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

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City Beneath the Surface

by SmilingCat - 48 Hour Compo Entry

Beneath the surface lies a legendary lost city. Suppose your submarine were to break down there one day. What would you do? Would you answer the call of long-forgotten gods, or would you make your repairs and be on your way?

WASD to move and turn.
Q and E to strafe.
Mouse moves camera up and down.
Spacebar to swim upwards.
Z to swim downwards
R activates special powers once earned.

Downloads and Links




AgeNt_ says ...
Apr 28, 2014 @ 2:41am

Great moody game with great graphics. Gameplay direction is hard to follow given no clear directions to play. Still fun to swim around!

Apr 28, 2014 @ 2:48am

Hey, this is neat. I think it would be better if there was less emphasise on collecting and to-ing and fro-ing, and more on just finding and exploring. Avoiding the shark works well, and would still compliment that, I reckon.

Pete_H says ...
Apr 28, 2014 @ 2:48am

The camera didn't follow the mouse very well, was difficult to look around. I do like the underwater city concept though.

Zathalos says ...
Apr 28, 2014 @ 3:00am

Interesting game. I liked the aspect of searching underwater in a ruined city. Finding all the god powers was troublesome because the controls felt really floaty. I know it's supposed to be underwater but I think the turning control could be a little faster. Otherwise, I think it's a really cool concept for a game. Good job.

IAmSpencer says ...
Apr 28, 2014 @ 3:18am

Pretty good game, controls are a bit finicky, but fun non the less. Good job for 48 hours :)

davidB says ...
Apr 28, 2014 @ 9:35am

Good job for 48 hours. Controls/Camera (web version) are too "difficult" to be fun, and to allow me to explore the city as I would like.

frankbsad says ...
Apr 28, 2014 @ 12:56pm

Controls were a bit weird for me. Nice game though.

Tanner says ...
Apr 28, 2014 @ 3:57pm

Controls are quite hard, but I like it!

cr2crstudios says ...
Apr 28, 2014 @ 4:05pm

Really good mood, kinda' hard to control. :/

SuperIzzo says ...
Apr 28, 2014 @ 4:08pm

Controlling the character is really tricky and I felt there's too much text given that you have limited oxygen. Regardless, the concept of a city lost under the water is quite exciting and has quite the potential :)

Apr 28, 2014 @ 4:10pm

Well done ! I really like the atmosphere wich reminds me Rapture :o

Apr 28, 2014 @ 4:44pm

Man this game looks great, but the controls were too hard. I just couldn't get to grips with the inverse mouse (up is looks down, down looks up).

SmilingCat says ...
Apr 28, 2014 @ 4:47pm

So based on everyone's comments so far, I went in and double-checked the controls to make sure they were working as intended. They seem to be for both the Windows and Web version, on at least 2 machines. The official submission is version, which is verified to be up at both links, please let me know if you find yourself running a different version. Specifically, I know the controls were jacked in, and there were significant changes between the two versions, but was up well before the compo ended.

It would be helpful to have more specific info on what is off about the controls for a lot of people. I know that one person here said the turn speed seemed too slow, and another on Kong strongly disliked the inverted mouse for looking up/down.

For what it's worth, when I play, I mainly use WASD and Space, and the mouse to look up and down.

SmilingCat says ...
Apr 28, 2014 @ 5:15pm

Version adds an "Invert Mouse" setting to make the game more accessible to everyone who was not a fighter pilot in a previous life.

MintArcade says ...
Apr 28, 2014 @ 6:31pm

Nice exploration game. Hard to control, but fun to play. Sharks...

SmilingCat says ...
Apr 28, 2014 @ 8:57pm

Well, I thought I remembered reading that making a game more accessible was within the rules, but upon review that does not appear to be the case, so the invert option has been relegated to a post-compo version, and will continue to be the official compo version.

terraco says ...
Apr 29, 2014 @ 12:23am

As others have said, awkward controls turned me off.

acehk says ...
Apr 29, 2014 @ 1:26am

Really like the atmosphere, very original. Gameplay felt a little slow. I didn't feel motivated to swim around aimlessly looking for rings.

WetDesertRock says ...
Apr 30, 2014 @ 5:40pm

I enjoyed the game, however the browser issue seem to have issues with mouse grabbing, so it made it much more difficult to navigate. Still, I thought it was pretty cool.

May 1, 2014 @ 3:49am

Very nice atmosphere!
When the shark came after me I swam into a building and it actually worked which was pretty cool.
It's a bit difficult to keep track of all the locations and I think more motivation for the player would help the experience.
Great work!

SmilingCat says ...
May 1, 2014 @ 10:44am

After playing my own game again after a couple of days, I figured out another part of the controls that is probably leading to some of these complaints. Wasn't really a "control" per say, but the smoothed rotation of the camera with the player. I've now made it a lot sharper in the post-compo version, so the camera should re-align rotation with the avatar much quicker.

WhiteWolf93 says ...
May 1, 2014 @ 4:48pm

The sounds, music, graphics and mechanics work pretty well together! Btw was scared with the shark :<, good work!

May 1, 2014 @ 5:00pm

Okay, I see you asking about what is specifically wrong with the controls. What's wrong is that there are too many input ways that the player needs to keep track of. A better way of handling the controls would be: mouse for ALL looking around, WASD for moving around, spacebar and Z for upwards and downwards movement (that last part worked okay). That means that the camera looks towards the mouse, and A & D strafes, W & S moves back and forth, spacebar and Z moves up and down. This is how the majority of first-person games do controls.

The camera should move quickly with the mouse, not slowly like it does in the current version. And inverted mouse will not work at all when the camera moves with the mouse, AFAIK.

An alternative to this would be to discard Z and spacebar altogether, and to have the character just move in the direction of the camera with W, instead of moving along an axis. This is a nice way of doing it, because it's simpler and requires less buttons. However, it also takes some of the freedom away. For example, you can't look down and go upwards at the same time, you need to be looking in the direction you want to go.

But yeah, choose one of these two control schemes, and it should improve the experience a lot.

I liked the different personalities of the color guys a lot! Great way to create some variety.

cageinabird says ...
May 1, 2014 @ 5:13pm

Firstly, I really like the concept - having a straightforward task with the potential to be sidetracked by mysterious artifacts - and the various mechanics - the oxygen, powers, the shark, etc. have the potential to make for interesting gameplay.

In regards to the controls, turning with A/D instead of the mouse was awkward. Sometimes you'd want to strafe at the same time, so you might be pressing A + E + Space (to avoid sinking) and using the mouse as well to get through a narrow window - all while being chased by a shark!

It actually added to the tension, but made it harder to explore the area.

Also, I picked up an item and didn't know how to use it, which then stopped me from getting other items.

Btw, your post compo link is giving a 404 error, so I couldn't compare the updated controls.

SmilingCat says ...
May 1, 2014 @ 5:22pm

Post-compo link fixed.

Dualhammers says ...
May 1, 2014 @ 9:27pm

I didn't know how to drop items so I got irrevocably stuck several times. This was unfortunate because I was wondering what lay ahead. If, however, it was all just swimming around and collecting, well, I think this game needs a bit more. The idea of exploring an underwater city is wonderful, but the fact that what I was was empty boxes was disappointing.

Empyrealhell says ...
May 1, 2014 @ 9:35pm

As many others have said, the controls aren't fun. They do a fantastic job of replicating the feeling of moving around underwater. There's a reason that everyone hates water levels though.

blockbot says ...
May 1, 2014 @ 9:45pm

Sharked to death! Nice atmosphere, great experience.

SmilingCat says ...
May 2, 2014 @ 10:53am

@Dualhammers - Thanks for the feedback. Item dropping/exchanging was not implemented for the compo, but is being considered for future versions. In the compo version each item must successfully be brought to its goal before another one can be picked up.

More than swimming around and collecting, the goal of the game is to reveal the story of Atlantis. I could definitely see this game getting more varied gameplay to that end; this is what I could provide within the compo.

May 4, 2014 @ 4:14pm

Nice game!

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