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

Ludum Dare 27 — August 23rd-26th, 2013
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John Q. Adamant

by nddrylliog - Jam Entry


1824 - the 10th US presidential election. Even though he doesn't have either the popular or the electoral majority, John Quincy Adams is elected President of the United States.

The ten losing candidates (the "Ten Seconds") devise a plan to take revenge - they shall mount an army the likes of which no one has ever seen, and destro John Q. and everything he stands for.

However, their plan took a little longer than expected, and it is now 2013. The Ten, along with John Q., are still alive, thanks to the elixir of youth, discovered accidentally and now for sale in supermarkets.

Play as one of the ten seconds - each with different ships, backstories, and weapons, and blast your way through victory!


Left, right, up, down = move
Space = shoot (hold it!)

F11 = switch fullscreen


Amos Wenger (nddrylliog) - idea, art (haha), implementation, programming language, compiler, game framework, yeah, yeah, whatever.

Jeremy Clarke (geckojsc) - awesome music

Downloads and Links




nddrylliog says ...
Aug 27, 2013 @ 5:35am

Mac & Linux versions are coming soon :) I always rate back.

Aug 27, 2013 @ 11:53am

Nice ! I liked the introduction to the game ;) Responsive controller, entertaining ! Great work !

BenWhi says ...
Aug 27, 2013 @ 12:06pm

Duuuudee, you made a 1942-type game!!! I've always wanted to make one of these!!! Excellent job - cool story, great music, a good challenge, especially the end where you unleash about 5 zillion enemies! Gonna try to prevail as a different character next time and see how that goes.

Jacic says ...
Aug 28, 2013 @ 1:07am

I loved the theme. :) The music was great too, but the font was a bit hard to read. (Yes, I understand why it was chosen ;) ) says ...
Aug 28, 2013 @ 1:19am

Holy bullet hell shmup, this is great! Also holy shit dollar signs and bagettes as bullets, why hasn't this been done before

Beat it with Smith Thompson, the shurikens seemed to mesh well with my playing style. That and they're pretty powerful.

I'd love to see something maybe where every ten seconds, you randomly switch to another one of the Ten Seconds. That'd mix up the gameplay a bit and force you to adapt.

Really nice, I enjoyed this a lot.

Wertle says ...
Aug 28, 2013 @ 4:49am

Nice shooter mechanic, felt really smooth. Some layered feedback on when I was hit would help. Very silly theme interpretation, I like it!

quinnirill says ...
Aug 28, 2013 @ 5:12am

Will try a bit more later, but so far I love the smoothing in controls (is it just sine?) and the overall mechanic. Some of the atmosphere was wasted on me though, sounds don't seem to work on OS X? Also maybe there should be some cooldown for the guns, now my strategy was to just keep holding space down all the time and focus on trying to avoid the AA. ^^

DanielSnd says ...
Aug 28, 2013 @ 4:12pm

Lol, was thinking after playing "Where are the 10 seconds in there?" but then read the description xD Nice idea

Kohijin says ...
Aug 28, 2013 @ 4:58pm

It could really use some sound and while theme interpretation is very funny, the game mechanic does not not really reflect the setting... still, a fun shmup that feels super smooth with awesome music.

TheCze says ...
Aug 28, 2013 @ 5:07pm

Excellent take on the theme. I don't usually play the genre but was still tempted to at least try out all the different characters!

01010111 says ...
Aug 28, 2013 @ 5:42pm

Epic backstory, and I'm a sucker for 194X style vertical shooters :)

panurge says ...
Aug 28, 2013 @ 5:46pm

Oh this was great! Excellent quirky storyline and a really fun shooter to boot. I played as William Crawford because I've always wanted a ship made of cheese.

wally2069 says ...
Aug 28, 2013 @ 6:09pm

The theme interpretation was pretty unique but not something I liked enough

local minimum says ...
Aug 28, 2013 @ 6:09pm

Just a comment, I could fly in under the health bar area. I general a nice game.

Crazi456 says ...
Aug 28, 2013 @ 6:15pm

Very funny! Solid mechanics and controls, good job!

boneloaf says ...
Aug 28, 2013 @ 7:03pm

We like the smoothness of the controls and the pretty patterns the rockets make.

Aug 28, 2013 @ 8:36pm

Nice and smooth engine!

Lancey says ...
Aug 28, 2013 @ 9:11pm

Very smooth game that plays well! Could use some more audio feedback, and enemies were basically bullet sponges. I enjoyed it

Aug 28, 2013 @ 9:25pm

Hehe, I think I spent about half an hour on this game, playing through with most of the characters, lots of fun to be had here that's for sure! Some rather nice music and neat level design so the difficulty ramps up as you progress. I was hoping to see a boss battle towards the end although time constraints being what they are the final batallion is more than enough!

I'm sure this is again due to a lack of time but the addition of bullet, hit and explosion noises would have pushed this right over the finish line for me.

In summary, a worthy effort, some lovely bullet hell towards the end and a variety of characters to play with, cool stuff!

Aug 28, 2013 @ 10:23pm

Not bad! The gameplay and the drum music got repetitive after a while, but other than that it was enjoyable :)

rogueNoodle says ...
Aug 29, 2013 @ 12:03am

Had a lot of fun with this - wasn't sure what to expect during the opening, but it sure wasn't a bullet-hell ;) Music was a great choice as well!

Cosmologicon says ...
Aug 29, 2013 @ 3:14am

plz nerf Smith Thompson and Andrew Jackson. Seriously, awesome story, and it's really admirable that you have 10 different characters programmed. I think there could have been a bit more variety, eg in their speed and health. Maybe even an underpowered one that regains health or something. And different levels where their different strengths come into play would be awesome.

Aug 29, 2013 @ 8:47am

Well this one gave a chuckle :]
The shooter is very well made. I would have hoped to have more 1800's style enemies, though.
Great job!

Aug 30, 2013 @ 2:12pm

I tore the place up with Andrew Jackson! Smooth controls.

deammer says ...
Aug 30, 2013 @ 2:37pm

Bullet hell? Sold! Very smooth controls, well done.

ratking says ...
Aug 30, 2013 @ 5:02pm

This comment/rating is a little experiment, after I ranted on Twitter how non-anonymous comments make honest feedback/criticsm very hard, because the writer has to fear "revenge" in the form of a bad rating in return. Of course, in an ideal LD world no one would have to fear revenge, but we don't live in an ideal world. ;-)

So, yeah, @nddrylliog dared me to write an honest review now, and just to be extra-clear, here's the disclaimer:


Overall I like the story idea and the interpretation of the theme. But unfortunately this is presented in an unreadable manner. :-P Sure, the font fits the theme, and for the intro it worked, but for the descriptions I hardly could concentrate on what I read here, especially in combination with the somewhat annoying music (which IMHO doesn't support the setting that well). It also didn't help that the background stories, as interesting as they are, don't explain the pros and cons of every presidential candidate (or just show some stats). Good thing it's very fast to try each of them.

I just wish there would have been more diversity than just the look and shooting pattern (I liked the animated gun of Langdon Cheves!), especially as there seems to be only one single level. Smith Thompson is overpowered while other candidates don't have a chance to destroy everything. This isn't a bad thing, as it would be a chance to sort the candidates by difficulty. I also see a missed chance by the developer to add some kind of progression bar which increases with every presidential candidate who won the war.

On the graphical side: The game is a bit ugly, as it lacks consistency. While the ships are drawn, the tiles of the floor look too geometrical. The floor generally is very bland, adding some details would do it good. Also, some kind of colorcode would help the general look, by choosing just 3 or 4 colors and sticking to them for all art assets, with shadings. There are several tools for choosing a nice colorcode; right now, the game's colors are too bright for me or have too much contrast.
Besides of the explosions, there could be more particle effects, especially when hitting one of the bigger enemies.

The screens for death and victory come very quickly, which isn't satisfying. Add some transitions to celebrate these events! :-) Such animations also help to polish a game; think of screen shaking when getting hit.

Some sounds would have been nice, if only for the explosions. Those can be made very quickly with bfxr or so.

BTW, I rated the game 4/5 on Fun, as I thought it to be pretty playable - in my opinion, it's a start for a good game. It mostly needs more rewards for the player, like neat effects and some kind of progression.

vladimirdlc says ...
Aug 30, 2013 @ 7:08pm

I enjoyed playing this, the background history was interesting and a nice addition, I would have liked more diversity in the audio and effects department. The art could be improved but I get is programmer's art ;)
The difficulty was ok. Thanks for the great feedback btw.

Oxygamer says ...
Sep 16, 2013 @ 11:11pm

You never win ! Hahahahah

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