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

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Terraformer Breath

by dansludumdare - 48 Hour Compo Entry

Explore a relatively tiny square star system as a dragon with breath so powerful it can terraform worlds and a mind so insane that it hears a disembodied voice.

Downloads and Links




Rose says ...
Apr 24, 2012 @ 3:46am

This is an interesting game and the snarky voice is funny. But I couldn't figure out what to do with the terraformer or whatever it's called once I got it.

fatSquirrel says ...
Apr 24, 2012 @ 3:47am

I like the concept and the tutorial text. After awhile I felt confused as to where I should be going.

dansludumdare says ...
Apr 24, 2012 @ 4:24am

It is meant as an exploratory game: spatially, and in figuring out how to use the terraforming abilities you get. I find newer games where you always know exactly what to do tiring (compare post-Gamecube Zeldas to pre-Gamecube Zeldas -- I hate the new ones, love the old ones). So, yeah, I did intend the player to get stuck and have to go back and try doing new things (but not get frustrated), but I guess it's kind of a bad match for Ludum Dare if people want to see a whole bunch of games quickly.

All the terraformer things you get (things toggled on/off by a, s, d, and f) can be shot (with q) at (appropriate) planets to terraform them. For example, you can give an unatmosphered planet an atmosphere with the (a)tmospherator, which allows you to continue breathing (ie stay alive) when you jump to it.

If you're still stuck, my advice would be to jump off stuff in random directions. I designed the game with an alpha path in mind but purposely never checked that there weren't other ways to win. Another thing I like about older games is that they never had enough time for testing or had good enough physics to keep unintentional alternate paths from forming. I love games with multiple solutions to the given problem.

MrEvilGuy says ...
Apr 24, 2012 @ 7:43am

Beautiful beautiful beautiful game! And the concept behind it is miraculous! The puzzles were extremely difficult, but I didn't mind. Jumping around is fun, and watching my dragon blast off into space never gets old. It is easy to lose my sense of direction, but I frequently found new ways to go so that was fine.

KunoNoOni says ...
Apr 24, 2012 @ 11:47pm

Neat game, but it is hard to see the dragon because he is the same green as the grass. Other then that I really like it :)

ElzingaT says ...
Apr 25, 2012 @ 10:55pm

I had a lot of fun with this one, the puzzles were well put together.

HeuGamer says ...
Apr 26, 2012 @ 2:58am

Couldn't play it?
"Your browser does not support the canvas element."

dansludumdare says ...
Apr 26, 2012 @ 3:04am

Is your browser up to date? If yes, what browser and OS are you on?

The canvas element is the thing that does video in HTML5, and HTML5 is the reason you can play this thing in your browser without installing any plugins. It's also relatively new (hence the browser should be up-to-date).

Apr 26, 2012 @ 9:40pm

I don't think I went the right way, ended up getting stuck on a planet with a normal atmosphere surrounded on one side by hot planets and the sun, and on the other side by planets with no atmosphere. Never was able to find any atmosphere changing weapons as described in the comments. I enjoyed the sound, music, and gameplay. The only thing I can really complain about is the text being too fast to read. Great game! :)

Lacutis says ...
Apr 26, 2012 @ 11:56pm

I thought this was a very cool concept but it got really hard moving through some of the planets where you had to like suck an atmosphere, remove the freeze, create an atmosphere and move through it before the freeze came back.
I did play long enough to get all 4 powers though.
Maybe some kind of mini map?

dansludumdare says ...
Apr 27, 2012 @ 2:00am

There are 5 powerups that increase the time planets stay terraformed. The first one is supposed to be easy to notice -- top right of screen when on the 3rd planet you can (easily) get to -- and once you have the dustinator, easy to get.

I'm torn about minimaps. They definitely make it easier, but I don't know if that's good. I didn't really want to make it easier -- I don't think there are enough games where exploring is entirely your responsibility. Minimaps ease the burden -- don't explore, just go where you need to right? Faster. Bullshit! Anyway, with time constraints I decided to not even worry about it.

jwolf says ...
Apr 28, 2012 @ 7:01pm

Pretty neat and original concept, although I found it rather frustrating finding any of the power-ups / tools. I might give it another shot later. I like the snarky narrator.

Apr 28, 2012 @ 7:29pm

Great job, funny and fun! I like the tutorial text and the music!

poohshoes says ...
Apr 28, 2012 @ 7:43pm

I could only find two of the tools : P

Scott Baker says ...
Apr 28, 2012 @ 7:45pm

Great exploration game. I spent a lot of time on this and had a lot of fun. I agree with you about how minimaps and arrow indicators destroyed the old days of exploration. But maybe some indicator of planets you already visited? I got confused after a while. It was time for pen and paper tracking.

The controls were difficult to get a hold of. At the end, where you need to use multiple transformers, I had a hell of a time pressing the right keys at the right time. Maybe a different key for firing? I kept jamming the space bar when I needed to quickly fire instead of Q. Instead I would just jump into the poisonous planet. ;)

Great game! Hope you make others like it.

Scott Baker says ...
Apr 28, 2012 @ 7:46pm

Oh, the beeping for communication was a little annoying after a while. That is the only negative I can think of.

dansludumdare says ...
Apr 28, 2012 @ 11:46pm

I think pen and paper tracking is legit, but I didn't intend it for this game. Hm. I definitely had more knowledge of how the star system is structured when playing (since I created it)... so here's something hopefully helpful: the star system has a sun at the center, and then there are concentric rings of hot planets, mild planets, and cold planets. You start north of the sun. You can travel all the way around the system on the mild planets, which is what I intended the player to do first. When you get the dustinator and can more quickly travel from any point to the other since you're going close to a straight line by hopping on the hot planets. Perhaps not a minimap, but just a rough map of the system would have been in order. Maybe there could be signs on planets with the map and a "You are here". As for knowing if you visited a planet before or not -- I should've made more unique-looking planets. That's a time thing though.

Maybe if the beeping was quieter? I thought it had to be a bit annoying to go with the narrator's character. And it's more effective when you encounter spiders to have some kind of sound -- as if there's some guy ringing one of those "service please" bells, and the service is spider removal, and the guy is covered in spiders.

dansludumdare says ...
Apr 28, 2012 @ 11:57pm

*There's a typo in my last comment:
"When you get the dustinator and can"
should be
"When you get the dustinator YOU can"

Oh, and yeah, that makes sense about the controls. I didn't bother reviewing the controls -- I implemented jumping first, so it got the more obvious key. I thought asdf as the terraforming items was funny. But I guess it should've been something like qwas so you could have another finger free for shooting (maybe f would be shoot). Or just make the a key fire the atmospherator instead of switching to it. In fact, I don't know why I didn't do that... I think maybe at some point I was going to allow combinations of items to be used in one shot, so you'd have to select what you wanted and then shoot it. Hm. Yeah, my bad.

Apr 29, 2012 @ 8:42am

Interesting idea, good take on the theme.

Evil Cult says ...
Apr 29, 2012 @ 8:48am

[Comments and ratings from this account come from various team members]
I felt that a lot of jumps I made should have been sucessful but ended up going through planets instead of landing on them. This unfortunatly set the tone of most of the game for me and the humerous comments then quickly added to my frustration. I liked the concept but thought this should be more about thinking which way to go rather than trying to work out where -exactly- you needed to jump to reach the next platform. Could be great with some tweaks though.

LukeRissacher says ...
May 2, 2012 @ 6:12am

Cool! By far the most interesting HTML5 game I've played. Wished I could just hit A, D, etc. to fire abilities instead of toggling first then hitting Q. Definitely want to come back to this one and play some more though.

Yapikom says ...
May 2, 2012 @ 6:30am

I liked it. Funny, great exploration and unique. The music made it strangely moody, but the screen windows was giganormous for me, so it was half unplayable, will save for later and play some more. :)

dansludumdare says ...
May 2, 2012 @ 6:47am

Giganormous? Strange. It's supposed to be 640x480... what device are you playing on? In particular, what resolution does it have?

HybridMind says ...
May 3, 2012 @ 2:03am

I really enjoyed this a lot. I really liked the text that kept talking, guiding, and teasing me. I was having a great time playing this but eventually I got stuck restarting on a lava world that I then didn't have enough breath to escape from back to a healthy start location. I managed to get 1 powerup and explore a lot. I love how big the map felt. Really fun and old school.

HybridMind says ...
May 3, 2012 @ 2:24am

So I had to go back and play again after reading your comments about there being terraforming tools! crazy. I played for like another 20 minutes and got a ton more powerups. I never understood until the end of my second playthru that the water tiles weren't rocks. They looked like boulders to me for some strange reason. I was wondering why the narrator kept telling me about not aiming for the water. Anyway, had a ton more fun trying to progress further. Really great game that reminds me of tons of old school exploration games that I loved as a kid.

HybridMind says ...
May 3, 2012 @ 2:25am

Oh, and one last thing. I didn't realize until REALLY late that the planet borders indicated atmosphere or not! Haha, once I saw that the game made a lot more sense. Plus, once I started seeing them all as little planets besides their square shape.

Shifty says ...
May 3, 2012 @ 6:32pm

Great concept :)

Puzzlem00n says ...
May 6, 2012 @ 10:10pm

Dang man, that was really hard... Beat it, though. Seriously, why not just make the different buttons shoot instead of having to make the player click two buttons to shoot another bullet? (Ex. Shoot 'a', shoot 's' INSTEAD OF press 'a', Shoot 'q', press 's', shoot 'q') Just a thought.

Several says ...
May 9, 2012 @ 3:45am

Beautiful work.

The controls for breath are pretty awkward, but the metroid-vania elements are well executed, and the mood is thoroughly absorbing. There's a nice bit of synergy going on between the leaping mechanic, the theme, the pacing, and the music, I think.

Looking forward to trying to finish the game tomorrow.

MadGnomeGamer says ...
May 9, 2012 @ 4:03am

I think I got into several places you never intended me to with the little trick of jumping so that I slide along an atmosphere...but I still couldn't acheive anything! I got lots of blocked paths (LOTS) and a robot, and spiders, but no powers. Walkthru please? :D

This game is really something different, though! Innovative exploration mechanic.

I like the text.

PS The audio 'stuck' and so did the game, on the Web version.

dansludumdare says ...
May 10, 2012 @ 8:28am

I apologize again about the controls. 48 hours, yo, didn't have time to take a step back and figure out that they were stupid.

You are absolutely supposed to do things I never expected! Although hopefully they wont crash the game.

As for walkthrough... can you recommend a program for Window 7 that would be able to record an html5 canvas element?

For while there isn't a video, here's some text that might help: You start North of the sun. Head generally counterclockwise with only obvious short jumps until you see the first robot. Then take a longer jump downward and continue generally counterclockwise until you see the atmospherator. Get it. Continue counterclockwise, ensuring you navigate the perimeter of each planet you land on so as to see other planets -- on one such other planet is a powerup. Once you get the powerup, continue counterclockwise until you are East of the sun (you'll be heading North) and there'll be a branch going East, where you can get the Dustinator (which can turn water to ice and hot atmosphere to normal atmosphere). Continue counterclockwise until you can hop on the hot planets near the sun and go clockwise. Get the Electronator and die from the poison. Continue counterclockwise from where you return to and get back to the starting planet. With the dustinator, you can get the powerup near here. Continue counterclockwise until you meet the first robot you ever met. You can kill him now, and traverse the planet he was on with the dustinator. Around here you can get the firinator. Head to the planets south of the sun, either how you got there the first time, or through the hot planets (faster but riskier). Eventually you'll get to a South branch with a gas giant, and the suckinator near it. Get the suckinator. Head counterclockwise on the green planets and snag another powerup accessible with the dustinator. (There are 2 more powerups in the game, but this should be enough). Continue counterclockwise and get back to the planet you started on, and then head for the poison planet the disembodied voice pointed out. Suckinator the atmosphere, then add a new nonpoisonous one back with the atmospherator. Hop on, kill the robot, let yourself die (with all 5 powerups and use of the firinator, you can do this without dying, but it's easier to just go in baby steps). Suckinate and atmospherate two planets, and kill the second robot. Repeat once more, and just run past the final robot if you're lazy. Get the x.

Knighty says ...
May 10, 2012 @ 9:33am

It was really hard to figure out where I was, maybe some kind of map would help? I ended getting way too lost and going in circles, then somehow I got my respawn point stuck in water and I was repeatedly dying. :(
Also sometimes the text was hard to read because the colour blended in with the green planets.
Although overall I think it was pretty good.

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