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

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kinetic dream

by mdkess - 48 Hour Compo Entry

Original Java 7 version here: - I updated with a java6 port, hopefully that means that more people can play! The Java 6 version linked above is the exact same code, just compiled for wider compatibility.

A space shooter set in an abstract world. Defend yourself and the bioforge as you slowly change into something... different. Is this all just a dream?

My original intent was to create a game similar to Spore's first stage, but it sort of just morphed into this. I think that in an abstract way, it still sticks to the theme - with gradual change over time, too small to notice any any instant, but noticeably there.

Made possible by Slick2D, LWJGL, Wolfram Alpha, and sfxr.


Install the latest JRE from here:

Then double click the file for your platform - game_windows, game_linux or game_mac (note: I don't have a Mac, so I don't know if that last one works - let me know!)

If that doesn't work, try opening a terminal, cd into the entry directory, and run the jar with:

java -Djava.library.path=native/<platform> -jar data.jar

(for example: "java -Djava.library.path=native/windows -jar data.jar)

If you get an error about unsupported version - update your JRE from Oracle's website!


Fly around, collect coins, kill enemies, become something beautiful

Arrow keys/WASD to move.
Space to shoot.
P to pause.
H to show controls.
1-6 to choose weapons (as you discover them).
E to target the nearest enemy.
Q or ESC to quit.


I wasn't sure about difficulty, so you are pretty much invincible - unless your bioforge dies, you will just keep respawning.



Downloads and Links




kevincorrigan says ...
Aug 26, 2012 @ 8:52pm

I really enjoyed this and I could see how you could relate it to evolution

MrPhil says ...
Aug 27, 2012 @ 3:46am

I've updated to Java Version 7 Update 6 and it still doesn't run, even in the command window. I'd tell you what the error but is disappears faster than I can click the new window.

Yngar says ...
Aug 27, 2012 @ 3:54am

I liked the style a lot, especially the missile targeting. The AI could use some work but I really liked everything else in the game.

mdkess says ...
Aug 27, 2012 @ 4:10am

MrPhil: What is your system? If you are on Mac OS - I don't know if my executable works, I don't have a system to test it on. If so, try going to the directory and running:

java -Djava.library.path=native/macosx -jar data.jar

FrozenCow says ...
Aug 27, 2012 @ 4:14am

Very fun game. I managed to stay alive and beat the 'boss' :D. Blaster battery ftw.
One suggestion though: also bind Z or X to shooting. Many people (including me) cannot press space+up+right, even though space+up+left works fine. I guess it's a PS/2 limitation. Z doesn't have that problem.

willh says ...
Aug 27, 2012 @ 4:35am

I really like the smooth controls and vector graphics, plus the music gives it an atmosphere like a mix between those strange secret starfox 64 levels and an updated 1980s arcade game.

It's pretty satisfying to barge through a group of enemies hoovering up their coins as you go!

Kintar1900 says ...
Aug 27, 2012 @ 2:19pm

Awesome game. Love the visual style, and it's a fun, old-school arcade shoot-'em-up. Difficulty definitely needs to be tweaked post-dare. I made it through the whole game without a single re-spawn. That's my only complaint, though!

Aug 27, 2012 @ 4:02pm

Really good, I liked this a lot even if I did accidentally hit 'Q' and exit the game and start raging :)

SaintHeiser says ...
Aug 28, 2012 @ 12:29am

Can't play game. It throw an error: "Could not find main class..". (Win7, Java installed)

thewiseguy99 says ...
Aug 28, 2012 @ 12:45am

Same problem as MrPhil. Too bad as it looks really awesome.

Ragzouken says ...
Aug 28, 2012 @ 12:47am

You've really achieved something great with the visual style - the bioforge looks really cool :) The game is fun to play, and I like the progression in it.

kevincorrigan says ...
Aug 28, 2012 @ 12:48am

This was really fun. The controls were really nice.

mdkess says ...
Aug 28, 2012 @ 1:17am

For the people having problems - could you open a command line and type "java -version"

I think that the issue is having Java 1.6 installed - my game (apparently) requires Java 1.7, so you'll have to upgrade to get this to work. I'm going to see about compiling a version that doesn't require such a late version of Java - bear with me, this is the first time I've released a Java application into the wild. Thanks a ton for all of the feedback so far too!

Aug 28, 2012 @ 1:54am

Really fun to play. I actually forgot I was playing a Ludum Dare game while playing this.

MrPhil says ...
Aug 28, 2012 @ 2:05am

I'm on Windows 7

mdkess says ...
Aug 28, 2012 @ 2:14am

I uploaded a Java 6 version of my game - if the submitted version gives you a version issue, grab the Java 6 build from here:

This is the same code as the one I originally submitted, however I didn't know that Java had such strict version requirements. Live and learn, live and learn.

MrPhil says ...
Aug 28, 2012 @ 2:17am

Okay, java -version reports: 1.6.0_30 but according to my Programs and Features I also have:
Java 7 Update 6
Java 6 Update 31
JavaFX 2.1.1

I found the directory for Java 7 and forced the command path like this:
"C:\Program Files (x86)\Java\jre7\bin\java" -Djava.library.path=native/windows -jar data.jar

That got it running. I suspect this has something to do with my Windows 7 being 64-bit or something silly on Java/Oracle's part not changing the path when updating to 7.

mdkess says ...
Aug 28, 2012 @ 2:25am

Awesome MrPhil. Thanks for taking the time to figure it out, I really hope that the game was worth it!

MrPhil says ...
Aug 28, 2012 @ 2:29am

Great game! I enjoyed it and found it challenging. Impressive work considering the time.

Raptor85 says ...
Aug 28, 2012 @ 4:17am

I like it, though tbh until the double rockets most of the weapons arent even as good as the starting one. the ambient music just works perfectly with this game, and the vector art while simple works REALLY well and give it a overall very clean feeling, about my only real complaints would be the way the enemy simply rushes and circles you even if the station is right there and they basicly never fire on the station so it's impossible to lose.

mappum says ...
Aug 28, 2012 @ 4:42am

I was having a lot of fun for 10 minutes, hit escape to pause, and it quit :( I guess that's a good thing so I didn't spend forever playing it :P

timtipgames says ...
Aug 28, 2012 @ 7:38am

I really liked your simple but pretty particle effects. I didn't like the weapon you start with, because the first projectile doesn't collide with the enemies. That means you always have to stay at a certain distance to hit them. Nevertheless it plays really nice and has a lot of working features. Good job!

pereubu says ...
Aug 28, 2012 @ 8:01am

very enjoyable game, i really liked getting to the end, t'was awesome. The graphics are pure and aesthetics, it serves, with the comments, a nice mood that remembers me weird and loud ambiances like in the first portal.
Really, great job for a compo D: !

mdkess says ...
Aug 28, 2012 @ 1:13pm

@timtipgames: Ahh... you weren't supposed to see that gun. That was originally going to be a plasma cannon or mine or something, but I guess I compiled the wrong version in my haste to get a Java 6 version out. The corrected version is out now.

Thanks for the reviews guys, it really means a lot :)

Raptor85 says ...
Aug 28, 2012 @ 8:27pm

it's actually pretty funny, that first gun we werent supposed to see is the one i'm talking about that after figuring out i actually thought was the most useful gun out of all of them even until the end :D

cobrajs says ...
Aug 29, 2012 @ 2:24am

Awesome game! Graphics styling is simple, but very smooth and nice looking. It felt challenging at first, but when I realized that there was no penalty for respawning, it took away a bit of the fun. Still a really great game, though.

Mach60KAS says ...
Aug 29, 2012 @ 2:03pm

Wow, I really enjoyed this game. The text popping up occasionally reminded me a little of giygas, though... :)

Cipher says ...
Aug 31, 2012 @ 2:30am

This is really good. :D

Aug 31, 2012 @ 3:12am

Very, very nice. Could have told me this was a Jam game and I'd believe you. The sounds, music, graphics... The graphics were very simple, yet being vector graphics/basic shapes made it look quite elegant. Plus, the motion and framerate were very smooth, which is a rarity in Ludum Dare games. Game play was nice, and mostly balanced; if anything, it was a bit too easy. Only complaint is that the sound sometimes got really loud as multiple sources played over each other. Great game, over all.

Maxium says ...
Aug 31, 2012 @ 7:39am

I liked the clean art style. Accidently hit Q few times a quit the game.

DustyStylus says ...
Aug 31, 2012 @ 9:01am

Very well put together and quite challenging. I like the clean graphical style as well.

Porpentine says ...
Aug 31, 2012 @ 11:03am

Lovely graphics, nice mood. I like seeing incoming red dots on the minimap, makes me feel like a cool starfighter >:3

bvanschooten says ...
Aug 31, 2012 @ 11:07pm

Interesting experience. Looks polished too. Only in terms of gameplay, there is not much of a challenge.

Andrew says ...
Sep 3, 2012 @ 8:43pm

Was pretty fun overall, but the missiles seemed rather useless as they were often too slow to make any difference.

Sep 3, 2012 @ 8:43pm

Really atmospheric and fun. Liked the visual and sound direction

khoa says ...
Sep 4, 2012 @ 9:03pm

Controls were really hard but very nice programming! :)

Datw says ...
Sep 6, 2012 @ 10:01pm


raarlac says ...
Sep 9, 2012 @ 1:13am

Not a good jam game but a fantastic compo game! Very polished for a compo game. Had lots of fun with it.

AaronYip says ...
Sep 10, 2012 @ 3:09am

@raarlac, I'm a bit confused why you compared it to a jam game, but I do agree that it's a stellar comp game. :) Nice work and very fun, mdkess.

RawBits says ...
Sep 11, 2012 @ 4:23am

I like these kind of games - I suck at them though. Very good minimalistic graphics. The music isn't fitting in my opinion. You need something faster and harder for this action to get the right mood.

The space bullets are okey but you don't have so much time to use them facing the way the enemies are. I know that is why we get homing rokcets. Well they can't really make it to the enemy because they turning in a too wide radius.

All in all it could be a fun game if you think through it again and add some entertaining features and some interesting missions.

voxel says ...
Sep 11, 2012 @ 10:42am

Lots of nice elements brought together here, but I think the music really let it down

Sep 12, 2012 @ 9:18pm

I really enjoyed this one, played it for longer than a lot of the games I've tried. The minimalist style worked well, I thought the mood was good. Fun shooter overall, very nice work

heuermh says ...
Sep 13, 2012 @ 3:58am

Holy cow, I liked this one. Graphic style was great. Music was nice but a bit off mood, and the game play could just use some tweaking to make it perfect (e.g. wish the player could shoot faster).

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