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

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Nature's Assault

by Ptolo - Compo Entry

My first ever Ludum Dare entry is complete! :D

You are against a foe wielding a rather unconventional weapon; the forces of nature are destroying what was once a verdant world. As a minor spirit, use your magic powers to save the people facing extinction.

I hope the Intro window has good enough instructions as I feel I have to sleep now. In short use mouse to use powers and press end turn (or let it auto advance).


Oh I never mentioned, this game was made in JAVA so you will require Java to be installed to run it. I've checked how it runs on OS/X looks like you need to ctrl-click the jar file to run it, then accept the warning about unknown developer :S The buttons are in a different style and dont fit as well but the game does work.

Well that was a tiring night, was definitely hard to focus those last few hours. Now that I've had a bit of a rest I can add some proper info on how to play.

To get world population as high as possible in the 500 turns. Player actions (apart from selecting tribes) take mana which is gained 1/turn.
The climate will shift, try to settle temperate regions. Arctic=death, desert=also death

Tribes (the orange squares) will wander, getting food from bushes and trees if present. When they are somewhere with no plants they will starve and decrease population. If they reach 0 population they die. Giving a tribe a goto command will make them try to travel to the selected tile.

Settlements are created by selecting a tribe (they will have a green box around them) and clicking settle, this requires mana. Settlements cannot move but can grow crops nearby to feed themselves.

Tribes or settlements that reach a high population will create new tribes.

If a tribe tries to move into a tile with another tribe or settlement in it they will attack it. Both tribes lose population proportional to the size of the other tribe.

Every map tile has a height, temperature and amount of plants.

Ocean: tribes cannot cross and settlements cannot cultivate, can be raised up into land.
Lowland (no symbol): lowest land height, good for growing crops in mild temperatures, height can be changed.
Hills : medium height, not as good for crops, height can be lowered.
Mountains: Highest height, no crops or plants will grow here, height can be lowered.

Desert: Hottest region on equator, plants will only grow on coast where rain falls.
Savannah: Hot regions north and south of equator, plants and forests will grow over this area.
Temperate: Mild regions approximately equidistant the equator and poles, most fertile lands with many plants and forest.
Tundra: Cold regions near the poles, plants will only grow on coast where rain falls.
Arctic: Coldest regions at the poles, nothing grows here and any tribes which stay here too long will starve.

These will regrow once harvested by a tribe as long as temperature is not too severe.
None (no icon): either land is barren or plants have been harvested and must regrow.
shrubs (little green specks): can feed a tribe for a turn, will regrow over time.
trees (tiny tree symbol): can feed a tribe twice (symbol goes from tree to shrub to none), will regrow over time.

no power selected: select tribe, used to give further commands.

sink land: drops the height of the tile clicked on until it is sea, takes 1 mana per change in tile height.
raise land: changes the height of the tile clicked on until it is low ground, 1 mana per change in height.
raise hill: same as raise land but changes height to hills.
raise mountain: same as raise land but changes height to mountains.

goto: REQUIRES A TRIBE TO BE SELECTED, commands tribe to move to selected tile, costs 1 mana. Tribe will travel in a straight line to destination, seas will block travel and cancel goto.

settle: REQUIRES A TRIBE TO BE SELECTED, on clicking the menu button the selected tribe will form a settlement and no longer wander, takes 1 mana. Settlements can grow crops and have higher populations.


When a power is selected, lightning bolt shows whether you have any mana.

leftclick: use current power on tile under mouse.
rightclick: deselect power, defaulting to tribe selection tool
scrollWheel: change range of land-altering power, takes a lot of mana!

Menu buttons:
End Turn: increments the turn counter letting tribes wander and mana increase, press this when you have no more mana left.
Auto End Turn: automatically ends the turn every 1/10th of a second, good way to see how history unfolds! click again to stop.
Settle: REQUIRES A TRIBE TO BE SELECTED tell selected tribe to settle at their current location.
Next Tribe: cycles through all the tribes/settlements in the world.
Goto: REQUIRES A TRIBE TO BE SELECTED tell selected tribe to travel to tile which is clicked after selecting this button

Select Tribe: sets power to default selection tool.
Sink Land: sets power to sink land.
Raise Land: sets power to create lowland.
Raise Hill: sets power to create hills.
Raise Mountain: sets power to create mountains.

-phew!- Hope I didn't miss anything :P Making a God game needs a whole lot of explanation of the controls/gameplay. If it is still confusing try clicking Auto End Turn and just letting the simulation play out (to be honest this is what I have mostly been doing)

Thanks to all the people who comment, I'm overjoyed that people have been interested in my entry :3

Shameless self promotion:
I have a blog where I post programming projects:
The ones written in Javascript are playable right on the page :D

Downloads and Links




cgmorton says ...
Apr 20, 2015 @ 1:59am

This seems like it's a really cool game. I mean it took me a while to figure out how to do anything really (turns out it's because I started with 0 mana, go figure). And I still don't know how anything works or interacts. Like, can I influence the climate? Is my job just to move tribes around? I quite enjoy turning on Auto-End-Turn and watching the world fall apart, though, that past is excellent.

I should point out that the intro screen is a little broken, some of the lines get cut off. I'd also like to be able to bring it back up during play.

I dunno, this game seems like it would be really cool if I knew what was happening.

Apr 20, 2015 @ 2:25am

I couldnt run your game in osx

Apr 20, 2015 @ 4:31am

Awesome simulator! I enjoyed the graphics and how creating land affected other land. It is a cool game! I would have liked to been able to interact more with settled tribes. Thanks for the game, it was fun!

stoarch says ...
Apr 20, 2015 @ 4:35am

More ingame tutorial will be good. Turn based strategy with so small tiles and without legend is hard to understand and play.

But ability to change landscape is good. I like it and seen in "From Dust". You made good job.

Anas Azmi says ...
Apr 20, 2015 @ 7:50am

I like how you don't just manage the tribes, but also the land itself. I also like the procedural generation for the land. It keeps the replayability fresh. That said, I wish there would be more explanations as to what each action does. Also, perhaps put a bit more emphasis on how much Mana you have left, since it feels like it blended too well with the other UI elements. One more thing, this may just be me not liking god games that much, but it felt a bit tedious after a while, considering that how long you play depends on how fast you press. Overall, good game. I can see a lot of effort put into making this.

SloZigec says ...
Apr 20, 2015 @ 12:57pm

Seems like a great concept. Was confused at first, but managed to figure out what I was supposed to do. Interesting none the less!

jontturi says ...
Apr 20, 2015 @ 12:58pm

20.4.2015 15.56.10 [0x0-0x4bf4bf][57163] java.lang.UnsupportedClassVersionError: ludumdare32/LudumDare32 : Unsupported major.minor version 52.0

Mac OSX Snow Leopard 10.6.8 (so very old). Java 6 installed.

lanza says ...
Apr 20, 2015 @ 2:43pm

I had seen your posts during the jam, and definetely wanted to check the game out. It didn't disappoint me. At first I didn't understand how it works, but after a while I got it and it was pretty cool. Good job!

Marcellus says ...
Apr 20, 2015 @ 3:11pm

I love those games where you barely interact with it and watch it grows. Yours is a nice simulator. graphics are cute and efficient, good entry !

drakekin says ...
Apr 20, 2015 @ 4:09pm

Neat little god game. Some more instructions or some more information on the map would be nice but for 48 hours it's really good. Really liked how the climate changed, it's a really neat little idea that sets it apart nicely.

Finn says ...
Apr 20, 2015 @ 4:16pm

Very nicely made, considering you only had 48 hours. Would've liked the tiles and the font size to be bigger, though, even if that means having to scroll/pan.
The theme doesn't seem to fit in well, I understand that you are against a foe with the weapon of nature, but other than limited the number of fertile tiles, nature isn't really doing much. If anything, the tribesmen themselves are the foe, to each other and you.
At the moment, it's a very basic idea that could blossom. I enjoyed it.

HuvaaKoodia says ...
Apr 20, 2015 @ 5:54pm

I love world simulations. Yours is very compact and functional, that is to say, lacking in areas of interest.

Watching the world bustling with tribes and settlements is neat, but the absence of interactions between the tribes and the world wane that excitement soon. This also plays into making the player actions feeling quite powerless and redundant. Sure I can raise mountains and force whole tribes to relocate, settle and even fight, but as there is no personality to the tribes, apart from their names, the potential for drama is minimized. War! the most dramatic of human endeavours is rendered uninteresting by not knowing the participants on a low enough level.

Differentiate the tribes with cultural and racial traits, make them act accordingly and drama ensues.

Interface-wise hotkeys for the actions would be nice.
I also vote for map zooming. I know graphics scaling in Java is a bit expensive (this might have changed by now) but in a turn-based simulation that shouldn't be a problem.

Keep up the good work. The more simulations the merrier.

Ptolo says ...
Apr 20, 2015 @ 7:22pm

Thanks for all the comments, getting some useful feedback here. I'll write up a post mortem saying what I wanted to add but didn't have time. Once I've had time to rest and make a plan I'll set about making version 0.2 :D

Tselmek says ...
Apr 20, 2015 @ 8:34pm

Pretty nice game for such a short development time, deep and detailed yet a bit hard to get the hand off of it. A little tutorial could be a pluvalue. Good luck!

uvwar says ...
Apr 20, 2015 @ 11:32pm

I love it! Very SimEarthish.

adsilcott says ...
Apr 21, 2015 @ 2:50pm

I love the concept! Although mildly confusing at first, this is one game I want to keep revisiting until I figure it out, so I can see what happens. :)

BtheDestroyer says ...
Apr 21, 2015 @ 8:22pm

Great! I'll definitely be playing this in my free time ;)

Headmade says ...
Apr 21, 2015 @ 9:09pm

This really seems like an interesting entry but unfortunately I couldn't figure out how to grow my population. Once winter came my settlements died off :(

Team-KwaKwa says ...
Apr 22, 2015 @ 7:35pm

As a fan of strategy games, I really dive into the game and try to understand. Congrats on managing a such complex game on a week-end.

runvs says ...
Apr 24, 2015 @ 3:37pm

Wow, this is deep. I can imagine that there are many complex algorithms working in the back that make this game very interesting.

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