April 20th-23rd 2012 :: 10 Year Anniversary! :: Theme: Tiny World

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by DaveDobson - 48 Hour Compo Entry

After hearing about the "Tiny World" theme, I decided to go with a game in a petri dish. You control a microorganism, and you can swim around the dish eating bacteria, gathering symbiotes, battling your competitor microbes, and dividing yourself to produce more of your species.

There are ten levels. Your goal is to reach the target population level of cells. You may also be required to eliminate your competitors in later levels. If you take too long, your petri dish will dry out, and you'll have to try the level again.

This was my first entry for Ludum Dare - just heard about it earlier this year. A lot of fun. Many thanks to my mom for putting up with my programming.

I used the excellent CraftyJS library as a basis, BFXR and GoldWave for sound, Gimp and Irfanview for art, PowerPoint for some other art, and NotePad++ for coding.

Downloads and Links




Daniel says ...
Apr 23, 2012 @ 6:19am

Pretty good life simulation :)

Apr 23, 2012 @ 7:02am

Neat idea/simulation. Gameplay was rather one-tone. Liked the sfx!

LukeRissacher says ...
Apr 23, 2012 @ 7:31am

Didn't know such things were possible with javascript - very cool. Like Jonathan said the gameplay could have used a bit more strategy / variety, although things got more interesting once the attack-sym's arrived.

MadGnomeGamer says ...
Apr 23, 2012 @ 11:08pm

I've always wanted to play a game like this! :D So it gets points for wish-fufillment. Unfortunately it became unplayabley laggy on my laptop.

DaveDobson says ...
Apr 24, 2012 @ 2:11am

I only tested it extensively in Chrome under Windows - what are you using?

jplur says ...
Apr 24, 2012 @ 2:55am

The later levels were really fun, very great game overall! The controls and physics are super clean.

Rex Peppers says ...
Apr 24, 2012 @ 4:23am

Great job, especially for your first competition!

DaveDobson says ...
Apr 24, 2012 @ 6:45am

Thanks, Rex - I'm not new to game programming, but very new to doing it this fast.

Proch says ...
Apr 24, 2012 @ 10:34am

i liked it ;) maybe with a bettere AI it would become more challenging and interesting ;)

tacograveyard says ...
Apr 24, 2012 @ 1:39pm

Fun game idea with a lot of variety packed in. Great job splitting things into bite size chunks and slowly introducing the player to the game. Awesome to see another entry built using Crafty. I also had a bit of slowdown while playing, but once I loaded it up in Safari everything ran great. (Matching what I experienced with my own entry built w/ Crafty)

orgarus says ...
Apr 24, 2012 @ 10:44pm

Simple and fun! And it isn't simple to make a game simple and fun, the mastery is to make difficult things as it seems that is easy to make them (sorry for my english, in spanish I express this idea perfectly :D).
An awesome and well-balanced game. I really enjoyed.

Congratulations for a great work!

robcozzens says ...
Apr 25, 2012 @ 2:30am

Pretty cool.

tenpn says ...
Apr 25, 2012 @ 9:29am

Very nice! Good tutorial system, and I found the movement very satisfying.

Shigor says ...
Apr 25, 2012 @ 7:39pm

Excellent piece!

ratboy2713 says ...
Apr 25, 2012 @ 9:45pm

Simple and fun. I don't like how you are completely stopped while eating and then resume at full momentum afterwards, very disorienting.

Evil Cult says ...
Apr 26, 2012 @ 2:59am

[Comments and ratings from this account come from various team members]
Great concept! Gameplay wasn't quite there for me, especially the fact you get stunned every time you eat. Later levels were pretty cool when the syms arrived. Pretty good for 48 hours.

DaveDobson says ...
Apr 26, 2012 @ 5:27pm

Thanks for the very kind comments, feedback, and suggestions - I appreciate them very much. Once the judging is done I'll make an updated version that incorporates these suggestions.

FlaxenFlash says ...
Apr 26, 2012 @ 9:47pm

Aiming was a little difficult at times but apart from that I really enjoyed it. I also liked the aesthetic. The noise when you press m but don't split got kind of annoying as I tended to spam it as I was eating stuff

TenTonToon says ...
Apr 27, 2012 @ 6:24am

Interesting idea, but became tedious after level 3. 15 is too high a number when the gameplay is that systematic. Myabe the later levels get better... I'll have to test if further, later.

Overall, though, the game feels solid and well thought-out.

DaveDobson says ...
Apr 27, 2012 @ 12:54pm

Thanks for the feedback. There are new features (syms) added starting at level 5, and new level goals at level 7. I agree that 15 is probably too many - didn't have a lot of time for testing. If you noticed, the text mentions 20 (the original number) - I had already reduced it to 15 but forgot to change that. 15 is still high.

olav_st says ...
Apr 27, 2012 @ 3:29pm

Interesting idea.
The game was fun in the beginning, but became a bit tedious after a while, mostly because of the long animations. (This might be a bug, i used Firefox when playing it.) I also encountered a bug where i had 25/15 cells and lost because the time ran out.

Overall, good work!

Apr 28, 2012 @ 1:13pm

Brilliant concept and the controls feel really awesome! I even enjoyed just speeding around the screen!

DaveDobson says ...
Apr 29, 2012 @ 12:28am

olav - was the 25/15 on one of the later levels? On the last couple, you have to shoot all the competitor cells before winning.

tripleVisionGames - thanks for the kind words! I'm glad you enjoyed it.

basspenguin says ...
Apr 29, 2012 @ 12:37am

I really enjoyed it! I ran into performance problems on level 4+. Disturbing sound effect for multiplying lol.

tinymagus says ...
Apr 29, 2012 @ 11:11am

This was great. I think I'd have enjoyed it more if it was a bit more fast paced. My microbe also had a tendency to get stuk eating when I didn't want to.

Gornova says ...
Apr 29, 2012 @ 3:31pm

good work, I love your game, 5/5 to all!

Jeffalisk says ...
Apr 30, 2012 @ 10:11pm

Played this to completion, really enjoyed it!

I must admit, when I first saw the theme one of my earliest thoughts was "petri dish" but couldn't figure out a workable game mechanic, so I enjoyed seeing your take on it!

This would make a great touchscreen game for phones or tablets, I think. Great work.

DaveDobson says ...
Apr 30, 2012 @ 10:47pm

Thanks for the kind words. I think from the comments here I need to make the eating animation shorter; I kind of liked the feel of not being totally in control of yourself with dividing and eating and swimming, but it's obviously annoying people.

jrasmussen24 says ...
May 1, 2012 @ 6:01am

Really nice, polished gameplay. Honestly, there should be more stuff like this that could raise interested in science and biology!

Alexandre says ...
May 1, 2012 @ 12:32pm

Interesting game.
Sometimes it can be hard to aim...

Jhelle says ...
May 2, 2012 @ 2:03pm

Couldve used some more gameplay elements, maybe it had but I didn't play that far. I liked the idea and good job using html5.

I also imagined it being fun having the dry meter slowly drying up your screen. Like in bomberman when the timer starts to run out :).

vilya says ...
May 2, 2012 @ 2:20pm

I liked the way you introduced an additional game mechanic with each level & the dividing sound effect was great. Really good use of the theme too. The gameplay just didn't feel that compelling though, unfortunately.

Scott Baker says ...
May 3, 2012 @ 5:55am

Very good game. Great use of progression. Kept the game very interesting and fun.

Having different type of clones or jobs for clones would be cool. But not needed, it's a great game as is.

Mesene says ...
May 3, 2012 @ 1:21pm

Nice graphics and mechanics, I enjoyed it.
Maybe lower levels requierements or faster actions will make it even funniest.
good job!

CoffeeOnimal says ...
May 4, 2012 @ 6:42am

Nice entry. On the 3rd and 4th levels, I ran into a bug where the bacteria were spawning outside the petri dish, and I had to stop because there was nothing for me to eat.. Also, I wasn't sure how to quit. Other than that, fun game

DaveDobson says ...
May 5, 2012 @ 5:17am

Thanks for the comments. Sorry about the bug, Coffee - if you read this, can you let me know what browser you were using? I can see that I need to make the gameplay a little more exciting for it to be a keeper, but I'm glad people enjoyed it.

angelk says ...
May 9, 2012 @ 1:57am

Very fitting for the theme! I think eating two pieces of bacteria at the same time only counted as a single piece? It would be nice to have a little faster paced action, but I can see how these levels get out of control really fast. :)

DaveDobson says ...
May 9, 2012 @ 1:18pm

Thanks, angelk - yeah there is a small bug where if you start eating a second bacteria while the animation for the first is operating, you only get credit for one. Didn't spot it in time to fix. The pace does need to be a bit more brisk, I think.

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