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

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by Azure_Kyte - Compo Entry

DictionBlade is a game in which you employ a physical manifestation of the weapon we use most: Our words. Early on, you gain the almighty pen, with which you smite your foes!

However... On its own, the pen is a mere baton, with only the strength to push your enemies away from you. To destroy, you must use your words.

There are three main elements you can write with: Meanness, Nicety or Weirdness. When the Return key is pressed, time is slowed, giving you time to charge your Diction Blade with an element. Which element you use is up to you, and your enemy.

A/D: Move Left and Right
Space: Jump (press again for double jump)
Repeatedly press space at a wall to climb.
E: Pick up the DictionBlade.

WITH the DictionBlade:

Return/Enter: Toggle Typing mode. Typing mode slows down time 50%.

Words like "Mean", or "Nasty" are red, being polite "Nice", "you're cool" for blue, anything that doesn't fit those two criteria is green for weird/unrecognised.

On pressing enter again, your weapon will be infused with a colour depending on the sentence's overall element.

To attack, press the Left Mouse Button. Attacks follow the direction of the cursor, so plan ahead. In retrospect I should have allowed for directional attacks with the Arrow keys, but sorry, no more time :<

Attacking once loses the element, so see enemy, type, attack.

EDIT: Updated the build for OSX and Linux to be in line for the Web and Windows versions, and included updated source.

Downloads and Links




Yamzho says ...
Apr 19, 2015 @ 5:38pm

Very cool, love the art. The theme is matched. Music is a bit repetitive though.

XDrako says ...
Apr 19, 2015 @ 8:12pm

well played. I made 3 levels

Domus Umbrae says ...
Apr 19, 2015 @ 8:14pm

could use a lot more in the directions department

stoarch says ...
Apr 19, 2015 @ 8:14pm

Art is good, but can not find how to fight

vini60 says ...
Apr 20, 2015 @ 5:03am

I liked the doodle effect, not much to do but good one. The music is very relaxing.

barret907k says ...
Apr 20, 2015 @ 5:12am

Controls are weird. Typing mechanic but than mouse attacking makes this game just annoying.

Azure_Kyte says ...
Apr 20, 2015 @ 5:14am

@barret907k, In retrospect I should probably have allowed directional attacks with the arrow keys. You know what they say about hindsight, though!

MrDave says ...
Apr 20, 2015 @ 11:58am

I liked the typing aspect to the game as it brought in a skill element to fighting, once you became practised at entering in the input fast you could become very adept at fighting swiftly. Even more than that I liked the fact that there were many words you could type in that it recognised, however I found that I would just use the shortest word I could and use that one over and over again.

Azure_Kyte says ...
Apr 20, 2015 @ 1:00pm

Yeah, that was something I was considering trying to stop through preventing the usage of words consecutively. It's definitely something I would discourage if I continue working on it, though.

Apr 20, 2015 @ 5:24pm

Enjoyable game, though I do wish it was easier to see enemies. I included it in part 1 of my Ludum Dare 32 compilation video series, if you would like to take a look :)

Xgor says ...
Apr 20, 2015 @ 9:12pm

Hey Azure, long time no see.
Interesting game you got there. The idea to type in different words depending on the enemies is very neat and the randomized levels is a nice touch.

I noticed that some mean and nice works was seen as weird but I guess it's pretty hard to figure out as many different polite and mean words in 48 hours as possible :P

Domus Umbrae says ...
Apr 20, 2015 @ 9:12pm

Rather confusing at first, but still a well made and interesting game.

Fanttum says ...
Apr 21, 2015 @ 12:29am

Hmmm, took me a sec to figure it all out, but it is an interesting idea. I really liked the look of the backgrounds. nice job.

jushii says ...
Apr 21, 2015 @ 11:10am

I love the animation on the background and the tiles, even with the simple graphics the game gives off a really nice mood! Combined with the lovely music! :) What I would see working better concerning the mechanics, would be replacing the combat/enemies with different puzzle mechanics! Like for example there could be colorless tiles which you have to paint. etcetc. :D Good job!

agilejoshua says ...
Apr 21, 2015 @ 3:38pm

Tried to play couldn't just got a javascript popup with a bunch of azure related error messages for the html5 version.

HotBoxGames says ...
Apr 21, 2015 @ 3:43pm

Cool Idea, I like how the levels seemed random, would be cool to see this fleshed out into something more!

dyfer says ...
Apr 21, 2015 @ 3:44pm

visualy good, didn't figure how to fight

Apr 21, 2015 @ 3:47pm

Having to move my hand between the mouse and keyboard was annoying, but the typing mechanic is pretty cool; it would be nice to see it expanded to more than three types of words and open up a lot of cool gameplay in the future!

Azure_Kyte says ...
Apr 21, 2015 @ 3:50pm

@agilejoshua, if you read this, can you let me know which browser you were using? I haven't been able to repro this with Firefox or Chrome.

AtomicVikings says ...
Apr 21, 2015 @ 4:11pm

Really nice game. Sound is sometimes a bit annoying. :-) Great work. :-)

Matsuki says ...
Apr 21, 2015 @ 4:49pm

I like what you did with the art, although it was a bit small so my colorblind eyes failed to tell the difference between some enemies, it was fun though gj

GAFBlizzard says ...
Apr 22, 2015 @ 8:41am

Restarting all the way from the beginning is really soul-crushing (my game has the same problem but is much shorter at least :P).

The idea is kind of neat, but ultimately I'd rather just press a button to use the different pen types instead of type words. The art has a nice style, but the blue sky cloud flashes are a little seizure-inducing.

I didn't finish because I died just after the black tornado and restarted all the way to the first level. ;(

Armanky says ...
Apr 22, 2015 @ 8:19pm

The idea's definitely unique, but in practice I found it was pretty distracting to stop and type in a word every five seconds. It was also an odd choice to feature an idea that so heavily involves the keyboard, yet ask the player to attack with the mouse button. To use the word system, the player has to move their right hand back and forth between mouse and keyboard.

On top of that, there's not really much incentive to actually USE the system. I found the mouse-based attacking to actually be very satisfying to use and wound up using to knock enemies away. That was actually more fun than stopping to type in a word and your mouse and keyboard control scheme feels very nice on its own. It's also not particularly hard to just run past enemies and bolt towards the end of the level.

I do have to give you major props for NOT using W/Up as your jump button and binding it to a more convenient and separate button instead. That's quickly becoming one of my biggest pet peeves.

Overall, the idea is pretty cool, but in practice it doesn't really work. Your platformer mechanics otherwise feel pretty good and the sketchy paper style is very charming.

Azure_Kyte says ...
Apr 23, 2015 @ 3:36am

Thanks for the feedback Armanky!

Other players have also voiced concerns over the mouse combat system, and in hindsight, I 100% agree. I'll be changing the system to allow the player to attack using the arrow keys on the keyboard after the Dare is over. That will heavily reduce the arm exercises while still retaining the game's word mechanic.

Jakob37 says ...
Apr 25, 2015 @ 8:23am

Nice concept! Liked the look of it, and the mechanics. Was quite easy to exploit the nice/neutral/mean system, through picking a single word for each category (for example writing 'a' for green all the time), don't know if it is easy to avoid this in a non game-breaking way though. Well done, would be interesting to see future development of this :)

Omiya Games says ...
Apr 28, 2015 @ 3:29am

I thought the general controls, abilities, and attacks were really good, but the word-typing was gimmicky, in the way, and unnecessary. I can see a good emerging from this, but it's made cumbersome just for a sake of novelty.

f7f5 says ...
Apr 29, 2015 @ 8:48pm

I love the art and the music and sfx. The mechanics are original, but after the initial novelty, it's not that much fun, unfortunately. The typing part end up being goig to the keyboard to type 1 of 3 words, and the platforming doesn't add much. Still an excellent effort.

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