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

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Ants at War

by magicspark - Jam Entry

"Ants at War" is a 2D real-time strategy game, with a flavor of tower defense game.

Two different species of ants are fighting to protect their respective queen.

- Your are the black ants and are fighting against the red ones.
- Queens drop automatically some ants from time to time.
- Additional units and "towers" can be bought in the sidebar.
- Left-Click on a unit to see the life remaining.
- Right-Click to hide the popup menu.

- Worker ant: not so effective, but costs only 50.
- Soldier ant: very aggressive against other units, cost 120.
- Spider web: slow down units, damage a little bit units, and is not very robust.
- Rocks: obstacle, can be destructed.
- Antlion: if yours, will only eat enemy units.

There are two turrets that have not been fully implemented yet and are not available in the game: a golden ground beetle, and a cicindela larva. They might appear in a post-jam version of the game! The same goes for other variants of ants (acid-throwing ants, and others...).

POST-JAM UPDATE (version 1.2.4):
- Several bug fixes (path-finding, ants sometimes freezing, enemy queens were not spawning soldier units, queens were not checking spawning area and consequently stacked units...).
- Path-finding weights has been changed on each map.
- Multiple enemy queens on the third map.
- Buttons "play"/"stop" added in the pause screen.
- Units production can be queued.
- Costs of turrets/units has been balanced a bit.
- When clicking on an unit, a description has been added to the tooltip.
- Several code changes to ensure that the game runs fine on Wine (Linux).
- Rocks and spider-webs have now four different visuals.
- Destruction of rocks is now visually progressive.
- Multiple buildings can now be created by a single click (as if you were painting with the building).

Olivier and Sylvain Wenger (@bigsylvain)

Downloads and Links




harleylaurie says ...
Apr 29, 2014 @ 2:41am

I love this game, the only downside is the difficulty.
It's extremely easy, you only need 2-3 ants to win because once they make it to the enemy queen the new enemy ants that spawn not defend it, they just come to attack your queen instead.
You can just get a couple ants attacking the enemy queen and block yours off with rocks.
I think it would be better if the rocks were a lot easier to break.
In the mushroom level is there two pathways going around your side of the map but nothing will ever go through the bottom side, even if you block the top off completely.
The music and art for this game is amazing, and I think the ants seem to dance to the soundtrack sometimes? That's awesome :)

ghostmaple says ...
Apr 29, 2014 @ 2:58am

Looks great, and the music and graphics build a nice overall mood too. I'd love to play this once it's been fully fleshed out.

magicspark says ...
Apr 29, 2014 @ 3:10am

Thanks :)

@harleylaurie: the queens used to drop also soldiers ants, which enabled them to be more defended. However, we saw just after the deadline that a variable had changed and that the queens only drop workers ants all the time... I'll have to test for the mushroom level, maybe the weights on the map are not adapted.

Galdon says ...
Apr 29, 2014 @ 3:13am

Looks like it has potential, though the enemy doesn't spawn anything beyond the weakest unit so it is effortlessly easy.

xbcw says ...
Apr 29, 2014 @ 3:28am

Nice graphics and sound. I was a bit confused on how to play.

Clinthoney says ...
Apr 29, 2014 @ 3:32am

Love all the graphics and the music but I wish there was some kind of guide because I have no idea what i'm doing.

BuriTeam says ...
Apr 29, 2014 @ 3:37am

It looks like it's cool.. but It's crashing here man! When it's loading the maps

magicspark says ...
Apr 29, 2014 @ 3:55am

@BuriTeam: it crashes for every map? What Windows are you using?

@Clinthoney: we had planned to add a lot more stuff to the game, for example some text instead of just "victory" or "defeat". Basically, you can buy some additional units, or "plant" things in the ground to prevent the red ants to attack the queen.

gene-z says ...
Apr 29, 2014 @ 4:22am

Very nice Graphics, but confuse,,

Marjie62 says ...
Apr 29, 2014 @ 4:28am

Looks amazing, but I had a lot of trouble getting it to work. The ants would all freeze after playing for a few minutes. At first I thought it was because I blocked off their only path, but that didn't seem to be the case the later times I played. Also, it was very difficult to pan to the right, because of the toolbar. The ants didn't seem to attack each other when they met

BMacIntosh says ...
Apr 29, 2014 @ 4:40am

Really nice looking game! I had one serious issue where all the ants on the map just stopped moving. They just stood around playing their idles.

EvilGummy says ...
Apr 29, 2014 @ 4:41am

Really love the art for this, UI included! Had trouble figuring it out at first, such as what ants did what. Still really cool!

Apr 29, 2014 @ 4:48am

Nice art style but I found the UI kind of confusing.

sP0CkEr2 says ...
Apr 29, 2014 @ 4:51am

nice job. the look of the ants was awesome. I really felt like I was watching real ants. the gameplay needs work but overall I liked it.

Naouak says ...
Apr 29, 2014 @ 12:04pm

I did not undestood what I had to do.

theengineers says ...
Apr 29, 2014 @ 1:44pm

Beautiful game, although not very intuitive.

GamerTaters says ...
Apr 29, 2014 @ 8:53pm

Love the visuals and seems fun to play but the only issue is that it crashed midway the game.

Lukbebalduke says ...
Apr 29, 2014 @ 9:00pm

Nice game, nice graphics and songs. But some times the game "bug" and all the ants stop.

magicspark says ...
Apr 29, 2014 @ 10:22pm

@GamerTaters and Lukbebalduke, thanks for the feedback, we will test and try to solve that crash.

Apr 29, 2014 @ 11:18pm

I click on the production but nothing seem to be happening. The money is dropping correctly but no ants are being produced.

The art style is top-notch though, and this could definitely become something great when completed.

magicspark says ...
Apr 29, 2014 @ 11:44pm

@theholychicken: Thanks :) The queen only drops a unit every second or so, which means if you buy units (the first two icons) they will be queued and created as soon as possible. For the other icons ("towers"), they have to be placed on the map!

Cambrian_Man says ...
Apr 30, 2014 @ 3:23am

First, those graphics are amazing. The music is good, too. However... you managed to combine two of my worst genres, so I have no idea what I was doing. Still, definitely something to expand on, post-jam. Very cool.

Xeke_Death says ...
Apr 30, 2014 @ 9:00am

Looks and sounds great. I had some trouble figuring out which ant was mine to start with, and at various points all the ant just stopped moving.
Other than that it was good fun.

metkis says ...
Apr 30, 2014 @ 8:38pm

The graphics are stunning! I found the game to be a tad too easy, but hey, that's hardly a problem coming from me.

brodavi says ...
May 1, 2014 @ 6:19am

I agree, amazing graphics! The game was obviously very ambitious, and you've done an incredible job getting it this far! That said, I couldn't get into the flow. I think more time on mechanics/polish and less on the amazing graphics would have been a good trade off.

Excellent job! :D

PapyGaragos says ...
May 1, 2014 @ 12:18pm

Good art and good audio. The game itself was a bit confusing at first, but after a while i found it pretty easy.

May 1, 2014 @ 4:29pm

Nice graphics! Needs some adjustments to the difficulty (too easy) and path finding, but other than that feels quite solid!

May 1, 2014 @ 6:20pm

Cool game! I included your game in part 6 of my Ludum Dare compilation video series!

May 1, 2014 @ 6:24pm

I made a mistake, it is in part 7 :)

May 1, 2014 @ 11:50pm

The graphics look great. As others have said, it is really easy to win. Also, I kept encountering a problem where I could get all path-finding to stop. Enemy ants and my ants would just give up and stand still. I think it was due to the placement of the underground bug.

Overall, this is a cool idea that I'd like to see fleshed out.

May 2, 2014 @ 3:37am

Here it is:

td1801 says ...
May 2, 2014 @ 4:22pm

An impressive game, but all the ants stop after somes times..

TheGreenTie says ...
May 2, 2014 @ 5:08pm

The graphics were perfect!

gwa says ...
May 2, 2014 @ 7:30pm

Ipressiv special the graphics are awsome

May 2, 2014 @ 8:10pm

great work! Sadly it is "to easy" to really enjoy it but that does not change the great art and music (- : very well made, thx for sharing!

May 2, 2014 @ 11:37pm

Great mood. I really enjoyed the graphics but gameplay was awkward.

Rikkter Games says ...
May 3, 2014 @ 4:03pm

Very good game! Plays well though there are two small things that are missing in this game that would have made it harder and much more enjoyable in my opinion.

The first is that there should have been a cooldown on all the units this was kinda essential I feel because I would just keep spamming the soldier units.

The second thing is that the enemy ant queen should have used the soldier ants as well this would have added a bit of difficulty as well since they are a lot harder to kill.

There was a bug in the game I found though and that was in the third level where all the ants stopped moving. I'm not completely sure why but I have an idea that if one ant is stuck all the others stop moving. I came to this conclusion because I got one my ants stuck in rocks I placed and all the other ants stopped.

Again good job on the game and if you do continue this after the fact I hope it all goes well and turns into what you envisioned for it!

May 3, 2014 @ 9:07pm

Cool concept for a game. I love the art and music, very slick. Maybe not the most intuitive game ever, could use a bit more in the way of tutorials and hints to guide the player along - but I understand you probably didn't have time for that. Once you do get to grips with it its a bit easy, as well. Otherwise this is a great job and I'd love to see it expanded upon.

NicoM says ...
May 4, 2014 @ 2:04am

Gorgeous game, I wasnt entirly sure of what to do, some menu buttons didn't seem to have an effect, and eventually I managed to get every any stuck in one hole and spinning around crazily, but I'm pretty sure thats my fault. The art amazes me, looks like you put months into it:) the music is great too:) GREAT JOB!!:D

dertom says ...
May 4, 2014 @ 8:07pm

Very good and polished game already! I wasn't quite sure how to control the ants but it was fun see the queen do all the work while I press the buttons :D I won but wasn't sure how exactly I did achieve it. Nonetheless very good stuff!

tehryanx says ...
May 4, 2014 @ 8:55pm

great work! the ants looked perfect

May 5, 2014 @ 9:41am

Amazing art, a bit confusing though. At one point, all the ants stopped moving and I didnt know what to do.
It has a lot of potential!

Team-KwaKwa says ...
May 5, 2014 @ 11:29am

Woa, really really great guys!
Polish & fun!

mcapraro says ...
May 7, 2014 @ 5:23am

really cool, and amazing that you built this in such a short amount of time! great job!

May 16, 2014 @ 9:01pm

Had quite a bit of fun giving this a play. I always enjoy slower paced games that are almost like an rts. I would say maybe give folks something like a mutant ant tower they can build/upgrade and your set.

The only issues I ran into was so many ants getting caught in an ant lion pit crashing/freezing the game. So awesome job.

Also this was featured in a handy dandy Ludum Dare showcase ta boot.

Nanolotl says ...
May 17, 2014 @ 1:03pm

Amazing graphics. Best that I have seen for this LD. The music wasn't bad either. The ant behaviours seemed a little odd though. Sometimes they would just stop and not do anything.

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