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

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Dream of Depth

by Cirrial - Jam Entry

Retake the ocean from the crystalline forces that have driven your people out. Use the last remaining biological technology of your people to create a base and raise an army to reclaim the sea, and destroy that which now lurks beneath the surface of the waters.

Because I didn't have time to add literally any explanation or tutorial or tips, here's a few things to keep in mind here:

- Moving the mouse to the top or bottom of the screen pans the camera.
- Click and drag platforms to move them. There's a limit to how far they can go from the Heart.

- Collect rain from the clouds with the Shower Catcher to obtain resources.
- Build new platforms with the rain you collect.
- Units will fish to feed themselves, will go to heal themselves if hurt, and will attack anything hostile nearby.
- Units that are too damaged to move can be rescued by other units.
- Make more units by using Growth Pods and the Growth Call.

- Your units will feed themselves, but if you want to avoid depleting the fish entirely, a Krill Projector will allow the fish to multiply quite rapidly.
- Your units will prioritise self-preservation above all else. When injured, they will flee back home. If there are Regen Pods for them to heal, they will use them. Otherwise, the Heart will restore them slowly over time.
- Adding a Fish Cache will cause your units to fish whenever they can. Do not add a Fish Cache before a Krill Projector.
- Units will use multiple Fish Caches sensibly, but there isn't much need for more than one.
- Growth Pods require a pair of units to begin growing a new unit.
- Units consider healing the Heart and its connected platforms so important that they can get fixated on it, even if they can't reach the platforms. (Something of a bug, my apologies.)
- Enemy structures will always, always produce new units until they hit their individual per-structure unit cap.
- The crystalline eel damages everything it touches. Woe to the target it aims to destroy the most.

- "Dolphin on strike" is an actual honest near-fatal error. If you see one or more units acting strangely after you see the error message, I apologise. (Letting me know what the state and action numbers would be appreciated too, but that's up to you.)

Things I didn't have time to implement:
- Shading on unit sprites
- Sounds and music
- Any sort of plot exposition
- Any semblance of fair balance or control over units

Enjoy! Hopefully I'll get a post-compo version up before the end of May.

Downloads and Links




sugarbyte says ...
Apr 29, 2014 @ 2:02am

Definitely needed some exposition on plot and connecting to the theme, but the art and animation look great!

kmakai says ...
Apr 29, 2014 @ 3:48pm

Really impressive job with the art and animations! Interesting idea for gameplay, too. Good work.

soulrot says ...
Apr 29, 2014 @ 3:54pm

Does not really feel like a fully finished game (there seem to be signs you had more planned?), but it was still fun to play and it sure does have potential!

Cirrial says ...
Apr 29, 2014 @ 4:36pm

Yeah this game had a number of ideas (armory for ranged weapons, mutations for stat changes and new abilities, dedicated roles assigned to units instead of just a EVERYONE DO THIS button) I had to cut just to reach the deadline. I knew things were bad when I spent the entire second day debugging my terribly unstable unit AI. This was going to be a compo entry until I realised I'd rather spend a day making some graphics instead of submitting "coloured boxes fight, the game".

loxo says ...
Apr 29, 2014 @ 5:27pm

Nice game with great graphics. I made it to the end, but wasn't always sure what to do next. With some more work this could be really great.

radmars says ...
Apr 29, 2014 @ 5:31pm

Really neat, Im a sucker for these simulation-y games. I felt a bit overwhelmed at first as there were so many things to choose from right off the batt. The art style is great though :D

VDOgamez says ...
Apr 30, 2014 @ 5:11am

I see what you were saying about a lack of balance. Despite the gameplay being unpolished, however, the game appears to be visually and technically excellent. I liked the mechanic of arranging the base with platforms on tethers. The character animations are amusing. I'm getting the impression from both my own experience and games I've played that complex multi-player RTS-y type games aren't the most effective in these short development periods due to how carefully they need to be balanced to keep power levels and interactions fair.

javifugitivo says ...
Apr 30, 2014 @ 2:54pm

Its strange, but this game has a lot of good ideas and good gameplay. Nice job!

Apr 30, 2014 @ 8:21pm

is very hard for me =x but is amazing game!

MunkeeBacon says ...
Apr 30, 2014 @ 9:30pm

The graphics are very nice! The game seems a bit unfinished but I'm sure it's due to the amount of graphics that would have been needed to be done in the small amount of time that was provided. Nice job!

eteeski says ...
Apr 30, 2014 @ 9:32pm

Very interesting setting. It would be cool to see this game finished. I wasn't sure what was going on most of the time, but it looks like it would be fun once you understand it.

xdegtyarev says ...
Apr 30, 2014 @ 9:35pm

A very confusing game. Some tutorial would help a lot.

DaanVanYperen says ...
Apr 30, 2014 @ 9:44pm

Love this! Some minor gripes, fish deplete beyond repair, and get stuck after a while (my units just hang around the heart and refuse to move). Not sure if I'm doing anything wrong. But love this!

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

@DaanVanYperen: When all fish are depleted and the units are starving they just go to the heart and try to not starve to death because of its regen. It's kind of a cruel aspect of the game that you can run out of fish; if I could have put a tutorial in on time, I'd have made a note to stress the importance of buying the krill-making building as early as possible.

jellymann says ...
Apr 30, 2014 @ 11:24pm

Loved this game :) Though took me a while to figure out that my people were jumping around like crazy and not doing anything because they were all trying to fix my pods that were too high for them to jump to. Lost once, then figured out a strategy, then I won.

PapyGaragos says ...
May 1, 2014 @ 1:28pm

This game could use a proper tutorial, or at least more explainations in the description... without it I fear some people wouldn't take the time to understand what is going on and don't give this game the chance it deserves

Cirrial says ...
May 1, 2014 @ 2:22pm

@PapyGaragos: Great idea! Added some explanations to the description. Don't know why I didn't think of doing that until now, probably frazzled by the deadline when submitting.

tomvert says ...
May 1, 2014 @ 3:22pm

Wow this seems like a deep game, too bad I felt overwhelmed with all the options. Maybe you could add all the build button progressively so the player can learn every mechanic one by one. Anyway good job, keep it up :D

rezzish says ...
May 2, 2014 @ 12:04am

That was pretty great! Had some of my people get stuck near the end but I was able to beat it.

May 3, 2014 @ 10:37am

Impressive! This has a lot of potential, I think :)
Love the art style!

Switchbreak says ...
May 3, 2014 @ 6:00pm

I won! This game is really good. Took me a while to figure out what was going on but I love it. Could definitely use some sound.

May 3, 2014 @ 7:13pm

Nice artwork. The game is already fun and I'd love to see the end result.

May 4, 2014 @ 12:05am

I love the complexity of this game, very interactive. Although, I feel like a bit too easy. I was able to simply win on my first try but pretty much spamming the attack button. I feel like the units do way too much damage; on another playthrough I amassed about 20 units and had them attack, and they destroyed all of the enemy structures and damaged the core on a single dive.

So yeah, some audio and balance tweaking, and fixing some minor bugs that you already know of, and you have a really great game on your hands!

frogcheese says ...
May 4, 2014 @ 4:55pm

Wow, pretty cool idea for a strategy game. I'd really like to see you go further with this! Pity about the lack of sound, but the graphics are awesome. It took a couple of minutes before I realized what I had to do (like pan the camera down, for instance) but once I did the game turned out pretty easy. A solid entry! :)

Frump says ...
May 6, 2014 @ 4:01am

Very unique game. I had fun figuring it out.

pichifino says ...
May 10, 2014 @ 4:06pm

Like it

May 11, 2014 @ 8:38pm

Great gameplay idea.

conormn says ...
May 15, 2014 @ 5:47am

Really great entry. Was very fun exploring the gameplay. Well done!

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