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Ludum Dare 26 — April 26-29th, 2013
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The Sentient Cube

by Taro Omiya - 48 Hour Compo Entry

The Sentient Cube is an Action-Puzzle game that combines Katamari Damacy and Crazy Taxi into a unique adventure! You play as a blue, sticky cube that can roll into other objects smaller than itself to grow bigger. By increasing the cube's size, the cube can reach to the Goal with more ease. Scattered around the level are various physics-changing items and power-ups. The Sentient Cube focuses towards the puzzle aspect of Katamari, rather than its score-keeping.

Note: All links has been removed for legal reasons. For more information, see the link below.
http://www.ludumdare.com/compo/2013/05/14/links-to-the-sentient-cube-removed

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Comments

EdoMiyamoto says ...
Apr 29, 2013 @ 2:42am

Katarami + Cube + Original Design = WIN

Taro Omiya says ...
Apr 29, 2013 @ 3:07am

Why, thank you, EdoMiyamoto.

Test User says ...
Apr 29, 2013 @ 3:15am

Looks VERY well developed for a 48 hour game. Fun to play, only one thing I would like to mention that frustrated me is that you can only move when in contact with the ground, and since the shapes get weird it's really hard to control (but I think that's supposed to be part of the challenge anyway). Overall, nice!

Taro Omiya says ...
Apr 29, 2013 @ 3:32am

Thanks for the feedback, Test User. I completely agree with your sentiment, but didn't have the time to adjust it well.

It's weird because I DID program in the ability to move into the air...albeit, very slightly. Still feels ridiculous, especially when you jump thousands of feet up in the air just because you turned on the wayside.

Magnus says ...
Apr 29, 2013 @ 5:32am

I liked the part where I became a super long self-powered kinetic flying machine. Fun stuff. It's hard to control when you get big, but pretty fun.

eteeski says ...
Apr 29, 2013 @ 5:35am

I love the music. I also love the reinvention of katamari. And the visuals are fantastic. By the time that I figured out what the game was about, i had a huge smile on my face. I love the idea with how when you grow in size you can pick up things that were normally gigantic compared to you. I thought this idea could lead to so really awesome level design and really great play with the idea of scale. The only problem is that in its current form, it's really unplayable. It's on the right track though. Maybe it would control better with a mouse. Also maybe also use add force with add torque. just taking a guess. Overall i really liked it, with just a bit more work it'll be awesome.

Apr 29, 2013 @ 5:38am

Rolling around is fun! ...although I couldn't quite figure out what was supposed to happen

Taro Omiya says ...
Apr 29, 2013 @ 5:55am

@Magnus
Yup. I did, too. I decided to leave it in.

@eteeski
Thanks for the great compliments. I did try adding force with torque, and for the most part, it does make it more easier to play at a cost of visual incoherence (you move faster than you roll). I did put a minor force assist as mentioned in the earlier comments, but it seems it wasn't effective for most people.

@matthias_zarzecki
Interesting. Where were you stumped?

StuStutheBloo says ...
Apr 29, 2013 @ 6:24am

My favourite game I've found so far! A bunch of fun, controls went wacky a lot but that's the idea :P Also glad I'm not the only one using the GarageBand smart instruments, haha.

Taro Omiya says ...
Apr 29, 2013 @ 6:54am

@StuStutheBloo
Thanks for the compliments. And Garage Band sure made my life easier!

Andrew says ...
Apr 29, 2013 @ 9:48am

The cube sometimes becomes unpredictable to control, but other than that it was challenging without being complicated and simple without being too simple. Nailed it.

mortus says ...
Apr 29, 2013 @ 12:46pm

I really like an idea, but controls could be better. At some point (pretty early) I've started flying around and jumping incontrollably and just couldn't do anything to stop it.

vladimirdlc says ...
Apr 29, 2013 @ 2:04pm

One of my favourites entries so far, fun and beautiful.

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

Fun game. Really like the visual style and music. Pretty challenging once you reach a certain size. Good stuff.

tonic says ...
Apr 29, 2013 @ 5:00pm

Very nice! A bit hard to control at times, but not too much, i.e. in the end it doesn't take too much time to make it through the level. The rocket boost is a nice additional touch, although it felt a bit useless - I felt it'd be even funnier if it would have been more useful. Good work!

McFunkypants says ...
Apr 29, 2013 @ 9:10pm

Absolutely wonderful! So much fun, chaotic, fresh and sweet. Ideas: remove the "noise" from your textures: it would be cleaner and more beautiful with plain colours, not the + and | and O checkerboards over everything. Idea #2 - air control. Keep up the wonderful work. My fave game so far!

AlbertoSM says ...
Apr 29, 2013 @ 9:18pm

The physics are great, thought they need tuning. Also, that's a killer shader you got there :)

Apr 29, 2013 @ 9:18pm

That was fantastic. I loved Crazy Taxi! Great job! It got a little hard to control/figure out how to get where I was trying to go, but I think that added to it, honestly. Just rolling and bouncing around was fun.

Xellinus says ...
Apr 29, 2013 @ 9:20pm

Lots of fun! Just hurts my brain with the camera issues. Very nice though.

jerombd says ...
Apr 29, 2013 @ 9:29pm

So fun that's I forgive the damned wacky controls :D

ovenchips says ...
Apr 29, 2013 @ 9:32pm

A great achievement for 48 hours. Fresh and original. Slightly hard to control but wonderfully weighty feel to the physics. Best I've played so far...

invaderJim says ...
Apr 29, 2013 @ 9:40pm

Best potato physics I've ever seen in a game.

DavidErosa says ...
Apr 29, 2013 @ 10:47pm

Loved this one! A fresh and great entry! A bit difficult to control sometimes but overall a great game! Thanks! And loved the potato too! ;)

Taro Omiya says ...
Apr 29, 2013 @ 11:34pm

Holy crud, lots of compliments! Thanks for the support, guys!

And I definitely heard your control complaints loud and clear. Since it isn't a crash or a win condition bug, I can't fix it now -- not until the 3-week judging period is over -- but rest assured that'll be the first thing I'll tackle.

Thanks to tonic for suggesting making the boosters have more oomph. I put it right into my ticket tracker.

lathomas64 says ...
Apr 30, 2013 @ 2:14am

Controls were a little bit odd flying into the air and spinning helplessly was odd. Really great besides that though!

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

Awesome work here! I like the way you handled the credits hahaha

SeanAtr0n says ...
Apr 30, 2013 @ 6:12am

Loved the rockets, I almost made it up to the center part w/ my mini tripod rocket

SonnyBone says ...
Apr 30, 2013 @ 12:50pm

Really hard to control, but great Katamari style "knockoff" with a nice shading effect!

robcozzens says ...
Apr 30, 2013 @ 4:49pm

Really cool.
I wish you could control the camera directly though.

Squeka says ...
Apr 30, 2013 @ 5:05pm

Yay finally got all the potatoes! :D
Great games! :D
It is more challenging when it becomes bigger, it becomes more uncontrolleable xD.

zkenshin says ...
Apr 30, 2013 @ 7:36pm

Really liked the audio for your game. :)

Tamik says ...
Apr 30, 2013 @ 10:21pm

Fun times, but really hard to get control after a little bit of play. Most of the time i spent flying in random directions, made getting to the goal more of an aiming problem than a collection one.

DkCub23 says ...
Apr 30, 2013 @ 10:50pm

Reminds me a lot of Katamari, but I'm sure you already knew that... The controls are kind of difficult. At the end of the first level, I almost couldn't win because I kept flying in the air every time I hit the ground. Great music, though. Really fitting.

evilDan says ...
May 1, 2013 @ 1:49am

The fact that you made this is 48 hours kind of makes me want to barf.

Great game Sir!

Taro Omiya says ...
May 1, 2013 @ 3:03am

Again, thank you for all the compliments! You're all too kind!

@McFunkypants: Sorry, I didn't notice your comments earlier. Air control is definitely important, and I will fix it first thing after the judging period. As for flat graphics, I'll give it a shot.

@SeanAtr0n: In regards to vertically launching rocket configuration, actually, I deliberately made that difficult. Seems like that decision was more a hindrance than a benefit, so I'll try to put it back in again.

@Squeka: Congratulations, it looked that potatoes provided some challenges.

@SonnyBone: I prefer to call it a Katamari "love-letter" ;-).

@Prelucid: Making that credits was surprisingly hard, since I had to make the text small enough to be obtainable, yet large enough to be visible.

@evilDan: Don't barf. Keep working on it. You'll get better. I did, anyway. From lots of practice.

glisk says ...
May 1, 2013 @ 8:40am

I really like this game, the concept is really nice and the music is perfect for the visual style.

intripoon says ...
May 1, 2013 @ 10:07am

Wow. Really a great game. I love Katamari :) I didn't notice the focus on puzzles though. I just rolled around until I was big enough to reach the goal. The "thing" also gets hard to control when it gets bigger. I'm not sure if that's intentional or not. Towards the end of a level I tend to be rotating very fast in the air. Other than that, a really enjoyable experience :)

kazukishida says ...
May 1, 2013 @ 11:13am

Great game! Controls were a bit difficult once you got really big, but the art and music were great! The Credits stage was a nice touch too. :)

lightsoda says ...
May 1, 2013 @ 2:26pm

Real slippery slidey, seems the more stuff you have, the more likely you are to go flying. I like the way the world gets filled in with more color as you are able to pick stuff up.

Sebastian says ...
May 2, 2013 @ 11:05am

Had so much fun with that rocket booster :D

GFM says ...
May 2, 2013 @ 2:22pm

This game is awesome!

I really liked how you used colors to represent which objects you can grab. :)
And flying around, because of how objects would attach to you, was really fun (though hard to control).

Taro Omiya says ...
May 2, 2013 @ 10:17pm

Thanks for all the comments, everyone.

@robcozzens: I missed your comment earlier, too. Adding direct control to the camera sounds like a great idea. The mouse could serve that purpose.

@intripoon: The "puzzle," really, was find and figure out how to get to the goal. I used steps, slopes, and walls to make this more difficult. Glad you enjoyed it, though!

@kazukishida: Thanks! Your game is excellent, too!

@lightsoda: Yup, I agree with your criticism. I'll definitely work on making the controls tighter. There colors were, interestingly, randomly generated.

@Sebastian: Phew! It was a good thing I added that in!

@GFM: Yes, one of the biggest complaints I've heard of from the Katamari series is the difficulty to tell what objects you can or can't pick-up (made worse on the iOS ports). I wanted to address that with this game, and it turned out well.

Jellycakes says ...
May 3, 2013 @ 1:50am

Was pretty fun, I really liked the style of graphics and movement was smoothly pulled off for something that looks like it can break physics. Good job!

Jorjon says ...
May 3, 2013 @ 2:40am

The idea was fun. But the physics made playing almost impossible, lot of time spent in the air (maybe you forgot to recalculate the center of mass?). Also in my opinion, the effects were exaggerated, it would have been better with plain colors (minimal, like the theme).

MinionStudios says ...
May 3, 2013 @ 2:54am

Nice Work! This turned out AMAZING!

zatyka says ...
May 3, 2013 @ 3:16am

Christ that was both a lot of fun and a pain in the *** to control. I loved the idea and style. Great work overall!

fishbrain says ...
May 3, 2013 @ 5:31am

Nice style with graphics and audio, a little difficult to play. Original idea.

kyyninen says ...
May 3, 2013 @ 7:26am

I'll always enjoy a Katamari. Liked how items that you can absorb lit up, I usually have major problems trying to guess what stuff I can collect in these types of games!

tankete says ...
May 3, 2013 @ 7:59am

Really fun game.

Original + Katamari + POTATO = WINNER! :)

ataxkt says ...
May 3, 2013 @ 11:02am

Katamari is my favourite game! I found it quite hard to control this when my shape got too big though, found myself in the air for ages!

vapgames says ...
May 3, 2013 @ 7:52pm

Very fun to play!

Taro Omiya says ...
May 4, 2013 @ 12:03am

Thanks again for all the compliments! I read all of your comments!

martijn says ...
May 4, 2013 @ 9:18am

Great idea, but the controls could use some improvement.

-Allow camera movement, I have had several times where I wanted to go backward but didn't know what was there.
-Add a small period (say 0.1 seconds) after adding a new object to the cube before another one can be added. Right now if I touch a pillar of objects, The whole pillar gets added instantly, making it difficult to become round.
-Increase gravity when you become bigger. I you become larger you can jump very easily and will most likely be airborne more often than not, This makes navigation extremely hard.

pythong says ...
May 4, 2013 @ 1:26pm

Katamari style. But I was getting a bit dizzy, when I was suddenly flying around, not knowing what happened :)

Taro Omiya says ...
May 4, 2013 @ 1:40pm

@Jorjon: I wasn't aware you can change the center of mass of a rigidbody on unity. Sounds like a good place to start in fixing the controls.

@martijn: Great suggestions. I'll try all of them.

@pythong: I'm aware. I'm trying to fix it, post-judging period.

Madball says ...
May 4, 2013 @ 1:51pm

Cool game! Didn't find it puzzling, though I liked the attachable floor. The camera could be better, when you jump high you only have to wonder how much would you fly.
A talking potato? GLaDOS, is that you?

goerp says ...
May 4, 2013 @ 6:17pm

A bit of a mixed bag for me.
I love the way it looked and sounded and the idea (and the potato), but the fact that you could only steer when on the ground and the mad bouncing made it a bit frustrating for me.

Still, I wish I could make something like this.

someone says ...
May 4, 2013 @ 8:09pm

Yay Katamari.... That was great.
The movement got a bit annoying when the player is crazy shaped. Ended up spending most of the time catapulted in the air, and just spinning.

Split82 says ...
May 4, 2013 @ 10:55pm

crazy stuff :)

bentog says ...
May 5, 2013 @ 12:59am

Good concept, great graphics and audio, but most of the challange was not about getting bigger, but controlling the katamari which didn't stop "flying" for some reason. Also the ratio between your size and the minimum size of objects you can pick up should be smaller, so you need to be bigger to get big objects, just kike the real Katamari. Besides that, well done!

Taro Omiya says ...
May 5, 2013 @ 3:36am

Thanks for all the comments again! I did attempt to fix the controls in a post-compo post below. Please let me know what you think! Remember this build should NOT be rated. It remains separate from all the links posted on this page.
http://wp.me/p3bFDA-5t

Without further ado, my responses:

@Madball: Yes, it's GLaDOS.

@goerp: I'm sure you'll make a better game than mine! You just have to keep at it.

@bentog: An excellent point! I'll adjust that in a later build, but I'll break the levels if I do that now!

Taro Omiya says ...
May 5, 2013 @ 3:38am

Gah, wrong link. Here's the correct one.

http://wp.me/P3bFDA-5m

Again, *DO NOT RATE THIS BUILD BELOW*. Play the game at the link at the top of the page instead, if you're going to rate it!

stevejohnson says ...
May 5, 2013 @ 8:40am

I enjoyed myself thorougly. Took way too long to fall once I got reeeeally big (like every object in the room).

michail says ...
May 5, 2013 @ 10:37pm

Audio and graphics makes it very pleasant to play and the idea itself is great! The physics are also amazing.

Taro Omiya says ...
May 8, 2013 @ 3:28am

@stevejohnson: Glad you've enjoyed the game!

@michail: Thanks! I was really surprised how much I can push through in 48-hours. Wow!

sP0CkEr2 says ...
May 8, 2013 @ 3:44am

overall very good -- not a big fan of this type of game tho -- great job!

DaveDobson says ...
May 8, 2013 @ 4:07am

Very attractive look and fun game. One thing that threw me was I tried the "How to Play" level first, and within about 20 seconds, I somehow added a whole string of walls and got launched impossibly high into the air, where I sat spinning for a long time, confused, until I came back to the ground. Every move I made after that launched me again. This never happened on the later levels, but it was pretty dumbfounding to have happen on the first one. Very fun dynamics; the controls got a little hard to use once you got big, but it was still fun to flail around adding stuff. I really like how you turned the simple components and rules into a complex, fun game.

johnste says ...
May 8, 2013 @ 6:04am

Very hard to stay on the ground as you get bigger. I spent a lot of time flying around uncontrollably.

May 8, 2013 @ 4:11pm

I like very much Katamari and i appreciated a lot this game also because the cube's physics is a lot more funny of the one of a sphere. Well done!!! Beautiful graphics too!

pereubu says ...
May 8, 2013 @ 5:46pm

waw, exellent work on tech and coding, the physics engine works well enough, it's enjoyable to play, nice job D:

mrexcessive says ...
May 8, 2013 @ 6:49pm

That's fun. Can appreciate how you did it, but not how in 48h amazing!

badlydrawnrod says ...
May 8, 2013 @ 7:33pm

That has to be one of the more engaging games I've played in this Ludum Dare. Lots of fun too.

vrinek says ...
May 8, 2013 @ 8:28pm

Some times, with a lot of items attached, I felt like I wasn't controlling the cube anymore...

atraxgames says ...
May 8, 2013 @ 9:01pm

Haha, after a while it becomes uncontrollable, very fun game!

Taro Omiya says ...
May 10, 2013 @ 6:35am

Wow more comments! You guys just keep coming! And that's great!

@sP0CkEr2: Aw, man! Still, I'm glad you've commented.

@DaveDobson: I'm glad you've enjoyed the game a lot. You're right about the tutorial level, and in fact, I did make a post-compo build that fixes exactly what you said.

@johnste, @vrinek, & @atraxgames: Heard you loud and clear. I will resolve that first thing after the judging period.

@Riccardo Stucchi: Aha! Glad you've liked the lopsided and chaotic nature of this game. Yes, it always has been my intention to make it silly like that.

@pereubu: Uh, oh. What's the sad face for? Thanks for the compliment!

@mrexcessive: I've mentioned this to evilDan before, but this game was surprisingly easy to make. Even I was amazed by it.

@badlydrawnrod: glad you've enjoyed it!

SnoringFrog says ...
May 10, 2013 @ 7:29am

In playing the web version, I don't seem to be able to finish the tutorial. I roll over to the first goal and...nothing.

Haven't rated you yet, and still intend on trying the rest of the game, but thought I should point that out.

SnoringFrog says ...
May 10, 2013 @ 7:54am

Ignore my last comment; I'm just an idiot.

I enjoyed the game, although the unpredictability of movement can be infuriating, especially when you end up spending 85% of your time in the air with no idea where you are. Otherwise it was great.

HuvaaKoodia says ...
May 10, 2013 @ 10:32am

The post-combo version fixes a lot of the problems present in the original one, so good job on that.

My suggestion is to allow the player to adjust the rolling speed with the mouse wheel, because the movement is still a bit unwieldy when big enough.

SuperDisk says ...
May 11, 2013 @ 2:35am

The controls and camera were kinda fiddly, but it was a good game and a good concept.

Taro Omiya says ...
May 11, 2013 @ 2:43am

@SnoringFrog: Glad you've figured out what the problem was. I'm definitely working hard on fixing the controls

@HuvaaKoodia: Thanks for playing the post-compo build! I really like your throttling speed suggestion! I'll put it in in the next build.

@SuperDisk: Thanks for the live-stream Let's Play! Glad you liked it!

GaTechGrad says ...
May 11, 2013 @ 4:52am

Nice Katamari clone. Sometimes the controls felt a little floaty, but it was still true to the original.

pjchardt says ...
May 11, 2013 @ 5:56am

Nice! Impressive amount of content for 48 hours. Really enjoyed the music and visuals. Gameplay was enjoyable, but I got a bit frustrated at times when I seemed to just be spinning out of control in the air. Nice touch with the credits:)

Taro Omiya says ...
May 12, 2013 @ 5:18am

@GaTechGrad: Thanks a lot for your compliment! I dearly love the Katamari series, so I hoped I didn't put myself to shame on this one. Glad you've found it great!

@pjchardt: Yeah, it's crazy what you can push through in 48 hours.

Jeremias says ...
May 12, 2013 @ 11:22am

That was fun. Graphics and music fit very well together. They create a certain playful mood, so I'm not sure if the timer is really necessary. More levels would be nice, too :D
If you got too big, the controls get a bit weird. Nice how you made the credit text as a part of the game.

Xanjos says ...
May 12, 2013 @ 5:59pm

This is a really fun and addictive game. You've really captured the essence of Katamari here :D

May 12, 2013 @ 6:19pm

Good job! I liked this, pleasant to play! For the future maybe think about something to stabilize, it quickly become uncontrollable (also a small bug in the last level but it resumed when I restarted ;) )

kill0u says ...
May 12, 2013 @ 9:23pm

WTF, the most uncontrollable yet very fun game of this LD O_o Great job!

dalbinblue says ...
May 13, 2013 @ 4:26am

Really fun game, with a great style. The only issue I hit is that when you get larger, there is a chance that your shape will just throw you way in the air and make navigating the rest of the level really hard to complete. Stopping completely seems to lower the chance of this happening, so it may be the speed of spinning your... well whatever you are... at high speeds that's launching you into space.

Fadobo says ...
May 13, 2013 @ 8:17am

The physics go completely batshit after a while and the controls overall feel a bit sluggish. But overall a cool game!

alwaysinbeta says ...
May 13, 2013 @ 12:41pm

Fun game. Good art style and mood. Got lost sometimes floating around. Liked the concept, feel like you could take it beyond LD.

lotusgame says ...
May 13, 2013 @ 3:19pm

A well polished game, very ambitious and well executed. Too bad controls are fuzzy when you have a 'bad' shape, it could have been my favorite one. Excellent work !

May 13, 2013 @ 9:29pm

That was amazing. The end credits was super clever. I loved it!

Taro Omiya says ...
May 14, 2013 @ 5:23am

@Jeremias: The timer was there to both prevent the player from gathering too much stuff, and too little. It's an added challenge, really, and I think it's better for it. There was a Let's Play on Youtube where one of the player failed to make it to goal on time because he was too small to travel far, so it does serve its purpose.

@Xanjos: Yeah, Katamari's spirit was...rather easy to recreate, I discovered. Still awesome, though!

@Jacques_le_lezard: I'm already working on stabilizing the game's controls! As for the bug in the credits, what do you mean? Did I miscalculate the object's sizes again?

@kill0u: Glad you loved the game! Being out of control sometimes is good, too. Look at QWOP and Surgeon Simulator 2000!

@dalbinblue: I'm aware, and have fixed it somewhat on a post-compo build (not posted here because I ran out of URL space).

@Fadobo: Thanks for playing! I agree with your criticism, and have been working on fixing it.

@alwaysinbeta: Yeah, I definitely want to take it beyond Ludum Dare. It's so easy to make! I'm definitely considering it, although it'll take me a while to polish first.

@lotusgame: Awe, man! I was so close to your favorite's list! Glad you've enjoyed it!

@NeverAutomatic: Thanks for the compliments! And the credits is definitely awesome.

Gremlin says ...
May 14, 2013 @ 5:40am

The physics get a little crazy as the mass of stuff gets bigger, with the air-jumping being kind of out of control as some people have mentioned.

But it's a clever use of the idea and there were some nice twists to each level.

Gremlin says ...
May 14, 2013 @ 5:41am

Oh, and I love rolling up the credits.

tudd says ...
May 16, 2013 @ 3:04am

sadface

May 20, 2013 @ 6:06pm

So sad that you took your game down!
I highly doubt NAMCO-BANDAI would even care...

I enjoyed it when I played it earlier.
Thanks so much for playing and rating my entry!

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