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

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The Great Debate

by MiniBobbo - Compo Entry

Mankind wages war with sword, spear and gun, but such petty things are beneath you. You destroy arguments and bring the light to the world through your spoken word! Welcome to the Great Debate!

Step into the shoes of the great thinkers Einstein, Neil deGrasse Tyson, Hal 9000, and Aristotle and destroy your opponent with pointless comments. Achieve the higher score to win.

The Great Debate is a competitive puzzle game masquerading as a debate simulator. Each round you will be asked to pick a word which is scored based on a secret criteria. Try to figure out what this criteria is to maximize your score and defeat your opponent. Some scoring rules are easy (For example, one is you get a point for every letter in the word, so longer words are better) but others are more difficult, so don't give up! The game will tell you the scoring system used at the end of the debate. There are 6 different ones total.

The Great Debate is a one or two (or zero!) player game played entirely with the mouse. Two players will have to share the mouse, unless you have two plugged into your computer for some strange reason.

Downloads and Links




vini60 says ...
Apr 20, 2015 @ 2:29am

Best game so far for me. What's the most unconventional weapon other than words?

ViliX64 says ...
Apr 20, 2015 @ 3:07am

Thanks for playing my game (Ageless Machine: Cup of Tea) and your kind words on it.

About your game: It's really fun and the concept is also quite new. Well done :)

amras0000 says ...
Apr 20, 2015 @ 3:13am

I couldn't really figure out the scoring system there.

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

A very nicely implemented "figure out the rule" game with a nice touch of humour in the delivery Well worth a play.

talecrafter says ...
Apr 20, 2015 @ 7:27am

"You want the backpacker? You can't handle the backpacker."

Well done. Great game with a wonderful idea. And that music accompanying the speakers: hilarious.

Me, as a non native speaker, I often asked myself: Is that a made up word or is it just a word I do not know yet.

Madball says ...
Apr 20, 2015 @ 12:36pm

Hehe, such a funny little game. Every little thing makes me enjoy it.
The word length criterion seems to always give 1 less point than supposed.

Jeasonfire says ...
Apr 20, 2015 @ 4:33pm

First of all, the music is brilliant. Also, the "pen is mightier than the sword" stance is very well implemented. The art is very nice, and the debates are absurd and hilarious.

sugarbyte says ...
Apr 21, 2015 @ 1:18am

My pet programmer and I loved this entry. Also, the soundtrack kept me PUMPED for DEBATE, which is more than I can say for my highschool debate coach...

Great job!

Kitch says ...
Apr 21, 2015 @ 1:39am

This is really good. And excellent with two players, having our own little sub debate about the current rule... in the debate simulator.

Presentation was fantastic. Really good job.


funisfun8 says ...
Apr 21, 2015 @ 1:59am

Love the idea and it was well executed! The art is great and the mad libs aspect is pretty funny. Great job!

Ilseroth says ...
Apr 21, 2015 @ 2:21am

A quality entry, with a few hitches in that I started to run into repeat phrases in short order which along with the relatively short music loop was kind of annoying.

Matt Tuttle says ...
Apr 21, 2015 @ 2:27am

Really interesting idea and I liked the scoring system. Your graphics were fun and fit perfectly with the theme.

I didn't feel like the music really went with the game but it would have been great for an action game. Personally I think it would be interesting having unique "voices" for each character, mumbled words or beeps for HAL, and an audience reaction based on the score (oooh, aah, *applause*).

I'd love to see an updated version with more scoring "puzzles".

Phil Strahl says ...
Apr 21, 2015 @ 2:30am

The concept really is a little different than the usual top-down shooter or tower-defense variant. Personally, I found 10 rounds waaay too long and not being able to skip through the same announcements "round x!", "player 2, your rebuttal!", etc. was also getting on my nerves a bit. Speaking of which, I found the music incredibly out of place, so much in fact, that I awarded you extra points on humor for it. Also the nonsensical statements are a bit like a tame Cards Against Humanity, only less fun.

The graphics, however, are very fitting and nice, but why are there no female thinkers like Ada Lovelace, Marie Curie, Hedi Lamarr, or Sylvia Plath?

RARoadkill says ...
Apr 21, 2015 @ 2:49am

Fun Game. Really enjoyed the graphics and gameplay

Apr 21, 2015 @ 3:01am

The big problem with this game is that it goes on way too long. You can figure out the scoring system (Fannee Doolee, percentage of vowels, etc) after two or three rounds, so the next two thirds of the game are just hoping for good luck with the RNG.

Still, it's very funny and some of the words are just inherently humorous. And you get to see who would win in a fight between Aristotle and Hal 9000, which is always great.

fluidvolt says ...
Apr 21, 2015 @ 5:40am

Awesome. I'm so happy to have been able to play as HAL 9000. Love the humor -- quoting Forrest Gump for debate points! -- and the fast-paced "solve the puzzle" mechanic. Graphics were nice and chunky too. Nice job.

Pinpickle says ...
Apr 21, 2015 @ 7:10am

A game often played as a time killer between friends now turned into a video game, great idea! My scoring rule only ended up with three valid words between everyone at the end so I was pretty confused.

NIGIC says ...
Apr 21, 2015 @ 4:00pm

A fairly accurate simulation.

Nice idea, and good pacing. Looks and sounds good. Would be even better if the crowd cheered when you got a high score. Short, but good replayability. Good job!

Snicklodocus says ...
Apr 21, 2015 @ 9:24pm

Great game! Funny! I loved the gameplay and the presentation. Art was wonderful, and I liked how you can change your character - nice touch. I feel sound effects would have really added a lot, and 10 rounds was too much. It was also annoying when I figured out the rule but received no good words for it. Overall though, great job!

MiniBobbo says ...
Apr 21, 2015 @ 11:08pm

Thanks for all the comments and feedback. I'm working on a post-compo version now that takes into account everything said so far. Here's a short list of the implemented features:

An options menu where you can adjust debate settings (number of rounds, speed of messages, etc.)
Default rounds changed to 6 from 10.
Eliminated some displays. (The game plays 40% faster now. 6 rounds takes under 3 minutes).
Female characters added.
More statements and rebuttals.
Every selection is guaranteed at least one scoring word.

Soon to come:
Music options (for you who don't think that techno belongs in a debate)
Audience reactions.
Possible sound effects for the speakers.

Thanks again!

Xanderzoo says ...
Apr 22, 2015 @ 4:30am

It's funny, but I was just picking random words...

rgehan says ...
Apr 22, 2015 @ 8:44am

Really interesting game. The graphics are really nice, the soundtrack is quite rythmic and totally fits the atmosphere of such a debate.

It's also really fun, sometimes the speakers said totally weird things : "You can't handle the platypi" :)

Really good game, even if I didn't understand at all the scoring system.

wooltech says ...
Apr 22, 2015 @ 12:38pm

Great idea. Looks and sounds great, although maybe the music doesn't fit the gameplay so well.

The description didn't sound great, but after a round or two I really got drawn in to figuring out what the scoring rule was.

nonetheless says ...
Apr 22, 2015 @ 8:52pm

That's nice :)

PapyPilgrim says ...
Apr 24, 2015 @ 12:18pm

English is not my native language. I ended up picking the shortest word available and I won the game twice with that method... not sure that was intended.
I really liked the idea, but frankly, I felt like I was just there to clic a "next" buton in a dialog that made no sense.

nassi says ...
Apr 24, 2015 @ 7:38pm

Went trought three debates. From the description I tought that each round (as they were called in the game) would have different rules, but after playing trough one debate it made much more sense. Scoring systems I saw were vowels to consonants ratio, +2 for each consonant and -1 for each vowel and +10 for each combination of same two letters in a row. It was cool that at the beginning I only had a hunch of what might score highly and after a while I started to grasp the rule too. 10 rounds per debate was a nice length considering the time it took to figure out the scoring.

The debates formed by the "random" words were quite interesting too :P.

Ithildin says ...
Apr 24, 2015 @ 9:08pm

I loved the graphics and the specific way to use words to fit the theme. The absurd arguments resulting from choosing words were hilarious! :D

Some minor nitpicking: I haven't tried the post-compo version yet so it can have changed, but as there were almost no input on the outcome of each individual round, 10 felt a bit too long to determine the match results. If, for example, you score the first times and then start failing the underlying rule(s) could be forgotten.

Great job!! :D

badlydrawnrod says ...
Apr 24, 2015 @ 9:09pm

Very original, very re-playable. +1 for Monkey Island references. I liked how I had to use my brain to play it.

Rose says ...
Apr 24, 2015 @ 9:18pm

That was fun once I figured it out. Maybe you could give an example of a possible rule (not one that's in the game) at the beginning, because I didn't understand at all until I finished once and saw one of the rules. After that it was fun to try again! Also, I would have liked to be able to pause it on a list of previous words so I could have some time to consider the possibilities. I think the music was great!

misson20000 says ...
Apr 24, 2015 @ 9:27pm

I've been playing for a while, and by far my favorite quote to come out of it was
"Cavemen didn't have nature and not a single one ever died from cancer. Coincedence?"

Drauthius says ...
Apr 24, 2015 @ 9:33pm

Hm! Interesting idea. The rounds are a bit long and slow, but very nice graphics. (I see you've fixed, or made it configurable at least, in the post-compo edition. :) )

dos says ...
Apr 24, 2015 @ 9:47pm

I love it!

abcdef65g says ...
Apr 24, 2015 @ 9:56pm

The idea is fun. I played both the compo and post compo versions, I really enjoyed the game and the small bugs on the compo version didn't really take that much out of the overall experience.

grillaface says ...
Apr 24, 2015 @ 10:07pm

Oh ok now that the debate is over I get it :) Very nice!

Jwatt says ...
Apr 24, 2015 @ 11:42pm

5 stars for humor, had a few genuine laughs. And that's kind of all this ride is, appreciating the nonsense, like I don't see how one would even play this "optimally".

I see a lot of the specific things I would've complained about you've already fixed in the post-compo version, so good for you.

PanKamil says ...
Apr 25, 2015 @ 8:49am

I'm not sure how the points were counted, but it was an absolutely ridiculous experience. I love how you threw quotes from Galileo and Monkey Island as well into one game :D.

jplur says ...
Apr 26, 2015 @ 1:18pm

The mystery science theater guys in the audience cracked me up!

pythong says ...
Apr 26, 2015 @ 3:15pm

wow that was hard. i only figured out in the 7th round what the criteria was, and hardly won 30 to 20

AlexDJones says ...
May 3, 2015 @ 6:25pm

I liked this entry. The use of secret scoring systems was a clever twist, though I think it should have been made more explicit in the game itself. Liked the visuals and music as well.

ViKing Games says ...
May 10, 2015 @ 3:31pm

Great weapon, and interesting concept. The music fit well, and the animations were hilarious. I didn't get the opportunity to play multiplayer, but it was fun against a CPU.

MrShoestore says ...
May 10, 2015 @ 10:26pm

I didn't get it. I played for a while, and got 0 points. There is no heads up to even attempt to discover the rules.

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