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

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2.5Dino Arena

by loopinlouie - Jam Entry

Try to survive the waves of space dinos and get a high score. The game is played in a 2.5D perspective and aiming the mouse around your character will shoot around him in 360 degrees. This means that if you aim above him, he is actually shooting behind him, not above. The bullets have a falling arc that can be used to spray down at the Dinos at lower elevations. The jetpack is best used in short repeated bursts, allowing you to climb in elevation. Use your shadow to try make sense of your Y/Z position.

- when you die, your player flies up into the air
- respawning drops you into the fray, so prepare to jetpack to avoid dinos below
- gameover screen fills with dinos (close tab quick. if it gets stuck, click out of firefox, then back on background of webpage, then close tab)

WASD/Arrow Keys = move
LMouse = shoot
RMouse = jetpack (jump if no fuel)
Space = jump
-/+ = zoom in/out (in case resolution isn't behaving)

Dino Types & Power-Ups
Brown Dino - Basic
Yellow Dino - High health, drops health
Blue Dino - Drops ammo charge rate booster
Green Dino - Light and nimble, likes flying, drops fuel charge rate booster
Red Dino - hits hard, drops a powerup that increases your max life and fills your life bar. if you pick it up when you have full health, you get a life

TLDR Stuff
I was using some old unity scripts that i copy pasted from heavily, like the tile renderer (more like positioner). I made all the sprites from scratch, and I am kind of new to pixel art, so would love feedback on that specifically. I wrote the songs in the past, one song i finished just last week, and i remixed it during the jam. I opted out of judging because I cant really write songs on the spot, but i would like feedback on the tracks in the game, like down in comments, or for people to check out more of my tracks at

------=====+{{{{{[[[[[[((((((( ))))))]]]]]]}}}}+=====------

I was awake for 2 days straight at the end, and then I slept a good 13 hours. I fixed a few things after I awoke:
- moved health, score, wave timer on HUD to left of screen, in case 4:3
- fixed aiming bug where it wouldnt let you aim outward when near front and back of arena
- checked the checkbox for SystemMusic enabled (doh...)
- put a hard limit on bullet and jetpack bursts (before it was just doing it as fast as your cpu could handle, so on faster cpu's jetpack was worthless)
- moved player to top left corner of screen when gameover (so you will notice the gameover text easier)
- fixed yellow dino's health to actually be higher than other dinos
- fixed camera zoom in and out to stop lerping once desired distance reached (the constant lerping was making weird blue lines when the textures were stretched oddly)
- turned the XML map file into a TextAsset in Unity so I can make web player, mac version, linux version (yay!!)
- rebalanced dinos for 5 minute game instead of 15. Removed first song so more people will hear the second song, which I actually remixed for the game specifically
- fixed dinos knocking you into blocks, getting you stuck inside it, making progress impossible

Downloads and Links




loopinlouie says ...
Dec 9, 2014 @ 3:04am

I ended up doing a very small fix... the camera was lerping to 8.9999 instead of just sitting at 9, resulting in microstretching of textures which created these weird blue lines on the blocks. I fixed the problem by simply disabling the camera controller altogether, so zooming in and out for custom resolutions won't work anymore. 1280x720 is preferred.

prymidion says ...
Dec 9, 2014 @ 5:19am

I liked it! Shooting those dinos was an experience. It would be nice to be able to see how much health you have.

LexGear says ...
Dec 9, 2014 @ 5:25am

Lonely mac user :(

tentabrobpy says ...
Dec 9, 2014 @ 5:27am

nice game! I like the look very much and i liked the part when 100s of dinosaurs were all raining down at once, and this feels very much like a real classic arcade game. the JETPACK feature is very nice! my one major complaint is that i have a very square monitor and because of this a significant portion of the screen is cut off no matter the resolution!

rabbit says ...
Dec 9, 2014 @ 5:28am

Bullets are hard to see among the green tiles.
Tiles are overly busy when compared to the player.
Sound is really grating.
No logic at all to what is actually happening at any given time.

Im not sure what this was supposed to be?

ciaodavinci says ...
Dec 9, 2014 @ 5:37am

I liked the world and I always love dinos. I got stuck my first time in the terrain :( Then I was kicking dino butt after I stopped using my gamepad (doh) and then dinos rained on me in thousands. good time but the perspective is difficult to understand.

BMacIntosh says ...
Dec 9, 2014 @ 5:42am

Really solid game! I loved the jetpack and the energy/ammo system. It was pretty easy - seemed like it was raining health pickups most of the time. It was also sometimes hard to understand the depth, especially when shooting.

Nelly says ...
Dec 9, 2014 @ 6:14am

amazing art!

Geti says ...
Dec 9, 2014 @ 6:42am

Pretty solid, though shooting seemed to break at the bottom of the map. Fun idea anyway :)

PIXEL^3 says ...
Dec 9, 2014 @ 9:44am

Art looks good but a bit noisy. The perspective messes with your head a bit and I wish it was implemented better.


Bygmalion says ...
Dec 9, 2014 @ 10:25pm

I had the coolest glitch while playing your game, the whole map was filled with dinos.
It was magnificent.

Too bad it crashed my computer :D

Trixton says ...
Dec 10, 2014 @ 4:12am

lol troll bug also I shot up in the sky and flickered good times

Pulsartronic says ...
Dec 10, 2014 @ 10:02am

Good entry. Love the music and how all the screen becomes in another color is amazing! Love it!

GAFBlizzard says ...
Dec 10, 2014 @ 11:16am

The music the first time I played was super catchy. Pity I can't give you an audio score because you opted out of being rated on that!

Even aside from the odd perspective making it hard to see where you are, even with the shadow, the dark colors make it VERY hard to see. Things blend in really easily.

Kudos for hard work on complicated stuff! I hope you got some much-needed rest.

SoulGame says ...
Dec 10, 2014 @ 12:01pm

Ha ha, we barely sleep here as well. Congrats for holding up, that's hard but rewarding :) If i'm not completely convinced by the gameplay itself which feels a bit heavy for now (except jet pack), I'm, however, very impressed with the technical work you provided here and the original physics. 4/5

Pestel Crew says ...
Dec 10, 2014 @ 12:57pm

Great work =) I liked it!

Krisjet says ...
Dec 11, 2014 @ 1:54pm

Pretty cool game! Some thoughts: The controls and feedback you got when being hit etc. felt a bit loose to me, and the waves didn't feel like they were getting harder fast enough, the game sort of dragged on a bit instead of getting gradually more and more exciting. With some tighter feedback and control and better pacing of the waves this would have been hard to put down!

Dec 11, 2014 @ 2:07pm

Very nice game. Gets really hard after a few waves. Audio was a little out of balance, however. The item pickup sound comes out really loud. Loved the art style!

Dietrich Epp says ...
Dec 11, 2014 @ 8:02pm

It's fun! It could use some tweaks to the controls and physics, such as the jetpack power. I felt that the jetpack wasn't really much more useful than jumping. It's also a bit cruel to respawn in a pack of dinos... a few seconds of invulnerability might have fixed that. Very enjoyable game, though!

MrShoestore says ...
Dec 12, 2014 @ 1:52am

i like the game and the art is very good. as for the music, i don't think its bad, but it doesn't really fit... seems less "music for shooting dinos to" and more "using music already laying around"... it was slow paced, which made the game feel slow paced

Dec 12, 2014 @ 1:55am

- The soundtrack
- The amount of content (many dinosaurs/boxes)
- The controls (felt intuitive and responsive)
- The jetpack

- The "nighttime". Made it too hard to see the character and was an eyestrain. Maybe limiting the character's field of vision, rather than dimming the whole screen would better accomplish this.
- The sprite VS background contrast. Bullets, dinos and the character all looked very similar to the background, which was an obstacle to play.

Nice entry overall! Shooting dinos is fun :D

thopis says ...
Dec 12, 2014 @ 5:11pm

Very nice!Liked the reloading time and the music was catchy!Cool entry!!

rabbit says ...
Dec 12, 2014 @ 5:21pm

lol somebody is upset.

GarethIW says ...
Dec 13, 2014 @ 2:59pm

Reminds me of Space Harrier :)

Dracir says ...
Dec 13, 2014 @ 3:02pm

Nice music :). I feel it only need a bits of diversity in weapons and enemys(weapons is quick but different AI can be a bit long, i know :P)

Well done for the 2.5D it feels like it works :).

t4u says ...
Dec 13, 2014 @ 4:46pm

I really liked jetpack. Strange enemies spawning mechanics(airborne dinos?). Didn't notice they were dinos until I read the instruction. Audio was ok maybe even a little over the average. The gun is strange. I like how bullets behave but I feel like I'm shooting a water gun:) Mechanics was comfrotable and easy to use.

Dec 14, 2014 @ 3:24am

This would have functioned a lot better as an isometric 2.5D game or a full-on 3D game. Doing it top-down 2D with no graphical differentiation between levels except lightness & darkness, while having to keep track of shadows and not the placement of the sprites, makes it very difficult to understand where you are and exactly what sort of trajectory your bullets will travel on in order to hit the dinos. I found myself focusing more on keeping track of where I was and trying to predict where my bullets were going to go instead of focusing on fighting the dinos, which ultimately caused my demise several times. :(

The pixel art itself is well done, though you might want to rethink your palette and work on the dinos themselves. The environmental sprites are very good, the gunner sprites are very good, but currently the dinos look a lot like frogs. :) So it's 2.5 Frog Arena instead of Dino Arena right now. Going for an isometric view of the dinos, or a side-view of the dinos might work a lot better for that.

Visual differentiation between levels needs to be worked on quite a bit. Using different materials (sand, dirt, rock, grass) for each level would be a lot more effective than mucking up your color scheme with light/dark shading. Using metal boxes and crates at the bottom of the barrel towers could help, as well.

The gunner dude did HANDLE pretty good. It was a little bit floaty, but I didn't find it too hard to control. My only gripe about jumping around is that the backs of the hills are completely flat. I'd often lose sight of myself behind the hills, have nowhere to jump up, and then get ambushed by dinos and dying. The music was decent. It wasn't too terribly annoying, but the quality of the sound could definitely be upped. :)

Also: The game over screen rekt my browser. :( It almost crashed the 2nd time. Might be a good idea to limit the spawn on those game-over dinos. :) Save a browser, limit your spawn rate!

All in all, there are some really decent ideas here. It needs a lot of work, but if you put the time and effort into it, it could turn into something really great.

Pulsartronic says ...
Dec 14, 2014 @ 7:43am

hello loopinlouie ... i had rated your game before ... cool one ... i have read your comment about our game ... thank you very very much ... i would like to tell you why you can't feed your pet with cops ... they can't be thrown because you could stay near your pet waiting for food coming to you :D .... it was like this at first ... cheers

Elendow says ...
Dec 14, 2014 @ 2:30pm

Very cool sprite positioning, love the jetpack system. Great job.

FlashRocks says ...
Dec 14, 2014 @ 2:32pm

Very nicely done, but the 2.5D perspective was a bit confusing for my liking. Simple XY would have done fine IMO :)

VDZ says ...
Dec 14, 2014 @ 9:21pm

Playing the game didn't feel very rewarding. You're running away from and shooting dinosaurs, but I never felt the excitement of running away from something threatening or the kick-ass feeling of defeating dinosaurs. Reasons for this likely include the constant stream of incoming enemies (you don't feel the accomplishment of 'surviving a wave' or anything like that, I didn't even realize there were waves until I looked around the interface elements), unsatisfying manner of enemy deaths (they just bounce off-screen), lack of visible score during gameplay (the score counter is tiny and hidden away from where the player is looking, which removed the potential satisfaction of seeing it go up with every kill), and the lack of any indication of progress (again, enemy waves are unclear; no new enemies, level changes, bossfights or other content to reach by killing enough enemies). Because of the lack of emotional reward, dodging and killing the dinosaurs just felt like a chore.

I feel the 2.5D gimmick does not anything to the gameplay and in fact actually distracts from it. The lack of any same-level areas of significant size other than the bottom level at the front means you'll mainly be fighting at the front and/or that you'll mainly be shooting enemies from close up. Which would be great if I had a melee weapon, but with a gun I'd really want to be able to pick off enemies at some distance.

The enemies felt far too similar, and during gameplay I didn't notice any difference between the different types of enemies I killed. They're all rushing at me mindlessly and get killed by shooting at them for a bit. The fact that they all share the same color-swapped sprite definitely didn't help matters; maybe I would've noticed the yellow enemy's higher health better if he'd been larger than the others, for example.

Graphics were unclear and lacked any kind of atmosphere. The 'dinosaurs' didn't look anything like dinosaurs (not helped by them moving nothing like dinosaurs), the level's graphical design seems completely arbitrary (it's...grass hills in a mud field with random barrels stacked on each other for some reason?). The character's sci-fi/diver look didn't have anything to do with dinosaurs or mud-grass-and-barrel fields either. Some consistency in what situation is supposed to be represented here could've made fighting dinosaurs actually exciting.

As others have mentioned, it's hard to distinguish player, enemy and level, and it's impossible to tell visually whether the player or an enemy is standing on the ground at a certain level or jumping at a location more towards the screen. I also feel the powerups didn't really give me any idea of what they're for with their graphics (nor with their pickup sound or any kind of effect or message upon picking them up). Yes, you've listed that in the description, but I won't be remembering the specifics once I start playing. (Furthermore, having to read up on game mechanics shouldn't be a requirement for casual playing of a twin stick shooter.)

The interface elements were too far away from where you're looking during gameplay, and the action keeps you too occupied to check things like your health or ammo (and, considering the kind of game it is, it punishes you for looking away if you do check your status). I was unaware of my current health for most of the game, and I was never sure when I was running low on ammo. Though not a replacement for proper health/ammo visibility, a sound effect or other form of feedback to let you know when your health/ammo is low would really help as well.

The difficulty curve makes no sense. For most of the game, you're just shooting dinosaurs, rarely getting hit, and collecting more than enough health to fully heal when you do get hit. Then suddenly, within the span of a single minute, it suddenly becomes difficult enough to be a challenge, and within that same minute increases to the point where you keep dying every couple seconds because there's enemies everywhere and there's simply no escape. I'm not sure if it's because of ridiculous spawn rate increases or because death/not shooting for a couple seconds causes dinosaur numbers to increase beyond manageable levels, but either way I felt cheated. I was never offered any genuine challenge except for less than half a minute, and then the game got so unreasonably difficult I kept dying without even being able to kill anything. It really killed my motivation to replay the game. A proper difficulty curve increasingly challenges the player and makes him lose when it becomes too much for him to handle and lets him get a bit further every time as he gets more skilled, but a difficulty curve that goes straight from "snoozefest" to "the developer decided you lose the game right here" is extremely discouraging.

I subtracted a point from both Overall and Fun because you have updated the game beyond bugfixes (especially rebalancing the game) after the jam without leaving the original version up to judge, which is against the rules. Part of the difficulty in game jams is having enough of your game finished in time that you can do some polishing; otherwise, everybody could just submit their game in an unfinished state and do all polishing post-compo/jam. While improving your game post-jam is a good thing, the version of the game we are supposed to judge is the one you made during the jam.

loopinlouie says ...
Dec 15, 2014 @ 4:42am

I rebalanced the game, because in the rules it said it was ok as long as it wasnt adding new features and any "porting to support more players" was ok. This was my first LD and I didn't realize the game should have been balanced for a 5 minute game session. After hearing that people found the game too slow and boring, I realized people were not even getting 5 minutes into the game. An oversight on my part, so I felt it was a bug I should be allowed to fix, so people would rate me on my full game, rather than just the first 1/3 of it. The game balance felt a lot better in the original version anyway, and it was a terrible mess in both either way. I was more worried that I wouldnt get feedback on the whole game, and that is the main reason I was doing the LD to begin with. Your comments are very useful. I think you went overboard on negativity a bit on purpose, but I take what I can get.

VDZ says ...
Dec 15, 2014 @ 5:48am

Bugfixes are fixes for bugs. Bugs are software problems where the program does not behave as was intended when programmed. Revising the game balance is game design, changing the UI (beyond fixing it not working for technical reasons) is interface design.

The rules have recently been relaxed a bit (even for bugs, you used to only be allowed to fix critical ones), but I will remain strict about post-compo edits as long as they are not excused by the rules. The spirit of the rule is that you don't improve your game post-compo (and having people judge that improved version) to get a higher rating, which I feel you clearly violated in this case. (Getting people to play more of your game automatically leads to higher ratings. I'd be getting tons higher ratings if more people played my game beyond making the most basic items and starving to death before the first winter.)

But, well, if you're in it only for the feedback and not for the ratings, then there's no problem. My lowered ratings are just to prevent a case like this getting undeservedly high ratings.

loopinlouie says ...
Dec 15, 2014 @ 6:13am

I think I will just opt out of scoring in fun and overall.

loopinlouie says ...
Dec 15, 2014 @ 6:57am

nah, i gotta do overall. just to see how it does. its not like it will do well anyway.

Budaniel says ...
Dec 15, 2014 @ 7:11am

I liked the color palette and the actual combat arena was good and balanced. I liked the controls and the overall concept, but I would have liked a little more feedback on hitting the enemies. Should probably have a limit on mobs at the end in the game over screen to prevent lag and/or crashes.

loopinlouie says ...
Dec 15, 2014 @ 7:14am

nah, i gotta do overall. just to see how it does. its not like it will do well anyway.

loopinlouie says ...
Dec 15, 2014 @ 7:16am

grrr double post. oh well

Integershift says ...
Dec 15, 2014 @ 10:20pm

Fun little game although it becomes the same old thing after a while I really enjoyed the jet pack mechanic it really added depth to the game.

Shackhal says ...
Dec 16, 2014 @ 1:21am

The gameplay is used but works and the graphics assets are easy to identify, even if they need a lot of polish. The music you chose is good.

One drawback is the arena design. Some places blocks your view. Also, I don't find a useful use to the jetpack. The jump is useful enough.

Overall, is an good entry :)

loopinlouie says ...
Dec 17, 2014 @ 12:22am

I wrote that music too. But I wrote the bulk of the song the week before LD, so opted out of rating. The version of the song in the game was heavily modified during LD to fit the game more.

Vandash says ...
Dec 19, 2014 @ 1:05pm

Great 2.5D gameplay :)

freaknarf says ...
Dec 21, 2014 @ 7:56pm

Interesting things, and music was cool !

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