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

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Heaving of the Depths

by Christina Antoinette Neofotistou - Jam Entry

Heaving of the Depths is now in active development.

If you're interested, follow
http://heavingdepths.wordpress.com/ or https://twitter.com/castpixel

___
This was created by my fear of undersea shadows when I go swimming. I hate moss, rocks, seaweed, big fish, anything large under my feet. So I tried to make a top-view RPG in a world that is all water.

Join Cod and Sunny, two mercenary women, who go on adventures on their ship. Until one day...

The creatures that lie below the surface are beginning to emerge.

An RPG with procedurally generated stuff, from collectible coins to encounters. Not that it matters, story takes first seat!

I worked alone on this, art (not really pixel art, most of the time, due to rushing, mostly oekaki) game design and code. I'll be posting a post-mortem shortly!
Please tell me what you think and how I can improve on the experience.

Christina Antoinette Neofotistou ( christina.neofotistou@gmail.com) find me on http://castpixel.tumblr.com/

____

Edit: Wow what an easy mistake! My code was spaghetti near the end, and I was too tired, which resulted in a broken game where you can't do anything. Fixed it, and the game runs as it should: i.e. the story mode is fine. No audio.

Downloads and Links


Ratings

Coolness100%
#32Graphics(Jam)4.47
#145Overall(Jam)3.57
#196Mood(Jam)3.46
#209Humor(Jam)3.01
#210Fun(Jam)3.27
#243Theme(Jam)3.42
#362Innovation(Jam)3.03
#663Audio(Jam)1.54

Comments

pichifino says ...
Apr 29, 2014 @ 2:07am

Looks awesome, really good job
But it gets old quickly cause there is no much to do

Make more =D

TobiasW says ...
Apr 29, 2014 @ 5:09pm

A pity that you couldn't finish it - the graphics and the minimal animations look super nice!

Yword says ...
May 1, 2014 @ 5:31am

The graphics is very good, and the battle scene is pretty cool! Well done.

ehtd says ...
May 1, 2014 @ 5:38am

I really liked sailing and navigating the world

VictoryGarden says ...
May 1, 2014 @ 5:57am

The graphics for this are gorgeous! You've got some fantastic visual direction here. I especially like the combat animation of the squids--they have a real flair to them. Unfortunately I was disappointed by my EXP surpassing the limits of the level-up bar and ended up quitting after picking up the sailing upgrade.

Text was a bit dense, though--you might consider breaking it up into multiple windows, and perhaps having more brightly-colored portraits. As it is right now it looks a bit like a wanted poster aesthetic, which is cool but at this point pretty difficult to read.

There's a lot of original mechanics here, as well. It somehow feels different from your typical combat RPG. I'm not quite sure how you'll be able to balance picking up gold from both combats and the world map, but it's interesting and new. I'd love to see a full game with these characters, mechanics, and visuals--they're awesome.

Thanks for the experience! Good luck with your post-compo upgrades :]

rvmook says ...
May 1, 2014 @ 5:57am

Awesome graphics, but combat gets repetitive and feels a bit random. I kind of missed a map to see what was going on. Also, the end was a bit abrupt with Sunny falling off the boat and all. Maybe it's a bug but I didn't really get what was happening.

Nic V. says ...
May 1, 2014 @ 6:02am

Love the aesthetic!

BlazeCell says ...
May 1, 2014 @ 6:13am

I loved the feel of the game, but progression-wise, there didn't seem to be any. I got all the way up to level 4 but I didn't appear to be any stronger than when I was level 1. I dealt the same amount and received the same amount of damage. Unless I was meant spend money on a weapon somewhere I don't see how I would ever be able to save Sunny. Additionally, both the experience bar and the enemy health bars seemed to be inaccurate and the bars would fill or empty past their limits.

May 1, 2014 @ 6:15am

There seems to be a bug where your stats get reset after every battle. After a level up, the character would do much higher damage to the octopi, but would then go back to level 1 values for the next battle.

No audio is a shame, too; the game's atmosphere is just missing that little kick to feel amazing.

Still, well done on the graphics. Definitely got that early-90's vibe going. And ignoring the above issue, you've built a pretty neat engine.

FrameMatt says ...
May 1, 2014 @ 6:21am

Nice graphics!

May 1, 2014 @ 6:23am

I love how the sprite were made and animated. Perhaps you can improve the game with some items or equipment for characters or the ship. Good luck on polishing your game. :)

GresponApps says ...
May 1, 2014 @ 6:25am

Awesome but my exp got stuck at 3 and I couldn't pass the 3 octopus team..

Lerc says ...
May 1, 2014 @ 6:30am

Really good effort, Story and game work together well. Had to size the browser window smaller to get a decent framerate.

Ditto says ...
May 1, 2014 @ 7:00am

This looks amazing, the fights are awesome with the animations and all! It quickly becomes a lot of just going around with no aim though!

wallmasterr says ...
May 1, 2014 @ 7:05am

Nice love the artstyle , reminds me of a gba game with an impresionist style. Couldt get verry far though didint figure out how to do more danage kept beating the 1 octopus but couldnt do the 3

GertJohnny says ...
May 1, 2014 @ 7:06am

That art style is fantastic. All the small touches like the transparency beneath the clouds and the distortion on the underwater elements made it feel really slick. If you keep working on it, I would totally play it.

On a more constructive note: the battle system did feel like it needed some more depth. It got a bit repetitive, and after a few battles I was more interested in seeing possible new artwork than actually fighting the battles.

_Rilem says ...
May 1, 2014 @ 7:22am

At one point I got stuck In a shop (I had 2 shop windows open and I could only close one, bug?). :( I had to start over. >.<

That being said, the artwork is gorgeous. A very unique and striking style of pixel art. It's very beautiful. It really helps set the mood for the game.
You should definitely continue working on this and add some sounds. :P

A minor nitpick is that the controls where a bit awkward X and Q are nowhere near eachother on my keyboard. But the game was turn based so it didn't matter that much. :P

All in all, great job. :)

Ludipe says ...
May 1, 2014 @ 7:33am

I really loved the art in this game, it reminded me to wind waker. The gameplay should be upgraded and it needs to be a bit more polished but the art is simply great.

Catman says ...
May 1, 2014 @ 8:19am

Looks really great! The animation of the sea is fantastic, and the style reminds me a lot of a GBA version of Wind Waker. Great job!

tomvert says ...
May 1, 2014 @ 8:58am

Very good art style, about what could be improved, well I didn't read the first text too well and didn't know I had to go to the gate, you could add an objective arrow (or something more subtle). Anyway impressive job !

MrShortee says ...
May 1, 2014 @ 9:40am

I'm Lvl4 and still make the same damage and can't progress the story :(
Otherwise an awesome game, I'd love to see a finished version.

Jod says ...
May 1, 2014 @ 9:52am

Sadly, once I got to level 2 my exp didn't raise anymore.
Loved the graphics and story though, really good atmosphere!

Kyle Parsons says ...
May 1, 2014 @ 10:09am

Great art and really cool idea. Similar to my own game actually. Too much grinding! I had a really hard time grasping the sailing controls too.

Lama says ...
May 1, 2014 @ 10:24am

like your pixel art

miwuc says ...
May 1, 2014 @ 10:33am

Wow that's an incredibly ambitious game for 48h and with a very impressive result!
The art is beautiful of course. Can't speak that much of the gameplay because I seem to have hit some bugs like other players: I'm at level 3, my xp doesn't increase anymore and I still can't beat the 3 octopuses to free my friend.
In any case the world is beautifully rendered an the attention to detail is incredible. Well done!

May 1, 2014 @ 10:35am

Everyone thank you, I just fixed the XP bug, the 3 blacktopuses should be beatable at about level 3 now.

Thanks for everyone's comments. Keep them coming!

For everyone who said it's like Windwaker, I have three words:

.
.
.
.
.
.
.
you're right!

As you'll see in my timelapse video, I constantly went looking for windwaker screenshots as reference! :)

Ithildin says ...
May 1, 2014 @ 11:05am

I loved the art style and the overall concept. I can easily picture it expanded into a more ambitious game. Congrats! :)

D2FXRayG says ...
May 1, 2014 @ 12:39pm

Graphics are awesome, I especially like the wee boat. would have been nice with some audio but still I like it!

May 1, 2014 @ 1:50pm

Very awesome graphics. I like that the encounters are creepy shapes under the water instead of just being random. Would be cool to see it expanded!

flavio says ...
May 1, 2014 @ 1:50pm

It took me untill level 13 to find the beast
Level 9 to beat the 3 guys
Anyway I loved the graphics and the mood
It was repetitive, but what can you do more in so little time ? :)
Too bad also that all the shops are selling the same thing. All that money .. :)

Well done

Sparrow says ...
May 1, 2014 @ 2:06pm

I can relate to that, I have the same fear of the ocean. :(
Game looks delicious, gameplay was a bit awkward but fun. Is the blue screen the end after defeating the big monster? Could use a win state screen or an 'The adventure continues in part 2' kinda thing.

GarethIW says ...
May 1, 2014 @ 2:39pm

Great job with the art, it really brought the world to life. Highly recommend getting it to a finished state post-LD!

TeamFlare says ...
May 1, 2014 @ 2:42pm

For a team entry this allready would be awesome, but when I read that you pulled this of alone...
!Best graphics I've seen so far this LD!
Now the critique :
Is it just me or don't you have any sound?
Progression and what to do next is abit unclear.
But that's all.
Anyway, great great achievement :)

mrexcessive says ...
May 1, 2014 @ 6:18pm

Hi. I like the art style, looks crazy big on laptop but great impression. Killed a giant squid. Nice one!

Oye Beto says ...
May 2, 2014 @ 2:47am

I beat the toad and got to a blue screen.

At first I didn't know I had to press "x" to close dialogs, I though I was supposed to click it. Also I though the moving shadows in the sea were cloud shadows.

Controls are very disperse on the keyboard. I have to look at the keyboard to search the key I'll press.

Grindig is a big part of your game so maybe you should have focus on battles and ditch the store (collect stuff that makes you faster instead of buying upgrades?).

conormn says ...
May 2, 2014 @ 2:18pm

Love the graphics, really great style overall!

May 2, 2014 @ 3:38pm

So simple, so perfect. Add an indication that you've leveled on the post-combat screen, though.

May 2, 2014 @ 9:56pm

Graphically this is fantastic. The ripple of the water on what is beneath is a lovely touch. I do think it misses out not having the audio, but time constraints are pretty tight on this!

May 3, 2014 @ 1:57am

YARrrR PIRATES.
Promising! But battle was quite messy!
I did really enjoy the dialogue and style.

Hyoga-3D says ...
May 3, 2014 @ 2:29am

Awesome graphics, it reminded me of donkey kong a little. But the battle felt a little strange. Good entry.

DrPrettyPatty says ...
May 3, 2014 @ 2:47am

Great game! I wish it was finished, but I loved the art, details (like the clouds fading out) and characters! The battle system could have used more love, but you made an RPG in 72 hours so that's definitely forgivable :)

Cake&Code says ...
May 3, 2014 @ 3:52am

Beautiful graphics as always!!! :) I enjoyed sailing around and exploring the area. I wasn't 100% sure what I was doing or in what order I should do things, since I got my butt kicked A LOT. The first time I played I kept losing all my battles and didnt know what to do with my coins since I only had 2 chests full, but I figured out what to do the second time around. Great job <3

Adrian says ...
May 3, 2014 @ 8:01am

Very good ambiance, funny story with those two girls, and the gameplay is pretty clean. There are still some weird bugs of course (like, when you fight a blacktopus, it is moved a bit to the top left, and you can fight it again right after combat), but it is well polished overall.

The biggest problem with RPGs is that they need a lot of content, and it's hard to create a lot of content in a Jam. It makes the game feel a bit repetitive, but still very good for a Jam.

GrooveMan says ...
May 3, 2014 @ 7:11pm

This feels really ambitious for a solo project, great job! Some of the coolest games are born from personal experiences, and I'm happy you turned something you fear into something creative. I really enjoyed the cute little romance subplot, too.

If I was to change anything, I think your key choices are all over the place. All the action buttons could be just mapped to Space, and X to cancel.

savethejets1 says ...
May 4, 2014 @ 12:14am

I like that the clouds go transparent when you're under them. That's attention to detail :D

spotco says ...
May 4, 2014 @ 12:39am

Really ambitious gamejam idea, would have been 100% better with music
(Even simple stuff like sfxr for sounds and cgmusic for music would have worked).

Crashed for me after I beat the toadfish.

May 4, 2014 @ 2:09am

My damage kept resetting (like someone else mentioned).

But this game has wonderful charm. I love the rippling ocean and the shadows of sea monsters are really unsettling.

Obviously the time constraints limited you, but I would have enjoyed more of the ocean floor coming to life. I accidentally sailed over a sea trench at some point, I expected to be attacked by a giant eel, and had a moment of adrenaline... but nothing actually happened.

In any case. I think there's a really rich space to explore here.

erdos says ...
May 4, 2014 @ 5:02am

Oh man I played for ages but when I went in the shopp I pressed enter to buy but it took me to http://www.whatbrowser.org/ I think because the page automatically selects that link as it's the first on the page (i looked at the source). Very cool game though, really nice art!

SonnyBone says ...
May 4, 2014 @ 8:38pm

I love your art as usual. A great start to a great adventure. You should definitely keep working on this one. :D

eldog says ...
May 5, 2014 @ 7:57pm

Great sense of adventure in this game, felt like a seafarer.

Assume the bit after the toadfish was the end as it just went to a blue screen - I wanted more (a good thing right)!

I like the battle scenes, some lovely artwork there.

May 6, 2014 @ 8:29am

Just gorgeous and impressive work for 72hrs! Too bad there's no audio...

nonentheless says ...
May 6, 2014 @ 3:30pm

Looking really nice

Waterman7 says ...
May 6, 2014 @ 5:19pm

Great art! You should definitely keep working on this.

Thorig says ...
May 6, 2014 @ 6:07pm

Fun little game with AMAZING graphics!

Lyje says ...
May 6, 2014 @ 8:13pm

Yeah, totally love the art of all of your games! Will definitely check out your future entries :)

JTJones853 says ...
May 7, 2014 @ 4:29am

Beautiful game!

May 7, 2014 @ 12:14pm

The controls are a bit spread out, but you created an interesting world that looks great. I think the shadows under the sea being random encounters is a cool idea

Anoarith says ...
May 7, 2014 @ 12:18pm

Wow, all these graphics, that's crazy *0* ! It's too bad that there's a lack of gameplay but you did a considerable job !

I will look at your previous Ludum entries :) looks cool !

bitserum says ...
May 7, 2014 @ 1:34pm

Good job again, yes the code is a bit buggy, but everything else, the graphics, the design, the animation, the feel and text are so fun to experience.
This could be perfect if it weren't for those meddling bugs.

radmars says ...
May 8, 2014 @ 1:40am

Amazing art as usual! Movement felt a bit funky, I think the turning maybe could be a bit faster & slow deceleration. The interface was a bit weird at times, I somehow accidentally skipped the dialog twice in a row after losing the 3 blacktopus fight. Also as other people said it's a bit grindy, either a smaller area or a minimap could help with the pacing/exploration. Still this is an impressively fleshed out game for an LD (I wasn't even expecting the RPG battles!), great job!

Zerkruemler says ...
May 8, 2014 @ 9:26am

Very nice ideas. I also love the stories, but seems to be broken somehow, or unclear how it works. When I level up, I don't get any stronger. I am now level 8 and cannot fight the 3 blocktopus. I would love it with sound and good balancing.

romandtom says ...
May 9, 2014 @ 11:41am

Loved your graphics and the "beneath the surface" idea! ;)

shadow64 says ...
May 9, 2014 @ 6:06pm

The graphics are nicely done. I do think that it could have more going on, but 72 hours is a short period of time. My one complaint is that when you kill things they seem to get a final shot. (As in, no health left, hit you, disappear)

If it's a bug, you should definitely fix that. If it's a choice, I'm not into it. It just comes off as unfair.

I also think this game would be so much better with audio. Even if all you had was a "shoosh" sound of the ship moving through the waves. The silence just seems awkward in such a brilliantly vibrant setting.

Thanks for making/sharing and best of luck!

May 10, 2014 @ 1:10pm

That was fun. Ran around, leveled up, killed the Toadfish. I love the art. This is a great job for 72 hours and you have all the elements here to expand on and make this a real game. I really enjoyed steering around and looking at all the art. Great job!

ThingoStudios says ...
May 10, 2014 @ 5:29pm

The ending. Did you drown?? I'm kind of confused here.

But the graphics were gorgeous and the characters were pretty likable. I could beat the game at Level 4, so I'm assuming the dificulty curve is right.

ren says ...
May 11, 2014 @ 12:58am

wow, very impressive entry for 72 hours. I like the water effects and your overall attention to detail on a lot of things, like the clouds going transparent when you're under them. The graphics are great, you're a very talented illustrator.

kind of feels empty without any music or sound, also the lifebars occasionally fell out of place during battle.s

May 11, 2014 @ 4:21pm

Fantastic graphics :)

TobiasW says ...
May 12, 2014 @ 12:10am

Oh, so the previous build was broken? I'm glad I checked the page again! The story was fun to follow, and I hope you plan more after that cliffhanger! (And why did leaving the place mean leaving Sunny there? Can't they go together?)

tehryanx says ...
May 15, 2014 @ 8:19pm

after playing this i was motivated to check out the rest of your stuff. Awesome entries!

GFM says ...
May 15, 2014 @ 10:24pm

I don't know if I finished it, but I beat the toadfish and there was a animation... afterward, I only got a dark blue screen and nothing else (running Win7-64bits and Google Chrome 34.0.1847.137 m).

I really like the graphics! It's kind of crude (as in not overly detailed and without clean shapes, like... circles and ellipses with pixel level attention), but this gave the game it's own charm. The world map is actually great! But, overall, I really liked your graphics. :)

Starting with the boss was cool, I had them a motive to keep playing (must defeat that bastard fish!). But then it was only grinding. OK, I had to rescue my mate, but even for that grinding was required... There wasn't much else to the game, which is a pity!
Also, after buying the Speedy Sail there wasn't anything else to spend on and, since I had to grind in the first place (and you earn so much more from it), why should I bother to go after the coins over the sea? Weapons or more ship upgrades would be great!

Also the story was kind of... I don't know? I mean, there was so few of it that I don't know how I feel about it. It could be great, with that thing emerging, but I can't say anything as of now.

I understand, though, that time is really limited during a jam and we often aren't able to fully complete what we first wanted...
It could be a great game, so keep working on it! =D

Now, an idea I had. This game could really use a combo system. Something like Chrono Cross battles, were you have a amount of actions per turn and each attack uses up some actions, with stronger attacks needing more points. I wanted to keep slashing the octopuses, so I though of "combo-ing"... XD

Garris says ...
May 16, 2014 @ 12:27am

Fun game with a good story! Kept me interested the whole way! Good job!

NightShadow0 says ...
May 16, 2014 @ 3:06pm

How interesting, i wasn't expecting a proper RPG in a game jam. The artwork and animations are really polished, it's just begging for some audio. Impressive work overall, looking forward to its development!

gre says ...
May 16, 2014 @ 9:04pm

Awesome graphics, nice pixel art.
Nice game mecanism.

Dietrich Epp says ...
May 18, 2014 @ 6:56am

Great graphics, but I couldn't get past level 3 to fight the three octopuses and I felt cheated when I accidentally bought a second speedy sail. Lots of potential here!

May 18, 2014 @ 1:53pm

people have already pointed out things that you could work with, so i'll just go ahead and say that i really liked your art and story!

madmaw says ...
May 19, 2014 @ 9:01am

Also crashed for me after beating the toad fish, but it was really excellent up until then

AhNinniah says ...
May 19, 2014 @ 10:57am

Really enjoyed playing it!

ENDESGA says ...
Dec 8, 2014 @ 4:43am

Love this game still to this day!

KinGabe says ...
Nov 30, 2016 @ 4:02pm

The link is not working, giving a download of index.html instead of entering the game.

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