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

Ludum Dare 26 — April 26-29th, 2013
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Twinimalism

by TenTonToon - 48 Hour Compo Entry

Oh my gosh!! O_o Another Ludum Dare bites the proverbial dust. Poor beast! It must be hungry...

Here's my entry, "Twinimalism". It basically boils down to this:

- 1st minimalism: control scheme. It's a one button game. And as the keyboard has lots of those little creeps, here's the one you should be keeping an eye (or better yet: a finger) on: the SPACE key. You can press the SPACE key to begin the game
- 2nd minimalism: game mechanics. Avoid incoming blocks by automatically moving from side to side. But here's the twist: you control two characters at once. One moves from side to side while the other stands still; when you press the SPACE key, they reverse their behaviour. It's easier to understand by playing it. Or if I was able to explain myself better. But my brain is kinda sluggish right now, you know... :P
- 3rd minimalism: graphics. Nope, no silly little monochrome blocks here - you'll find plenty of silly little fully colored blocks here. And the kind of Piet Mondrian-esque background that you'll get to HATE during the rating phase of this Ludum Dare. All of it made by hand, though - craftsmanship is a rare skill nowadays
- Blocks can only hurt you if they hit you from straight ahead. If your avatars hit a block from one of their sides, it only blocks (as that's what blocks do, right?) their movement
- Ok, I sort of lied about the one button thing. You can use the ESCAPE key to exit the game. And that, my fellow ludumdarers, is the reason the ESCAPE key will become the most beloved key on your keyboard. Even more than that gorgeous PrntScrn key!
- While you move around, you'll notice three things - well, at least some of you probably will:
1) You score points by simply "being". The longer you stay in the game, the more points you'll score per second
2) Your avatars swap positions from time to time, between 4 possible destinations. To keep things interesting
3) The little guys you move around slowly fade away from view... The horror!! If you pick up some ink (the little dark blotches that move towards you), though, they will recover part of their body mass. If, on the other hand, you stumble upon a water drop (the little light blotches that move towards you), the little fellas will get much more washed away. Fade completely away, and you'll lose one precious, precious life

And that's basically it, I think.
Oh, yes! Again, as I've got to regard as a sort of personal tradition of mine: no sound :P But that goes towards the overall rating of the game, as it's minimalistic design, too. Right? XD

Thanks for taking the time to try this game, and I hope you enjoy your probably brief yet surely confusing hands on with it.

Best of luck to everyone! :D

Made with GameMaker: Studio

29/04 - Uploaded a new, fixed version
Changelog:
- Changed the color of the 'Get Ready!' message, to make it easier to read. And so much prettier
- 'Get Ready!' message didn't show up in between lives. I guess it wasn't ready
- 'Level' wasn't showing on the HUD, either. Those messages are really shy!
- The 'Game Over' screen disappeared as soon as it was created if you happened to be pressing the SPACE key while one of your avatars died for the umpteenth time. So that was a likely scenario, as that's 50% of your job in this game - the other 50% being 'not' pressing the SPACE key
- Made the collision mask for the water drop somewhat smaller
- The present highscore wouldn't be saved if you let the timeout take you from the 'Game Over' screen to the Main Menu

30/04 - Uploaded yet another fixed version
Changelog:
- Highscores wouldn't be saved if you chose to play again after losing a game. And that, after a good run, sucks big time
Thanks to orgarus and Aleix for the bug hunting! :D

01/05 - Added Web version (HTML5)

Downloads and Links


Ratings

Coolness81%
#352Innovation3.39
#388Graphics3.28
#590Theme3.50
#594Humor2.18
#717Overall3.02
#788Mood2.65
#935Fun2.57

Comments

BigBlackBeard says ...
Apr 29, 2013 @ 4:25am

I have a lot of fun playing this game ! Thank you !

orgarus says ...
Apr 29, 2013 @ 5:27am

A great (and minimalistic :) ) design and a fun game. Congratulations man!
A "must play" entry.

TenTonToon says ...
Apr 30, 2013 @ 6:09am

@BigBlackBeard I had a great time playing your entry, too! :) Thanks for taking the time to try it, pal! And congratulations on the big, black beard! :D

TenTonToon says ...
Apr 30, 2013 @ 6:12am

@orgarus
Thank you very much, mate! And thanks for the bug hunting. Big Kudos to you for that! Big minimalistic Kudos, of course XD

And yeah guys, this is a must play entry. Must play... or else! XD
Or else you don't, actually ;)

TenTonToon says ...
Apr 30, 2013 @ 6:14am

Come on, guys! Post your high scores here :D
396 for me, thus far.

Apr 30, 2013 @ 6:30am

Very cute! ^_^

gmaker says ...
Apr 30, 2013 @ 6:39am

very nice

TenTonToon says ...
Apr 30, 2013 @ 7:13am

@CherryNukaCola
@gmaker
Thanks, guys! I really appreciate it :D

pansapiens says ...
Apr 30, 2013 @ 7:19am

It's a strange little game, but I like it. Being a one button game, it would probably translate well to a mobile touchscreen device.

TenTonToon says ...
Apr 30, 2013 @ 1:23pm

@pansapiens
It comes from a strange little person, so I guess that was to be expected ;D
I still hadn't thought too much about what to do with this game down the road. If anything at all. And that's an interesting idea to bear in mind :)

Thanks for playing this game! :)

meszka says ...
Apr 30, 2013 @ 6:46pm

Nice combination of ideas (one button and controlling 2 players at once). I also went down the one-button path with my game ;) Keeping track of two different viewports was difficult for me. If they were always next to each other it would've been easier to grasp, but also less challenging I guess.

TenTonToon says ...
Apr 30, 2013 @ 7:20pm

@meszka
Thank you very much! :)
I tried your game, and it puts the one-button mechanic to great use. It looks like you wanted to squeeze some more gameplay into it than your typical one-button game, and you certainly passed with flying colors.
That's what I was aiming for with the one button/2 players idea. And yes, having both viewports side by side made the game not only much easier, but also less intense; this way, you can't easily move into "autopilot mode".

Thanks for trying the game and dropping a line! :D

vandriver says ...
May 1, 2013 @ 12:10am

this is a pretty cool mechanic. it's one of those games where you carefully keep things going, then one fuckup sends you into panic mode and things spiral down. pretty well done with one button. i can never get back into a rhythm after a couple room switches!

May 1, 2013 @ 12:10am

Cool game concept! I like the visual style. I was a little confused at first but eventually figured it out. I think maybe you should show an arrow or something to remind the player which way the stationary dude is going to move when you press/release the button.

alts says ...
May 1, 2013 @ 6:14am

I don't think I've ever seen a one button game quite like this. Well done. It took a little while to understand quite how it worked (as your point #2 mentioned).

pjchardt says ...
May 1, 2013 @ 6:19am

I see minimalism was not part of your theme for your description :P In all seriousness I love your mechanic. It is very simple in explanation but I found quite tricky to play. I think this is a mechanic worthy of exploring further!

TenTonToon says ...
May 1, 2013 @ 6:49am

@vandriver
Thank you! That was one of the driving ideas: to keep you on your toes, and throw your rhythm off. I guess it's sort of an anti-rhythm game! :) Go try and play "Guitar Hero" now!

Thanks for playing the game! :)

TenTonToon says ...
May 1, 2013 @ 6:53am

@KilledByaPixel
Thanks! :D That's an idea I had been pondering, but I dropped it to force the player to put all of its attention into the game. I want the player to suffe... I mean, to feel like (s)he's accomplished something after investing a little time and effort on the game.

Thanks for trying the game and dropping a comment! :)

TenTonToon says ...
May 1, 2013 @ 6:56am

@alts
Thanks! I appreciate it! :D
Having such a simple (minimalistic, even? ;D) main mechanic, I looked for a way to turn it on its ugly head, and that's what I came up with.
And, as it's such a simple mechanic, I had to make it as obtuse and opaque as possible in order for the player not to notice right away how simple it is XD

Thanks again!

TenTonToon says ...
May 1, 2013 @ 7:00am

@pjchardt
You bet it wasn't, mate! :D After 48 hours of minimalism, I couldn't stop the flow - I hemorrhaged word maximalism! Thankfully I'm feeling better, now; thanks for asking :)

I'm really glad you found the game and its main mechanic somewhat interesting. Thank you very much! :)

Zim the Fox says ...
May 1, 2013 @ 7:21am

Posting here so you get to see it:
Thank you for the screenshot! It was really helpful.

Most of the traceback is the freezing utility, which makes it so that you can run the script outside of my computer without installing Python. The important bit is at the bottom: OpenGL can't create a context. What graphics card are you using? What version of Windows are you running? Do you have the latest drivers? I'll look for bug reports with your problem, see if I find any solutions. Thank you for reporting the problem! :3

I'll play your game after some sleep!

Tyro says ...
May 1, 2013 @ 10:52am

Not only are the visuals beastly pretty, but the amount of thought you put into the theme is staggering. For a game about minimalism, I'm enjoying it to the maximum (please don't kill me for that one.)

Zim the Fox says ...
May 1, 2013 @ 8:45pm

I think I've fixed the problem, if you want to go ahead and try playing my game again! :D

And as I promised, I'll play your game when I have some time!

Zim the Fox says ...
May 2, 2013 @ 12:37am

First of all: Thank you for commenting on my game! :3

Also, I defeated your highscore <3
http://i.imgur.com/Kg97Vim.jpg

It's a very innovative and good looking game, not much else to say (mostly because I'm sleepy). I wanted to make a one button entry but I couldn't think of anything interesting, so kudos to you!

TenTonToon says ...
May 2, 2013 @ 6:18am

@Tyro
Thanks for the kind words! I really appreciate it. It wasn't that hard to design, though: I was on the toilet, hanging a clock, and I fell and hit my head on the sink. Then, suddenly, I had the idea: the flux capacitor! I didn't know what the heck was that, so I dismissed it. And then it hit me. The clock, I mean. It fell on my head and I had this other crazy idea: Mondrian, one-button, two players... Ludum Dare! :)

Extra points to you for the bad joke, mate! ;)

Thanks again for trying the game!

TenTonToon says ...
May 2, 2013 @ 6:21am

@Zim the Fox
Thank you for fixing your game for the minority of us who couldn't play it, and thanks for trying my game! :D
But I don't know if I love you or hate you for beating my highscore and posting it here :D

Thanks again for being so invested in the LD! You rock!

TehSkull says ...
May 2, 2013 @ 6:25am

I wish the game was moving less often. I also wish I didn't have to hold spacebar to swap between the two scenes.

TenTonToon says ...
May 2, 2013 @ 8:58am

@TehSkull
Moving from panel to panel is not a core mechanic, in that it is basically there to put some more pressure on the player and keep the tension up. But you're wishing away my main mechanic with the space changing thing, mate! XD You take that away, and there's no game.

I wish I had more time to add sound this once. And a Nutella sandwich :D

Thanks for playing the game and leaving a comment!

Covenant says ...
May 2, 2013 @ 4:45pm

Brilliant one! I really, really, really suck at it, but it was brilliant! Gratz man!

TenTonToon says ...
May 3, 2013 @ 4:35am

@Covenant
Thank you very much, mate! I really, really, really appreciate it :D

dick_claus says ...
May 3, 2013 @ 5:29am

Little bit difficult controls >_<

ethankennerly says ...
May 3, 2013 @ 5:36am

The watercolor painting attracted me. If you continue to develop this, I was not sure what to do or why my man jumped to another side.

TenTonToon says ...
May 3, 2013 @ 6:03am

@dick_claus
I think it would prove to be somewhat difficult to simplify them even more :D

The game can be a little bit taxing on the player, that's true. But no one said that being a painted character on a minimalistic painting (reference to my minimal ability to paint, that is) whose life is draining away by the second while it tries to avoid blocks that would crush it would be easy, right? ;)

Thanks for playing the game, sir!

TenTonToon says ...
May 3, 2013 @ 6:11am

@ethankennerly
Thanks for the appreciation. It's the first time I've tried my hand at digital watercolor, and it's been a mind-opener experience: I shall never try again XD

You see, these pixie painted character fellas are very nervous creatures that have a hard time staying in one place. But they're hardly to be blamed, bearing in mind that some invisible, foul-minded entity they call "The Game's Creator" put them in a position where they could be crushed by lovingly colored falling blocks at any time. And, to further they disgrace, they're stuck in a death-rebirth circle from which they cannot escape. Lousy, lousy karma.
God bless their inky souls.

Thanks for playing the game and leaving a comment! :D

miotatsu says ...
May 4, 2013 @ 1:57am

interesting style, was really hard to wrap my brain around at first but pretty fun after the initial learning curve

TenTonToon says ...
May 4, 2013 @ 6:56am

@miotatsu
Thank you! But a word of advice: don't go wrapping your brain around things, pal! That must be messy, and hurt a lot! :)

I guess the learning curve may seem kinda steep, but the game plays fast, ends fast and restarts fast, so you can move from novice to pro to "this is it? this game sucks!" in no time! Also, everybody knows that curves are waaaay more fun that straight lines, right? :D

Thanks for playing the game, mate! :)

stevejohnson says ...
May 4, 2013 @ 9:24pm

Great look, good concept. Could have used some audio. The web version was a bit stuttery for me.

Oye Beto says ...
May 5, 2013 @ 4:49am

Instructions in game would be good :P
I didn't know I moved both characters.

Once I understood the mechanic, it was fun. I like doing 2 things at the same time and the change of locations makes it more dynamic.

My highscore is 178.

TenTonToon says ...
May 5, 2013 @ 5:46am

@stevejohnson
Thanks a lot! You bet it could have used some audio :) But, simple (and minimalistic ;D) as this game is, I ended up using every second of the final hours, literally, to finish a playable version. And no sound? That's as minimalistic sound design as it gets!

Was your whole playtime with the web version stuttery, or did you notice a change in performance as you played? This is the first time I've used GM: Studio's HTML5 export; I'll look into it. But after playing your truly smooth game, I can understand you feel "Twinimalism" is kinda bumpy :)

Thanks again!

May 5, 2013 @ 7:40am

nice idea and interesting graphics

ashdnazg says ...
May 5, 2013 @ 10:04am

All this multitasking made my nose bleed :P
The concept is wonderful though!
Good job :)

TenTonToon says ...
May 5, 2013 @ 4:25pm

@Oye Beto
I appreciate it! :) I never had the chance to add in-game instructions, even though I'd have liked to prepare a small tutorial-like level.

But that's the way true men learn. And some women. And 2 out of 3 ink pixies.
Bumping your head against a merrily colored killer block.
Again and again and again.
I wouldn't have it any other way for my players XD

Thanks for trying the game and posting your highscore! :D

TenTonToon says ...
May 5, 2013 @ 4:27pm

@ghostinthesoft
Thanks, mate! I tried to make the most of the minimalistic playground.
Cheers!

TenTonToon says ...
May 5, 2013 @ 4:30pm

@ashdnazg
You don't have to worry until you see your gray matter leeking down your nose. And then you won't have to worry anymore.
But that won't happen until you reach level 8, out of 9.
Level 9, you ask? Now that's reaaaaally messy... XD

Thank you very much for playing this thing and taking the time to comment! :D

Oye Beto says ...
May 5, 2013 @ 9:21pm

No problem. Thanks for your comments on my game :)

brodavi says ...
May 5, 2013 @ 10:45pm

Not bad at all. Quite hard!

TenTonToon says ...
May 6, 2013 @ 5:54am

@brodavi
Thank you, Sir! :)

This game is hard, 'cause it's meant to forge your character.
Or break you trying.
Probably the later.
But you know that I love you, and that I did this for your own good, right? Right?? XD

Thanks for playing the game!

nimblegorilla says ...
May 6, 2013 @ 6:00am

Very nice graphics. In the game it was a little hard to focus on the characters and find where they jumped to after they teleported to a new area.

Mekuri says ...
May 6, 2013 @ 6:01am

Good game, true to the theme, and very difficult. Good job! :-)

TenTonToon says ...
May 6, 2013 @ 4:08pm

@nimblegorilla
Thank you very much! :) I must point out that your skills have increased since you played this game, and now you sport a very nice Focus+4, with an additional 15% bonus in any saving throw against Colored Moving Blocks.
You're most welcome XD

Thanks again, mate!

TenTonToon says ...
May 6, 2013 @ 4:12pm

@Mekuri
Thanks a lot! :D I really appreciate your appreciation for the game. Especially concerning the difficulty XD Not every player takes on that one kindly, but that's where the real fun still lies. Well, to me, at least. Both as a player and as a tortur... I mean, as a developer ;D

Thank you for trying the game and leaving a comment! :)

lorancou says ...
May 7, 2013 @ 9:53am

Nice gameplay. I didn't quite get the point of the rain drops that make you translucent, but apart that: a simple idea that works.

TenTonToon says ...
May 7, 2013 @ 5:06pm

@lorancou
Thank you, Sir!

You see, the fact is they're not rain drops - they're tear drops, from the painter that's pouring his soul into the canvas, à la Basil Hallward. And the pixies, being made of ink, get diluted by them, the same way they get strengthened by the ink drops.
Now everything makes perfect sense, right? Right??
Ok, you'll have to trust me on this one. But we're not going risk a friendship as old as ours for something like that, right? ;D

Thanks for playing the game!

Alphonsus says ...
May 11, 2013 @ 2:19am

Awesome game mechanic and fun gameplay! Also, I love the Mondrian background :) Keep it up!

TenTonToon says ...
May 11, 2013 @ 8:22am

@Alphonsus
Thanks a lot, mate! The Mondrian thing was sort of a hit-or-miss decision that panned out (conceptually) when I added the "avoid water - grab ink" mechanic, and interestingly brought the jump from panel to panel.

Frankly, I thought we'd be seeing Mondrian-esque designs all over the place, as a sort of "one size fits all" visual concept, and it's not been the case.
What's wrong with you, people!? XD

Thanks for playing the game and leaving a comment! I really appreciate it; especially at this stage of the compo, when playing seems to be slowing to a crawl :)

mrexcessive says ...
May 13, 2013 @ 6:31pm

Looks lovely... Very hard to play, swapping attention back and forth, keeping two sequences in mind for upcoming gaps.

TenTonToon says ...
May 14, 2013 @ 11:28am

@mrexcessive
Yeah, it's kinda hard to play... but that's what actual brain training is all about. You learn to adapt, to improvise... to prevail!
Take that, Dr. Kawashima! XD

Thank you very much for trying the game! :)

sP0CkEr2 says ...
May 15, 2013 @ 3:13am

that was kool -- like the mechanics -- very hard to pickup at first but after awhile u get the hang of it -- excellent

TenTonToon says ...
May 16, 2013 @ 5:24am

@sP0CkEr2
I'm really glad you feel that way, Sir :D The mechanics may be minimalistic, but the challenge is not. It's old-school thinking: hard but achievable through practice.

Thanks for playing the game and writing a comment, mate! :D

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