August 24th-27th 2012 :: Theme: Evolution

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Curse of Hardai

by Incredible Ape - Jam Entry

Explore the cursed temple as it evolves to defeat you.

Controls: WSAD/Arrows

Code: Josh Schonstal
Art: Ian Brock
Sound: Guerin McMurry

It's over 10mb, so it might take a minute to load.


NOTES:

We didn't finish. The main thing that's missing is a win condition. At first, you were just going to get three chances to beat any one level. If you died three times in a row: game over. Your score would have been either the number of levels completed or the number of generations survived. We scrapped that though after realizing that some levels took a lot more than three tries to "figure out" and that it was quite satisfying to finally beat them. Now we're thinking about having a set number of levels and your score would simply be your completion time.

The level generation uses a genetic algorithm. You play a set of procedurally generated levels, and the game evaluates them for fitness; then, it takes the most fit levels and mates them together, creating a new generation of offspring levels. Since there is no mutation and the levels only have a single "chromosome", they tend to evolve into a very uniform population after a few generations, which eventually leads to getting very similar levels until you restart, and since there is no win or end condition to force a restart, you can essentially get stuck playing levels that are nearly identical to one another repeatedly.

There are also a lot of sound effects we didn't get around to putting in but those will be added in future versions.

Downloads and Links


Ratings

#10Fun(Jam)3.82
#21Overall(Jam)3.82
#37Graphics(Jam)4.09
#57Audio(Jam)3.47
#63Innovation(Jam)3.28
#79Mood(Jam)3.11
#105Theme(Jam)2.94
#122Humor(Jam)2.33
#719Coolness40%

Comments

jprogman says ...
Aug 28, 2012 @ 2:44am

Very nice concept. Although, the game loses its fun fairly quickly after playing five or more "mixed" rounds. That is when I start seeing the same "mixed" rooms again and again. You definitely need to add more kinds of rooms to keep the game fresh as possible.
One more thing, the typical mixing patterns that I found were purple+gold, purple+green, and purple+green+gold. Why there's no green+gold mixed rooms? :(

Uberi says ...
Aug 28, 2012 @ 2:45am

Gets pretty challenging after a while. I liked it.

clavicarius says ...
Aug 28, 2012 @ 3:01am

Excellent! Really enjoyed it. Super polished in every way, quick re-spawn, and good mechanics. I liked that I was able to improve over time. I was hoping to get something new after a while and stopped playing when it seemed like I was getting the same kind of rooms over and over. Maybe needs some element of progression or score/time-keeping to keep the player interested.

Great game =)

braingale says ...
Aug 28, 2012 @ 5:49am

The controls and graphics were very tight. Music was pleasant. This could be a really fun game if you put another week into it.

Mclogenog says ...
Aug 28, 2012 @ 5:59am

Great art style and design idea. It took me a while to get used to the controls, since I was expecting some momentum in the air. I kept trying to correct my jumps and instead fell short, but that's my failing more than the game's. The procedural design is strong early on, but toward three generations it starts placing obstacles in inconsistently unforgiving ways. A little fine tuning (and some way of letting players know how far they've gone) and this could be really neat!

savethejets1 says ...
Aug 28, 2012 @ 6:04am

Really tights controls.
The graphics are pretty good too, kind of reminds me of Mega Man.

Aug 28, 2012 @ 6:33am

As of right now, the web one is not loading for me.

Firefox can't establish a connection to the server at schonstal.org.

Aug 28, 2012 @ 6:54am

Quite nice! I played the other one. It's difficulty ramps up slowly but fairly. The graphics are nice, the controls are tight, the music is pleasant and the sounds suitable.

A fine game all around.

batiali says ...
Aug 28, 2012 @ 7:15am

Oh man, those controls... I can't reach the smoothness of controls in this game in months for my own platformers. :)
Well done!

Vladp995 says ...
Aug 28, 2012 @ 8:23am

Cool platform runner with good controls!
What about the theme?

Zccc says ...
Aug 28, 2012 @ 10:57am

It is fun, but gets challenging fast.

Gama11 says ...
Aug 28, 2012 @ 11:29am

Pretty fun already! I like the music, the visuals and the overall concept (levels evolving as you beat them). Got fairly challenging after a while! Somehow reminded me of "Time Fuck". I think the levels "evolved" 4 or 5 times until I stopped playing.
A few things I'm missing:
- a clear goal / death condition, like you already mentioned.
- stats displayed during gameplay - e.g. Level number, time taken so far, deaths, times levels have evolved..
- sound effects for dying, completing a level etc

schonstal says ...
Aug 28, 2012 @ 4:50pm

Vladp995: The levels are evolving through a genetic algorithm; when you beat a generation it mates the levels together and makes a new population.

metadept says ...
Aug 28, 2012 @ 6:36pm

Very smooth controls, slick graphics, seems to run well. Could definitely use more depth in the challenges presented and more variety in how they're combined, but it seems like you've got an extremely solid start here. Despite the simplicity of the content, the presentation makes it quite enjoyable.

leafo says ...
Aug 28, 2012 @ 7:08pm

Fun game, gets really hard. The concept is really cool with the genetic algorithm. There are too many easy levels in the beginning though :)

Cool music too.

CappaGames says ...
Aug 28, 2012 @ 10:57pm

Great controls and fun gameplay. It needs to be a bit harder though, as I could rush to the end of the level 90% of the time, thanks to the great controls.

BrothersT says ...
Aug 29, 2012 @ 12:07am

Brilliantly simple and great fun! once you figure out the two types of obstacles solving the levels becomes very intuitive. It was great that you got as many levels done as you did (and all good quality), but I would have prefered the game to just end, rather than loop the last two, it took me several times completing both to realise what was happening and I was thinking "these levels are all very similar" :P Loved the art (esp. the character) and the music was awesome.

PS. Sorry to hear you weren't able to get our game working :( If you get time could you tell us if the console prints any error messages when you try it? or take a screen.. much obliged!

jprogman says ...
Aug 29, 2012 @ 4:24am

In response to creating a way to lose, it is rather good that you didn't add the life system or the game would be too darn difficult and mean. The only thing that should consider is time. Take too much time to complete a room, game over. Or... take too much time to reach a certain room or check point, game over.

mcc says ...
Aug 29, 2012 @ 5:13am

This was neat! I really like punishment platformers so I liked the increasingly ridiculous challenges and the occasional moments of, wait, what if this level really *isn't* possible. I liked the idea of linking mutation / genetic errors with NES glitching. The lasers were RIDICULOUSLY satisfying, somehow. Like there is just something primally right about the sound the lasers make when they go off.

What I a little bit wished for was a bit more clarity on what the heck is happening. It *seems* like you have a pack of randomly generated levels, and each "round", the levels mutate a bit or combine with each other somehow? I'm given no clue what's actually happening or why though. It also would have bene nice to know for a fact if I was actually going toward anything. There was a point when the levels didn't seem to be getting any harder, so I just kinda stopped playing. Enjoyable up to that point, though.

Fififox says ...
Aug 29, 2012 @ 6:06pm

The controls feel good, the graphics are nice. The level creation algorithm is a good idea but the levels are too similar imho.
But it's a nice game overall!

foxor says ...
Aug 29, 2012 @ 6:08pm

Fun to play, but the laser things are too easy, and the procedural level design just isn't informed about how the game is played.

Jacic says ...
Aug 29, 2012 @ 6:12pm

Very fun game, even with no win condition.

Aug 29, 2012 @ 6:20pm

Very nice little game! After playing about 50 levels, it wasn't really getting any more difficult so I just stopped playing, but I can definitely see what you were going for. Great graphics, amazing physics, very innovative, and great take on the theme. Your game is the best I've played yet. Great job. :)

I also hope you might continue work on this post-jam and turn it into a full-featured game with more obstacles, environments, enemies, and SOUND!!

edibletoaster says ...
Aug 30, 2012 @ 2:13pm

Pretty sweet. Some pretty cool mechanics with the lasers/turrets there. Like the generated levels and that glitch effect. Music's pretty good too.

Alface says ...
Aug 30, 2012 @ 2:27pm

O rly liked it, couldn't stopped playing for a while there lol

BrothersT says ...
Aug 31, 2012 @ 1:22am

@Incredible Ape - Sorry to use the comments section as a messaging system, but we have uploaded a new version of our game which we think may work on your PC. We tested the game on an old machine which only supported OpenGL 2.0 (lower than yours), and it crashed like it did for you. But we fixed a couple of issues, and got it working, so if you want to give it another go, then we would be very grateful :)

SaintHeiser says ...
Sep 1, 2012 @ 5:30am

Nice concept. Is there any anding? I beat about 50+ level and it's going boring because each level may be completed in two jumps.

amodo says ...
Sep 1, 2012 @ 7:53pm

Wow. Impressive. I really wish I had made something like this, I'm a little jealous.. Good controls, great grafics and sound and the actual evolution is brilliant. Any chance to have a peek at the code? OR more details about how levels are generated? ^^

gritfish says ...
Sep 2, 2012 @ 1:04am

Got to a point where I got the same level over and over again - came back and read the notes.

MIND. BLOWN.

Dude, that is amazing - The game was really challenging to the point I thought the levels MUST have been all designed.
Game of the LD for me. Blown away.

Qaterknan says ...
Sep 2, 2012 @ 6:13pm

Nice, I couldn't believe that levels are randomly generated :) It has really a potencial. Please make a post-compo version with more enemies! :)

thewiseguy99 says ...
Sep 3, 2012 @ 3:54am

One of the best games I have played in this comp. Very smooth and responsive controls and quality graphics. Loved the idea of the level generation being algorithmic. Smart! Would have enjoyed seeing the source code though. Anways, excellent effort. Top marks from me.

FredericRP says ...
Sep 3, 2012 @ 9:55am

Very fun game. It may add to the atmosphere something that says to the player how the level is evolving to defeat him ?

Pierrec says ...
Sep 11, 2012 @ 11:17am

I love the concept (I get it only until reading your description) This is an awesome idea that deserves lots of innovation/theme points. But unlike some of the commentators here, I didn't find the game very challenging. No real difficulty curve, levels that all looks the same (you explained why)...
So, the game wasn't as fun as I was expecting, but I'm sure it could be!

Sep 15, 2012 @ 10:28pm

Slick game! Jumping is fun, and the level & character-aesthetics work.

The procedural levels could be a bit more ... "stronger". You don't really notice how they are spliced together. Still, nice work!

rodrigomotta says ...
Sep 16, 2012 @ 5:47am

Oh man, I love this game. I love the graphics and simplicity. Great work. I think you need work in level design, but you have a great concept here. Please, look my game and rate too. Congrats.

azurenimbus says ...
Dec 20, 2012 @ 7:14am

I'm super late, but awesome goddamn game, dude.

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