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

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Cooper 32 vs. Doctor Dynamo

by rnlf - Compo Entry


So, I added a post compo version that fixes some of the annoyances in the original release:

- Doubled the number of checkpoints
- Defused some of the most difficult jumps
- Gave the player a 500ms delay between the time a guard changes his viewing direction and the player actually being detected
- Added more scripted events
- Fixed the "Super-Mario-Bros-Type" skip-half-the-level bug

Please rate the original version, but if you want to have a less frustrating time with the game, here you go!

Cooper 32 is the top field operative of an undisclosed secret service.

The service found out that the super villain Doctor Dynamo is planning to bomb big cities all over the world. The villain is hiding in his secret volcanic hideout (as such people usually do) and Cooper has to blow the base (including the volcano, most likely) up. For that job, no conventional weapon would suffice, therefore he uses a mini nuke.

Can Cooper 32 sneak into the base undetected, plant the bomb and return to his safe hiding spot to free the world from Doctor Dynamo's menace? FIND OUT INSIDE!

Controls: Arrow keys to move, Up or X to jump. That's it.

You should watch the intro to find out what you're supposed to do, but you can skip it by just running ahead if you like.

The game is relatively difficult, there are some checkpoints along the way to lower your rage levels.

I almost finished everything I had planned, but I spent too much time on level and graphics design, so in the end I had to cut down on some nice-to-have features (there are no sweet particle effects, for example).

The game might glitch from time to time because I ran out of time for playtesting, but it should usually run just fine!


Known Bugs/Issues:

* There is one think in the game that can be a bit unnerving: When one of the guards changes the direction he looks in and sees you there, you will get told that you have been detected but it looks like he actually didn't. But trust me, the detection is relatively solid. Just the presentation of this is a bit disappointing. I planned to have them show their field of view in red once you are detected, but you know how times runs a few hour before submission hour :3

* You can skip part of the level on your way back in a Super Mario Bros. kind of way. Let's just say that was intentional, okay? *coughs*

Downloads and Links




pi_pi3 says ...
Apr 20, 2015 @ 11:46am

A bit frustrating and sometimes hard, but fun.

Tijn says ...
Apr 20, 2015 @ 12:18pm

Dude, this game is crazy difficult, hahaha :D You say there are checkpoints, but I haven't been able to reach one yet. It looks and sounds awesome though, I'll come back to this one later to try and see if I can do better. I mean, I do want to stop Dr. Dynamo of course!

rnlf says ...
Apr 20, 2015 @ 12:35pm

I even reduced the difficulty last minute before submitting by removing some very hard jumps in the level. I hope you can finish it! It has a second sound track (which is even worse than the first, I promise!)

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

Oh btw, the first checkpoint is right when you enter the cave, which is right behind the first lava lake...

VDZ says ...
Apr 20, 2015 @ 12:56pm

Excellent, solid platformer. The controls are tight, the level is designed well and the checkpoints are properly placed. The return trip felt awesome and provided an interesting contrast to the more careful gameplay of the first half, helped by the background music and the sirens you'll inevitably trigger. I also felt the commentary added a lot to the experience, motivating you to move forward to see new commentary (and providing excellent game-over messages).

The only gameplay issue I ran into is the camera; often you can't see what's behind you unless you wait for several seconds, which can be deadly in a game like this. I also wasn't able to see below me beyond the default camera setting, which is something that really would've helped out (is there ground below here or lava?).

The first half music wasn't very interesting, but aside from that the audio was solid. Graphics were likewise solid and clear.

I felt the relation to the theme was rather weak, and the game isn't really doing anything that hasn't been done plenty of times before, but otherwise it's an excellent game.

Tijn says ...
Apr 20, 2015 @ 3:51pm

Ok, I've gotten a lot further this time round.

I've placed the bomb and I'm on my way back. But how the hell do I pass that solid laser beam? I'm trying to go up, but the jump seems impossible. How do I do this?

Xaychru says ...
Apr 20, 2015 @ 5:55pm

The gameplay isn't really related to the theme, but it's a nice game anyway! The graphics are neat and I like the advices you are given during the missions.

rnlf says ...
Apr 20, 2015 @ 6:32pm

Tijn, the jump is possible, just very hard. I might release a simplified post compo version tomorrow. Stay tuned ;-)

Kostyan1996 says ...
Apr 20, 2015 @ 7:11pm

Frustrating to start from very beginning, but extremely fun!

sbarrio says ...
Apr 20, 2015 @ 7:16pm

I really liked the map tilesheet and sprite animation. Nice job!

Nysten says ...
Apr 20, 2015 @ 7:37pm

Frustrating, since it is difficult and it lacks checkpoints in the beginning. You should take that as a design tip! Anyways, the game is good and enjoyable. Has a nice story.

Sogomn says ...
Apr 20, 2015 @ 7:40pm

Nice game. Some bugs with the detection indicator tho. When the guard is not visible the indicator does not show.

Hunter X says ...
Apr 20, 2015 @ 7:44pm

Some of the jumps are a bit unforgiving, the AI detection can be a little hit-or-miss sometimes and the dialogs had a habit of vanishing before all the text had displayed, but overall I still found this very entertaining :)

PS. It's possible to sequence break the game somewhat by jumping up into the escape route inside the base before you've set the bomb, and this can pose a problem if it then triggers the checkpoint beyond that point and you try to go back the right way.

masterboth says ...
Apr 20, 2015 @ 9:21pm

Nice Game, A nice platformer with stealth and jumping puzzles, a little difficult, but fun, and that's what counts, nice graphics too. Good Luck!

VDZ says ...
Apr 20, 2015 @ 11:53pm

Gamers these days are pussies. Pussies I say!

Apr 21, 2015 @ 3:39pm

Pretty challenging, but very fun. Loving the retro look, although the music gets a tad repetitive. Nice job on this one.

Zayron says ...
Apr 21, 2015 @ 4:10pm

Nice job on this. Hard but fun. :)

bitdecaygames says ...
Apr 21, 2015 @ 4:44pm

The Good:
- loved the game!
- collisions were really good
- movement was really good
- the story was good, i liked the way the text came up, and I just want to thank you for not making a sound effect for each letter, and the intro at the beginning made me laugh
- speaking of sound, the music and sound effects were perfect
- it was challenging but not impossible, great balance
- great job on all the different elements: guards, lava, lazers, and just platform difficulty

The Bad:
- the view triangle for the guards looked pretty wonky
- it would be great to be able to skip the death "cutscene" by pressing enter or something

The Ugly:
- nothing, everything worked great on my Mac

Way to go! This is probably one of the better put-together games I've played so far. GO LD32!

zakchaos says ...
Apr 21, 2015 @ 4:58pm

I rage quit after falling in lava and restarting at begining

Tijn says ...
Apr 21, 2015 @ 6:07pm

I just finished the post-compo version, that one I *can* manage :)

Apr 21, 2015 @ 6:53pm

Very well done. Especially when you consider that this is a compo game. Seems like you're already aware of the game's high difficulty. Obviously I didn't beat it. Maybe later. :)

rxi says ...
Apr 21, 2015 @ 7:33pm

Really liked the walk cycle animation, the art in the game felt quite consistent with the tiles and sprites fitting together nicely.

I unfortunately didn't make it very far, I think the frequent deaths combined with the long pause of unskippable text was the main factor to it becoming more frustrating than fun quite quickly.

I do appreciate the game had a lot more to it than what I saw (I was following your posts during the compo); I'll likely revisit it or try the post-compo version later on.

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

God this game is hard! (but probably not harder than mine). Could definitely be more generous with the save points :) But it was a lot of fun! Not sure I made it through, got all the way to the right and waited for the timer to run out.

Marcus316 says ...
Apr 22, 2015 @ 2:23am

The world if safe again!

Beat the compo version. Lots of fun! I did get a bit frustrated with the difficulty of some of those jumps.

A lot of my criticisms of the game look like they're being addressed in the post-compo version. Keep up the good work!

rnlf says ...
Apr 22, 2015 @ 7:44am

plams, if the timer ran out, you sadly didn't make it ;-)

Techblogogy says ...
Apr 22, 2015 @ 12:24pm

This game is quite challenging, but very fun. Fantastic job

plams says ...
Apr 22, 2015 @ 1:01pm

@rnlf - now I finished it :) Another suggestion - it's a precision game and the jumping is a bit too unforgiving. I think some games have like a tiny timer that starts when you walk off something (transition from "on ground" to "in air") so that if you manage to press jump before the timer runs out the jump still succeeds. We're talking a small time out like 5 frames. Might be worth trying out.

dos says ...
Apr 22, 2015 @ 1:31pm

Very fun and impressive, tough at times, but not too tough. I love it!

kyyrma says ...
Apr 22, 2015 @ 3:40pm

Pretty cool! Nice art too. The line of sight mechanic was a bit crude. I wish it was a bit smoother instead of just a huge triangle changing position now and then. Also the controls were a tad too slippery for my tastes.

One simple way to improve the game would be to have some in-game instrucion on the controls. It's not that they weren't easy to guess, but still :)

sararyCow says ...
Apr 22, 2015 @ 3:55pm

I missed one or two more checkpoints, but beyond difficulty this is a very nice game. Good level design!

SiENcE says ...
Apr 22, 2015 @ 10:08pm

Damn hard! Great leveldesign. Very responsive and Pixelartstyle fits well. The die animation in lava is great too!

phi6 says ...
Apr 23, 2015 @ 11:43am

Great graphics! Very difficult but solid and fair mechanics - which is a good thing, every death is always your fault. Would have liked to see variable jump heights but thats a minor issue. As I made a platformer/Metroidvania myself I'm glad I found your entry. Good work!

phi6 says ...
Apr 23, 2015 @ 11:47am

Apologies for the comment above ^ was trying to rate a different game. Your jumping mechanic works much better - your rating adjusted accordingly :)

rnlf says ...
Apr 23, 2015 @ 11:59am

@phi6: good to hear :D

MSiddeek says ...
Apr 23, 2015 @ 1:04pm

Absolutely brilliant!

Apr 23, 2015 @ 6:15pm

Cool game! Interesting use of stealth mechanics in a 2D platformer. Good presentation, and responsive controls. Nice work.

Drauthius says ...
Apr 23, 2015 @ 8:53pm

Woo! I made it through (the unmodified version)! I really like the art, the animations and the difficulty. The "voice" talking on the other side of the comm was a bit annoying, and I don't see an unconventional weapon (a nuke? a secret agent?), but great game nevertheless. Well done. :)

WetDesertRock says ...
Apr 24, 2015 @ 8:52pm

I enjoyed this a lot, an even with the more checkpoints in the post compo I can't say I got very far. I'm not very good with platformers to say the least.

I know you were looking a lot into music and trying to do better this LD. One thing I notice about your melody is that its pretty similar to ones I come up when I'm sitting at a piano and they just feel like a dead end to me. One way to get around this is to take one note in your melody, an then when leaving it go a different direction. So taking your main melody for example. It goes something like do-re-do-ti-la-ti-sol [...] (probably not perfect), if you don't know solfege just match the notes. Instead of going down from the ti I might go up instead. So do-re-do-ti-re-sol [...], just play around with it until you get something you like. Even if you don't like what you have, just keep playing around with it. Dunno if this helps or was coherent, but hopefully it will help give you ideas.

Sound effects were bfxr so I won't comment on them. They matched the game so thats a plus. If you want tips on pther things to do with the sound effects feel free to ask in IRC.

Smiley says ...
Apr 24, 2015 @ 10:59pm

nice and difficult :)

6DownStudios says ...
Apr 25, 2015 @ 7:35am

Solid game! Nifty pixelart and sound, fun physics and stealth gameplay. Some very difficult jumps, but makes it all the more satisfying when you finally make it. As long as I don't have to wait a long time after each attempt, I don't mind tough platforming. Good onya.

Igor KinGamer says ...
Apr 25, 2015 @ 3:22pm

Cool! It was great to spend half an hour (and a lot of lives) to beat it (the original, didn't play the post compo). The mood when getting out was very nice, the music fitted very well. It isn't for casual players hehe, but I liked it this way.

Very well done :)

Jwatt says ...
Apr 27, 2015 @ 9:53am

Could've used ledge-grabbing or something to give leeway for the jumps that require you to gain speed first but to *also* make a pixel-perfect jump. Or when you have that one tile to gain speed during the escape sequence and waste 20 seconds hitting your head. For a game that's entirely about character controls, these kind of things feel like fake difficulty.

Most of the time, I got the warning messages when it was already too late. Gotta go fast.

It's got a cozy style overall, I had a bit of a DOS game flashback. The best part was the way the stealth style changed into speedrunning during the escape. But I was hoping for some twist to really tie this into the theme, it's quite vanilla for a platformer.

May 3, 2015 @ 1:49pm

Fun platformer although quite difficult at times with the jumps. Felt really polished and complete though and the movement of the player was quite smooth, which did make me blame myself for missing jumps rather then the controls and kept me retrying.

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