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

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Nothing to Declare

by GarrickWinter - Jam Entry

Introduction:

We decided to have some fun with the "Beneath the Surface" theme. We interpreted it a little more abstractly, seeing it as anything that wasn't "as it seems." An innocent looking ship could be full of hidden contraband, and so we settled on the idea of playing as a smuggler.

Premise:

You are an intrepid space explorer with a mind for plunder and riches. You have found that many... lower class worlds have very lax border security, making it relatively easy to smuggle in precious goods.

Your goal is to smuggle as much contraband as possible between planets, moving your cargo around discreetly with the help of your crew while customs officers search your ship. If your cargo is found, it will be confiscated and you will be fined. If enough suspicious activity is noticed, you will be denied entry to the planet!

Features Cut:

-Ship Upgrades

Originally, the player was able to purchase ship upgrades such as hollowed-out floorboards and walls, revolving doors, and additional rooms

-Player Abilities

The player character was supposed to be the ship's artificial intelligence
Player abilities included toggling lights on and off for specific rooms, blowing up generators to provide distractions, sending crew members to bribe officers (only if they were alone), and even using a short range teleport

-Events

Upon reaching a certain percentage of suspicion, certain events would occur to ramp up the difficulty, such as officers calling in backup and even bringing in the drug sniffing space dogs

-Additional Ships

Due to the tile-based system, more ships take minimal effort to create
These would have served as the ultimate gold sink

Going Forward:

We had a lot of fun creating this game, and we hope you enjoy playing it just as much! Please feel free to provide candid feedback - a lot of our features didn't make it in game, but we would love to continue working on it in our spare time, so your comments will help us a lot!

Team Members:

Guerric Hache - Programmer / Designer
Katherine Hairfield - Art / Designer
Timothee Gautron - Systems Designer

Downloads and Links


Ratings

Coolness71%
#56Innovation(Jam)3.82
#292Humor(Jam)2.77
#359Theme(Jam)3.18
#368Overall(Jam)3.21
#398Mood(Jam)3.00
#435Audio(Jam)2.91
#496Fun(Jam)2.76
#501Graphics(Jam)3.03

Comments

XrXr says ...
Apr 29, 2014 @ 4:18pm

The concept is great, the controls not so much. I feel the game would be better if there is a path finding system. Clicking on directions directly isn't too intuitive

Apr 29, 2014 @ 4:20pm

God this game is tense. hahah!
It took me a while to figure out the way it works, but it would be a great mobile game IMO!
Stealth Multitasking while hiding space drugs, livestock and immigrants? You've got it right mate.

Cash says ...
Apr 29, 2014 @ 4:29pm

Great game,and the idea is fantastic. 5 star on innovation

Kuchalu says ...
Apr 29, 2014 @ 5:48pm

Nice gameplay, great art style and great music.

BumbleBirds says ...
Apr 29, 2014 @ 5:51pm

Very clever idea but man, those controls really spoil it for me :(

sandbaydev says ...
Apr 29, 2014 @ 7:43pm

Interesting idea. With good controls and clearer instructions that say "now get the gun to point X" this would be very good.

Took me bit of figuring out who to avoid & how things work (I'm not such a good at reading tutorials so well... :D)

Liked the concept a lot. I believe this could be turned into a mobile or desktop game.

Vinyl Pixels says ...
Apr 29, 2014 @ 8:23pm

I like how it feels a little bit like Pac-Man (avoiding the "Ghosts" :) Great concept!

Dominator_101 says ...
Apr 29, 2014 @ 8:58pm

I was a little confused as to what a good strategy was.

Also, at one point both of the customs officers just sat on one of my guys who was holding something and skyrocketed my fine. I got like a $200,000,000 fine :P But I still continued on to the next round...does the fine actually come out of your cash?

I got kinda annoyed at the auto-drop control, especially since I was moving multiple people around and would tend to move them to an intermediate spot before deciding exactly where I wanted them.

But anyways, nice concept! Too bad I suck at it :P

May 3, 2014 @ 6:11am

I really like the concept. I floundered around for 10 minutes not sure what I am supposed to do and watch the inspectors run all over the ship.
I think a tutorial level with scripted actions would help this game a lot.
Good work!

rojo says ...
May 4, 2014 @ 6:43am

Cool concept! Definitely good use of theme in my opinion.

HuvaaKoodia says ...
May 5, 2014 @ 7:59pm

The base gameplay is similar to FTL, so let's look at other things worth lending from it:

-Pausing and giving commands. This is a must. Currently the most effective strategy is to pick one item of the best yielding sort and move it around. Multitasking will constantly end in failure without liberal use of pause as shown by FTL.
-Race differences (faster/but weaker, slow/more menacing, etc.) also for the inspectors (using race weaknesses to your advantage [if the inspector is hydrophobic, put your stuff in a room with water. {your spaceship has a jacuzzi right?}])
-An outside world. It doesn't need to be a complex one. Just a node based map, where you move between planets, buy cheap, sell at a premium and try to avoid inspections, taxes and other such government meddling.

You have a good amount of additional features already lined up, but a few more won't hurt.

-Legit goods. Less profit, less risk of confiscation. Hiding illegal material withing them and other similar actions.
-Interactions with the inspectors. An inspector might call out and interview with the ship medic concerning hygiene, too bad she is currently trying to relocate some hidden goods. Maybe you don't even have a medic on board. Try to fake it or just pay the fine?
-Goods based on planets. Poor planets require basic goods and supply emigrants. Rich planets take in quality goods and drugs while supplying tourists as well as other shady characters.
-Moral decisions. Do you want to profit from selling guns to a war zone with high risk or do you rather haul in medical supplies for less income?

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