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

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New Grafflebog Colony

by monika - Jam Entry

*** CONTENT WARNING: The game's content is pretty close to clean, but the game allows a large amount of user-generated content. If you see anything horrible, email me at alternatehamlet@gmail.com ***

Welcome to New Grafflebog Colony!

I am Wishrim Bramblebob, and I am in charge of new colonist orientation. I think you’ll like this planet. It’s got some really nice weather, and really big mud pits, and some rather delicious amphibious creatures.

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In this game, you take part in a colony effort to rid a planet of humans by cultivating annoying plants. You can help in several ways, such as collecting seeds, breeding plants, writing moving articles about how to best deal with the human problem, and voting in online opinion polls. Will you be this planet's Thomas Paine? Its Gregor Mendel? Its `•.,¸¸,.•´¯ ώɨ$hяɨʍ68 ¯`•.,¸¸,.•´?

Participate as much or as little as you want. It's a massive multiplayer co-op game, so you'll get to share in the glory no matter how lazy you are.

You start out in Town Hall, where you will have to show your Library Card to do anything. Instructions on obtaining a Library Card are in the game.

Whatever you do, DO NOT VANDALIZE TOWN HALL!

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This game was made entirely in Google Docs. You should be able to read and vote anonymously, and even write articles anonymously because I didn't finish the part that verified that you didn't, but you will need a Google Drive account to plant and kill plants. It *shouldn't* be possible for anyone other than me to see your email address, but if you are security-conscious or worried about Google authorizations, I encourage you to create a gmail account just for this game.

There is also now a "Forged Library Card" option available from the Town Hall menu.

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I haven't had a lot of time to debug it, so if anything doesn't work right, let me know.

Also, I acknowledge this game needs content to be fun, and fun to get players, and players to make content, so I would like to give a special thanks to all the people who played it when it was a clean slate.

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Some bug fixes:
- There was an issue with the user tracker "taking up too much computer time per day" according to Google. It will now trigger less often, and at more relevant times.
- There were two bugs related to breeding that have been cleared up, but details would be spoilers.
- I moved four lines of code in newsletter publication to their own function so newsletter topic options could be updated separately from the new submission process.
- Added a "Forged Library Card" option because the Library Card system could not consistently handle all the registered users.
- After some soul-searching about whether or not it was game breaking, I decided to fix the bug that would show features present in unplanted seeds as "discovered".

Downloads and Links


Ratings

Coolness100%
Innovation(Jam)4.52
#108Humor(Jam)3.73
#279Overall(Jam)3.50
#378Mood(Jam)3.26
#429Theme(Jam)3.47
#514Fun(Jam)3.06

Comments

Lady Beardo says ...
Apr 21, 2015 @ 4:28am

Wowee! This is by far the weirdest thing I have played this LD (and that is a good thing). Unconventional weapon--but even more unconventional game engine! Take your time and read the instructions, you'll get it.

shyupuff says ...
Apr 21, 2015 @ 4:42am

Nice worldbuilding. Probably one of the most interesting ways of presenting a game that I've ever seen. Nice options. I love it!

GTA LUDUM V says ...
Apr 21, 2015 @ 5:17am

Most unconventional game i've ever played and it has a high risk that player would break your engine and gameplay.

pixzleone says ...
Apr 21, 2015 @ 6:28am

Weird and funny. I don´t know what that was ^^

phi says ...
Apr 21, 2015 @ 8:13am

I love this kind of software "misuse"! Very elaborate mechanics, everything works quite well - except for the technical limitations given by the "engine". It's certainly an interesting concept and extremely fun to discover stuff and fool around trying out the features. Ludum Dare is perfect for these sorts of experiments! Thanks for making this!

TailyILoveYou says ...
Apr 21, 2015 @ 7:05pm

Very neat, I've never seen a game done like this before :P It could use a few more instructions though, I didn't really know what I was doing for most of it.

Apr 21, 2015 @ 7:07pm

Very unconventional. rs

Apr 21, 2015 @ 7:25pm

Well this is... unconventional. I love the idea and you seem to have put a lot of thought and creativity into this. If any LD game ever deserved 5 stars for innovation, it's this one. :)

zwartraider says ...
Apr 21, 2015 @ 7:43pm

Oh wow, this is the first time I play an actual Google Docs game! The possibilities are quite interesting, and I also like the overall implementation of the idea.

Wertle says ...
Apr 22, 2015 @ 12:29am

This is a wonderfully weird game and it totally works! There were some bumps figuring out how to get things going that I needed assistance from the author in, but once I figured out the things I could do and started getting involved in community debates, it was super fun! I'm really impressed that you were able to wrangle Google Spreadsheets into this system. I'd be curious to see some kind of end game, like if there's a time limit where you conclude the results of the our collective efforts, that might make things a little more tense with arguing over what plants to breed, etc. Overall, great job!

Apr 22, 2015 @ 1:45am

This is by (very) far the weirdest and most interesting game I have played in a long time.

From the idea, to the platform and the implementation, the humor, and the sheer courage of leaving so much agency to random people on the internet, I am absolutely amazed by the greatness of this game! I can totally see this idea develop further post-LD, but even what is already there is wonderful!

The greatest things about the game are its humour, with its list of annoying characteristics and an incredibly high percentage of eloquent vandals. The first is plain addictive, in that "opening a new booster pack" kind of way: you know the pack is part of a series of cards, but you don't know which ones you'll get, or even if you'll get any new ones at all; finding a new characteristic is incredibly fulfilling, you feel like you made a real discovery, like you discovered a small wonder, like you actually enriched the knowledge of your faction in the game.

This sense of wonder and discovery is so rare in games I would have never expected I'd find it in a GDocs game, yet there it is! I believe it's amazing it was all achieved through sheer inventiveness and "abusing" a platform, and I hope it will be rate with the best of them.

I also love the fact that, in an age when thinking about "internet" makes you say "assholes", the developer managed to create a small, nurturing community. They're mischievous and roguish, but in an extremely lovable way!

I suggest you take the game for a spin, comment-reader! It might not be your cup of tea, but it really is an experience to try, you won't be disappointed at all!

xgeovanni says ...
Apr 22, 2015 @ 7:50pm

If anything but this tops innovative it will be a crime.

dydx says ...
Apr 22, 2015 @ 9:52pm

This game is so cool. I'm really impressed you were able to make all of this work.

dydx says ...
Apr 22, 2015 @ 10:00pm

I want to plant more seeds but I can't bring myself to kill any plants to make space. Even if they are ugly and untie your shoelaces.

KhaoTom says ...
Apr 23, 2015 @ 1:37am

Great idea and great humor. The idea of driving off humans using plants that have such traits as "makes a skreeching noise when no one is looking" is definitely one of my new favorite things to think about.

Prowler says ...
Apr 24, 2015 @ 4:19am

Awesome platform :D and gameplay! This is more LARP-like than online gaming. Very cool! Unconventional to the top!

EricJohnE says ...
Apr 24, 2015 @ 5:18am

I really dig this concept. Will probably be going back to it more than once.

iceburg7 says ...
Apr 24, 2015 @ 9:30am

Wow. This is brilliant, especially since it takes advantage of the immediate rush of players from being in the Ludum Dare. I've never seen something quite like it before, and it really takes advantage of he interactive elements of world-building. You've basically made an MMO here.

Nikteddy92 says ...
Apr 24, 2015 @ 1:09pm

Omg.. this is.. Great °o°

Chaoseed says ...
Apr 24, 2015 @ 6:36pm

This is genius in so many ways! First, the idea of using Google Docs; it's something lots of people have access to, it's well polished and it lets Google take care of the hosting and everything. Then the idea of kicking those nasty Humans off the planet immediately gets the player in the right frame of mind. The "world" is a great tongue-in-cheek creation, like something out of Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy. The gameplay is simple, yet it keeps you coming back to see what will happen, AND it lets people build on each others' work. And the idea of breeding plants as "weapons of annoyance" is hilarious. I'm totally jealous, this is the kind of game I would love to make!

My one complaint is that it was a little hard to get started. Just a little more in the way of, "Up THERE is where you access menus to do stuff, and down THERE are the different tabs with areas to go". Other than that, really awesome!

BeardoGames says ...
Apr 24, 2015 @ 7:19pm

Dang, this is fantastic, and I'm amazed at the amount of work that went into it! Really cool, and I know I'll hanging out at the Colony for quite a while!

hexdie says ...
Apr 25, 2015 @ 3:08am

That was definitely interesting. The fact it was made in google docs was pretty cool. I was super confused on what I was supposed to do in the beginning, despite reading that I could use a forged library card. I think this was because you called so little attention to the text which mentioned that actions were in the menu above. After I did do that though, I was still pretty confused on what I was supposed to be doing. It seemed like a lot of effort went into it but navigating it and figuring out what to do was a huge challenge.

mildmojo says ...
Apr 26, 2015 @ 1:13am

This is a cool idea. I think it was too far gone by the time I tried it, though. The text on the Town Hall page said there were instructions to the right and menus above, but there was nothing to the right of that column and there were no menus above. I checked out the newsletters (#1 requires a google sign-in?) and the other location tabs and it seemed like stuff was coming from somewhere, but I didn't see a way to breed plants. The description mentions a library card and the game referenced forged library cards, but I didn't see any way to get or make use of those things.

Great idea, great flavor, but it didn't seem to work?

LandoSystems says ...
Apr 26, 2015 @ 1:53am

Hi marks for making something unique! Not a huge fan of authorizing some random app to access a bunch of my google things though.

monika says ...
Apr 26, 2015 @ 1:57am

Thanks for catching that! The scripts in the game will only run if you are logged on to Google / GDocs.

monika says ...
Apr 26, 2015 @ 2:01am

I've added a video by Wertle for anyone who is curious but doesn't want to play.

Trasevol_Dog says ...
Apr 26, 2015 @ 1:13pm

This is pure genius.

rogueNoodle says ...
Apr 26, 2015 @ 1:24pm

A bit tricky to get started, but pretty amazing once I did. Crazy that this sort of thing can be made with spreadsheets :0 Unique (if subtle) use of theme and I love the Hitchhikers Guide style of humour. Really nice work!

stvr says ...
Apr 26, 2015 @ 11:52pm

Love the unusual "engine" you chose, very funny, and truly weird!

calavera says ...
Apr 29, 2015 @ 6:27pm

5 stars for humor and innovation!

Exeneva says ...
May 5, 2015 @ 7:11am

Very unconventional! I like it.

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