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

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Lost Fame

by joe40001 - Jam Entry

In an ethereal realm beyond time and space, the essence of a legendary society's fame has been trapped in orbs and scattered across it's city. Use an unconventional weapon to bend space and reach the lost city.

Controls: (Pretty standard)
Left Click - Use Weapon (when acquired)
Mouse - Look Around
WASD/Arrow - Move
Space - Jump
F - Fullscreen
R - Respawn
Esc - Exit Fullscreen


Notes:
I've had this mechanic idea in the back of my head for a while, I'm happy I finally had a good reason to use it.

In keeping with Jam rules, any assets I didn't create (art/sound/music/models) are publicly available. Their licenses permit free use of them in projects. I'm not an artist or a composer.

*Bug fixed: Game won't hang at start up
*Post-Compo: Same game, just tweaked controls per feedback received.
*Post-Compo 2: Score keeper NPC was added so players know their progress. Also some bugfixes.
WARNING: On some older machines or laptops the game may lag or take a while to load.

Downloads and Links


Ratings

Coolness79%
#231Mood(Jam)3.47
#332Audio(Jam)3.18
#375Innovation(Jam)3.30
#438Graphics(Jam)3.45
#665Overall(Jam)3.05
#751Theme(Jam)3.00
#796Fun(Jam)2.64

Comments

dyfer says ...
Apr 21, 2015 @ 4:15am

from my computer, your game look like a empty space

joe40001 says ...
Apr 21, 2015 @ 4:25am

@dyfer Please clarify.

gatinmnsok says ...
Apr 21, 2015 @ 11:41am

Amazing graphics, good music, interesting mechanic.

What I liked less was the gameplay, needing to jump up the stairs, not making the jump without first having forward momentum. Also, the mouse sensitivity is quite high, which makes it difficult to aim. Finally, in the sky cities, it is a bit vague where you need to go.

Having said that, it is a great idea and good execution. Well done.

renanlindner says ...
Apr 22, 2015 @ 12:51am

Crazy!!! I really like the "Dream Aesthesic". Thi gun remind me this game:http://store.steampowered.com/app/263980/

Nice job man!!

Awpteamoose says ...
Apr 22, 2015 @ 8:09am

The controls are really, really floaty and unpleasant. It looks nice, the idea is nice, but the controls kill it.

joe40001 says ...
Apr 22, 2015 @ 9:46am

@gatinmnsok @Awpteamoose

I'm sorry to hear that. Getting the controls to feel perfect is surprisingly hard. I did a post-compo change with decrease mouse sensitivity and a slightly bigger jump with more control.

dyfer says ...
Apr 23, 2015 @ 6:00pm

@joe40001 i tryed your game on windows 8 and i just had a screen freezed so i cound't play. i just finished to try your post jam version and i liked it. the trip i lived in your game was very cool and the view was awesome. good work ^^

joe40001 says ...
Apr 23, 2015 @ 11:46pm

Thanks very much, dyfer!

lochmann-apps says ...
Apr 24, 2015 @ 6:40am

Yeahh! Love it, nice setting smooth controls, good idea. Good Job!

TeamCalcium says ...
Apr 24, 2015 @ 8:42am

Solid entry with great visuals!

Drauthius says ...
Apr 24, 2015 @ 8:33pm

Very beautiful game. The world is huge! I'm not sure that the unconventional weapon satisfies the "weapon" part though.

Apr 25, 2015 @ 7:29am

I really was impressed with the "point to go to" effect. It seemed like it would only teleport me when it determined that there was a place for me to land, which was surprisingly effective. It felt like it had a certain freedom to it... it actually kind of reminds me of how a lot of devs (when showing off fancy open world games now) will say something like "see those mountains back there? You can go to those". Your game kind of takes that and says... you can go there... right now... ziiiiip *standing on mountain*.

I have to say though that I kind of wish you included more areas you could explore locally. Sometimes while exploring the city/tower areas I would jump from the top of one tower down to another, then spot a good teleport location... jump of the current place, and while mid-air use my teleporter to zip off somewhere else not to far off. There isn't really a sense of gravity or intensity to the falling portion though, so it felt a bit less... cool. I think you really missed an opportunity relying so heavily on the teleporter to move around. Some local platforms to jump around to and find things would have really helped break up some of the monotony that comes with having to precisely line up each "shot" from a distance.

So yeah, so windy "falling sound" fading in, a bit of screen wobble increase as you fall would have really helped with the immersive quality of falling. Then constructing areas that were designed to be teleported to and navigated by jumping mostly without the device would have helped break up the pacing a bit.

I also found the overall objective to be pretty uninteresting, and there were a lot of things I felt were added to just kind of extend gameplay in uninteresting ways. Collecting things just felt like a chore, and I grew tired of that design very quickly. After that decided I just wanted to use the teleport gun until I felt I explored its uses enough. This is where I started experimenting with jumping around the city's geometry, and it was somewhat entertaining for a little bit but also grew dull fairly quickly. Basically, by the time I was anywhere near any collectibles, I had already started to grow tired of the normal "point to go to" mechanic. Everything felt incredibly stretched out, even things like the intro staircase were absurdly long and tedious. It seemed like at some point you felt you didn't have enough content, so in order to remedy that the idea was to duplicate stuff and stretch it out further. That may not have been how the process actually went, but it's how it felt as a player. The whole thing felt a bit "samey" after a while.

I'd recommend putting things a bit further together, removing some of the content that feels unnecessary, and make the parts that are there interesting to explore. The city structures for instance, while interesting at first, felt completely hollow. They were massive but the had little of interest to actually explore or to take interest in. That's kind of how the whole game felt after a while, massive, awe inspiring... but ultimately hollow.

You've got a very solid mechanic here that's incredibly intriguing and very different in terms of navigating a space. The main thing is making that space interesting. After I jumped to a couple of those purple cube platforms and never found anything of interest at them I stopped teleporting to them when I could. They weren't interesting to visit. The same thing happened with the city areas.

Aside from the gameplay becoming tedious for me, I found the audio and general mood to be pleasing. Seeing the cities off in the distance and the yearning to see them up close had a sense of scale and intrigue that's hard to achieve for most games. It's all the things in between that were missing. The journey was completely lackluster, and the payoff for making it was a disappointment.

Also, I think you've got some sort of bug with the npc movement. They all seem to move as if they are reacting to the player input for moving forward. That was a bit odd, unless it's symbolic or something...

I don't want to come across like I didn't like it. I just found it sort of frustrating that such an interesting mechanic because so bogged down with tedium. In order to improve it, I'd recommend taking what you enjoy about the experience and refining and improving those aspects while removing things that come across as being unnecessary.

For me personally, that would mean removing half the platforms. Creating medium-sized areas that are enjoyable to traverse with a mixture of player jumping and the gun usage... and polishing that up until it was purely enjoyable just to navigate different spaces. No collectables, perhaps leave an ambiguous narrative but keep it mysterious... and also personally an emphasis on sound design. Footsteps, sounds for jumping, falling, additional ambient sounds for areas you're around, wind for open places, muffled interior sounds for... interiors. You get the picture.

https://www.freesound.org/ is a good resource for sounds.

Apr 25, 2015 @ 7:34am

Wow I typed a lot, yesh. I mean, I normally leave a lot of feedback for each game I play but that's A LOT haha. I also wanted to chip in again real quick to say that my suggestions shouldn't be followed as a fact for what others (or you) want or should want from the game.

I just got the impression that a lot of stuff was added in order to make sure it would meet the requirements of being a "good game". Adding in things to collect, and a lot of content. But the game is yours, and you should have things you genuinely feel will add to the experience. Regardless of my opinion on them.

joe40001 says ...
Apr 25, 2015 @ 10:37am

@CriticalMammal
Thanks for all the feedback. When I see that much feedback it means that people care about what I made, which is a great compliment.

I got my "woosh" from freesound and I'm very familiar with it.

I've thought about this mechanic in a multiplayer fps or combat game, I didn't want to make that because
1. Server stuff is a pain,
2. every online multiplayer LD entry I've seen has no active players so it comes across as kinda sad.

This isn't "my perfect game" by any stretch, and pretty much all your suggestions are on point. It's just a mad dash to try to make the best game I can in 72 hours. So for me when making LD games pretty much everything is a place holder until I have time to replace it with something better.

Basically where I got was that I wanted the feeling of "I want to go to there" and then use the gun to achieve that. That part I like, the initial staircase was a bit tedious but the idea for that was so you appreciated how much more free you are once you get the gun.

It goes from, "that staircase is a pain" to "I can jump 10 times that instantly", and that's supposed to be the fun revelation.

But where you are really on point is that it's not a complete game. The sentence here "Seeing the cities off in the distance and the yearning to see them up close had a sense of scale and intrigue that's hard to achieve for most games." was really my goal given how short on time I got.

If I can say so, the gun is awesome, but it kinda opened up too many possibilities that I didn't know what to do with it. I settled on going for an ethereal dreamlike mechanic showcase as the goal for the time allotted.

I love your feedback though and very well might want to talk to you more if I do decide to pursue this game further.

As for the NPCs occasionally walking away, and any other thing that seemed like a bug. They were all "artistic choices" :P

The NPCs randomly walking away isn't a bug, it's a metaphor for... um... emotional distance... and... the gun... um... the gun represents reaching out beyond your emotional comfort zone? The emotional comfort zone being the starting island? And the tedium in the city... represents... the tedium of adult life in an empty corporate world...? Or something...

(I maybe shouldn't joke on the off chance that something about my semi-intentional artistic choices resonated with a player)

Anyway, thanks again for the feedback!

Apr 26, 2015 @ 1:45pm

Impressive visuals but as mentioned I did have the issue of lagging at times and the slow start up screen. Liked the way the game started with you standing in the middle of the water with the hills around. Quite a beautiful scene.

joe40001 says ...
Apr 27, 2015 @ 4:20am

@Franklin's Ghost

Yeah, I've heard a lot of people say it runs super smooth, but I know it was laggy when I tried to run it on my dell laptop, so I guess it depends on graphics card.

Glad you liked the visuals though. Thanks for the feedback. :)

Langouste says ...
Apr 28, 2015 @ 3:53pm

Super game! I love it, thanks ;)

oparisy says ...
Apr 28, 2015 @ 8:08pm

Gosh, what a strange game! I could not gather the patience to collect all the orbs, but the mood is great. Loved the music, and the "travel" feeling when using the "weapon" is fantastic. Loved your "playmobil" little NPC too!

AlcoTk says ...
May 1, 2015 @ 6:52am

The graphics look really nice and the unconventional weapon is pretty cool

lizard455 says ...
May 2, 2015 @ 5:42pm

Pretty interesting!

Nkoo says ...
May 2, 2015 @ 7:35pm

I love the concept, giving such an incredible movement potential to the player is amazing, but there are many things within the engine making the experience sometimes frustrating. When on white surface in sky cities, you are almost stopped from walking, and can only jump.( I think it's due to the slopes preventing horizontal movement or something). The left click seems inconsistent at times.
Lovely graphics and music ! ( A bit pretentious on level size sometimes, fps drops are experienced )

TeamFlare says ...
May 3, 2015 @ 11:56am

Bizzare cool look :) love it

joe40001 says ...
May 3, 2015 @ 1:30pm

Thanks for all the feedback, I thought I'd let people know there is an easter egg in the game, I doubt anybody will find it, but you will know if you do. (And I'll give you a LD badge for finding it)

ohai1 says ...
May 5, 2015 @ 4:24pm

The device isn't basically a weapon, but that's my only problem with this game. I just LOVE that the world is so huge!

MonoS says ...
May 6, 2015 @ 4:36pm

Oh well, where do i start.
first: Reading your response to CriticalMammal gave me some perspective about your game, so take in mind his/her feedback and your response.

The design of the city is very interesting, but a mixture of bad controls, bad collision detection and bad level design, make the experience boring and frustrating, i spent a lot of time trying to get out of some structures.
The lack of a radar and the strange architectures make very hard to spot the orbs and the lack of distinction between where i can teleport and where i don't make it even more difficult.

The game have potential, i'll gladly play an exploration game with an aesthetic like that, maybe with some other gameplay mechanics, but just as a teleport-y game can become very good :D.

As a side note, shadow are strange, they seems bonded to the facing direction

LukuluK says ...
May 11, 2015 @ 9:19pm

This game put me in a very good experience ! I liked the mood, the feeling of being in a dream, and the exploration part. It was just too hard to find the bubbles ;)

joe40001 says ...
May 11, 2015 @ 11:04pm

@Lukuluk

I'm very happy to hear that. If I had more than 72 hours I'd have love to do much more, but I'm glad I could accomplish something ethereal in the time I had.

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