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

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APT: Advanced Persistent Threat

by Toby Pinder - Compo Entry

SUPPORTED PLATFORMS: Chrome, Firefox. Apologies to IE users!

APT: Advanced Persistent Threat
==========================================================================
In the Year ????, a new type of war began to emerge. Not fought on soil or in airspace, but in wires and transistors. A war fought at the speed of light. Master this unconventional weaponry and you will be greatly rewarded....
==========================================================================

Controls:
Arrow Keys - Move cursor
Space - Speedy Text
Enter - Select Action

The cursor is the blinking '>' and it will move between available menus Figuring out the stats and "combat" mechanics is part of the game!

NOT a realistic hacking simulator 8D

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A post-submission bugfix was applied the morning after release to fix font rendering for machines that do not have the "Ubuntu" font family installed. Without this bugfix, text was not being rendered in Monospace for those users.

Downloads and Links


Ratings

Coolness68%
#148Mood3.55
#322Innovation3.44
#382Theme3.54
#504Overall3.22
#523Graphics3.10
#666Humor2.50
#728Fun2.85

Comments

Apr 20, 2015 @ 2:17am

It's a cool idea, but a little confusing. Nice job though

Toby Pinder says ...
Apr 20, 2015 @ 3:37am

@Crawler Studios: Yeah there seemed to be no avoiding it... I tried to keep all the menus fairly self explanatory but until you understand the whole system by using the menus a bit I can imagine people get a bit lost!

winmac32 says ...
Apr 20, 2015 @ 3:58am

An interesting take on the theme. The monospace font wasn't working for me, seeing Times.

ManicMiner says ...
Apr 20, 2015 @ 4:01am

I think I would really enjoy a more fleshed-out version of this - cool idea! I wanted a little more involvement during the "combat" system though - even just a timing mechanic or choosing whether to use some super-resource would be good.

Chadivision says ...
Apr 20, 2015 @ 4:10am

Very well done. I especially like the scrambled effect when you lose the game.

At first I was a little unsure of what to do, but even making choices semi-randomly was still fun. I get the feeling that if I put some more time into playing this one I would enjoy it even more.

I think I'll come back to it after I rate some more games!

ViliX64 says ...
Apr 20, 2015 @ 7:17am

It'd be better if the player had a bit more control over the story, but interesting idea :)

Toby Pinder says ...
Apr 20, 2015 @ 10:24am

@winmac32: Investigating now, thanks for the heads up!

Toby Pinder says ...
Apr 20, 2015 @ 10:25am

@ManicMiner There are "Exploits" and "ZeroDay" powerups that can nude battles in your favour. In hindsight the game should have scripted events where this is introduced so people can play around with it!

Toby Pinder says ...
Apr 20, 2015 @ 10:25am

nudge*

Toby Pinder says ...
Apr 20, 2015 @ 10:56am

@winmac32 Fixed a conformed bug where the webfonts weren't being loaded properly. I'm going to add a message to the main submission about this, but it should be within the spirit of the rules! http://ludumdare.com/compo/rules/

Many apologies.

Toby Pinder says ...
Apr 20, 2015 @ 12:09pm

@ViliX64 Have to agree. The plan was to have all the "unscripted" things that are in now as random events, along with more central events that fire at static points with choices, branching paths etc. Those would have had a more major impact allowing the player more decisions. The systems are in place for this but I left the content generation time too short hehe

pixelballoon says ...
Apr 20, 2015 @ 1:49pm

Confused myself when I rejected the initial dialogue and had to refresh the page to continue.
Once I got past that though I played this for way too long! Couldn't work out if there was a way of requesting more jobs other than continue. But managed to stockpile a fair bit of cash. I really like the take on the theme. Love the corruption effects when you're losing a takedown etc...

SpoutingShite says ...
Apr 20, 2015 @ 2:15pm

Nice game. I enjoyed playing and got to 135 days...not sure if that is good?

Toby Pinder says ...
Apr 20, 2015 @ 9:00pm

@SpoutingShite that's impressive!

@pixelballoon: That's valid: should have at the very least explained that, if not added a "reset terminal" command. Glad you enjoyed!

Interface says ...
Apr 21, 2015 @ 3:46am

Simple but addictive. After hitting accept for that first hire the screen went black in IE11, consistently. Worked fine in Chrome tho.

Toby Pinder says ...
Apr 21, 2015 @ 9:30am

@Interface: unfortunately for me it didn't even load on IE. I'm not sure what the problem is: might look into it after the judging period!

Apr 21, 2015 @ 1:17pm

I will tweet you with a gameplay and review video soon.

DKoding says ...
Apr 21, 2015 @ 3:57pm

Not my cup of tea and a little confusing but original idea.

frondeus says ...
Apr 22, 2015 @ 2:13pm

Nice! Cool idea but there should be tutorial or something like that.

xplicitone says ...
Apr 23, 2015 @ 9:20pm

It was pretty cool. I felt like I was interacting with a mainframe computer and then when I found my target I felt like I was downloading a virus on my machine :P The look and feel was great!

f7f5 says ...
Apr 23, 2015 @ 9:25pm

I really like the whole concept and setting. but... I felt like I was just clicking forward in a story - not enough different actions or paths: continue, continue, new target, takedown target, continue... and now this attack is going on for minutes and minutes and there's nothing I can do :/

Nice effect when you're losing, but a couple of bugs: I couldn't use ZeroDay -pressing Enter did nothing - and the game ended abruptly with a black screen, I couldn't understand why

Awpteamoose says ...
Apr 23, 2015 @ 9:28pm

Nicely done!

Game over effect is nice.

You should work on this and add more options/mini-games. Maybe something like a Candybox?

Toby Pinder says ...
Apr 23, 2015 @ 9:48pm

@f7f5: Unfortunately I spoke to a colleague at work who experienced the same bugs - ZeroDays were supposed to provide instant wins in the fights and don't seem to be working correctly. The "crash" is because you were "too good" - having more than 50 approval (which was supposed to be the max it can get to) crashes the game. Think of it as though you won ;)

I'm going to document these bugs to the game's description but I think it's against the spirit of LD to patch them just yet :(

Lack of content is a major problem - I ran out of time to add interesting "plot" stuff, so right now it's just some sample random events.

---

@Awpteamoose It seems enough people like the aesthetic that it might be worth doing! I have ideas for improving the combat system and adding lots more content, so if I get some time I may just do that.

---

Thanks for the valuable feedback so far folks, your comments mean a lot!

slowfrog says ...
Apr 23, 2015 @ 10:02pm

Interesting game. The discovery part is really nice and worked well for me. After that, the game becomes a little repetitive, trying to reach a winning condition. Very enjoyable anyway, for a game without sound of graphics.

frosty says ...
Apr 26, 2015 @ 12:02am

Always fun to see hacking-style interfaces in games. I agree with the others that it was a bit unclear what the choices meant in terms of gameplay, but the overall presentation felt like it had a lot of depth to it. Nice work overall.

Justin Mullin says ...
Apr 26, 2015 @ 12:13am

Loved the theme, and the terminal display was awesome. I appreciate that you have to explore the game to figure out how it works, though I didn't really have much opportunity to do so my first run due to what I think is bad luck - I added the only two targets I received to my botnet, but still lost the game by going broke. The second run was much more enjoyable.

mildmojo says ...
Apr 26, 2015 @ 12:28am

I think I got the hang of what was going on, but it was hard to see what effect your actions had on your performance. I can see that going into a hack you have odds for or against you and you can get boosts with exploits, but it was unclear how adding team members helped. ZeroDays never worked for me. I pressed Enter on them during a hack and nothing happened.

The mood is lovely. The execution of the terminal UI is very good, with a draw rate that makes it feel like it's coming over a modem and some screen color flicker and garbled characters when things get tense. The text and terms were pretty legitimate, too. Maybe not important to the game, but more than placeholder sci-fi jargon.

It took me a bit to realize I had to move the cursor down to the bottom area to inspect the sitrep and hosts.

Sometimes the same job would show up twice in a day, and it would add the same host to my hosts list twice. I only had to take down one of them, so I guess that's a bug.

I refused the opening offer the first time I played just to see what happened, and I'm glad you made that an option.

I lost after 40 days.

syncxzoz says ...
Apr 26, 2015 @ 12:57pm

great concept... like matrix... a little confusing if watch too long..

dos says ...
Apr 26, 2015 @ 7:56pm

I'm a hacker and that's exactly how my life looks like. 10/10

Tuism says ...
Apr 28, 2015 @ 2:24am

Lasted 26 days :D

MAN that's cool. Harkens back to the Uplink days. I really really really wanted to play a decent hacker game ever since realising how flawed Uplink was. And now I play Netrunner.

This feels pretty awesome, I enjoyed the streamlining of the process so it's not a huge chore (I'm sure real hacking is). I enjoyed the seemingly super variety in things to do. I enjoyed the way it presents both obfuscation and simplicity (the credit system is a long string but you only really look at the first number before the decimal, and the percentages during attacks is all you need to know, though the "flavour" to the side is great.

there are a few problems though:
I don't feel like I have enough agency - that is, I don't feel in control. All I'm doing is saying yes and no to things without context.
Too little knowledge/info on things - for example I have no idea what Zeroday is when I bought it, and have no idea what it would do when I use it.
The "hack" is just watching a meter go up and down - again, no agency.
Losing the game here felt just like losing the game in Uplink. I have no idea what went wrong.

But it's such a polished and complete experience, rad :)

Tuism says ...
Apr 28, 2015 @ 2:28am

Oh btw the controls are a little off - the keystrokes probably should not repeat, holding the key a split second too long made me lose my orientation in the UI.

After pressing target, for example, the cursor should auto-move to one of the targets? Especially since during the screen refresh you no longer see your cursor. It's a bit confusing.

chabuduo says ...
May 1, 2015 @ 4:34pm

Amazing concept!
If you make a polished version i feel i'l play the s%%t out of it !

reiknight says ...
May 10, 2015 @ 9:46am

Nice terminal emulator. As a Ubuntu user I can't look at apt with the same eyes again :D

May 11, 2015 @ 12:58pm

Really neat concept! I included it in part 8 of my Ludum Dare 32 compilation video series, if you would like to take a look :) https://youtu.be/Fg_0-yj__pU

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