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

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Cultural Influences

by Sandcrawler - Compo Entry

This interactive experience is about cultural influences, and makes use of a variety of references to create an experience.

It has some vaguely game like features. But it is not difficult in the slightest.

Controls:
Arrows keys (that is it)

Gamejolt note:
I want to be upfront about this, the appeal of using gamejolt for me is having access to Trophies and a leaderboard (that I don't have to attempt to secure) My reason for using the gamejolt platform has nothing to do with the few pennies that I'll earn from advertising.

Gamejolt Features:
22 Trophies
1 Leaderboard (speed/time based)

Keep an eye on my LD blog if you are unsure of a reference and would like to know, in a week or so I'll make a post of all of the references used and how I used them.


Source:
The only change made to the source from the game is the gameID and private key for Gamejolt being removed.

Downloads and Links


Ratings

Coolness81%
#93Humor3.51
#430Audio2.92
#829Mood2.61
#934Fun2.63
#1006Innovation2.41
#1101Graphics2.14
#1114Overall2.52
#1209Theme1.66

Comments

Dec 8, 2014 @ 6:55am

I enjoyed it!

I like quirky little adventure games and this one gave me a few chuckles.

Really not sure how you'd make it better, it kind of is what it is. Maybe branching paths?

kirbytails7 says ...
Dec 8, 2014 @ 8:06am

Good for a few laughs. I like it. I did notice a few of your audio triggers getting hit multiple times, though ("It's a hard-knock life! It's a hard-knock life! It's a hard-knock life!...").

Sandcrawler says ...
Dec 8, 2014 @ 8:29am

@kirbytails7 Woops I though I fixed them all, missed that one.

Tanner says ...
Dec 8, 2014 @ 7:41pm

Audio and Humor 5/5. Great!

pancakecity says ...
Dec 9, 2014 @ 12:33am

hahahah this is incredible can't stop playing

ponk says ...
Dec 9, 2014 @ 1:04am

Funny graphics and hilariooOOouus .. !!

Drtizzle says ...
Dec 9, 2014 @ 11:00am

Great crappy graphics and funny voice over. This is truly a D.I.Y. game :)
Nice music also, it's only to loud in comparison with the voice.

I had fun playing it, and that's what it is about right?

Good job!

GagaPete says ...
Dec 9, 2014 @ 11:30am

Some things are pretty funny. Got the problem that multiple spoken tracks where played at the same time and I have the feeling that I missed some story part.
But it is incredibly funny.

rainshapes says ...
Dec 10, 2014 @ 7:09pm

Stop telling me to go to sleep!

fullmontis says ...
Dec 11, 2014 @ 8:55am

Ok, I laughed, that was quite humorous. I would make so that when another line of dialog starts, the old one stops, since there were a few times where two audio tracks overlapped and I could not understand a thing :D

6DownStudios says ...
Dec 12, 2014 @ 12:01am

Nice to see this kind of humor in LD, walking animation's pretty funny too ;)

JJEvil says ...
Dec 12, 2014 @ 7:35pm

Funny. Weird & funny.

TheMeorch says ...
Dec 12, 2014 @ 9:16pm

This is a funny little adventure. It doesn't seem to really fit with the theme, though. I missed a few lines because they overlapped.

SK16 Games says ...
Dec 12, 2014 @ 11:15pm

Haha hilarious game, always love voice acting :D

puppetmaster says ...
Dec 16, 2014 @ 9:11pm

Very, special game! :-)
My kids had fun to play it.

cxsquared says ...
Dec 18, 2014 @ 11:15pm

That was freaking hilarious. Nice work lol.

Bloxri says ...
Dec 19, 2014 @ 12:43am

What did I just play again? haha good submission.

metalchouchen says ...
Dec 21, 2014 @ 2:15am

It's really weird :)

FrozenCow says ...
Dec 21, 2014 @ 1:46pm

:D great job, a few good laughs!

jotson says ...
Dec 23, 2014 @ 4:42pm

This game makes me happy.

Dec 24, 2014 @ 1:24pm

Really. Weird.

el-pepi says ...
Dec 27, 2014 @ 2:51am

Pretty funny game!

Kabukky says ...
Dec 27, 2014 @ 2:53am

So weird. Good job!

hoqjed says ...
Dec 27, 2014 @ 5:28am

Well, I have to say this didn't do a whole lot for me. It's sort of interesting to make something that's almost entirely composed of pop culture references, but there didn't seem to be an effort to connect them in any way. This makes the whole thing really disjointed, and makes it feel pretty hollow since it doesn't seem to really have an interest in creating a dialogue about anything in particular.

The lack of interaction really cripples this quite a bit. It's not so much the idea that in order for it to be a "game" you need "game stuff" like enemies, platforms, princesses, whatever. It's the feeling I get that you wanted to represent all the references with audio and images FIRST, and then figure out how the player was going to see all of those things. Since the gameplay's purpose is only to get the character from scene A to B, it's essentially about as interactive as a slideshow presentation.

Since the interaction is a really important aspect to an interactive experience, I wanted to elaborate on it a bit more with an example. In the Matrix reference (red plant or blue plant), you are forced to take BOTH plants to continue. You're (possibly unintentionally) conveying with the game mechanics a paradox, and it contradicts the film reference completely. Now, that's actually kind of interesting, but the whole game plays out that way (enter scene, collect/move to X thing, next scene). Not having commentary on it also invalidates the notion that the lack of choice meant anything. You can sort of see where I'm coming from when I say how important the interaction portion is in games. Just like any other medium, you can communicate ideas with a game; except unlike other mediums you can do it with interaction.

The audio itself here isn't bad. The narration itself was good, but the content was lacking somewhat. Each scene and it's commentary was completely separate to each other, so it didn't flow well from one to the next. In addition, there are many occasions where the narration plays over itself if you trigger certain things too early. A couple ways to handle that would have been to wait to play the next audio when the others have finished, cutting off the previous narration and playing the next, or spacing things in the game so that the player is less likely to hit multiple triggers simultaneously.

The art seemed to be intentionally embrace it's weakness, so I won't go into that too much. I suppose it matches the mood of the game, since it's sort of lighthearted.

Overall, the game has a hard time meshing with itself. It often seems to randomly pull references out of nowhere for no real reason aside from the fact that they're references to things. It's lighthearted and quirky sure, but it never really finds its own voice because it's too preoccupied reminding you of other things.

Sandcrawler says ...
Dec 27, 2014 @ 6:57am

@hoqjed Thanks for the feedback. I'm going to present my thinking now that we are near the end of Ludum Dare 31.

The Interactive Experience is comprised of multiple layers of cultural references. It starts with you putting the character to bed, and ends with the character waking up. This is in references to how Cultural Events/films/books can influence a persons dreams. Dreams are very rarely comprehensible, or make sense in a physical way and can often have dramatic and disjointed shifts of scenery.

I was thinking of the old school adventure games when I started. I even considered having the character controlled with the mouse. I ended up using platformer controls because I felt that would be most comfortable and widely recognized. I knew I wanted to keep the interactions very simple, I didn't want to bring any sort of game elements into the mix such as switches/platforms/lives. I wanted the player to bring their own baggage and knowledge with them to interpret what it all means to them (it is why there is so little text present) Basically I was trying to create a Jean-Michel Basquiat inspired painting as an interactive work of art. Instead of just viewing a painting you are controlling the flow of the information in the painting, depending on your input.

The example that you gave of The Matrix level you are missing a references and interpreting it with the information that you have in a different way. This is really cool to me, and the exact sort of thing I hoped would happen. But to clear up that scene and show the thinking of it I will give the additional references needed. The opening narration of the scene is "I believe this story has to do with a detective on drugs trying to crack a case about drugs" This is a reference to A Scanner Darkly by Phillip K. Dicks (there is also a move staring Keanu Reeves[Who also played Neo in The Matrix]) The aforementioned quote summarizes the plot of A Scanner Darkly. The story coves him going from a cop on a case with a relatively clear mind of thought to being a burnt out husk when he finally solves the case. The blue flowers are the natural state of the drug in the story. The red flower came into the scene as a way to reference The Matrix, both because Keanu Reeves stars in both of them, and also that both stories bring into question what is reality. I really wanted to have a narrative line on the blue flower, but according to the story there is just very little that he can say or think at this point. When I update I will probably add the line "For my Friends at thanksgiving" when you pickup the blue flower.

Part of the audio and reasoning has been touched on above. I agree that the audio lines need to work differently. I will probably have them stop playing the last one and play the newest one. There really isn't a reason for them to play over each other, I just ran out of time.

I already wrote extensively about the art [http://ludumdare.com/compo/2014/12/07/cultural-influences-released/], basically the art is inspired and based on Outsider, Folk Art, and Primitive Art. I wanted to reference these styles of art because they are predominately about telling a story, and damn the rules of perspective/physical world to hell. I mean just look up the Dresden Codex (Maya) and you should see what I mean.

I hope I don't offend you, or discourage you from posting additional feedback (its great) You have a lot of valid points. I just wanted to present my thinking and reasoning behind decisions, and what I was trying to accomplish. I don't consider this to be a game, and I attempt to never call it that. I realize Ludum Dare is a game competition, and as such this may not be the best place for this to be presented or contain a wide number of member of my target audience.


From this point on if anyone has any questions feel free to ask them and I will do my best to answer them.

Knowledge says ...
Dec 27, 2014 @ 10:00am

It's very weird.

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