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

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StrataGEM

by ActionRemix - Jam Entry

UPDATE: Tutorial by Crefossus

HIGH SCORES: https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/115izARk-r9MMbVc_KFVNMbvRLrPSoKv1CPNxkKpICuQ/edit#gid=0

WARNING: Near vertical learning curve

Rotate the sphere by dragging
Select a hexagon with left click
Then right click a tile to move tiles like a Rubik's Cube
-Right click selected tile to twist neighbors clockwise
-Right click on selected tile's neighbor to slide line of tiles in direction from selected tile to neighbor tile
(Note: Cannot slide a line containing pentagons)

Form rings with tiles of a single color (red, yellow, or blue) and ring layers will be removed:
-Around a hexagon score points
-Around a pentagon to remove all layers on pentagon

A dark layer is added to a pentagon every time you slide or twist tiles
GAME OVER if all pentagons are full of layers

TIPS:
Some colors are more valuable than others
Dark tiles cannot be removed
Surround pentagon tiles as they fill up
Press Esc for options menu

Music: http://freemusicarchive.org/music/Fancy_Mike/Year_One/09_Fancy_Mike_-_Superman_Silenx_Rework
Special thanks to OMC Games for hosting the web version

Downloads and Links


Ratings

Coolness100%
#27Innovation(Jam)3.98
#128Overall(Jam)3.61
#178Audio(Jam)3.49
#276Mood(Jam)3.25
#304Fun(Jam)3.11
#357Graphics(Jam)3.43
#430Theme(Jam)3.05
#602Humor(Jam)1.91

Comments

ActionRemix says ...
Apr 29, 2014 @ 2:33am

My high score is 825. I want you to literally beat me at my own game. ;)

petey123567 says ...
Apr 29, 2014 @ 4:59am

Math! Hecks yes!

moonmagic says ...
Apr 29, 2014 @ 5:00am

This was very soothing to play. Beautiful shape orb. I am terrible at this.

Crefossus says ...
Apr 29, 2014 @ 5:02am

I really like this game. The initial learning curve was steep but the controls are silky smooth. The music is relaxing/fitting.
http://i.imgur.com/1bBOfJ9.png 1575 :D

Simon@LD says ...
Apr 29, 2014 @ 7:44am

Reminds me a bit about one of the Rubiks puzzles! A very original look on the theme, and the best music track i've come across so far :) Well done!

DMinsky says ...
Apr 29, 2014 @ 3:57pm

Super

friken says ...
Apr 29, 2014 @ 4:19pm

Nice work. First 4 rounds playing 500 was my high-score. very nice mind mending puzzle. I'll play a more :)

tehryanx says ...
Apr 29, 2014 @ 5:38pm

1200. Pretty interesting. I'm sure I'll come back :)

RadioLemon says ...
Apr 29, 2014 @ 10:41pm

Very difficult to play, I managed 100 score by accident. Nice job on making this, must have took lots of geometry knowledges

Shigor says ...
Apr 29, 2014 @ 10:42pm

This is great, first game I've bookmarked for more tries, but... why there's no possibility of restart after game over save refreshing the page?

MSaul says ...
Apr 29, 2014 @ 10:45pm

The music fit really well, nice game i love it.

ruerob says ...
Apr 29, 2014 @ 10:46pm

Interesting game. Nice slowing down sounds. I have really enjoyed playing.

ActionRemix says ...
Apr 29, 2014 @ 11:25pm

@Shigor, Yeah, I am sorry for leaving it out. I felt really sick during the submission day and didn't complete a lot of the features I should have included. In-game restarts, visual cues, and destruction/transformation animations were on the agenda. My biggest regret is not providing a tutorial of some sort. The gameplay is extremely abstract and it would have helped to shallow the learning curve.

If I ever decide to iterate on this game, I will definitely include these :)

Apr 29, 2014 @ 11:43pm

Managed 2175.

[IMG]http://i.imgur.com/THE0m0g.png[/IMG]

Great music, very relaxing; definitely a game that makes you think, so good job on your idea and execution. Overall I enjoyed it thoroughly.

I really wish players would have the ability to rotate counter-clockwise instead of just clockwise. One small addition that would help this game go from good to great, IMO.

PIXEL^3 says ...
Apr 30, 2014 @ 7:32am

It's like the Rubiks Cube and Tetris had a baby that decided to be a body builder. I had fun with it even though I'm not good at puzzles. There was enough space for me to just look around for an easy looking solve and grab it. The strategy only netted my 725 pts though. But I couldn't get frustrated with that music playing.

~AlucardX60

Shigor says ...
Apr 30, 2014 @ 9:47am

@ActionRemix - make postcompo version then, just the restart (and maybe some simple bells and whistles if you feel like it) - this game deserves it.

Apr 30, 2014 @ 4:41pm

Really cool! Everything works perfectly, looks good and feels good! :)

rnlf says ...
Apr 30, 2014 @ 9:16pm

Probably the hardest game I played in a long time. And the one spent most time on in this LD. Nice work. Didn't even know you could tessellate a sphere like this. Great job, full Innovation score :)

Apr 30, 2014 @ 9:57pm

This was really great but also really hard. It took me a few attempts just to understand effective ways to slide and rotate for the desired result in the fewest number of turns. I already mentioned it in chat and you acknowledged plans, but I'll mention it again that a pentagon monitor that shows the current status would be very useful--at least a number indicating how many moves remain until total failure.

Therrato says ...
Apr 30, 2014 @ 10:03pm

Fun little game, though the explanation of how the game worked was a bit vague to me in the beginning

7heSAMA says ...
Apr 30, 2014 @ 10:19pm

Good:
-Interesting, fun concept
-Music/colors work well - not the most impressive but they don't grate

Bad (like I said in IRC):
-Kind of confusing to tell how the mechanics work, and what's happening on the other side of the polygon

3/5 overall, which is code for "I don't think this is that good but it be if you continued to work on it"

eugman says ...
Apr 30, 2014 @ 10:56pm

I think it's a really interesting game. It was quite hard for me to get my head around.

phi says ...
May 1, 2014 @ 3:09pm

Easy to understand, intuitive to use, challenging but fun, nice graphics and music; perfect game. To form a full sentence: You rule.

PapyGaragos says ...
May 1, 2014 @ 4:23pm

Nice game, and quiet pleasant to play.

Having some graphical effects here and there would add a lot to the game I think (seeing the tiles move around for exemple)

Ragzouken says ...
May 1, 2014 @ 4:46pm

really pleasant mood - good audio and aesthetic :)

May 2, 2014 @ 1:35am

Amazing game, but I suck at it! D:
Incredibly beautiful, and the soundtrack matches perfectly. Too bad I won't be able to see the different deepness levels the puzzle must have after some turns, wish I was better playing these kind of games! :D

ActionRemix says ...
May 2, 2014 @ 3:49am

Thanks everybody!

PS, I just played my game for the first time since upload. I've improved a bit :)

http://gfycat.com/RequiredSizzlingBarnswallow

ActionRemix says ...
May 2, 2014 @ 3:52am

Massive memory leak. Unity Player was consuming nearly 2 GB by the end of that run.

Fox_in_sox says ...
May 2, 2014 @ 7:34am

I am horrible at rubic's cube and this game is no exception.:D But I like the idea behing it and the execution is well done.

BenW says ...
May 3, 2014 @ 3:43am

I like the concept but I found it frustrating to play because it wasn't apparent which pentagons were filling up where. Also I didn't feel like the different color values added much to the game. In spite of that I still really liked it.

GAFBlizzard says ...
May 3, 2014 @ 5:01am

Good idea, not actually very difficult to pick up. The single most important suggestion I would make is that there be a counter of the number of dark hexagons left. They are hard enough to see as it is, and the game over seems very abrupt (with no retry button) because it is hard to know how many moves you have left. I assume the game can be won if all layers are cleared, but I did not reach that point. I was also not sure what the dark hexagons meant.

riv_roy says ...
May 3, 2014 @ 5:18am

Fun to figure out the patterns of the turns,

Custard Games says ...
May 3, 2014 @ 5:25am

Awesome game. The rules are a bit hard to understand, but it gets fun once you learn them.

poxpoxpox says ...
May 3, 2014 @ 9:04am

Great visuals!

rujo says ...
May 3, 2014 @ 5:34pm

quite difficult but has a lot potential

TeamFlare says ...
May 4, 2014 @ 1:46am

Really nice game, alittle challanging,but that's probably just me :) Good choise of music :)

v3games says ...
May 4, 2014 @ 4:12am

Interesting game. I could see myself playing this in the morning to get my brain functioning as a kind of zen puzzle. The contemplative music set the tone for this game perfectly. I think I'm going to come back and try to beat your high score later :)

mrjohnson22 says ...
May 4, 2014 @ 8:14pm

This a fun, relaxing game. Thanks for not putting in a time limit! It's nice to have time to think about what moves to make.

Once the concept becomes clear, the game is quite fun. With that said, the way the tiles instantly shift when being rotated/slid makes it hard to tell what's happening, and hard to keep track of where tiles are going. Even having something like an icon over the mouse indicating a slide or rotate action would have been helpful. Having cleared tiles fade away rather than instantly disappear would have been helpful in this regard too, as well as maybe a height counter over the black pentagons for giving the player a better idea when they're in danger.

rincewind_cz says ...
May 5, 2014 @ 2:47pm

Ok, I suck at this :-D Only 475.. Interesting game mechanics!

AlbertoSM says ...
May 5, 2014 @ 9:06pm

I can see the intention of this game, but the rules are kinda confusing. Good job with the mechanics tho.

Toby Pinder says ...
May 6, 2014 @ 10:23pm

Really like the theme and gameplay of this. I would have liked to have seen some rotation animation and also a "low score" mode: I'd have preferred if the game were about "completing" the pseudosphere vs the somewhat arbitrary seeming "game over, stop playing now". It would have been a more peaceful experience to suit all skill levels (read: my terrible one!)

Regardless of these though, I had a fun time with this. Reminds me of Hexic crossed with Tetrisphere, rich pedigree indeed :D

lowcade says ...
May 7, 2014 @ 4:36am

Wow, How Complex!
Great mix with mechanical and theme,
A really diferent game, god job!

gre says ...
May 7, 2014 @ 7:35am

Very nice concept! Music is great.
This probably need some more animation and feedback to be a finished game.

Brodenino says ...
May 7, 2014 @ 11:38am

Pretty neat puzzle game, but difficult. It felt like I died too unexpectedly. Maybe some sort of indicator that tells you how close to "danger" you are would be a little bit more guiding. Cool idea nevertheless :)

cageinabird says ...
May 7, 2014 @ 11:43am

I really like the concept behind the game, it's engaging to play, and has the quality of feeling like a toy.

That said, I'm not a fan of the fail-state. Maybe it just needs the ability to rotate counter-clockwise, but I feel it might be more intuitive if removing any hexes lowered the pentagon layers. I didn't know for a long time whether the pentagon layers represented a shared meter or individual ones too.

mortus says ...
May 7, 2014 @ 11:57am

I've got 1250. Love the music, relaxing and quite fitting. When I've noticed that there are layers of non-black tiles I suddenly realized that there's probably much more depth in the game than I've thought before, but it's far beyond my planning ability I'm afraid.

What I didn't like though is the way you limit player's moves. I like how pentagons prevent me from forming rings or from moving a line of hexagons, but making them end game counter is too much. I also don't like that once you've moved a dark layer from a pentagon it becomes very hard to locate one. IMO, the pentagons should always be dark and full-layered and should only stop you from rotating and shifting stuff. Make the game end when another tile reaches the pentagon's higher level instead and make few hexagons spawn randomly across the map instead. They could even fly from off the screen in a nice manner. In that case, you will always be able to locate pentagons, (as they always will be black and other tiles will never be black) and it will be more obvious to a player that he can prolong the game for him.

Of course, that could be just my own problem, but what I was confused about and disliked at first is the inevitability of the end (at first I thought that you have no way of increasing your moves count). No, the game SHOULD be finite, but people love the illusion of endlessness. Player should have some way to push back the inevitable, something to make them believe they can actually play the game forever. By obviously adding more tiles when player does not form a ring and obviously removing them when he does you make him feel that his actions are significant to the world and that he can control the game flow (which, in the end, of course should be only an illusion).

Sorry for the long and probably inconsistent comment (I've written it during a span of an hour of playing your game and discovering and thinking about its mechanics and adding few words every now and then, so no post-editing could fix that), for lots of critics, hope it was constructive. In the end I believe it's a great puzzle, that's why I think and write about it actually. Great work.

mortus says ...
May 7, 2014 @ 3:30pm

Well, I've played some more and realized that I didn't know all the mechanics in the game before. When I figured out that you can remove tiles from pentagons by circling them I've got 925 the first time without even trying. My first time I've got 1250 without ever pushing back the end, just by using up all the moves I had before every pentagon filled up. I guess that makes a good half of my original post irrelevant now.

matt_j says ...
May 8, 2014 @ 1:16am

Yeah, a bit tough to pick up.

Catman says ...
May 8, 2014 @ 9:11am

Nice mechanic, quite innovative, and the presentation was really good and polished. Also, props for the clever name!

Robinerd says ...
May 8, 2014 @ 11:23am

Really nice work! I like the complex game mechanics, a real brain twister. Very impressive for your first LD!

zebi24 says ...
May 8, 2014 @ 5:41pm

Very unique and beautifully made. Big like!

Wertle says ...
May 10, 2014 @ 4:17am

I can definitely see the seed of a really cool strategy puzzle game in here, I think your challenge is just going to be clearly teaching people the skills they need to play the puzzles. This is totally doable! Just break down each interaction and layer up until players have mastery of each step and then I think it'll be really great. There's an edge case where when you view straight on different layers of the same color blend together, not sure what to do for that case but it's not too common. Nice work, you should totally keep working on this!

May 10, 2014 @ 9:31pm

dig the rich colours of the hexagons and the pleasant music is nice :)

cardboard says ...
May 11, 2014 @ 5:59am

I actually thought the mechanics were quite intuitive. It took me a bit to figure out the best way to manipulate different patterns. There's not much of an incentive to form rings around hexagons. The music stayed pleasant the entire time. Very unique and fun game; awesome job with this.

May 12, 2014 @ 1:57am

Kinda a weird puzzle game! I included it in part 25 of my Ludum Dare compilation video series, if you'd like to check it out :) http://youtu.be/06U_lc3kLp4

copain says ...
May 12, 2014 @ 11:36am

nice puzzle game.
but I see that dark tile is added even we try an invalid move (maybe I'm wrong...), it's unfair...

zeh says ...
May 12, 2014 @ 9:08pm

Beautiful idea, good execution.

My #1 suggestion would have some animation for moving/rotating the pentagons, and (most importantly) for when they're removed. It was kind of jarring seeing them apparently changing color (at first I thought it was a bug) when I completed a ring.

Zerkruemler says ...
May 14, 2014 @ 10:09am

Cool music and good implemented controls. For me it is a little bit too abstract to be really lots of fun, but in the right mood this is probably a good puzzler.

jorgemoag says ...
May 19, 2014 @ 1:14am

very good puzzle

kill0u says ...
May 19, 2014 @ 7:14am

Nice game, but it lacks feedback. 2400 on first try, thanks to the video.

Rzial says ...
May 19, 2014 @ 6:09pm

Waoh, my head, it hurts! Nice game!

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