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

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Ablate

by VDOgamez - Jam Entry

The sky is falling, and the ground won't be happy to see it. Dig into the ground for resources, and to hide in bunkers from the bombs falling out of the sky. But you can't rest long, because the surface of the world is ablating away under the constant assault. Build energy sources to power up your core and gain the capacity to dig faster, and eventually escape the onslaught altogether.

Controls:
- WASD/Arrow Keys to move
- Space to jump
- Shift while trying to move into a tile to dig
- Up and down while on the side of a wall to climb
- Click on a tile near your character to open the construction menu

Gameplay notes:
- In order to increase your energy meter, stand near power sources (bottom of the construction menu). You win when it gets full, and in addition it increases your dig speed. You NEED to take time to increase your dig speed, because otherwise you won't be able to dig through thicker layers of rock quickly enough to escape the bombs! Once the energy bar is at 1/5th you'll dig through gravel as fast as you could in dirt, and the same applies to rock at 2/5ths of the bar. Further energy continues to increase the multiplier.
- The intended gameplay is to collect resources, then build a bunker with a power source underground, then wait until it can't hold off the bombs any longer and escape.
- Bombs do damage through a propagating blast wave from the point of impact. If you give the wave more areas to flow, it will do less damage to each individual tile.
- Wall reinforcements and bracings allow blast waves to travel through walls from your roof to your floor, further distributing the damage to the roof.

Bug note:
- This may be fixed, but don't touch the edges of the level, because occasionally they will trap you forever.


This game was inspired by the idea of Motherload with a base building mechanic. It was originally intended as a normal submission instead of a jam game, but I didn't actually give myself time to start learning how to use Unity or C# until after Ludum Dare started. This and my getting sidetracked watching other people making games made me about a day late, in addition to me having to rewrite the entire tile system halfway in because it turns out that Unity can't support hundreds of simulated game objects at once. Theoretically this new version can simulate the physics on millions of tiles at once, but the actual level size here is much smaller because I didn't see a use for that. I had a lot of fun designing the physics system. There were a couple of things I had planned to implement but didn't have time to: right now blocks can stand in the middle of the air unsupported, though this could easily be fixed. Also, the player wasn't supposed to be a floating orb, but a robot spider thing, but I didn't have time to learn to animate legs. Have fun playing with this game, and please tell me if you find anything that breaks the game or makes it frustrating!

Downloads and Links


Ratings

Coolness51%
#232Theme(Jam)3.44
#405Innovation(Jam)2.94
#558Fun(Jam)2.63
#633Overall(Jam)2.71
#701Graphics(Jam)2.30
#702Mood(Jam)2.19

Comments

torcado194 says ...
Apr 29, 2014 @ 1:35am

seems very in-depth and well built! I lost interest pretty quickly though for taking a while to dig. nice job though!

greysphere says ...
Apr 29, 2014 @ 1:38am

I love collecting stuff and building things. Faster digging please!

kmakai says ...
Apr 29, 2014 @ 1:47am

Really cool concept and great job implementing it given this was your first time using Unity! I kept digging down to avoid getting hit and got stuck in an area without any important resources, and it took too long to get through the gravel surrounding me. Still fun though, good job!

omaha says ...
Apr 29, 2014 @ 1:52am

Faster digging would be very helpful. After a while I couldn't tell if the countdown was complete or if I was waiting for something else to happen.

Marjie62 says ...
Apr 29, 2014 @ 2:02am

Took me a few minutes to catch on. It is possible to just dig straight down for a long time and not build anything, which at first I thought was boring, but when I understood the victory condition (build power sources and charge up to full) and when the pace of the bombing got a little quicker, it was quite exhilarating. I agree that the digging was to slow, and the game was slow to start, but that's a balancing issue

VDOgamez says ...
Apr 29, 2014 @ 2:11am

Yeah, I understand the criticism about dig speed. In retrospect this entire game's pretty slow. Half the game is digging slowly and the other half is sitting around a fire waiting for your dig speed to increase. If I go back to this to flesh it out more I'll look into rebalancing dig speed, but it's kind of the worst thing to have to change because everything else is balanced according to the dig speed! Oh well, good to know.

Snicklodocus says ...
Apr 29, 2014 @ 4:07am

Nice game! Looks simple but has quite a lot of depth. I do agree it is a bit slow but the bombardments help keep up the pressure.

john_conder9 says ...
Apr 29, 2014 @ 6:32am

Pretty good submission in terms of technical feats. I like the idea but ultimately lost interest as I couldn't really figure it out and the digging got to the point where it was just sooooo slow. I found no wood or rocks, so I couldn't make anything.

It loooked like I should be able to dig the background to get rocks, but that didn't work. The bombardment idea is really awesome and this is a pretty sweet and innovative idea for this type of game, with more polish I think it would be awesome. But personally, I see no reason to dig so slow :( Good job!

VDOgamez says ...
Apr 29, 2014 @ 1:37pm

I'm actually wondering now, for anyone who thinks the digging is too slow, are you talking about the digging in dirt, or the gravel and rocks? Because if people don't like how slow the rock digging is it might be at least partly a tutorial/interface failure. Part of the idea of the game is that if you just start digging straight down without occasionally stopping and building bunkers you'll be going too slow to get anywhere.

rojo says ...
Apr 29, 2014 @ 8:02pm

Nice concept. The digging becomes a bit monotonous after awhile. I think a couple animations would go a long way toward solving that, though I know you said in your description that you had to cut them due to time.

evilseanbot says ...
Apr 29, 2014 @ 10:10pm

Always great to see people trying different things. The starting situation is sometimes such that it seems pretty hard to win.

I'd recommend not using the Shift button as something people press repeatedly as for a lot of people that turns on shift keys.

Apr 29, 2014 @ 10:56pm

I didn't catch the concept of recharging at first until I read some of the comments here.
It's actually very interesting!
I had to give up because of the dig speed and I couldn't seem to find the materials needed to build the furnace.
The concept has great potential though.

Cirrial says ...
Apr 30, 2014 @ 2:20pm

I keep dying and I don't know how to fix that! Digging speed concerns as mentioned, although I understand everything is balanced in terms of it. I am really bad at this game but I still like the ideas.

ChuiGum says ...
May 5, 2014 @ 3:32am

Love the graphics, impressive for 72 hours

Chaoseed says ...
May 9, 2014 @ 2:24am

Interesting, I like the idea! I wasn't sure how to balance time between digging and building...Although, maybe if I practiced for a while I'd be better. I didn't really bother building a base because I didn't find any uranium, so there was no way to make a reactor. So, I just kept digging downward. (Hm, the first time I played, I saw reactors in the construction menu, even though I couldn't build them. But on subsequent playthroughs I don't see them at all.) So it's a neat game, I feel like it's missing something, but pretty cool anyway!

607 says ...
May 18, 2014 @ 3:20pm

I played through it 3 times, and still didn't really get what I had to do. It does look very well-thought out though, so maybe I'm just stupid. Some kind of tutorial would've been nice though.

tenpn says ...
May 19, 2014 @ 2:15pm

Nice idea, but no idea whether my tactics are correct until it's too late

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