August 23rd-26th 2013 :: Theme: 10 Seconds

Ludum Dare 27 — August 23rd-26th, 2013
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Short Circuit

by Nick Cash - Jam Entry

Short Circuit is a floaty, spacey shoot'em up / bullet hell game. You control a spacecraft through a perilously random region of space. Thankfully, random canisters of useful items are here to help you, but your ship can only handle each one for ten seconds. You also lose fuel every ten seconds (or when you hit something), so make sure to grab more!

Good luck random space adventurer.


Control the ship with the arrow keys. Your ship is not capable of anything beyond movement on its own, so grab powerups to gain temporary abilities.

There are no additional keys for the powerups - they function automatically. Weapons will start firing immediately, but some powerups trigger/go off after 10 seconds.

While we integrated with Tiled to make levels, we ran out of time to do anything elaborate. What you are playing is a mix between a crazy user generated level and procedurally generated spawns.

NOTE ABOUT SOURCE: If you want to play from source you will need Python 2.7 and PyGame. That should be it though :)

Downloads and Links




Nick Weihs says ...
Aug 27, 2013 @ 2:53am

Source only..? : (

epiplon says ...
Aug 27, 2013 @ 3:08am

Provide us with a link that doesn't need repository cloning.

Nick Cash says ...
Aug 27, 2013 @ 4:03am

It does say in the description that we are in the process of making a distro. Pyinstaller is being a jerk, so it will be a little bit.

Nick Cash says ...
Aug 27, 2013 @ 5:14am

A distribution is now available for Windows. Please let us know if you find any bugs! :)

LordHellMaX says ...
Aug 29, 2013 @ 11:37pm

Game is pretty cool. Works great, except the SHIFT key didn't seem to make any difference in the speed. I'm bad at these kinda games, but the fact that the power-ups trigger themselves without me doing anything helps me greatly, so I can concentrate on dodging the bullets. Nice job overall!

soulrot says ...
Aug 29, 2013 @ 11:40pm

Way too chaotic for my taste, so I naturally didn't get far, but it's a nice game to play as a break. The sprites are pretty nice!

mklee says ...
Aug 30, 2013 @ 12:58am

Interesting concept, the stacking powerups lends a little bit of strategy to the proceedings. There's a little too much going on with the bullets unfortunately, it's super easy to die accidentally. Still good job!

Nick Cash says ...
Aug 30, 2013 @ 1:19am

@LordHellMaX - I looked back in the repository and it looks like the whole SHIFT to move slower thing got wiped out by someone when some functionality got moved to a different file. Thanks for pointing it out! It got wiped out so early that we apparently never noticed it was gone :P

Aug 30, 2013 @ 1:41am

Cool concept. Seem pretty nicely polished. Was pretty hard >.<

Gazok says ...
Aug 30, 2013 @ 2:37am

I found at first i couldn't tell enemies apart from canisters, but once I realised what they looked like it was fine. Not personally into bullet hells, though :/

nathanhoffer says ...
Aug 30, 2013 @ 2:48am

Fun little game. I really liked it.

Reyn says ...
Sep 3, 2013 @ 1:50pm

Mouse movement would have been nice, with maybe a capped velocity. Was fun thanks!

bassarisse says ...
Sep 4, 2013 @ 3:39am

I really liked it. The ship moved a bit faster to me, but I guess it's all part of plan =)

Purplescape says ...
Sep 4, 2013 @ 3:52am

Fun game! It's pretty difficult too. It's cool that the auto-fire and changing powerups make you think about positioning the ship differently. Nice music.

AidanAK47 says ...
Sep 6, 2013 @ 5:46pm

I really like the idea. Bullet hell shooters are primarily about dodging and shooting second so having to put yourself at risk by collecting power ups is an interesting way to go about it.
Really all it needs is some polish. The ships movement was too fast. Understandable as it needs to dodge quickly but the speed just doesn't look natural. In shooters it's best if the enemy explodes instead of disappears. I know it's just for looks sake but it feels cheap to just see any enemy disappear after shooting them.
If you were planning on expanding on this, an upgrade system and boss battles would be beneficial. Boss battles in particular could be very interesting as you would need to collect your weapons to defeat them.
Fun game.

Nick Cash says ...
Sep 8, 2013 @ 9:17am

Thanks for the feedback everyone :)

@AidanAK47 - The ship was supposed to be able to alternate between the speed it has now and half of that for more precise dodging, but it got botched in the repository and did not get added back in before submission.

As for the enemies disappearing, this was simply because we didn't have enough time to implement an explosion. The sound effect triggers, but we didn't have an explosion animation to use and we ran out of time to make a decent one.

Our initial concept included much more elaborate levels and boss battles, but again, we ran out of time. We actually made a system to allow level creation using Tiled to define enemy spawn points, but due to real life things some of our team got called away and most of us work on the Monday after LD, thus making the Jam effectively 48 hours anyway.

I definitely agree with your points though. The ship should move slower like it was initially capable of, there should be legitimate explosions not just for enemies that explode, but for the little missiles that get fired, and there should be actual levels with bosses.

Nick Cash says ...
Sep 18, 2013 @ 9:07pm

The timelapse has been uploaded to Youtube if anyone is curious.

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