August 19th-22nd 2011 :: Theme: Escape
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Spiritual

by TeamJollyRoger - Jam Entry

Spiritual is a game about a mischievous Wisp who gets thrown into a world of swamp and mazes as a punishment for slacking off from his divine duties. Your mission is to guide him through the everchanging network of duckboards, collect the Wisplings he needs to reactivate the Seal he came through and take one step closer to the home. To be honest though, the level are procedurally generated and the difficulty increases indefinitely, so the road is quite long. Maybe we need a sequel to relieve the Wisp from his torment?

Controls are explained in-game, but we forgot a couple of details in the rush: You can skip to the opposite side of the maze by moving the Wisp outside the screen, providing that the block on the other side is accessible. Also if you stay still for a moment, the platforms directly under you will move. This is meant to prevent getting stuck so easily. The game can also be played with Xbox 360 controller if you have one hanging around.

Spiritual was made by Team Jolly Roger for 21st Ludum Dare, using XNA Game Studio 4.0. Feel free to give us feedback or suggestions at teamjollyroger.com, or check us out on Facebook. We hope you enjoy the game!

Downloads and Links


Ratings

Graphics(Jam)4.73
Audio(Jam)4.27
Innovation(Jam)4.09
#7Overall(Jam)3.73
#13Theme(Jam)3.50
#14Fun(Jam)3.20
#59Humor(Jam)1.40
#311Coolness1%

Comments

Gornova says ...
Aug 23, 2011 @ 7:06pm

Impressive game!! Atmosphere is unique, graphics is good, sound and music too!
For gameplay I prefer more direct control on sliding blocks.. well done :D

krangGAMES says ...
Aug 23, 2011 @ 8:49pm

Loved the story, the intro art was very good, as well as the ambient and hypnotic audio. The mechanic got a little dull after several levels, and I ended up quitting after about 7 or 8 levels - it became an excercise in patience, something Ludum Dare game rating doesn't really allow for ;) Maybe just a few too many levels. A few powerups or something to break up the monotony would help immensely. Overall, enjoyed the game quite a bit, really enjoyed the mechanic! It was neat and oddly humbling to NOT be in control of my environment. :)

Aug 23, 2011 @ 10:38pm

Thanks for the feedback, we appreciate it immensely! :) We already have several improvements in mind to enhance the gameplay, including powerups.

I don't know yet when we will actually have a change to put those ideas in good use, but I'm convinced that we will develop the game further in the coming months. If you're interested, we will post news of any progress to our brand new development blog. (http://www.tjrdev.blogspot.com/)

PS. We already ported the game to Windows Phone 7 for fun, works surprisingly well!

lilserf says ...
Aug 24, 2011 @ 4:15am

Really fantastic presentation!
I agree, the "wait for the blocks to randomly move in a way you can use" mechanic gets old quickly. Having SOME way the user can affect that might help.

pdyxs says ...
Aug 26, 2011 @ 6:57am

Looks and sounds amazing! However, the mechanic was a little problematic - because the sliding blocks were completely random, it was often more a matter of waiting for the right blocks to come than of actually making a good move. Maybe if you add some element of control to the player?

Shigor says ...
Aug 26, 2011 @ 12:03pm

Excellent atmosphere and presentation, but gameplay is rather dull... mostly wait and wait :) I've spent few minutes and few levels playing this, but it gets boring very quickly and atmo won't save it.

BlueShaman says ...
Aug 28, 2011 @ 6:18pm

It looks nice, but the levels weren't puzzling. You solved them with patience, so that sort of detracted from the game. Awesome graphics and sound though!

summaky says ...
Sep 3, 2011 @ 7:55pm

This game looks very polished and the music and sound fit very well in the general atmosphere. However, I would like to control the blocks a little more. I prefer to win by skill and by luck.

Zaron says ...
Sep 10, 2011 @ 10:44pm

Good graphics, interesting idea, but random level design doesn't do it any favors. Way too many situations where I'd restart a level after realizing I'd wound up stuck on a block that had no chance of connecting to anything else an time soon, and the frequency of the shifts mean that even when a path presents itself you can rarely act quickly enough to take advantage of it. Allowing certain tiles to have just no boards at all doesn't help alleviate any of this, and tens o encourage players to try and stay on boards with the most potential exits possible regardless of if that's going to take them closer or further from their goal. I'd also frequently wind up off in the middle of nothing as two boards disconnected during a shift.

Maybe try adding a little visual warning of some sort (water currents or something?) to let players know where boards are about to shift, and give them a quick warning it's going to happen. As is, it's a giant test of patience, and while not being in control of the environment is fine, as is there's not a lot of strategy or reason to the gameplay. You just move towards your next goal and hope for the best, then wind up waiting a lot, and it isn't very fun or rewarding, as even in victory you never really feel like you did anything to contribute to that.

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