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    Ludum Dare 25

    December 14th-17th 2012 :: Theme: You are the Villain

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    Rive Gauche - lucasncv - 48 Hour Compo Entry

    UPDATE: Mac port made by mcc! (more in the comments)

    Do you know how much money a pickpocket makes per day in the parisian Metro? Do you think it's an easy job?

    All those tourists stunned by the vastness of the city of light, just waiting to be robbed. Dodge the cops and find the most vulnerable crowd, but hurry, summer's coming to an end! HAVE FUN! :D


    The game was written in C++ using GLFW, OpenAL and FreeType. All content made with SFXR and Audacity. Music and some SFX taken from freesound.org (all public domain).


    Vista upwards. All DLLs are inside the package, but in case it doesn't work try installing 'vcredist_x86.exe' from here: http://www.microsoft.com/en-us/download/details.aspx?id=30679

    CONTROLS: Left click to choose your direction. Clicking on empty space makes you stop. Hold right mouse button to zoom-out.

    View lucasncv's journal. | View all entries by lucasncv

    Ratings

    Coolness52%
    #18Innovation4.07
    #54Audio3.50
    #66Mood3.52
    #89Overall3.56
    #96Graphics3.81
    #169Fun3.26
    #240Theme3.48
    #510Humor2.09

    Comments

    Freakill says ...
    Dec 17, 2012 @ 4:41am

    Really nice entry! The mechanics are simple but really effective. The game has really beautiful graphics and the music and sfx go well with the experience. The only problem is thant on my PC some times it lagged randomly. Windows 7 64bits :/

    For the .dll, embedding to the zip the msvcp and the msvcr for the version you compiled should solve problems :) So people should not be installing MSVRedist :P

    gameXcore says ...
    Dec 17, 2012 @ 1:13pm

    I installed the MSVRedist but still get:

    ---------------------------
    Rive Gauche.exe - System Error
    ---------------------------
    The program can't start because MSVCP110.dll is missing from your computer. Try reinstalling the program to fix this problem.
    ---------------------------
    OK
    ---------------------------

    Adok says ...
    Dec 17, 2012 @ 1:13pm

    Seems not to run on my Windows 7 machine :(

    sanderman says ...
    Dec 17, 2012 @ 2:49pm

    I've installed both the redist VC2010 and VC2012 versions but the game still will not run on my Windows 7 64bit system, and I don't like scrounging random .dlls from all over the net.

    It's a shame since this game looks very interesting and now few people will be able to play it.

    Dec 17, 2012 @ 3:29pm

    I can't install the thingy and it's so frustrating. The game looks really nice. DO SOMETHING.

    lucasncv says ...
    Dec 17, 2012 @ 3:53pm

    Okay, I've put the DLLs in the package now, it *SHOULD* work fine without the redist.

    loren says ...
    Dec 17, 2012 @ 4:32pm

    Very cool experience, loved the motion and sound. Awesome job!

    TuxedoFish says ...
    Dec 17, 2012 @ 4:36pm

    The music is really engaging along with the simplistic graphics makes you focus on the really simple gameplay but rewarding. This game is really good ;D

    Sanguine says ...
    Dec 17, 2012 @ 4:37pm

    The sound was great! I also really liked the graphics. It did take me a while to get what I was supposed to do, but after I got it it was super fun!

    Dec 17, 2012 @ 5:17pm

    It work!
    It's nice and there actually is a real gameplay.
    I would have liked the whole map since i'm in place clichy.
    Audio is great too.

    glbs says ...
    Dec 17, 2012 @ 5:20pm

    Hi fellow parisian, your game works pretty well, i had a big laugh when it started!

    lucasncv says ...
    Dec 17, 2012 @ 5:23pm

    Thought about doing intra-muros but the train network would get complex, too much work for 48h!

    lucasncv says ...
    Dec 17, 2012 @ 5:25pm

    @glbs, haha merci!

    gameXcore says ...
    Dec 17, 2012 @ 6:04pm

    Nice-one, glad you got the download fixed, I rather enjoyed this one. Your game has taught me 2 things - 1, I am a rubbish pickpocket, 2, I am rubbish at navigating a train network :p

    Only criticism is that it wasn't made clear what things meant, everything started to look a little bit the samey to me, I also would have like my current line to be better highlighted.

    sanderman says ...
    Dec 17, 2012 @ 8:32pm

    I tried your game again. This time it works. :)

    I love the concept and realized mechanics. It's really fun trying to avoid the cops while trying to reach your target.

    I have only to significant points for improvement. Zooming in and out all the time for the overview is a bit annoying. Maybe markers at the edge of the screen would help?

    Also certain regions often become impossible to navigate by the many cops, while the timer still runs out. This is basically a dead-end. I would suggest either remove the timer, reduce cops, or add a mechanic to otherwise deal with them.

    Other than that, this could be a very addictive mobile game. Maybe people could even get more familiar with their own cities subway networks by playing this.

    gameXcore says ...
    Dec 18, 2012 @ 12:16am

    "Maybe people could even get more familiar with their own cities subway networks by playing this."

    Oh the irony when someone has their phone stolen, on a subway, while playing this!

    lucasncv says ...
    Dec 18, 2012 @ 1:24am

    Thanks for the kind words and valuable suggestions, guys!

    @gameXcore, highlighting the current line is indeed an important feature! The game does need a lot more visual hints.

    @sanderman, I really get what you're saying about the navigation problem, ran into it by the end of the 48h, thought about removing/increasing the time and reducing cop, even tried that but I didn't like the result, lacked something. What I need is indeed some way to directly deal with cops.

    ParaPup says ...
    Dec 18, 2012 @ 3:13am

    Ohhh Shiny ^.^

    Klakwa says ...
    Dec 18, 2012 @ 10:03am

    That's a very nice one! Congrats. At first it was hard to tell what's going on (since I was too lazy to read the description) but later on things clicked at once. I really like the idea, it's fresh and nicely executed. The cops are a bit hard to deal with later on but I guess that's the point :) Great work !

    Gib says ...
    Dec 18, 2012 @ 12:39pm

    Very nice abstract look, I loved it :)

    Lashiz121 says ...
    Dec 18, 2012 @ 1:09pm

    Nice entry the game seems pretty much done and the graphics and sound are just great

    h.attila says ...
    Dec 18, 2012 @ 8:19pm

    For me, at first it wasn't clear what I had to. I think some quick descriptions at the beginning would've helped (e.g. this is you, you have to get there, avoid cops).
    The game is pretty hard, there were a lot of cops after I robbed a few times.
    I liked your art style, the music and sound effects fit the style, and well produced.

    Strkl says ...
    Dec 18, 2012 @ 10:08pm

    Vraiment sympa, j'auaris aimé un peu plus de feedback visuel sur les toursites/pickpocket (la police marche tres bien), c'est un peu abstrait au début, la musique est bien cool

    Et le fait d'avoir pris le métro de paris pour quelqu'un qui le prend tous les jours ca rajoute un ptit quelque chose, on se dit "ah c'est ma station !! "

    Bravo ! :D

    Strkl says ...
    Dec 18, 2012 @ 10:12pm

    Et génial les sons de la ratp !

    lucasncv says ...
    Dec 18, 2012 @ 10:34pm

    @strkl, merci! j'habitais tout près de la motte picquet, voilà pourquoi je l'ai choisi comme point de départ, "c'est ma station"! :D

    Tifu says ...
    Dec 19, 2012 @ 12:01pm

    This is real interesting, pretty fun, though it's easy to end up in no-win situations :(
    I think I also got arrested once without a cop being on my station, but I am not absolutely certain...

    Zelen3d says ...
    Dec 27, 2012 @ 8:37pm

    ... is not a valid Win32 application. I can't play, weird.

    Van Merwan says ...
    Dec 27, 2012 @ 9:20pm

    I'm a Parisian metro user and I felt like I was in the metro.
    Color, sound, moving, names. Everything help the immersion.
    Love schematic games. One of my LD25 favorites.

    Ta tum tadum~ Attention à la marche en descendant du train.

    Tobias Wehrum says ...
    Dec 28, 2012 @ 11:07pm

    First and foremost: It took me forever to figure out the most basic things: That I am the black/white particle system (and not the target marker), and that I have to get to the golden particle system. From there everything was clear, but to get there was hard. That could've been a bit clearer.

    Apart from that: Stunning game! The visuals are very nice, and the audio works well. And to top if off, the gameplay is interesting!

    ddionisio says ...
    Jan 1, 2013 @ 1:28am

    Great visuals and I love the music. Definitely needs a short instruction on what you represent in the game and what the target represents. Other than that, nice, simple and fun game!

    mcc says ...
    Jan 6, 2013 @ 10:19am

    Hello, today I made a port of this game to Macintosh. Here's a mac build which will work on Mac OS X 10.6 or better:

    http://vote.grumpybumpers.com/j/port/rive/1/RiveGaucheMac_10.6.zip

    I had to patch the code a little to get it to run on mac, you can find my source changes here:

    https://bitbucket.org/runhello/port_rive

    Now, I have to actually play it :)

    mcc says ...
    Jan 7, 2013 @ 1:02am

    So now that I've had a chance to play it:

    This is really interesting, I love the concept both on a storytelling and mechanical level, I LOVE the visuals. I really really like the idea of a game which is simultaneously so incredibly "abstracted" and yet validly represents a real-world space. It is difficult to play or enjoy as a game however because of the awkward controls and the confusing way the game initially presents itself.

    The introduction problem is pretty real. I think it would not be hard to get around this, but I think you need something in game. In order to understand what is happening here I needed not just the titlebar explanation, but also your notes here, and even your notes in this thread weren't quite sufficient. You said: "Left click to choose your direction. Clicking on empty space makes you stop.". Well, not quite. It seems the mechanics you implemented more were:

    When a node has a light rotating "highlight" bar, you may click ON the node to choose it for your next node. If you click anywhere else, including on a non-highlighted node, you stop.

    The game seems to have a carefully thought out visual "language"-- I like how "moving" vs "still and deciding where to go next" (a good analogy to on a train vs at a stop) are denoted by the solidness of the "rotating bars" around the dot, that's very natural. However, I don't think most people would guess this! I think people *can* understand these subtle visual languages but I don't think most people are good at figuring them out on their own, most of my own game projects where information has been indicated via subtle signals people just assumed the differences in symbols, colors etc were "noise". If you somehow or other teach people what the symbols mean, they'll know. You need a screen (maybe on the title screen?) explaining what each of the visual signs "means", and maybe an animation explaining what you need to be doing to "catch" a mark. (I don't much like the use of "particles" to indicate current location and location of next mark. It's good that both "you" and "target" are the same unique visual "thing"-- in this case particles-- the problem is the particles obscure or can get confused with the "railway cars", and to some extent obscure other interface elements.) I had to play this a BUNCH of times before i figured out how to get money, and several of the people I asked to test the mac version commented they couldn't get their money above $0 (because they didn't know what they were doing) and it took me MANY plays to figure out that your timer resets each time you score a mark. (The "police" are one of the few things in the game which is totally unambiguous.)

    The nonobvious nature of the game would be less of a problem if the controls were more natural. Moving actually is pretty hard. Most things you click on will halt you, and only a couple things will let you move at all. I feel like there are many other ways this could work, maybe you should experiment with some of them. Like what if when you're moving, you just automatically switch to whatever node the mouse is over? Or clicking anywhere will cause you to re-orient in that direction? Or click once for "get off", click once again for "pick new station" and picking a new station allows you to just click in the general direction? (This will sometimes mean accidentally picking the wrong route-- which would be a good representation of riding the subways.) One thing I kept thinking would be really fun, is a version of this where you play with a gamepad such as a 360 gamepad or a PS3 gamepad, and you use the analog stick to pick direction-- at each intersection, if the analog stick is being pushed a direction, change cars and get on the car going the direction nearest to the analog stick direction.

    A few more things I noticed:
    * The curve of difficulty seems fairly sharp. Before you hit your first mark, there are no police at all. After you hit your first mark, police are EVERYWHERE. I have yet to get two marks in a single game. Maybe the first "mark" could result in fewer police than later ones, so that things can ramp up instead of instantly going from super-easy to super-hard.
    * It occurs to me, once the "heat" is on-- if this were an attempt to represent reality, it feels like there ought to be some thing where some areas get patrolled more than others, and taking "back-road" or inconvenient paths will result in less police heat (thus forcing you to make a tradeoff between safety and time).
    * As I understand, the "goal" target area is just a station which is extremely busy. Should there be anything in the visuals to indicate business of stations short of "this is a good place to pickpocket"? Should the police patrol more vigorously in more busy stations?

    Aaanyway this is a LOT of complaining :) I want to stress I really liked this and I'm criticizing so much because the game gave me a lot to think about. You mentioned on twitter you were considering expanding this game later, I'm really excited to see where it goes!

    lucasncv says ...
    Jan 7, 2013 @ 3:02am

    @mcc wow! Thanks for the port and for the EXTREMELY helpful comment. Some of the problems you pointed out are there mostly because time was short, but many of them, like the difficulty curve, are the results of my inexperience. Designing the visual hints and trying to make the game as intuitive as possible are some of my passions, loved your comments on that! I'm not proud of the controls, I'll work on that, I promise :)

    I'll follow your advices and keep you posted on the development! :D

    Pierrec says ...
    Jan 7, 2013 @ 1:36pm

    Using the Parisian subway map is SUCH a good idea. There are so many games to make with this only map, and yours is probably one of the best ones ^^
    The game is hard, but fun! I guess knowing the metro lines might help (I don't)

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