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

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by csanyk - 48 Hour Compo Entry

HTML5 built in Game Maker Studio.
Sound effects made with bfxr.
Music created with

The concept: You control a single-celled organism. You find food. When you eat enough food, you mutate. Your mutation depends on the type of food you've been eating.

Some of the food is poisonous. If you eat too much of it, you will die. But try eating just a little, and see what happens. Find the food that heals you to eat more poison safely.

Controls: Arrow keys L/R rotate, Up to move forward.

The enhanced version fixes a few design issues and bugs, and as I continue to develop it will include some additional features that I never got to during the compo, such as color.

Read the enhancements post for details, updated whenever I upload more enhancements:

Be sure to visit my website at and check out my other projects. Thanks for playing!

Downloads and Links




BMacIntosh says ...
Aug 27, 2012 @ 3:58am

I have no idea what is going on in this game. But I spent at least half an hour trying to figure out what is going on in this game, and enjoyed doing so. So I think that's a win.

csanyk says ...
Aug 27, 2012 @ 4:18am

Lol, thanks for giving it a try.

pjchardt says ...
Aug 27, 2012 @ 4:26am

I appreciate the premise, but it feels a bit incomplete. After awhile there were no more objects in the level. I also was unsure of what mutating actually meant. Comments aside, Cheers for HTML5! I enjoyed the music and sound effects.

Raptor85 says ...
Aug 27, 2012 @ 6:01am

got to 5 mutations but it seems randomly your speed rops to negative and you can't move at all until you get lucky and something hits you, overall i thought it was pretty good though, the music got a little irritating after a few minutes though and the "damage" sound effect is realllly loud.

csanyk says ...
Aug 27, 2012 @ 2:17pm

pjchardt, Raptor85: Room emptying out seems to be a bug. The game should generate a steady supply, I'll have to look into what is going on with that.

Mutating is simply your player's attributes changing randomly. Your attributes are: max_health, speed, turn_speed. The actual algorithm needs some further refinement -- I do intend for it to be possible to "evolve" to negative speed or turn_speed, which makes the controls go goofy -- I thought that could be fun -- but if you're very slow it's not much fun to play. I think the mutation would have been more impression if I'd included some visual effect and indication of the mutation's effects. As it currently stands, this is only shown in the Dashboard stats.

I'll see if I can't get a patch released in the next day or two with a few fixes/tweaks that improve things.

Krobill says ...
Aug 27, 2012 @ 5:22pm

Hypnotic ^^

csanyk says ...
Aug 28, 2012 @ 4:05am

OK the emptying bug is fixed now in the Enhanced version. Give it a whirl. I'll continue working on the Enhanced version until I burn down my list of open issues.

thewiseguy99 says ...
Aug 28, 2012 @ 4:43am

Holy shape overload. I never know there was HTML5 from Game Maker.

Overall fun and relaxing. Thanks

Glamdring says ...
Aug 28, 2012 @ 4:44am

Highly entertaining, though I thought it was bugged when I could no longer turn :P

Shmarah says ...
Aug 28, 2012 @ 4:51am

That was really fun for some reason... I don't actually understand what I was doing, but somehow, it was entertaining! And it actually took me a while to realize the music was so repetitive; it was pretty, too.

Sebastian says ...
Aug 28, 2012 @ 8:43am

Pretty cool; I ate loads of the speed ones. Didn't really understand exactly what a lot of the things were doing (like, what does 'healthier' mean?), which I suppose is why I ended up eating a lot of the speed ones, because it was clear what they did.

I like the music!

csanyk says ...
Aug 28, 2012 @ 1:47pm

Glamdring: I've noticed there are some mutations which are not beneficial, much like in real life evolution. I do think that it's probably not so fun to play if you can't turn, or if you are very slow, so my next enhancement will be to fix mutation so that there are certain minimum values.

Sebastian: Thanks:) This was my very first game with music. I don't really have any talent, but plopping a few random dots into iNudge works reasonably well. I'm actually going to see if I can get a musician friend to provide something better.

I wanted to make the bonuses somewhat vague and mysterious. What they actually do is, when you eat a given type, it makes your next mutation more wild in that category. So if you eat the "faster..." one, you don't immediately become faster, but when you eat enough food to mutate, your speed attribute will change by a wider margin. It's possible to mutate so wildly that you end up with negative values and move/turn backwards! I plan to tweak the mutation math a bit in my next enhancement release to make the system a little bit more stable, and prevent 0 scores for speed and turn speed.

gnx says ...
Aug 28, 2012 @ 9:45pm

Minimalistic but pleasent presentation.
Everything seems to work fine even if the game feels a bit aimless.

pjchardt says ...
Aug 29, 2012 @ 1:27am

Cool, glad to hear you got that bug fixed. I will check it out again.

mes says ...
Aug 29, 2012 @ 6:34am

This is great. I like the simplicity of seeking out and avoiding patterns and the minimal design adds to that focus.

I'm sure you could add more pattern challenges, level progression, etc.. and It would make it even better.

It also gives me strong 'flow' nostalgia.

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

mes: Is 'flow' a game title? I'm not familiar... Thanks for your compliments. I do really love simplicity in design. I am adding some enhancements to the game, and as I continue to deliver those I hope to include a sense of progression.

csanyk says ...
Aug 29, 2012 @ 7:04pm

Oh, mes, I guess you're referring to this: I had not heard of it before, oddly enough. Thanks for the compliment!

monkeymad2 says ...
Aug 30, 2012 @ 2:47am

Loved the "If it doesn't kill it me..." part!

Nile says ...
Aug 30, 2012 @ 4:02am

Played both versions. One with the moving text is much better. Fun to find out which food does what.

csanyk says ...
Aug 30, 2012 @ 5:17pm

Thanks, Nile. I think the enhancements I made post-compo have improved the game, too. I didn't care too much for it when I submitted it, but after fixing the first two highest priority issues, I think it's a lot better.

csanyk says ...
Aug 31, 2012 @ 11:59am

Windows build is now up. I'm planning to release a build for OS X too, but apparently for Game Maker Studio to build to OS X, you need to have an OS X machine on the network for it to connect to. So it'll be a while before I can do that. The Windows build has correct particle effects (new enhancement feature); a bug with HTML5 prevents the particle colors from appearing correctly in the web version.

fatality674 says ...
Sep 1, 2012 @ 3:25pm

Had no idea what was going on for most of it, i was just going around eating everything that wasn't damaging. Nice sound effects though aside from the repeating music loop and there was also a good variety of pickups. It was difficult remembering exactly what each of them did because there was too many varieties without distinction.

galman says ...
Sep 1, 2012 @ 4:14pm

I had some really fun time just wandering around and avoiding the enemies. Charming game

DaveDobson says ...
Sep 1, 2012 @ 7:25pm

Interesting and fun. It was hard to keep all the effects straight, but I eventually got the hang of it. I wasn't clear on when I mutated - that seemed to happen occasionally, but it wasn't related to my food rating, since I got above the max several times. Once, my speed and ability to turn got a lot worse, and I didn't know why. Also, I spent some time just wandering around a black screen - it might be cooler if there were guaranteed to be some other guys around. Fun music, and a nice simple look.

Beep2Bleep says ...
Sep 1, 2012 @ 7:28pm

I enjoyed playing it but couldn't understand a goal or purpose, good music and sound effect. Would have love some more hand holding.

Dietrich Epp says ...
Sep 2, 2012 @ 1:02pm

Not sure what's going on... I like the style, though.

csanyk says ...
Sep 2, 2012 @ 10:17pm

DaveDobson: There was a bug in the compo build, which resulted in mutation not always occurring when you reached max food. And another bug which resulted in the game not spawning any new enemies after a while. These have been fixed fixed in the enhanced version. Your attributes can get worse or better -- mutation is random and not always beneficial.

Bleep2Bleep: There is really no goal or purpose to the game, much like evolution in the real world, you simply keep doing it for as long as you are able to survive...

csanyk says ...
Sep 2, 2012 @ 10:25pm

Dietrich Epp: Well, the game has been up for a while now, so I'll explain a bit what is going on.

There are a variety of life forms in the world. You can eat any of them, but some of them are poisonous, and if you eat too many poisonous ones, you'll die. Any of the ones that say "If it doesn't kill me, it makes me..." are poisonous. If you eat a lot of the poison ones, on your next mutation your max_life will mutate by +/- a lot, so in a sense eating the poison ones can make you stronger.

However, you can also find foods that heal you -- the Wavy square guy will heal you if you eat him. His motion is supposed to be reminiscent of a heart monitor graph, I guess.

Eating any of the enemies (other than the healer ones) adds to your Food score. Eat enough food and you mutate. Mutation is a random re-rolling of your speed, turn_speed, and max_health attributes. You can get better or worse.

Depending on the types of foods that you eat, your mutation will vary more or less wildly in a given ability score.

Certain foods (the ones that say "Hungrier..." when you eat them, only add to your food tally, rather than influence your mutation.

Eating the ones that say "Faster..." when you eat them will influence your speed attribute when you mutate. And eating the ones that say "Nimbler..." when you eat them influences your turn_speed.

That's really all there is to it in the game. Survive, and mutate, and evolve. Not really much of a game, but it's kindof fun for a while.

csanyk says ...
Sep 3, 2012 @ 7:34am

My 6th post-compo enhancement release is now up. I think the game is getting pretty close to its final form. See how many mutations you can last through!

Sep 3, 2012 @ 7:56am

Interesting idea!

It could use some balancing, though. As in "don't throw all options at the players at once"

harusame says ...
Sep 3, 2012 @ 11:31am

I like the music and the mood :) A bit simplistic but fun to play. Good joob.

Will Edwards says ...
Sep 3, 2012 @ 6:06pm

It took some getting used to that the rotation is relative to the organism and not the screen; simpler arrow keys would have been less ... demanding.

I liked the general idea; one idea would be to change the avatar as it consumes stuff, such as getting a tadpole tail when it eats something that makes it nimbler and so on.

savethejets1 says ...
Sep 3, 2012 @ 7:08pm

Music was great! Not sure I understood how to win, but I had fun playing.

csanyk says ...
Sep 4, 2012 @ 5:31am

matthias_zarzecki: It's coming in the post-compo enhancement version.

harusame: Thanks!

Will Edwards: I'm not sure what you mean about the controls. About the player's appearance changing, I couldn't get that to work in the compo, but it is something I wanted to do from the very beginning. It will happen in the post-compo enhancement.

savethejets1: There is no "winning" this game, you just zoom around and have fun eating and mutating until you die or get bored. If there *was* a victory condition, what would you want it to be? My thought was to just see how many "Mutations" you can survive through, Mutations serving as kindof a high score. Maybe you'd need to survive N Mutations to "win"?

azurenimbus says ...
Sep 4, 2012 @ 6:26pm

It's fun and well crafted. Perhaps a goal would make it more captivating in the long run!

csanyk says ...
Sep 5, 2012 @ 8:04pm

Azurenimbus, thank you:) I have been working steadily on the post-compo version and am starting to become pretty happy with it. I am looking forward to having all the features I had originally planned, but couldn't include, in the compo version. Hopefully won't be too much longer:D

Sep 8, 2012 @ 5:08am

A few issues I had:
- When restarting the game with R, the background music from the previous game continues playing.
- The enemies seem to do completely random things at times? I got a turn speed of 0 and had to quit because I had left the area of the game which contained all of the enemies and couldn't turn around.
- The sound of the enemies killing each other can get a bit annoying at the start of the game when there are a ton of enemies. They seem to stop spawning after a time.

Those things aside, I found the game's concept and minimal graphics pretty interesting.

csanyk says ...
Sep 8, 2012 @ 2:59pm

Pacifist, thank you for the feedback:) It sounds like you played only the compo build? The enhanced version should have eliminated the possibility of your turn and speed attributes mutating to zero, as well as the problem with enemy spawning stopping.

The music in the game is a simple loop that lasts about three seconds, so I'm really surprised anyone would notice that. It actually does restart the loop when you press R, although it's hardly noticeable. I'm planning to add new music to the enhanced version, but it's a low-priority thing as I'm still working on refining the mutation mechanic right now, and have a few other features that I want to add to it before it's complete.

csanyk says ...
Sep 8, 2012 @ 3:05pm

Actually, there does still seem to be a spawning problem in the post-compo build:( I fixed the original bug from the compo build, but I notice when playing sometimes that a Homey will end up getting stuck in the upper left corner of the room, and I have no idea why or how that's happening:( Since the enemy respawn mechanic is driven in part by your distance to the nearest enemy, when this happens it prevents my bugfix code from working. I need to look carefully at my code to figure out why this is happening, and see if I can't figure out how to overcome it.

csanyk says ...
Sep 13, 2012 @ 2:16pm

Update: that bug is now squashed. The post-compo game is really shaping up well now.

Sep 15, 2012 @ 9:37pm

The concept is nice, but it should have been more challenging imo. The graphics aren't fancy, the particles were nice though. The sound effects are alright but the music loop was a bit tiring. Overall while it has some flaws it's a solid compo game. :)

csanyk says ...
Sep 16, 2012 @ 8:24am

Thanks for your feedback, Manuel. I have to say I agree with all of your points. The game isn't really challenging at all, yet. The main point of it seems to be to simply learn about the different "foods" in the game and how they can affect your evolution as you mutate. There are a few more features I'm hoping to implement soon, to realize the full vision of what I wanted to do with this concept, and then the game should be much more interesting. My hope is that by the end of next week I'll have it all wrapped up.

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