Ludum Dare 31 — December 5th-8th, 2014 — Theme: Entire Game on One Screen

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Brain Builder

by Cheshyr - Compo Entry

Controls:
- Left Mouse button to select and interact
- Middle Mouse button to rotate view

Goals:
- Explore how the regions of the brain interact with each other
- Adjust and improve brain functionality
- Prevent damaging stress levels (not implemented)
- Enable, direct, and engage with the emerging intelligence (not implemented)
- Reach various capability milestones (not implemented)

Core Mechanics:
- Accumulate Stimulation to level up a brain region
- Stimulation produces equivalent Stress
- Accumulate Resources to purchase upgrades (up to the level of the current brain region)
- Stress reduction costs equivalent Resources
- Manage Stress Relief accumulation and distribution
- Overstress can cause distribution errors and upgrade loss (not implemented)

Monologue:
I wanted to create a brain simulator that would allow the player to discover and manipulate the development of an emerging intelligence. The core mechanics would involve keeping the system balanced. Intermediate goals would involve directing how it would grow, both mechanically, and through dialogue-choice interactions based on what upgrades were active. High level objectives would include milestone style achievements, and a final personality profile for the new intelligence.

For some reason, I thought the basic framework could be finished and playable in 48 hours. So, aside from everything I learned about brains and gamedev, I learned a bit about my own mind as well. <.<

The actual mechanics started off loosely based on real brain activity, but rapidly moved into fiction for the sake of simplicity and interesting interactions.

In the end, I didn't have time to implement the Parietal Lobe beyond the (currently disabled) UI, which contained some of the most interesting upgrades. Likewise, the dialogue interactions, milestones, and audio were cut during the last 12 hours. As was balancing, which turns out to be very important in a bounded-system game with player controlled feedback loops. Enjoy the runaway conditions, and Infinity showing up in random places.

Thanks for taking the time to play the game!

Downloads and Links


Ratings

Coolness71%
#83Innovation3.98
#750Graphics2.77
#921Overall2.83
#992Theme3.16
#1154Fun2.10

Comments

jtpup0 says ...
Dec 8, 2014 @ 3:20am

Not too familiar with brains anatomy or activity but it's cool knowing what each one does now; I wasn't sure what I was doing but I felt like a scientist doing it!.. therefore cool game.

Cheshyr says ...
Dec 8, 2014 @ 3:57am

Thanks! I started with how the brain actually works, and it slowly devolved into abstractions, and outright fallacies for the sake of gameplay, but it was fun, and I learned quite a bit. Like, next game has no UI. None. Too tedious. (grumble)

salmonmoose says ...
Dec 8, 2014 @ 4:12am

Neat idea - completely oblivious as to what's going on - I gather it's a cookie clicker style affair, I'd be keen to see where this heads in the future.

tedling says ...
Dec 8, 2014 @ 8:21pm

One question: Are you a brain scientist? :P

gallerdude says ...
Dec 8, 2014 @ 8:33pm

Not exactly sure what I'm doing, but seems cool!

Dec 8, 2014 @ 8:34pm

I dont know how this is a game :D

CustomPhase says ...
Dec 8, 2014 @ 8:37pm

Thats too complex for an average person, in my opinion. I didnt understand anything i did (so much sliders, so much numbers, so much options). Needs more tutoring an info, if you want to make a game about such a narrow known subject.

Cheshyr says ...
Dec 8, 2014 @ 8:55pm

Thanks for the feedback so far. I've updated my description to give a little more direction.

error031 says ...
Dec 8, 2014 @ 9:31pm

Nice simulation, hope you will continue devoloping on whole body :D

Hellequin says ...
Dec 8, 2014 @ 10:12pm

Wow so unique! I liked it!

Dec 8, 2014 @ 10:22pm

interesting but i don't know much anatomy. kinda confusing.

davesoft says ...
Dec 8, 2014 @ 10:23pm

Great little game, after careful management the numbers eventually go insane, but thats the power of the frontal lobe i suppose. Well done!

ijwu says ...
Dec 8, 2014 @ 10:27pm

It took a bit of time to get the hang of it and to learn how everything worked together. After that, it turned out to be somewhat complex to play. The mechanics need a little work, though. I got to the point where the Brain Stem was reducing "Infinity per tick" stress. Check the numbers and balance it some more. Good job overall, though!

liquidmedia says ...
Dec 8, 2014 @ 10:32pm

Good concept, and could be made for real, right now it is hard to tell if anything is happening in the game other than setting the sliders, it looked like it was on pause the entire time.

hazzahazzam says ...
Dec 9, 2014 @ 5:47am

Nifty little game utilising the new Unity UI, I love it, learnt a little.

Tater_hater says ...
Dec 9, 2014 @ 6:28am

Cool idea, Brain simulator haha

Timm638 says ...
Dec 9, 2014 @ 6:30am

Somehow confusing, you should add at least a little tutorial or goal.

Diventurer says ...
Dec 9, 2014 @ 6:30am

What is going on. Haha. Time to study biology!

davient says ...
Dec 9, 2014 @ 6:49am

Love the concept. Though couldn't quite get into what was affecting what. Could do with a slower unlock process to guide the player through what to do.

karlipoppins says ...
Dec 9, 2014 @ 8:45am

Just played SimBrain :) Great simulation. One thing that was missing was the incentive to work on the different brain areas.

mrexcessive says ...
Dec 9, 2014 @ 6:35pm

Hi there. Interesting looking presentation. Played with it a bit clicking and rotating. Did not manage to achieve anything I could understand...

GarethIW says ...
Dec 10, 2014 @ 9:23pm

nice idea.

-C

thopis says ...
Dec 11, 2014 @ 8:28am

Like it very much!The concept is just great!

sandbaydev says ...
Dec 12, 2014 @ 8:44pm

Nice concept. This game would benefit a lot from more feedback. Once I click a brain area, it should change color/transparency or use arrow or anything to indicate what you've selected.

Same thing with the sliders: now it's difficult to understand why i first select a lobe, and then get to select "stimulus distribution on other lobes too"? Is Occipital Lobe responsible for disttributing stimulus to frontal lobe?

So... if game would start with just one lobe and then introduce more, that would perhaps be more interesting.

Nice work and has potential.

Cheshyr says ...
Dec 12, 2014 @ 10:20pm

@sandbaydev Yeah, each lobe controls specific resource distributions and upgrades for all lobes. The idea was to try to maintain balance during growth. Only the basic mechanics made it into implementation, and the interface is really bad, frankly.

Dissiden7 says ...
Dec 16, 2014 @ 11:30pm

I didn't quite understand what I was doing, but it's cool to see someone trying something so different.
With the missing features and by spending some time tinkering with the systems I could see myself syncing loads of time on this. It reminded me of Diplomacy 3.

Good effort.

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