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

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Project Tethys

by vilya - 48 Hour Compo Entry

Scientists working in an undersea lab have developed a powerful new weapon, codenamed "Tethys". Bad guys have got wind of this: they're coming to destroy the lab and abduct the scientists, so they can claim it for themselves. Your job is to defend the scientists and the lab. You have a submarine equipped with all the latest technology; how long can you keep the attackers at bay for?

Project Tethys is a fast-paced underwater shoot-em-up inspired very heavily by the likes of Defender and Resogun. The objectives are simple:

1. Defend your base. If it's destroyed, game over.
2. Destroy all the enemies. Get them before they get you!
3. Stay alive.

The controls are arrow keys or WASD to move, left mouse button to fire. Friendly forces above the surface will occasionally air-drop shield recharge cannisters. Keep an eye out for them, they might just save your life.

My highest score so far is 37300. Can you beat it?

Downloads and Links




vilya says ...
Apr 27, 2014 @ 11:34pm

For any of you trying out the standalone versions for Linux or Mac: I've built them (using Unity) but haven't had a chance to test them. Please let me know if you find any bugs!

zebi24 says ...
Apr 28, 2014 @ 10:37am

Nice game, very intense... it really sets the mood with the dark ambient and the music (the music is really great). And I've doubled your highscore. ;)

oatsbarley says ...
Apr 28, 2014 @ 11:29am

The music is awesome! Could do with some less drag and some gravity to make it feel a bit more "submarine". Good job!

vilya says ...
Apr 28, 2014 @ 11:36am

Thanks zebi24 & oatsbarley! The music was all made on my iPad believe it or not. GarageBand FTW!

oatsbarley: I actually had drag and gravity in the game early on & it was more submarine-like, but I thought it felt less fun so I took it out.

hexagore says ...
Apr 28, 2014 @ 12:21pm

An 8-bit classic style done in a state of the art game engine with gorgeous lighting effects. Nice :)

If I had any feedback it would be that it could do with being a lot harder, just to raise the tension a bit. Although quite why anyone would build a big fancy underwater station and defend it with just one submarine is beyond me. ;)

icereci says ...
Apr 28, 2014 @ 12:24pm

You can limit the range of "player fire" to avoid off-screen killing. overall liked it.

martinysa0311 says ...
Apr 28, 2014 @ 12:25pm

this game is a high quality game. Realy good. Bullets light might seen not work properly for the left side? Anyway is great.

Apr 28, 2014 @ 12:26pm

Great visuals and audio. The colours you used were very nice. Needs to be a little bit more difficult, but still pretty fun!

thomz12 says ...
Apr 28, 2014 @ 12:46pm

Nice game, love the music and graphics! Good job!

Apr 28, 2014 @ 12:55pm

Great visuals and like the music although the explosion noises become a bit to much.

davidB says ...
Apr 28, 2014 @ 1:09pm

I like classic gameplay, always fun.

vilya says ...
Apr 28, 2014 @ 1:18pm

Thanks a lot for the nice comments so far everyone!

icereci: I do actually limit it, but it's allowed to go a little way beyond the edge of the screen. What you might be seeing is that the enemies sometimes bomb each other, because they're spawned randomly & I didn't have time to add logic to keep them separated.

martinysa0311: well spotted, thanks! I used one light per bullet & I think it ended up being too much over to one side of the bullet geometry.

aaronjbaptiste: the enemies keep spawning at the same rate, so I guess if you're fast enough at clearing them the difficulty will remain low. I should have thought of that & had the spawn rate going up over time, or something. Thanks!

Franklins Ghost: I agree about the bomb noises. Sorry about that!

bazld says ...
Apr 28, 2014 @ 5:28pm

Very slick, great job. The lighting and music are nice touches.

Snoother says ...
Apr 28, 2014 @ 9:31pm

Really good, well-suited music.

colludium says ...
Apr 28, 2014 @ 9:46pm

Good game - it got very busy very quickly. Good graphics thanks!

orangepascal says ...
Apr 28, 2014 @ 9:57pm

great action game, reminds me of Defender :) nice!

Apr 28, 2014 @ 9:57pm

Great music. Controls are very responsive, feels good. However, explosion sound needs some panning and volume changes depending on its position.

vilya says ...
Apr 29, 2014 @ 8:36am

orangepascal: thanks, that's exactly the reference I was aiming for!

Romko: great tip about the sounds, much appreciated!

littleball says ...
Apr 29, 2014 @ 7:04pm

Nice little game. Would be nice to see a mini-map in a post-compo version. Well done

Apr 29, 2014 @ 7:16pm

Nice. I like the tactical element of dealing with attacks from three directions.

randoman says ...
Apr 30, 2014 @ 9:09am

Nice concept and execution!

GarethIW says ...
Apr 30, 2014 @ 1:11pm

56000 woop! Music sand sounds were excellent, controls could have used some more physics to increase the feel of it being a sub. Good work!

blockbot says ...
Apr 30, 2014 @ 7:00pm

Really cool combination of game types, nice job!

grayhaze says ...
Apr 30, 2014 @ 8:05pm

Really enjoyed this! Managed to score 73000 before things got too chaotic. Well done! :)

JayPC says ...
Apr 30, 2014 @ 8:16pm

Love this game, someone said it already, but reminds me of Defender

vilya says ...
Apr 30, 2014 @ 8:28pm

Thanks again everyone!

littleball: a mini-map was one of those things I kept thinking about while I was making the game, but kept putting off for "later". In hindsight I really wish I'd done it.

GarethIW: it's not just any sub, it's a super advanced attack sub which can... um... defy the laws of physics when it moves. :-)

JayPC: awesome, Defender was one of the main inspirations - and it's a great game. Thanks!

noom says ...
May 1, 2014 @ 1:01am

Neat little game, I liked the graphics albeit their simplicity and I thought the audio was great. Would have liked to see more in the way of upgrades or something to that effect to break up the monotony of click-spamming and give more reason to continue playing.

HybridMind says ...
May 1, 2014 @ 2:12am

Ended up getting over 50k points before quitting because it was just too easy I guess? Seems like a very solid start. I dug the music and the graphics a decent. My critical feedback would be that despite the graphics placing me in a watery environment, the movement is entirely unconvincing as to occurring in water. This game might as well just be in space. The next piece of feedback would be to work on some form of difficulty curve and get a few other things starting to be introduced to mix it up and make it more challenging over time. One note about the shooting mechanic, while it makes it harder that you can't look away w/o shooting away, I found that pretty frustrating. Once again though, solid effort! I dug the look of my sea base.

vilya says ...
May 1, 2014 @ 7:56am

noom & HybridMind: thanks a lot for the feedback! My original plan was to have enemies arriving in predefined waves of increasing size and complexity. I'd planned 4 different enemy types and a bunch of different offensive & defensive power ups. I also wanted to have friendly little scientists swimming around that you can rescue or the enemies can kidnap. Unfortunately only a few of those plans survived contact with the deadline. :-)

Regarding the movement, a few people have been making that point. I thought it was more important to have fast & responsive controls, but perhaps that was the wrong choice? In hindsight I think maybe I could have kept it sub-like and had a speed boost power-up, to get the best of both worlds. I'll try that out in the post-compo version. Thanks!

lightsoda says ...
May 1, 2014 @ 11:07am

A couple of things, it feels weird to use LMB to shoot when it doesn't control the direction you're shooting, and the sound for the explosions can get a bit overbearing, almost like there's a constant noise.

Pretty decent shmup though, good job. Also I love Resogun.

vilya says ...
May 1, 2014 @ 12:11pm

Thanks lightsoda. You can use left Ctrl instead of LMB if you prefer - these are the two things that Unity maps to the "Fire" action by default.

Shigor says ...
May 8, 2014 @ 8:05am

Simple, but fun. Nice garage band music btw :)

mcapraro says ...
May 9, 2014 @ 5:40am

neat variation on the sub theme!

Kyatric says ...
May 9, 2014 @ 4:43pm

Nice music, I disliked the enemy bombs sounds though, a bit overwhelming over time.

I also do agree that a bit more challenge/difficulty would be welcome and reinforce the interest of the game.

Very nice light effects on the base when the projectiles move over it.

Congratulations on making a game in 48 hours and submitting it to the compo.

JimmyBoh says ...
May 9, 2014 @ 6:42pm

This is great! Some changes to the sub would be nice, like decelerate instead of stopping on a dime and shoot to the direction the mouse is pointing. Really fast paced and engaging. I didn't have any motivation to leave from above my base though, so maybe give the player 3 separate bases and have to defend each of them? Great job on this!

May 9, 2014 @ 8:32pm

I like the look of the game, but I destroyed my own base! I included it in part 17 of my Ludum Dare compilation video series, if you want to check it out :)

vilya says ...
May 12, 2014 @ 8:18pm

Thanks for the comments everyone, it's great to hear.

JimmyBoh: that's an excellent idea! I'd originally hoped to have little people coming out of the base that you had to protect as well, but didn't have time to fit them in. Adding additional bases is a much simpler way of getting the same result. Thanks!

Jupiter_Hadley: thanks a lot for trying the game, it's awesome to have a chance to see what someone does in the game when you're not watching over their shoulder! I think I agree about the base, in hindsight.

Garris says ...
May 13, 2014 @ 4:59am

Well made game. The controls were smooth and responsive. The graphics looked good, and the sound and music was great. I found it a little too easy to just stay direction above the base and strafe up and down, but when I made myself actively hunt the enemies, I had a lot more fun. Good job!

May 15, 2014 @ 8:59pm

Works fine on Linux.

It's action-packed and has great lighting effects. What more can you wish for?

I think it would be good with feedback (audio and visual) whenever the base is hit. When the base is hit, it should feel bad. :-)

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