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

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by iapc - Jam Entry

If keys don't work, check if your keyboard supports multiple keys pressed at once. If it doesn't consider connecting a different keyboard or a gamepad for optional gameplay.

The Freemium Model is getting increasingly popular in gaming. Giving something away for free and then charging money in exchange for limited amounts of fun or functunality is a business model which really works well. At least, it does work well for these companies. But what if the Freemium model were to be applied on other markets?

This game gives a glimps of an alternate future, one where spaceships are free, but if you want more than a basic weapon system you have to pay, for each time you use them. One company started the Freemium trend (AE) and subsequently took over the entire spaceship market. Once they did they slowly put more and more functionality behind a paywall (such as shields).. They claim they are fair, because most functionality is available in the world, ie. you can find these packages.

You, unnamed_player1 don't agree with this situation and begin your own little assault against the leaders of AE. However, your previous attempts left you without funds, so you have to rely on your reflexes, gut and limited basic functionality of your ship to survive and destroy AE.

===== Random statistics =====
Lines of Lua code: 2586
Lines of code for boss: 436
Hours of sleep: 14 hours
Cups of coffee: 30
Loops of music heard: 640
Teammates annoyed by looping music: 3
Errors: 420
Ragequits during playtesting: 36
Players testing game before release: 7
Players able to finish game: 3 (one external)

===== Technical Jabble =====
The windows version is prebuilt and should run on pretty much any computer from this decade and possibly even older ones.

The linux + mac version requires love2d (linux package: love) version 0.9.0. In some systems the love package is up to date (for instance, Ubuntu, Debian Testing), but for others (Debian Stable) it isn't. In that case you need to download the love.deb and liblove.deb files from

For mac: sorry, we're poor students, we don't have a mac. We didn't test it, but you should be fine if you install the latest love2d version from the love2d site.
===== Bugfix =====
I tested the Gamepad controls and they were broken due to some stupid error. They now work again. If the game detects a gamepad it will assume you want to use that.

===== Minor bugfix =====
If you have ghosting issues, press the C key as an alternate shooting control.

===== Thanks to =====
Love2d for being just generally awesome and easy to use
TESound for being a monster of a soundlibrary that did the job
bump.lua for being just simple enough to work without a fuzz
STI for being efficient and fast
GitHub for their awesome 100 MB file limit which doesn't at all screw with your development

Making of:

Downloads and Links




ZQMony says ...
Apr 21, 2015 @ 1:11am

Very fun, addicting and classic game. Very hard though.

cgmorton says ...
Apr 21, 2015 @ 1:29am

I tried to run on Linux, but can't get past the title screen. Esc exits, music plays, but I can't do anything else.

pkenney says ...
Apr 21, 2015 @ 2:04am

Cool game I played more than I thought I would after my first try! I liked the difficulty, although very challenging. I played a bunch and only got to level 2 ("They're getting stronger").

I have a few points of feedback, but don't take it as negative, overall I had good fun.

- Dude what was my highscore??
- Lot to control. Maybe the wrecking ball was better cut. My strategy was to just hold down space and X for the whole entire game once I figured it out. Still not clear on what Z does after playing
- On very first play, tons of text while also dodging for my life, couldn't read. This was only a problem for 2 plays or so.
- Small asteroids hard to pick out and see while I'm scanning, overall maybe color contrast could be higher on threats.
- Reading my special-queue on the top right was impossible while playing, I can't move my eyes over there so I never looked at it even though it has important gameplay info (this is also why I never saw my score).
- I'm not sure because it was so hectic, but I might have been holding down so many keys, with space + X + 2 directions that when I hit shift to use special it only fired like half the time. Maybe there was another mechanic about why it didn't fire, but I never figured it out.

So in summary lots of fun here but I feel it was a bit more confusing that the content really required.

Also... I loved all the death messages, that's a great touch.

Really good job.

Infernobomb says ...
Apr 21, 2015 @ 2:08am

Its really cool but kinda hard. I like the added messages more, they taunted me to play more so I played it quite a bit. I like the wrecking ball idea but it moves so sloooow. Good job with it though. I had fun :D

MightyToast says ...
Apr 21, 2015 @ 2:09am

I loved the powerup system. Well done!

iapc says ...
Apr 21, 2015 @ 3:02am

Pkenny, sorry, highscores were on 'the list', but got scrapped in exchange for more polish.
The Wreckingball loses itself when you press Z. It works kind of like a slingshot.
The text was supposed to be only in locations where you had the time.
The small asteriods were too dark, were supposed to be fixed, but forgotten. Also, they are kind of like a punishment for needless violence. Just dodge.
Reading the specials requires some training, that's true.
About the keys: that's a known issue with keyboards. Google Keyboards are evil, first result here.

Infernobomb, if you release the wreckingball early it moves slow. If you wait for it to charge a bit (another round) it gets a lot faster.

Cgmorton, 1. Did you try pressing space? 2. Do you have an controller in your pc? If so, press A on that one.

By the way, I released a 1.1 release, with fixed gamepad controls.

RyanNielson says ...
Apr 21, 2015 @ 3:12am

This seems really well done, and it's incredibly hard. It reminds me of the old school scrolling shooters I used to play as a kid. I like the aesthetics, and the music is pretty catch,

cgmorton says ...
Apr 21, 2015 @ 3:47am

Thanks for the response! Gamepad controls worked for me, still no luck with the keyboard for some reason :/

Anyway thought I'd return to say your game is awesome. The final boss especially was a classic boss fight, very fun once I got in the groove.

I have to agree that the wrecking ball is probably a bit much, I never actually used it myself and I thought the game was plenty engaging as is.

iapc says ...
Apr 21, 2015 @ 3:48am

You have to remove the gamepad for the keyboard controls to work. Remember, if your keyboard isn't a gaming keyboard, you may get issues with keys not working.

GreaseMonkey says ...
Apr 21, 2015 @ 4:50am

Runs on FreeBSD w/ native Love 0.9.1, although I downloaded the Windows version and applied unzip to it... and then rebound the keys because my keyboard doesn't like it when I hold space, left and up at the same time.

You may want to produce a cleaned up .love file, there's an extraneous "" file as well as a bunch of rather large sources.

Anyway, this probably has the deepest gameplay out of any of the entries I've reviewed so far, even though I prefer to play it rather "vanilla".

For someone who apparently "isn't good at bullet hell shooters" you've actually done a pretty good job with your patterns and whatnot.

Highly recommended.

zimmy87 says ...
Apr 21, 2015 @ 10:15am

nice lil shump you got here. use any framework for the bullet patterns?

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

Classic bullet hell, shoot'em up. It kinda needs a focus mode, where by pressing a key, the spaceship slows down to maneuver between the bullets. I don't think the wrecking ball alone is enough to fit the unconventional weapon theme, because it isn't needed to finish the game.

Great game overall.

Apr 21, 2015 @ 10:39am

Very solid bullet patterns and gameplay, though I don't really think it makes the most of the theme. After a few tries it made my computer crash though, so there may be a memory issue somewhere.

iapc says ...
Apr 21, 2015 @ 10:41am

Weird, I profiled it quite a lot, with runs of with 10 + deaths etc. The memory didn't increase more than 0.05 MB per level.

Apr 21, 2015 @ 11:18am

Addictive game. But imho, there are too much keys needed to control the ship. It took me 3 runs to find that shift allowed to use the alternate fire mode :D (it's maybe due to the lack of sleep :P).

Apr 21, 2015 @ 11:24am

Made it! Really loved the classic feel to this. This is what these games are supposed to be like imo, hectic but not too hectic (: The boss had good patterns and the sound was okay. Graphics wise it could be a little better, but the gameplay compensates that big time! Good job

ApocoNypse says ...
Apr 21, 2015 @ 11:29am

Very hard! Solid game though. My only issue was that left and right didn't seem to work on the joystick, I could only move forwards.

Zeriver says ...
Apr 21, 2015 @ 11:43am

Cool idea and great execute. You really have to plan how to "spawn" your clones and not blow yourself up in the process.
Pretty graphics and fitting music.
BTW i noticed game crashes after few deaths

Zeriver says ...
Apr 21, 2015 @ 11:46am

Crap, wrong page, sry about that, i will comment your game in a moment :P

Zeriver says ...
Apr 21, 2015 @ 12:02pm

I really like the backstory, it really adds to the experience. Game is pretty well done and engaging. At the beginning player will die A LOT. But getting to the next stage is really rewarding. Also i never used wrecking ball effectively, it's hard to focus on that in this bullet hell :D although it seems like a cool mechanic.

Yeah, music might get annoying after looping too many times :P

dmystic says ...
Apr 21, 2015 @ 2:38pm

The best part of the game, the ragequit mode

elpaulo says ...
Apr 21, 2015 @ 5:24pm

Too hard ! But nice gameplay. Maybe you should make the hitbox a little bit smaller.

Apr 21, 2015 @ 6:38pm

Fun game! Thanks for stopping by my Twitch channel to share it. Sorry I couldn't play on stream =P

xbcw says ...
Apr 21, 2015 @ 11:43pm

This became a lot easier once I learned you could shoot! Touhou fan and I love bullet hell games like this.

Bishkip says ...
Apr 21, 2015 @ 11:44pm

It was a challenge but fun none the less!

Smiley says ...
Apr 22, 2015 @ 9:53pm

Nice one.. reminds a bit of my own entry (shooter with retro graphic).. this entry made me think about Zaxxon on the C64

reiknight says ...
Apr 22, 2015 @ 10:16pm

I love shmups and I love your game, you take the essence of the genre :P

Crefossus says ...
Apr 22, 2015 @ 10:37pm

Liked the audio and art + innovative new attack.

A bit difficult for me and had keyboard ghosting issues. The wrecking ball mechanic was fresh but didn't pan out. Maybe there are just too many attacks? Shift+wrecking+main attack is a lot to manage for me. Maybe if it was more powerful or the sole attack (probably not fun though) and difficult to control.

Seems like the straight forward shot (space) was mostly dominate.

josefnpat says ...
Apr 24, 2015 @ 5:08am

Nice shmup! Good integration of the joystick!

Drauthius says ...
Apr 25, 2015 @ 1:43pm

A bit confusing with a lot of things happening at the same time; multiple keys, special things to attack with, all while bullets and enemy ships are flying everywhere. Nice game though :)

alexhasadog says ...
May 2, 2015 @ 10:24pm

brilliant game. like your sense of humor.

Tijn says ...
May 9, 2015 @ 2:28pm

This game is really well made. The graphics and audio are solid, as is the gameplay.

It's a bit much to handle everything though. I would like to have fun with the wrecking ball more, but I find it difficult to dodge enemies and use the guns all at the same time. But maybe that's just me, I'm not very good at these kinds of games.

Well done though, the game feels very polished!

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