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

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Quantum Fields

by Mathieu Muller - Jam Entry

Notes

- The non-installer version requires XNA 4.0 Refresh and the Microsoft .Net Framework 4.0 to be installed manually.
- The installer should take care of the installation of both frameworks.

The story (:P)

In Quantum Fields, you play the role of the director of the W.E.A.P.O.N., a sub-branch of the U.N. devoted to protect the earth from inbound asteroids. The W.E.A.P.O.N. (which stands for Wormhole Effect Activator Powered Over Network), is a network of low orbit satellites capable to generate small temporary black-holes, thus creating virtual gravity wells that catches asteroids and redirect them.

Recents breakthrough in force field technologies surrounded the earth with a powerful, but not impenetrable shield, capable to sustain a few hits from incoming asteroids.

How to play

The principe of the game is to protect the earth from incoming threats. The game is essentially played with the mouse. The mouse pointer indicates where the gravity well is created. Hold down the left mouse button to activate the well. When the well is activated, the jauge around the cursor is drained; when the jauge is empty, you won't be able to sustain the gravity well.

Asteroid comes in four varieties: from small L1 to the heavy and mighty L4 which is able to kill almost the half of the earth's shield in one hit. The heavier asteroids requires a bigger charge of the W.E.A.P.O.N. (just keep the mouse button down).

To efficiently deviate an asteroid from it's trajectory, it's important to place the well on the side of the asteroid, not behind (this will only slow it down) and not in front of (this will accelerate it).

Power-ups will also appears through the course of the game. Use your W.E.A.P.O.N. to redirect them on earth to give you a temporary advantage!

Note for peer reviewers

Be sure to play enough the game: the unconventional weapon is not what it seems to be at the first glance, and I don't want to spoil the surprise ;).

The game is missing one big feature that I couldn't implement in time: buying new satellites to strengthen your W.E.A.P.O.N. network. Currently, the game offers you new satellites about every 2 minutes, but in the original game, I would have let the user buy some satellites, and convert the game to some sort of tower defense.

Also note that almost of the graphics was self made, except for the earth rendering (which I am able to do, but couldn't due to a lack of time) which is a modified version of one found on the web. Please keep that in mind when rating my graphics.

It's almost 1am here, i'll publish the sources tomorrow.

Update:

I completely forgot the sources :D. However I'm working on an improved version of the game, feature complete, so people could see what I originally envisionned for this game. I should release it around this sunday.

Update 2:

I eventually managed to finish these new features:

* Score is now dependent on asteroid that leaves the sphere of influence of Earth and is now some kind of money.

* You can buy satellites (energy regeneration for 200, shield regeneration for 500, redirect power for 1000).

* I tweaked a bit the difficulty. With some skill, it is possible to have lengthy games.

* You can now restart the game by simply clicking on the game over screen.

Downloads and Links


Ratings

Coolness69%
#308Overall(Jam)3.46
#330Mood(Jam)3.32
#420Innovation(Jam)3.23
#424Graphics(Jam)3.49
#428Fun(Jam)3.18
#478Theme(Jam)3.41

Comments

Demy says ...
Apr 21, 2015 @ 11:22am

The "Windows - No installer" version crushes every time.

Apr 21, 2015 @ 11:24am

I'm looking into it.

Apr 21, 2015 @ 11:25am

Please, make sure you have the XNA Framework 4.0 installed on your computer.

benbateman says ...
Apr 21, 2015 @ 11:27am

Nice, solid mechanics meant this was easy to pick up and fun to play. Genuinely was shitting myself with some of those LV4 asteroids. Good work.

WebFreak001 says ...
Apr 21, 2015 @ 11:38am

Love it. Never seen that concept before and its very hard. Add more content and its awesome

TeamCalcium says ...
Apr 21, 2015 @ 11:50am

Nice Game. It is a little too hard for my taste, but still plays really well. Graphics are appealing, but a few more levels wouldnt hurt the game. Still overall a good game.

MJaawa says ...
Apr 21, 2015 @ 11:52am

Pretty cool concept, the gameplay is quite enjoyable, good job :)

Apr 21, 2015 @ 11:54am

To all, thanks. Try to play a little bit more than two minutes, the earth is able to build satellites which will help you to redirect those nasty L4 asteroids. :)

Apr 21, 2015 @ 11:59am

This was pretty fun, I how you just flick the asteroids away.

Hammers says ...
Apr 21, 2015 @ 8:45pm

Nice idea. I like the theme and it's a great mechanic. Could do with some slightly gentler pacing as it's pretty hard! Good fun though.

abuzreq says ...
Apr 21, 2015 @ 8:49pm

The mechanics are neat , but the game is hard !

Andy Gainey says ...
Apr 21, 2015 @ 8:52pm

Not too bad once I figure out effective timings, distance, and positions for clicking. But could have used some visual indications of the gravitational effect. The widescreen aspect ratio was a bit of a problem too, making asteroids from above or below extra obnoxious to deal with.

And I feel like the force of gravity and it's drain on energy could have been substantially tweaked. Its effect is very strong when really close to asteroids, but it drains energy really quickly too. Since most of the asteroids seemed to be heading directly for Earth, what I generally did was give each asteroid a very brief click really close. It didn't deviate the asteroid's direction in any predictable manner, but just about any deviation was sufficient. But regardless of the super brief clicks, I was still almost always out of energy. Even if some alterations would make the gravity equations less realistic, such as reducing the significance of the inverse square law, it might nonetheless improve the feel of gameplay.

I did live long enough use the actual unconventional weapon, but not long enough to ever discover what the consequence would be if I hadn't. Regardless, you get theme-squared for having a second-order thematic mechanic.

Croze says ...
Apr 21, 2015 @ 10:34pm

Couldn't play, was really excited to because this game looks really interesting, but the installer kept telling me it was downloaded at another location. I uninstalled and reinstalled twice and I do have the .net framework and running on windows.

bossmojoman says ...
Apr 22, 2015 @ 12:38am

Very fun, hard as heck though! Great job!

Apr 22, 2015 @ 7:13am

Thanks all, your feedback proves useful. I'll try to tweak a bit the game, and modify the rules to change the gravitational effect to be less effective at short range, but more effective at a longer range.

I'll also try to implement the "buy mode" that was intended from the start (power satellites and so on). And a restart game feature :).

@Croze: the installer also downloads the XNA Framework 4.0 redistributable from microsoft. If you have both frameworks installed, you could try to give a shot to the non installer version, it'll work if you have the correct version of them.

xtty says ...
Apr 26, 2015 @ 9:02pm

This is a very nice game. Solid mechanics. It's very, very hard, though. It would be nice not to have to open the game again to restart, because I believe most people will be dying A LOT while playing this.

The idea of "flicking" asteroids away is very cool and would lend itself VERY well to a mobile version of this game. However, I believe you could have made the weapon energy higher and the larger asteroids less frequent - it would probably have made the game more enjoyable not to die so much early on.

DrPrettyPatty says ...
May 5, 2015 @ 8:09pm

This is crazy good! Great work on the graphics, even if you didn't do the earth render everything else is clean and the earth you pulled in matches perfectly. Great sound choices too. I thought the gameplay was fantastic as well, yeah it's hard but this would be boring IMHO if it wasn't :) Gave you high marks across the board! ----- Just played the post compo version too, nice improvements! Especially the arrows that point you to the incoming asteroids.

fleegle2000 says ...
May 5, 2015 @ 8:22pm

I like the mechanic, and there's a fair bit of polish. Game is challenging and there is enough variation in the various threats presented to keep me engaged. I'm not sure if there's an endgame or if it's meant to be endless. The game over could be a little more dramatic, I suppose. A solid entry with nice graphics and sound.

Novodantis says ...
May 7, 2015 @ 9:47pm

Very well put together, the audio really helps the atmosphere too

Sep 14, 2016 @ 3:21pm

The levels aren't hard, knowing how to play is! I know what you need: A TUTORIAL!

Sep 14, 2016 @ 3:22pm

oops posted on wrong thing

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