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

Ludum Dare 27 — August 23rd-26th, 2013
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Maximilian Lambda Caster

by Jiggawatt - Jam Entry

A "situational bullet hell" in which you create functions to manipulate the battlefield. It's definitely possible to neutralize all bullet types, but the difficulty level is tuned to my tastes. No easy mode here.

Arrows/Z for ship control, numbers or A/D for cycling through the parameter list. Keeping a block selected drains its lifespan of 10 seconds, so cycle according to which one is the most useful to you.

Downloads and Links




Nick Weihs says ...
Aug 27, 2013 @ 10:47am

I think the visuals were pretty interesting! Though having the spinning bg while in game kind of made me really dizzy X_X. Also the documentation said Arrows/Space for the game but space didnt seem to do anything? I tried re-running it but got the same results :(.

Jiggawatt says ...
Aug 27, 2013 @ 11:03am

The documentation says "arrows/space to navigate help". So Space only leaves the documentation screen, you shoot with Z in the game.

The spinning background used to be more intense and consequently I left my body several times during development.

TheMaster99 says ...
Aug 27, 2013 @ 12:20pm

Nice play on the theme, quite original. I didn't quite understand what my shots did, but otherwise seemed pretty solid.
Good work!

Steve says ...
Aug 27, 2013 @ 12:26pm

Interesting, strange game. I'm afraid that even after reading the documentation, the mechanics of the game are pretty unclear. Also, the various block types(?) should probably have different colors, not just different hues, or it's tricky to tell them apart. Controls are nice, and the sound effects too.

TheMaster99 says ...
Aug 27, 2013 @ 12:27pm

Nice play on the theme, quite original. I didn't quite understand what my shots did, but otherwise seemed pretty solid. (EDIT: read the documentation and that helped everything make a lot more sense. It's still kind of an unusual game, but was done well.)
Good work!

mrspeaker says ...
Aug 27, 2013 @ 12:30pm

Yeah, that's pretty insane and tasty! I I didn't really understand the shot system either though: As the ship was a lambda, I guessed it was like composing functions (awesome idea) but I found it hard to select the parameters with the number keys though because they are far away from the z key!

In the end my dominant strategy was to just try and get the "defence" parameters selected and shoot like crazy!

Norgg says ...
Aug 27, 2013 @ 12:37pm

Funky and a really cool idea! But oh god my brain.

It's really hard to keep track of which functions are in effect and which you still need to collect to win, I think symbols and function notation along the bottom would actually have made that easier, or at least having it display "override(shottype)" instead of just "override" when selecting an item at the bottom. I also had trouble quickly identifying the enemy types just based on colour to know which function to select to be the parameter when I shoot them.

Jiggawatt says ...
Aug 27, 2013 @ 12:44pm

mrspeaker: try A and D, those are closer to Z. Also, if you select the defense parameters and then shoot, you're going to end up using them as parameters... most likely disabling them in at least one way :p You gotta shoot defense to get defense.

Norgg: the red text above the parameters shows what they're affecting. Like if you have a green (restrict) block and "shottype" over it, you'll know the shot type block is blacked out. The function notation at the top shows the last added effect. It's pretty hectic either way, but you'll get used to it after a while. (Or just enjoy the beautiful chaos.)

klianc09 says ...
Aug 27, 2013 @ 1:42pm

I didn't have a clue what the fuck was going on, but it can still be played without understanding anything, that was great^^ The music is very fitting.

emveyh says ...
Aug 27, 2013 @ 4:23pm

Took me a while to get it but then it was really fun :) Great idea!

Aug 27, 2013 @ 11:29pm

Didn't have a clue what was going on initially, then I RTFM and had a good time! Enjoyed the mad visuals.

Jimanzium says ...
Aug 28, 2013 @ 3:20pm

How do I start this game? I think I pressed every key on the keyboard but nothing happened

hypp says ...
Aug 28, 2013 @ 3:21pm

I got really dizzy from the spinning background. But it was quite fun to play!

Jiggawatt says ...
Aug 28, 2013 @ 3:36pm

Jimanzium: uh, click "engage" on the title screen. But you might probably want to click "documentation" first.

angrygeometry says ...
Aug 28, 2013 @ 4:19pm

the interpretation of 10 seconds was really interesting. unfortunately i'm terrible at these types of games.

Jiggawatt says ...
Aug 28, 2013 @ 4:39pm

angrygeometry played my game on his stream, I think I could hear some of his veins popping.

Watching him made me realize that I can't stress enough how you have to cycle through the parameters. So use those numbers (or A and D). The game is probably impossible to win without cycling through the options.

Speaking of which, has anyone else been able to complete this yet? Please comment if you do. And feel free to comment regardless, constructive comments are more important to me than ratings.

Tainted_Code says ...
Aug 28, 2013 @ 11:43pm

A lot going on at once, controls were a bit odd. Graphics were pretty cool. I couldn't figure out how to shoot and the music was very fun!

hoqjed says ...
Aug 28, 2013 @ 11:44pm

Visuals are awesome.

I wish the movement was more precise, perhaps so it didn't have movement decay/growth and just a fixed movement rate for more precise movement, which probably helps when you're trying to dodge a million things.

Also if you're not moving the ship faces the default up position, which is frustrating. Perhaps always facing right is most useful as that's where enemies spawn anyway?

rxi says ...
Aug 29, 2013 @ 11:02pm

Didn't immediately realize the bits of text at the bottom of the menu were buttons, so I was a little confused as I hit random keys on my keyboard for a few seconds!

Once I started the game I was once again confused, read the documentation, tried again and was still confused. I did enjoy the hyperactive audio and visuals, everything seemed to look nice and the sound matched what was going on quite well.

I think I'd have preferred the control layout to be A/S/D rather than A/Z/D, as it is it felt a little unnatural.

I may have to revisit this one another evening in another attempt to grasp what's going on a little better!

Jiggawatt says ...
Aug 30, 2013 @ 12:06am

A public service announcement: if the title and help screens are too much of an obstacle for some of you, please do not bother playing or rating the game. This message will repeat every 10 seconds.

GFM says ...
Aug 30, 2013 @ 4:18am

Ok... what did I just play? I understood that I shot something at some other thing that resulted in stuff...

I was able to understand the idea behind the mechanics, but I couldn't figure out how you actually maintain a list of functions and thus neutralizes everything...

I must say that this was really interesting, innovative and with great music! :D (but I still can grasp the gameplay >_<)

Brassawiking says ...
Aug 30, 2013 @ 3:50pm

Well rounded in all aspects. Only thing is it seems like you have a lot of ideas with this, but it is not as accessible for us players. I just couldn't get a real grasp of what was going on and what I was supposed to do. Good job otherwise!

Kragnir says ...
Aug 30, 2013 @ 4:14pm

I did complete the game but the instructions are way to complicated.

It was much easier to just avoid blocks, shoot blocks that are not dark and avoid bullets that are not dark.

Like the graphics and the music.

The instructions need to be made much clearer.

Jiggawatt says ...
Aug 30, 2013 @ 4:23pm

You completed it? Like did you get the "wave clear" screen? Whoa, nice.

I'll begin tackling accessibility problems with a post-LD version, hopefully featuring different game modes (including a tutorial mode where you're immortal and get comments on what reactions you just caused).

shinD says ...
Aug 30, 2013 @ 5:10pm

very good job this is a great 48 hour game polish it and it will be amazing.

Jiggawatt says ...
Aug 30, 2013 @ 5:13pm


Typedeaf says ...
Aug 31, 2013 @ 8:39am

Nice game mechanics and the song is pretty good as well :3


GigaBass says ...
Aug 31, 2013 @ 9:18am

wat is this i dont even

Purplescape says ...
Sep 2, 2013 @ 5:38am

Pretty graphics and crazy gameplay! Good music too.

Jacob123 says ...
Sep 2, 2013 @ 11:10pm

Loved the graphics and gameplay. Pretty decent job!

dook says ...
Sep 3, 2013 @ 5:48pm

Seemed neat but I had a tough time figuring out what was going on. Sound and graphics were pretty neat, though.

Raiyumi says ...
Sep 3, 2013 @ 11:17pm

Interesting and great gameplay! Not quite sure what the blocks on the bottom were for, though.

Jiggawatt says ...
Sep 4, 2013 @ 4:33pm

Don't lie just to be polite when you obviously didn't RTFM or play beyond the first impression.

That's like playing Tetris and going "not quite sure what the blocks falling from the top were for".

Jiggawatt says ...
Sep 5, 2013 @ 12:42pm

Winner of the "best post-mortem" award

Sep 5, 2013 @ 7:01pm

Great music and pretty awesome game play. Enjoyed it :) I featured it in my LD27 compilation video series, if you would like to check it out,

Jiggawatt says ...
Sep 5, 2013 @ 8:40pm

Come on. If your experience of the game was literally standing around for 30 seconds, don't say the gameplay was awesome. That sort of dishonesty just makes me mad.

BadgerPriest says ...
Sep 5, 2013 @ 9:57pm

This is probably the most innovative bullet hell game I've ever played, but it's practically impossible to plan your attacks within the short timespan of the game.

Sep 5, 2013 @ 10:10pm

I wasnt being dishonest. I was taught bullet hell was literally dodging bullets. I liked the look of your bullets and I liked attempting to dodge them...

fdevant says ...
Sep 5, 2013 @ 11:47pm

Half the challenge of this game was to figure out how it worked hahahahaha. I wish it slowly introduced the different function effects because my memory is just not good enough to associate colors to functions, but well, maybe that's just me being unable to understand such high form of art. Maybe it's a new genre of puzzlet hell.
As you are going all "pics or didn't happen" here it is (It was all a stroke of luck if I can be sincere, I could never last alive more than 26ish seconds).

fdevant says ...
Sep 5, 2013 @ 11:51pm

Oh and the music is fantastic by the way.

Katamori says ...
Sep 6, 2013 @ 12:18pm

Documentation was TL;DR for me, but after I found the shoot button, I could understand the working mechanics.

Somehow, it's not a 5/5 for me, but there's nothing bad in it. And it even has humor, damnit!

Atmospherium says ...
Sep 6, 2013 @ 1:13pm

Fun game with interesting mechanics. There's definitely a bit of a learning curve for figuring out the weapons/functions, but not so much that it ruins the fun. And you also get points for having the best post-mortem.

Boneloaf says ...
Sep 15, 2013 @ 7:54pm

Like the music

Vile Smile says ...
Sep 16, 2013 @ 1:41am

A nice entry. Graphic and music are nice. Very innovative. I had difficulty determining what was going on on screen and feel a more contrasting color palette would have been nicer. Good work!

Cryovat says ...
Sep 16, 2013 @ 11:47pm

The music was great and gave me a strong Touhou vibe. The gameplay has interesting elements but is a bit on the chaotic side. Interesting piece. :)

TobiasW says ...
Sep 17, 2013 @ 12:21am

Yo Jiggawatt! Sorry for taking so long after promising you that I'd play your game. Life happened, and then I answered to everybody who rated me, and that, uh, took some time.

The graphics are great (although I'm not too sure about the color palette) and the music is awesome and fits perfectly!

The gameplay is super clever and it took me forever to even understand half of it, and a lot of switching between the game and the documentation. That moment when stuff you read again finally starts to make sense, haha.

Why is the displayed ingame name "set_shot", but at the parameter list it's "shottype"? Same with "defense" and "neutralize" - I think. (Everything is happening a bit to fast, and I'm not good at mapping colors to functions.) It took me a bit to understand the parameter list because of those inconsistencies and well, because it's hard to observe and understand the changes in the parameter list while everything is shooting at me.

I think I could've enjoyed the game a lot more if
a) the blocks were distinct symbols symbolizing its function (my brain is better at mapping symbols than colors) and
b) everything was a lot slower with more space to navigate.

And maybe some test stage where I can experiment and learn without pressure. Bear in mind though that I'm already bad at normal sidescrolling shooters, I'm probably not the intended audience anyway.

So in conclusion, it's clever and innovative, but much too hard for me.

TobiasW says ...
Sep 17, 2013 @ 12:26am

Oh, what I really like though is how (and I hope I'm not wrong) the parameters double as hit points, timer and active functions that you can change by letting it time out. Much too hard for me to think about strategically in the alotted time, but pretty cool!

(I'm probably wrong with something, am I? Aargh.)

Jiggawatt says ...
Sep 17, 2013 @ 12:38am

Mm, it's not really an inconsistency that there are two different names for the blocks. After all, each type can be used as both a function and a parameter. In fact, I thought making that distinction would make it more clear what is going on, but the learning curve is steep either way. Hey, I wanted to make a hectic game and succeeded, how about that.

If I were to make this more accessible in the post-LD version, I guess there's no choice but to make a tutorial of some sort (despite my allergy to tutorials). Like something where you're invincible and the blocks come one by one, and every time you shoot one, you'd get like a pop-up describing what happened. I don't know, I just like making games, I don't like explaining them.

But it's possible to learn. Whatever goes in my head while playing is quite directly dumped into the docs, and it's all you need to appreciate the depth. Which there is a surprising amount of - no two matches feel the same. Hence "situational bullet hell".

Thanks for the insightful comment as usual, I get more kicks out of that than from ratings.

Jedi says ...
Sep 17, 2013 @ 12:52am

I think I get it, but I'm not quite sure. I'm pretty sure it's awesome though!

I really like how the game restarts with no fuss, but it would be nice to get a little more feedback on death, and maybe to see the highscore in the top left corner or something, because once you die your score is gone immediately.

Good job!

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