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    Ludum Dare 25

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

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    Path to Death - Jeremias - 48 Hour Compo Entry

    Path to Death is a turn based tower defense game written in XNA and based on an own framework (GB2D). You need the .NET 4.0 [0] and the XNA 4.0 [1] framework to play my game. It's (sadly) Windows-only.

    The good forces start on the left and after each round, they progress from location to location. You are the tyrant's saboteur which travels to the locations and manipulates them.

    Collect your skillpoints, invest them in the location's skilltree and defend the throne on the right!

    All gameplay relevant information is presented as tooltips within the game. The buttons are on the screen's bottom. You just need the mouse (cursor) and the left mouse button.

    I hope you enjoy my art and the skilltree as the gameplay focus.


    [0] http://www.microsoft.com/en-us/download/details.aspx?id=17851
    [1] http://www.microsoft.com/en-us/download/details.aspx?id=20914

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

    Ratings

    Coolness100%
    #19Innovation4.04
    #101Overall3.53
    #118Mood3.31
    #129Fun3.37
    #180Graphics3.46
    #363Audio2.43
    #365Theme3.21
    #375Humor2.51

    Comments

    Dec 17, 2012 @ 8:22pm

    Haven't seen anything like this before. Nicely done. The gameplay is addictive as there are many options to take. I hope this one wins :)

    Amazing job for 48hours. Love your game.

    Dec 17, 2012 @ 8:39pm

    its different, but i like it. good luck

    Jeremias says ...
    Dec 18, 2012 @ 1:07pm

    @comrad_gremlin and JacksGamesSucks: Thank you very much for your comments!

    CappaGames says ...
    Dec 19, 2012 @ 8:53am

    Cool idea, but its a bit too abstract. Some more art to symbolize whats going on I think would help out. Otherwise, good work.

    Jeremias says ...
    Dec 19, 2012 @ 5:28pm

    @CappaGames: That's right. Someone other told me that and I agree. But there is this time constraint! grr!

    HeXoT says ...
    Dec 19, 2012 @ 7:40pm

    I think I need a tutorial, I couldn't fully understand how different zones interact with each other. :|

    Dir3kt says ...
    Dec 19, 2012 @ 7:41pm

    Quite unique concept. I could turn into an interesting game I have to say. However I had difficulties understanding what was going exactly.

    Oh and love the art style :)

    TylerJones says ...
    Dec 19, 2012 @ 7:54pm

    Not groundbreaking, but a totally solid game. I got some bugs where after failing to defend, my areas would gain potentially large amounts of health. I think it started happening after I got the health leech ability in the glade, but I'm not sure.

    Jeremias says ...
    Dec 19, 2012 @ 8:06pm

    @HeXoT and Dir3kt: Thank you for your feedback. Perhaps I should stop to try to make complex games within 48 hours ^^.

    @TylerJones: Yeah, that could be a bug... sorry for that.

    metadept says ...
    Dec 20, 2012 @ 4:46am

    Amazing job. SO many techs, incredibly well polished, and well-founded concept. It's a little difficult to tell what's going on at times, but considering the limitations I think the UI's pretty great. Deserves to be a full retail game, for sure.

    Porpentine says ...
    Dec 20, 2012 @ 7:18am

    I reallllly like this level of abstraction and I love how each location is so thematic. My favorite abilities are the ones that tie into what the location is about, like deciding to migrate all my priests to the throneroom and abandon their post--a modest way of building my own narrative.

    h.attila says ...
    Dec 20, 2012 @ 7:13pm

    Very detailed, nicely presented game.

    Dec 20, 2012 @ 7:25pm

    Just while I'm in the moment of playing it I noticed the attacker's health has gone into negative numbers in the throne room - is this a bug?
    Will provide actual thoughts once I've finished my game :)

    pighead10 says ...
    Dec 20, 2012 @ 7:26pm

    It's different, and some additional gameplay mechanics could make it more interesting. Lovely graphics.

    Dec 20, 2012 @ 7:29pm

    First of all, it has a very pretty UI. Some tool tips fall off screen but that's okay cause you can read them in other places.
    The game is very abstract however, and it's not obvious necessarily what's going on all the time. I kinda gave up looking at the numbers and ended up going by my "feeling" of how things were progressing haha.
    All the choices of upgrades are cool, it seems weird however that a lot of really powerful ones (that even benefit the earlier locations) are stacked to the rear end of the game. It makes sense in a way, but it's almost more beneficial to target like the "+5 Attack" say at all locations earlier on so it holds the attackers back longer, no?
    Anyway, thought it was really cool and quite different.

    Dec 20, 2012 @ 7:36pm

    Pretty sure the negative numbers are a bug. Over 100 turns survived just by jamming the next turn button with 30+ skillpoints not used :P

    Jeremias says ...
    Dec 20, 2012 @ 7:51pm

    Thank you all for the feedback!

    @Porpentine: That was my intention! Yeah!

    @bradleypollard: Try to guess for what I had NO time during the 48 hours :P (beyond balancing...)

    Clavus says ...
    Dec 20, 2012 @ 7:59pm

    Great little game. Doesn't have much of an endgame, or effects, but nicely made nonetheless.

    Rex Peppers says ...
    Dec 20, 2012 @ 11:49pm

    Can't play windows games.

    blob says ...
    Dec 20, 2012 @ 11:51pm

    Very deep and interesting gameplay. Not easy to understand at first, some extra icons to show for exemple which attack is yours and which is the ennemy's would help ( I didnt find the tooltip at first ).
    I think there's a bug with the level 2 throne skills. Instead of increasing the health everywhere once, I would gain extra health every time I get hit making me instantly immortal.
    Really nice themed places, would love a more graphical version of this game. I hope you will continue it.

    Dew says ...
    Dec 20, 2012 @ 11:52pm

    Nice game, it's hard to uderstand at first, but it's addictive !

    jmaasing says ...
    Dec 21, 2012 @ 8:41pm

    Sorry, I can't rate, I don't have windows.

    Justin Kibbe says ...
    Dec 21, 2012 @ 10:24pm

    Awesome game, love the mechanics. With some post-compo bug fixing it could be a solid game I would think about paying money for.

    maiev says ...
    Dec 22, 2012 @ 4:44pm

    Wow, unbelievable that this was made in 48 hours. The graphics and attention to detail are amazing. The game itself is really deep and It seems like with some balancing there is a lot of potential for strategy. However, I wish there was a guide or some more feedback on how things work because it was confusing my first playthrough.

    Spelchan says ...
    Dec 22, 2012 @ 10:43pm

    I hope you keep working on this game as it was fun. Needs better instructions and turn result summary.

    cwilloughby says ...
    Dec 22, 2012 @ 11:04pm

    Cool concept. Very interesting. Didn't understand at first, but when I got the hang of it it was very fun. Nice work. The sounds seemed out of place - would be cool if they were more with the theme.

    Xavier says ...
    Dec 23, 2012 @ 10:17am

    Interesting concept but it needs a good help or clear instructions to play it. I'm agree with Justin Kibbe: could be a solid game in a future.

    zazery says ...
    Dec 24, 2012 @ 1:51am

    I really enjoyed the game, great work! I was able to figure out how to play the game without reading your instructions. The graphics you have are good but I think you could push it a bit further if you had time. Instead of using arrows the path could be a dirt path. It would be great to see art for each building that showed the progress of your upgrades. I had a hard time remembering which buildings I had already maxed out. What you did for the compo is fine, however, I'm just talking about where you can go from here.

    As for gameplay I found it too easy but I can see a lot of potential in the current systems. See what you can do to give players more meaningful choices. There are some interesting ones now and the upgrades are very thematic to the building.

    Here's a screenshot of when I stopped playing: http://puu.sh/1Eyxv (all upgrades)

    Jeremias says ...
    Dec 24, 2012 @ 12:09pm

    Thank you all for your feedback! I really consider to make a polished game
    based on this game mechanic, and your comments are very helpful.

    Better tutorials and better communication of what is going on are the main
    points I noted.

    @zazery: Respective the screenshot: holy shit :D
    My intention was to place location specific images in the background of
    the button which opens the skilltree. Additional I started to make paths
    instead of arrows: if you look at the background near the arrows, you
    see some color change. But there was absolutely no time left. For music
    sadly too...

    lotusgame says ...
    Dec 25, 2012 @ 10:46pm

    It's a nice game with an interesting concept. Good work :)

    Neonlare says ...
    Dec 26, 2012 @ 4:10pm

    Definitely digged this, a very unique take on Tower Defence! Loved the system.

    schnerble says ...
    Dec 29, 2012 @ 12:08am

    Interesting idea. Works pretty well, except that it seemed a bit easy - I ended with over 1000 health on the throne on my first go, and it didn't look like I'd be having trouble any time soon.

    csanyk says ...
    Dec 29, 2012 @ 7:57pm

    A purely strategic turn-based simulation which for all practical purposes is basically text only. It was hard to understand what I was doing or how well I was doing it, due to the lack of graphical feedback. I think the math modeling is the strength here, back it up with some visuals that communicate what's happening to the player better, and you have something.

    zenmumbler says ...
    Dec 30, 2012 @ 6:28pm

    It looks nice and things happen and all the upgrade trees are cool but I don't really feel like I'm doing much by upgrading or what is going on in general.

    Joozey says ...
    Dec 30, 2012 @ 8:14pm

    Sadly, the executable did not work for me. No error, nothing. Just a waiting ball (in windows 7) and then nothing.

    Jeremias says ...
    Dec 30, 2012 @ 10:29pm

    Thank you all for your feedback.

    @Joozey: Did you install .Net 4.0 and XNA 4.0?

    Freakill says ...
    Dec 31, 2012 @ 8:47am

    I really liked this game. Maybe I've been lucky, but I felt it is a little bit unbalanced, I beat it directly at the first try, and fast I got the throne room with enemies with -0 health :(. Despite of that, I really like the skills trees you deviced, and the look of the game is really good, no need of NCPs wandering around with this cool GUI ;) I really liked this game, I've been just playing until 270 rounds (when far before I already knew I beat the enemy) just to see how everything progressed. But bear in mind numbers after a while don't display correcty for big amounts of the values :s I loved this entry honestly, really well and polished! I think that with difficulty selector and different "configurations" of the castle, that would be awesome, like imagine you start with easier sets for "smaller" castles, and each time you progress, a new room (which could also be invested by the user) can be added ;)

    Jeremias says ...
    Dec 31, 2012 @ 3:31pm

    @Freakill: As I already mentioned, there was sadly no time for testing and balancing (and bugfixing...). Your idea of unlocking rooms sounds interesting!

    Beanalby says ...
    Dec 31, 2012 @ 6:55pm

    Insane to have this amount of complexity in a 48 hour entry! I love the variety of skills and interactions. One of my favorites so far. Couldn't imagine trying to balance it in such a short time.

    Encountered a bug of some kind; my king ended up gaining ~60 health when he got attacked. Still very interesting :)

    Markavian says ...
    Jan 2, 2013 @ 1:34pm

    I liked the animations and techtree, I thought the concept was well developed. However, I found it hard to follow the progress of the threat as attackers moved between the locations. I think some balancing and work on graphics, perhaps using visual cues such as a crowd of soldiers rather then just numbers would help.

    Good overall feel to the game, but didn't feel much challenge or purpose after 10 minutes of play.

    kibertoad says ...
    Jan 3, 2013 @ 10:11pm

    Absolutely adore how out of the box and imaginative this game is. Best LD entry so far!

    rvmook says ...
    Jan 7, 2013 @ 8:54pm

    Sorry, unable to play this game. Seems promising based on comments and screenshots though

    Jeremias says ...
    Jan 7, 2013 @ 10:22pm

    Thank you all for the feedback :)

    @rvmook: Did you install .Net 4.0 and XNA 4.0 or do you have just another OS then Windows?

    Puzzlem00n says ...
    Jan 8, 2013 @ 1:37am

    I definitely see some originality here. Thoughts-

    Bad:
    -Even with great graphics, without animations for troops, it lacks a bit.
    -A lot of things are bugged out, like negative enemy health and really high health gains after you're supposed to be damaged.
    -I, personally, had trouble getting immersed in it.

    Good:
    +Those graphics are pretty nice.
    +The speed up feature is a nice touch.
    +The whole thing is pretty original, in a way.

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