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

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The Evolution of Flight

by AaronYip - 48 Hour Compo Entry

Controls: WASD/Arrow Keys + Mouse
"N" key on the intro screen: Reset
Note: your starting aircraft can't fire while moving, the second aircraft can move up/down very easily, and each of the others have their unique limitations and advantages. I attempted to design the stages to let you go just a bit further with each aircraft until you ultimately win. :)

I had fun with the idea of evolving gameplay as a parallel to the evolution of aviation itself. In our modern day, it's easy to take the security and comfort of modern airplanes for granted--like how the WASD controls and overwhelming firepower for a shoot'em up has become pretty much standard. So I attempted to hark back to humble beginnings to show the limitations and frustrations of earlier aircraft and how aviation became what it is now.

Oh, and there's a boss at the end somewhere.

[Tip: To dodge the double attack, I've been going right then left (or vice versa depending on his position), cutting between bullets with the glider. For other ships, circling around the boss is possibly an option--though not all ships might be agile enough to do that.]

Final note: I'm sorry if it's either too easy or too hard. This was my first shmup, haha. Nevertheless, I hope you enjoy it! :D

Downloads and Links




thewiseguy99 says ...
Aug 27, 2012 @ 11:17pm

Definitely an innovative take on evolution theme, but it works! Good job especially for first attempt!

Mesene says ...
Aug 31, 2012 @ 11:04pm

Very nice game, I enjoyed the plane behavior and way the sky turns darker.
I'm going to check your code :D

AaronYip says ...
Sep 7, 2012 @ 10:39pm

Thanks for the kind words, guys!

@Mesene, it's a bit of a mess and far far far from optimized, haha, and if you need any help sorting through it, I'll be glad to answer questions. :)

kibertoad says ...
Sep 7, 2012 @ 11:45pm

My favorite part of this game: "Wil, Photoshop software cost a pretty penny. All of our pennies."

Tritax says ...
Sep 8, 2012 @ 12:32am

I enjoyed this quite a bit. I was able to get almost all the way through with the zepplin. :) I felt like there was a significant jump in difficulty between the enemies and the boss fight (which ended up with a LOT of bullets flying around). But, overall, I thought this was a really nice entry.

Great work!

Cracky says ...
Sep 8, 2012 @ 2:19am

THe balance between ships is a bit off, and the difficulty definitley doesnt scale right. But I don't expect anyone to get those things right in a mere 48 hours. Everything is spot on! Excelent job!

mdkess says ...
Sep 8, 2012 @ 2:25am

Great game! I really enjoy the game - I feel that the planes power goes up nicely with the difficulty. I like the gradient in the background getting darker - it's a simple touch that really helps with the sense of progress.

The boss was a bit hard :) I was put off by the un-dodgeable double attack, but that's a minor criticism at best :P

Overall though, very nicely done. I like your take on the theme.

lekochen says ...
Sep 8, 2012 @ 3:45am

I really enjoy this game! Nicely done!

AaronYip says ...
Sep 8, 2012 @ 5:45pm

Again, thanks for all the feedback, guys! I'm glad you had some fun :D

To dodge the double attack, I've been going right then left (or vice versa depending on his position), cutting between bullets with the glider. For other ships, circling around the boss is possibly an option--though I agree, not all ships might have been agile enough to do that.

frogmaster says ...
Sep 10, 2012 @ 9:43am

Very fun game! One of the most playable!

Orni says ...
Sep 10, 2012 @ 9:55am

well done
loved the music and the particle effects!

some little things like sound effects (sfxr) and screen shakes would make this even more fun

johnfn says ...
Sep 10, 2012 @ 10:06am

OK, I very nearly gave up before I even got a second ship. Then I finally managed it and upgraded all the way to the last ship... and then I won on my first run with the final ship, haha. I felt like a beast after struggling with those crappy previous ships. Having ALL FOUR ARROW KEYS (and having them do what I wanted) was the best thing ever.

I was getting REALLY annoyed with the first ship before I realized the goal of ships was just to use them until you have enough money to get the next one...

Anyway, really good little game. My one complaint is that when a ship explodes, the red of the explosion looks a lot like the red of a bullet, so that confuses me a bit.

Other than that, fun! Good work.

Walt says ...
Sep 10, 2012 @ 11:06am

very interesting. i like the approach of evolving costing lives.

but i too think that the balance is rather off, throwing to many gameplay parameters around that would require to fundamentally change the game environment.
- with the glider i find my best bet to not move at all while i can, while dodging a straight down bullet with the zeppelin is almost impossible.
- the first plane i can oddly run into the screen border or circle numbly to avoid bullets in a handlable way.
- the second plane is finally making proper use of the enemy and camera behaviours, even making the level kinda simple, which was of course necessary for it to be somewhat playable with those other control schemes.

hope you don't mind my elaborate feedback, just trying to point out what i think this quite bold design choice entails. great effort and brave take all in all!

AaronYip says ...
Sep 10, 2012 @ 9:13pm

@johnfn, that was the feeling I was going for. :)

I agree with you and Cracky that the ships and the difficulty curve could have been adjusted more. Haha, I actually designed levels to be annoying for the earlier ships: after a few levels, aliens appeared vertically to target the glider's inability to dodge horizontal bullets while rewarding the zeppelin's vertical mobility; then sneaky aliens were sent in from the back as an attempt to get at the zeppelin's weak spot. The first plane fares pretty well against all aliens since it naturally dodges bullets, but the boss fight's barrages were meant to keep it from winning. And finally, the last plane returns to typical WASD controls and lets you quickly breeze through everything. :)

KevinWorkman says ...
Sep 11, 2012 @ 2:27am

This is really well done. It would be fun to see this expanded- more ships, more upgrades, more levels!

hamster_mk_4 says ...
Sep 11, 2012 @ 3:47am

I am actually a little jealous. Games centered on mechanical avatars are usually easier to make assets for than games centered on around biological ones. I wish I had been creative enough to see this interpretation when I got started. The game itself is great. I especially like how you experimented with three different control schemes before arriving at the standard control system we expect for this type of game. It felt like the game design itself was a tribute to early aviation. Perhaps I am reading too much into this. My one complaint is the mouse cursor, the default arrow is as big as the enemies. I would have preferred a cross hair so I could see what I was shooting at.

Pierrec says ...
Sep 11, 2012 @ 12:09pm

Spending point to increase attack/defense didn't seem interesting, but discovering the different planes and their controls associated was fun and exciting.
Few tips I would give : The glider isn't fun at all to play, I know it's intentional and it shouldn't change, but maybe you should decrease the price of the first upgrade to 500, just to be sure anyone can get the balloon after his first flight. Here, in the LD, we're ok to spend some time on the game, just to rate it well, but outside the LD, people will quit if they get bored after 30 seconds

Second tip : another easy change : enemies' bullets looks like ennemies' explosions (same colour), that can get confusing sometimes.

Anyway, great game and impressive work for 48h!

AaronYip says ...
Sep 11, 2012 @ 4:49pm

@hamster_mk_4: Maybe we're just both deep people then, lol, because that was what I was going for. :) Great point about the cursor.

@Pierrec: Wonderful insight about the first upgrade cost. I was puzzling over that problem for a while, and I never considered just reducing the cost. Haha, thanks! And yup, I totally regret not doing a double take over the colrs of the death particles. I really appreciate the helpful feedback :)

agersant says ...
Sep 11, 2012 @ 6:17pm

Finally I game I was able to finish!
Great mechanics and good execution (except music). Balance is a tad off but good enough for a 48 hours effort =)

Datw says ...
Sep 13, 2012 @ 1:09am

Besides the music that was annoying, and the lack of "Santos Dummont" reference in it everything was rather good. You even got bonus points on mood, because I remembered a game I used to play on the SNES :D

kratorspore says ...
Sep 16, 2012 @ 8:18pm

Very cool. Enjoyed this game a lot. You've got a very credible 48h shmup here. The progression felt great. Was so cool to get the jet after the slow zeppelin.

RawBits says ...
Sep 16, 2012 @ 11:02pm

Very good implementation, I love how you have done the restrictions.
Gfx are cool too but what is this experimental music? A standard breakbeat drumloop with fast hats?
Next time please use a color for the bullets that can bee seen on the background. Red on blue is not very good and I have even mistook it with a particle once. Yellow would be a better choice maybe.

racarate says ...
Sep 25, 2012 @ 1:28am

That was hilarious, I just beat the game after about 20 minutes (jet spec'd out). The music was pretty grating, but I liked your spriting. The writing was pretty funny, and I actually didn't realize that mouse aimed so I thought the whole point of the zeppelin was that it always shot at a -45 degree angle. Ha! Overall, I loved everything but the audio!

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