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

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

by killerstarbunny - 48 Hour Compo Entry

I have a nice test build that fixes a couple bugs and makes it easier to see what direction you are planing to build and where it will be built.

Controls:
W to jump
A to go left
S to go right
P to set build direction
E destroys
Q builds
A lot of people have been having trouble with the controls, I play with the left hand on the wasd and right hand on the p and it works fine for me.

Ok I know nobody likes the controls if you are going to say anything about it please give me a suggestion for what you would do. I would like this to be a more completed game somtime in the future.

Woot I did my first Ludum. This game is about you being in a building and it burring down. So you have to destroy parts of the building to get to the white exit. The online one is slightly updated which fixes a bug that didn't show up on Unity.

Song can be found here http://www.mediafire.com/download.php?5sh5mx7n1d7fv0q

Downloads and Links


Ratings

Coolness62%
#381Humor2.52
#488Innovation3.20
#604Audio2.63
#664Theme3.43
#743Mood2.70
#1018Overall2.71
#1025Fun2.44
#1150Graphics2.21

Comments

ZestyPro says ...
Apr 29, 2013 @ 2:26am

awesome!

LrdKzrth says ...
Apr 29, 2013 @ 1:58pm

A bit fiddly on the controls, but overall, pretty good

klianc09 says ...
Apr 29, 2013 @ 10:03pm

Sorry, with this input scheme I can't play... on the other hand it seems like a cool idea.

jmf says ...
Apr 29, 2013 @ 10:03pm

Good graphics and good game idea!

Apr 29, 2013 @ 10:07pm

Arg I shouldn't have just played this game just in Unity there so so many stupid bugs in this.

atraxgames says ...
Apr 29, 2013 @ 10:10pm

Controls are a little difficult to manage, but once you get them it deserves more than a try, especially if you are a minecraft fan.

noa says ...
Apr 29, 2013 @ 10:19pm

I can't pass the third level, how to destroy the block, I don't understand :(

Apr 29, 2013 @ 10:29pm

for third level hold P then hit D. Release both then hit e.

Rabbits... says ...
May 1, 2013 @ 5:04am

kinda wacky controls, but overall I thought the physics were really well done.

SnoringFrog says ...
May 1, 2013 @ 5:21am

Linux version would not work for me, so I ended up playing on Windows.

Control scheme made the game needlessly more difficult (the speed of the fire made things hard enough!), but it was definitely an interesting concept. I'd love to see this expanded into a more complex game with a few additional materials and more elaborate rooms.

May 2, 2013 @ 1:44pm

I understood how the destroying/building works eventually, but it's highly unintuitive and irresponsive and I had to keep thinking about which button to press all the time. Which is a little sad, considering that apart from this issue the game makes a good impression and would certainly be quite fun otherwise.

mungoman1 says ...
May 3, 2013 @ 1:36am

Great concept, poor controls :(

Prelucid says ...
May 3, 2013 @ 1:56am

Pretty much the same as others. Controls are not jiving with me, but the idea is good.

Julian Ceipek says ...
May 3, 2013 @ 4:22am

As others have said, this is an interesting concept that could certainly be expanded. It certainly has more content than my first Ludum Dare, and I did that with a large team. However, the interface here was so frustrating that I felt compelled to stop upon encountering the fire level in the second screenshot, and the level design for introducing the mechanics felt unnecessarily architected and pedantic. For me, half the fun of playing a game is understanding the mechanics and overcoming the challenges intuitively after learning that I have an ability rather than being told how to approach situations.

You said you wanted some suggestions on how you could improve Fire.

The general mechanics in the game are actually quite simple: you can pick up and drop objects, you can move, and you can jump.

Let me talk about the controls first. I can think of various alternate approaches that would reduce frustration with the mapping. Your main concern seems to be with the ability to interact with the world based on your orientation.

If you want your avatar to have an orientation, displaying that in the interface seems like a bad approach. Why not use visuals to make it apparent? You could have eyes on your avatar (even a few pixels of a different shade would be effective), and you could map space to jump instead of w. Then your character could look at everything without any trouble, and you could get rid of the p key for interaction mode. Concise modeless interfaces are almost always superior to those with multiple modes.

What about interacting with objects? Do you need to make building and destroying distinct keys? If not, you could just bind e to build and destroy, based on whether there is anything in your path. If this could lead to unintentional creation/destruction (which is something you will want to playtest and consider during level design), then that would be a bad choice. If you can use the context-sensitive creation/destruction but don't want to use orientation (which might be better), you could use ijkl for directional placement and keep wasd for moving and jumping.

Let's say you want to keep orientation and also need to maintain a distinction between creation/destruction. What if you bound the mouse buttons to create/destroy and were to use it to alter your orientation?


What about level design?
Examples of games that pull this off really well are Knytt Stories (a free download), Super Meat Boy, and Braid. Play some of them to see what they do well in terms of level progression. They all introduce mechanics one at a time and allow the player to explore what they can accomplish with them before introducing any others. They introduce obstacles and trust that players will discover how to overcome them by themselves. Games are an interactive medium. I would recommend that you not tell players how to overcome challenges, make the level design teach them how.

Lets look at a simple example from Fire: movement and jumping.
I might approach this by first making a level with nothing but an exit. I wouldn't say that it is an exit. If it looks inviting, players will walk towards it.
Then I might make a level with a small gap and give one instruction, either in the form of a visual icon of the jump button or with the message "Press _ to Jump."
Some gaps are unjumpable. I might make the next level contain a large gap over a valley that contains a block resource. I would then communicate how to pick up/drop objects. The player would inevitably discover that the only way to proceed is to pick up and drop the block at the edge of the valley.


This ended up being much longer than intended, but I hope it helped to some degree. I'm interested in what you come up with for your next LD. Good luck!

Foxtacy says ...
May 3, 2013 @ 5:19am

This game is an excelent idea overall! but.. if you manage to set the controls to a better setup! you'll make this great! :D

May 4, 2013 @ 1:31am

Thanks a lot Julian I will defiantly put what you've said to use, and the intro wasn't made very well i finished programming with about 6 hour left and I had only made the level in the second screenshot so the whole tutorial was just thrown together.

May 4, 2013 @ 9:43am

Hey!

A solid game idea. Speaking about control ideas: I think it would be much more convenient to use arrow keys to place remaining wood instead of setting the direction technique. That would only limit controls to nine keys: (wasd, space and arrows)

Still, kudos on your first LD! Good luck in your further gamedev.

May 4, 2013 @ 9:52pm

Good Idea.

May 5, 2013 @ 3:08am

Excellent concept and I agree with others that this could be developed into a proper idea.

tsb says ...
May 5, 2013 @ 7:10am

Pretty good game, quite interesting I really enjoyed the soundtrack as well.

Nangie says ...
May 5, 2013 @ 11:51am

Great ! =3

HuvaaKoodia says ...
May 7, 2013 @ 7:34pm

Good and simple design.

On the topic of control suggestions I advocate these, more or less, already mentioned ideas:

-WASD+MOUSE
Left clicking a tile close by picks it up, while right clicking on a vacant spot next to the player creates a block.

-WASD+SPACE+ARROWKEYS
Space changes the create/destroy mode, while pressing an arrow key either picks up or creates a block in its direction.

domrein says ...
May 16, 2013 @ 3:55am

Cool game. I didn't have too hard of a time with the controls, but something a little more intuitive would probably using the mouse to add/remove blocks rather than the keyboard.

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