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

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Interns From Mars!

by Gjarble - 48 Hour Compo Entry

STORY: (I'd put this in the game proper but I wanted to minimize text there)

You are an intrepid young student majoring in xenobiology at the Martian Institute of Technology. Your job search has been going quite well- you've just been hired as a summer intern by the largest biomedical corporation in the Greater Olympus Mons area! It's a very exciting opportunity. Of course, since you're just an intern, you end up having to do most of the dirty work. Today, you're tasked with heading out to a sleepy Terran suburb and collecting some live humans for testing. You'd like to do more of the actual biomedical research, but hey, it's a foot in the door, right? Maybe if you impress them, they'll take you on as a full-time employee, and you'll get do to some real probing. For now, one can only dream.

FEATURE WISHLIST: (stuff I'd do if I had more time - I might put these in a post-compo version)

- music/sound volume buttons
- illustrated instructions
- alter the AI so humans cannot stay underneath buildings too long
- keep track of the player's high score (per session; not any fancy server stuff)
- end the round early if the player has abducted all humans on the stage
- GOATS! (i.e. stuff that penalizes you if you abduct them instead of humans)
- buildings with different heights
- visual effect for the humans being "beamed up" by the mothership
- pendulum physics for the chain of humans connected to the ship
- not allowing humans to "walk in the air" when dropped
- special graphics for when humans are being abducted (that depict them hanging on or something)
- more art (e.g. "cover" art, background stuff like hills and clouds, custom preloader)
- non-default fonts/button graphics
- more music
- other things to hit (e.g. trees, birds)
- non-flat ground

Feel free to provide any constructive criticism or suggest anything else you'd like to see in a post-compo version!

Downloads and Links




pbdiode says ...
Dec 18, 2012 @ 4:33am

Nice job!

Loren says ...
Dec 20, 2012 @ 5:15am

Really liked the music and gameplay, cool idea :)

raincole says ...
Dec 22, 2012 @ 1:21pm

Like a lucky dip! I love it.

Dec 24, 2012 @ 3:30pm

Funny, smooth, wonderful! Definitely one of my favourites so far. The controls were difficult to get the hang of, but not so much to be unplayable; just the right amount of challenge I'd say. The buildings add a lot to what would otherwise be a fairly uninteresting game, particularly when you're trying to make chains (which is a brilliant concept in and of itself). I love the cute graphics and sound effects. There seems to be a bug that causes the music to play multiple times simultaneously, which gets a bit cacaphonic after a while.

Aswissrole says ...
Dec 24, 2012 @ 3:40pm

Nice. However, picking them up seems really weird to me, as if they are attached to an elastic band of some kind. Defiantly makes it more challenging though.

Mista Koo says ...
Dec 24, 2012 @ 3:51pm

Cute and interesting, well done.

Maybe you could add different kinds of humans, heavy that makes you go slower and raging/violent that will move you as he tries to escape. Soldiers with anti-air missiles or something against you could be good too.

Gjarble says ...
Dec 24, 2012 @ 3:57pm

Thank you everyone, for playing and for the kind words!

@Frozen Fractal: Oh man, you're right! That's what I get for saving the music for last and only testing to make sure that it *starts*. Fixed, because I believe that counts as a "typo bug", not a new feature.

@Aswissrole: Yeah, I'm hoping to make them swing like an actual chain in the post-compo version, rather than just snap back to the center like they do now.

AlexFili says ...
Dec 26, 2012 @ 10:39am

This is a great game but is held down by a few flaws. The placement of the buildings can be very troublesome at times, particularly if they are blocking the mothership. If humans stay in the buildings, then it's impossible to grab them, making the game a bit harder than it should be. There is some kind of bug where you hold down the space bar while on a building, it sounds like it's trying to activate the pickup script way too often.

The timer is strange, sometimes I have hardly any time, but other times, I have way too much time and end up just picking up everyone purely because I have nothing else to do.

I have to admit, I love the retro theme to this. If someone told me this was an arcade game I would believe them. If the claw was more flexible, that would be nice. But this is a fantastic game, brilliant work!

Gornova says ...
Jan 4, 2013 @ 4:38pm

nice, good music!

I have some problems with collision when ufo is near ground, otherwise well done!

Gjarble says ...
Jan 13, 2013 @ 1:53am

Again, thank you, everyone- this has been my best LD yet and I'm thrilled at the response you all have been giving!

@Mista Koo: Ooh, I like the idea of humans with different behavior; I hadn't thought of that. I've been debating back and forth on the subject of whether or not there should be anything trying to kill you. Might as well try it out when I come back to this (I'm planning on returning to it for the One Game A Month challenge).

@AlexFili: I understand and agree with almost all of that (all stuff I want to change when I come back to this project), but I'm curious about the timer comment. The timer's supposed to go up every round by a flat 30 seconds (proportional to the change in size of the level and giving you slightly less time per human). Did this not happen? If you generally had too little time at the beginning levels and too much time as you went on, I guess the timer increase is too high... otherwise, it might be a problem with the level generation- as in, the spawning of people and buildings is so variable as to create levels with drastically different difficulties.

@Gornova: I doubt many people return to game pages after they've commented on them (and after LD is over), but it's worth a shot: could you clarify what kind of problems you had? Did the ship go through the ground? Did something else weird happen when it touched the ground? I thought I fixed all the bugs like that in testing, so I'm curious.

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