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

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Glider Drop

by tomhunt - Jam Entry

A very quick game I did up today that combines elements of Conway's Life and Tetris.

There's only one kind of block in this version, and that's the glider.

Keep as many blocks on the board you can alive.

There's not much to it as I only made it just today. There's no sound effects or other blocks or gameplays twists in this version... just what it says on the tin.

[EDIT] Known bug on Mac version: if you have Spaces installed, using the Ctrl key to rotate might accidentally cause you to switch desktops. Will fix this in a post-compo build. For now, just use RShift to rotate on Mac to avoid this.

I noticed that when I play other people's games, they play mine, and a lot of the feedback I've been getting seemed like low-hanging fruits, so I spent a few hours this weekend making an improved version. Feel free to give this one a try after you've played and rated the jam version.

Linux 32-bit:
Linux 64-bit:

- Changed the control setup to position the point where the blocks are falling to at the mouse position, so long as that's on the board. This allows for much more precise control than with the keyboard
- Eliminated counter-clockwise rotation, as it didn't seem to be adding much on top of clockwise rotation, and..
- Replaced that with a tetris-style quick-drop mechanic
- Mapped both the rotate and quick drop actions to the mouse right and left buttons, respectively. So everything is on the mouse.
- Slowed down the pace of the auto drop
- Added a stable square-block configuration, because sometimes you just want to put a block of live squares in the middle of the board
- Made the drop shadow translucent

Thank you all for all of your feedback!

Downloads and Links




ethankennerly says ...
Aug 28, 2012 @ 5:55am

Conway's Life fascinates me. Looks slick! I was not quick-witted enough to devise a tactic for keeping many blocks alive. The red blocks erupted chaotically, and I failed to reproduce my result.

goerp says ...
Aug 29, 2012 @ 3:34pm

Looks good. I wonder what you could have done with more time. For now it's just life I guess as we know it.

aschearer says ...
Aug 30, 2012 @ 7:23am

It was an interesting experiment. I wasn't really sure what I was meant to do or how to improve. I also felt moving the blocks around was a bit challenging. Perhaps some in-game instructions would help make the purpose clearer.

gritfish says ...
Sep 6, 2012 @ 11:24am

Combining Conway's game of life with a tetris "falling blocks" mechanic is a pretty cool idea, but there's not much of a "game" here. Kinda reminds me of wetrix for the n64.

Gama11 says ...
Sep 7, 2012 @ 6:51am

Interesting idea, but why the controls? RShift / RCtrl is like the most inconvenient key possible for rotating tiles because it's so close to the arrow keys. Space would work way better.
I can't really see the evolution theme here.

Pierrec says ...
Sep 7, 2012 @ 10:28am

It's almost impossible to figure out what to do to keep a lot of blocks's very random (well, i know it's not random at all, it's pure logic but it's too hard for a human brain)
Anyway, takes on Conway's Game of Life are always interesting, and this one is no exception. I had fun to watch all these glider evolves, as usual

triliyn says ...
Sep 7, 2012 @ 11:13am

I like the idea and the graphics were actually very pretty, but there's not really much to do. I might have liked the gliders to start from further up so that I could have more control over when they hit the ground (especially since for now it's just a sandbox).

repstyle says ...
Sep 7, 2012 @ 12:50pm

I don't know the game "Conway's Life" then i don't know what to do. I can't understand what is happenig.

A tutorial is needed.

Sep 7, 2012 @ 1:41pm

The controls were annoying, but I like the concept. Not all that evolution-y, but still better than the run-of-the-mill "collect powerups!" games I've been seeing. My only real complaint with the controls are that it resets your position each time; I want to be just a few pixels away from where I dropped last time, for massive damage.

Cracky says ...
Sep 8, 2012 @ 2:55am

Kindda falls into the "more a simulation than a game" pitfall, but nonetheless really cool!

solkar says ...
Sep 8, 2012 @ 5:56am

It crashes on MacBook Air OS/X 10.7.4. I will try later though.

Sep 8, 2012 @ 11:31am

It is a great idea. But a bit hard to play because it is so fast.

tomhunt says ...
Sep 10, 2012 @ 1:31am

Thanks for the comments, everyone. I made a few tweaks to the game and put the updated builds up on dropbox alongside the jam builds.

Since a lot of the feedback was around the crappy keyboard controls, I did away with those entirely, and replaced them with a mouse-centric setup in the post-compo version for faster and more precise control. I also start the blocks higher up and have them move down a bit slower. Balancing this out is a manual quick-drop mechanic mapped to the left mouse button.

@solkar - I haven't test this at all on 10.7, so thanks for bringing that up. I'll have to look into that further.

jprogman says ...
Sep 12, 2012 @ 4:23am

I like the challenge on keeping the blocks populated. What I feared on for this game is what happens next after I get the maximum score. Would I play it again after that? Maybe not, so it would be ideal to think of some more challenges while keeping the game's original concept.

While it will going to take me some time to learn some strategy on reproducing the red blocks, I'm hoping for tutorials to teach me the basics in the future.

creative630 says ...
Sep 12, 2012 @ 3:01pm

Interesting, but definitely needs more variation :)

hamster_mk_4 says ...
Sep 16, 2012 @ 3:31am

As a program this is interesting, as a game, not so much. The blocks fall too fast to really get any sense of control in what is happening.

DaviDeMo says ...
Sep 16, 2012 @ 10:33am

Mhm... innovative for sure. first I was like "what the hell I have to do" but then was a little fun =)

Dan C says ...
Sep 16, 2012 @ 12:14pm

Awesome idea! Innovation points!

The controls are a bit confusing but it's fun to play :).

imef says ...
Sep 16, 2012 @ 12:15pm

Had lots of fun playing this!

RawBits says ...
Sep 16, 2012 @ 2:12pm

Hey I used this machanism too for my terrain generation - it needed some modification ofcourse.

Btw nice concept and I like how you used the red and blue together like a pro. :D

My highscore is 93.

Cthulhu says ...
Sep 17, 2012 @ 9:31pm

High-score 92! (I don't know if it is good)
Hard to control and to plan the moves.

Good idea and job!

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