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

Ludum Dare 27 — August 23rd-26th, 2013
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by scriptorum - 48 Hour Compo Entry

Offspring is a game about guiding a planet's evolution to life, humanity, and eventually space travel. It's for players who like clicking on stuff and going what the hell just happened and then criticizing the author's weak grasp of scientific theory. Oh yeah!

You are Father Minute and have control of six time children. If you have an available child, you can send them to a space on the planet to work. They'll take 10 seconds and conduct massive change. For example, your child in one move can evolve a rodent from simple cells, or turn a village into a city. Another click can destroy the human you so carefully evolved from a caveman. So, experiment! The game isn't over until you build a "citadel," from which you can launch a shuttle into space and win the game.

Recommend you actually play with 5 seconds or less, as 10 seconds is a bit too zen-like slow for my liking. The game is a little challenging without spoilers, so I'm preparing some below.


Lava covers the land and water and causes the water to boil, so get rid of it whenever it's in your way. Remember, you're able to assign six workers at the same, so go ahead and multitask.

Clicking on clear land or water sends a meteor to the planet. A meteor spreads minerals which are needed to create cells. Cells can be turned into algae on the water, or if left alone, may evolve into a fish or a reptile, given access to other algae and fish, respectively. Minerals on land tend to blow away. Algae tends to die without access to minerals.

Plants grow next to (two) algae. Plants drop seeds which can be turned into trees (which also drop seeds). A set of three plants often evolve into rodents on their own. Rodents multiply with access to more plants. Rodents can be turned into herbivores.

Reptiles can be turned into carnivores. Carnivores next to a rodent or next to an herbivore will evolve into cavemen. Herbivores will also turn into cavemen if next to some trees. Caveman can be turned into humans.

Humans multiply like crazy. It takes three of them next to a tree to build a basic dwelling. This dwelling can be upgraded into a village and will rapidly grow to city size if humans stay near. When two cities are near each other, one will eventually become a metropolis.

Not all things evolve when clicked on. Humans, algae, herbivores, carnivores, trees, fish, and meteors will be destroyed if you click on them.

Due to a bug in my code I just discovered :) there is only one path for forming a factory, and that is to wait for the smaller city next to the metropolis to downgrade into a storage building (everyone moved into the metropolis). From there you can upgrade it to a factory.

A factory next to a metropolis will automatically upgrade to a citadel. And from there, you can launch a space shuttle. Have at it.

Downloads and Links




loolpolo says ...
Aug 26, 2013 @ 4:29am

I found the idea just great, but it can gets a little boring if the player dont now what to do. Well, great job, liked it very much.

otresnjak says ...
Aug 26, 2013 @ 4:41am

Very interesting idea--hope you continue to develop it.

Ravetcofx says ...
Aug 26, 2013 @ 4:43am

darn, it wont work on my machine, it just gets stuck on the logo, to bad I was excited for this one...

Simulacrum says ...
Aug 26, 2013 @ 4:47am

A lot of fun. I like that you tried to make a deep and complicated game when the theme encourages quick simplicity. Your game is interesting, ambitious, and it stands out. I enjoyed it, but I did have to refer to your guidelines a few times.

namrog84 says ...
Aug 26, 2013 @ 4:50am

Although I felt a bit lost for a while, I played for probably 20 minutes.
Even with reading instructions. I often wasnt sure if I was messing things up or making them better by putting the meteor there

Quite an innovative concept that definitely could become something more!
Could also make a great mobile phone game!

scriptorum says ...
Aug 26, 2013 @ 4:51am

If anyone sees a freeze like Ravetcofx, please let me know which build you used and if web, which browser/platform. Thanks!

ranf says ...
Aug 26, 2013 @ 5:05am

My patience was certainly tested even while I played this at 5 seconds, haha. Nice complex game overall, though, I did have to look at the guide in the notes to lead me through the game.

Dooleus says ...
Aug 26, 2013 @ 5:07am

God-games are not my forte; I'll just get that out of the way up front. The art, sound, music, and introduction story are all very nice. The music and sfx set a perfect mood for the gameplay and the tiles are clean and fairly easy to read. The meteorite sound is perhaps a little too loud, but that's probably not so unreasonable and it doesn't seriously detract in any way... just a small nitpick.

The gameplay itself is a little tedious at first, having to un-lava everything doesn't really give much of a feeling of accomplishment, but when you start growing algae and fish and everything, it starts to become more engaging.

I'll confess I didn't make it past the stages of rodents cropping up, as I lost interest with trying to figure out how to progress from that point, but as I said this is not my preferred type of game so it's probably more my fault than your game design's. So, keeping in mind that I didn't really delve deeply into it and also that I didn't read your spoilers in order to have a more organic (heh) experience, it doesn't seem like there's a lot of risk of failure here. Your fish and other wildlife don't seem to starve if you neglect to place food near them.

The theme seems pretty loosely fit into this, as well, since as far as I can tell you just arbitrarily described your little helper planet 'children' things as 10 seconds each and made 6 of them so that they add up to a minute. Maybe this is expounded on later, but it seemed pretty irrelevant after the introduction was over.

Overall, I'd probably enjoy it more if it was a little less puzzley and a little more arcadey, if that could be accomplished within this kind of game. Like I said before, though, the aesthetics are great and definitely kept me playing longer than I had expected to.

Aug 26, 2013 @ 5:15am

Great idea, but gets really boring after some time. And not always clear what to do.

GrimGary says ...
Aug 26, 2013 @ 5:18am

I had no idea what was going on in this game for a while. But...I spent a lot of time in it not knowing what was going on =)

ratalaika says ...
Aug 26, 2013 @ 12:08pm

It a great idea, congratulations!!

bhopkins says ...
Aug 26, 2013 @ 6:47pm

Very cool! I love games like this. As others mention it would be nice if there was a way to guide yourself through the game intuitively instead of looking at your guide.

Meep says ...
Aug 26, 2013 @ 7:48pm

It's a really neat idea, but can be overwhelming in terms of what to do (unless you escalate to it with many simpler 'stages'). Great work, though!

bytegrove says ...
Aug 26, 2013 @ 10:06pm

Interesting little god sim. Cool backstory!
I jumped in to the game without reading the spoiler section, and some actions felt a little random(especially the kill action for some animals), maybe displaying the action(like next to the tile status) that will be used on a tile, on mouse hover might help?
Overall a nice game, it was interesting how the humans and their cities behaved(and the speed at which they multiplied, lol).

Aug 26, 2013 @ 10:25pm

Great little game; I agree that it gets somewhat tedious, but I love the idea and it's something I would have made.

FanFan says ...
Aug 27, 2013 @ 11:16am

I really love the mechanic, though it become quite hectic and complicated at times.

Sprites are pleasant and audio are fitting. Nice work!

Aug 27, 2013 @ 7:24pm

Nice game if a bit confusing at times!

woodecker says ...
Aug 27, 2013 @ 9:15pm

Very nice! I like this god-like games, and I found this very original.
In my world I could make some cities in about 10min.

flavio says ...
Aug 27, 2013 @ 9:19pm

I like the idea. But it could be a little bit confusing first time you play without reading the rules :)
Interesting game anyways !

gikdew says ...
Aug 27, 2013 @ 9:24pm

Nice and cool idea! Really enjoy it!

klianc09 says ...
Aug 27, 2013 @ 9:26pm

I really like such games, and you did a really well job, I only needed the spoilers once (what to do after having a city (the obvious solution: having more cities ))

Aug 27, 2013 @ 9:37pm

I played for some time, and i enjoyed the mood and the music...
It might be because my brain has quite much the capability of a cat's brain, or something like that, but I had no idea what was going on...
I still think it was fun... sorry about your toe! ;)

Aug 28, 2013 @ 1:06pm

seems high quality entry. seems thoughtful to the theme. sounds like there some complexity going on behind the scenes. do like these sort of god type games.

Tifu says ...
Aug 28, 2013 @ 8:47pm

Hah, that took ages but I won after realising "When two cities are near each other..." meant adjacent, and not just in the same region :P
Nice little growth/sim game.

savethejets1 says ...
Sep 11, 2013 @ 5:15am

Wow, really innovative idea.

I love the idea of a 10 second god game. Had to read the instructions but was able to move on after that.

JaJ says ...
Sep 16, 2013 @ 8:09pm

Fun to play around with. I got a tree, some plants, some rodents and some herbivores, but then I got bored.

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