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

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The Hand That Feeds

by Octopus Melange - Jam Entry

The Hand That Feeds was developed for Ludum Dare 32 by team Octopus Mélange.

Our team was made up of complete strangers, brought together by game designer Nicholas Cunningham for this challenge.

For Unconventional Weapon theme....we chose our pet.

We developed a gameplay where you fight off attacking enemies by tossing snacks for your pet. He happens to love his snacks....I feel sorry for anyone that gets in his way.

We are aware of gameplay, control and feels that we still want to improve. We are doing so. In the next few days we will provide you with a link for the rest of the levels that we built during the game jam. The level you are seeing more of a composition of many of the things we accomplished during the jam. We always had intention of presenting you with a more developed demo following the jam.

Our team enjoyed this experience enough that we're scratching the code and starting again. We will be developing this game to full content...and will bring it to your computers and consoles in the very near future.

I hope you enjoy this as much as we did.


Nicholas Cunningham - Game Designer
Tom Ward - Music
Jonathan Cunningham (13 years old)- Programmer
Adam Matheny - Level Designer and Programmer
Joshua Brown-Culp - Artist
Gabriel Martino - Artist
Benn Lockyer - Programmer
Will Rainsberger (13 years old)- Programmer

Controls (Keyboard/Xbox 360 Controller):
Move = WASD /Left Thumbstick
Jump - Space / A
Throw Food - Left Control / X

We ask that you give it a spin....but what we really want is your feedback.

We want to go make this game....for us....for you....we need your help

The game page has been set up here... and this is where we will post the full demo

Downloads and Links




GxBANGER says ...
Apr 21, 2015 @ 10:10am

Such a cool game, would like to see this worked on a bit more and released on steam.

ForeverHumble says ...
Apr 21, 2015 @ 1:46pm

GxBanger....Thanks man....we have a couple of bugs we will start fixing as soon as my son gets home from he is the programmer. We are going to get this level smoothed out for everyone...then we will add a link to so everyone can play the other levels we finished but didn't have time to pop in at the end.

ForeverHumble says ...
Apr 21, 2015 @ 1:48pm

We actually had a bunch's a lil heartbreaking when you run outta time putting stuff in that you worked so hard on creating. BUT PLEASE KNOW NOW!!! WE ARE MAKING THIS GAME FOLKS! We had a lot of fun with this project....8 strangers came together and really put a plan into action. I couldn't be more proud.

strong99 says ...
Apr 22, 2015 @ 8:54am

Understanding how your pet runs to its food took a while depending on the platforms. He can't jump, the poor thing :( Wasn't able to get a very high score. Enjoyed it though!

nonetheless says ...
Apr 23, 2015 @ 7:25pm

Will you chew until it bleeds? nice idea but pretty hard to control. Art is very good, great job :)

benjamck says ...
Apr 23, 2015 @ 7:27pm

Fear my hungry pet! Love the take on the theme. Great artwork too. It was fun watching the pet grow when it ate the baddies, but I wish he would stay closer to the player character. He seemed to want to find his own path to the different platforms rather than hop along with the player character. I bet this could be a fun game to play with just a little more work. I certainly know how tough it is to get something finished in the limited time available ;) Good job guys!

Apr 23, 2015 @ 7:56pm

Interesting idea but I have to say the beginning of the game is really confusing: there are things moving everywhere, you don't know who you're supposed to control nor what you're supposed to do. A little tutorial would help ^^.

Apr 23, 2015 @ 8:16pm

benjamck.....thanks. Your right about time....kills you when you want to perfect a few things. I'm just gonna say what i said....we do know are issues and our fixing them as we go along.

oparisy says ...
Apr 23, 2015 @ 8:40pm

Nice art and music! I has some difficulties with the camera though.

DNAteamld32 says ...
Apr 23, 2015 @ 8:56pm

Nice art and good idea! Congrats!!

Apr 23, 2015 @ 9:33pm

Fixed the Camera. Sorry about that.

daredevildave says ...
Apr 23, 2015 @ 10:22pm

I love the idea behind it. Seemed to be very hard to last more than a few seconds. And I don't think I ever got the pet to eat something I threw he just ran off chomping on everything else. I think with an easier introduction it could be great fun.

Blobo says ...
Apr 23, 2015 @ 10:30pm

nice game! really like the concept!

Nikteddy92 says ...
Apr 23, 2015 @ 10:32pm

I like the graphic style and the gameplay! Well done! :D

Feyd_Rautha says ...
Apr 23, 2015 @ 10:37pm

I had a really hard time realizing which one was my pet. There are a lot of aliens running around so it took me a while to realize that my pet was the one that just took off and teleported at the start. The learning curve for figuring out where the portals were so that I could position food was pretty steep. Once I got the hang of it, it was pretty fun. But it took a while to figure out what was going on.

Paulozz says ...
Apr 23, 2015 @ 10:40pm

Great design idea, and good implementation. It took me a couple of try to understand, but when I got it, i enjoyed it.

tummyache says ...
Apr 23, 2015 @ 10:44pm

Really cool concept, would love to see it delved into a little deeper. I couldn't get a score higher than 9, so it's a little difficult, but it's still really cool. Wish it was zoomed in more so I could actually see the artwork, because it looks really good but I have to squint my eyes to make it out.

ForeverHumble says ...
Apr 23, 2015 @ 11:07pm

Zoom in view....I can't tell you the back and forth on this. Final version will be more zoomed in. We presented a level that allowed for hiscore setting for the sake of everyone trying it out....So we pulled it back some to give you a better view...this

richiebranson says ...
Apr 24, 2015 @ 4:10am

very good interpretation of the theme! Took a bit of time to figure out what to do, but I got the hang of it pretty quickly. I'd love to see this developed into something bigger down the road!

Apr 24, 2015 @ 4:17am

As said before, could use a little tutorial at the beginning. This could be a very fun game with some polish (which it looks like you are committed to, so I look forward to seeing it later).

syncxzoz says ...
Apr 25, 2015 @ 3:46am

this game is so hard... but fun to play... Great!!!

Logicon says ...
Apr 25, 2015 @ 3:50am


surpent says ...
Apr 25, 2015 @ 3:57am

Nice idea
I want to do battle in this game.

ciaodavinci says ...
Apr 25, 2015 @ 4:05am

Nice take on the theme. I enjoyed the art. The camera gave me a hard time since it kept following my pet and leaving me out of the frame (running it on Mac). I agree that it would be great to make the pet stand out more among all the other creatures.

morbidcamel says ...
Apr 25, 2015 @ 9:14am

For a bunch of kids you are potent! Keep doing this and you will be the champions of industry!

TeamCalcium says ...
Apr 25, 2015 @ 11:25am

The art style was appealing, but the controls are very floaty and the camera always randomly shifts between you and the what id like to believe is the pet, but then snapping back at the player. At first its a little challenge to find out what of the objects that move around the screen actually is the pet you were supposed to control, i assumed it looks like the very color intensive pattern of gif animations in the background (on the web version) but i found it afterall. I still liked the idea of using a companion as an unconvantional weapon, and you guys have some good artists.

TeamCalcium says ...
Apr 25, 2015 @ 11:25am

The art style was appealing, but the controls are very floaty and the camera always randomly shifts between you and the what id like to believe is the pet, but then snapping back at the player. At first its a little challenge to find out what of the objects that move around the screen actually is the pet you were supposed to control, i assumed it looks like the very color intensive pattern of gif animations in the background (on the web version) but i found it afterall. I still liked the idea of using a companion as an unconventional weapon, and you guys have some good artists.

Mach60KAS says ...
Apr 25, 2015 @ 4:47pm

Hey, this game was pretty nifty! It was quite difficult to figure out what was going on at first, but it got a little better after playing a few times. The art was very well done, I love all the little flairs and animated pieces - they make it come alive! The conditions for death and teleport panels still confuse me. The camera work was my only real gripe, it jumped around quite violently if the pet ended up on the other side of the screen (but I know this is just a matter of fine tuning, you;ll get it right!)

Keep it up!

Newt_ says ...
Apr 25, 2015 @ 5:29pm

Stunning artwork, the gameplay could use some work but really really great job and lots of potential!

Perjoka says ...
Apr 25, 2015 @ 5:41pm

nice game, well done!

DeadFragment says ...
Apr 25, 2015 @ 5:49pm

Lots of potential in this idea. Love the fact that the creature evolves, but the buttons seem a bit fiddly and sometimes seem unresponsive, also the amount of enemies on the screen at first seem a bit overwhelming. But great game with a concept that fits the theme well!


Kate Kligman says ...
Apr 25, 2015 @ 6:07pm

Very awesome! Love the music and platform visuals.

abcdef65g says ...
Apr 25, 2015 @ 8:39pm

Very interesting concept, the controls for your companion are somewhat hard to grasp, however the whole package is very interesting. The fact the pet can't jump is a bit of an issue, though I understand just how hard it is to do in a Jam, even with such a big team. Great job guys, this team surely has future!

RARoadkill says ...
Apr 25, 2015 @ 11:38pm

really fun concept. I had issues with the creature not being able to get over to me. but still well done

Garris says ...
Apr 26, 2015 @ 12:10am

I love seeing games that use an indirect approach to combat. Using bait to get your pet to attack was a cool idea, and the art was consistent and good-looking. I did find the music a little grating though.

dos says ...
Apr 26, 2015 @ 2:26am

Interesting concept, you should definitely work on it more. It could make use of some concept of health. A really solid entry!

OnlySlightly says ...
Apr 26, 2015 @ 7:50am

I loved the mechanic and the audio. It was nice being able to scurry your pet along to fight along side you. The graphics and animation were really impressive.

Apr 26, 2015 @ 7:51am

Interesting concept. Wish it was a bit easier to keep track of where my pet was.

siryakko says ...
Apr 26, 2015 @ 8:20am

Totally deserved to be distributed in a wider range

Mekuri says ...
Apr 26, 2015 @ 11:04am

A very great idea. I had a hard time keeping track of my pet though, and felt a bit overwhelmed by the monsters.

I liked the graphics, they were nice.

I can really see the potential in the game and would like to see where you can take this with some polish. Good job to you all.

esayitch says ...
Apr 26, 2015 @ 8:39pm

Loved the concept... and the pet animations when it grows are really great... music is all right...

The problem is that the pet path-finding was weird at times, and in addition that platforming felt awkward, slow, and non-responsive. If you fix the player movement issues, I think you'd have a really good game :D Great entry for the jam though! Good luck :)

Snicklodocus says ...
Apr 27, 2015 @ 1:13am

Cool idea! It took a while to understand, and the camera moves pretty strangely. I liked the art a lot! Good job.

phi6 says ...
Apr 27, 2015 @ 3:37pm

The graphics are lush!

Apr 27, 2015 @ 4:13pm

Cool game ! Really enjoyed to play it and graphics are nice. And wait... two 13-years old programmers in your team ?! Still can't believe this, that's amazing :D

Null DIES says ...
Apr 27, 2015 @ 4:50pm

Very nice concept, I like how you have to indirectly control the game, it could be very strategic.
I think the path finding needs a lot of improvement (which might be hard give the teleportation), because the dog spent most of his time trying to catch food only to fall into a portal and try again.

PIXEL^3 says ...
Apr 28, 2015 @ 9:44am

The concept of this game seems pretty good though the execution seems to fall a little flat. It's hard to control your pet and since your player's hitbox seems to be pretty big (or maybe the enemies' hit box) I get hit sometimes without feeling like I should've. I did find a spot in the middle of the map above the red and green portals that the pet couldn't make it to so by throwing a fruit he'd just run around almost indefinitely killing enemies. Racked up 137 points this way.
It's good that you're starting this over from scratch though, you might be able to clean it up and make something out of it.

nguyenmv2 says ...
Apr 28, 2015 @ 2:13pm

I like the concept, but the pet would always run off. I found a way to cheat the game by simply throwing food and having the pet run around forever. Also, I was disappointed about not being able to ride the pet since it seemed to be hinted at.

Jasonsumm says ...
Apr 29, 2015 @ 11:11pm

Really impressive stuff! :)

Saker Games says ...
May 4, 2015 @ 5:40am

Nice game. :)

Omiya Games says ...
May 5, 2015 @ 3:48am

I found the mechanic of relying on an AI (the pet) to take out the enemies was really fascinating. I think a good game can be developed around that idea.

Personally, I found the pet's behavior to be highly unpredictable. Because of the impression that I lack the control over this pet, the game ultimately boiled down to dodging enemies (which are FAST). I think more improvements can be made to the pet AI to make the game more enjoyable.

May 5, 2015 @ 4:44am

Interesting mechanic, i would like to see some puzzle levels on this.

CiderPunk says ...
May 5, 2015 @ 1:05pm

Bit annoying the way your pet gets killed if he's not actively running for snacks, otherwise top effort!

Crowbeak says ...
May 6, 2015 @ 11:08am

I can't figure out a number of things.

1) What is my pet? Is it the creature that starts out next to me?
2) How does throwing the snacks direct it to do things? The snacks seemed to have no effect on anything.
3) What do I do when I have thrown all three? Running over them did nothing.

It seems like an interesting concept, but something needs to be done to make what's going on more apparent.

May 9, 2015 @ 10:42pm

Great job on your game , I wish I was a little better at platformers as I only got a score of 5 :-)

lochmann-apps says ...
May 10, 2015 @ 9:13am

Nice one. Keep on working on that, especially the controlls feel a bit strange.

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