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

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NEG [controller req]

by JoshuaBurr - Jam Entry


A multiplayer platform fighting game.

I don't intend to add keyboard controls for now. I realise that not everyone will be able to play it so please don't leave a comment just to tell me that you don't own a controller. I don't think requiring a controller is any worse than making a game that only runs on Windows but people don't make such a fuss about that.

A list of supported controllers can be found here:

Controls (Xbox controller):

Move: Left Stick
Fire Grapple: Right Stick
Jump: A Button
Dash: X Button
Cancel Grapple: B Button
Retract Grapple: Hold Right Trigger/Bumper
Ball Mode: Hold Left Trigger/Bumper or Hold the X Button

Controls (Playstation controller):

Move: Left Stick
Fire Grapple: Right Stick
Jump: X Button
Dash: Square Button
Cancel Grapple: Circle Button
Retract Grapple: Hold R2/R1 Button
Ball Mode: Hold L2/L1 or Hold the Square Button

There are two game modes:

Battle: The aim of the game is to eliminate the other players. You damage other players by slamming into them as hard as you can while in 'ball mode'. You also take less damage and bounce while in ball mode.

Poison: Each player has been poisoned. Race each other to collect heath pickups and survive for as long as possible. (This mode can be played single player)

Many thanks to Sean Cannock ( for supplying the music and most of the sound effects.

There seems to be a small bug in the web player that causes the health bars to flicker sometimes. I'll see what I can do to fix it.

Added a post jam version with improved menus, improved audio levels, improved physics, extra graphical effects and a new game mode that can be played single player.


Downloads and Links




Apr 21, 2015 @ 3:54am

unplayable without a game controller

Apr 21, 2015 @ 4:06am

I feel the controlling of the characters to be somewhat floaty and stiff. However once me and my friend got used to it, it was a pretty fun and hectic multiplayer game. Pretty good job! :)

CreamyBacon1 says ...
Apr 21, 2015 @ 4:10am

Looks good. But I only have a ps3 controller.

Apr 21, 2015 @ 4:17am

Great concept, clean controls. A few too many buttons to learn right away, but I won't rate you down for that.

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

Playstation controllers should work fine

Apr 21, 2015 @ 4:48am

hi joshua. you mentioned issues with my game. i uploaded a webplayer edition. please give that a shot.

komjaur says ...
Apr 21, 2015 @ 10:56am

too bad that i dont have a controller...or friend :D

Tselmek says ...
Apr 21, 2015 @ 12:06pm

Controls clunky at times and unfortunately not playable without someone else. A 1-player mode could be of great value.

thecord says ...
Apr 21, 2015 @ 12:11pm

looks interesting, please add keyboard controls

JoshuaBurr says ...
Apr 21, 2015 @ 12:16pm

There is no point in adding keyboard controls as the game is purely multiplayer and there is no way of having two players on one keyboard. I realise that this isn't a very accessible format but I didn't have any choice (without making a different game entirely).

DesignerNap says ...
Apr 21, 2015 @ 12:23pm

Really tricky to master but with some time, could be a great multi player battler. good work!

Awpteamoose says ...
Apr 21, 2015 @ 3:23pm

Could be fun if the controls were better. It's really hard to do anything if you're new, I imagine you guys are well acquainted with your own controls, but think about others.

sandrohaag says ...
Apr 21, 2015 @ 5:40pm

Please add keyboard controllers.

terpin says ...
Apr 21, 2015 @ 8:55pm

Thanks for putting work into the control system! A lot of games put more work into style over substance and it's really nice to see that you didn't. Keep going buddy!

scorched says ...
Apr 21, 2015 @ 9:03pm

Why can't 2 players use one keyboard?? Strange statement. Played so many games like that, also the very common 2 player hot seat pattern is gamepad for player 1 and keyboard for player 2

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

Because you need an analog input for the grapple hook (ideally another one for the dashing as well) so each player would need a mouse. It is definitely possible for some games, just not this one. Yes, you could have one on controller and one on keyboard.

SmilingCat says ...
Apr 21, 2015 @ 11:06pm

I have a controller, but only the left analog seems to be working in this game. It's an old USB Thrustmaster so nothing exotic.

JoshuaBurr says ...
Apr 21, 2015 @ 11:38pm

I'm using 'InControl' (!/content/14695) to handle controller input. I've checked their website and Thrustmaster controllers aren't supported yet. I've sent an email with a request to support them.

ZoneOne2 says ...
Apr 22, 2015 @ 12:52am

Nicely done. Style/animations look great, and the grappling hook was fun to play with. I just tried it out alone, but could see it being really crazy/awesome with four people.

nutcrack says ...
Apr 22, 2015 @ 9:00am

funny game, but please add keyboard support!

Apr 22, 2015 @ 4:03pm

While I understand that it might not be accessible to most without controller, he kinda put that parenthetical in the title. So anyone coming in here acting surprised about that fact is kinda silly.

PachowStudios says ...
Apr 22, 2015 @ 5:31pm

I think you should still offer keyboard as an option. Most people only have one controller.

Taldius says ...
Apr 22, 2015 @ 5:44pm

The physic is really nice, I love how using the grapple feels, however, it's really hard to damage the other player because they are really small.
Anyway, good job!

UrbanHelsing says ...
Apr 22, 2015 @ 6:21pm

Finally a multiplayer game!

Jamezila says ...
Apr 22, 2015 @ 6:27pm

I like how the bodies stay after deaths!

(used 2 360 controllers, worked great. Also, for those with PS4 controllers, you can use a tool to map input to 360)

JoshuaBurr says ...
Apr 22, 2015 @ 6:38pm

PS4 controllers should work automatically. I just tested on OSX and it worked.

Apr 22, 2015 @ 10:16pm

I checked it out solo to get a feel for the game, couldn't find anyone willing to play atm so I'll just go over what I thought about the mechanics in general.

There's a fair amount of polish to everything, and most actions come across very smoothly without any sort of graphical/mechanical issues. I was mostly surprised by how well the grapple hook mechanic worked, specifically that it would wrap around the corner of an object if it was attached on top.

I think it was also pretty impressive after learning the controls a bit to find how nicely the potential actions play with each other. Like grappling to an object and doing a dash to hurl yourself up on top of it.

I did find the controls somewhat awkward to learn however. They didn't feel very natural to pick up in some aspects. For instance, when I'm grappled to something, I think I may have found it more intuitive to push up on the thumbstick in order to reel myself in (since climbing walls works in kind of a similar way), rather than having to learn another button to do that functionality. It's really more of a thing that comes with lots of playtesting and feedback I'd imagine though, which obviously for a game jam you get little of while working on the game.

Also I found the movement to be somewhat floaty and difficult to maneuver precisely. Even just doing it solo I had a hard time trying to hit the non-moving 2nd player, so I can imagine two players trying to hit each other could be... time consuming unless both are somewhat experienced with the game.

There are lots of good ideas here, and plenty of solid executions of some of the things I've mentioned... but even though the majority of the game is very sleek and polished feeling... I can't help but think that the drawbacks mentioned above hold it back a great deal.

Also, as a side note: I'm not entirely sure why everyone seems to be so put off that the game requires controllers to play. I think that decision allowed extra time to get that control method working really well. If a controller + mouse and keyboard option were added it'd be great for added accessibility... but I don't like all the extra pressure put on the devs to add in mouse+keyboard support when the game isn't really designed to be played that way. We do Ludum Dare to experiment with game creation (and control methods), not to harass people who don't follow those norms.

Apr 23, 2015 @ 11:09pm

Controls feel good and the music isn't too bad either. Reminds me of high school days of playing Worms and getting entirely too creative with the ninja rope. :)

ianburnette says ...
Apr 24, 2015 @ 1:02am

Feels like N+ in multiplayer mode, which is awesome :)

kabutakogames says ...
Apr 24, 2015 @ 9:48am

It looks cool - though I found it hard to get two controllers together to play

kirbytails7 says ...
Apr 26, 2015 @ 7:20am

Pretty fun. A couple of thoughts:
- Having to switch between buttons for movement and right stick for grappling is cumbersome. Is that deliberate?
- Have you ever played a Worms game? I'm thinking Worms World Party specifically. They do grapple + move + retract/extend on the same stick and jump + release on the same button, and I think that'd work well here. You might also be able to support keyboard that way.
- Wall movement is nice.

May 6, 2015 @ 7:58pm

Great job working with the time restraint. The game was simple but still a lot of fun. The art and sound were minimalistic but still felt great. Would have been fun to try the multiplayer verion.

tmpxyz says ...
May 7, 2015 @ 4:38am

The control is a little hard, but it's fun.

yuigoto says ...
May 7, 2015 @ 5:18am

This simple, but is fun! :) Controls work like a charm and I liked this "grapple/ball" mechanic! :D

About not accepting keyboard input I can understand. After playing it with a controller, you realize it just wouldn't work with the mouse. And that's not a bad thing, it's like choosing the proper medium to send a message.

The game is quite refined and work on graphics are nicely done. There's also room for improvement, but the game, as is, is quite fun to play! :D

Jasonsumm says ...
May 7, 2015 @ 10:29am

Fun to control and stylish

Crowbeak says ...
May 7, 2015 @ 10:44am

I won't rate this because I have no one to play with, but I did check out both compo and post-compo versions and I really love the rope swinging.

siryakko says ...
May 7, 2015 @ 1:14pm

Fun once you get over with the frustrating controls. Nice entry :)

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