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

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Firefly

by timtipgames - 48 Hour Compo Entry

Firefly

It's a game about the core concept of evolution - selection. Your goal is to cultivate plants that survive longer than 5 minutes in a hazardous environment. Plants get pollinated by fireflys. Plants have a genetically coded resistance agains the environmental effects that surround them (heat, cold, rain). Try to kill all those fireflies that bring pollen that you don't want to have in your plants genetic code. Recombine those resistances that you want selectively to survive the dynamicly changing weather.


TUTORIAL: There is an ingame tutorial that I added in the last second. It is not very intuitively written (although it does explain everything needed to play the game). I wrote an offline-tutorial that should explain much better. Of course you can also just start the game, but don't complain about not understanding what is going on afterwards please :)
So here is the tutorial: http://timtips.com/ld24/tutorial/

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Added android version. You can get it from google play by using the above link, using a QR-Scanner to scan the 2d bar code that is one of the screenshots attached further down this page (leads to google play too) or download the apk directly here: http://www.timtips.com/downloads/Firefly.apk. Not tested on smaller displays (eg. 480x320). Larger displays (up to 10" tablet size) should work.

The only control change is that you can swap between plant spots with a fling/pan gesture and instead of right clicking things, you can make a long press (keeping your finger on the same position for about a second).

28.08.2012 Few people are still experiencing problems to start the game. Some thoughts:

* Please let the game load, I didn't have the time to add a loading screen. It may take a couple of seconds until the black screen dissapears and the game starts.

* If the applet version doesn't work for you, try the jar please. On windows double-click on it should be enough to start it. On linux just start it from console with java -jar filename.jar

* If none of it is working, please consider sending me a stack trace to timtipgames@gmail.com or to leave a more detailed description in your comment. I would really like to make this game playable for everyone. Thanks :)

* One user (Thurig) told me that only after disabling jar/zip-scanning in his antivirus software he was able to play the game. Be assured, its not because there is a virus in it :) So if you like, you may try that too.

27.08.2012 EDIT: Fixed a bug that causes the game to crash on many windows PCs. Thanks for letting me know about the issue.

The initial release and sources are still available timtips.com/Firefly.jar timtips.com/Firefly-src.zip

The download links lead to fixed version+sources (No changes to game logic, just crash on startup-fixes)
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All graphics created with Inkscape.
Music recorded from my KORG-SP250
Effects by sfxr, ZynAddSubFX and Audacity
Jura-Font by http://www.tenbytwenty.com/jura.php
Engine: Libgdx
Libs: The super awesome Artemis Entity System Framework http://gamadu.com/artemis/

Downloads and Links


Ratings

Coolness100%
#17Audio3.89
#17Theme4.22
#25Mood3.79
#27Innovation3.91
#62Graphics4.00
#87Overall3.59
#330Fun2.86
#493Humor1.76

Comments

NexusSteve says ...
Aug 27, 2012 @ 2:43am

Game boots up to a black window then crashes (Windows 7 64bit - Java is up to date)

LuizHGMonclar says ...
Aug 27, 2012 @ 2:43am

Couldn't run it! Big Java error! I liked the screenshot, want to play it :)

link2x101 says ...
Aug 27, 2012 @ 2:50am

"Game boots up to a black window then crashes". Windows 32-bit here.

Aug 27, 2012 @ 2:50am

Also crashed after black screen with Win 7 64 bit. The screens and concept look really cool, too!

FatalCaca says ...
Aug 27, 2012 @ 2:52am

The game lauches, a black window stays for few seconds, then the game quits (w7)

mdkess says ...
Aug 27, 2012 @ 2:52am

Overall, I thought that this game was a really cool take on the theme. It's pretty, sounds great and has a solid idea behind it. It took me a while to understand - given more time, I would hope that you would break down the tutorial a bit more, or at least have a way to go back to it.

Additionally, I thought that the feedback loop wasn't really present. It was hard to tell if you were doing well or not. To be more forgiving, it should perhaps be easier to get seeds. Also, it was hard to tell what was happening to your plants - for example, when pollinated, it's difficult to tell whether that pollination was (immediately) beneficial or not.

Overall, I think this is an excellent game. It's clear that you put a lot of thought to it and really took the theme to heart. Great work! I have no doubt that you could develop this into something that would be a big hit on Android or iOS (or Kongregate for that matter).

Materie says ...
Aug 27, 2012 @ 3:00am

Yeah, I get some kind of error as well. Don't want to post the error file in this here chatbox, though. Might be a tad long.

timtipgames says ...
Aug 27, 2012 @ 3:20am

Sorry for your trouble, I am investigating your Issues. Maybe it's a java version issue. Compiled the jar with java 1.6 because of libgdx/android compatibility. Could imagine that this is the issue. I will update it to a Java 1.7 version. If you happen to visit this again, please let me know if it helped (if not here, also possible via timtipgames@gmail.com).

timtipgames says ...
Aug 27, 2012 @ 4:13am

I was able to reproduce the problem on my netbook. I am working out a solution.

timtipgames says ...
Aug 27, 2012 @ 10:45am

The problem should now be solved. Please try again and let me know if it works!

brita_ says ...
Aug 27, 2012 @ 12:32pm

You actually played the music :-D
That's amazing!

LuizHGMonclar says ...
Aug 27, 2012 @ 12:49pm

Hey man, I still can't play it! Yesterday when I was home I was using Windows, now at work I'm on a Mac, but can't play it!

Thanks for your comments on my game, appreciate the feedback :}!

madpew says ...
Aug 27, 2012 @ 2:47pm

If I could give a 4.5 overall I would. Great Atmosphere, nice mechanic, I enjoyed my play. Well done.

Vordux says ...
Aug 27, 2012 @ 4:03pm

Nice theme and game. It is pretty relaxing and interesting.

turnip says ...
Aug 27, 2012 @ 4:07pm

Good thing you made a tutorial because the controls were really quite complicated! Agree with mdkess, not knowing how well you were doing made the whole thing quite confusing.

michax says ...
Aug 27, 2012 @ 4:12pm

Nice Mood and graphics style.

cadin says ...
Aug 27, 2012 @ 5:31pm

Sorry, I couldn't get this to work (web version). It just showed a white rectangle and then crashed my browser.

timtipgames says ...
Aug 27, 2012 @ 5:41pm

As I cannot reproduce the problem some people have: If anyone feels like it, could he/she please send me a stacktrace to timtipgames@gmail.com?

mappum says ...
Aug 28, 2012 @ 6:37am

Excellent! Not only was this beautiful (both sound and graphics), but it embraced the evolution thing by having you breed stuff. It was also super innovative.

I couldn't figure out the controls at first, but once I understood it, I loved it. Good job!

Toby says ...
Aug 28, 2012 @ 8:08am

One of the best entries i have seen so far - very relaxed mood!

axcho says ...
Aug 28, 2012 @ 8:15am

Sounds really cool - glad to see actual evolution mechanics - but wouldn't run on my computer. :(

evilseanbot says ...
Aug 28, 2012 @ 8:16am

The atmosphere was very charming.

I wish that the concepts were introduced gradually in gameplay, instead of in a big for awhile I was worried that I was going to be steamshovel harry'd.

http://www.e4.com/game/steamshovel-harry/play.e4

kddekadenz says ...
Aug 28, 2012 @ 11:05am

Th screen of the web version is white for me.

Sergey Mohov says ...
Aug 28, 2012 @ 7:47pm

I second the comment by mdkess. It really looks like something that could develop into an excellent game.

X-0ut says ...
Aug 28, 2012 @ 9:39pm

Very good graphics, suits theme very well.

Aug 28, 2012 @ 10:08pm

Wow. This might be my favorite game so far. By far my favorite music, one of the best looking, and a lot of fun to play, too. I really like the idea of tying back to Mendel for the theme. I wish it didn't require so much reading, but there's not really enough time for a full tutorial in 48 hours. Also, I understand it was made for android, but I wish I didn't have to click around to see all of my plants. I could easily fit it all into my screen. Overall, my favorite game of the Dare so far (Jam or Compo). Really loved it.

timtipgames says ...
Aug 29, 2012 @ 2:46pm

Thank you all for your kind comments, they really mean a lot to me! I agree with the tutorial being too long. It basically is a symptom of me being unable to condense the game-play into something simpler, and a lack of user feedback, given the time.

I also agree with the mechanics to change the positions. Putting all plants closer to each other made me realize two things: a) The time to stop fireflies from flying to your plant became to short because they reached them very fast. b) The many information on the screen and the resulting feeling of "what is going on here" got even worse. I could have slowed the fireflies but that looked awkward. Still - the game mechanics didn’t end up where I would have liked them to be. This also results in the problem that mdkess very precisely describes as “I thought that the feedback loop wasn't really present”. Thats true and I will try to do better on my next LD game. Thank you for your input on these things!

So I really understand and welcome the criticism, and I wish I would have had the time and also a brilliant idea on how to change these things last weekend. But I did not :) I will definitely keep on working on this game after LD (I have a vision of something bigger, taking this as a good point to start from). Once I start to, I will add the link here.

tigerj says ...
Aug 29, 2012 @ 11:25pm

Played this on my phone just now. It was really fun and I think the touch controls were intuitive for their complexity. Nice work!

Chezzo says ...
Aug 30, 2012 @ 5:51am

The pretty much ONLY good Android game on this Ludum Dare, and I can't play it 'cause my Kindle Fire won't play with Google. Will you post it somewhere else? For the children?

timtipgames says ...
Aug 30, 2012 @ 6:01am

Hi Chezzo, to avoid that issue there is a link in the description that let's you directly download the apk to your device and install it from there. You need to enable the installation of unsigned sources for it to work. Its in the menu Settings->Applications->Unkown Sources. Once that is enabled just type this url in your kindles browser and install the game: http://www.timtips.com/downloads/Firefly.apk Let me know if you need further assistance :) Best, Tim

Thurig says ...
Aug 30, 2012 @ 9:48am

The music sets the mood and easy going game play makes this a nice game to play. The jar works fine after I disabled the virus scanner.

cappelnord says ...
Aug 30, 2012 @ 4:19pm

Very soothing atmosphere, cool take on Evolution.

Jamin says ...
Aug 31, 2012 @ 8:54pm

Fantastic game. Of the games I've played so far, this game really embodies the theme.

The tutorial was helpful, but after three or four pages I went wall-of-text and immediately clicked through to the main menu.

I think you've given yourself far too much criticism with the tutorial. The information provided is very condense... the problem that I have with it is that it tries to explain too much. For such an intuitive game, I don't think you really needed too much more than to let the player know what he can click.

Not being entirely sure whether one seed is an improvement over another is part of the charm of this game. I did appreciate that the inventory is auto-sorted, but I would have appreciated the game significantly less if I wasn't sometimes forced to just guess.

The only part of this game that really leaves me disappointed is that there isn't a higher difficulty setting. After breezing through hard, I really feel like playing more, but there's nothing in this game that will be challenging at this point.

It was fun while it lasted. If you do revisit / improve this game in any way, I'd love to see it.

Kmad says ...
Sep 1, 2012 @ 11:29am

Works well for me, it took me a while to work out what was going on even with the tutorial but when I did it was just brilliant. One of the best concepts that I've seen, fits with the theme really well, looks great, sounds great and is fun. Congratulations.

eli says ...
Sep 1, 2012 @ 11:36am

Love this calming game. It has a great time-feel, because it's not very stressful but you need to do SOMETHING. The limit of three plants and seeds is perfect. My hardest choices were which seed do I "throw out". Not a trivial game but I did beat both difficulty levels without having too hard a time.

Perhaps there should be a penalty for inbreeding of the plants?

I enjoyed the mechanic greatly. The graphics and music are perfect, if a bit repetitive.

As for tutorial .. I really think @jamin has it right. It's much more rewarding (and fun) to discover via trial and error.

Sep 1, 2012 @ 12:29pm

Glad I read the tutorial, the most important thing in there for me was the difference between left & right clicking on a seed, once I had that figured out I really enjoyed playing. Nice gentle atmosphere, good music, great use of evolution and a genuinely interesting concept. The pie-chart display is a very elegant way of presenting the differences between seeds. Anyone who is having trouble running this, keep trying as it is definitely worth the effort

juaxix says ...
Sep 1, 2012 @ 3:34pm

Ah this game make me feel like the init of Flower from That Game Company for Sony PSP and PS3. I like it.
There is one similar here:
http://www.ludumdare.com/compo/ludum-dare-24/?action=preview&uid=7233

CapGrip says ...
Sep 1, 2012 @ 3:42pm

here works well... great entry, i loved the feeling of game, music, butterflies, great great game, well done..

goerp says ...
Sep 1, 2012 @ 6:44pm

Very very good. Great design, sounds perfect. Maybe the best I've seen so far. I didn't look much at the weather though. it changed too fast so I didn't see a optimizing strategy.

N0W33t0rs says ...
Sep 2, 2012 @ 9:30am

Impressive work. Great mood, the music really helps.

Threef says ...
Sep 2, 2012 @ 10:21am

Works great on Xperia X8 (one of slowest Android mobiles), but text font is to big so it's not fits on screen.

timtipgames says ...
Sep 2, 2012 @ 2:27pm

Sorry, I did not adjust for so small displays. I currently don't have time to do so. Glad you could try it out anyways. Best, Tim

hgcummings says ...
Sep 2, 2012 @ 6:24pm

Felt very polished. A rather slow-paced game, but I was playing it on the train with nothing else to do, and the music made it really relaxing. A perfect low-stress time-filler.

dr_soda says ...
Sep 4, 2012 @ 6:35am

This was a genuinely fun game, with a calming and contemplative mood and soundtrack. It was just the antidote to a long week.

The tutorial was a bit long winded. I think the game itself is much simpler than it's made out to be by the instructions.

infernet89 says ...
Sep 6, 2012 @ 9:19am

Really innovative gameplay. A bit confusing at the start but the extended tutorial make it all clear! Well done!

JonathanG says ...
Sep 9, 2012 @ 1:54pm

Well made, lovely graphics and music. Tutorial should be less verbose, just stick to explaining the controls and the general concept and goal, not explaining the minutae. Hard to understand how to influence the gameplay, but relaxing and thoughtful regardless. Good job!

Sep 10, 2012 @ 4:25pm

Hi I really enjoyed this and I really like the concept. Amazing amount of work done in 48 hours! Tutorial was clear but could maybe be a bit shorter. A very relaxing game with a good mood and I like games like that!

Sep 15, 2012 @ 12:44am

I really like the visuals and music, and I think the core mechanic of 3 weathers/3 flowers/3 inventory slots with the fireflies is a great starting point. I thought the game could have benefited from the ability to zoom out the view and from a little bit more strategy (I did play on easy mode in fairness). Overall, really nice.

pansapiens says ...
Sep 15, 2012 @ 6:44am

Music was great, really set the atmosphere. Right on theme. Beautiful clean graphics (Inkscape FTW!). I played the Android version and it ran great (although the tutorial did mention the right mouse button :P). You're making the rest of us look bad with your polished compo entries :)

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