Ludum Dare 30 — August 22nd-25th, 2014 — Theme: Connected Worlds

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The Two-Dimensional Universe

by Zathnic - Jam Entry

What if it was possible to traverse the universe without those pesky space travel times, jumping from planet to planet almost as if they were connected? Well, in this universe, you can! Your only goal in this game is to reach up as high as you can, and who knows what worlds you may discover by doing so?

Oh, and you're a ball, by the way.

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This is by far my biggest LD entry so far, and I worked on it over 40 hours in the past three days! This game takes mechanics inspired by Within a Deep Forest (as in you don't normally jump around the level, but you gain momentum and bounce ever higher), but they're utilized in a very unique way throughout the game, making gravity play a bigger role. I don't want to spoil too much about the mechanics, but the universe has several different parts that all feel quite different to play through!

Controls can be found in game. Don't forget to extract the game's folder somewhere!

This game shouldn't lag too much, but if it does lag a bit, you could try temporarily disabling the gradients, I think it should help.

I hope you'll enjoy this take of mine on creating a platformer with an unusual combination of mechanics, and hopefully lots of little surprises scattered throughout! :)

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Programs used:
Code - Java (eclipse), using EasyOgg for music
Art - GraphicsGale, Paint.NET and Paint
Music - LMMS (I created the song before the LD started!)

Downloads and Links


Ratings

#180Overall(Jam)3.52
#224Fun(Jam)3.31
#233Innovation(Jam)3.31
#284Theme(Jam)3.38
#392Audio(Jam)3.04
#401Mood(Jam)3.05
#594Graphics(Jam)2.85
#1204Coolness49%

Comments

torcado194 says ...
Aug 27, 2014 @ 2:31am

wow. that was a lot better than i expected it to be! the world is seemingly MASSIVE, and i loved the idea of going between worlds and having the gravity switch (which took a while to get used to)
the only turn-off for me (and the thing that made me stop playing) was that there are no checkpoints or anything; once you die, its all the way to the bottom. You may see this as part of the design, but im going to guess most others would stop playing after the first dath. also it is very difficult trying to platform with the weird mechanics in such a small space with spikes.
If i had more time, this would be a really cool world to experience (even with the somewhat simple graphic style). So kudos to you for proving my upfront judgement wrong!

Zathnic says ...
Aug 27, 2014 @ 2:38pm

Hey, thanks for being the first person to comment on my game without me having rated any other games first! :) I needed a rest after the massive coding in the three days, my head felt really weird at times and I had trouble getting through school (even had to miss some classes); overall I can say that I'm glad I went through this experience once, but I don't think I'm ever going to attempt something this big in such a short time again.

About the thing with the checkpoints, this idea did come up for me somewhere during the developing, but since I thought the game wasn't too hard, and because I wanted to finish, I decided against it. You're right, I also saw it as part of the design, because the game is about reaching as high a height as possible, and checkpoints would give you a head start. But now that I think about it, the first area of the game (until you reach the second world) is rather easy, more of a "get used to the mechanics" area, and having to repeat that is kinda like having to repeat the tutorial every time.

So actually, I think I'm going to do a little post-mortem version where there's a single checkpoint right at the top surface of the first new world you reach (at height 316). It shouldn't be much work, but I still need a break from coding, so I'm probably going to do it during the weekend. I don't think the game needs more checkpoints than that, though - for the reason I mentioned, it's part of the game's mechanics, but also because the "beachy" world has so many different paths to take that this place would be pretty much the perfect starting position.

So, thanks for making me aware of that thing! For new players, right now I can recommend that if a path looks to difficult for you, try turning back and searching for another one, because some ways are easier than others.

kristof says ...
Aug 28, 2014 @ 7:22pm

Wow, for this game to show its full potential, you habe to play it a bit. At first I thought it would be extremely boring to just bounce through a seemingly random world. But when I got higher and the mechanics kept changing, it got really interesting. Nice work!

slowfrog says ...
Aug 28, 2014 @ 7:56pm

The world is really big, it's impressive. And as you said in your description, lots of changes in the game mechanics along the way. The graphics are a bit primitive, but for such a short time jam, they're working OK.
Good work.

Tommislav says ...
Aug 28, 2014 @ 8:02pm

Very nice game. You managed to capture the excitement of exploration in a very good way!

3CGames says ...
Aug 28, 2014 @ 8:18pm

Pretty fun to explore all the different worlds. Got to 575!

Sunflower says ...
Aug 28, 2014 @ 8:22pm

It was rather fun, I even managed to complete the first "layer" of the worlds, but then when I tried to reach the space again, I got completely blocked by a swarm of black clouds; really, I can't see how can they be penetrated without insane luck. >.<

GuillaumeGwi says ...
Aug 30, 2014 @ 5:13pm

Yeah nice game ! i just lost and didn't have the courage to begin from the start (i played the no checkpoint version) but it was fun and interesting

Literal Games says ...
Aug 30, 2014 @ 5:47pm

Really enjoyable game, loved the sense of progression despite not knowing exactly where to go!

borgi says ...
Aug 30, 2014 @ 5:49pm

Great use of the theme! Cool game, enjoyed it!

dancingmad says ...
Aug 30, 2014 @ 10:16pm

You should make a real game out of it, it has some potential :)

4xisblack says ...
Aug 31, 2014 @ 9:24am

Damn this thing is big! Amazing you could get this much done in a weekend. It was a lot of fun to poke around the game world; I'd be curious to see this thing in a more exploration-y style instead of the current challenge-based style(I personally could do without the spikes/hitpoints, for example; it's enough for me just to move around as a ball).

jprogman says ...
Aug 31, 2014 @ 9:37am

The different kinds of gravitation makes this game very enjoyable! The art and music are both great. Good job!
One suggestion: when the gravity is reversed, the left/right control should not be reversed too.
Since it's already mentioned but I'll say it anyhow: I don't like trying to land on a single block as the ball moves too fast.

Zathnic says ...
Aug 31, 2014 @ 12:00pm

@4xisblack Thanks! You should take a look at the game Knytt Underground by Nifflas, I think you'd enjoy it :)

@all Thanks for the comments so far, glad you're enjoying it! I may think about developing this idea further, but that's something for the future, right now I'm just glad I got this thing done. :P

Benjamin says ...
Aug 31, 2014 @ 1:17pm

This game leveldesign is brillant. It made me feel this old discovery feeling I had when I was kid playing on Mo5 or Amiga computers... Mainstream games are totally unable to do that.

The bounce / No gravity switch mechanic works perfect, I like fighting against clouds to bounce higher.

My highscore is 576.

waynaul says ...
Aug 31, 2014 @ 2:17pm

I think the giant levels were too much for my old computer. My frame rate was too low for me to properly review your game (I'll stay at N/A so that I do not affect your scores), but from what I did see, I saw a lot of effort. Great job!

Tanser says ...
Sep 1, 2014 @ 6:50am

Love the jumping. Keep it up! :)

Rehacked says ...
Sep 3, 2014 @ 6:44am

Ah cant open .jar please add a .exe or web version cuz i really want to play this game

Razoric says ...
Sep 4, 2014 @ 5:01pm

This needs to be a real game!

Zathnic says ...
Sep 4, 2014 @ 7:08pm

@Razoric Wow, thanks! :) Maybe some day...

Sep 15, 2014 @ 11:28pm

Fun game! I included it in part 28 of my Ludum Dare 30 compilation video series, if you’d like to take a look :) http://youtu.be/Hmt93jxkWGQ

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