didn't see the escape theme at all, but it's a nice entry. Try balancing a little bit the game, by either reducing the speed or giving the player more fuel and perhaps a way to slow down or stop (that may consume fuel too). Overall quite interesting. Hope you finish it someday.

ointment says ...
Aug 26, 2011 @ 12:09pm

The "original" version has fake difficulty caused by having to restart from the start after dying. I'm glad you've tried to respond to complaints by making improved versions; that's why I gave you a high community rating. "Escape velocity" is also a distinctive take on the theme.

However, the game still has very little content despite being promising. I feel that you should keep developing it further.

Rudy says ...
Aug 26, 2011 @ 1:40pm

Not a bad idea. lol @ mid-space message "stars *arror*" Gravity is too messy and accelerated the ship too much. It is also impossible to tell where the target is, an arrow could have helped. Graphics are too minimalistic and those don't really look like stars. Some parallax would help. (p.s. compo version)

eli says ...
Aug 27, 2011 @ 7:28am

Interesting take on the theme. "Escape" debt while "escaping" gravitational pull. Excellent first entry, keep it up! I liked the music too.

Jedi says ...
Aug 31, 2011 @ 12:23pm

These comments are awesome! Please keep them coming!

I have a new version up, 1.2, that I hope addresses some of the issues you guys had with the earlier stuff. Check it out!

Andrew - thanks! Do you mind if I ask what gave you the impression it would be less fun than it was? Was it the crappy Paint graphics?

ointment - thanks! I wasn't expecting a high anything-rating :P. I appreciate the encouragement.

Rudy - I know they don't look like stars, that's why they're labeled :P. Glad it made you laugh. Better appearance is something that's definitely in my plans but I think it's going to mean getting some artists involved and probably moving to something more robust than SDL. I'm nearing that point now (and interested in suggestions) but I wanted to fix the gameplay issues first.

eli - Yay! You noticed my theme connections as well as my music! You rock. :D

Everyone else who commented here and who helped on IRC - Thanks for playing! :D

nilstastic says ...
Sep 4, 2011 @ 2:08pm

Nice gameplay but too few levels to get the full potential. =)

angrygeometry says ...
Sep 11, 2011 @ 8:31am

very cool take on the theme, and i look forward to seeing what you come up with next time!

Tommislav says ...
Sep 12, 2011 @ 7:44pm

Being a starship pilot has to be very difficult... =( But it was a good concept (and I really liked the little explanation in the top-left corner ;). And you can probably make this into a really fun game (just trying one of your post-compo versions prove this)! Well done!

summaky says ...
Sep 12, 2011 @ 7:44pm

The only times I managed to deliver was by sheer luck alone :-D

My biggest complain for this game is that I had to download a ~22MiB library just to play some “beeps”… I guess that you just got what you've used to, but please, next time think of these that don't have unlimited bandwidth ;-)

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