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

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Jupiter Lander

by IvanDashSmith - 48 Hour Compo Entry

The theme of "Beneath the Surface" immediately made me think of the first episode of the new Cosmos. There is an amazing shot of Jupiter, and the significance of how big its cloud forms are, and we know what the surface of Jupiter looks like, but can only speculate as to what is beneath its surface; I often wonder if we will ever see under the surface of Jupiter's massive clouds in my lifetime.

This game is a take on the classic "Lunar Lander", whereas landing on the Moon is a 'simple' task of fighting gravity, Jupiter would be a bit more difficult. I wanted to play with the idea that beneath the surface of what we see on Jupiter, the storming clouds would shear in different directions at different speeds, creating significant turbulence and an impossible scenario for trying to get a lander on the surface, especially compared with recent successes on Mars.

My original goal was to put particle clouds and dust flying through the mid sections, and asteroid-like boulders being tossed around in the gale force winds, but those were considered more "wishlist" and had to remain out as I did normal husband/dad duties for the weekend of the competition.

In my head I had imagined making the landing area tumultuous and rocky, with only a single safe spot to land (much like the original Lunar Lander), but figured it was hard enough as it was I wanted people to be able to play it (and included a picture of the victory screen to show that it is possible, albeit difficult). Even in the updated directors cut, the gravity is much stronger near the surface, and the unpredictable winds are random so topping it off with uneven terrain seems unfair. But I also like to justify it (and imagine a sort of back-story) by assuming a space agency such as NASA would pick out a relatively flat and safe location for landing, though weather conditions would be more unknown and need more reaction and decision making during the experience.

I hope everyone can check it out!

Downloads and Links




killthealias says ...
Apr 28, 2014 @ 1:29am

I REALLY liked this game! Hooked me for a good 10 minutes! 8/10 would play again! (Seriously though, pretty damn good.) Perhaps you could check out mine when you get time?

Rahazan says ...
Apr 28, 2014 @ 5:57am

Managed to beat it after many, many attempts. Had to adapt my strategy quite a bit.

Great game, nice mechanics and sound!

malmazuke says ...
Apr 28, 2014 @ 5:58am

Very cool concept. Great controls. Amazing graphics. Just wish there was a bit more to do i.e. levels, etc

FyberOptic says ...
Apr 28, 2014 @ 6:11am

This is really excellent. It's an old concept which you've managed to make fun all over again. It's the kind of game that can be unforgiving, but it's made well enough that you realize it's just you that sucks at it, so you keep on trying. I still haven't landed it, but you better believe I'll be going back to do so! Great graphics, great audio. Great job overall. One of my favorite.

Apr 28, 2014 @ 6:14am

Enjoyed it quite a lot, well done. :)

Liens says ...
Apr 28, 2014 @ 6:42am

Nice graphics and audio, got that retro feel. Took me a couple of attempts to beat it (if you let your rocket fall and then hit jets at the last minute you have a pretty good chance).

alvarop says ...
Apr 28, 2014 @ 7:21am

I really like this concept and how you put it together.

j_peeba says ...
Apr 29, 2014 @ 6:27am

Took a while to get hang of controlling the ship, but after that, it was a lot of fun! I'd love to see the idea expanded to include levels in the form of other planets/moons too :)

darkflamejam says ...
Apr 29, 2014 @ 8:20am

God that's hard! Great implementation though

BadgerPriest says ...
Apr 30, 2014 @ 5:33am

Wow, this is very addictive. Far more difficult than I was expecting, but that's part of the fun!

copain says ...
Apr 30, 2014 @ 9:55am

old and hard. simple and cool.

voxel says ...
Apr 30, 2014 @ 2:59pm

Way too easy for an experienced thrustplayer, but this was so lovely and atmospheric I played it repeatedly. <3

drnick says ...
May 1, 2014 @ 1:16am

Too hard, and the randomization of the layers' direction and speed gives an uninteresting luck component.

Still, appreciated it a lot because it has to do with space: I am making a solar system of games. I already have Mars and Neptune, and now I have Jupiter.

Dohan says ...
May 1, 2014 @ 9:52am

Old school hard, nice!

flavio says ...
May 4, 2014 @ 5:25pm

Wow. Way too hard for me. And I love space stuff so I can't give an objective feedback ! I felt that hitting the border of the screen didn't make much sense ;)

jsmars says ...
May 5, 2014 @ 6:33am

Really difficult and great in it's simplicity! I tried so many times but couldn't manage to land, feels impossible when the bottom layer is a high speed layer. Great job!

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