Ludum Dare 34 — December 11th-14th, 2015 — Theme Tied: Two Button Controls, Growing

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Andi, You're a Star

by Dmitrix - Compo Entry

Controls:

Arrow Keys and Space Bar


My Thoughts Before the Jam:

I set out to develop a game for Ludum Dare 34 with a couple goals in mind. I wanted to develop something that was simple and infinitely replayable. Think of Tetris, Breakout, Space Invaders, anything like that. I felt that these goals would help me to focus on something that at least resembles a complete and unique game instead of just some guy walking around.

My Idea:

After bouncing ideas off of some people I came up with this. Top down, you're in space. You play as a little star and you grow by consuming these "masses" that are floating around. However, if you are constantly shrinking. So if you don't consume them fast enough you shrink too much and die out. If you consume them too fast you get too big and collapse into a black hole.


Tools and Technology:

For this game I used an HTML5 framework called Phaser. Sound effects were generated by sfxr.


Hidden Meaning and Symbolism:

I came up with an interpretation of my game to give it an "indie" and "artistic" aspect. My interpretation is that you play as a star in the sense that you are someone who is trying to succeed at something. Think of an aspiring actress, musician... game developer. Like these people you have to keep growing. So consuming masses can represent works by an artist or something like that. Growing too big can symbolize a "star" getting too big and collapsing under all the stress and expectations. Shrinking too small could be a "star" not doing enough to even be considered a "star". Anyways, that's just one way to look at it. I'd be interested in hearing other interpretations.


Post LD:

Unfortunately I was not able to utilize the majority of the 48 hours to work on this game due to prior engagements. I plan on continuing development of this game over the coming weeks to produce something that's more complete and has more balanced mechanics. Plus, I would really like to get this working on mobile.

Downloads and Links


Ratings

Coolness59%
#490Theme3.72
#581Audio2.39
#607Mood2.79
#615Humor2.05
#668Innovation2.81
#693Graphics2.69
#694Fun2.84
#736Overall2.94

Comments

Dec 14, 2015 @ 3:23am

Nice little game with a really nice look to it.

eerongal says ...
Dec 14, 2015 @ 4:59am

Nice little game! good work! :)

dekart says ...
Dec 14, 2015 @ 5:40am

Goog game concept, very challenging.

Few notes:

* the first few seconds are very challenging, it's hard for new player to understand what's going on and what to do
* as soon as I start playing effectively - bam, you're too larg
* the 'start' concept isn't very clear - objects don't behave like star system, it's more like agar.io with its concept of 'cells'

So I'd recommend to:
* make 'planets' smaller, harder to catch
* make 'sun' losing mass slower to give player some time to actually play
* grow mass slower and don't punish player so hard for becoming too large. for example, if you become too large - you lose mass faster so you have to play better to improve your score.

Dmitrix says ...
Dec 14, 2015 @ 8:03am

@dekart Thanks for the feed back! I will keep these things in mind while I work on the postLD.

sanojian says ...
Dec 14, 2015 @ 8:26am

Unique concept. The shrinking was a little fast, which makes the learning curve pretty steep. Nice game.

gallerdude says ...
Dec 14, 2015 @ 2:53pm

Fun gameplay and fast paced. Kind of hard to get down how to play at first though.

rantt says ...
Dec 14, 2015 @ 5:26pm

Fun, fast passed game. I liked it, nicely done!

hexagore says ...
Dec 14, 2015 @ 10:17pm

Considering there's only a tiny handful of colours and simple shapes this actually looks great. Short but sweet.

pparke says ...
Dec 15, 2015 @ 12:36am

Well put together, but I lost my motivation for playing after a couple tries. Would like to see more strategy maybe by adding things like a larger playing area and gravity that can either work for you by changing the course of moving objects or against you by being pulled towards larger objects that could absorb you. Well done though!

Rys0n says ...
Dec 15, 2015 @ 12:51am

I liked this. It's a cool concept. :)

I couldn't figure a way to reset other than refreshing though, and you die way too fast the first-playthrough, when you don't know what you're doing. Maybe that's intentional, which would actually be neat considering the symoblism, but if so there should be a way to reset it.

Super good job man. :)

JamesMowery says ...
Dec 15, 2015 @ 6:09am

Nice concept. I'm sure that with some additional time and effort it'll become a great game too. Definitely keep working on it!

grifdail says ...
Dec 15, 2015 @ 8:51am

Hi. I'd really like to play your game, but i'm stuck at the "welcome" screen. No key or mouse button work.

Dmitrix says ...
Dec 15, 2015 @ 10:11am

@grifdail Press SpaceBar! Sorry, I should have made clearer.

@Rys0n yeah, the only way to reset is by refreshing the page.

@JamesMowery
Thanks! I plan on doing a postLD. I'm going to take this concept and try to make it the best I can possibly make it.

Drtizzle says ...
Dec 16, 2015 @ 12:34am

Is the name a the Killers reference?
I like the idea, but the circle shrinks a bit too fast. It would be nice to tell the player what to do in the beginning(press space, move down to consume the orbs).
The idea is nice but it needs some tweaking :)

psychonull says ...
Dec 16, 2015 @ 4:17am

Pretty addictive game. Great theme use. Nice job!!

Dec 18, 2015 @ 12:43am

Simple, but very well made. I included it in my Ludum Dare 34 compilation video series, if you’d like to check it out :) https://youtu.be/7EMaRu1rC0U

MaulUdder says ...
Dec 18, 2015 @ 7:09pm

Curious about a post compo version. Sure hope that forced refreshing gets out :D.

cescababs says ...
Dec 18, 2015 @ 8:25pm

I love this game I think I played this game for the longest its quite addictive. It would be nice if it was a bit more flexible and the expanding and reducing was slower so you could work a strategy. Top score was 56

EvanEGibbs says ...
Dec 19, 2015 @ 4:08am

That was a clever game. I really liked that you didn't want to get too big as well as too small. The animation that happened when you were too big was pretty cool. Nice job. :)

pkenney says ...
Dec 19, 2015 @ 8:53pm

Cool game with a simple but tough premise and clean presentation, but the new player experience is tough.

I didn't read the description on this page, because I believe a game should be approachable on its own. So I was looking for a way to start, not sure if it was keys, mouse, etc... eventually I hit space bar. Then I hit it a few more times and the game started.

In a few seconds I was dead, without even figuring out what the buttons to press were. I looked for a restart, but never found it. So I came back to this page and read the keys instructions.

After that it went better and I started having fun... but I still died a bunch while learning and I really think it needs a restart other than refreshing the browser!

What this game does well is create a sense of OH NO panic as I rush for a mass to keep from dying, and the slightly laggy controls are just about right.

I also liked the game over black hole collapse when you get too large.

Also, on Firefox the "don't get too large or small" text was cut off so I could only see the bottom of the letters. I tested in Chrome and it almost fit correctly but the tops were a bit clipped.

YinYin says ...
Dec 19, 2015 @ 9:18pm

Love the black hold ending. When going for a high score an indicator when you are close to being too large would be great though.

lurils says ...
Dec 21, 2015 @ 3:49am

very very challenging, but interesting game

Frozen Stick says ...
Dec 21, 2015 @ 1:28pm

This is really sweet!But it's so goddamn hard!

BloodJohn says ...
Dec 22, 2015 @ 8:25am

funny gameplay. need restart menu

Frenchie says ...
Dec 25, 2015 @ 10:44pm

Nice entry! Was challenging trying to stay away from the circles for as long as I needed to.

It would be nice if you could figure out a better spawning system for the new balls. Sometimes I'd just instantly lose because I'd get unlucky they'd continuously respawn inside me

Zanzlanz says ...
Jan 3, 2016 @ 7:23pm

A good start for a game - that's what LD is for!

An interesting mechanic that you probably didn't intend, is that the size of the window determines how challenging the game is - sorta fits with the theme of "grow"! ;)

sandbaydev says ...
Jan 4, 2016 @ 5:27pm

Mmm, bit difficult in the beginning. But nice idea.

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