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

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Gale Axile

by free_napalm - 48 Hour Compo Entry

You are left do die in a lonely galaxy.

But, there are fruits on your planet. Pluck them and plant more of them to increase the size of your planet. Reach other planets, and find trees, ore, even powerful Uranium. Use them to build tools that help you survive against hunger and cold.

Your goal is to build a spaceship. But how you reach this goal is different every time you play - because every game is set in a random galaxy.

Downloads and Links




robbiehunt says ...
Apr 23, 2012 @ 3:29pm

Note: If anyone get's an odd security warning, I downloaded the game and ran it and it is fine!

You know what? I like this. The atmosphere, music sound and graphics, is good.

I think the tutorial could have gone in a little more depth and perhaps the manual could have been fleshed out more.

I've commented on other games saying that 'hard is okay' and 'sometimes figuring out for yourself is good' but I dunno... I feel like I wanted a little more hand-holding in the beginning.

But great overall!

Jigxor says ...
Apr 23, 2012 @ 4:20pm

I liked the crisp aesthetic you have with mostly black and white, the atmosphere and music are good too as robbiehunt said. I did find the start a little confusing, but once I realised how to plant new plants it was really quite fun!

Great job! I enjoyed it :)

Nocturne says ...
Apr 23, 2012 @ 6:33pm

Excellent game! Somewhat hard to get into but it's definitely worthwhile taking the time to learn the controls as this is pretty deep for having been made in such a short time. My only real complaint is the same as what robbiehunt says, and that it needs more of a tutorial at the start. But it's still one of the best games I've played so far...

free_napalm says ...
Apr 23, 2012 @ 6:52pm

Thanks for your positive comments everyone. I kind of run out of time for explaining because the rest of the game took me so long and I had no test players around, so you are kind of thrown into the galaxy. I'm glad all of you understood it anyway.

Just a short heads-up, today I found two game-breaking bugs, concerning the campfire and the body temperature bar, and fixed them. The old version can be found here: http://dl.dropbox.com/u/75054196/gale_axile_buggy.exe
But despite of the bugs, it's identical.

Have fun playing everyone!

Alex Gilday says ...
Apr 23, 2012 @ 7:14pm

Pretty fun, music is a bit repetitive and the graphics are fairly simple but the concept is nice :)

Apr 23, 2012 @ 9:18pm

great game man.. so involved but i like it :)

Endurion says ...
Apr 24, 2012 @ 5:02pm

Dropbox says 404 :(

free_napalm says ...
Apr 24, 2012 @ 5:35pm

Thanks for the new comments :)
It should work again now, sorry.

Darkfrost says ...
Apr 24, 2012 @ 5:36pm

Awesome idea :) Pulled off well, art style is really nice, but it's bloody hard! :p Good game

Apr 24, 2012 @ 6:04pm

Tough as nails, but really well done. I really like the idea how you can grow planets by planting stuff. The graphics are simple but get the job done and the setting is funny. Very well done!

emveyh says ...
Apr 24, 2012 @ 6:19pm

Really great idea, had fun playing. Like the others said, it's pretty hard to get into but then it's great :) Keep it up!

ChainedLupine says ...
Apr 24, 2012 @ 8:47pm

That's a fair amount of game play to pack into 48 hours! Interesting mechanics, though I found it hard to stay alive after hopping from my second planet to third. It could have used a beginner mode where food/heat didn't run out quite so fast, I think.

Fireblend says ...
Apr 25, 2012 @ 2:17am

Nicely done! The music was a bit repetitive, but it matched the minimalist look and feel of the game so I guess that was ok. It's got a rather steep learning curve though, and although some help was provided through the manual I kept wanting to have the tutorial text somewhere to read instead of having to go through the whole introduction phase which could get a little boring I felt. Once you get into it its fun though, and I like the survival aspect. Really interesting!

Catman says ...
Apr 25, 2012 @ 2:12pm

Nice game!! I liked the graphics and the gameplay, they are quite original! Good job!!! :)

RHY3756547 says ...
Apr 25, 2012 @ 8:41pm

Nice, I love the black and white + detailed sprites art style.

ReddogStone says ...
Apr 25, 2012 @ 8:45pm

Nifty little genius game! I really wanted to make something similar, but... failed :(

Nanofus says ...
Apr 26, 2012 @ 6:16pm

Wow, I like it. The graphics are simple but good-looking and the game itself is vast for a 48-hour product. Also fits the theme.

youdonotexist says ...
Apr 26, 2012 @ 8:24pm

Could we get a Mac/Unix/Web build of this? I don't have access to a Windows machine.

Apr 26, 2012 @ 8:28pm

Wow, this is really in-depth! The only problem I had was keeping enough plants to grow the planet so I could get back off it after cutting down all the trees :)

pighead10 says ...
Apr 26, 2012 @ 8:32pm

Complex gameplay for 48 hours! Hard to get into at first, but worth it.

free_napalm says ...
Apr 26, 2012 @ 8:44pm

Thanks for all the comments, glad you like it despite of the steep learning curve.
RHY3756547: Wow, I'm surprised my spriting style is called detailed, most of the time I just drew random lines :)
youdonotexist: The only thing possible for me would be a GM HTML5 Web build. I'm working on that, but I'm not sure if there will be fluent gameplay. Thanks for your interest though.
divillysausages: Yeah, I wanted to have some things the player has to keep in mind, as bringing at least one fruit to always have something to eat and something to grow your planet to get back. It's a survival game after all, you probably wouldn't go in the wilderness without any food, too :)

VDZ says ...
Apr 27, 2012 @ 5:35pm

Holy shit. This game is brilliant.

Did you seriously have no test players around? The game is almost perfectly balanced to have you slowly progress while struggling to remain alive and keep the planet at a good size. I had no problems with the learning curve (other than being stupid enough to plant a uranium fire on a small planet in my first playthrough, but that serves me right for not reading the build menu), though that might be because I read the instruction menu before playing (AFAIK most players generally skip optional instructions). The difficulty is good for the first minute or so of the game, but after that (assuming you don't make really stupid mistakes), there is no sense of impending death (other than the occasional moment where you realize your warmth is running low and you're pretty far from your uranium fire, but that's only occasionally and only if you're playing with uranium fires instead of wooden ones). Still, the game keeps challenging you as it's harder than it looks to keep the planet growing; this is an especially challenging aspect when you go for a speed run.

From what I can see after 1 failed and 2 full playthroughs (so I might be wrong on some things), there seem to be a couple of elements that are superfluous, adding very little to the game. I never had any problems with enemies, as they could easily be dodged or avoided altogether (you can generally also find the resources you need on different planets). This also makes the two weapons rather useless, unless it's possible for the random generator to create a situation where enemies are unavoidable. The rake sounded good at first, but you quickly realize that growing time doesn't actually matter if you keep planting until plant/tree #1 has fully grown. Even if you don't have enough seeds to keep planting that long, the time it costs to use the rake doesn't seem worth it. The good news is, none of these elements are harmful to the game, only useless.

The balance of the food bar, warmth bar, campfires vs uranium fires, planting vs harvesting are all practically perfect. You really have to work to progress, but making the right choices and thinking quickly allow you to get further in the game more quickly.

The game's also very innovative; although growing/shrinking is an increasingly common element in games, it's rarely used like this, allowing you to shrink or grow areas to travel between them. The idea of making tiny worlds grow big also fits the theme perfectly.

Graphics are simple but functional. They're nice, but nothing to get blown away by. Sound consists entirely of a short music loop; although the music isn't bad at all and it can be looped pretty often until it gets boring, it does get rather boring if it's the only loop in a game of this length (first full playthrough took me 560 seconds). Although the lack of sound isn't jarring (to the point where I was unsure whether it actually had sound when I closed the game after playing for ~20 minutes), sound effects could add a lot. A little sound when you plant, harvest, or do some other thing just gives that little extra push that makes it feel rewarding.

Overall, brilliant game, by far the best I've played so far. I really should get back to this game at some point to improve my score. (In case anyone else wants to beat it, my second full playthrough took 363 seconds.) Do you have any plans to continue developing the game beyond its current state? If so, you should definitely add sound. Seeded generation (perhaps giving the player the option between a list of pre-seeded galaxies or a completely random galaxy) would also allow fair competition between players (as it is right now, you could just spawn in an easy galaxy and nobody could beat your score until they got lucky too); if you want to take it even further you could have players compete with an online high score list. You could also greatly boost the replay value by giving the player a list of pre-seeded galaxies, ordering them by difficulty and challenging the player to complete all of them. It's an amazing game, and it has the potential to be even more amazing. If you decide to develop it further than this, I'd be very interested.

YSelf Tool says ...
Apr 27, 2012 @ 5:54pm

Yay! Black/White graphics!

Apr 27, 2012 @ 7:27pm

VDZ's comment says all about your game.

I personally like the game mechanics, the graphics style even if it is simple. The only part i didn't like is the music loop, it gets annoying after a minute or so.
This game is pure awesomeness! :D

matt says ...
Apr 29, 2012 @ 7:18pm

Awesome game, everything that VDZ said, etc.

hamburger says ...
Apr 29, 2012 @ 10:01pm

I was having fun but then the game crashed when I froze to death. I like the graphics a lot.

RandomOutput says ...
Apr 29, 2012 @ 10:01pm

Having a bit of trouble really getting into the strategy of the game, but enjoyed it none less (I'm sure I'm missing something key). Really liked your graphics and audio. Good work!

Jeffalisk says ...
Apr 30, 2012 @ 9:43pm

Liked the ZX Spectrum look and feel to this! Also the fact that there was a tutorial, which was very handy for your unique game mechanic.

uberneen says ...
May 1, 2012 @ 10:39pm

This was a lot of fun to play. I'm really glad that you put in savegame support too as I accidentally hit esc right about half way through.
It's a solid game as it stands, but I'd still love to see what you could do with a week of development.

edg3 says ...
May 2, 2012 @ 3:48pm

I like the style of the game, as well as the idea. It is a really cool interpretation on small worlds. The hunger was a bit confusing, but it makes for a solid mechanic.

Only ditto from above is really about the music, if it was slightly softer the repetition wouldnt have been as monotonous.

Good job.

danmacalow says ...
May 2, 2012 @ 3:52pm

Good concept for the game. Would like to play a better version of the game in future thought if you are making one. The music is great fits in with the game. :)

Naouak says ...
May 6, 2012 @ 2:44pm

I didn't understood much of the game but it had a good atmosphere.

Valeour says ...
May 6, 2012 @ 2:52pm

This was really weird, but in a good way. I liked how the game worked, the graphics were actually nice despite them being minimal. I didn't really understand the freeze part though, but good game none the less.

May 10, 2012 @ 6:52pm

I really like the aesthetic of the game. It's got a very 'Asteroids'-y feel to it. The game is a lot of fun, congratulations!

May 11, 2012 @ 2:00am

Very interesting, but takes a lot of time to get used to. I played it a few times before I could figure it out. I didn't beat it. I feel that the heat bar goes down a little quickly, but it could be my lack of skill. Like the simple graphics style and randomly generated worlds, but the sound got annoying fairly quickly.

tcstyle says ...
May 12, 2012 @ 7:12am

Wow, what a great concept. I really would like to see this game polished and extended.
Graphics are quite simple but all in all very consistent. Sound is good but becomes annoying after some time. The mechanics work great.

JaJ says ...
May 12, 2012 @ 6:57pm


That was really hard. I think there might be more ways to get stuck with the random generator than you realise, and the game keeps getting easier instead of harder, but those things are easily forgiven when you consider how much depth this game has, and also, because I BEAT it.

May 13, 2012 @ 10:46pm

Very interesting concept! The whole balancing between rewards and movable was a really neat idea :3
The graphics weren't too impressive, but they worked well and we're kind of adorable ^^ I thought the music fit really well :)
My only complaint would be the controls of the planting and building and stuff. The fact that 1 opened the building menu but 0 closed it, seemed counter intuitive. And the whole building/planting interface would've made more sense if it'd been controlled with a mouse, I think :3

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