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

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Neural Nodes

by Kmad - 48 Hour Compo Entry

This is Neural Nodes, my first LD entry. The game is a turn-based strategy and the goal is simply to capture all of the nodes on the board. You can transform your characters into one of two new forms by capturing a node. Many of the theme-related elements that were included in the original concept (e.g. different life forms evolving mid-battle and the environment itself changing) are missing due to a lack of time and the game suffers I think from not having been play tested enough as I spent most of my time just trying to get features up and running. The lack of audio is a disappointment but the deadline caught up with me. Instructions are include within the game and repeated below it on the HTML page if you need to refer to them.

Thanks for playing and congrats. to everyone who has finished and submitted an entry.

[EDIT] Armoured Life-forms cannot capture nodes (this is noted in the instructions but I'm repeating it here because a few people have had issues) and once you have transformed a life-form into an armoured unit then you can't turn it back. This is a known issue that I was unable to correct in the time limit, to play successfully you'll need to keep at least one life form in a normal or speed form. If I find the time to do a post-compo version then I'll add a 'revert' button to turn a unit back to a normal state or put a cap on the number of armour units. Sorry for any inconvenience caused, I just ran out of time :-/

Downloads and Links




hnjslater says ...
Aug 26, 2012 @ 11:13pm

Wow it looks awesome! Not sure why you made it turn based?

Kmad says ...
Aug 26, 2012 @ 11:34pm

Thanks! I made it turn based partly because of how slow Flash can be (I wasn't using Flixel or FlashPunk, I didn't have time to optimise anything and I was using large images) and partly because I've always been a fan of board games and tbs games in general. It may well have been much more interesting real-time as I didn't get a chance to add it some of the tactical mechanics that I wanted to.

Porpentine says ...
Aug 27, 2012 @ 1:44am

Love the art and I love boardgames, it would be super cool to see a game with all the features that didn't make it in

Kmad says ...
Aug 27, 2012 @ 2:07pm

@Porpentine - thanks for the feedback and compliments. Hopefully I'll find the time to develop the game a bit more.

bluefoxgs says ...
Aug 27, 2012 @ 2:33pm

I love that art! :D The gameplay is really awesome as well although some of the time the AI seem like they are controlled by an rhino with gonorrhea (errr....) but, awesome game :) loved it.

Aug 27, 2012 @ 5:57pm

Great game, I just played it through and it does throw up some interesting tactical options; you have to make sure you keep 2 nodes ahead of the slugs, try not to get boxed in, use your armoured guys to protect your node-capturing speedy guy and try not to have 2 of your guys on the same node when attacked. Art style also really stands out, congratulations on the game

Toby says ...
Aug 27, 2012 @ 8:59pm

This is addictive.. nice work!

RARoadkill says ...
Aug 27, 2012 @ 9:00pm

That strange beast will haunt my dreams. Pretty fun game too. I always enjoy a good turn based strategy. Would love to see this with more features

Ponte says ...
Aug 27, 2012 @ 9:03pm

Really cool art, simple mechanics yet fun.

Mach60KAS says ...
Aug 27, 2012 @ 9:03pm

I love the simple, yet engaging game mechanics and the art. I did however fall victim to a hilarious glitch where one of my astronauts walked off the creature to their apparent doom. :P I think this game would have greatly benefited from audio: I'd love to see what you could do for a post-compo version!

dalbinblue says ...
Aug 27, 2012 @ 9:06pm

I think I found a bug in the game, or at least an odd "feature". The units with an armor mutation can no longer capture nodes, which means if you take armor on all three units, the game is impossible to win.

deepnight says ...
Aug 27, 2012 @ 9:06pm

Very original art style! It lacks some sounds, but the gameplay works nicely :)

Kmad says ...
Aug 27, 2012 @ 9:27pm

Thanks for all the feedback everyone!

@Mach60KAS - I missed that bug in testing, thanks for pointing it out.

@dalbinblue - Yeah, I noticed that too late to fix and still keep the game balanced unfortunately. They are too powerful if they can capture nodes as well, should've capped the number of them or something. Thanks for the feedback.

Pierrec says ...
Aug 27, 2012 @ 9:32pm

Very addictive. I wished armours could mutate back to speeders. Keep working on it, it's worthy !

PickledBrain says ...
Aug 28, 2012 @ 7:28am

Your monster thing is creepy. It's gotta be based on those frogs that hold their young in their backs. Those things are so nasty lol Anyway I really liked the mutations and the humorous intro text and it's fun to boot. Be even better with sounds and music. Great job.

Oreganik says ...
Aug 29, 2012 @ 12:26am

Lovely little thing. Played through it a few times, couldn't work it out, but always got close. Good work!

zx81 says ...
Aug 29, 2012 @ 4:32pm

I love turn based games.
The art & gameplay is pretty cool.

jijaweb says ...
Aug 30, 2012 @ 9:09am

This is great!

timtipgames says ...
Sep 1, 2012 @ 11:51am

Really nice game. I was close to winning when I clicked on the mutate button of my only speed-minion by accident. Couldn't transform him or any of the others back to speed and could therefore not capture any other nodes. The art-style, and the fact that this takes place on a giant monsters back in space, makes this a top game. I just wish it had some more of the features, but we all know how unforgiving time can be :) Good job!

Benjamin says ...
Sep 1, 2012 @ 11:54am

Yeah ! More turn base games !
It works great and the art is good. Sounds add a lot to the understanding and rythm of turn based strategy game. You shoud try to add some on your next entry.

Spaceoff says ...
Sep 1, 2012 @ 12:23pm

Pretty neat, felt surprisingly well balanced too. Obvious lack of audio didn't actually matter too much here but it could've done with some wacky sound effects of course... The artwork is great, as is the gameplay, until you develop a pretty much unbeatable strategy (maybe after playing it once or twice you how to pretty much always win, provided your luck isn't awful).

hgcummings says ...
Sep 1, 2012 @ 12:56pm

Excellent game with a simple but very effective mechanic. The different unit types really worked and it was good using them to different effect. I'd be interested to see how you could develop the game further post-compo: I completed it first time but would consider it a great first level of a bigger game. I suppose you could have different maps and starting configurations (fewer players, or more spread out). Also might be interesting to allow the slugs to re-capture nodes. I really like the graphics and mood too - some sound would have been good though.

Kmad says ...
Sep 1, 2012 @ 1:06pm

Thanks for all of the great feedback everyone! It is very much appreciated. I really want to find the time to work on a post-compo version and correct some of the bugs/balance issues that people have encountered. Hopefully I'll find the time.

Sep 1, 2012 @ 1:18pm

Wacky game! Loved the art style, short but sweet and matched the theme.

juaxix says ...
Sep 1, 2012 @ 3:09pm

Does this have something to do with the magic world over the turtle from Mundisco? :)
I found the game is pretty good balanced and the gameplay is good with those animated and simply but lovely graphics over the monster...
I have completed the level but there is a bug, see here:
when i try to put a flag the button does not appear anymore over the last red base...
fix it please, and add more stages! :)

Igor Silva says ...
Sep 1, 2012 @ 4:22pm

Good game, but is very hard to me :P

zatyka says ...
Sep 1, 2012 @ 4:27pm

Very fun and impressive in 48 hours. I generally don't like this type of game, but I enjoyed this.

eyehawk says ...
Sep 1, 2012 @ 11:18pm

Dude! This game is so excellent I don't know where to start :) Art: loved your cartoon style - the floating space monster piqued my interest as soon as I saw it. I absolutely love Turn based strategy - as soon as I figured out all the rules I was hooked (finished it 2nd time around yay!). You've also incorporated the theme appropriately and seamlessly. The lack of sound strangely enough was not a big deal for me, but even if you had a simple soundtrack (garage band is awesome for this) and perhaps af3sfxr to make simple sound effects it would have been just that much cooler. Still, awesome game I would play this again!

geekygenius says ...
Sep 2, 2012 @ 3:49am

Played till the end. Almost won. D: Good game!

Dietrich Epp says ...
Sep 2, 2012 @ 12:06pm

Won on my second try by making everyone into speed mutations. Great concept and fun to play. (Not like 48 hours is long enough to work on game balance, anyway.)

raohmaru says ...
Sep 4, 2012 @ 10:20pm

Nice game, loved the graphics specially the crazy face of the big white monster.

Also I have found a minor bug. The Flash Player Debug throws an error when a androgynous life form mutated into armour kills an slug but he is killed too:

TypeError: Error #1010: A term is undefined and has no properties.
at GameScreen/moveCharactersState()
at GameScreen/mainLoop()

Kmad says ...
Sep 5, 2012 @ 7:08am

@raohmaru - thanks for letting me know about that bug. The way I handled the game objects is a bit of a mess in the code as I was rushed, I really need to restructure all of that.

Thanks to everyone else for yet more great feedback, I appreciate all of it!

repstyle says ...
Sep 5, 2012 @ 8:39pm

I want to say it's fully Arne's art inspired or it's Arne behind Kmad. No ?
Nice arts and game pretty nice too with a challenging IA.
I would appreciate more character's evolutions.
Maybe for a post-compo.

Sep 5, 2012 @ 8:42pm

Hi I really love the graphics. 1st go I didn't realise mutating meant I couldn't capture more nodes so had to start again! I'd like to see what this becomes when you've done more to it.

harusame says ...
Sep 5, 2012 @ 9:27pm

Original art :) Good game ^^

No audio :/

darokin says ...
Sep 5, 2012 @ 9:41pm

Good turn based game. Overall was solid ! Haven't succeed to finish the game even if I had struggled a bit..Good graphics even if it's not my favorite style.

Kmad says ...
Sep 6, 2012 @ 8:14am

@repstyle - thanks for commenting although I don't have anything to do with Arne nor was I inspired by them. I've just had a look at their page (for the first time) and their art is great, I would've been inspired by it if I'd seen it before. The art style arose because I was panicked and just had to start sketching.

@Everyone - thanks for taking the time to comment and provide feedback.

Sep 8, 2012 @ 5:16pm

Maybe I was doing it wrong, but after I took the first three nodes, it wouldn't let me take anymore?

Kmad says ...
Sep 9, 2012 @ 8:43am

@Sgt Squirrelly - did you mutate all three life-forms into armoured ones? Armoured life-forms can't capture nodes (it is mentioned in the instructions but I realise that they're a bit of a wall of text), this is a known issue. I did it to prevent them from being too powerful but I really need to add in a 'revert' button or something so you don't get stuck with three of them. I obviously can't make the fix in the compo version though, so to play you need to keep at least one life-form as a normal or a speed unit and they capture nodes while the armoured ones protect them. Thanks for playing and commenting.

PapyGaragos says ...
Sep 9, 2012 @ 12:54pm

oww, one of my little boy walked strait to outer space :/
nice game

matheod says ...
Sep 9, 2012 @ 4:42pm

Funny game ... found it so easy until i died :D

infernet89 says ...
Sep 10, 2012 @ 11:04am

Too bad i didn't read the istruction carefully.. I mutated all my androgyn in armour and lost my opportunity to win, first time played.
Nice game, just need some audio.

JaJ says ...
Sep 15, 2012 @ 9:48pm

I beat the game pretty easily by transforming all my units in speed units, and then when hp got low I transformed one in armor to kill the last few slugs, so I didn't really get a good feel of how tactical it really is. I read that some people had a tough time so it must be harder and more tactical than it feels to me. This would be very interesting as human vs human, or perhaps even more as a 4 player game. Also, I like visuals.

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