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Ludum Dare 23

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

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SS Tiny World - JesterBLUE - 48 Hour Compo Entry

First Ludum Dare and the result is playable! I would have liked to design some levels and add more backstory, but I'm pretty happy with what I've got. Thanks, Static Void Games, for hosting! Code was done in Java, graphics in Photoshop.

I've added a gameplay details document to try to make the game more playable, less confusing. This is post-compo.

With this game I wanted to experiment with an idea that has been kicking around in my head for a while, temporal portals. I imagined you having a barrier in your way, but then a portal opens up and your future self emerges, presses a button that clears the barrier, then returns. You then go through the cleared barrier, create a portal and go back in time to clear that barrier for yourself before moving on.

It seems to me that you need to be able to create portals from the future at any time, but with each portal you are also creating a 'promise' that in the future you will enter a portal to the past. I wanted to add something that would individualize the players, something that could change with them over time. I chose hats because they were easy to implement (the same hat graphic is used for facing left right and down, it almost worked when facing up, but it didn't cover the guy's bald spot.) So, when a player with a hat portals in, you have to fulfill the promise by portaling out a (different) player with a hat.

I realized that this might cause paradoxes and introduced code to prevent that, which ultimately made the game very confusing. I wanted to be able to play back the path of the one character through time, so you watch him go through each portal until he finally finishes the room. If the 'promises' were not filled, then this sequence could not be constructed. I considered adding in 'cameos' to fix hat/no hat problems (the player enters a portal, then you see him inside the time portal and finds a hat floating in the inter-spacetime void, which he takes before returning to the real world) but I thought that putting the responsibility for avoiding paradoxes on the player would make a more interesting game. That idea clearly needs to be re-examined post-mortem.

Please let me know what parts are confusing or what parts you have a good feel for. Thanks for playing!

View JesterBLUE's journal. | View all entries by JesterBLUE

Ratings

#277Humor2.56
#419Innovation2.96
#456Graphics2.83
#475Mood2.62
#606Theme2.65
#705Coolness45%
#709Overall2.52
#782Fun2.09

Comments

Sanguine says ...
Apr 23, 2012 @ 11:21am

Doesn't seem to work for me...

Gemberkoekje says ...
Apr 23, 2012 @ 12:02pm

Consider converting the game to an EXE: http://viralpatel.net/blogs/2009/02/convert-jar-to-exe-executable-jar-file-to-exe-converting.html Also, check mine: http://www.ludumdare.com/compo/ludum-dare-23/?action=preview&uid=5952 :)

Gemberkoekje says ...
Apr 23, 2012 @ 12:05pm

Also getting an error:
Could not find the main class: TinyWorldLD23.TinyWorldLD23. Program will exit.
That's with the newest Java Runtime Environment.

Endurion says ...
Apr 23, 2012 @ 12:34pm

Same problem as the others, I've got a JRE installed, however the game won't start. For some weird reason the .jar ends up being named .zip. Renaming back to .jar didn't help however.

JesterBLUE says ...
Apr 23, 2012 @ 6:30pm

KNOWN BUGS:

-->TinyWorldLD23.java line 29 should be deleted, this is probably what is causing the trouble. The program still ran fine on my computer, so next time I will test on a different computer. The line references a class I replaced in the 44th hour.

-->Animation speed is related to computer speed, needs to be regulated to a clock instead of just tick counting. everything animates faster than intended on modern computers (this was programmed and tested on a computer built in 2001)
for a temporary fix, increase the values of ANIMATION_TICK_TIMEOUT and STEP_TICK_TIMEOUT in TinyWorldLD23 lines 24 and 25.

->terminals do not display random messages. to fix this, change levelLoader.java lines 156~165? to:
//start of good code
//now add a terminal tile, but not over teh start tile
String str=strings[randomLevel.nextInt(numStrings)];
TileTerminal t;
do {
t = new TileTerminal(randomLevel.nextInt(TinyWorldLD23.TILES_WIDE),randomLevel.nextInt(TinyWorldLD23.TILES_HIGH-1),str,randomLevel);
} while(thisLevel.tiles[t.xpos][t.ypos].getClass() == TileStart.class || thisLevel.tiles[t.xpos][t.ypos+1].getClass() == TileStart.class);
thisLevel.tiles[t.xpos][t.ypos]=t;
thisLevel.tiles[t.xpos][t.ypos+1]=new TileFloor(t.xpos,t.ypos+1);
}
//end of good code


->the messages on the starting terminal sometimes run off the screen. this is fixed by editing levelLoader.java lines 41-68

->clicking the start terminal many times then clicking the messages many times will result in missing standard messages. Not quite sure why, I would guess something in Message.java related to multiple threads deleting messages at the same time.

SaiKai says ...
Apr 24, 2012 @ 11:26am

sadly doesn't seem to work... but looks great

bburbank says ...
Apr 24, 2012 @ 4:07pm

Yeah, same as others, doesn't seem to work for me (jar won't launch on my mac).

JesterBLUE says ...
Apr 25, 2012 @ 12:03am

I tweaked the jar a bit - changed it from 1.7 to 1.6 and discovered that it was Jarring up the zip file of the source code, doubling the size. It should work for more people now.

omaha says ...
Apr 25, 2012 @ 2:37am

couldn't get it to run, getting the same error described above (tried running the applet version)

aeveis says ...
Apr 25, 2012 @ 2:43am

applet doesn't work. jar worked for me though. I think i understood the controls but i couldn't get out of the first room? Beginnings of an interesting back story.

netguy204 says ...
Apr 25, 2012 @ 2:44am

Neat graphics style. This definitely took me back to a puzzle game I used to play on Windows 3.1. Great humor too. I laughed.

But... wow. Sheesh. This is a complicated and intimidating game. It's hard for me to embrace this level of apparent complexity given that the reward for success isn't clear. It made me realize how important it is to be gentle to a new player... to give them confidence in themselves as players, and in you as the creator.. In this case, I haven't really had the gradual progression of increasing difficulty to also gradually increase my trust that the game is worth my time.

MinerCraftGuy says ...
Apr 25, 2012 @ 1:22pm

Was able to play the game using Jar converter to EXE. It looks promising, hope you will work on it after the LD

wibblymat says ...
Apr 25, 2012 @ 11:29pm

Both links are now dead, DNS error looking up s3.staticvoidgames.com

rfgpfeiffer says ...
Apr 27, 2012 @ 10:32am

I can't download your game!

JesterBLUE says ...
Apr 27, 2012 @ 5:32pm

I've mirrored on dropbox, hopefully that will fix the DNS and download errors.

SLiV says ...
May 1, 2012 @ 3:09pm

Nice to see someone else going with the spaceship thing. I liked the unhelpful onboard computer.

The game itself was really confusing, though. I wasn't sure how to get the hat back in the cupboard without not having stolen it (if that makes sense).

But overall, good job.

robcozzens says ...
May 5, 2012 @ 5:44am

There is a chance that this is really cool if you know how to play, but I had no idea what was going on.

schnerble says ...
May 5, 2012 @ 5:38pm

It worked fine for me, but I have to admit I couldn't really figure out what I was supposed to do... Might've been nice to have keyboard controls for the movement as well, because having to click each square is a bit awkward.

Wampus says ...
May 9, 2012 @ 1:33am

Wasn't sure what I was doing. Whatever it was, it seemed well put together.

JesterBLUE says ...
May 11, 2012 @ 1:52pm

Please be sure to move your player in front of the white computer in the first room then click the computer. This will give you the story (and the goal of the game) in messages at the bottom of the screen. click the messages to read more.

SLiV - to get the hat back in the cupboard, do this:
find a player with no hat. (create more players if needed until you get one.) have that player take the hat from the locker and portal out. have another player with a hat put it back in the locker. portal out everyone except one player with no hat. the green portal should be open (unless there are still some cupboards that have had their hats stolen, in that case get a player with a hat to put it in those cupboards.)

someone says ...
May 11, 2012 @ 3:27pm

Interesting idea, could make for some interesting puzzles. The random levels are not particularly interesting.
Got a bit confused by the hat thing at first. Also the some of the tiles are not obviously walkable. The controls are also a bit awkward, especially if you have a long way to go.

dagothig says ...
May 11, 2012 @ 5:42pm

got really confusing after the 1st level

crhallberg says ...
May 13, 2012 @ 10:12pm

Couldn't figure out how to advance, but I like the idea!

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