Ludum Dare 32 — April 17th-20th, 2015 — Theme: An Unconventional Weapon

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by Cheshyr - Compo Entry

***!!! WebGL takes a LONG TIME to load. Seriously. I was surprised too. It'll load. !!!***

Your weapon of choice is... a Rubber Band. Navigate the tower, try not to fall off.

It's not so much a puzzle game, so much as a sandbox for screwing around. Most of my LDJAM entries tend to lack the 'fun' factor, so I focused on a simple mechanic that allowed for player shenanigans.

It's been a while since I've actually attempted to play the piano, so the background music was recorded hastily in the last 30 minutes while trying to recall something I wrote as a teenager.

I've found a bug or two that I'll try to patch, but they're mostly related to excess velocity, or creative players. I'm pretty ok with that. (see comment about shenanigans)

edit: Added support for lefties, using Arrow Keys and Enter.

Downloads and Links




salmonmoose says ...
Apr 20, 2015 @ 2:34am

It's a cool idea - I think there's a lot of work to do on refining the puzzles and working against the physics engine, as you can game the system if you know how unities physics works - although that can be fun in itself.

winmac32 says ...
Apr 20, 2015 @ 4:06am

Took a few seconds to figure out, but not bad. Music is charming. xD

Havacore says ...
Apr 20, 2015 @ 4:07am

Cool idea, but you needed to touch up on the puzzles. It wasn't entirely clear how you should finish the puzzles.

Neat idea, looks like with more time, you could have had a really cool puzzle game.

shyupuff says ...
Apr 20, 2015 @ 4:12am

Wow really awesome idea. I really enjoyed the mechanics and the levels. Felt the physics engine worked most of the time, but was a bit iffy in other times. Overall, really nice job!

pvwradtke says ...
Apr 20, 2015 @ 4:14am

Had a hard time to use WASD (I a left handed mouse user, so cursor keys are natural to me), but other than that, I like the idea. Not intuitive at first, but good once you get it.

ShIxtan says ...
Apr 20, 2015 @ 4:21am

I love it! I'm on a laptop, so it was hard to click as quickly as needed sometimes, but really cool mechanic

EwChap says ...
Apr 20, 2015 @ 5:00am

Overall good entry. I love the attach two items mechanic, makes for some tricky stuff.

Really solid foundation to what could make a great game with some more polish.

Modoc73 says ...
Apr 20, 2015 @ 5:44am

Cool Mechanic, though the movement seemed a bit slow.

Lyxilion says ...
Apr 20, 2015 @ 2:37pm

Great idea cool game ! I like it!

skylinegames says ...
Apr 20, 2015 @ 3:15pm

Sorry I couldnt play it because it didnt load:/

texdata says ...
Apr 20, 2015 @ 3:15pm

cool game !

Cheshyr says ...
Apr 20, 2015 @ 3:23pm

@skylinegames as I said in the description, WebGL takes a couple minutes, especially on slow connections. Give it a sec; I can't do anything about Unity3D's WebGL export method.

Stechas says ...
Apr 20, 2015 @ 3:39pm

Very innovative game mechanics. Best moment in game was when I was jumping on block that I was bound with so I was able to fly :D

Cheshyr says ...
Apr 20, 2015 @ 3:42pm

@Stechas That wasn't actually an intended behavior, but emerged during playtesting. I really need to go back in there and tweak it to make it easier to accomplish over longer distances. :-p

Cheshyr says ...
Apr 20, 2015 @ 3:42pm

Thanks to everyone for your feedback so far; I appreciate it! :-)

Hyoga-3D says ...
Apr 20, 2015 @ 4:30pm

Nice entry, the puzzles were good, but sometimes I could not understand what I needed to do.

plams says ...
Apr 20, 2015 @ 4:38pm

Nice game! I find myself swinging around and not using the jump key at all, maybe the game doesn't need it :) I like the theme song.

MrDave says ...
Apr 20, 2015 @ 4:42pm

This is a really simple concept but I don’t think I have ever seen it done before.

Maybe I didn’t get enough through the game but I would love to see this mechanic used to kill enemies.

The one thing I would change is I think the ball doesn’t have enough friction on the ground and maintains its momentum too long, sometimes I did a puzzle successfully but failed because I slipped off the other side. Just a thought and it’s a minor gripe on what is otherwise a very nice system.

esayitch says ...
Apr 20, 2015 @ 4:43pm

The control of the ball is very sluggish, even for a ball (I know it's supposed to roll around and not have high drag, but I felt it was TOO loose). Other than that, the rubber band concept is really cool.

I'm liking entries where the "weapon" can be something that is used to solve puzzles or kill enemies in creative ways, not just "weird" LOOKING bullets without special behavior... So this has that covered.

Cool entry, good luck!

elpaulo says ...
Apr 20, 2015 @ 5:20pm

Cool game, very innovative. I was stuck at then end of the first level !

cgmorton says ...
Apr 20, 2015 @ 5:46pm

Haha! I had a lot of fun with this game. Well, some of the time. On levels where I had to work my way through corridors and move a bunch of things aside, I was kind of bored because there's not much 'puzzle' involved. Whereas on levels where I could abuse the physics to launch myself up walls and spin around blocks, I had a great time.

It's a bit of a challenge to actually click the blocks you want to attach to, so maybe selecting the nearest thing when you accidentally click on air would be a good change.

The actually movement physics are pretty weird. Did you implement left-right movement by spinning the ball?

I'd also like tell you that using ASDW when you could have used the arrow keys is a pet peeve of mine, because my ASDW keys aren't in the same place as yours and I have to go in my settings to switch them over for every game that does this unnecessarily.

Anyway, good job!

Lizzip says ...
Apr 20, 2015 @ 7:53pm

I really like this mechanic, very fun to play with

Cheshyr says ...
Apr 20, 2015 @ 8:20pm

@elpaulo: sorry to hear that. did you try making steps?

@cgmorton: glad you had fun. Honestly, the first 3 levels were effectively tutorials, so I'm not surprised they weren't as fun. I need to find better things to do with moveable blocks. Maybe near-misses could attach close. Yes, I used mostly torque for motion, with just a little force so you could move in the air to get on top of blocks. Arrow keys actually work too, but when embedding the game on certain websites, arrow keys scroll the entire page, even when the game frame is active. Thanks for the feedback.

Chadivision says ...
Apr 20, 2015 @ 10:10pm

Really fun game mechanics! I like how the movement works.

A couple of small suggestions. A couple of times I left my rubber band behind and forgot to hit spacebar to remove it. So it was off the screen but keeping me from forming a new one. Maybe when it reaches the edge of the screen you could have it dissolve, possibly with a sound effect, to indicate to the player that they're free to make a new one. Or if you're going to keep the ability to have a band off screen, then there should be some kind of level design that requires you to do this for a specific reason.

Also the audio sounded kind of cool, but the level was really low. I had it cranked and couldn't hear it very well.

Nice game though. I would definitely pay money for a fully developed version of this.

IL_yoshioka says ...
Apr 21, 2015 @ 4:43pm

very fun.
good pzl game!!!

Apr 21, 2015 @ 5:09pm

capnramses: really great fun, had me playing for ages! i didnt figure out the rubber band on-self and on two blocks for level 1 until i came back to the instructions here. but then...addictive! I needed more dummy signpost hints on L1. flying around was awesome mechanic. mouse clicks didnt always register when going fast. not a 'weapon' as such, but certainly awesome

Fortyseven says ...
Apr 21, 2015 @ 10:03pm

Love the idea! I wasn't sure what was going on at first, but I figured it out. :D My stupid browser was causing slight pauses here and there, making it hard to progress when I got to the second part, but that's no fault of the game. :F

jmborden says ...
Apr 22, 2015 @ 12:45am

Cool game mechanic. A very interesting puzzle game, it kind of reminded me of Portal with the special surfaces that reacted to your "weapon". Excellent job!

OnlySlightly says ...
Apr 22, 2015 @ 12:55am

This was super fun! This was a really cool mechanic and I loved how creative you could get with it. I was totally entranced. Great job!

Apr 22, 2015 @ 4:27am

Fun mechanic. Sometimes it was hard to get it to work the way a wanted, but it feels good when you get that awesome launch

CireNeikual says ...
Apr 22, 2015 @ 4:31am

Very nice mechanic! Perhaps it could be improved by making it a sort of gun where you aim at stuff instead of clicking on it, since I found it difficult to click objects when flying around.

Tortoise says ...
Apr 22, 2015 @ 4:49am

Good concept. The puzzle design could use some work, the 2nd crystal block one was way too big imo. Overall good concept, level design could use some work.

GhostBomb says ...
Apr 22, 2015 @ 11:00am

Physics engine felt really fun while it worked. I don't know why the crystal blocks aren't just pass-throughable all the time, as the most intuitive time to let go as your getting slingshotted is right before you pass through the block, as that's when you're the fastest. I liked the game overall though.

rantt says ...
Apr 22, 2015 @ 4:22pm

Clever mechanic, and a fun physics based puzzle game. I enjoyed it, nicely done.

Pixel_Reaper says ...
Apr 22, 2015 @ 7:40pm

That was quite interesting. I liked your relaxed music :) and the mechanic itself was fun to play around with. I'm glad you got the WebGL working, didn't have any luck with it myself

hbocao says ...
Apr 23, 2015 @ 12:18am

Very cool concept! Kinda hard master the controls, but nice job, man!

rjhelms says ...
Apr 23, 2015 @ 1:20am

Nice job. It's pretty fun just screwing around with the physics in here, but the puzzles are pretty satisfying too. The minimalist sound & graphics work great.

This could definitely do well to be extended with more / more polished puzzles - it's a really solid idea for a game!

tikilittle says ...
Apr 23, 2015 @ 3:21am

So many cool mechanics in just one little rubber band. I love how much meat it has. it would be nice if there was a shortcut option to automatically shoot the rubber band from your self. That would make the traversal puzzles so much more enjoyable imo or at least giving players the option to play it that way. Well done!

sandbaydev says ...
Apr 23, 2015 @ 5:36am

Very nice entry Dave! Very clever mechanics: you have only couple of things you can do (move your player + move those blocks), but by introducing different levels you get to apply that mechanism to different situation. Definitely something I appreciate!

Rating this one really high. Well done!

Apr 23, 2015 @ 8:23am

Pretty cool! Pretty tricky in places too but SO FUN - this could be totally awesome

Cheshyr says ...
Apr 23, 2015 @ 4:10pm

Thanks for all the wonderful feedback!

I'll start from the top...

Puzzles and physics definitely need a little refinement. I took them to a point that felt reasonable for a 48-hour game jam. Likewise, I probably needed to provide a little more guidance on objectives, and perhaps a couple more incremental trainig puzzles early on.

I did notice that the physics reacted differently in different browsers, and on different PCs. I probably need to tune the graphical quality a touch, and constrain things just a little bit.

For lefties: If you use arrow keys for movement, what keystroke is prefered for releasing the bond? It feels like Right-Ctrl or Right-Alt are the best placed, but I thought I'd ask. I assume Colemak and Dvorak users have no problems with similar mappings?

Click accuracy was mentioned more than once... adding 'close enough' zones to both the mouse and the objects is one approach, although a player-bond shortcut or ability is a great idea as well. Thank you for those suggestions.

Regarding movement; I used torque instead of force, since I wanted the spinning ball feeling. I know it made control feel looser, but that was supposed to encourage foresight, and reliance on the bond-mechanic for precision. Did it work? Did I make it a little too loose?

I may tweak the discovered self-propulsion into an actual mechanic witha dedicated block, since it was so popular and novel. Props to those that found that; I missed it entirely.

I'm torn on adding an actual combat mechanic to this. I had considered throwing stuff at enemies, or throwing enemies at enemies, or throwing yourself at enemies... In the end, I had no time to add it, so it's not present in the compo submission, but maybe in future versions.

I'll work on making the tutorial levels more focused, and making puzzles more puzzle-like. I want to keep some of the sandbox feel of the game, so that'll be fun to figure out.

Amusingly enough, I have a persistent audio effect when both ends of the band are attached, but not when only one end is attached. Thanks for the heads up; I'll fix that.

In retrospect, the Crystal Blocks shouls have had collision with the plyer disabled entirely. More intuitive, and easier to implement too.

Getting WebGL to work was the hardest part of this, frankly. I only spent about 16 hours on actual game development, the other 20 hours were spent trying to make the toolchain work as expected, and working around some new and/or resurrected limitations of Unity in v5.0. The loss of Native(RAW) Audio Import comes to mind.

Glad the music wasn't too obnoxious. Not sure what to say about audio levels, other than they needed a volume control in game, but I didn't find the time.

I'm glad everyone enjoyed it. It's rather motivating to finally create something fun after such a long drought.

gnx says ...
Apr 28, 2015 @ 9:48pm

I think the idea is cool. Mechanically it is a bit fiddly and sometimes less than intuitive. Nice clean visuals and audio though.

jtpup0 says ...
May 4, 2015 @ 7:04pm

This game comes closest to my dream of manifesting a slinky, Really fun mechanic that is versatile for a plethora of puzzle shenanigans!

dallonf says ...
May 9, 2015 @ 2:33pm

Wow! That was fantastic. Such a simple concept that enables so much gameplay. Sometimes it was a bit frustrating to click on things (especially my own character) while in motion - either a more forgiving targeted system that snaps to the thing closest to my click, or a slowdown effect, would go a long way. Add something like that, put this on Steam, and you'll have my money!

reiknight says ...
May 10, 2015 @ 9:01am

Good idea but I'm just very bad at it :D. I managed to fly attaching the ball to a cube, I'm not sure if it's a feature or a bug :)

May 20, 2015 @ 1:57pm

I wasnt really sure how to use my power, sadly. I included it in part 11 of my Ludum Dare 32 compilation video series, if you would like to take a look :)

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