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Ludum Dare 26 — April 26-29th, 2013
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Sequence Initiated

by mildmojo - Jam Entry


Initiate that sequence. Try it on mobile. Landscape mode, please.

Simulated control experience. Solo jam entry. Built with javascript, CraftyJS, jQuery, Underscore.js, Modernizr, and Zynga's Viewporter (which didn't work).

I've wanted to make something like this for a long time. Inspired by Steel Battalion's vertical tank startup sequence. Other influences include the Artemis starship bridge simulator and the skeuomorphtastic Spaceteam for iOS.

I ran out of time, unsurprisingly. I did manage to put together three levels that show the kind of experience I was going for. I had another 6 levels planned on paper, but getting each widget working took so long that I wasn't able to see them through.


I'm super-interested in second-screen gaming, where a phone or tablet acts as an additional screen for a game played on PC or consoles. Now that I have a library of these widgets, I'd like to use them to build networked control surfaces for future games. Everything's web-based, so it should run anywhere (tested on Android phones and tablets).

In my opinion, the awful Kinect Steel Battalion: Heavy Armor for Xbox 360 should've used a bring-your-own-device touchscreen, turning your tablet into the manifold switches and buttons of the original game. Microsoft has a first-party second-screen system available for Win Mobile, Android, and iOS called Smart Glass. It integrates with the 360. Skull-achingly unrealized potential, that.

No sound because my laptop has one of those awful single-shared-jack audio ports and my backup USB sound device failed to work with my microphone when I was jamming at the Run Jump Dev meetup. Alas.


I think absolutely nobody understands the third level with the "Entropy" switches, which is a design failure (and lack of playtesting) on my part. Good call, guys.

The idea is that the two switches in the left column provide "base" power, but that isn't quite enough to get the system ready for launch. The switches in the "entropy" column add a little random jitter to the power base, sometimes up, sometimes down. You just have to wait until the system has enough power to launch and hit the button while it's unlocked.


Thanks so much for having a look. You all are just lovely people. I can't wait to jam with you again. <3

Downloads and Links




corrigan_sam says ...
Apr 30, 2013 @ 6:17am

It was a cool idea, but it needed a few more levels, and it could be really cool :D

DaveDobson says ...
Apr 30, 2013 @ 6:23am

Cool idea; I like puzzle games. I wasn't sure what I was doing on the Entropy level - my power gauge seemed to fluctuate semi-randomly, although the mouse seemed to do something. Would be better with more to do, but fun as it is, and a clean look.

moomoo112 says ...
Apr 30, 2013 @ 7:30am

wish there was more, it's an interesting start

rwos says ...
Apr 30, 2013 @ 9:09pm

I'm not sure I understand what this is about - I just flipped all switches and then pressed the button. Am I missing something?

The4thCircle says ...
Apr 30, 2013 @ 9:19pm

Wasn't sure what was going on in the last level.

OnlySlightly says ...
May 1, 2013 @ 3:43am

Loved the aesthetic style and concept. I'd love to see it expanded upon.

Jarrett says ...
May 1, 2013 @ 6:25am

Second screen gaming, and asymmetric gameplay in general, is so fascinating :)

Jiddo says ...
May 2, 2013 @ 8:51pm

It is a cool underlying idea for a style of puzzle game. It's a shame you didn't have enough time to at least add one level that wasn't just "flip every switch to win". That could have really proven the validity of the idea.

Nicely done!

mildmojo says ...
May 3, 2013 @ 4:47am

Thanks for all the feedback, everyone. <3

Now that I've had a chance to breathe, you all are entirely right about that third level. Opaque as all get out. I handed the thing around to meatspace folks on a tablet, and it was not intuitive to anyone. Fail. Description updated.

I did realize ex post facto that I made enough of the widgets to throw together a few more levels I'd paper-prototyped, so I'm going to try to put up a second post-compo version this weekend with more content.

@rwos: You didn't miss anything. It's supposed to be an abstract control experience, akin to sitting down at a Star Trek LCARS interface or Steel Battalion or Artemis, where there's an action sequence you have to devise to prep the system for launch. My intent was to create levels that don't boil down to "try all the combinations", but to give actions visible feedback so players could take an observation-driven path through the sequence.

@Jiddo: Yeah, I realized too late that every level was just "flip every switch". Heh. I build the middle level first, then the intro level, then the bad level last. I thought it would be the easiest of my sketched-out levels to build, but it was totally flawed.

TheCze says ...
May 3, 2013 @ 6:50pm

Nice idea would like to see a control system like that

netmute says ...
May 3, 2013 @ 7:09pm

Ha! Even beat the last level! :P

GameNacho says ...
May 7, 2013 @ 3:46am

I like games where you have to figure out how to make it work, good job!

Finn Stokes says ...
May 7, 2013 @ 8:01am

While it was rather lacking in gameplay, the controls felt really nice on a touchscreen so, as it sounds like your main goal was developing these controls, well done!

Cake&Code says ...
May 8, 2013 @ 6:18am

As other have said, wish there were more levels! Also, the entropy level was odd, seemed like I had to wait for randomness to put the energy level at just the right point but it didn't feel intentional, felt... wonky.

Add a few more types of interactions and you could have something like Spaceteam's visceral interactions.

amodo says ...
May 8, 2013 @ 8:02am

Haha!!! I really enjoyed this too much. played through a few times because it's so much fun!!!!! LAUNCH!!!!

Yacodo says ...
May 11, 2013 @ 10:45am

Didn't understand third level (didn't read explanation) but I go it but activating the switch and pushing the button during the time (very short) it was ok. Good one !

May 12, 2013 @ 6:38am

Interesting concept, could benefit from further development & more player instruction.

Thanks for the feedback on my entry. I'm clueless about Linux deploy so those comments are helpful for the future.

As for the player introduction to controls & the confusion over how to change the light colors I'm curious what wasn't clear about the controls introduced on the RED stage?

When you pick up the red bulb two large arrows appear on the bottom of the screen & the orb before the player lights red. The arrows don't disappear until the player presses up & down, changing the color from the beginning white to red & back again.

This seems clear to many players.

If you have any suggestion on how to make this even more apparent to the player, I would welcome it.

Thanks again.

Brassawiking says ...
May 12, 2013 @ 6:06pm

Didn't try this on a touch device, but I like the flick behavior of the buttons. Could definitly see this turn into a good mobile puzzle game. Need to crank up the puzzles and the atmosphere a bit and then you are set!

Tsuki_Usagi says ...
May 13, 2013 @ 2:51am

it took me a few minutes to discover how does it works...

basically my suggestion it would be to make more levels :x

JonathanG says ...
May 15, 2013 @ 9:30pm

I like the idea of having to discover how to initiate each sequence based on some sort of feedback, but the game ends before any of the puzzle possibilities have been realised. The graphics were clean and functional. With some music and some puzzles, this could be a lot of fun.

paulmcgg says ...
May 18, 2013 @ 11:11am

I want to see more! I love stupid complex onscreen controls (Mechwarrior, Spaceteam) and this scratches that itch. It totally needs sound: hearing the clicks, whirrs and most important a rocket or something blasting off. Do more & msg me about it, I love this idea.

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