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

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The Show Must Go On

by Sestren - 48 Hour Compo Entry

Readability update on 4/28/2014
I've added an extra 6 seconds to each tutorial panel to aid with readability, since several people mentioned they didn't have enough time to read everything. I'm hoping this is considered a minor enough change to not disqualify my entry.

In a heated tantrum, you fired your entire stage crew and all your actors. Tonight is opening night and you must do everything yourself! You have just enough time to rig together a few remote controls to the stage pieces so you can control everything yourself and rehearse a few times.

And then, it's on with the show!

To put on a good show ...
Open and close the curtains at the beginning and end of the show.
Keep the waves in motion and use lots of wave sound effects (at least 3!)
Cue the shark and play its dramatic sound at least once.
Keep the waves centered on the stage and the car hidden behind the wave panels.

To select a prop
C key cycles between "Open Curtain" and "Close Curtain"
W key cycles between the three different wave props
S key selects the shark prop

To cause a selected prop to perform an action
LEFT or J causes the prop to move "stage left"
RIGHT or L causes the prop to mvoe "stage right"
DOWN or K causes the prop to stop moving
UP or I causes the prop to play its sound effect

Helpful tips
To keep the waves moving and in the center, a "W, Left" three times, "W, Right" three times pattern of input works well.
There's no penalty for trying "Opening Night" instead of "Rehearsal," so choose it if you're tired of seeing the tutorial text display.

Downloads and Links




Apr 28, 2014 @ 2:17am

You need to fix the size of the frame

Sestren says ...
Apr 28, 2014 @ 2:27am

Just out of curiosity, what is it specifically that you see wrong with it? I'm not seeing anything unusual on my end.

Apr 28, 2014 @ 3:31am

I have bookmarked this to play it some more after GoT but after a couple minutes I think this is a fantastic and original idea. I like the presentation so far too. keep going with it!

Quady14 says ...
Apr 28, 2014 @ 3:36am

Oh boy, little hectic to keep track of everything, but I dig the concept a lot! Pretty fun to watch in motion. Nice work!

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

I loved it, very outside the box thinking.
They hated my show, but everything worked well.

porousnapkin says ...
Apr 28, 2014 @ 3:40am

Great concept. The tutorial messages moved before I finished reading them. I'd love it if they proceeded from a button press (enter or something). It's funny that you put the controls on w, s, and c, making a very awkward hand gesture to control things, which seems thematically inline with the insanity of the situation. Cool!

Tuism says ...
Apr 28, 2014 @ 4:58pm

I really, really, really, love the idea, and the QWOP level madness one can have with it. But the execution is just short of decent...

1. People don't like to read. There's SO much reading. And most of it shifted off before I could finish reading them. Which led to...
2. I couldn't remember where any of the keys were so I had to resort to trying everything. Eventually I was like typing random characters...
3. The sound was very loud and obstrusive.
4. So anyway since I didn't know how to play... Yeah it didn't keep me in the game.

I think if you WANT TO rely on keys you need to put them on the screen somehow. Either onto the scene or under the game screen in the web interface.

And then expecting people to remember a whole sequence of events isn't going to work - sure yes you're trying to simulate a show's director and that's what they do for a living... But it's no fun!

Anyway I'd love to see this concept done in an intuitive way, could be tons of fun!

The finish was great. It's nice to see something well polished :)

atlantian says ...
Apr 29, 2014 @ 1:54am

Took a fair bit to figure out how it all worked. I couldn't get a great show. Maybe i missed something when the tutorial screens went flashing by.

pichifino says ...
Apr 29, 2014 @ 1:54am

I found the controls really hard to remember =P
But i like it, Good job

Pitzik4 says ...
Apr 29, 2014 @ 2:01am

I love this concept! But man, what do I have to do to please the people watching? Hire some actual actors and crew? Yeah, right. Also, the tutorial wasn't so great, it was hard to read it fast enough, but it was easy to catch on to and a lot of fun, even though I did fail miserably at it many times.

Apr 29, 2014 @ 2:02am

Liked the idea, hard to remember all the sequences but that was half the fun! :)

Apr 30, 2014 @ 12:50am

Pretty fun! Some real time feedback when you do well with the waves or make a mistake would help me a lot to figure out how to refine my technique!

Logan says ...
Apr 30, 2014 @ 12:53am

Okay, this is pretty awesome.

There is a lot to remember and keep track of at first, but I was able to get the hang of it pretty quickly. It would be fun if the play had several different scenes to it (and additionally confusing), but what's here works well.

And I love that you can spectate the results.

Lacaranian says ...
Apr 30, 2014 @ 1:07am

Once I got going (learned the controls and such), was a really cool concept! Not that any of my shows went very well.

kevinAlbs says ...
Apr 30, 2014 @ 3:37am

Very fun to play! Creative idea, the playback was a cool idea!

StencylTuo says ...
Apr 30, 2014 @ 3:42am

Okay, 5 stars for innovation (any 5 is nearly impossible to get from me). I liked the idea a lot. It's pretty crazy trying to control everything at once. One major gripe I have is the sounds are pretty awful (I'm horrible with sounds myself too), which is a shame since they are a key part of your game. Also, I couldn't find a way to get out of the tutorial, which was annoying. Basically, great idea and decent execution.

NicoM says ...
Apr 30, 2014 @ 11:58pm

Very nice game:), I will admit I found it very challenging, but thats not a bad thing! Great use of the theme for a very interesting mechanic...Great Job:)

GrooveMan says ...
May 2, 2014 @ 3:40pm

The controls were amusingly fiddly, though I was startled by how loud the sound effects were. Being able to watch in spectator mode is a really nice touch.

May 2, 2014 @ 4:20pm

Cool game, but the controls are a bit weird and the writing needs to be skip-a-ble. I included it in part 8 of my Ludum Dare Compilation video series!

Kate Kligman says ...
May 3, 2014 @ 7:33pm

Nice concept and fun to play. My first few shows were poor, but I liked the spectate feature. Would like to see more from this.

PapyGaragos says ...
May 4, 2014 @ 6:09pm

Cool idea, and nice take on the theme. I kept fumbling with my keyboard, and people were not really pleased.

whilefun says ...
May 5, 2014 @ 3:13am

Very unique take on the theme. I found that there was almost too much to keep track of, but it was still cool. The spectate option after the fact is great, because it shows just how bad a job I did entertaining the crowd. haha. Nice work :)

Garris says ...
May 5, 2014 @ 3:15am

This is funny. Like I laughed out loud reading the directions. I love your idea, and the graphics work well with it. I do think the controls could use a little tweaking, but overall, quite well done.

May 5, 2014 @ 3:53am

Nice concept. Might trying add a better tutorial as I confused on how to do at the first time. Great job! :)

May 7, 2014 @ 1:46am

Neat idea, with a lot of moving parts. It'd be nice to have some feedback to know how my 'show' was going.

BadgerPriest says ...
May 7, 2014 @ 11:48pm

Amazingly creative idea. I still have yet to impress the audience, but I will keep trying!

joe40001 says ...
May 15, 2014 @ 1:45am

I like it, but it is quite hard and you aren't given feedback as to why the audience dislikes it, so I played like 3 times and I couldn't figure out if I was even close to winning or not.

Still very clever/innovative and a cool twist on the theme. Good job. :)

Moosefly says ...
May 17, 2014 @ 12:03am

Yay, managed to please the audience even though they could see the edges of those waves two times during my last performance. Must've been my superior shark handling skills.

Really interesting concept, and the execution was good for something made in 48 hours!


GFM says ...
May 18, 2014 @ 12:09pm

At first I forgot the "Close curtains" command, so I didn't understand how to finish the play..

But I gave it another try and it's fun and interesting. :)
Also, people seemed to like my play... XD

Controls are both uncommon ('w', 's' and 'c' doesn't line up nicely, it felt weird) and unpractical... I think it would be better to have two or three rows, for example (in a qwerty keyboard): the 'q' row move things right, the 'a' row left and the 'z' row plays sfx. Then, 'q', 'a' and 'z' should be the same command (e.g., "Open Curtain"), since they are in the same column.

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