April 26th-29th 2013 :: Theme: Minimalism

Ludum Dare 26 — April 26-29th, 2013
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Darwinian Monsters

by uprightpath - 48 Hour Compo Entry


Creator: Upright Path
Name: Darwinian Monsters
Competition: Ludum Dare 26

You're working on a Darwinian experiment in which you have monsters you've bred are pitted against each other in an underground arena. However, you miscalculated and your monsters turned out stupider than you intended. They have no memories, no notion of what a door is, and can only see what's directly in front of them, and whether there's an opening to either side. As such, to complete your experiement, you must help guide the monsters towards each other, so that they can combat each other and show which breed is best!

The game is a 'Turn Based' puzzle. During each time step, the monsters will decide what to do, then attempt to perform that action. Monsters can perform four actions with these priorities: Fight (If there is a monster directly in front of it), Devour (If there a corpse directly in front of it, which returns a portion of life), Move (Straight forward if the space is open), and Turn (Randomly left or right, or towards only open door to the left or right). Fight interrupts any other actions by the combatants (Meaning if a monster wanted to move forward, but another fights it, it stops).Faster monsters will perform their actions first, and their move actions can interrupt the move actions of other monsters. Once all monsters have performed their actions, been interrupted or died, then the next time step ca begin. Injured monsters have their damage/speed lowered in proportion to their health percentage.
The game goal is to have only one creature of the creatures on the right side be alive at the end. The game is lost when all creatures of that type are dead.
Green: High health, average damage and speed.
Red: Average health, high damage and low speed.
Blue: Average health, average damage and high speed.
Rock-Paper-Scissor: Blue -> Red -> Green -> Blue
Play/Pause (Toggle)- Performs a single time step (Repeats while Infinity is toggled)/Allows the operation of the levers.
1/Infinity (Toggle)- Pauses the game after the current time step finishes/Continues to perform time steps until pause is pressed.
Levers: The three levers control whether doors (By same color) are open during the next time step. These cannot be used while the game is playing.
Clock: While the dot is in the center, the game is no longer performing actions. While it is rotation actions are being performed.

The puzzles are randomly generated. This can result in games which cannot be completed (Either won/lost), this is due to not having a check for whether the map is contiguous. Further, there is no way to end the game prematurely which means that these situations require a restart.
For the purposes of win/loss considerations a monster is only considered dead when it's life is at 0 and it's been devoured.
Rock-Paper-Scissor mechanic may result in incorrect values (The result of the computation of for what the RPS difference is can result in a negative number, which will provide the wrong damage multiplier).
Fights happen automatically, meaning that you cannot see the progression of damage.

Downloads and Links




Kinzata says ...
Apr 29, 2013 @ 3:43am

Interesting idea. There are a lot of things you could do with this! :)

uprightpath says ...
Apr 29, 2013 @ 3:50am

Thank you! I'm planning on expanding on it a bit, since it's something I can actually do something with. Hah.

Apr 29, 2013 @ 5:58am

Windows? Change it to 'Download' or others may not even download this..

Drabiter says ...
Apr 29, 2013 @ 7:20am

Like the idea. But after couple of minutes playing the window got fully covered by orange color and nothing happened.

uprightpath says ...
Apr 29, 2013 @ 4:46pm

@Sri Harsha Chilakapati: I'll go ahead and do that. It SHOULD run on most any OS since it's a cross platform build (So I guess I should).
@Drabiter: That's a generation issue. I'm unsure whether adding a button to rebuild the level would be a 'bug fix' at this point. It just makes it more playable.

@SamPotasz says ...
Apr 29, 2013 @ 5:12pm

I agree with Kinzata, it's definitely an interesting idea! As a player, I want a some more visual feedback as to what's causing what so I can better anticipate and plan moves.

Apr 29, 2013 @ 5:13pm

I also get the orange screen after about 15 seconds of actual play.

The sliders also seemed to stop responding after I changed them a few times in a row.

Cool concept, but it definitely needs some sort of in-game tutorial and a bit more of an intuitive interface. If you fix the orange screen, I will rate it.

jlm says ...
Apr 29, 2013 @ 5:17pm

I had fun playing it. It would be nice if it was easier to see what was going on. Making time progression and turn distinction easier to see would have helped me get into it more.

A good, fun game though.

uprightpath says ...
Apr 29, 2013 @ 8:51pm

I THINK that the issue with the orange screen is one of two problems: 1) The random generator is spitting out a 5x5 map that has nothing on it (Which it shouldn't since it shouldn't be outputting a map which automatically meets the loss/win condition. 2) That there's an issue with it forgetting how to update/getting a screen that shouldn't be available there.

If anyone who has this happen can run it through the run.bat and give me any print outs from it or a screen shot of the event, I'd appreciate it.

mortl8324 says ...
Apr 30, 2013 @ 4:05pm

Didn't rate, the game is unplayable for me. The moment I press play, the screen turns orange.

Meep says ...
Apr 30, 2013 @ 4:08pm

I really love the idea behind this! Pretty fun and has lots of potential. :) Great work!

ashdnazg says ...
Apr 30, 2013 @ 4:50pm

Quite complicated but very interesting!

uprightpath says ...
Apr 30, 2013 @ 6:43pm

For those who didn't read the note at the top, the Original download link will BREAK (Have the Orange screen issue mentioned) if you resize/maximize the game. The second link fixes this, but does not scale up the graphics, to make it easier to play/view I made some minor graphics changes (Changing the orange/brown to black, making the door locations/colors easier to discern when open, etc.).

Jyrkface says ...
May 2, 2013 @ 8:07am

Very cool idea! I love the puzzles, though I feel they might be a bit too clever for me :P

dertom says ...
May 7, 2013 @ 10:03pm

Puh, that is a hard one :D! Nice concept,...good job

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