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    Ludum Dare 23

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

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    Volo - thanketcok - 48 Hour Compo Entry

    Volo is a procedurally generated cave exploration flying platformer. It was built in JavaScript using the JawsJS library which utilises the HTML5 canvas element. Volo currently works best in Google Chrome.

    This is my first attempt at developing a game in a game competition. Choosing JavaScript was done lightly but in retrospect I should have put more time into the decision, especially since my only familiarity with JawsJS was briefly looking at the API docs. The theme resonated deeply with my memories of being a child and playing a Nintendo GameBoy, with it being 'tiny' but packing such a large 'world' of adventures and exploration. I have tried to recreate these feelings with Volo using procedural generation, although there is only so much one person can do in forty-eight hours.

    I hope you enjoy it.

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




    wibblymat says ...
    Apr 23, 2012 @ 9:25am

    Stuck at "Loading 73%" in Chrome. Refreshed a few times but nothing changed.

    thanketcok says ...
    Apr 23, 2012 @ 10:54am

    Thanks for reporting this, it's hosted on Amazon S3 servers so hopefully the problem will clear itself up. If anyone else has this issue please comment!

    thristhart says ...
    Apr 23, 2012 @ 11:40am

    Innovation: 3/5 - Not a rip-off, but not really new ideas.
    Fun: 3/5 - It's a fun little concept but it gets old really quickly, I suspect from the lack of communication. Positive reinforcement ("You win!" when an exit is reached for example) or score-tracking (how many levels without dying?) would give more reason to play for more than a couple minutes.
    Theme: 3/5 - It's a tiny world with tiny things. Not really feeling the "world" aspect, but it works.
    Graphics: 3/5 - They're pretty in a minimalist way. Unfortunately, because they're so tiny (ha) it was hard to tell what things were at first. Very functional, however.
    Audio: N/A - On a machine without audio, so will not rate.
    Humor: N/A - Didn't see any attempts at humor, therefore not rating.
    Mood: 4/5 - The graphics come together quite well in this regard, especially the contrast between the dark play area and the bright window (and bird).

    Lidfrid says ...
    Apr 23, 2012 @ 11:40am

    Mmm where are the tiny world?

    thanketcok says ...
    Apr 23, 2012 @ 12:17pm

    Thanks for feedback! Highly appreciated.

    Maybe not a literal 'tiny world' (mini earth?) but the environment and sprites (8x8 pixels) are quite small. The world that makes up the game (sprites, palette, viewport, maps, gameplay (hah!), etc) are all quite limited and tiny. It's my own 'tiny world' (or at least it was for 48 hours).

    Thanks for playing!

    Evgis says ...
    Apr 23, 2012 @ 1:13pm

    Pretty neat, good job.

    Dmitri Z says ...
    Apr 23, 2012 @ 9:01pm

    Wow, a fellow JawsJS coder!

    Overall - great job. I love the graphics, and the procedurally generated levels (I'll have to study the code for inspiration).
    I really like the wings flapping mechanic, though I think the controls are a bit off - the gravity is too high, and fly/glide time is too short.
    I agree with another commenter that there should be a brief pause/success message when clearing each level.

    But like I said, overall - well done. I'm very impressed (especially if this is your first time with Javascript and JawsJS)

    Johnicholas says ...
    Apr 23, 2012 @ 10:33pm

    Nice. Had you written procedurally-generated caves before?

    Cosmologicon says ...
    Apr 23, 2012 @ 10:35pm

    I think it's cool that you went with procedural generation for the level design. It's always difficult for procedurally-generated dungeons to hit the right challenge level, and you can see that here too. Sometimes the goal was just a couple of flaps away, and sometimes it seemed like I needed to pass a dense group of red guys to find it. Thanks, it was interesting!

    thanketcok says ...
    Apr 24, 2012 @ 1:34am

    Thank you.

    @Dmitri Z, @Johnnicholas
    Thanks, I have done cave generation before - although I have to warn you that the code is pretty messy! Frantically programming solo brings out the horrible shortcuts/patterns in me. Next time round I'm definitely going to spend more time on application design in the beginning and writing cleaner code.

    I think you hit the nail on the head. I was going to implement A* to find an appropriate place for the door based on the generated cave size but burnt out pretty quickly after the first 24 hours. I really did learn a lot though - especially about game play mechanics (and how difficult they are to get right).

    V0ID says ...
    Apr 24, 2012 @ 7:20pm

    As I'm using a lot of procedural generation in the "real" game I'm writing currently I always like games that also use it. As thristhart said the coloring fits together well. (And the other points thristhart said hold true in my opinion, too)
    I would have liked to hold space to jump higher and not re-pressing it all the time.

    gnx says ...
    Apr 27, 2012 @ 12:21pm

    Functional. The player character tends to get a bit stuck on things sometimes.

    What I gain from collecting those boxes doesn't seem to be entirely clear. Sound is good, but the death sound is very loud and annoying.

    Pixelulsar says ...
    May 4, 2012 @ 10:55pm

    It was cool that it was randomly generated, but I feel that it needs more variety, like more enemies and traps. I wish there was music while you are playing, but I liked the title screen and death screen music.

    Mago says ...
    May 11, 2012 @ 10:33am

    I like the minimalist graphics and small game window. Too bad you die so quickly I would add some health bar which would make gameplay longer.

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