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    Ludum Dare 25

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

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    Hunter to Hunted - Jiggawatt - 48 Hour Compo Entry

    Where do heroes go when they fail? Well, they become food for the servants. These are treasure hunters armed with spike traps.

    Left and Right are all you need. Move the vent around, and your servant will follow it the best it can, even if it has to build more blocks.

    -Be sure to feed the monster some flesh regularly, because its survival is kind of the point.
    -For every pillaged treasure the hunters get their hands on, another hunter gets thrown down the vent.
    -Two spikes make a tile.

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

    Ratings

    Coolness71%
    #77Audio3.37
    #86Innovation3.64
    #301Graphics3.09
    #334Overall3.04
    #335Mood2.83
    #461Fun2.64
    #477Humor2.19
    #546Theme2.78

    Comments

    Dec 17, 2012 @ 5:43am

    I love the art!

    Ashkin says ...
    Dec 17, 2012 @ 6:13am

    This game's mechanics are incredibly confusing- but perhaps that's only because of the innovation. Once you get the hang of it, the game is interesting and hides layers of complexity. I'd like to see the mechanic fleshed out more and perhaps explained better.

    Jiggawatt says ...
    Dec 17, 2012 @ 6:56am

    My ideal was a game where I could just flash an image of two keys, leave the player alone for a while, and have them come back n minutes later as a strategist. It is supposed to take a lot of micromanagement, and it is supposed to come with trial and error.

    I make an effort in my games to embed discovery as part of the gameplay itself, as a source of emergent "A-ha" moments, so I'm disappointed whenever someone treats that as a design flaw. The "hidden layers of complexity" you mentioned is what it's all about.

    Ishisoft's This Precious Land from LD23 is one of my dream games in that sense, but I suppose I still have ways to go. I participate in Ludum Dare to learn, so I'm open to ideas about further accessibility.

    lotusgame says ...
    Dec 17, 2012 @ 8:59am

    I got the trick in handling the game after some minutes, but still needs at least the goal ending i think :)
    Nice game, thx for the pleasure

    SamoojaMies says ...
    Dec 17, 2012 @ 12:59pm

    I like the art style and the audio. Game itself was quite hard understand and I died all the time. Then I figured out what should be done but then time ends so not sure if I figured it out or not. Good innovation here, that's what we need.

    Tifu says ...
    Dec 17, 2012 @ 1:17pm

    I think I get the idea of what I'm to do, but very tricky to pull off, good challenge! Don't think it needs an end goal, it's a.. keep the game going as long as possible kind of goal I think. Good stuff!

    Jiggawatt says ...
    Dec 17, 2012 @ 2:26pm

    I wouldn't consider adding a win condition without changing the mechanics. Staying alive is enough of a challenge (and enough of a reward) by itself. A "skill cap" would just feel artificial.

    loren says ...
    Dec 17, 2012 @ 4:00pm

    Interesting mechanic, was fun :)

    ilo says ...
    Dec 17, 2012 @ 10:47pm

    Knowing that the hunters had to get the treasure was the thing that stumped me.

    Jiggawatt says ...
    Dec 18, 2012 @ 8:01am

    ilo: I mentioned in the description that new hunters spawn when treasure is collected, but could I make it clearer somehow? Or do you mean something else?

    fishbrain says ...
    Dec 18, 2012 @ 2:18pm

    art and sound - great style!... was a bit confused by game goals(?) but interestingly different.

    Suese says ...
    Dec 18, 2012 @ 2:23pm

    Good entry. I had to read the comments to figure out that I was playing it wrong. I realize you wanted to make 'emergent gameplay', but the sheer guessing makes it a little less accessible when we're playing and rating 20+ games per day. I would like to understand this entry better because it seemed pretty solid. I just couldn't get the hang of it.

    Jiggawatt says ...
    Dec 18, 2012 @ 2:34pm

    Suese: fair enough, I think I'm overestimating the attention span of reviewers. And I don't mean that in a rude way, I myself don't spend more than a couple minutes on a typical entry.

    But what should be done about it? I'm thinking there could be visual illustrations in the background (in line with the style I used to teach you about the controls), as a sort of tutorial that could be ignored once you do get the hang of it.

    Maybe the extra enemy you get at the start is disorientating too, I added it just to speed up the beginning after a couple of restarts.

    lotusgame says ...
    Dec 18, 2012 @ 3:48pm

    Jiggawatt, testing your game with a good nights sleep... and now i get it :)
    Great game. My previous review has not very good. Sorry.

    Jiggawatt says ...
    Dec 18, 2012 @ 4:55pm

    lotusgame: I think that makes a total of 1 person who gets it.

    No but really, I appreciate that you made the effort of coming back to it. I'm hoping people could find get as much of it as I do. Almost missed a meeting because I was so addicted, heheh.

    Jiggawatt says ...
    Dec 18, 2012 @ 4:59pm

    *could get as much out of it as I do

    kato9 says ...
    Dec 18, 2012 @ 7:27pm

    Well I've played this about ten times now...I feel like I get the gist of it but at the same time...not really. Could see this being really interesting with a comprehensive tutorial to ease you in to it.

    Casino Jack says ...
    Dec 18, 2012 @ 10:35pm

    Very nice Atari 2600 style. Took me a while to figure out what I was doing though.

    caranha says ...
    Dec 19, 2012 @ 8:32am

    I loved the graphics and the music - did you compose it yourself? or did you use some sort of generator?

    To be honest, I didn't understand the game very well - you have to feed your monster, but it seems that sometimes when you get close to adventurers they kill the monster? There doesn't seem to be any reliable way to deal with the spikes. Basically, I was trying to throw adventurers at my monster's mouth until the starting adventurer dug himself out of the world :-( I'm not sure what could be done to improve the learning curve of the game - maybe easier initial levels?

    Thanks for the game!

    Jiggawatt says ...
    Dec 19, 2012 @ 8:58am

    Of course I made the music myself (using MilkyTracker). I'd never use a generator on the account that I want to have as much control over my game as possible. This isn't even the kind of track that could come out of a generator, so I'm baffled you'd ask that.

    Basically, you deal with a spike by putting another spike on top of it, turning it into a solid block. Remember that adventurers drop spikes to their left and right sides when they hit anything except another hero - incidentally, this is the cause of the deaths you mentioned.

    Because the starting adventurer eventually digs himself out so that new ones don't spawn, obviously you have to keep another one alive! That's part of the resource management in this game. Don't just run around eating everyone aimlessly.

    Jiggawatt says ...
    Dec 19, 2012 @ 8:59am

    Also, I'm going to write a post-mortem and record a gameplay video today.

    dcolgan says ...
    Dec 19, 2012 @ 6:46pm

    Awesome. This feels like a real life Atari game. Love that it has a completely original mechanic.

    Benjamin says ...
    Dec 19, 2012 @ 7:08pm

    Wow I was really confused at start. Tons of 5-10 seconds death before I could understand what to do. I like the art and the music, but I'm sceptical about the core mechanic, anyway its very innovative.

    feiss says ...
    Dec 19, 2012 @ 7:13pm

    Great work! I was going to ask about the music too, 'cause it seems too elaborated an complex to be done in those 48h! nice work

    GreenPixelDev says ...
    Dec 20, 2012 @ 12:06am

    Very unique concept! The art is charming and really fits the gameplay :D Great job!

    bigbadwofl says ...
    Dec 20, 2012 @ 6:48am

    Cool music and sprites. Well done.

    Jiggawatt says ...
    Dec 20, 2012 @ 9:39am

    Post-compo version coming soon. Should fix the double-tile bug and the freeze bug when the background fills up.

    Jiggawatt says ...
    Dec 20, 2012 @ 10:19am

    (Not that I'd think anyone else had gotten far enough to encounter the freeze bug. :p)

    SonnyBone says ...
    Dec 20, 2012 @ 4:22pm

    This is tricky but very innovative. I dig the look and sound of everything. Let us know about your 'smug and secretive' plan before too long, eh? ;p

    haxpor says ...
    Dec 22, 2012 @ 12:54am

    Quite hard to understand the goal. But love art style, and music.

    Tobias Wehrum says ...
    Dec 23, 2012 @ 8:48pm

    Interesting. And confusing. Hmm!

    Okay, first of: I like the graphics. And the sound effects are cool. And I love the music!

    And before I write anything about the gameplay, I'll watch the YouTube video now, and write about my findings, so you can (maybe) figure out what wasn't clear for me.

    - Oooh, you can catch the goblets in the air? I thought they have to unearth them to get them! (And I thought the ones in the air have to be blocked first.)
    - Using towers that the creature cannot scale without building as inhibitors while dropping heroes at the other side? Clever! I totally forgot that the creature cannot scale everything and will build otherwise.
    - Dropping spikes on a burrowing hunter to make a bridge over him while he burrows further down? Huh. Nice!
    - I still have no idea when the spikes will pop up under my monster, or when they'll fall on my head.

    Okay, interesting! The game has rather simple rules, but they result in a lot of emergent gameplay. A bit too complex for me to think about them in real-time though! (I wonder if the game would work turn-based. Or top-down. Or multiplayer. Hmmm...)

    There's one thing I would've liked: Some sort of horizontal ray that beams down from the hatch so I can immediately see the where my creature is commanded to. I died a few times from letting the creature move on step to far just because of poor visual judgement.

    I think the gameplay might be a bit clearer if the spikes would drop with the hero so that nothing just seems to pop out of thin air. (Well, except the trinkets I guess.) Although that might change the gameplay too much? It's hard for me to think about, and I don't know which bits you value the most.

    All in all: Very interesting, good job!

    ethankennerly says ...
    Dec 23, 2012 @ 8:49pm

    The music, sounds, images, and motions interested me. If you continue to develop, after I learned to stand under the chute and build up tiles, I'm not sure how to improve my skills.

    Cake&Code says ...
    Dec 24, 2012 @ 11:50pm

    Hmm, the web link seems to be down. I'll give it a go as soon as it's up again :)

    Jiggawatt says ...
    Dec 25, 2012 @ 2:13pm

    Tobias Wehrum: I appreciate the thoughtful feedback. There are some gory details about the way spikes drop: once a hunter dies, its y-position is rounded to the next tile above, and that's used as the y-position for the spikes. That's why you get different results when a hunter lands on the ground (y = 1 tile above ground, so spikes spawn on the monster) and when a hunter lands on a spike (y = 2 tiles above ground, which is safe). This could definitely be made clearer with visual cues, though.

    But your comment gave me some ideas.

    Jiggawatt says ...
    Dec 25, 2012 @ 2:15pm

    Cake&Code: I haven't touched the link, and it seems to be working. Maybe Dropbox was momentarily acting up when you tried it.

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