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

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by EnigmaBlade - 48 Hour Compo Entry

The purpose is to survive as long as possible by evolving yourself to get more preferred traits. Evolving is done by pickup up "evos" (colored balls), which are dropped by enemies when they die.

Made with Slick2D, LWJGL, and bfxr.

Timelapse video:


Requires Java 6 or greater (and applets enabled if playing the web version), which you can download from here:

Move - Arrow keys or WASD
Fire - Space
Randomize traits (cheat) - R

Downloads and Links




josefnpat says ...
Aug 27, 2012 @ 5:25pm

I really like how the player "evolves" when you pick up enemies remains, but I did not like how my weapons "devolved" when I picked some up. There isn't any mechanism to determine what balls represent what feature types.

A bit easy. once I got ~4,000 points, I didn't see what else there was to do. Maybe a map that points out the "boss" once you get to a certain point?

Very cool game.

vigrid says ...
Aug 27, 2012 @ 5:27pm

Simple, but has a potential to become addictive. I found the sounds to be extremely annoying, but the ambient theme in the background was OK. A bit simple gameplay that feels like Asteroids, and the controls felt a bit odd.

EnigmaBlade says ...
Aug 27, 2012 @ 6:19pm

The "devolving" of your weapon is a risk that comes with killing enemies. The pickups for various evolvable body types (weapon, body, outline) are distinguished by the color of the pickup, so if the enemy was red and the weapon was green, the evo pickup for the body would be red and the evo pickup for the weapon would be green. Going back to the "devolution", the color difference between pickups is supposed to help in telling the player if they want to pick up that evo or not, so you can make a choice whether you want to have a chance at evolving other body types with a chance at "devolving your weapon". I hope that makes sense. Thanks for the feedback though!

Rob says ...
Aug 27, 2012 @ 9:22pm

Loved the random player creation, as though the player or avatar is evolving to adapt, perhaps not the case but still a great feature

the.vaber says ...
Aug 27, 2012 @ 9:44pm

Fun game, aiming is tough, but adds to challenge. Contrast between player/projectile and background color is sometimes very small and it's hard to see things.. agreed with vigrid, this has great "potential to become addictive"! :)

Aug 28, 2012 @ 12:01am

Played a bit more than I thought I would. Had to examine how evolution works and the relation of the sizes and the number of sides. I thought bigger means slower but there was a time when I evolved from a small guy to big guy and was able to retain the speed. I guess it is random, then?

EnigmaBlade says ...
Aug 28, 2012 @ 12:25am

Thanks for all the feedback! I'm still working on greatly improving what I ended up with (although much slower than before, or course), so I'll hopefully eventually come up with something that is extremely addicting and fun to play.

Rob: I label the randomization as a "cheat", since I only added it in as a way to test the various evolutions, but I left it in for now because it's fairly fun to play around with.

Accidental Rebel: The size affects the amount of health you have (currently ranging from 50 to 200). Instead, the complexity of your shape (number of sides) affects your speed, my rationale being increasing of drag on shapes with more sides.

echa says ...
Aug 28, 2012 @ 9:47pm

Good game.

Rotating is bit hard. )

michax says ...
Aug 28, 2012 @ 10:00pm

Enjoyed playing it! Nice asteroid like gameplay. Sound of spray gun is a little annoying at the beginning.

Edd Morgan says ...
Aug 31, 2012 @ 11:47pm

Contrary to the other comments, I didn't find the sounds annoying whatsoever. I did find the controls annoying, though. The rotation was way too sensitive. Other than that, this is a great Asteroids-esque shooter. Good use of simple graphics and a nice evolution system. Was the 'number of sides' stat a Flatland reference? If so, kudos!

EnigmaBlade says ...
Sep 1, 2012 @ 12:53am

Edd: Yes, one of the original ideas I had (but threw out) was to make a Flatland-based game where you have to evolve yourself and the shapes around you to a more perfect (more sides) state, maybe eventually progressing enough to evolve yourself into the three dimensional world. However, I thought it would be too ambitious for 48 hours so I settled on a more basic arcade-type shooter. Not as grand, but still good.

In the new version I've been working on after the competition ended, I did reduce the overall rotation speed, but not much. The original purpose of the high rotation speed was give a disadvantage to evolving your shape to have less sides: the faster you go, the less control you have over turning and aiming. If you want, you can play the version I've been updating here (just don't base your rating on it):

dalbinblue says ...
Sep 1, 2012 @ 2:05am

It was fun, but I had a lot of difficulty with the controls (specifically aiming), and all too often I would start or evolve into something where I could barely see my character or my character's bullets.

ggiraldez says ...
Sep 1, 2012 @ 2:25am

Excellent game! (I may be biased though, because it has a lot in common with the one I made ;) I like the general mood of the game: simple graphics, desaturated colors, soft background music. Sound effects are a reminder of what the game is all about. I found it a bit too hard to aim, though that's no problem once/if you evolve and increase the fire rate of your weapon.

My only complain is that at some point I couldn't find any more enemies to shoot at. Is there a limited quantity or do they respawn?

Thomas Bowker says ...
Sep 1, 2012 @ 2:45am

Great ambiance but the bullet sound became overwhelming. I quickly got to a point where the gameplay slowed down and it seemed too easy.

mdkess says ...
Sep 1, 2012 @ 2:53am

I really liked this entry. It plays well with the theme, and it's nice concept that's enjoyable to play. After about 4700 points, I ran out of things to do though.

Anyway, great work!

EnigmaBlade says ...
Sep 1, 2012 @ 5:21am

Enemies were supposed to respawn at random, ranging from 0 - 2 new enemies each time one dies, in (I think) a 6400x6400 px area around the center of the map. Enemy spawning is one aspect I have since greatly improved since finishing the competition.

timtipgames says ...
Sep 1, 2012 @ 9:48am

I liked the evolutionary part on it. I didn't like how random it was. After playing a while i started cheating, but in the end there was not more to be done, so I left. Overall its really a nice game that just lacks the meta goal.

marudziik says ...
Sep 2, 2012 @ 11:37pm

Liked the gameplay, disliked the overall randomness and the lack of control over what upgrades I took. Audio is great, and I liked the simple graphics. I wish the stars were more visible though, it's easier to see then that I'm moving. After gaining 4160 points there were no more enemies to defeat, so an end condition or increasing difficulty would be a good addition. It's a fine entry, and there's place for post-compo upgrades (maybe something to allow more control over pickups?). Anyway, good job!

Raptor85 says ...
Sep 7, 2012 @ 11:40am

I like it, in core concept it's actually a lot like my own entry (killing enemies to move your stats closer to theirs). One thing i really didn't like though was how random the start was, sometimes you simply spawned as death incarnate in a speedboat, sometimes you spawned as a giant slow bubble with a gun that shoots one useless shot a minute. The actual evolving works well but there were so few enemies around you didnt have much choice as to what to kill so your evolutions were pretty random as you essentially HAVE to kill the enemeis you're given. The camera was a bit of a nuisence too, since it doesnt move until you push on the edge of the screen flying around to find guys is super dangerous as you cant see them until you nearly hit them, the camera should really have locked you to the center of the screen. The aiming was tough too as no matter how slowly youre moving you can never QUITE seem to aim at just the right angle to hit something, particularly smaller guys.

kratorspore says ...
Sep 16, 2012 @ 11:21pm

Some nice subtle strategy and complexity here behind the core of basic spacewar style gameplay. Sound and visuals are good. I found the controls a little twitchy but I'm not very good at these sorta games so thats probably more my skill level. I liked the Eno-eske soundtrack :)

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