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

Ludum Dare 26 — April 26-29th, 2013
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Forest for the Tree

by iximeow - 48 Hour Compo Entry

Here we go again with amateur game developer, Ludum Dare 26 edition!

Forest for the Tree.

This time around, I've had game design for RTSes in mind. No surprise; I've been working on a space RTS project again, lately.

So what I went with was something (very) loosely modelling how an RTS is played.

Something along the lines of having a base, and then a network of connections from it that do this, that, and something else.
(If not physical connections, connections of importance to gameplay)

So I went and abstracted that away into this!

The name is a play on the fact that the network made by the player is always a tree, and ideally there would have been AI(s) that would be making their own trees, for a bit of a forest.

Then I realized I have no idea what I'm doing with AI and sort of scrapped that.


When you start the game, and get past the five-frame intro, there is a world of nodes, where the camera is centered over a grey, solid circle.
The solid circle is your "home" node, and is where you can start connecting to other nodes.

Left clicking on a node that is the home, or is connected to home, lets you connect -that- to another node, given that...
The node you're connecting to is inside the circle that comes up and,
The number just under the cursor is less than or equal to the number at the bottom right of the screen that matches the "destination" node.

Right clicking on a node that is home, or connected to home, lets you disconnect the nodes and relink them.
Perhaps to come up with a more efficient tree, for example.

Gameplay is organized into two-second "ticks". Every two seconds the home node "pulls" on every node connected to it.
If a connected node has resources available, one is pulled into the home node and added to the pool.

This is repeated for the nodes that are connected to home, the nodes connected to them, and so on.

The center of each node is a timer (in seconds) that tells you how long it will be until that node produces a resource.

(Incidentally, resources are pulled based on how slowly the node that produced them works)

Around each node is a list of what resources are contained there, listed in the order they will be pulled closer to home.

That's about it, hopefully you find it as entertaining as I do.

Also, I thorougly encourage you to read the comments in my code, starting with main.java. I spent about an hour of Saturday night just rambling, and if you're willing to argue with me about it, that'd be great.


Also if there are any crashes/comments/concerns, please do get in touch with me at ixineeringeverwhere(at)gmail.com

Edit: Caught a small bug that makes it break on my (and many other) laptops. It seems to not work on some Macs though! I'm fairly lost on that, as I don't have one to test on, myself.

Downloads and Links




Apr 29, 2013 @ 8:55pm

Very nice! I had trouble figuring out exactly how to play: but I like having to figure out how to play a game. At some point I scrolled a ways away to check if there was a cluster nearby, and realized that without a "home" button one could become impossibly lost!

Once I realized that there is indeed an element of danger, I was able to continue playing for quite some time before getting board. All in all, good job!

I didn't like the metaphor at the beginning though. Such a lovely abstract game, why include "people" why not just call them nodes?

GetFun says ...
May 1, 2013 @ 9:22am

awn, if I try to open it just close :-(
windows 8 :-(

StMatn says ...
May 1, 2013 @ 9:24am

The idea is cool. If you would have an enemy it would be more fun. The enemy could be a virus, that infects nodes and drains your resources. It could spread to nearby cells and therefor threaten your home.

nixeldev says ...
May 1, 2013 @ 9:44am

It took a bit for me to realise fully what was going on, but then I read your instructions and I was fine (lazy me just playin the game first :p). It was interesting :) - Worked fine on my Mid 2010 Macbook Pro

lanz says ...
May 1, 2013 @ 9:52am

Sadly it crashes on my laptop too
"java.lang.RuntimeException: No OpenGL context found in the current thread.
at org.lwjgl.opengl.GLContext.getCapabilities(GLContext.java:124)
at org.lwjgl.opengl.GL11.glGetString(GL11.java:1770)
at com.ixee.GraphIX.glEEngine.<init>(glEEngine.java:232)
at com.ixee.GraphIX.GIXEngine.<init>(GIXEngine.java:37)
at com.ixee.GraphIX.GIXEngine.<init>(GIXEngine.java:34)
at ld26.main.main(main.java:105)
But I liked the "reading source code" minigame. It's echoing my thougth on cognition and information processing.

cmayhem says ...
May 1, 2013 @ 11:06am

Works great! The idea is quite interesting, I hope you keep working on this.

infinitedog says ...
May 1, 2013 @ 4:59pm

Hard to understand at the beginning. Cool idea.

anbreizh says ...
May 1, 2013 @ 5:36pm

Interesting, but it is missing a goal to reach

f7f5 says ...
May 5, 2013 @ 11:15pm

OK, I'm confused :/ I can connect nodes and then...? (maybe I should try this again in the morning)

MinionStudios says ...
May 5, 2013 @ 11:18pm

This is a fantastic shared resources concept and really fun, to boot. I love the droning timer too! Distance as a commodity is an interesting idea in RTS...

dalbinblue says ...
May 5, 2013 @ 11:28pm

Not sure what the overall goal is in this game. I kept building a tree but couldn't really tell if I was doing good or bad.

May 6, 2013 @ 1:48am

Looks like a really cool idea for a game. I think you need a more visual way to represent the information rather then just numbers. I wasn't sure exactly how to play but it was fun expanding my empire.

TehSkull says ...
May 6, 2013 @ 6:09am

This game went right over my head. I can't even be bothered to read how it works. Sorry.

dremelofdeath says ...
May 7, 2013 @ 10:56am

I didn't get what would happen if I finished. Neat idea, but I didn't get the goal. Was fun while I made as many connections as possible.

SenorDiablo says ...
May 10, 2013 @ 10:27pm


moomoo112 says ...
May 10, 2013 @ 10:55pm

the colours make it hard to read how many resources I have

May 11, 2013 @ 5:04pm

Interesting mechanic! Took a bit of getting used to but once I did, I found it very interesting. I may be wrong but it seemed as though some nodes would be unreachable as they were outside of the spheres of any other nodes. Also it started lagging quite a bit once I built up a network covering around 1/2 - 2/3 of the entire thing. Zooming was quite a revelation! Nicely done.

simvig says ...
May 11, 2013 @ 9:15pm

Very unique. Took me a while to figure out what everything meant, but in the end this seems to simulate resource flows. So you need to figure out a way to take in as much as possible without creating bottlenecks. This could have alot of potential.

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