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

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Terraform Junction VS

by Jwatt - Jam Entry

Alright buddies here's some hot local multiplayer territory control action. Your primary weapon is controlling the flow of resources in a shared arena. Get the most suitable swag for yourself while poisoning the opponent's income flow.

More precise gameplay instructions on the game page.

NEW! Further development is GO: the post-jam build contains a practice mode and usability improvements, with more to come.

Downloads and Links


Ratings

Coolness58%
#112Innovation(Jam)3.78
#312Audio(Jam)3.21
#369Graphics(Jam)3.58
#447Overall(Jam)3.31
#514Fun(Jam)3.06
#538Mood(Jam)3.03
#671Theme(Jam)3.14
#902Humor(Jam)1.87

Comments

monstersauce says ...
Apr 21, 2015 @ 3:27am

Interesting game, different from the other submissions I've played so far.

Jwatt says ...
Apr 21, 2015 @ 3:36am

For "An Unconventional Weapon", it would've been too obvious to make a platformer where you throw your equipment or something. I still found this theme inspiring in a sort of abstract way, like how it's really about conflicts in unusual scenarios.

Park says ...
Apr 21, 2015 @ 6:45am

Great concept, really needed to sit and think for a while about how to possibly make turns favorable when construction is randomized. Messing with the opponent seems pretty risky without a solid grasp of how resources will follow the paths. My first play turned the map into an incomprehensible mess. :P

Jwatt says ...
Apr 21, 2015 @ 11:02am

Chaotic layouts are part of the fun of the mid-/late-game.

Also to reword what's said in the description, resources will always go straight forward when they can. If they can't and have to make a decision, they'll turn counterclockwise. Factor in collisions and dead ends fizzing them out. Reading paths quickly is the core skill that can be practiced in this game.

RyanNielson says ...
Apr 21, 2015 @ 12:56pm

Interesting game, probably one of the more unique games I've played during this jam. I really love the graphics and the sound, they go together really well. The game's confusing at first, and could use some more explanation, but after you get the hang of it it's really interesting. Nice job!

Jwatt says ...
Apr 21, 2015 @ 1:36pm

Played this with some friends just now, they loved it but pointed out how buildings should be differently colored for each owner, so you can plan roads more effectively (without bring the cursor to the building first to see who owns it). I think that might reduce the initial confusion.

Anikki says ...
Apr 21, 2015 @ 1:59pm

Graphics are great, very clean. And I like the CGA feel. Gameplay/controls are snappy. Maybe lacking a bit in feedback for the new player... but thats what the instructions are for ;-).

Jwatt says ...
Apr 21, 2015 @ 2:14pm

Yeah player feedback is always the tricky part. I don't want to cram walls of text on screen for obvious reasons.

I figured a tutorial would defeat the point too. I'm giving the players a system, and it's up to them to find out what configurations are beneficial. I don't want to explicitly point out and create a bias toward certain strategies.

So the next best thing I could try was to make the system transparent - resources move around slowly enough, buildings have hopefully helpful descriptions, any text on screen updates in real time, etc.

Apr 21, 2015 @ 4:58pm

Nice game, looks pretty polished and we liked the music.
It was not very clear to us how the game worked though. As others pointed out, coloured buildings and more clear feedback on how money is gained/lost would be helpful.

Jwatt says ...
Apr 21, 2015 @ 6:39pm

I ought to address things like that in a post-jam fix build. Tweaks in usability are technically trivial to implement. Since I consider the game feature-locked, it'd just be small hindsights that would communicate the coolness of these features better.

GTA LUDUM V says ...
Apr 22, 2015 @ 7:28am

unique game~! got confused in the beginning and making some random terrain at the first turn, overall I enjoyed it~! well done!

Jwatt says ...
Apr 22, 2015 @ 10:34am

So I'm messing around with building colors: the base color is blue for Player 1 and red for Player 2, and it actually looks really neat.

Another improvement is that when a resource gives the floating -20/+20 text, that text is the color of that resource - a simple thing that underlines at a glance what sort of income was useful and what wasn't. (Maybe score updates should somehow flash the total score too..?)

The next thing I noticed is that all floating text should have a 1px outline for clarity.

Maybe the post-jam version could have some sort of practice/infinity mode too, with like arrows showing where the resource wants to go. I don't know, wouldn't want to overcomplicate things or cause feature creep.

Jwatt says ...
Apr 22, 2015 @ 9:25pm

Although, having played another match of this against a first-timer, seems like some sort of practice mode is definitely the thing.

ehtd says ...
Apr 23, 2015 @ 1:38am

Nice game

maunovaha says ...
Apr 23, 2015 @ 4:49pm

Okey, almost everything is probably said already. :D.. But regardless, I liked the way you approached the theme, this is a good idea for a more polished game. The graphics are nice and the tune is good.

If I were to criticize anything it was mostly that I had hard time to separate the work of player 1 and 2 because of the colors. Other thing which I noticed were that controls were a bit difficult to grasp as I kept making circles with my own money! :)

Jwatt says ...
Apr 24, 2015 @ 2:56pm

The first POST-JAM BUILD is GO! I took you guys' feedback into account and will continue to make some tweaks in the future.

Jwatt says ...
Apr 24, 2015 @ 2:56pm

(As in a proper title screen, more music and cute animation things)

C.Lodwick says ...
Apr 24, 2015 @ 3:55pm

Really great concept looking forward to playing a more balanced version with a friend or two!

Apr 24, 2015 @ 4:05pm

It has a good design, but understanding the gameplay is hard and no good explanation is given.

Jwatt says ...
Apr 24, 2015 @ 4:05pm

More balanced? I'd appreciate some pointers about what felt unbalanced here.

Remember that everything, including your opponent's buildings and roads, is an asset. That's why it's possible to recover even from seemingly insurmountable cash differences. Playing this somehow "optimally" (well, at least without rushing through), Player 1 and Player 2 both usually have managed around $5000 in the end.

rjhelms says ...
Apr 24, 2015 @ 5:29pm

Very refreshing change from the rest of the entries. I really like the direction you're taking the post-jam version, too.

For some reason (maybe RNGsus hates me?) on the first playthrough I didn't get any power-plants - worked fine on later attempts, though.

Jwatt says ...
Apr 24, 2015 @ 5:39pm

Ah, that's a bummer. Teeeeechnically it doesn't matter even if all the buildings are banks, then it just becomes a race to get the least minus points. But it is a bit silly, I'll see if I can add conditional RNG.

Prowler says ...
Apr 24, 2015 @ 7:52pm

Very good concept! Its fun to play but I didn't found the esoteric race condition in time ;) Your sprites are pretty and I'd love to see you craft a Sim city clone! Good job!

Jwatt says ...
Apr 24, 2015 @ 10:32pm

Hmm, I don't think I could do "just a" Simcity clone. Sim games are one of my favorite game types, but my sort of jam is weird conceptual takes on them.

Okay the dream is of course some kinda massive evolving simulation with learning AI and all that, but during game jams, I like to take one really specific aspect as the central theme and bring it to some sort of interesting conclusion. Like how logistics are the entire interface in this one.

Jwatt says ...
Apr 24, 2015 @ 10:33pm

...And how you can create conflict with only that logistics interface, of course.

Smiley says ...
Apr 24, 2015 @ 10:40pm

nice strategy game and as others have pointed out a bit confusing at the start.

syncxzoz says ...
Apr 25, 2015 @ 2:08pm

good concept... the graphics also good....

Jwatt says ...
Apr 26, 2015 @ 11:54am

Thanks brahs.

Apr 26, 2015 @ 3:08pm

Beautiful looking game which is really nicely designed. The colour choices are great but as you've already mentioned I think different colours for the different players roads would have helped.

May 7, 2015 @ 9:25am

I've never understood things like poor multiplayer facsimiles of the road-building tool from SimCity.

Isn't it great how when you leave negative, nonconstructive feedback on someone's entry they can come over to your entry and leave equally negative, nonconstructive feedback?

At least I can write dirty words with the roads.

Jwatt says ...
May 7, 2015 @ 11:56pm

What I think of the above: part of being a creator is being able to deal with one negative comment among 99 positive ones. The fear of retaliation is a bad motivation from not speaking your mind.

I don't care if this kind of poop-flinging happens to my game, but it's unfortunate if "revenge voting" is a thing that actually takes place on a larger scale here.

May 12, 2015 @ 3:31am

Hey, I voted your game fairly. I gave you several stars in some categories. I always vote games fairly and objectively, no matter how bad their developer's PR.

You shouldn't assume things, you know. It's bad form.

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