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

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Natural Selection - You vs the World

by DigiTec - Jam Entry

Natural Selection is a side scrolling shooter where you are playing against all of the other players who have come before you. The game evolves as people develop new strategies and as more people play. Games will get longer the farther players get over time. Games will get harder the better people play.

The game is written in HTML 5 and Javascript technologies. Our rendering layer is Canvas. The game will run across a wide variety of browsers and platforms. To support ghost saving and retrieval we pushed our website and service up to Azure. Our database is running on SQL Azure.

All of the code is original, even the Math libraries originally imported were mostly rewritten to improve the overall performance and feel of the game. We also created more than 95 unique images for use in the game.

We experimented with social integration as well so you can "Like" our game on Facebook or you can "Tweet" your scores. We hope that this allows you to see how your friends are doing and maybe find them flying against you. Each ghost is tagged with your user name so when you first hit the page make sure you enter your name. Everytime someone dies to your ghost they'll know it was you!

The entire process took 5 developers a little over 100 man hours totalling 11,000 lines of code churn. A pretty intense undertaking.

Team Members:
Justin Nafziger
Ty Taylor
Justin Rogers
Christopher Kawasaki
Nathan Furtwangler

Downloads and Links




SasoriDama says ...
Aug 27, 2012 @ 9:40pm

This is really cool. I have to come back and play it again when more people have. It is very polished.

the.vaber says ...
Aug 27, 2012 @ 9:52pm

Very interesting idea - looking forward to try it later to see how the gameplay changes/"evolves" :)

Kassoon says ...
Aug 27, 2012 @ 10:18pm

Cool idea! I am the 1% >:D

panda says ...
Aug 27, 2012 @ 10:30pm

Very fun, and super original! This is a really interesting game!

aschearer says ...
Aug 28, 2012 @ 9:30am

I thought this was a great take on the theme. The gameplay itself is good, though I must confess I'm not a huge fan of shooters. That being said I like the blue/orange mechanic and use of power ups. It will be interesting to see how the game evolves as new players try it out.

Cake&Code says ...
Aug 28, 2012 @ 6:28pm

A solid shooter! I love the addition of the red/blue polarity and the powerups were really cool and helpful! With a little more gameplay (more enemy types, upgrades) and some polish you could have Ikaruga 2 on your hands ;D

Aug 28, 2012 @ 6:42pm

Brilliant concept, and very well executed. I love the game mechanics with autofire, the blue/orange rectangles and the overall aestethic.

Dir3kt says ...
Aug 28, 2012 @ 6:46pm

link gives me "This site is currently not available..." :(

chlukem says ...
Aug 28, 2012 @ 6:46pm

The link did not work for me, it said that the site is unavailable.

DevoreUK says ...
Aug 28, 2012 @ 9:02pm

Same here, site unavailable...

DigiTec says ...
Aug 28, 2012 @ 9:15pm

We apologize for the site being offline. It will either be back online once we can upgrade the Azure instance (currently we cannot due to no additional VMs being available) or at 5:30 PST when our daily quota resets. Again, very sorry for the lack of availability.

DevoreUK says ...
Aug 28, 2012 @ 9:38pm

Looks really interesting I'll try and remember to come back later

lurkingshadow says ...
Aug 29, 2012 @ 4:07am

wow. thats awesome, needs ios/android port. \

gnx says ...
Aug 29, 2012 @ 3:20pm

Very cool concept. And it works perfectly too.
This is among the highlights of plays with this LD batch :)

If you add some sound to this it will be about 100x more awesome.

zimmy87 says ...
Aug 29, 2012 @ 9:07pm

This is awesome guys! The concept was a risky one, but you pulled it off and came up with a really fun game. I also love how the information is presented when you die, it's a lot more interesting than just the usual ranking.

dr_soda says ...
Aug 30, 2012 @ 5:50am

Good to meet you tonight at PaxDev!

This game is really awesome on many levels. I think you did an excellent job on what is probably the first multiplayer single player game I've seen.

nseward says ...
Aug 30, 2012 @ 6:08pm

OMG! That is a great idea. I was only able to get to 20% before there was no possible way to continue. I think you could do some tweaking to get a little longer game play with a the difficulty slowly ramping up.

matheod says ...
Aug 30, 2012 @ 7:44pm

Very good idea ! Don't understand some bonus but the game itself is good.

Per says ...
Aug 30, 2012 @ 10:14pm

Very clever!
At first I thought that only the names were generated but then I understood it all!

DigiTec says ...
Aug 30, 2012 @ 10:42pm

Note, there are commented out sounds. We did human voice sounds, both pew and crash, but they get really annoying so we pulled them out last minute. Once voting is over we'll republish with some tweaks and maybe some sound, but in the spirit of LD we don't want to tweak any gameplay. Now, if you get a crash, let us know and we'll take care of that.

Nimphious says ...
Aug 31, 2012 @ 3:06am

Brilliantly executed natural selection concept.

harusame says ...
Sep 5, 2012 @ 6:23pm

Really cool :) Nice game, very polished but it's a pity there is no audio :/

vilya says ...
Sep 6, 2012 @ 1:25pm

Great idea, very very innovative! Kept me wanting to go back and improve my placing, too. Well done!

localcoder says ...
Sep 9, 2012 @ 5:30am

Cool! I love the crisp clear visual style. The whole presentation of the game is very slick and polished - for example, the UI for entering a name and the feedback after you lose.

The obvious area for improvement is in having sound and music - some good sounds would have a huge effect on the feel of the game.

joekinley says ...
Sep 9, 2012 @ 9:33am

I had fun playing this game. It was cool to play, although it was very hard. The enemies sure need more balance because they are sooooo hard.

I liked the graphics style a lot. Also the concept with the two colored obstacles. Even the power-ups were really cool, although it was sad that the shoots didn't seem to last too long.

Fun game but hard. But fun.

Kmad says ...
Sep 9, 2012 @ 9:43am

Very original concept, played well once I got used to it. Great entry.

DigiTec says ...
Sep 10, 2012 @ 8:43pm

The enemies are previous players of the game so the reason they are "hard" is because the players are "good".

Walt says ...
Sep 10, 2012 @ 8:55pm

great concept. the overlapping blocks give it kind of a sloppy touch though. very cool overall though

Spotline says ...
Sep 11, 2012 @ 1:16am

That Is Awesome oO Too bad there's no sound though

pjchardt says ...
Sep 11, 2012 @ 1:27am

Very interesting idea, but my browser kept freezing up/crashing. I am using Chrome.

triliyn says ...
Sep 11, 2012 @ 4:05am

I was eager to try, but I also couldn't get it to run. The menu works fine, but moving to the "play" button crashes both the game's browser tab and the Ludum Dare tab from which I opened it. I am also on Chrome on Windows 7.

Zamando says ...
Sep 11, 2012 @ 8:34am

I get the same problem as triliyn, crashing the game tab and the tab from the ludum dare page. Chrome, win 7

Cyboot says ...
Sep 11, 2012 @ 9:00am

Ahh thats a game i really like:
very easy, intuitive controls
nice gameplay

I also really like the concept of the Start and Credits-Button.
Nice Job!

triliyn says ...
Sep 11, 2012 @ 1:43pm

Testing again, I can see the credits perfectly well. It's just the Start button that's broken.

Yapikom says ...
Sep 11, 2012 @ 4:13pm

Hey, screens and description looks nice. But it crashes on Start for me too. I've tried both Comodo Dragon and FireFox.

Cheers <3

triliyn says ...
Sep 12, 2012 @ 9:01pm

I tried again and it mysteriously works! The game is pretty cool (and crucially, the controls are smooth and not at all frustrating!). There were certain long intervals that didn't have any enemies though.

DigiTec says ...
Sep 15, 2012 @ 8:46pm

Yes, I apologize. There was an issue with the game and since it classified as a crash/hang I was able to submit a non gameplay affecting patch for it.

We were stressing the limits of the browser's abitlity to be able to parse a large JSON string. We've scaled back the number of requested ghosts to compensate for this issue.

AleksandarDev says ...
Sep 15, 2012 @ 9:54pm

Great game you have there! Shame you didn't manage to get sound int it...

free_napalm says ...
Sep 15, 2012 @ 10:41pm

The concept reminds me a bit of the great Averaging Gradius ( That said, amazingly innovative and well-executed concept!
The upgrades were a bit unsatisfying though. Most of them just added walls, which were a nice mechanique, but I love to get a stronger ship. Still, this is not your fault.
Good work.

Sep 15, 2012 @ 11:04pm

Very interesting idea. I would love to see some rankings

Nizan says ...
Sep 16, 2012 @ 12:17am

Wonderful interpretation of the theme, and actually very fun. Just taking a break to rate... then going to play some more!

Lacutis says ...
Sep 16, 2012 @ 1:24am

This was an incredibly awesome idea. I love how the enemies you are playing against are former players. Awesome take on the evolutionary concept. I also like how the blocks altered strategy.

Great game. You guys should develop it further.

angrygeometry says ...
Sep 17, 2012 @ 10:39am

very interesting concept. looking forward to seeing some polish and seeing how this develops.

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