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

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A Pong Story

by StencylTuo - 48 Hour Compo Entry

Please be sure to actually read the storyline. It's the entire focus of this game. :)

Controls:
WS/Up & Down to move
Space/Enter to continue through dialogue and start the game

Inspiration:
The second game I ever developed (years ago) was about a square and a circle trapped inside of a game. When I heard about the theme for this LD, I knew it was time to revive that idea again. That's why the dialogue is so critical to understanding what's going on. The person at the bottom is the one standing in front of the old Pong arcade game. The one at top, well you'll figure out who that is. Using Pong as my game choice created a second "connected world", that of the past and the present (although in all honesty it was really that this was the only game idea I could come up with where I could make my crappy graphics look good :P).

Tips:
Stage 1: This is a standard Pong game. If you need help with it, find someone who has actually played the original. I tried to stay as faithful to it as possible.
Stage 2: If you actually read the dialogue (and see the size of your "paddle"), then I hope you realize the objective is to LOSE, not to win. It's a narrow opening, but the ball moves slower originally than in Stage 1.
Stage 3: Your ally will always move slowly to the closest incoming ball, so let it handle those. Be careful though of one that is coming in slowly with a second ball about to overtake it; your ally will start moving towards the second one instead as soon as it is closer.

Tools:
Coding: Stencyl
Music: cgMusic
Sound Effects: as3sfxr
Graphics: Paint.NET

And finally, THANKS FOR PLAYING!

Downloads and Links


Ratings

#155Audio3.46
#378Humor2.63
#404Mood3.17
#585Fun3.00
#802Overall2.96
#855Innovation2.77
#979Theme2.54
#1020Graphics2.31
#1204Coolness49%

Comments

BoskoSokolov says ...
Aug 25, 2014 @ 3:30am

Nice game, love the music. :)

Aug 25, 2014 @ 3:36am

It's not mentioned once that you have to press Enter to make a new ball. Also, I don't know if there's supposed to be anything other than Pong, but I can't find it other than the few lines at the very beginning.

foolmoron says ...
Aug 25, 2014 @ 3:36am

Really cool music

Aug 25, 2014 @ 3:36am

It's not mentioned once that you have to press Enter to make a new ball. Also, I don't know if there's supposed to be anything other than Pong, but I can't find it other than the few lines at the very beginning.

Aug 25, 2014 @ 3:39am

The music is really great. There are some many parts and progressions. I have never taken the time to do a study of pong. Now I am intrigued.

StencylTuo says ...
Aug 25, 2014 @ 4:44am

@ Bosko: Thanks. This was my first time using cgMusic. I went through quite a few random samples to find ones that fit the mood for each stage.

@Carrot: I guess I should have been clearer with my "and start the game" comment on the instructions. There are three versions of pong, each a part of a larger story (although with only three parts, the story is short too :P).

@Cobra: Thanks. Yes, the history of Pong is a rather fascinating one. I almost named the two individuals after the creators of it, but I didn't know how that would go down.

StencylTuo says ...
Aug 25, 2014 @ 4:45am

@ Fool: Thanks :)

ENDESGA says ...
Aug 25, 2014 @ 4:54am

Snazzy music! :D Cool game!

StencylTuo says ...
Aug 25, 2014 @ 5:01am

@ ENDESGA: Thanks. I'm glad you liked it :)

StencylTuo says ...
Aug 25, 2014 @ 9:31pm

Just fixed a quick bug (allowed by rule 8) that caused the game to be unwinnable if you lost in story mode.

Navarckyx says ...
Aug 26, 2014 @ 12:57pm

I kept losing stage 1 :( But I know that's my fault and I'll keep trying in the coming days until I beat it!

StencylTuo says ...
Aug 26, 2014 @ 2:19pm

@ Navarckyx: There is a difficulty option at the bottom. You start off on normal, so you can change to easy if you want. Also, one strategy is to keep bouncing back straight across to build up the speed, and once it's fast enough, THEN try to angle it. ;)

Aug 27, 2014 @ 7:50pm

Very cool. I would make it clearer which levels you've unlocked on the main menu, as I couldn't tell initially that I only had level 1 unlocked.

Navarckyx says ...
Aug 28, 2014 @ 11:02am

Thanks StencylTuo, but I just beat the game on normal ... I don't think I would've been satisfied beating it on easy anyway.

As for the game, it's fun and I think the music is pretty good! I don't really remember the second (and third?) tracks, possibly because the first one is stuck firmly in my head :) There were times I swear the ball should've bounced but went through - not sure if that's just me being crazy or the game though. My only real suggestion for improvement is that the border of the play area is the same black as the area beyond it so it's hard to see where it will bounce; would've been nice if it was different.

Good job!

StencylTuo says ...
Aug 29, 2014 @ 2:50pm

@ Thingo: I agree; I tried using alternate font colors to help, but that destroyed the black & white theme. Perhaps I should have darkened the unavailable options... Also, one thing I did not have time to do was to add in a small hover text that said something like "Unlocked by beating story mission x."

@ Navarckyx: I'm glad you were able to beat it. The paddle does indeed work properly despite what it could look like. If you move the paddle over the ball after it's already passed the front, it will not bounce back, and that is what players often see when it looks like it went "through"; in reality, you moved the paddle through the ball, not the other way around. As for the border, I agree it would have helped (for the coding too :P), but I was being as true to the original Pong game as I could (and that game did not have borders).

Natrium729 says ...
Aug 31, 2014 @ 4:22pm

Well, it is a pong game. However, I care as much (more?) for the story than for the gameplay. And the story simple but good. The idea of the inverse pong where you have too loose is fun too!

Piscythe says ...
Sep 2, 2014 @ 2:27am

That was the most intense pong I've ever played. When I first started, I had the brilliant idea to set the thing to hard. I lost 0-11, tried again and lost 1-11. Then I turned it down to normal and it seems I was just way the heck out of practice with pong because it took me 4 failed attempts before I won decisively. The second two game modes were fun, though I found the third game a bit easy compared to the previous two. Loved the music!

StencylTuo says ...
Sep 4, 2014 @ 3:24pm

@Natrium: Yes, the focus of the game is on the story. The pong game is just a backdrop for it. I wanted a game type that I could change based on the story, and Pong seemed like a good option :).

@Piscythe: Yes, it can be very challenging; it takes some skill of prediction to where the ball will bounce to do well. Ironically, I have had others who found the third level to be harder than the first, so I guess you just learned the system for it ;).

PowerSpark says ...
Sep 9, 2014 @ 10:49pm

I'm bad at this because I can't keep track of the small ball. Good game though.

StencylTuo says ...
Sep 12, 2014 @ 4:01am

Thanks. I did think about making the ball bigger, but it seemed like a good size as it was (gameplay-wise).

SnapDragon says ...
Sep 15, 2014 @ 2:33am

Nice game

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