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

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Lethal Reflection

by steve - 48 Hour Compo Entry

I struggled with this theme, in the end I decided to focus on the connected part and interpreted it as "everything in the world is connected".

I ended up making a shooter and attempted to link the spawn patterns to the players interactions with the world, thus the player would be connected to the world through their actions.

Unfortunately having the player completely dictate the tempo of the game made it feel a little lifeless, so after iterating to try and find the fun in the game I lost a lot of the connected world nature of it, but there's still some of it in there and as I added more mechanics I tried to add them on the principal of world interactions rather than player interaction.

The game is basically a dual stick shooter, I highly recommend playing with an Xbox 360 controller if you have one, but the game supports keyboard and mouse too if you don't. (the game is entirely balanced around using a controller though, so will be harder to play without - it's also possible to play keyboard only if you don't have a mouse)

As I was trying to keep to the theme the mechanics of this shooter are a little quirky, which unfortunately results in it being pretty brutal if you try to play against how the game wants you to play it!

Anyway, hope people have fun with this, cheers.


So after watching a few livestreams of people playing the game I realise it does perhaps warrant a little more explanation.


First off, avoid everything; it all hurts.

If you get hurt your ship will recharge health so long as you don't get hit again within 5 seconds.

To score in the game you need to collect the tiny green circles (pickups), you don't get any score from shooting things.

Shooting the blue enemies will give you a score multiplier increasing the value of collecting the pickups from 5 to 10 to 15 to (etc...).

Red enemies are indestructible, just dodge around them.

Any missed shots that hit the wall of the arena will cause the arena to shoot back at you with a fast moving enemy (shooting star).

Any shooting stars that collide with asteroids will be destroyed and will drop pickups.

If you find yourself overwhelmed by shooting stars, stop shooting and just dodge around the enemies for a few seconds, the chaos will abate.

Intentionally spawning shooting stars and causing them to hit asteroids is a great way to increase your score.

By encouraging the player to think about how their interaction with the game world affects the difficulty/scoring opportunities I was hoping to make the player feel "connected" to it.

Downloads and Links




DrHahn says ...
Aug 25, 2014 @ 8:23am

This is pretty cool, I love the colours and the flashy. I can't really tell if the blue things are bad when they hit me, but still, cool.

ZirconCode says ...
Aug 25, 2014 @ 12:55pm

Awesome graphics, bright and flashy, very retro, fun gameplay. Love the feel to it, very exciting ^_^

Powerups, a chip tune, and a wider variety of 'enemies' would be some features I would expand on. A bit low on 'theme'.

Nice! Keep on Coding!

Peping says ...
Aug 25, 2014 @ 12:55pm

Great little arcade. Amazing visuals! Not sure how well it fits the theme though.

monsterkillu says ...
Aug 25, 2014 @ 12:55pm

Excellent graphics and effects .. Played it with a gamepad.. Fluidly myself a 18905.. Would loved some powerups as well. Tutorials are fantastic.. But only problem i've got with is the theme. Maybe you could've connected those asteroids or something or have some portals appearing so that we can go to another connected world with a different kinds of enemies :) .. Nicely done

BillToWin says ...
Aug 25, 2014 @ 12:59pm

Very nice mood, the graphic design and the sounds meshed well together. Solid gameplay reinforcing the theme is a plus in my book. Reminded me a lot of Geometry Wars. Also, Lethal Reflection is a really good title for your game and awesome in general.

Hyoga-3D says ...
Aug 25, 2014 @ 1:08pm

The gameplay felt a bit confuse, but I really liked the glow on the objects.

LPeter1997 says ...
Aug 25, 2014 @ 6:47pm

Really cool game! Love the graphics!

Colthor says ...
Aug 25, 2014 @ 6:59pm

Great, responsive controls. Clear, bright, readable graphics. And I really like the shoot wall -> generate baddies -> hit other baddies -> profit mechanic.

Moist says ...
Aug 25, 2014 @ 8:19pm

Wonderfully smooth and responsive. Had a lot of fun playing this. Also, the code is a pleasure to look at. :)

fallingBear says ...
Aug 25, 2014 @ 8:21pm

Awesome visual, fast paced, loads of fun. Great job.

Andrew Adams says ...
Aug 25, 2014 @ 9:58pm

Why you no Mac?

alycarter says ...
Aug 25, 2014 @ 10:01pm

really fun and has a good feel to the shooting. i like how fast paced it is but still manageable. could have taken the theme into account more though.

lolofinil says ...
Aug 26, 2014 @ 2:11pm

Nice graphics!

Mach60KAS says ...
Aug 26, 2014 @ 2:17pm

Loved the Geometry Wars like feel, dodging the shooting stars gets really hectic! Graphics were clean and well done, overall a great effort!

stink123456 says ...
Aug 26, 2014 @ 6:05pm

Fun and addictive game in an impressively small sized package.

JangoBrick says ...
Aug 26, 2014 @ 6:09pm

Best game I played so far! I absolutely love it! Brilliant idea, beautiful graphics and sound effects. Simple concept, but a lot of fun! Wow!

Aug 26, 2014 @ 6:10pm

Great risk/reward mechanics with shooting. Glad I couldn't just mash the fire button...that turned out terrible for me! Great game, loving the glow effects.

ReddogStone says ...
Aug 26, 2014 @ 6:12pm

Wow, such a polished game. It's way too stressful for me xD But it really looks, sounds and feels GREAT. How did you finish *that* in 48 hours??

lucidsheep says ...
Aug 26, 2014 @ 11:47pm

Super polished and fun, but I have to dock points for it not relating to the theme very well.

Aug 26, 2014 @ 11:48pm


nicso says ...
Aug 26, 2014 @ 11:56pm

really cool game. The kind of game where you don't really get the link with the theme at first glance, but you don't care cause it is really good ^^

good job!

Crazi456 says ...
Aug 27, 2014 @ 12:16am

Very fun game! Great visuals and sound effects, great work!

tigerbyte says ...
Aug 27, 2014 @ 1:22am

Loved it. There's so much polish here. I played with both a 360 gamepad and the mouse/keyboard and I can't find any issues with either. The fact that your bullets come back to bite you is a mechanic I've seen, but don't see often.

Some might say it's a stretch on the theme but I totally dig the take.

jdavidson091 says ...
Aug 27, 2014 @ 1:39am

Quick, fun, and addicting - love the color and art style as well! Not heavy on theme and music would be nice, and the whole game is very much a copy of others out there. Overall very nice

slumber says ...
Aug 27, 2014 @ 4:43am

geometry wars, i love that game, so obviously i enjoyed yours as well. great job!

liquidminduk says ...
Aug 27, 2014 @ 7:44am

I really enjoyed playing this!
Great stark visuals and presentation!

Good work

burgerdare says ...
Aug 27, 2014 @ 1:34pm

brilliant. The core mechanic reminds me a lot of an old DS game called big bang mini, where missed shots explode into bullets which are then lethal to the player. It works very well in a top down wave based twin stick shooter format.

hb3p8 says ...
Aug 27, 2014 @ 6:54pm

Awesome! Great job.

MarekkPie says ...
Aug 28, 2014 @ 1:10am

As an avid Geometry Wars: Retro Evolved player, this makes me feel funny in the loins area.

pansapiens says ...
Aug 28, 2014 @ 5:55am

My favorite LD30 game so far (and will honestly be hard to top). I don't think I need to say much here - we chatted on Twitch about the mechanics. It feels pretty unique and is awesome fun !

steve says ...
Aug 28, 2014 @ 2:34pm

@monsterkillu I figured tethers and portals would be explored in a lot of the games this LD, so I wanted to go for something a little different, by giving the player influence over the intensity of the game and then encouraging the player to play with that link, to control it to their advantage to improve their score they would then perhaps feel "connected to the world". But that is only a weak connection to the theme I know, so I'm not trying to portray it as otherwise :)

@Moist I was surprised how readable the code was in the end, usually it's a horrible mess!

@AndrewAdams I'm afraid I don't have time to port this to other platforms, I always say next Ludum Dare I'll just do a web based game so everyone can play it, then on the day I take ages to think up an idea, worry about the time left and then just go with what I know, as it's faster for me to work with!

@ReddogStone It came together surprisingly quickly, which helped a lot as I was able to progress onto polishing the game early on, I've only done a few LDs now, but I'm definitely getting the impression that nailing your gameplay on the first day is a huge bonus as it gives you the entire rest of the time to polish the hell out of it! If you check out the playable time lapse I posted above you can see how the game shaped up over time.

And thanks to everyone for their kind remarks on the game :)

Crefossus says ...
Aug 29, 2014 @ 12:36pm

Could use a tutorial mode to describe the mechanics as it's a lot to take everything in at once from reading paragraphs.
Energetic music would help.

badlydrawnrod says ...
Aug 29, 2014 @ 6:44pm

This is stylish and attractive. It is one of those games where you play for a few seconds, you get killed, you try again, and again, and then suddenly it clicks and you're in the zone. This will be staying on my hard drive after LD. Definitely my type of game.

I was going to say "it's somewhat reminiscent of Geom..." then my typing tailed off as I saw who wrote it. So, thanks for two games that I enjoy.

Otrora Games says ...
Aug 30, 2014 @ 3:24pm

Pretty fancy and frantic. Good job!

skiddings says ...
Aug 30, 2014 @ 11:25pm

It's fun to play and the graphics are great but I don't see how it connects to the theme

Aug 31, 2014 @ 12:59am

Very fluid and fast-paced. When I learned that your shots bounce off the walls it really made me rethink how I played.
This is amazing for being made in such a short time!

MechanicMoon says ...
Sep 2, 2014 @ 3:08am

Very nice. Awesome colors!

mcapraro says ...
Sep 2, 2014 @ 4:14pm

wow! very fast and smooth, a fun game to play - albeit hard! well done on your entry! i would have loved an easier introduction, its really fast out of the gate

klianc09 says ...
Sep 4, 2014 @ 6:06pm

Really though, but fancy visuals and fluid gameplay.
This game is the first time I wish I had a slower gun^^
Some great chiptune music would have been cool to complete the experience.

rfgpfeiffer says ...
Sep 5, 2014 @ 9:41am

This feels so good! Your game is like the one I made, except better. It feels like it was made by grapefrukt (I mean that as a compliment, not that you ripped them off or something).

sephyka says ...
Sep 8, 2014 @ 11:54am

I can't play because of the lack of XINBUT1_3.dll.
It looks like very dynamic and visually great!

Xanjos says ...
Sep 9, 2014 @ 12:39am

This was actually very fun and addictive to play and I really like how you can risk spraying your shots about intentionally to generate loads of shooting stars in order to obtain more green orbs to collect.

Snicklodocus says ...
Sep 10, 2014 @ 9:04pm

Great art and sound effects! I though there was some really smart design choices that led to great gameplay. Missed some fast-paced music and better connection to the theme. One of my favorites so far! Great job.

egor-idiot says ...
Sep 15, 2014 @ 5:07pm

Nice action and brilliant graphics.

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