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

Ludum Dare 26 — April 26-29th, 2013
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Arcane Siphon

by justin35f - 48 Hour Compo Entry

Arcane Siphon
WASD - Movement
LMB - Attack
RMB - Siphon
You can harness the power from the environment around you. You don't enjoy using this power though, because the power you use comes from the environment, sucking the life out of everything. If an area has been bled dry, then you are powerless. Unfortunately you must use your powers, to destroy the evil cubes.

You can pull 'power' from the environment. When you do this, the 'power' drains from the specific object. This is indicated by the color fading from the object. If an object has no color, then no power can be pulled from it. This adds a level of strategy to the game, knowing when to use your power, and how to most efficiently use it will be a key to success.

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justin35f says ...
Apr 29, 2013 @ 4:56am

Added source, totally forgot about it.

nicotuason says ...
Apr 29, 2013 @ 5:06am

Interesting concept, but the controls don't feel solid. Would be better if enemies gave a bit of feedback when shot.

paulopn says ...
Apr 29, 2013 @ 5:10am

The concept is definitely very interesting, but I think it isn't working very well. Absorbing worked only a few times and shooting also didn't do much. The map looks good.

The enemies were too "perfect" (they looked at the player too fast), so it was very hard to dodge. But that is just me.

EdoMiyamoto says ...
Apr 29, 2013 @ 5:19am

It's a good idea, but ennemies are really tough and vicious !

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

The resource-gathering idea is interesting, but the difficulty is off the chart. Especially due to there being little to no communication in-game about the enemies' aggro mechanics. It seems some (most) of the cubes are docile? And aggro is partially based on line of sight? It'd be nice to have some explanation instead of just getting blindsided constantly. And you are so fragile! If a cube sneaks up behind you even once, you're toast. Forget it if several happen to spawn nearby to you. Very frustrating. I know how hard it can be to communicate mechanics to players, but it would be much better if it were a bit more forgiving.

justin35f says ...
Apr 29, 2013 @ 11:00am

Thanks for the feedback guys. This was my first LD, and I definitely did not spend enough time polishing as I wish I had. Spent most of the 2nd half cutting planned features rather than polishing already implemented ones.

Could you give a bit more feedback about how the controls don'g feel solid? I'd like to clean them up some, and feedback would help. Also, I intended to have enemies fade when shot, as an indication to life left, but didn't get to implement it in time.

The hit-boxes for absorbing are not pixel perfect (or even near it), hence it not working all the time. Generally aim as close to center as possible and you'll do fine. I'll be fixing this in an update. Damage is hard-coded at 15, and life is hard-coded at 100. This applies to enemies and the player. However the player shoots slightly faster than the enemies. I agree, the enemies are too difficult. I didn't save enough time to balance unfortunately. The map is procedural, so it gives a new play experience each time. I'm a big fan of procedural terrain!

Agreed! I will polish the game further, and do much more balancing.

Just as a clarification, in case you are interested, though the enemies are cubes they do have a 'front'. They have a field of 'vision', which is generally cone shaped. They also have a sight range. If you are within their field of view, and range, then they become alerted to you (turn from green to yellow). Once alerted they will attempt to focus in on you. If in this time frame, you remain in their vision they will become aggressive and attempt to chase you down. Once in range they will then begin attacking you. So it is entirely possible to walk right up behind an enemy for an easy kill, but you can also become surround very quickly.
I completely agree about the difficulty, but I got this game submitted seconds before the deadline, and didn't give myself enough time to polish.

Thanks everyone that played and rated. I had a blast doing this LD (my first) and plan to do more in the future. I'll work on this game some more and continue to polish it up. You can check up on the game at http://www.blackmodulestudio.com/ArcaneSiphon/
or follow me on twitter at https://twitter.com/justin35f if you are interested in updates. Don't expect anything for the next two weeks as I'll be working on a self-imposed 2 week Jam to see what I can make! Thanks again!

DST says ...
Apr 29, 2013 @ 11:10am

=( Unity webplayer does not agree with linux

voxel says ...
Apr 29, 2013 @ 11:10am

Fun, but a little frustrating in places. i started stuck inside a rock, would like some more feedback on enemy health. Solid effort though, and I liked the sound :)

Kiwiboi says ...
Apr 29, 2013 @ 11:14am

I like the idea! And I guess the models represent the theme? :) And I didn't really understand how the ammo worked. Still good job! :D

Apr 29, 2013 @ 11:17am

Really interesting concept, but perhaps a little ambitious for an LD. Glad to hear you're going to make time to develop the idea though as I think it has great potential. As other people have already mentioned, the enemies are a bit brutal and there doesn't seem to be much reason not to just drain all the life out of everything (moral questions aside). Still, well done, particularly for your first LD!

justin35f says ...
Apr 29, 2013 @ 11:49am

I'll port the game in the morning for you!

Thanks for the feedback, noted all these things. I'm going to continue working on this one.

You siphon 'energy' from the objects to use as ammo. The initial idea was that you were removing the energy from the world to fight the enemies (moral dilemma), hence causing the world to become minimalistic. Had other ideas that worked into the theme more, but didn't have time to implement them.

Lucas Tiridath:
You are correct, it was WAY too ambitious. This was my first LD, and I cut a lot out as it is. Their was supposed to be story elements that explained the objectives more, and gave the game meaning. Also, the killing 50 enemies thing was not the original goal, just what I had time to implement.

Thanks for the feedback everyone. Heading to bed, will port to other systems in the morning!

JimmyLord says ...
Apr 29, 2013 @ 3:34pm

Neat concept, but I had no idea how the enemy cubes worked until I read your comments below. Worked alright once I knew what was happening. Still, my health would slowly drop if I wasn't paying a ton of attention, doubt I could reach 50 kills.

justin35f says ...
Apr 29, 2013 @ 8:58pm

As promised put up Windows, OSX, and Linux builds in case you all needed it. Enjoy.

tonic says ...
Apr 29, 2013 @ 10:09pm

Pretty challenging, I think.

Dir3kt says ...
May 1, 2013 @ 10:27am

Interesting concept but lack of feedback concerning what's happening with the enemies makes it difficult to understand what's going on.

plop says ...
May 1, 2013 @ 1:52pm

I'm on linux and I can't run it in web. And I don't know what to do with the downloaded folder for linux :/

justin35f says ...
May 1, 2013 @ 7:13pm

Thank you for the feedback. When I update, enemies will be a priority, as there are many issues with them.

Unfortunately I do not have linux, so it is difficult for me to ascertain what is going on, and how to fix it. I've been doing some research, and it appears that the Unity Webplayer does not work on Linux. Now as far as the Linux build, I did read that a common issue is the user will need to give execute permissions with this command: chmod +x <file name>
Now this has not been tested by me, and is just a suggestion. Hopefully it works out for you.

justin35f says ...
May 2, 2013 @ 8:41pm

Ok everyone. I can't wait till voting is over to update this, so I put up a separate page for the in dev version. If you haven't voted, please keep it fair and vote based off of the LD version (linked above). If you feel like testing the in dev version, you can check it out here:
Keep in mind, I haven't started coding as of this moment, I'll put updates up periodically, and put a note on that page indicating the version it is.

Tyro says ...
May 3, 2013 @ 12:29am

Interesting mechanic. It'd be cool if the objects in your environment, depending on what they are, gave you different abilities once drained. The AI seemed responsive, and the landscape did a good job embodying minimalism. Good game, overall.

justin35f says ...
May 3, 2013 @ 12:36am

@Tyro Thanks, originally the plan was to have different abilities, from different colors, and the objects would be different colors. Unfortunately I almost bit off more than I could chew, and had to cut back to make the 48 hour time limit. I'm currently working on a new dev build to flesh out the game and make it much closer to what I had originally wanted. I'll be taking more time for this one though. I linked above if you want to check it out (in a few days that is, once I get some time to code).

DaveDobson says ...
May 12, 2013 @ 8:42pm

Interesting idea. I wasn't clear on what I could drain and what I couldn't at first, so that was tricky - maybe I'm just stupid. Also, my bullets didn't seem to affect the red squares at all, which made me wonder what was going on. I tried it a few times but never managed to kill anything. I did suck up some power, though. Nice visuals and shapes.

csanyk says ...
May 16, 2013 @ 3:41am

I didn't find this to be all that minimalist -- just kindof a weak 3D FPS style game with an interesting "drain for energy" mechanic but not much gameplay to it. Congrats on completing your first LD game:)

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