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

Ludum Dare 27 — August 23rd-26th, 2013
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Distress Signal

by Kohijin - Jam Entry

So in this game you have one of the worst jobs ever:
Use an ancient Drone on a distant planet to search for the missing crew inside their space lab.

The best part: it actually takes 10 seconds to transmit an image back to you...
oh and you can also "die"... have fun finding out how.

Also, pay attention to every little detail around you, like static noises, interference and the drone's gyroscope.

Refresh Screen: [SPACE]

Takes 10 seconds and gets you visual feedback.

Because it's intentionally slow, you actually have to trigger the screen refresh by yourself. Think of it like a mars rover mission, where you don't get a live feed and have to assess the situtation based on snapshots of your surroundings.

The game also introduces you to the controls.

Movement: [ARROWKEYS] / [WASD]

Moves the drone like a tank.

The blue gyroscope will give you a slightly delayed feedback on your orientation.

You wont actually see the movement.

Proceed in small steps and use "Refresh Screen" frequently.

Back to Title / Quit Game: [ESCAPE]


This is actually first Jam. Originally planned for the Compo, but I kinda broke my ankle in between, so I lost some time in the hospital.

Code, Music, SFX and GFX are all done by myself. The wonky english texts too ;) (there's no time to proof read)

hotfix 1.1:
- needed to move one block a little to make the game winnable
- added a linebreak to the 'game over' message
hotfix 1.2:
- added a few simple shapes to guide new players
- increased the drone's horsepower a little bit, so it wont struggle as much when going up slopes
hotfix 1.3:
- adressed a bug where some mac users would not get any screen updates
- mac version now runs in fullscreen window without dock
- wrong soundsettings for certain entities inside the lab were fixed

Downloads and Links




Gremlin says ...
Aug 27, 2013 @ 3:38am

The ten second delay is a bit annoying. I do like the idea and the way the transmitted images look.

radiumskull says ...
Aug 27, 2013 @ 4:08am

I love the idea, but I had trouble figuring out where to move the 'drone'. The images -should- look fuzzy and distorted, but the scene looks shapeless enough that it's hard to figure out what's what. Great concept and pretty good execution!

Kohijin says ...
Aug 27, 2013 @ 4:48am

Thanks! The scenery could have used a lot more time, I agree.

rfgpfeiffer says ...
Aug 27, 2013 @ 6:35am

I'd play if there was a linux build

nicotuason says ...
Aug 27, 2013 @ 10:33am

The setting got me interested and I really wanted to like this game, coz I love sci fi, but I just couldn't figure out how to get anywhere. The arrow keys seemed to move that little blue thing on the bottom but the image wasn't updating. I do like all the details that went into creating a tense and dark atmosphere.

Spiderhund says ...
Aug 27, 2013 @ 12:55pm

I do like the idea of having a delayed signal although I think maybe the refresh should have been automatic without the "beep" sounds.

A really fun game and the delayed signal actually helps with immersion.

MinionStudios says ...
Aug 27, 2013 @ 2:04pm

Amazing mood and sound effects were great... the warped screen and time delay give a creepy feeling. Nice one!

psychomonster says ...
Aug 27, 2013 @ 6:52pm

Great Idea but it takes a long time to progress :D

Aug 27, 2013 @ 7:11pm

The idea is really fresh, but I guess 10 seconds is a tad too much of a delay, and the pictures are so bad... Well, they look great, but from a gameplay perspective they make it really hard to understand how fast you move and exactly where you are going.
I think you stumbled on a really innovative idea there though, one that I would really like to see expanded upon and turned into a more approachable form. Good job in any case!

Kohijin says ...
Aug 27, 2013 @ 10:42pm

@GSM Productions: Thanks for you honest feedback! This will definetly be expanded to a more approachable and interesting game. I planned a lot of other stuff but I'm still very happy that the atmosphere and basic concept worked for some people like you in its early form.

udo says ...
Aug 28, 2013 @ 8:25am

I loved the graphics and the general concept of this, and the physics angle was also pretty cool. However, in practice the 10 second delay did make the game less fun to actually play. Maybe "packet loss" would have been a better paradigm than "relativistic delay", since that can be varied due to the situation the drone is in. For example, at the outer areas of the station, packet loss (=delay) could be minimal whereas near the reactor core it would be bigger... Except for this, Distress Signal is clearly a very well done game. The atmosphere was also very engaging.

folmerkelly says ...
Aug 28, 2013 @ 8:48am

Awesome concept and mood, was really getting into it. The 10 second delay is too long but hey, theme. Would love to see how this plays with like a 1 second delay.

Also, "Signal Quality: 1%" would've been an amazing title for this :)

Toshiro says ...
Aug 28, 2013 @ 9:40am

Wow, the idea is really clever, I would never think of it ! In fact, it's a real shame that you have to respect the theme because the 10 second delay is a bit too long. But you make a very good work !
Oh, and I hope you will restore you to health soon. :/

DevMax says ...
Aug 28, 2013 @ 4:54pm

The idea is very nice. But 10 sec lags gets it impossible to play. The sound and text gets a bit annoying as well.

esayitch says ...
Aug 28, 2013 @ 4:59pm

Brilliant concept, but the cryptic warnings at the beginning made me very wary of moving forward more than a few squares before scanning everything around me... and damn did that take time... I think the game would have benefitted a lot if you would have made the robot automatically take pictures every second and then transmit them at a 10 second delay...

Still a very atmospheric game with a great idea, even if it got me frustrated relatively fast :P

Good luck!

ChronusZ says ...
Aug 28, 2013 @ 5:00pm

This is a very interesting concept, I like it! It is a bit difficult to do anything with, though :) The mood and graphics were great, though.

nddrylliog says ...
Aug 28, 2013 @ 10:06pm

Very nice idea and realization but, yep, I do find it a bit too long-winded / slow. Just because it's not my type of game doesn't mean it's bad though :)

I loved the music / sound ambiance and the graphics. Well done!

Nick Weihs says ...
Aug 29, 2013 @ 6:45am

Great atmosphere in this game, really creepy.

MuciojadPL says ...
Aug 29, 2013 @ 3:29pm

Good idea! I like this mood. Good job. :)

netmute says ...
Aug 29, 2013 @ 7:01pm

I love the theme, the atmosphere, and the gameplay mechanic. I'm a sucker for scifi in every form :)
Navigation/orientation was too hard, though. I could never really form an image of my surroundings in my head, because most things seemed to look the same.

Please keep working on this in the future! You're on to something here and I would love to play the finished game! :)

JoeCool17 says ...
Aug 29, 2013 @ 10:16pm

I seriously did not like the audio, I muted it because it was too distracting. Otherwise, I love the concept and how it plays!

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

Wasn't too sure what I was doing, but quite interesting nonetheless.

Gazok says ...
Aug 30, 2013 @ 2:52am

This game has so much edge I almost fell off. I feel like it was waaay too hard to tell what was going on to be really fun, but I appreciate the novelty of the concept. Also, the transparency broke my mind.

RARoadkill says ...
Sep 2, 2013 @ 4:00pm

I love the idea, very unique and interesting. The delay did get kind of annoying

Sep 5, 2013 @ 3:27pm

Very cool idea, nice looks and sound. But you really can't play like this, it's pure torture... Sorry! :(

Brejlounek says ...
Sep 5, 2013 @ 3:33pm

Amazing mood, graphics and sound! :) Great concept, 10 seconds is a little bit too long, but I understand, got into similar problems with my idea at one point. Didn't get very far, there was some room with widescreen window and a road out. When I finally manipulated rove... eh, drone trough it, I completely lost sense of space. Interesting :D

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