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

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Under a Martial Artist's Skin

by jujule - Jam Entry


I've added a post-compo version. It is EXACTLY the same game, only there is a tutorial.

After the End of the World as Lloyd Blankfein wanted it, the Earth population is 99.99% zombies and 0.01% MARTIAL ARTISTS.


You are out on a journey to find your HOT JAPANESE MARTIAL ARTIST GIRLFRIEND.

Goal :
To defeat your opponent, you have to destroy all 4 of its exposed body parts ( neck, left pec, right pec and stomach ).
To achieve this, dodge the opponent's attacks by playing the rhythm game ( to dodge headbutts -> press up, dodge kicks -> press down, dodge the left fist -> press left and to dodge the right punch -> press right ).
Dodging attacks charges your focus gauge. When you have enough points ( see later ), press the left-ctrl key. You are now in attack mode. Press an arrow key to target and launch an attack on one of the 4 body parts ( not left-ctrl+arrow key, left-ctrl, then arrow key ).
When charged at level 3, you can launch a 1 damage point attack; charged at 6 launches a 3 damage points attack and charged at 9 a 6 damage points attack so try to do as much combo as possible. When you don't have enough points and try to attack, you fail and take damage.
The faster a body part blinks red indicates how close it is to being destroyed. When it turns to complete red with visible blood vessels ( see the Excuses section ), it is destroyed and it is no use hitting it any more.

Controls :
- arrow keys to dodge opponents attacks
- left ctrl to launch attack and then arrow keys to target body part

The game as it is may not follow the theme that much. Originally, when a body part was damaged enough, it would reveal vital points hidden under the opponent's skin. After enough points were revealed, there was a second attack mode in which you had to manually aim and attack those points. I didn't have enough time to implement that mode. I am not sure it would add much anyways.

Downloads and Links




burgerdare says ...
Apr 29, 2014 @ 12:01am

It's really ambiguous how this all works. I feel like there's a fun game down there somewhere, but it's hidden behind a layer of confusion. :(

Apr 29, 2014 @ 1:47pm

I agree with burgerdare.. It's really hard for me to grasp what I am supposed to do in this game. I did like the audio though, it was kinda soothing. However, do you feel it should be in a martial arts game? Maybe :p

jujule says ...
Apr 29, 2014 @ 4:03pm

Well, I guess you're both right, customer is king and this rule is never truer than with video games.
Yet I don't get what's so difficult about it:
1) play the rhythm game to accumulate focus ( power, if you will )
2) press left-ctrl when you have enough focus ( 3, 6 or 9 points )
3) choose a body part to target and attack
4) repeat until all 4 body parts are destroyed

I'm sorry if I sound bitter but I hardly see this as a complex game scheme.

dook says ...
Apr 29, 2014 @ 8:41pm

I figured it out alright, with a little work it could be a fun little rhythm game :) Plus for weird humor even though I didn't see where the theme fitted in.

jacobrb95 says ...
Apr 29, 2014 @ 9:55pm

I really didn't know what to do. Nothing I did really had any response.

Neonlare says ...
Apr 29, 2014 @ 10:09pm

A lil bit more work and clarity would help this along, It feels entertaining but I honestly can't figure out what to do with a lot of this... Sorry mate :(

hexagore says ...
Apr 29, 2014 @ 10:18pm

Took me several goes (and I had to actually read the instructions!) to figure out how to play this but once I did I enjoyed it. Love rhythm games, and I though the graphics were pretty impressive.

Apr 29, 2014 @ 10:30pm

I find the ASCII art look of the game quite interesting. It's an alright concept, though I think it could use more feedback when you gain focus. It's also not obvious what direction on the controls matches which action, making the rhythm things into directional arrows might have been good.

Apr 29, 2014 @ 11:18pm

So other people are saying this game is confusing and I agree. The *concept* is pretty easy to get, but the controls don't really make sense. It's possible that I just really suck at rhythm games, but I couldn't do anything except dodge.

MetanoKid says ...
Apr 29, 2014 @ 11:22pm

At first I didn't knew I was doing it correctly until I re-read the instructions on how to attack. The white "shape" is a bit misleading as the game doesn't really go with the soundtrack.
However, I enjoyed playing it and felt like playing this Guitar-Hero-ish game, so good job! Nice soundtrack, btw!

kibertoad says ...
Apr 29, 2014 @ 11:23pm

It's not that hard to figure out, but both me and my keyboard suck at QTE. Weirdly nice concept and visuals, pity I just can't get through the first fight.

Thorig says ...
Apr 30, 2014 @ 7:11am

I tried, but it is just not working for me.

Solifuge says ...
Apr 30, 2014 @ 9:54pm

Hi, this is Vector from the Victory Garden team! (posting under Solifuge's account)

This is a neat idea, and the gameplay is pretty good! Something kind of odd happened on the second stage, though, where my health bar was half way through, the enemy was half-way down, and I was informed I'd failed.

Honestly, I think that if you really focused on this, you could have an amazing post-compo version that was really amazing. It's a great concept... hope you embellish it.

klianc09 says ...
May 1, 2014 @ 10:05am

At first I was confused, because the white "left" on the yellow background is unreadable on my screen, so I just furiously pressed buttons and seemingly killed myself? But once I read the instructions it was actually pretty enjoyable.

dalbinblue says ...
May 2, 2014 @ 2:56am

I tried but I am no good at this game. I haven't been able to get past the first enemy. I guess my biggest problem is that with a rhythm game that doesn't match the music makes it difficult to time the hits. As the patterns that came down got more complex I ended up hitting the buttons too early and took a hit. The aesthetics are pretty trippy though with the pseudo ascii art.

tenpn says ...
May 2, 2014 @ 7:27am

Way too confusing, even after the instructions. Nice graphics though.

moonmagic says ...
May 2, 2014 @ 2:32pm

The Concentration Zoom and Slow Down Feeling was very strong once I finally figured out how to focus my power. I damaged an organ! Because I am a king. For a long time, I thought the game was berating me for being Bad At Rhythm, saying "FOCUS", as in, "YOU NEED TO FOCUS BECAUSE YOU ARE BAD".

jujule says ...
May 2, 2014 @ 4:40pm

Thanks for the kind words from this who did get it in the end. And for those that didn't like but gave constructive criticism.

@klianc09: that's a problem I didn't have on my screen here. But thanks for pointing it out; I'll try to contrast the yellow and white some more.
@moonmagic: thanks. That makes a lot of sens the way you say it!!! That's definitely a potential source for confusion. And congrats again for your great entry.

praporomsk says ...
May 3, 2014 @ 7:31pm

it is so hard...

Xaychru04 says ...
May 3, 2014 @ 9:28pm

Shame that the hits didn't match the music, but the concept was nice! :)

Empyrealhell says ...
May 3, 2014 @ 10:16pm

It's kind of irritating that you can't attack fast enough to get in between some of the rhythm combos. If I tried to go any faster, it wouldn't switch modes and I'd end up damaging myself. Also, white on yellow is impossible to read, I only figured that one out through trial and error.

BoneDaddy says ...
May 3, 2014 @ 10:22pm

Hahahaha, the text to this is great. Especially the winning text. Hilarious. The dithering can made the screen appear wavy to me (loved it, some may find it irritating).

I was absolutely confused how to play at first, but then I figured it out, probably by reading the controls better. The second level doesn't off much in terms of forgiveness and I died on it a number of times. The final boss had much better pacing and was fairly easy. I found the music a bit silly for the theme.

Loved the jiggle physics, the narrative and the graphics were cool. Thanks for making this

wschorn says ...
May 5, 2014 @ 11:56am

Needs SFX and arrows for the moves I'm supposed to block.

May 5, 2014 @ 12:02pm

That was fun :) I would have liked if the gameplay was synced with the music. Too bad also that you didn't implement your vital points mechanic in time !

Boodog says ...
May 6, 2014 @ 11:11pm

Nice job!

Jyrkface says ...
May 7, 2014 @ 2:50am

I would rather be a true gentleman.

gmaker says ...
May 7, 2014 @ 5:37am

nice game! its high five!

p.s.(try to use chrome for playing)

Hamsternator says ...
May 7, 2014 @ 10:33pm

It's an interesting concept but the gameplay would probably benefit more if it handled the combat closer to Punch Out rather than a dancing rythm game. Still, the concept is good but needs to be tweaked a bit =)

meszka says ...
May 8, 2014 @ 9:44pm

Nice ansi graphics and interesting gameplay :) Though the white-on-yellow left punch text was really hard to read for me...

dertom says ...
May 8, 2014 @ 10:32pm

Puh,...that was tough! But with the help of your instructions it kindof worked out better. Btw,thx for providing executables for linux(that is far from being natural for unity-devs) good job

v3games says ...
May 14, 2014 @ 12:15am

I figured it out and had fun. In a POST-APOCALYPTIC world, my FAVORITE part is the NARRATION.

Marjie62 says ...
May 15, 2014 @ 1:28am

Overall this is pretty polished and fun! The sound was nice, and the visual style was interesting. I wasn't sure why you couldn't see your enemy's head, which seems especially strange since that is one of your targets. I also would have liked it to be a bit more fast-paced, although perhaps it gets faster later on - I didn't get all the way through.

I can understand why some people are finding it confusing, but I think the problem is not that the game is complicated, but rather that it doesn't do a good job of giving positive feedback when you do something right. When you miss a step, you hear bad sounds. When you get it right, all you get is that flashing "focus" effect, which for one thing is ambiguous (My friend looking over my shoulder thought it was telling you to focus, i.e. try harder) and for another thing is hard to link to a specific event - you don't process it fast enough to link it to getting a step right. A green flash around the circles, or greying them out, or some such visual effect when you get them right (plus maybe a good sound) would make this a lot more clear, and also more satisfying.

I looked at your game because you left a nice comment on mine :) (Enlightened) I wanted to let you know also that we actually already have a newer version of our game with AI and up to 4 players, and also some minor interface improvements. The link to it is posted in the comments on the game's page, but I'll leave it here too, if you're interested:

May 16, 2014 @ 10:05pm

As far as criticism goes, I agree with Marjie62 about the feedback and seeing the head, and with klianc09 about the yellow/white color combination. I liked the game in general, especially the narration. Hitting the targets was not too hard. The attacking mechanic could have been a little more interesting than just hitting two buttons at any moment (in practice you always accumulate 9 focus before attacking)

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