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

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Trench War

by rjhelms - Jam Entry

A real-time strategy game of World War 1 era trench warfare. The catch is that, in the chaos of battle, you can't control units directly - just issue orders, and hope that someone follows them in time.

Get 8 soldiers over the top to defeat the enemy.


Machine Gun: suppresses enemy fire around it, but also can damage friendly buildings and units.
Mortar: Breaks enemy morale, reducing the duration if incoming barrages and increasing time between them.
Medic Station: Heals soldiers in an 8-tile radius.
Trenches: Provides cover and safe passage for soldiers.
Walls: They're walls. They stop bullets, but also people.

Other orders:

Sentry: Orders a unit to hold a position for a brief period of time. Useful for trying to get soldiers to take cover in the face of enemy fire.
Charge: Orders a unit to climb out of the trenches and attack the enemy. This will provoke the enemy into heavy fire!

Downloads and Links




FatKarate says ...
Dec 9, 2014 @ 3:13am

Pretty good easy though

error031 says ...
Dec 9, 2014 @ 3:31am

I liked the idea, realy nice game! And the graphics add to the war atmosphere

jarry says ...
Dec 9, 2014 @ 4:39am

Good job, nice game ! but the music in not realy in the mood for a war theme ^^

2Bit says ...
Dec 9, 2014 @ 4:41am

Nice game! Interesting new gameplay

cyrus says ...
Dec 9, 2014 @ 4:46am

Like the game mechanics :) very rewarding!

pkenney says ...
Dec 9, 2014 @ 4:47am

Interesting game. I got a bit confused - the guys have 2 meters on them, I assume one is life but what's the other?

A little more feedback when they're getting hit would be helpful. I also had a hard time telling the difference between victory and defeat. For example one game I dug trenches straight up then charged. The guys got up and ran and it looked like they made it. But then it said I lost.

Lastly I thought the point was moving forward but whenever the guys finish their task they seem to run back to the start. Or was that something else?

You had some nice sound in the game but I'm not sure you connected it to the most important events the player needed feedback on getting hit, dying, and crossing the line.

Loved the idea and presentation. Good thing there was no barbed wire.

CliffracerX says ...
Dec 9, 2014 @ 4:51am

Very nice little idea, you ought to keep working on it after Ludum Dare. Not many games feature this style of unit control, but it's still a really nice style!

Good job!

cmdr says ...
Dec 9, 2014 @ 7:07am

I like the idea. I got a bit confused but I guess it was because of the time constraint. You need to keep working on it after Ludum Dare :D

Tater_hater says ...
Dec 9, 2014 @ 7:10am

I love this game1 it has fun strategy and the WW1 theme is awesome

mahu says ...
Dec 9, 2014 @ 11:59pm

The music dont match with the game atmosphere =/
nice game =)

friggingames says ...
Dec 10, 2014 @ 12:40am

It's possible I just missed something, but there didn't seem to be a win condition. Fun gameplay regardless though.

ChuiGum says ...
Dec 10, 2014 @ 4:03am

Nice music! Good graphics, and nice innovation. Very nice, good job overall!

Dec 10, 2014 @ 5:13pm

Interesting gameplay here! I'd agree with other comments that it's initially a bit confusing, but I'd say it's worth developing the idea after Ludum Dare. :)

rjhelms says ...
Dec 10, 2014 @ 5:26pm

Thanks for playing, and for some great feedback, everybody.

To address some specific comments:

- Yeah, the music doesn't really fit in my opinion either. It was a rush job done right near the end of day 3, and putting together a synthesizer blues jam is something I can pretty much do in my sleep.

- The players have two metrics: health (red) and morale (green). Players lose morale by getting injured, but also by having bullets whiz over their head - when it hits zero, they drop what they're doing and flee to the bottom of the screen, where it slowly recovers.

- Winning and losing: I definitely didn't make this clear as I should have in the game. Units don't automatically "make it" once they're over the top; every 5 seconds, one of them can be killed in no-mans land. You've to to have 8 over the top alive at once to win - that's the "troops to victory" counter in the top right. You lose when you've got no one alive on the battlefield - so if everyone goes over, but never get that counter to 8, you'll lose.

- I agree lots of other things aren't really clear. The two things that are most missing to me is some sort of feedback about the state of jobs and buildings, and feedback about what happens when enemy fire hits a building. I had envisioned some more sprites to show those things, but didn't have time - then I was thinking about progress bars, but that felt like a really clunky solution. (And I also didn't have time.)

I definitely am considering picking this up again once I've had some time to recover!

floorman says ...
Dec 10, 2014 @ 8:21pm

Damn, this game is hard. Could be just me, but I'm really struggling to win. xD

Sh1rogane says ...
Dec 10, 2014 @ 8:39pm

I like the idea but I must say that the music felt a bit off.

Dec 10, 2014 @ 8:44pm

The idea is very interesting, but I found its execution to be quite lacking.
Maybe I'm missing something, but the enemy fires like a gazillion bullets and mortar shells and even spamming mortars and walls doesn't seem to slow them down one bit. With that kind of artillery dominance, the enemy could simply waltz in and take your poorly defended trenches.
Also, I know quite a lot about this time period, and it just doesn't seem like the game is capturing the essence of it (though, to be fair, that needn't be the point).
But I don't want to discourage you; I am certain that with a bit more work and game balance, this can turn out to be a good game.

Pat Kemp says ...
Dec 11, 2014 @ 1:43am

Love the premise of building under fire. I was a little confused at times-- the connection between my building mortars and machine guns and any success vs. the enemy was lost on me. It definitely felt dangerous sending my soldiers out. Great job!

deyteris_team says ...
Dec 11, 2014 @ 11:22am

I had a lot of fun with your game.

hitchh1k3r says ...
Dec 11, 2014 @ 10:08pm

That was an enjoyable game. With a little bit of polish it could be a pretty awesome game. I spent my time building something mostly for fun, but confused how I was supposed to win I just started spamming the charge button until the "Troops to victory" dropped to 0 and I won. Thanks for making this.

Dec 13, 2014 @ 6:40pm

Cool gameplay and innovation. I had a hard time understanding some of the rules and troop behaviours though. I'd build walls and want the troops to get off when they were done, and had a hard time understanding why sometimes I wasn't allowed to build Medic Stations and Mortars.

Over all I enjoyed this though, and I think it could make for a really fun 2 player game with a few tweaks!

Zi says ...
Dec 14, 2014 @ 6:29am

Great game! Very innovative, and quite stressful! Music didn't really *fit* per se, but it was still very good! :D

badlydrawnrod says ...
Dec 14, 2014 @ 7:09pm

It took me a little while to figure out what was going on, but I suspect that's probably true when you're under fire anyway. Good idea, well implemented.

wavertron says ...
Dec 22, 2014 @ 11:17am

Nice little game. Seemed a little tough. But it looks like you got a solid core concept that you could build upon post LD31. Good job

peterthehe says ...
Dec 24, 2014 @ 6:20pm

Very Fun

Vaclav says ...
Dec 24, 2014 @ 6:27pm

I really like the idea of not directly controlling your units.

Shivur says ...
Dec 26, 2014 @ 4:43pm

Very good concept!

csanyk says ...
Dec 27, 2014 @ 4:35pm

WWI history is fascinating. I've always thought that games based on it would be terrible, due to the nature of trench warfare, but on the centennial I'm starting to be prooved wrong in that regard.

I liked the approach you took here with the design for this game, but I don't think the music fits at all to the mood appropriate to a game about the Great War.

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