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

Ludum Dare 26 — April 26-29th, 2013
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by Griz - 48 Hour Compo Entry

You've started to work in a risky job as a starship gun defense system specialist to earn money for your family.
This decision has been made because of the lack of other skills to monetise, and since simulation games were your favorite genre
you've noticed that your gaming skills, although not requiring anything more than minimalic knownledge and good perception, can guarantee you good income.


To move your turret use arrow keys.
Spacebar - shoots.
Left Control - change weapon.
Left Alt - forces reload.
M - mute music.
Esc - go back / quit.

Have fun!

type ballsofsteel in the menu for the impossible difficulty.
type oldschool in the menu for the scanline mode (only works if shaders are supported).


V1.1 : 28.04.2013 <COMPO VERSION>

- Fixed font image is not dividable by font height error.
- Player stats now correctly resets on mission restart.
- Meteorites spawn smarter now.
- Fixed stats display bars.
- Fixed time going from 0:59 to 0:60 to 1:01 instead of 0:59 to 1:00.
- Fixed input beeing processed twice.
- Fixed animations beeing two times quicker than what they should be.

- Updated player sprite.
- Updated ship sprite.

- Added in-game menu.
- Added two soundtracks.
- Added mine launcher weapon.
- Added difficulty settings.
- Added low armor effect.
- Added engine thrust effects.

V1.0 : 28.04.2013

-Initial version

Downloads and Links




Cybearg says ...
Apr 28, 2013 @ 11:02pm

Neat game, though I think the gameplay needs some balancing or expanding. I played Master and didn't even notice that I had a limited amount of ammo. I would just spam the spacebar and kept pretty much all the astroids off me with lots of shots wasted. Finally, I ran out of shots and fairly easily kept dodging the asteroids until the time ran out. It didn't take any skill to win even on master.

It's an interesting idea, although since the perspective on the ship is bizarre, it can be tough to tell the trajectory of an asteroid and how close it will come to you. It's certainly unique because of that perspective, but it can be visually unintuitive.

Chman says ...
Apr 29, 2013 @ 7:02am

Interesting game, but as Cybearg said, you have some balance issues to fix. The perspective is fine once you get it. More asteroid types and behaviors would help.

Xeke_Death says ...
Apr 29, 2013 @ 12:10pm

Looks nice, and interesting perspective.

Apr 29, 2013 @ 12:13pm

I really like how you move in this game.

kewry says ...
Apr 29, 2013 @ 12:14pm

I like how the game feels but you definitely need to add more it ends way too fast, some upgrades, more enemies

Dietrich Epp says ...
Apr 29, 2013 @ 12:15pm

Love the sparkling stars in the background, lovely sprites too. Couldn't figure out what all the bars meant, or what the numbers meant.

caranha says ...
Apr 29, 2013 @ 12:15pm

This looks really cool, but I couldn't get it to run on Windows7 with Java7... Clocking on the executable Jar results in nothing. I will try again later from my linux box.


tiffi says ...
Apr 29, 2013 @ 12:15pm

kind of love the grafics and its a bit easy (even on master).

Jeremias says ...
Apr 29, 2013 @ 12:18pm

Very solid and fun game. I beat all the difficulty levels except the last one (without dodging the asteroids instead of shooting :P). The second weapon type is a bit to weak in my opinion. It should have area damage or you can make it explode where you want. Different asteroids would be nice too. The problem of a player who dodges instead of shooting could be fixed by making not the ship but only the cannon movable. Keep up the work!

Exergy says ...
Apr 29, 2013 @ 12:22pm

Fun with the turret "hanging" along the side of the ship.
Nice music!

Yezu says ...
Apr 29, 2013 @ 12:25pm

Crashes instantly "SIGSEGV (0xb) at pc=0x449fabff, pid=5402, tid=3063802688"

OpenJDK 1.7.0_19, Fedora 18

syre says ...
Apr 29, 2013 @ 1:28pm

too much review:
it's pretty easy, i only died on the ballsofsteel difficulty, and i didn't remember the force reload button. i guess the difficulty is more in getting high scores, but your score disappears really fast after you win, and instantly after you die. jeremias said dodging was a problem, what's the deal with that? you want all these passengers to die?
the only bug i could find was a graphical menu thing: options don't become un-highlighted if you move the cursor between menu items below or to the left and go fast enough to skip the gap. man that's a pointless bug report. it works, that's what i'm saying.
i thought that the mines were useless but i was wrong. they're good for asteroids that are too close and to help avoid running out of ammo. i don't understand why you'd get paid more to destroy more asteroids. maybe it's a cruise ship and they want to put on a show for the guests?
final score: 'salright

Griz says ...
Apr 29, 2013 @ 2:52pm

Thanks everybody for all the comments and suggestions!

Have you tried running the game with debug.bat?
If still nothing happens, try typing "java - version in the windows command window. Do you get any output then?

This might be related to your problem. Please answer if you'll try this solution and if it works for you.

josefnpat says ...
Apr 29, 2013 @ 3:41pm

I got the same error as the other folks.


Unfortunatly, I realllllly don't want to install the oracle drivers, as the last time I did that, it was a total shitstorm.

kreddor says ...
Apr 29, 2013 @ 3:42pm

Nice game, cute graphics (I like how the guy is hanging outside the ship), but a bit too easy and repetitive. I beat it on master on the first try. Maybe some more variant in incoming rocks and obstacles?

invaderJim says ...
Apr 29, 2013 @ 3:50pm

Great job! Love the graphicals.

Griz says ...
Apr 29, 2013 @ 4:20pm

I've uploaded the game *.sh file and added it to the links. Hopefully that'll fix it for you.

agmcleod says ...
Apr 29, 2013 @ 5:15pm

Heyo, getting an error myself on osx. I know distribution with slick2d on various natives can be a pain. I installed jdk 7, and ran: java -jar Convulx.jar. Error received was: _NSJVMLoadLibrary: NSAddLibrary failed for /libjawt.dylib

Apr 29, 2013 @ 5:33pm

I wouldn't call it minimalistic :) Looks very nice though, although, as noted above, asteroids could use a bit more different behaviors.

Apr 29, 2013 @ 5:44pm

Love the visuals here, the awesome ship sprite (right down to the little blinking consoles in the cockpit) gives it a cool industrial future feel. The gameplay is a bit basic, could have done with more than just asteroids to shoot at, but the way the ship moves is fun.

kannas says ...
Apr 29, 2013 @ 5:53pm

It was interesting, though too slow. I think a mouse controlled turret could have been a better choice, opportunally raising the speed of the asteroids and the ship. Also, Congrats for the cool sprites, i like them :D

Griz says ...
Apr 29, 2013 @ 6:34pm

You could try editing the bat file to:

cd directory
export JAVA_HOME=/System/Library/Java/JavaVirtualMachines/1.6.0.jdk/Contents/Home
java -jar Convulx.jar

Just make sure to input the correct java directory, as it might be different for you. This method might make a copy of the game in your jdk folder so don't forget to clean it up later on.

Again thanks for all the comments and suggestions!

kochb says ...
Apr 29, 2013 @ 8:40pm

Very short game play.

Kortuga98 says ...
Apr 29, 2013 @ 8:46pm

Neat game, although I'd liked to have seen more expansion on certain aspects. This seems like the start to something awesome!

Apr 29, 2013 @ 11:40pm

Very fun bro nice work! ... i was like: "NOOOOO, GO DOWN GO DOWN, GO UP GO UP" XD also nice music :D

aare says ...
Apr 30, 2013 @ 12:18am

I really like your aproach to the design of the space ship. Quite innovative.

deathray says ...
Apr 30, 2013 @ 1:22am

Graphics were great. I liked looking at this man's work environment.

Stryphe says ...
Apr 30, 2013 @ 1:22am

Nicely done!

Merkoth says ...
Apr 30, 2013 @ 1:23am

Nice game, I really liked the music :)

ronsho says ...
Apr 30, 2013 @ 1:25am

Tried to run it on my mac but the screen just convulx'ed and the game closed.

sP0CkEr2 says ...
Apr 30, 2013 @ 4:42am

that was very fun -- nice graphics and very simple to play -- nice effort

richtx says ...
Apr 30, 2013 @ 4:44am

Liked it. Like a sideways astrosmash. Could have perhaps been easy to add progression by breaking the asteroids in smaller pieces that head in predictable paths. I only say that because I wanted to play more. Good job.

Geoege says ...
Apr 30, 2013 @ 4:54pm

The game is quite simple but works well.
Pretty love the graphics and shooting on meteor.
But what does the Blue bar in the bot of the screen ?

T800 says ...
Apr 30, 2013 @ 4:57pm

really enjoyed it!
check out my game ppl!

Griz says ...
Apr 30, 2013 @ 5:11pm

Well done with cheap advertising your game in comment section of other people submissions.

nintendoeats says ...
Apr 30, 2013 @ 10:04pm

It seems like the core unique here is that your hit box is significantly larger than the thing that you directly control. I actually like this: I would like it if some AAA developers adopted this for their turret sections. The movement of the turret against the ship looks great.

It would be nice if the ammo counter and other meters were a bit larger. Beyopnd that, it's jsut a matter of some mechanical expansion and maybe making everything a bit faster.

P.S. Is the spaceship in any way related to Spaceballs?

Griz says ...
Apr 30, 2013 @ 10:57pm

"Is the spaceship in any way related to Spaceballs?"

Haha, not at all. You got me curious enough to check it though. It's not similar at all for me, maybe besides the amount of back thrusters :).

BenW says ...
May 1, 2013 @ 1:13am

Neat little game, I was confused by the ui, health was relatively easy to figure out but since I didn't run out of ammo on the lower difficulties I had a hard time figuring out the ammo bar. I'm still not sure what the lowest bar is for. Also it looks like you're collecting money or currency but I think they may just be points. I think it would be a fun game if you expanded on it a bit.

mikeware says ...
May 3, 2013 @ 7:37am

The movement aspect of pushing the ship at the limits was interesting, but with all the numbers and bars on the screen it was hard to coordinate how everything was related and what my main 'mission' was. I didn't feel that sense of danger from the oncoming asteroids nor reward for destroying them.

john_conder9 says ...
May 5, 2013 @ 10:20pm

That was pretty fun! Took a bit of trying to aim properly but that was cool - the HUD had some button-looking things / selectable-looking things below the ammo but I couldn't figure out if it was possible to select them - I'm guessing not. I liked the different difficulty levels and the "cheat" codes to get scan line mode / the hardest setting. Awesome job overall!

berkano says ...
May 8, 2013 @ 10:28pm

Beautiful GFX, SFX + music! Would love to have more levels.

GarethIW says ...
May 15, 2013 @ 1:00pm

Nice little shooter!

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