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

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You Gotta Feed the Wizards

by lycrashampoo - Jam Entry

A real-time puzzle game about a rollerskating waitress who is slowly learning magic while using her Sokoban skills to feed a diner full of hungry wizards.

ETA: Yeah, I probably should have provided instructions! The post-comp release is going to have some kind of tutorial, but for right now I hope this is sufficient:

* Running into food stops your waitress.

* When you're stopped next to a food, you can kick it by pushing the direction button again.

* Food slides across the grid until it hits another food or the edge.

* The food items next to a wizard's head are that wizard's order.

* To fill a wizard's order, line up all of the correct food items in that wizard's row or column.

* When a wizard's order has been filled, those food items will disappear along with that wizard.

* The black bar next to a wizard's head indicates how long you have to feed them before they WIZARD RAGE.

* You gain XP for feeding a wizard depending on how complicated their order was.

* Upon leveling up, you gain a new spell! (I'll let you figure out what they do. Some of them are better than others.)

* Feeding a wizard also increases your approval rating. Failing to feed a wizard before they WIZARD RAGE lowers it.

* Your approval rating starts out at 50%. If it hits 100%, you gain a star and your approval rating goes back to 50%. If it hits 0%, you lose a star and your approval rating goes back to 50%, unless that was all your stars, in which case you are crushed by defeatness.

* Ten stars means you win!

* Fire hurts you, as does getting hit by falling food. You only have three strawberries worth of health, so be careful! (I was gonna draw hearts, but it turns out ain't nobody got time for that.)

Downloads and Links


Ratings

Coolness100%
#249Innovation(Jam)3.48
#425Humor(Jam)2.73
#478Theme(Jam)3.58
#777Overall(Jam)2.87
#821Fun(Jam)2.62
#837Graphics(Jam)2.51
#846Mood(Jam)2.50

Comments

lekochen says ...
Dec 9, 2014 @ 8:09am

The game mechanic is not very easy to learn, but highly innovative.

cyrixd says ...
Dec 9, 2014 @ 8:20am

I liked the concept of manipulating a puzzle board with a character, though I found it difficult to get the right item into the proper slot.

Geti says ...
Dec 9, 2014 @ 8:23am

I liked it - audio would have helped and it took me a while to "get it" but quite an interesting idea. With a bit more work on presentation and some sort of satirical narrative I think it'd do well! :P

Maxw3ll says ...
Dec 9, 2014 @ 8:32am

Innovative concept. I love utilizing old games as bases for new ones. No idea what my spells did/what the goal was, but a cool puzzle once I figured out what to do.

triplefox says ...
Dec 9, 2014 @ 8:36am

First note: It's annoying to deal with installers while reviewing LD games(too many games, too little time).

There are a lot of bold, interesting ideas here, but they kind of trip over each other. At first I thought it was a match 3 but managed to pick up on the "match the orders in the row or column" idea. But the orders are quite complex for the number of moves I have to make to fulfill them. There isn't always food available to feed all wizards, or it's impossible to move what's there into place. This doesn't improve with time since food gets stuck in clusters. With all these limits, Popcap's "Alchemy" game came to mind, but the movement/placement limitations were what that game was designed around - this one includes all that spellcasting and experience stuff too.

After some play I managed to earn a freeze spell and thought, "ah, now I will have an easier time managing the pieces," only to discover that it freezed the wizards!

All that probably has to be done to clean up the design is to cut some things and iterate some other things until it's all focused in a way that makes sense. There's lots of stuff going on here and you can probably make it great with another weekend of just thinking and tuning things.

camlang says ...
Dec 9, 2014 @ 8:55am

Wonderful puzzle game! Need to modify the schedule and release on Android and IOS

Luke Molnar says ...
Dec 9, 2014 @ 10:59am

Oh, yet another lonely mac:(

Budi says ...
Dec 9, 2014 @ 10:59am

Very interesting concept, but too difficult for me. :/ Also the installer is pretty annoying to me.

KeeperofBee says ...
Dec 9, 2014 @ 2:06pm

Highly innovative game with cool graphics and a fun concept.
I'd have enjoyed it more if it had more help info as it is very hard to understand how to play at first. Anyway it's a pretty awesome one screen puzzle game with some awesome 'RPG' elements :)

dalbinblue says ...
Dec 10, 2014 @ 3:17am

The game is a great idea, but it's very difficult to play right from the start for a few reasons:
- It's very difficult to get food to the middle guests since all the items move as far as they can go. There needs to be something built into the level to bounce off of to get them in order.
- Often there food the customer wants to eat is not on the board
- It's too easy to push a few items together permanently making them immovable. This greatly reduces mobility on the game board.

Despite this, you have one of the more innovative ideas so far, and I encourage you to explore and improve the game to iron out the issues and make this a really good game from a later release.

01rafael says ...
Dec 10, 2014 @ 7:51am

oh my gosh! this game is nice example of innovative gameplay. But, it was really annoyong to install this game on my computer. I prefer web versions more. But, anyway, this is a great job!

01rafael says ...
Dec 10, 2014 @ 7:52am

forget to rate
sry
:)

Leo says ...
Dec 10, 2014 @ 9:30am

Interesting puzzle game, very well done.

I managed to get stuck with a spawning food without losing health, you might want to check on that.

Dec 10, 2014 @ 10:02am

Interesting idea, there was a bit of a high learning curve, would be nice to have a decent pace including a tutorial on how to play the game. But after some time the game grows on you. Nicee entry !

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

It's complicated, but a very clever idea! Main character doesn't really fit the overall graphical style, but besides of that, it's lovely. Also, it takes some time to understand what's going on. :)

wademcgillis says ...
Dec 10, 2014 @ 10:34pm

This is a difficult game. As soon as you get two snacks next to each other, they're immobile.

I couldn't win :(

asobitech says ...
Dec 11, 2014 @ 12:05am

Took a while to understand what I was doing.

Dec 11, 2014 @ 5:59am

The premise of the game made me laugh, and is quite unique. I like the idea of a wizard diner, WIZARD RAGE and a waitress with magical powers. :)

That said, there really needs to be a better difficulty curve and a way to make it so that the game is not unbeatable due to the randomization of food on the screen. It was far too difficult the first few turns, and I couldn't articulate the food quickly enough to get to the wizards before it cooled or they raged on me. :(

There should definitely be an option to clear the food from the screen, or scramble the food when it gets stuck or unbeatable. Even games like Bejeweled sense when a screen is unplayable, and it clears/reassembles the screen for further play. :)

Thank you for sharing your game! :)

DarkCart says ...
Dec 13, 2014 @ 11:10am

The title reminds me of Gauntlet (Wizard needs food badly!).

Verz says ...
Dec 13, 2014 @ 11:33am

I really liked the concept! It's a bit hard to play for me but even though I like it overall :)

Strandypants says ...
Dec 13, 2014 @ 11:39am

Nice concept! Though it still needs a bit of finishing touches here and there, like putting in some ambient music, it's quite enjoyable. Great work!:D

freaknarf says ...
Dec 13, 2014 @ 12:12pm

I don't think i really understood anything :] interesting btw

madmaw says ...
Dec 13, 2014 @ 12:32pm

QWTF?

Dec 13, 2014 @ 1:17pm

well done :)

Dec 13, 2014 @ 1:20pm

Wow, if I hadn't played this game I would have never believed it was possible to make a real time block pushing puzzle. This game takes a proposition that sounds like a nightmare, and turns it into something really fun! I think part of that is in having constantly changing orders coming from the wizards, so the player can choose whichever puzzle they're closest to solving at any time.

The spritework on the main character is pretty good, and the theme of the game is really fun too. These wizards are indeed quick to anger!

Of course, there are still some issues, particularly the random chance of what ingredients you're provided at any time. When you're stuck waiting for a donut or a taco to fall to complete any of the orders it makes the game feel like it relies on chance rather than skill, which is dissapointing mainly because of how rewarding the game feels when you're actually solving puzzles. Possible solutions here could include making only food the wizards want appear (and making sure the wizards mix up their orders, so it's not too easy), or making a new piece of food fall every time the player uses up the last piece of that type (though that could cause problems if it falls on the only piece of another type).

Also, I found the spells to be more trouble than they were worth. Twice I got a game over from walking straight into my own fire, and once I glitched into a piece of food using the super speed powerup. This is more a quality of life/bugfixing issue though.

After a few games of this, I decided to quit, not because I didn't want to play more, but because I didn't want to be spoiled on the game while those issues still existed. I'm looking foward to seeing how this game develops post-jam, so I can only say that's a good sign!

Zi says ...
Dec 14, 2014 @ 12:35am

Very innovative game, and flawlessly designed! But the pacing was a bit off - it was too hard for poor me. :(

CMWeissMedia says ...
Dec 14, 2014 @ 7:17am

Great idea, but it's pretty tough to play especially when you don't know what's going on. I think a bigger screen with a little more information in the interface would be extremely useful for this game.

raxter says ...
Dec 14, 2014 @ 7:36am

Really cool idea! I really could have done with a pull spell early on (I only got to the freeze skill before stopping so maybe that was an upcoming spell).

Idea is ace though just want more options to move things around because I found that the gameplay got a bit samey after a while. But really like it :)

Sublustris says ...
Dec 15, 2014 @ 6:07am

Nice gameю.

Benjamin says ...
Dec 15, 2014 @ 10:11am

It tooks me 2-3 games to understand what happens but after that it was ok. I think the game could improve with the following :
- decrease/increase spawn chance for food type if they are too much or none in the grid.
- The food + client vanishing when you success is not rewarding enough for the player... Maybe add some animation fo the food flying TO the client then the client dissapear with some nice effect.

The gameplay is very innovative.

Vaclav says ...
Dec 29, 2014 @ 2:34pm

Oh it's harder than it looks at first.

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