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

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The Uke Guy

by FeniX - Jam Entry

Gameplay and controls show -

The game is about a musician, who sits by the street and plays his instrument.
However, he is not an ordinary musician - he is The Uke Guy! He uses ukulele
as a weapon to fight with sadness!

You have to play a part of someone's happy song before he reaches you to make him happy. If you the sad guy will get to you before, you will lose!
After hearing a part of the song he will run to you and the whole song will be played by your ukulele!

However, he comes in with a sad song playing around him, so it's not easy to break this sad mood. But ukulele can do this!

There are 4 basic sounds, as there are 4 strings in uke. The controls to trigger them:
G string - [Shift]
C string - [Enter]
E string - [Backslash]
A string - [Backspace]

An additional sound:
DRUM - [Ctrl]

For each string there are 5 frets you can push before picking the string - this will
make a different sound! If a Sad Guy wants you to play a sound on a string with
a fret, the number of the fret will be displayed with the string name.

Buttons on your keyboard corresponding frets (sound modifiers) for different strings:
G string - [z], [x], [c], [v], [b]
C string - [a], [s], [d], [f], [g]
E string - [q], [w], [e], [r], [t]
A string - [1], [2], [3], [4], [5]

So, to play a sound displayed as G1, that is on first fret of G string, you have to press and hold [z] and then press [Shift]


You can play around with sounds in the main menu!


BTW, you can try playing some chords and strumming up and down. To play F chord:
1. press and hold [q]
2. press and hold [x]
3. "strum" down or up by sliding your finger from [Shift] to [Enter] to [Backslash] to [Backspace].

- 2015-04-25: sad guys are now slower and second song is easier to play

Downloads and Links




Move127 says ...
Apr 20, 2015 @ 5:04pm

An interesting idea. The controls are a little weird and the art could be better.

drakekin says ...
Apr 20, 2015 @ 5:07pm

Neat idea although why you didn't just map the notes to their respective keys is beyond me. Also I still died when the "happy" square hit me. Some more art would have been nice.

FeniX says ...
Apr 21, 2015 @ 12:44am

Hey! Thanks for your comments, Move127 and drakekin!

Controls are crazy as I thought it would be funny and challenging to make the game play like real ukulele. ^^ Check out video of me playing around with it -

BTW, please check the updated version i made for jam. I added more sad guys, added some more sounds and updated graphics to be a bit better. But only a bit. ^^ I hope to continue this project, so maybe in someday I will create something better looking. :D

gjvonn says ...
Apr 21, 2015 @ 9:53pm

Lots of things! I think an improvement would be to not play the note (or play an error sound) if it's not what they currently want. That way, it's easier to distinguish between correct and incorrect input.

RARoadkill says ...
Apr 21, 2015 @ 9:55pm

fun idea. controls took some getting used to. but I really enjoyed it

FeniX says ...
Apr 21, 2015 @ 9:58pm

gjvonn, you're right - I thought about it and I forgot about it in the end. Thanks for pointing it out!

daltostronic says ...
Apr 21, 2015 @ 10:18pm

I love the use of theme! Also this is also the most responsive instrument simulator ever made :D I was playing uke in the menu a lot longer than in-game! I would only make the gameplay a little bit more understandable - maybe add some note markers, 'cos I could hardly guess when to start playing and when the next note goes on (possibly this is because I can't map 'Shift+x' to a sound in my brain as quickly as the gameplay goes). After 2 or 3 attempts I finally managed to play something that was similiar to the 'funeral march' :D Great job!

TailyILoveYou says ...
Apr 22, 2015 @ 12:30am

Really cool idea, though the controls are hard to get around. I don't really have a good keyboard for this XD

DugelStudios says ...
Apr 22, 2015 @ 11:29pm

Awesome game! 5 stars for Innovation :D. I saw your comment about the upgrading on my game not working. I fixed it now, thanks for telling me!

benjamck says ...
Apr 23, 2015 @ 7:06pm

Love the idea, very clever! The controls were a bit much for me to get very far in the game, but I had some fun playing around with the instrument setup on the title page. Was thrilled to play part of a chord with two note polyphony. Would it be hard to add in a little recording studio where folks could lay down a few tracks to play around with the fun little ukulele simulator you've come up with?

FeniX says ...
Apr 23, 2015 @ 7:54pm

I'm glad you like the idea. :) And yeah, I know that controls are hard to get around, I just couldn't resist setting it to be the closest to ukulele. ^^

benjamck, actually I've been thinking about things like that and I will look into it for sure. There are few ideas that come to my mind. One of it is to just allow people to record a "song" and share it somehow, another is to upgrade the game to make it possible for players to create new levels with songs of their own creations. The last one is to make a tool for procedural generation of ukulele songs in given scale with creation of downloadable audio file to use in any other game. :D

gene-z says ...
Apr 23, 2015 @ 10:38pm

Nice Idea.. keep working on

srakowski says ...
Apr 23, 2015 @ 11:35pm

Wow that was really really awesome the way you incorporate the keyboard as a guitar. Top score on innovation, well done!

richiebranson says ...
Apr 23, 2015 @ 11:37pm

This is really awesome! Way to turn the keyboard into an ukulele. This needs to be made into a VST instrument asap, lol. Good work!

PushmePullyu says ...
Apr 24, 2015 @ 1:30pm

Hmm nice concept! I wish there was more feedback and a simpler control scheme though.

Horsed says ...
Apr 25, 2015 @ 9:30pm

Ignore the art and it's a simple and fun game! One of the best game ideas so far. Good job!

gnx says ...
Apr 28, 2015 @ 10:10pm

Nice idea and clearly you wanted to make a bit deeper rhythm system. One issue though is that this game is awfully confusing with a non-US keyboard like mine :D

MonoS says ...
Apr 28, 2015 @ 10:29pm

Ok, i'm unable to play this game cause my fingers can't move properly, but i like the concept of a realistic string instrument game :D

Justin Mullin says ...
May 2, 2015 @ 8:19pm

Super awesome. The actual game is a little light, but I love that you managed to take what's a pretty nice little musical toy and built a game around it.

FeniX says ...
May 3, 2015 @ 6:58am

Thank you for your opinions. :)

@Horsed: I think that before next LD I have to practice drawing. :D

@gnx: Yeah, I know that it's really strongly connected with the layout of your keyboard. I will add possibility to remap the keys so that it would be easier to play if you don't have the same layout as mine.

@MonoS: I'm glad you like the concept anyway. ^^

@Justin Mullin: "Levels" 2 and 3 where a bit harder at the beginning, but I changed the amount of needed sounds to play and the speed of sad guy, so that more people can see all those levels. I will think about some bigger challenges while progressing in the game. :) One thing that comes to my mind is playing chords. :D

BIZM says ...
May 7, 2015 @ 3:11am

Very cool idea. As an uke player, I appreciated that the full controls were available. :) I'm not sure that this game benefits from the option to pluck multiple strings though. There was no need to play chords, and most keyboards come with a limit of how many keys can be simultaneously detected anyway. So in the end, I think a single "pluck" key may have been more efficient. Or make all the "modifier" keys auto-pluck. Aside from that, I really enjoyed the take on the theme, and the cheerful music! :)

FeniX says ...
May 7, 2015 @ 6:15pm

@BIZM: Thanks! Yeah, when I realized that some chords are not playable on many keyboards because of this limitation, I decided to not put them into any level of a game.

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