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

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The N.I.D. Project

by Somnium - Compo Entry

*EDIT - I have created a post-compo version of the game, as well as written a post-mortem. See below for links*

As the war became more desperate, the High Command authorized the deployment of a highly unconventional weapon,
in order to turn the tides.

You are this weapon, a cloud of sentient nanites, merging with human minds, as you drift from host to host.

Your purpose: To infiltrate a secure military facility, in order to extract valuable intelligence from key personnel inside.



The included .zip-file contains a runnable jar-file, as well as a cmd-file which starts it (in case your .jar-extension has been hijacked by another program).

I've had a few friends verify that the jar-file also works on Linux, so I've added the link as a Linux-patform link as well. Let me know if it does not work for you on Linux!

This game requires Java in order to run. It was developed using the excellent LibGDX framework, and the graphics were drawn in Aseprite.


This is my first Ludum Dare, so I'd appreciate any feedback that you might have!



*Added information:*
I have also made a post-compo version of my game, including enhancements taken from my TODO-list as well as the from the comments below.

Improvements include: Smoother movement, the ability to probe the minds of your hosts (discovering their secrets, and finding ways to manipulate their actions), additional visual and sound feedback, individual host mental traits, more statistics upon mission completion, and more.

You can download the post-compo version here:
https://dl.dropboxusercontent.com/u/21601438/ld32/LD32_Somnium_The_NID_Project_postcompo.zip


I have also written a post-mortem for the game, which can be found here:
http://ludumdare.com/compo/2015/05/05/the-n-i-d-project-a-post-mortem/

Downloads and Links


Ratings

Coolness100%
#198Innovation3.67
#225Theme3.76
#596Mood2.88
#599Overall3.12
#676Humor2.49
#770Fun2.80
#929Graphics2.38

Comments

ViliX64 says ...
Apr 20, 2015 @ 3:16am

Animations could have been smooth, but I like the story :)

Megalink says ...
Apr 20, 2015 @ 5:05am

Awesome!

Apr 20, 2015 @ 5:12am

Interesting concept, but I feel the game could be a bit faster without loosing its interest

wood.innis says ...
Apr 20, 2015 @ 5:24am

I love the idea of infiltrating an enemy base with nano-bots.

LTPATS says ...
Apr 20, 2015 @ 7:40am

I really liked the gameplay, very unique! This was very fun and I would definitely play more if new levels were added :).

Somnium says ...
Apr 20, 2015 @ 11:52am

Thank you all for the feedback! :-) I am very glad that you enjoyed my game and my concept!

As for the pacing and "jerky" movements, the "mood" I was going for, was that of an unseen presence hiding among the personnel, jumping from host to host with eerie timing. So I felt I needed to make it easy to discern the movement patterns, and to easily time the transferrals.

I especially enjoyed my concept in the sense, that I was able to continuously draw new ideas from it during development. This to a degree where I had to be very picky about which of the ideas I chose to implement, in order to be able complete the game on time.

Still, I might have been a bit too ambitious, since I ended up working until right before the deadline... :-)

aroymart says ...
Apr 20, 2015 @ 1:57pm

This game was pretty fun. I liked the mechanic, it was a fun take on the theme

Komos says ...
Apr 20, 2015 @ 2:03pm

Nice idea. I think some super basic sound effects/background music would have gone a long way, compared to complete silence.

drakekin says ...
Apr 20, 2015 @ 5:55pm

Smoother movement would improve it quite a lot. There doesn't seem to be an end-game. Neat idea though. Some way of influencing the host would be nice too.

Somnium says ...
Apr 21, 2015 @ 4:34am

@drakekin Once you have gathered enough information, you have to escape the facility. Your starting host is waiting outside, and when you transfer back to him, you can end the game (and get your rating from the High Command).

As for influencing the host, I agree. My original design had three levels of mind integration, where the third would allow you to influence your host in various ways, depending on what you had learned about him. But I did not have sufficient time to implement that feature.

Nilq says ...
Apr 21, 2015 @ 4:54am

Nice. :)

Timm638 says ...
Apr 21, 2015 @ 7:09pm

I love the idea!

dallonf says ...
Apr 22, 2015 @ 2:50pm

This was a very clever concept! I had a lot of fun playing it. But it definitely needed some smoother transitions between tiles - it was hard to track movements when they teleport around. Also, I'm not quite sure what the danger was in increasing integration... it only took the level up one and it didn't seem to increase over time.

rburema says ...
Apr 22, 2015 @ 7:39pm

thoughts:
- smooth menu experience
- quite tense, even without any music ... or maybe lack of music increases the tension?
- small nitpick: would maybe be nice to have 'transfer to new host' (better) visible on the map, instead of just ungreying the 'transfer' button

MegaMasterX says ...
Apr 23, 2015 @ 3:44am

Welcome to the Ludum Dare! Your concept and execution is top-notch. I can see where corners had to be cut, but you pulled this off magnificently. I would absolutely love to see a post-jam version.

sirikan says ...
Apr 23, 2015 @ 8:28am

I like the concept of transferring from one host to another.

biscuitdough says ...
Apr 25, 2015 @ 5:32am

Innovative idea, but involves a lot of sitting and waiting.

Apr 25, 2015 @ 6:35am

Really interesting concept! I think its definitely worth expanding on. I got a little bored after playing for a while, but as complete game I think this could be really fascinating.

Mykaelos says ...
Apr 25, 2015 @ 6:49am

I like the mechanic alot. The patience required to watch and wait to be able to transfer to your next target, it feels good. I also really enjoyed seeing what was on my host's mind. Pretty funny stuff. Good job!

th4t says ...
Apr 25, 2015 @ 9:47am

Cool game with an interesting story.
At first I didn't understand that you had to go deeper into their minds. Also the movement could have been smoothed a little more. Sometimes it was tricky to transfer to a new host because he was passing by so quickly.
I like the idea of the mental stress level, but unfortunately it was not really relevant, since you could easily get around without it ever getting critical.
I could see this principal working if it got a little more polish :)
Still a solid Compo entry especially for a first timer.

plams says ...
Apr 25, 2015 @ 2:02pm

Interesting idea! Reminds me a bit of Paradroid. Not sure what effect "Increase host integration" had other than lower their health. Could be interesting if you could somehow influence their behavior with it.

eott says ...
Apr 25, 2015 @ 2:15pm

The game could have been a bit longer and more challenging, but I do like the concept. Nice work.

norwalnate13 says ...
Apr 26, 2015 @ 3:52pm

I could't get it to open. :( Too bad, this looks like an excellent game.

KaiseanGames says ...
Apr 26, 2015 @ 4:16pm

Very very nice game. It took some time to get what I need to do. But once I got it, it became great. With some tweaking, this game has a very huge potential.

Note: the left status bar panel was covering the game, which is not all that practical from user experience perspective.

All in all, a very enjoyable game.

Tom Rijnbeek says ...
May 3, 2015 @ 7:13pm

Interesting concept, and it all works very fluently. It would have been even better if you would have found a way to reduce the amount of text on the screen.

blubberquark says ...
May 7, 2015 @ 5:29pm

Great take on the theme

Somnium says ...
May 8, 2015 @ 4:30pm

Post compo version added :-)

https://dl.dropboxusercontent.com/u/21601438/ld32/LD32_Somnium_The_NID_Project_postcompo.zip

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