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

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Influenza

by Miltage - Jam Entry

I originally intended this game to be part of the 48 hour compo, but I wasted the first 20 hours on an idea that didn't work before turning to this one, so I failed to meet the deadline.

Someone on the site suggested I enter it into the Jam, so I did.

I fear the game might be too confusing for first-time players, so I wrote a detailed guide under the game.

I don't expect many to finish the game, as it does require a great amount of time and patience, given the game's random nature.

Thanks to anyone who does give it a try. Enjoy, and do let me know if you complete it.

Hints:
- Start by spending your points in the evolution screen (DNA strand in the bottom left corner), then use Z, X, C buttons to spread your disease.
- Vomiting is the best way to defeat the first two levels.

Tools:
IDE: FlashDevelop
Engine: FlashPunk
Art: Photoshop
Music: FL Studio

Downloads and Links


Ratings

Coolness71%
#10Overall(Jam)3.90
#11Innovation(Jam)3.90
#32Humor(Jam)3.41
#37Mood(Jam)3.45
#42Fun(Jam)3.49
#64Theme(Jam)3.25
#83Graphics(Jam)3.64
#91Audio(Jam)3.14

Comments

Pierrec says ...
Aug 27, 2012 @ 7:52pm

It took me 2 minutes to figure out what to do (which is long) but after then, I had a lot of fun. The idea is very insterting and the game is very frustrating but...that's the whole point. Congrats

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

Best game I've played so far. You are brilliant!

Miltage says ...
Aug 28, 2012 @ 9:52am

@captainkraft Thanks Captain!

@Pierrec I had trouble finding ways to explain it.
My brother suggested I start on the Evolution screen.

Aug 28, 2012 @ 12:02pm

Hah, this is great. It feels do diabolical. Finding it dang hard though, especially with those managers.

Miltage says ...
Aug 28, 2012 @ 2:16pm

@rustybroomhandle The game is far from easy. I wonder if anyone will finish it.

@Pierrec Just to clarify on what I said earlier, my brother suggested I make the game start on the Evolution screen, so you know to buy stuff before you start.

MurrayL says ...
Aug 29, 2012 @ 1:06pm

This game is amazing! It reminds me a lot of a combination of Skool Daze and the Techno Raiders game from Dilbert's Desktop Games (http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/en/7/7d/Dilbert_game_01.png). In fact, I would highly suggest checking out Techno Raiders (somehow) for some ideas for progression of this game.
I guess I just love games with little people wandering around on floors ;)

The idea of spreading the 'flu using three powers is brilliant, and it's executed pretty well here. As you noted, the random nature can make the game quite tedious at times, but I still enjoyed playing 'the waiting game'.
This could perhaps be alleviated by limiting employees to certain floors, or giving them visible tasks (i.e. a phone rings and you see a thought bubble above the head of whoever is going to go and answer it, or someone is thirsty so you know they are heading towards a water cooler). This would allow you to better target your efforts.

I had a problem wherein the manager and the doctor both routinely spawned on top of the roof of the building. This made the game a hell of a lot easier, but I don't think it was intended ;)

It would also really benefit from some variety in the floor appearances (different colour walls etc), music and sounds. Even just adding sound effects for sneezing etc would make a world of difference!

Miltage says ...
Aug 29, 2012 @ 1:47pm

@Murray That was some amazing advice, thank you. I also think I fixed the spawning on the roof now. I made a fix this morning that prevented them from spawning on the bottom floor, because sometimes you would lose the level instantly, and that's no fun. I used Math.random() * floors - 1 instead of Math.random() * (floors - 1)... Doh!

I'm glad you enjoyed the game, thanks for your great feedback.

Jacic says ...
Aug 29, 2012 @ 5:07pm

It was very hard to figure out at first, but then it was fun.

Aug 29, 2012 @ 5:17pm

Fantastic game, love the whole side view cut-away thing with the floors, and the little guys had a lot of personality. Like others I found it difficult to progress due to waiting around, although it was a lot easier once I realised you could use the mouse to control the camera. If you don't mind me throwing some suggestions on the controls: I think I would have liked the mouse to be the primary method of dealing out attacks - perhaps some mouse aiming on the sneezing (ranged attack), click on a nearby target for coughing (meleé) and maybe click on a spot and the guy goes there to vomit (area of affect), just an idea though. Hope you keep working on it, it's really great

Yapikom says ...
Aug 29, 2012 @ 5:43pm

My thought process:
Oh nice little game. It can't be so hard...

...Yes, yes sneeze on that bastard, now enter that door.

ten minutes later:
ENTER THE FUCKING DOOR DAMN YOU.


And yes I finished it. Nice game. I've seen disease-spreading games before but never like this. Some soundeffects would've been fantastic though.

Miltage says ...
Aug 29, 2012 @ 5:46pm

@SecondDimension Some great feedback. I really enjoy these compos because I get many different perspectives. Thank you. Also, I believe the word you were looking for is 'cross-section'.

Miltage says ...
Aug 29, 2012 @ 5:50pm

@Yapikom Well, well, well. Welcome to the very exclusive club of people who have finished the game. It's just me and you. :P

Thanks for your feedback. Next time I'll add more focus on sound effects. And I apologise for the amount of frustration the game induces in anyone.

mfitzp says ...
Aug 29, 2012 @ 9:06pm

Loved this, finished it to the end too!

Great personality in the game, and the variation you've added makes for some strategy. I noticed that the employees tended to stay on the bottom two floors cycling between them a lot... once the infection had spread to the 3rd floor it was usually over quite quickly. So I mostly carpet-bombed the bottom two floors in vomit, with the occasional sneeze on a manager to get rid of them. Then it was a case of nabbing whoever went up a floor and using them to wreak havoc ;)

I would love to see this developed more - things like spreading disease via the water cooler, or more defined paths for (some) individual employees, to add to the strategy element: you could easily build this on the current by removing the breaks between 'levels', and having it as a evolving system with an eventual goal - e.g. getting to the CEO locked in a room on the top floor - over a larger building.

Anyway, this was great fun! Thanks for making it.

tcstyle says ...
Aug 30, 2012 @ 9:47am

What a great idea. The controls take some time to get used to but then it works well.

Switchbreak says ...
Aug 30, 2012 @ 11:38am

I won! Super fun, though a bit frustrating when the people don't do what you want them to. I love the graphics and the animations, great style.

zx81 says ...
Aug 30, 2012 @ 12:08pm

That was amazing ! I really liked the game, but I've got a bit frustrated, with that I wasn't allowed to controlled the infected ones :)
Great game, I've got to level 4 with biosuit guys!

Miltage says ...
Aug 30, 2012 @ 12:37pm

Thanks for the great comments so far!

@zx81 That's level 5! You did better than you think.

nddrylliog says ...
Aug 30, 2012 @ 3:06pm

Very impressive! I loved both the graphics and the sound ambiance, sometimes the instructions in the level did get in the way of the HUD though. Also, I couldn't pass level 2 :(

keenblaze says ...
Aug 31, 2012 @ 10:54am

A little bit frustrating at the beginning! Overall very fun game!

Sestren says ...
Aug 31, 2012 @ 1:48pm

Waiting for someone to go up a floor after you had everyone on the lower floors infected was a bit frustrating, but overall, great game!

rxi says ...
Aug 31, 2012 @ 8:01pm

Really enjoyed this one, it felt like quite an interesting and novel idea. As if I was some kind of ethereal being, influencing the tiniest aspects of the world to eventually make the right person ill, I would have been altering their fate and putting into motion a chain of events that would eventually lead to my desired outcome-- whatever that may have been. Was I playing as a malicious being or putting into place the stepping stones to better fortune for these office workers? Only time could tell...

Unfortunately I didn't manage to make it all the way through, quitting on level four. Though I did like the laid back and patient approach to the game, I found the slow slow camera control frustrating, as well as the fact that the entire office building wasn't in a single view despite the pixels being as big as my face.

I quite liked the graphics, the walking animation on the legs seemed quite exaggerated and comical. Overall, nice work @Miltage

Miltage says ...
Aug 31, 2012 @ 10:00pm

@rxi Funniest review I've had so far, thanks for that. I hadn't thought about zooming before but that would've been a great feature. More things to think about if I continue the game!

cadin says ...
Sep 1, 2012 @ 1:26am

This is really great. Challenging, fun, and humorous. Nice art style too. There's more to it than there appears to be at first. The additions of the new types of characters in later levels is really good too. I only wish there was some way to encourage the guys to move to different floors. Sometimes it slows down quite a bit just waiting for the infected ones to move to a new floor.

Overall great work!

evilseanbot says ...
Sep 1, 2012 @ 4:30am

Fun, good atmosphere. and a nice use of the theme.

I felt like there was a bit too much time waiting for the energy bar to recharge.

PickledBrain says ...
Sep 1, 2012 @ 7:17am

Lots of fun. I finished the game. My only complaint is that the bar at the top didn't really help me understand when I could use a sneeze or anything. Fix that and you got a winner :) It's addictive.

Kmad says ...
Sep 1, 2012 @ 1:38pm

One of the best ideas that I've seen so far. It took me a little while to work out what I was meant to do and there is a fair bit of waiting around occasionally. Other than those minor criticisms it was great, it had lots of character and good progression.

dector says ...
Sep 1, 2012 @ 4:36pm

Great game! Really! Music is a little bit monotonous, but it's OK. Gameplay is more better. Good luck in this compo! You have great chance to be a winner!

Miltage says ...
Sep 1, 2012 @ 5:01pm

@PickledBrain Thanks for your advice. Should I continue the game, I'll make the bar more purposeful. It was really only there to prevent people from spamming any of the attacks.

@dector That's amazing to hear, thanks. Music is not my strongest suite but I'll work on it for next time.

Thanks everyone else for their amazing comments and feedback! :D

azurenimbus says ...
Sep 2, 2012 @ 3:32am

Very interesting idea, don't remember seeing anything quite like it. At first the lack of control is surprising, and it seems like it'll be frustrating but it can be quite freeing.

It resembles the way viruses are, all they can do is sit and wait while their agents do the leg work.

Cool game!

mdkess says ...
Sep 3, 2012 @ 5:07pm

Awesome! I really like this entry - very well done.

kibertoad says ...
Sep 3, 2012 @ 10:56pm

Excellent game! Wish I beaten it, but the hazmat level turned out to be too tedious. Most impressive entry nevertheless.

gamblore says ...
Sep 6, 2012 @ 3:33am

Great game. Was kind of frustrating waiting for your sick people to change floors but not too bad. I dug the music and the animations were good. I won with maximum sneeze and base vomit. Sneeze when it gets the range increase is great, nice and direct. Thanks for making this.

Drabiter says ...
Sep 6, 2012 @ 3:50am

Ten minutes waitting for enter the door. Miss the snooze and go back. Oh God why? xD

marudziik says ...
Sep 6, 2012 @ 10:21am

Wow. Great. Awesome. Love it. The only small flaw I found here is that player has no control over infected people, at all. This sometimes is bad, because waiting for the infected ones to go another floor up can take a lot of time (on the other hand, that is exactly how it should work, and player increases chances of infecting next floor by infecting all the bottom floors). Anyway, the gameplay is perfect, even with the waiting, though after some time the music is a little repetitive. But I am nitpicking - this is an excellent entry! Congrats!

Miltage says ...
Sep 6, 2012 @ 5:18pm

Thanks for all the comments guys! I'll address the flaws when I make an improved version, hopefully soon.

Norgg says ...
Sep 6, 2012 @ 6:04pm

Nice work! Enjoyed this and completed it to the end. Reminds me a bit of the infectionator or pandemic series.

I didn't actually find the game hard as such, I didn't feel like I was at risk of losing by running out of men at any point. Managers were easy to deal with by infecting and doctors only temporarily cured someone.

I found the last level to be pretty frustrating sitting in a save position with plenty of infected people, but having to wait for several minutes for someone to finally go to the top floor.

mohammad says ...
Sep 7, 2012 @ 9:29pm

Liked it.
Seems like it touches a very interesting subject after a moral panic occurred when Influenza stuck.

PapyGaragos says ...
Sep 9, 2012 @ 12:09pm

"hey, i wasted the first 20hours, but still managed to make the best game you have seen yet"
Awesome game! less randomness and sound effect would have been nice though

Teknik says ...
Sep 9, 2012 @ 5:04pm

ya the randomness can be very frustrating, had 4 guys in the bottom floor who would just not go to any other floors, and none were coming down. otherwise it's a very awesome game with a really cool concept, great job!!

Walt says ...
Sep 10, 2012 @ 4:53pm

loved it! would have preferred a more unified control scheme, mouse aiming and keys seems a bit much considering the simplicity of the interactions. especially on a QWERTZ keyboard. nevertheless, the gambling randomness and the adorable gfx made my day.

Datw says ...
Sep 10, 2012 @ 7:43pm

Nicely done. Would just point out that sometimes the guys take too long to go upstairs, and sometimes the camera movement is rather slow.

Ken Reismann says ...
Sep 10, 2012 @ 10:39pm

This is fantastic. Very well done.

Miltage says ...
Sep 11, 2012 @ 8:53am

Thank you all for the comments, I do appreciate them. I'm going to take all your suggestions into account when I make the improved version.

Robotic says ...
Sep 11, 2012 @ 7:05pm

Cool game, reminds of me pandemic or some zombie-infecting games. The bar didn't really help but it's addictive !

KevinWorkman says ...
Sep 12, 2012 @ 12:23am

This is a great idea, but it was a little unclear what the goal was or how to accomplish it. It wouldn't take much polish to make this really addicting though, so great work for 72 hours!

amidos2006 says ...
Sep 13, 2012 @ 8:56am

nice and brilliant idea :)

Gornova says ...
Sep 15, 2012 @ 9:09pm

good idea, need some different options, but I really appreciated your game :D

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