Ludum Dare 31
December 5th-8th, 2014

Ludum Dare 24

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

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Dr. Helix - SecondDimension - 48 Hour Compo Entry

Sorry for this essay I wrote here, just skip straight to the Controls bit if you're not a text person

This is Dr. Helix, my first ever LD entry, it started out as an action/research game, but time constraints & technical issues I moved it back towards a slightly more traditional top-down shooter mechanic. I have tried to keep it a little different though, you have some gadgets...

The main gadget is a DNA-changing gun, and almost all of the things in the game can be turned into something else (platforms, barriers, powerups, creatures etc). You can also teleport a short distance, which works well with changing enemies into platforms. You have a normal gun too, so I tried to put stuff in that used both mechanics, like when you hit a miniature death-mouse with the DNA-gun, then it evolves into a giant spider. Bad right? BUT, if you shoot the crap out of a giant spider you get an ammo top-up, and there's loads of death-mice running about that you need to shoot the crap out of. So that's what I was aiming for.

Overall I'm really pleased with everything, except maybe that it didn't relate to the theme as much as I'd have liked. Oh and I also didn't get time to do music, which is a shame as I always enjoy making music. Got some sound effects in there at least. Also there may be a few clipping issues, but luckily you can teleport!

Submitted as a .zip file with a standalone .exe inside, no installers or anything. Thanks for playing, this is the first game I have ever finished and it has been a great experience

*** CONTROLS ***
W,A,S,D to Move & Mouse to Aim
Space to Switch Guns
Left Mouse to Fire
Right Mouse to Teleport

*** HINTS & TIPS ***

~ Use the Right Mouse button to teleport, it's handy in a tight spot
~ Shoot Flowers with the Genome Gun to get more DNA
~ Don't kill the iSharks on the first level!
~ Evolve the Cycloctopus into a Barrier for protection
~ Evolve the Orbs of Certain Doom into a Turret to clear the enemies
~ Evolve the Yellow Suppository Birds into Flowers
~ Evolve the Death Mouse into Drunken Spider
~ Kill the Death Mouse for Health
~ Kill the Drunken Spider for Ammo
~ Butterflies Evolve into iSharks when Near a Bridge

So when it's hectic, evolve some barriers to hide behind, then evolve a Orb into a turret and lead enemies into the bullets. There's a bit of tactical depth here, enough to get you tactical-ankles wet (well a bit wet)

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

Ratings

Coolness100%
#70Fun3.53
#83Innovation3.60
#85Overall3.60
#109Theme3.64
#157Humor2.82
#235Mood2.92
#282Graphics3.15
#449Audio2.18

Comments

Beyamor says ...
Aug 27, 2012 @ 1:07am

Good stuff. I had so much fun playing around, I ran out of DNA and couldn't destroy the rocks, but enjoyable until then.

Aug 27, 2012 @ 1:17am

Hi, thanks for the feedback. I ran out of DNA myself a few times when testing, so at the last minute I changed it slightly - when you die and and restart a level your DNA gets topped up again to give you a fighting chance. The only way to get more DNA is to evolve the flowers, but you need DNA to do that, probably should have thought of that!

Kmad says ...
Aug 27, 2012 @ 2:06pm

I played all of the way through this afternoon, I like the surprises when transforming creatures with the genome gun and then starting to use them tactically (like turning those electric orbs into weapons) makes it really fun.

Zanzlanz says ...
Aug 27, 2012 @ 6:46pm

I couldn't play. The game started up and it was just flickering like crazy. Hope you get it fixed!

Khayet says ...
Aug 27, 2012 @ 6:47pm

Download link is broken. 404

JaJ says ...
Aug 27, 2012 @ 6:52pm

I have to say I think it fits the theme just fine, Perhaps the best of the games I have played so far. The genome gun is a really fun idea.

josefnpat says ...
Aug 27, 2012 @ 6:59pm

I tried to run this via wine, and the controls (were there controls ?) would not respond.

Looks nice though!

aquasheep says ...
Aug 27, 2012 @ 7:04pm

I had a lot of fun with this! Good relation to the theme, good ol' fahsioned (but with a TWIST!) bullet-hell fun. I thought the automatic sound was too high-pitched; it sounded a little screechy, but everything else was cool. Good mechanics, smooth teleporting, awesomeness!

echa says ...
Aug 27, 2012 @ 7:05pm

Nice graphics.

I think you don't need button that switchs only between two guns. )

mitkus says ...
Aug 27, 2012 @ 7:05pm

Had a pleasant time playing this - DNA change mechanic is simple, but fresh and makes this game different enough from other arena shooters. I liked graphics style too - it is consistent and suits the game. Well done for your first LD!

echa says ...
Aug 27, 2012 @ 7:09pm

Nice graphics.

I think you don't need button that switchs only between two guns. )

Rellikiox says ...
Aug 27, 2012 @ 7:09pm

Cool, but very chaotic

flyingbear says ...
Aug 27, 2012 @ 7:10pm

I made it through all the levels! I was a little confused at first, but once I figured things out I had a good time. It was great to shoot things with the genome gun and see what they turned into.

surreal_whale says ...
Aug 27, 2012 @ 7:10pm

I really liked it. Fun use of the theme and a good art style.

Spotline says ...
Aug 27, 2012 @ 7:14pm

Very nice game ! The very crowded levels are a bit discouraring, but it's really fun

aschearer says ...
Aug 27, 2012 @ 7:27pm

Fun game. I especially enjoyed the teleport mechanic. While it was indeed possible to fire my genome gun at must enemies its effects were mixed. In some cases it seemed too powerful. In others it seemed counterproductive. It would be nice if using the genome gun led more often to problem solving as when turning swimming monsters into platforms. Still, a neat idea that could evolve into something even better.

Aug 27, 2012 @ 7:36pm

This is a fantastic game. it was very fun and interesting with that geomeneome gun. :) in combination with the pistol made it very intriguing. :D great work here!

Aug 27, 2012 @ 7:44pm

Thanks so much for the feedback, seems like it runs fine for most people, but a few issues. If anyone has problems though I'd be interested to know what you're running it on. Sorry there's no Mac/Linux support.

@ascheaser I agree completely with your feedback, I really would have liked more time to fine-tune the effects of the genome gun. When the deadline was approaching I just had to throw a few effects in there as quick as possible!

ramoncb says ...
Aug 28, 2012 @ 1:17am

Very nice game! The genome gun is very fun, fit very well with the theme! ^^

KEFIR says ...
Aug 28, 2012 @ 5:39pm

Ha! Idea is similar to mine, but inverted! :)) Good job!

Aug 28, 2012 @ 5:43pm

Game was kind of fun. I like the concept, but it seemed a bit too repetitive (or not enough going on, music-wise, etc) to me. Interpretation of the theme is good.

sev_inf says ...
Aug 28, 2012 @ 5:49pm

Liked it, but difficulty rised too fast

Qaterknan says ...
Aug 28, 2012 @ 5:53pm

I like it , but in a while ti gets a bit boring. But first levels,, where you discover all the possibilities how to use genom gun are entertaining.

madpew says ...
Aug 28, 2012 @ 9:18pm

nice idea, couldn't figure out how to cross the pathway to the second isle in adventure mode. didn't read too much text, tried to transform the "fishes" into a bridge but they didn't line up so I gave up. Endless-mode was better, until I got out of DNA-Ammo. Nice presentation and work. Liked it!

Aug 29, 2012 @ 10:02am

@ madpew, glad you liked Endless mode, you're the first one to comment on it :) To get across the bridge you have to teleport onto the turtles with right mouse button

Mach60KAS says ...
Aug 29, 2012 @ 4:19pm

This game makes for a great spot of silly, well-executed fun. And that's awesome! :P

imef says ...
Aug 29, 2012 @ 4:30pm

Lot's of fun!

sP0CkEr2 says ...
Aug 29, 2012 @ 10:26pm

That was really fun -- great job!

RARoadkill says ...
Aug 29, 2012 @ 10:32pm

Fun game. very well done. Wish it had some music

Atridas says ...
Aug 30, 2012 @ 6:53pm

Chaotic game, but I liked the 2 guns mechanic and transforming enemies into thinks!

Sometimes you kill your enemies and is Game Over, thought...

Evil Cult says ...
Aug 30, 2012 @ 6:57pm

Very cool game and rather fun. Nice core mechanic. I would have liked to have seen more work on the audio though.

TinyPlatypus says ...
Aug 30, 2012 @ 8:16pm

Nice mechanic but aiming is rather clunky and after I ran out of DNA I couldn't finish the level.

Khayet says ...
Aug 31, 2012 @ 12:22am

I finally played your game! Thanks for the link-fix.

Probably the best LD#24-entry I have played so far. I love the concept behind it, which really provokes a playful attitude towards the game. It also felt surprisingly polished actually - the fact that you could skip the story alone really shows that you put yourself in the mind of the player during creation.

Maybe the teleporting is a bit overpowered, a more skilled player could probably teleport himself through entire levels - but he would miss all the fun then.

The only two real flaws I can find in this game are the missing music and that I occasionally got stuck in a tree and had to teleport. Besides that: Really well done and thanks for the fun I had.

Khayet says ...
Aug 31, 2012 @ 1:35am

Oh, I forgot one thing: The aiming is off. I don't know if that's intended or buggy.

timtipgames says ...
Sep 1, 2012 @ 3:18pm

I loved it! You could even use things to your tactical advantage.One of my favorite interpretations of the theme so far. good job!

Yumdub says ...
Sep 4, 2012 @ 5:28am

Awesome. I fully expect a sequel, one where the plants trans-mutate and the sea creatures are more developed. I think that the evolution theme is hard to creatively build on, from the point of view of higher level function, but this was done well.

zx81 says ...
Sep 4, 2012 @ 8:37am

A good game, although a would imptove the sounds a bit :)
One of my favirite entrie so far!

fanatiko says ...
Sep 4, 2012 @ 7:31pm

I was a little worried by the wall of text instruction, but the game is quite easy to tackle and very enjoyable. This idea really asks for further development.

davidwparker says ...
Sep 14, 2012 @ 3:20pm

Sorry, I don't have Windows so I couldn't play.

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