Ludum Dare 29 — April 25th-28th Weekend — Theme: Beneath the Surface

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Rocket Mole

by Zathnic - Jam Entry

You are a mole. You really like to dig. You like digging so much that you can't even stop digging - but that means that you'll probably end up crashing into something eventually (like a deadly polygon), so you'll need to use the friendly polygons to bounce off them in a different angle and thus avoid the deadly polygons.

I originally planned to add some coins to make the gameplay more interesting, but I couldn't get them to work because of layering issues. So instead I made that you don't get any points when moving over a place where you've already been, because otherwise you could just search for a fitting spot and gain infinite points by doing nothing. It definitely helps making the whole thing feel more like a game!

I maybe could't do everything I wanted with this game, but I still think the main gameplay mechanics are really unique and interesting, even if they may take some time getting used to :)


Programs used
Code: Java (eclipse), no libraries except EasyOgg for playing music
Art: Paint, Paint.NET
Music: LMMS (I made this in the two days before the LD and it's actually the first song I've ever made :P)

Downloads and Links




WeaselZone says ...
Apr 28, 2014 @ 3:39am

Got no errors. Took me a bit, to figure out that the green ones were the deadly polygons. Really enjoyed the music!

hexabeast says ...
Apr 28, 2014 @ 5:31pm

I like to dig! But the game is hard and the controls are not really intuitive (impossible to rotate 90° for exemple)
But I like it

Jacksendary says ...
Apr 28, 2014 @ 5:33pm

Very Enjoyable, didn't get that the green thingies was deadly at first but after a while it was cool. I like that you need to use the rocks to turn around (which I at that adds an additional layer of difficulty you need to take into account.

dalbinblue says ...
Apr 28, 2014 @ 9:00pm

I also had no issues, and when I profiled it the game only used about 200~300MB so you should be okay in most cases. Enjoyed the game but the controls are difficult, though I was never good at tank style controls. I though perhaps of having the level rotate around you instead of turning, but bounces might be too disorienting. In any case fun game, though I'm that good (only about 300 points in my best run).

ComicSans says ...
Apr 29, 2014 @ 2:53pm

I like the mechanic of using your bounce angle combined with your ability to steer somewhat. I made a few strategic bounces, but never got good at it. The green rocks on the brown dirt are a little hard for the colorblind to see.

lajos says ...
Apr 29, 2014 @ 3:18pm

Fun game! I had trouble with the controls, maybe it would work better with the mouse? (mole oriented to the mouse cursor)

JimmyBoh says ...
Apr 29, 2014 @ 3:42pm

Overall I think it's a great concept, just change the texture for deadly polygons and add the coins back in! Maybe a charge-up ability to make quicker turns?

Apr 30, 2014 @ 9:14am

Really nice concept!! I like the idea and the mechanics of having to hit the rock to change direction. The only thing is that the bouncing felt a bit random and it's frustrating not being able to change the course of the mole in those cases...

kevincorrigan says ...
Apr 30, 2014 @ 7:01pm

Nice Game, gets pretty hard,I liked that you bounced off the rocks but I agree that the controls could be better.

May 1, 2014 @ 3:35pm

Cute game. Interesting idea with the bouncing/direction thing, though tricky to get the hand of it. The music is good.

Boberro says ...
May 2, 2014 @ 8:17pm

I like digging, I like digging, I like digging and I'd like to dig...

pkenney says ...
May 3, 2014 @ 9:07pm

I beat it! It took me maybe like 15 minutes or a bit more.

The key realization was the little green "forward" vector indicator, and realizing the way that my control came completely from that thing, and that I would reset that thing every time I impacted. I didn't pick up on this at ALL for the first three or four times.

You have a very interesting mechanic here, but even better you made it so it was very easy for me to retry when I died, and to experiment. Also it seemed randomly generated every time so it was always a bit of a different puzzle each run.

The best moment for me was when I didn't die, but I did get stuck in an annoying cluster of "friendly" polygons that was more like a prison. Well, I decided to hit "R" the button I can hit to respawn after I die... and sure enough, it restarted me!

So I have to say good job respecting the player's time and having that tight retry loop that allowed me to enjoy experimenting and failing just as much as success.

In fact, I was almost sorry to see the bottom at 256.

Great job.

If I try to think of something constructive but critical to say, I am hard-pressed, but I guess I would say this: I didn't do as much forward planning as I think your game system would allow. I am far from certain if it's a good idea, but if it were my game I would experiment with zooming the camera out a tiny bit to allow for more thinking ahead. If that worked, my next experiment would be to juice up the speed slightly, or at least to add a speed increase choice to the options.

Solid compact little entry, nice work.

kristof says ...
May 4, 2014 @ 7:59pm

Good idea with the "mirror" mechanic. Nice little game.

danbo says ...
May 10, 2014 @ 11:51am

Very interesting notion once you get past the initial awkwardness. I would likely increase the range you can rotate by, not fully but so that you can progress slightly even while facing the wrong way (perhaps 100 degrees in either direction?)

Very solid entry, usually I find Java games have all sorts of difficulties but this worked just fine!

Jason Lay says ...
May 13, 2014 @ 7:15pm

Controls were rough.

stvr says ...
May 13, 2014 @ 8:14pm

The bounce mechanic is interesting, even if you do play as a naked baby. ;)

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