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

Ludum Dare 26 — April 26-29th, 2013
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Minimalistic PotatoPeople

by goerp - Jam Entry

So here is my game. I Really had fun making it!

It's a very low-interaction strategic game.

The potato people are under attack!
But being the minimalists they are they only have potatoes to defend themselves.
(Yeah I know I'm not going to score high on 'Theme')

It's your task to save the potato people by changing the DNA of the potatoes!

I hope you can be a bit patient with the game, because I don't think it immediately obvious how everything works and the GUI is still somewhat buggy.
Reading the instructions is advisable (sorry)

Changing the DNA with the GUI is all the interaction there is. The potatoes do the work for you.

The standard set of rules makes the potatoes grow, but not very good and creates no shooters. So you have to add rules for that.
The last link is to an image where you can see a set of rules that almost guarantees you a win.

There is an ending for winning and losing. Losing is pretty easy so try to do that (just starting the gama and waiting will suffice, sometimes a bit long, just keep it running and play another game OR try to make a winning DNA!).

It's made for the Jam, but only because I needed the 72 hours. It's still all original content (I used the Flashpunk framework, though).

-when cells cannot do anything for a few turns, they become dormant and wont perform any action (this does not go for shooters). Cells can awaken again if neighbouring cells die.
- only shooter cells can shoot
- you can change DNA-rules during the game, but this only goes for new potatoes. the old potatoes have the old DNA-rules.
- the little blobs running around on the ground are the people that should be protected.
- bombs can damage cells, but also all the cells that have grown from that cell

PS: I want to add saving and loading DNA. I'm not sure if it is against the rules (would be post compo then) but it would just make trying different tactics a lot easier, not change the game that much.

PPS: The music is a recording of a real C64 (and an electric guitar).

EDIT: OOPS forgot to post the source.
EDIT2: Posted a version with some bugfixes where the game would end unexpectedly and a bug where bullits are not firing in the right direction (which means you cant win).

Downloads and Links




loxo says ...
Apr 30, 2013 @ 6:40am

This is a really interesting and unique concept. I like it very much. A tutorial would be great, to learn all the possibilities and slowly increase the difficulty.

goerp says ...
Apr 30, 2013 @ 10:43am

Tutorial! That's a good idea. Unfortunately I had no time for that.
I also found some big bugs when winning or losing. I'll try to fix them as soon as possible.

rxi says ...
Apr 30, 2013 @ 2:34pm

Looks like you didn't end up going for the C64 game I was looking forward to, such a shame. I am glad about the C64 music though, yes, very glad.

I liked your little satirical intro, there have been a few really good intros to games this ludum dare. The game itself it seems is represented by what might be the most unminimalist interface I've ever been presented with outside of audio production software.

The game itself is a fairly interesting and unique concept (I.. think I understood it.. sort of..) which I appreciate a lot in games, being original is hard.

Good work.

magnpeas says ...
Apr 30, 2013 @ 2:38pm

This is a really cool concept, especially to complete in such a short amount of time. It was really tough to understand though so, given more time, I'd work out how to make the rules more obvious to the player. You should work on it more though because I think it could be a really fun game!

goerp says ...
Apr 30, 2013 @ 2:48pm

All good comments (audio production interface, indeed!).
It would benefit from a simple Lego Mindstorms/Scratch type of interface. But I'm glad I could do THIS in 72 hours.
Maybe I'll try to do that kind of interface. Would be good practice. Also add 'save/load rules' 'change rules order' etc.

klianc09 says ...
Apr 30, 2013 @ 3:35pm

Please make a post-compo version!^^ I really like this concept, If only the user interface was more user friendly. This has much potential, and I would really like to see more of it.
(Try making leaves always into every direction, this way the whole game area fills up with leaves and you can never lose and never win, and if you add seeds to it, the whole game crashes.)
So, please make this creating of rules much easier and comfortable (maybe also add icons and pictures) and maybe a little bit more comprehensive tutorial. Then I would really like to come back and experiment some more with my precious potato DNA.

Shigor says ...
May 1, 2013 @ 1:16am

Do a postcompo :) Although I'm starting to get a hang of this, there are definitely ways that it could be improved and make it more accessible (i'm still a bit fumbling around and trying to my way around)

mortus says ...
May 1, 2013 @ 4:08pm

Great idea. Too bad you had too little time for it. It could be a beautiful and fun game with more work.

May 1, 2013 @ 8:05pm

Nice one! And very unique concept :)

AaronYip says ...
May 1, 2013 @ 8:06pm

Whoa, the complexity behind this game is staggering. Exceptional work for 72 hours. Really digging the overall concept, and like the others, haha, no idea what's going on--but I would really want to. I can definitely see myself playing a version of this way too much. That's another strong vote for a post-comp ;D

marnaouf says ...
May 2, 2013 @ 8:44am

Funny backstory.. Confusing interface at first though but still cool and fun game.

TheCze says ...
May 3, 2013 @ 2:51pm

Very cool concept. Wish it would ease the player a bit more into it, maybe only give him a few options in the beginning

Rafael Sales says ...
May 3, 2013 @ 4:40pm

Cool game dude. Congratz!

netmute says ...
May 3, 2013 @ 8:10pm

A bit overwhelming, but very funny :)

May 3, 2013 @ 9:26pm

Hey man, I'm sure this is nice, but when that spreadsheet popped up, I just ran away... I'm not at work here, you know... :) Rest is still cool! XD

Norgg says ...
May 3, 2013 @ 10:57pm

Nice cellular automata! Playing around I found that potatoes consisting almost entirely of leaves, with a top layer of shooters worked pretty well. Being able to save/load/share rules would be awesome.

Joror says ...
May 4, 2013 @ 7:44pm

A programmers' interface does not a game make... interesting concept but you need to make that rule interface prettier, simpler, clearer.

rezoner says ...
May 5, 2013 @ 9:01pm

Wow, this is really fancy idea - the ruleset should be simplified in both complexity and visual design so it would be more appealing for average players. Also I am Polish so you kind of bought me with vodka (:

Team Castor says ...
May 6, 2013 @ 5:59am

Very funny game :) And very funny story too.

Jyrkface says ...
May 7, 2013 @ 7:45pm

Interesting idea. The user interface gets a bit painful is all.

ovenchips says ...
May 8, 2013 @ 6:08pm

Oooh, that rules editor is scary. It was quite hard to figure out what to do. Innovative concept though. Some nice humorous touches too!

DST says ...
May 8, 2013 @ 9:26pm

That is awesome! I love the idea with the rules, and the graphics fits very well, i don't really agree that much on the theme, but I guess the potato outweights that! :) I've thought about making "programming games" before, you did one, and it's really cool!

HuvaaKoodia says ...
May 9, 2013 @ 3:22pm

I like these kinds of games quite a lot.
Unfortunately the clunky interface hampers my enjoyment of it. I could get over that if there just was a 'Restart level' button.

I do think it needs a visual drag and drop interface though.
So work on it a bit will ya.

May 10, 2013 @ 7:19am

This is a really cool idea! Id like to see a post-Mortem of it, With a better interface. Ive always wanted to make a game where you genetically modify things to complete puzzles, and have never quite gotten what I was looking for, but this looks like it could be a winner!

May 10, 2013 @ 7:23am

I could see what I was meant to be able to do, I just couldnt do it.

StMatn says ...
May 13, 2013 @ 8:22pm

Very interesting mechanics, but very learning-intensive. I hope you can make this into a full game and slowly introduce new elements to the player. Very good work so far!

May 18, 2013 @ 8:19pm

This is a great idea. I find myself wishing I understood the mechanics more so I can make good decisions. This is a great candidate for expansion!

stqn says ...
May 18, 2013 @ 8:26pm

I like the idea of programming stuff, but this game really needs a tutorial. Also the in game introduction text is truncated almost everywhere.

stqn says ...
May 18, 2013 @ 8:29pm

I forgot, the game is blinking (looks like you are redrawing the game by first drawing a white rectangle, and there is no double-buffering.) And even after re-reading the instructions and trying again I have no idea what to do.

goerp says ...
May 19, 2013 @ 6:48pm

Truncated text? Probably because I didn't embed a font.
Blinking is unexpected. I don't have it, but maybe my computer is faster or maybe I have a more recent version of FlashPlayer. I used Flashpunk so the graphics engine wouldnt take a lot of time, but I didn't expect blinking.

The longer I look at the game the worse it gets. Not much progress with a better UI, so this sounds like I need to refactor first.

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