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

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by Transmit - Compo Entry

Hello everyone!

This is my entry for the 2015 December Ludum Dare, and my first time entering the compo (usually do the Jam!)


***The aim of the game it to get a high score! That is the goal!***

I decided to use both the "Growing" theme, and the "2 button" theme to make my game and hoped to make a simple... but fun to play quick arcade style game. You play as a worm (a bloody big one at that) and your job is to grow as big as possible by breaching the surface of the earth, and devouring your prey. The more prey you hit in a single jump the bigger your worm will become, this is how you max your score! Try to hit as many enemies in each jump you take. There are 6 waves of enemies!

Some enemies will explode when touched! Causing your worm to bounce around, you can use this to keep your worm in the air for longer (bigger combo!) but be careful not to waste too much time soaring over the moon though!

Why not try to beat my high score? See the screenshots below! At the end of the game you can push ENTER to snap your own screenshot (or just do it your own way!), Screenshots are saved (annoyingly) in "C:\Users\<USER>\AppData\Local\Grow\Screens"

I used the following tools:

GameMaker Studio for creating the game
Photoshop for creating my images
Bfxr for creating the (limited) sound effects
Audacity for a bit of tweaking on the sound effects.

Please use the Windows version if you can. The Web version is no where near as optimised, and I've simply put it up so people who aren't on Windows can try the game.


So you guys have been giving me great feedback, so there is now a POST COMPO version available, obviously for the compo please only judge me for the original!

Changes in v1.1
- Now only the snakes head will deal damage to the enemies
- Holding both left AND right arrow key will make the snake boost in speed
- Fixed a bug related to going off the screen at the bottom
- Fixed a bug where small spiders persist between scenes
- Changed the GUI at the end so it hopefully doesn't go off of the screen.
- Made the exploding enemies explode with green blood, so the user can identify them better

For v1.2 I'm going to try to add more goals to do. Such as perhaps bonus segments for eating every enemy in a wave, or bonus segments for long hang time, or jumping over things etc

Changes in v1.2
- Added a 'challenge' system (only 3 challenges right now. Completing a challenge will grant you a permanent +1 multiplier to your snake growth. So completing all 3 challenges in one run will allow you to grow much quicker, if you can do them in time!
-Added some terrible... but self made.... music... I'm sorry!

Downloads and Links




AlmightyTuna says ...
Dec 14, 2015 @ 3:40am

Really great core, could use more of a goal/challenge

cimbaman says ...
Dec 14, 2015 @ 12:25pm

I like it. Controls work great.

gene-z says ...
Dec 14, 2015 @ 2:21pm

Very good game, good work

aamatniekss says ...
Dec 14, 2015 @ 2:31pm

Cool, but I think the enemies should die only from the head not all of the body, not much challenge here.

DesignerNap says ...
Dec 14, 2015 @ 2:34pm

This is really nice. Love the feeling of motion. If there was more audio and the enemies only died when the head ate them, it would be PERFECT. Great work though, well done.

victorfisac says ...
Dec 14, 2015 @ 2:35pm

I think UI is too small, but nice!

Move127 says ...
Dec 14, 2015 @ 2:35pm

Nice game! It is fun being the giant snake thing underground eating things at the surface. I couldn't tell if there was anything that would damage you.

Transmit says ...
Dec 14, 2015 @ 2:42pm

Thanks for the nice comments so far! There is nothing that can damage you, the idea is more of a Score Attack game, to see how high of a score you can generate.

I did consider just having the head deal damage, but there was something satisfying about how ridiculously big you got as the snake otherwise! But feedback noted!

Zetym says ...
Dec 14, 2015 @ 2:58pm

Nice game, a little interrupting when exiting to one side and the whole worm/snake/creature is teleported to a small spot. Also the fact that the body isn't affected by gravity makes it look a bit weird and promotes shallow jumps to keep your body in the air, killing everything that moves past.

timsjostrand says ...
Dec 14, 2015 @ 2:58pm

Super fun! The chain mechanic addictive. Good job!

Transmit says ...
Dec 14, 2015 @ 3:02pm

@Zetym If you want to score super high you have to get combo's, I tried to make this apparent but could have done a better job! Just skimming the surface will get you lots of kills, but they will all only add 1-2 segments to your snake. If you manage to jump and kill 10+ enemies in one leap, it will add something like 50 segments to your snake.... huge multiplier for going for big leaps!

Akhera says ...
Dec 14, 2015 @ 3:07pm

I have to agree. With a goal or some kind of enemies, this could be really great. Now it's "just" good.

Fanttum says ...
Dec 14, 2015 @ 5:40pm

Looks lots of fun, but I am on mac :/ any chance for a port or web build?

Transmit says ...
Dec 14, 2015 @ 6:04pm

Hi Fanttum! I wish I could. Sadly Gamemaker will only Export to Mac if I actually have a Mac available. I'll see if I can borrow a friends Mac Book and do that for you, but it may be a few days!

Transmit says ...
Dec 14, 2015 @ 6:19pm

Hi Fanttum, someone pointed out to me how to export with Gamemaker to HTML 5.... so I've put that link up there. Just a warning that the quality of the HTML5 version is a lot poorer, and after a few waves it does begin to run very slow.

MicroMacro says ...
Dec 14, 2015 @ 8:14pm

Great spin on a snake-like concept. Reminds me of those weird worm things in Terarria.

One thing I have: It seems to easy to be able to eat the bugs without them touching the head, meaning I get dots added to my body even if my body touches them.

Fantastic entry. :)

zguerrero says ...
Dec 14, 2015 @ 8:52pm

I had a lot of fun with this game! the physic of the snake is great!

pkenney says ...
Dec 14, 2015 @ 8:56pm

I like this. I've experimented with this kind of left/right directional control before, and what to do about hitting the ground is a design challenge. You flipped that around and used it as an asset - I like how there's no control in the above-ground mode.

I think where this game could use a little tuning is in the feedback to the player. I was a bit confused, is it bad to hit the enemies with my body instead of my mouth, or is that just as good? I didn't notice a difference but it seemed weird to wrap them up rather than eat them. It also created the problem that I couldn't really always see myself score.

So some great mechanics but the way they come together as a game isn't quite tight.

Also, I found a bug. If you go way down to the bottom of the earth, most of the time your face will bounce off the bottom and you're good. However if you fiddle around down there and try to go in a straight line along the bottom, it is possible to get the snake stuck where his head is vibrating wildly and you can no longer steer and have to quit the game. Did it once by accident but then was able to rep.

Elenesski says ...
Dec 14, 2015 @ 9:26pm

Really good idea. Liked the physics/non-physics part of the map. There were some edge issues where the snake couldn't break away from the edge. Cool game. Played it for a while.

Transmit says ...
Dec 14, 2015 @ 9:50pm

Thanks for the bug reports! I admittedly did quite a quick nasty piece of code to make sure the snake didn't go off of the bottom.

Also love the feedback, I'll happily make a version of the game where only the head deals damage to the enemy, and upload it here if thats not against the rules. But I'm unsure where the rules stand on that.

Solifuge says ...
Dec 15, 2015 @ 1:28am

It was weird when my butt got too big and just started killing people without my help, which is not a sentence I'd have expected I'd be able to write today.

Feels like some distant cousin of the Snake game, with some Binding of Isaac sensibilities. I had a fun time lining up attacks and all, and bouncing off of tiny Deadpools in Chef Hats and rocketing into the air was pretty fun too. Maybe some speed control and jumping with momentum would have helped give more finesse, though that's hard to do in 2 buttons. I'd second comments that these mechanics would go well alongside some additional goals or challenges.

Thanks for putting this together!

denycetm says ...
Dec 15, 2015 @ 9:05pm

Feels like a sweet snake clone for a flip phone with a twist.
I would agree with the other posters that your head should kill and the body takes damage. That way there is a risk/reward for breaking the surface.

Transmit says ...
Dec 15, 2015 @ 9:30pm

Thanks for the feedback. Feel free to check out the post-compo versions I'm going to put out with community suggestions.

terop says ...
Dec 16, 2015 @ 12:25am

once i figured out that you can control the worm only inside the ground level, it was easy to play.

felixreeve says ...
Dec 18, 2015 @ 1:24pm

Liked the core gameplay, although it chugged a bit on web and could maybe be a little harder? Super fun though, you got the gamefeel right i think

jdoughty says ...
Dec 18, 2015 @ 1:34pm

Nice Mechanic, could definately be fleshed out into a full fledged game with end goals and a bit more variety.

Jacic says ...
Jan 1, 2016 @ 1:55am

A good base game. With some additional polish, I think it could be great. :)

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