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

NOTE: Because of the Theme tie, we allowed everyone to pick either Theme. Using both was optional. To keep things simple, there will still only be one Theme category. Every category in Ludum Dare voting is an opinion, so you’re welcome to rate them as you see fit. But we encourage you to be fair in your scores to people that chose only one Theme, and not both.

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UPSQUID

by 01010111 - Compo Entry

[ CONTROLS - QWERTY ]

LEFT / RIGHT ARROW KEYS (DOWN)....AIM
LEFT / RIGHT ARROW KEYS (RELEASE)....THRUST

[ CONTROLS - GAMEPAD ]

LEFT / RIGHT SHOULDER BUTTONS

[ EXPLANATION ]

Snack on little creatures! Snacks replenish energy!
Thrusting depletes energy! Don't run out of energy!
Don't fall behind or you'll go back to sleep!

HOLD BOTH KEYS WHEN COMBO GAUGE
IS FULL FOR OVER-BOOST

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

This game is dedicated to @moppin_
He made my favorite game of 2015
<3 pls don't sue <3

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

[ STUFF USED ]
Code - HaxeFlixel, FlashDevelop, Git
Art - Aseprite (Sprites), OGMO (Level)
Audio - FLStudio, Chipsounds

Downloads and Links


Ratings

Coolness71%
#21Audio4.10
#23Overall4.13
#24Fun4.04
#37Mood4.01
#57Graphics4.20
#193Theme4.06
#306Innovation3.43
#340Humor2.67

Comments

Dec 14, 2015 @ 3:29am

Really great entry here! Nice and simple, and heaps of fun, would work great as a mobile app.

esayitch says ...
Dec 14, 2015 @ 8:55am

I liked your usual play on popular games/titles (bedhogg and now this).

Very solid entry, sounds are top notch, visuals are highly polished, and mechanics are well-tuned. Only suggestion would be to make it get harder faster, and to make the chain-combo timer run out faster the higher the combo counter is.

Excellent all around!

Elenesski says ...
Dec 14, 2015 @ 5:43pm

Good idea. Had fun. I would have made it a wee bit easier to turn, but minor point.

salmonmoose says ...
Dec 14, 2015 @ 8:11pm

... oh look a Downwell clone (sigh) ...

Wait, no, this is something unique in it's own right - this is a great little distraction, and would port to mobile brilliantly. Loving the CGA palette revival.

mlepage says ...
Dec 14, 2015 @ 8:48pm

Simple and very well done. Took me a few tries to get the hang of the controls, but once I did it was very pleasant to play

lekochen says ...
Dec 15, 2015 @ 3:32am

Controls are a bit hard for me but others are all quite decent, well done!

aeveis says ...
Dec 15, 2015 @ 4:55am

It got to the point where I think I could keep playing, I stopped after trying to play faster at 3152 (high combo as 152).

Pretty good! It took a bit to get the controls, but once I did I could keep going. The "snack pits" felt like a trap - at first I thought I could break through the rubble but couldn't. Perhaps a good difficulty curve would be if you had to move/navigate more, or more areas where you can't collect little creatures (there was both of that but I guess harder ones later on).

nodens says ...
Dec 15, 2015 @ 5:09am

Very well executed. Movement felt great. An excellent translation of the theme to riff on Downwell. Some minor conveyance issues with which blocks would hurt me, but it wasn't really a major issue.

ianh says ...
Dec 15, 2015 @ 6:10am

The graphics are top-notch, though I think I may have seen this style somewhere before? ;) Really fun game overall!

fishtrek says ...
Dec 15, 2015 @ 7:19am

Amazing work for 2 days -- I loved Downwell too and this is a really cool spin on the formula given the theme. The art is great, controls work well and I think the music is super good too. Kudos :)

ruerob says ...
Dec 15, 2015 @ 8:40am

You have made an awesome entry! I really like the the movements, the graphics, the sound and the whole feel of the game! Really well done! And a bonus point because you like downwell, too!

monsterkillu says ...
Dec 15, 2015 @ 8:41am

Great Aesthetics. Had real fun playing it. I was avoiding the red creatures (red means enemies right :)) at first ... Great Job. Music and SFX feels awesome.

Dec 15, 2015 @ 9:08am

Beautiful game and lots of fun to play once you get the hand of it! Swimming using those controls feels really good.

AndreasL says ...
Dec 15, 2015 @ 10:07am

Fun little game!
Seemed like a downwell clone at first but it played complely different.
Once you got into a flow it was very soothing. Well done!

David Cookie says ...
Dec 15, 2015 @ 11:37am

Very well made! Maybe a little too simple but could do a great mobile game with more variety. Great work!

jeroenwimmers says ...
Dec 15, 2015 @ 11:42am

this does so many things right. my favourite LD game so far. you get all the stars for overall, innovation. fun, graphics, audio and mood. I just feel going with the arrowbuttons is an easy way out to go with the theme. but I guess that's more of a problem with the theme. anyway, it doesn't feel forced with using just 2 buttons and it controls really well. good job

Phoenix849 says ...
Dec 15, 2015 @ 12:04pm

Simple idea, yet very well implemented. I didn't realise you could aim your thrusts at first. Makes things a bit more interesting. Scored 1262, max combo 22.

nicso says ...
Dec 15, 2015 @ 12:53pm

nice game

took me a while to understand that red little things aren't hurting me. I think it's the "hurt sound" that confused me.

RadStar says ...
Dec 15, 2015 @ 1:25pm

One of my favourite entry!
Really good little game.
Feel polished and complete.

As i saw in other comments, maybe the sound when picking red items is missleading.

Headmade says ...
Dec 15, 2015 @ 5:39pm

Great entry, simple yet challenging and fun to play. The color palette and name are very Downwellish, which doesn't hurt. Good job!

commodoreKid says ...
Dec 15, 2015 @ 5:44pm

I went up to 852 then it got boring, sorry :) As others said it could be a mobile game easily and I think it could become popular. You should consider that. I'm not a fan of infinite gameplay like this but it works. Graphics are perfect in their own way. Good job.

Leuthil says ...
Dec 15, 2015 @ 7:33pm

Nice polish. The game just felt really satisfying to play and the controls were great :)

Dec 15, 2015 @ 7:34pm

I like the art and the music was great. You nailed what you were trying to do with the downwell look! The squid animation was really cute - all dem flippy floppys!

Ditto says ...
Dec 15, 2015 @ 7:46pm

yep.
A loving wellcrafted homage to my favorite game right now? Yepp, please, sign me up <3 Haha this is fucking ace, good job! :D
May lack a bit in variation, I'd love some obstacles or something every once in a while to break up the gameplay, but yeah, still fucking love it! <3

maunovaha says ...
Dec 15, 2015 @ 8:07pm

Great looking game.. really polished and smooth animations. nicely done! :)

ruthiepee says ...
Dec 15, 2015 @ 10:42pm

Aaah, I am so excited for this game! Hmm, I got 44 points, let me try again... (30 minutes later) Okay, I am still really bad at this, but I absolutely adore it. You always do a great job of setting a mood, between the ethereal music, the cool trails & particles, and the website it's framed on. You definitely need to get this thing on the App Store / Google Play. I think one other commenter gave a good suggestion of changing the energy-up sound because it does have a 'hurt' sound to it, but once you get past that initial 'oh this doesn't kill me' moment it's fine. A++++ would play again.

elliottd says ...
Dec 15, 2015 @ 11:09pm

Really great love letter to Downwell

local306 says ...
Dec 15, 2015 @ 11:36pm

Cool spin on Downwell!

propter_ludus says ...
Dec 16, 2015 @ 12:16am

Amazing entry!
I had a lot of fun and replayed it multiple times.
Very good job!

SirSoltex says ...
Dec 16, 2015 @ 1:28am

Love this entry! would be a really fun mobile app too! I was a little confused at first but got the hang of ti quickly

_HopFrog says ...
Dec 16, 2015 @ 2:55am

Probably my favorite! <3 It was a lot of fun! Very polished as well!

uvwar says ...
Dec 16, 2015 @ 3:51am

Pretty good reminds me of this game called Yoshis Island.

jackrugile says ...
Dec 16, 2015 @ 6:29am

Well done, I love the graphic style and mood from the music!

Dec 16, 2015 @ 10:05am

Nice polished retro-game, I really like it. My only small complain is that the collectible look and feel like enemies (red color and hard effect when touching) so I first avoided them and didn't understand why I died. Apart from that, good game!

Tipyx says ...
Dec 16, 2015 @ 10:06am

Excellent real' ! But the first times I thought the red coins had to be avoided ^^

Tuism says ...
Dec 16, 2015 @ 12:31pm

Fantastic! :D Really liked your control scheme, has a nice degree of granularity in it while being pretty clear once you understand it. My own LD game was kinda in this direction but utterly different :P If you know what I mean :P And my game was also a bit downwell-influenced, haha :)

There's a little problem in the mechanics being understood, collecting stuff explodes, which feels like damage, I was really confused by that for a while. I also didn't register the bar at the top was to be kept filled by collecting/hitting those things initially.

Rad stuff otherwise :)

TijmenTio says ...
Dec 16, 2015 @ 3:18pm

Will!!! This is such a good game!! You captured Ojiro's style so well, yet the game has its own mechanic that works great. After I got the hang of it, it became a bit easy as there isn't a lot of content I think? But the polish is abundant and the soundtrack is absolutely stunninggg. (DOWN)WELL DONE YO hah~

Dec 16, 2015 @ 5:56pm

What a fun game! The 2-button controls work so great that it doesn't even feel like a restriction (this would be a great highscore-chasing mobile game!). Also love the sound effects and Downwell visuals (don't worry, I don't think you'll get sued haha). Collecting the snacks is very satisfying, which is good because you'll be doing this a lot. The only con I'd mention is that the boost wasn't very helpful for me - I always ended up hitting a wall miliseconds after activating it (well, maybe I'm too noob). Overall an amazing job, I enjoyed my time playing it.

cilerba says ...
Dec 17, 2015 @ 3:55am

Another great title from Will Blanton! Really enjoyed this, was the perfect blend of simple and hard.

Yword says ...
Dec 17, 2015 @ 5:36am

Really fun and additive! Well done!

LeafThief says ...
Dec 17, 2015 @ 9:07am

Super nice, great job Will!

PaulJs says ...
Dec 17, 2015 @ 2:42pm

Nice idea

ajmalr says ...
Dec 17, 2015 @ 9:20pm

An extremly fun, polished game with great graphics!

francoisvn says ...
Dec 17, 2015 @ 9:32pm

Great game. I think my only issue is that you didn't call it "Upwell" ;P

SteveSalmond says ...
Dec 18, 2015 @ 7:44am

Loved it! Really enjoyed the control scheme, felt very novel and yet instantly usable. Great job!

Husky says ...
Dec 18, 2015 @ 9:07am

Yes, of course, the color scheme of Downwell lol.
The controls is challenging to me, but after practicing several times, I can do more combs, it feels really good :D

rzuf says ...
Dec 18, 2015 @ 10:03am

Aaaah, it was tricky but after getting used to the controls it feels so good. :D It's crafted super-well - awesome music, great graphics and level of polish. (particles :3)
And ++ for haxe flixel!

Xeke_Death says ...
Dec 18, 2015 @ 12:37pm

Very simplistic, yet extremely addictive and enjoyable...! I had to stop when I started getting worse and worse at the game...

local minimum says ...
Dec 18, 2015 @ 4:13pm

I much enjoyed this game. The controls took some getting used to but then they were really nice. It was interesting with a game like this to be able to play it quite slowly without that causing any problem. On the other hand, it also quite removed the feeling of it being an actual challenge, so I think there needs to be something more in the game that successively makes it harder. The one thing that comes to mind is to have a counter-current that progressively becomes stronger so that you are forced to become more and more rapid in-between your strokes. Great entry though.

banana4life says ...
Dec 18, 2015 @ 9:12pm

Really nice game! Highscore so far: 126
I like the mechanics and the visuals.

YinYin says ...
Dec 19, 2015 @ 6:33pm

Sadly far too small for the angle and position judgement required on a big screen. I sized up the game_swf div to 600x900 to make it playable in the first place ... and then enjoyed it a whole lot.
(tried loading the swf directly before that but this made the squid and title spawn next to the level with no way of getting back in or eating anything)

Needs a full screen option.

Pilly says ...
Dec 19, 2015 @ 7:43pm

Wow! I really can't state how much I enjoyed this. Super polished, lovely mood / music / graphics. Downwell is a great place to take inspiration from :) but you definitely put your own spin on it. My favorite thus far.

Dec 19, 2015 @ 9:03pm

Great use of only two buttons for control!
Really nice, simple graphics, same for audio.
Kind of moody for a squid eating little red blobs.

Wasn't sure when the boost activates, although I managed to do it once..

The only real criticism/suggestion I have is that it's a shame that even if you manage to grab a creature after expending your last energy, you die. Maybe have a grace period that lets you live on even when your energy is gone (but with no control possible), in case you manage to replenish it with your final thrust.

dj_pale says ...
Dec 19, 2015 @ 10:36pm

Nice usage of retro graphics and sound! Would have nice to be able to run it at x2 scaling.

foolmoron says ...
Dec 19, 2015 @ 11:10pm

Realllyyyy beautiful. My favorite thing is how you created the aesthetic based on your memory of Downwell instead of the actual thing, which led to an interesting look where red is a really common color (whereas in Downwell it's actually pretty rare).
The turn-jump controls are really interesting. Makes each move a balance between control and speed and progress. It's kinda like a golf mini-game in each and every button press.
I wish there was some sort of escalation to the difficulty though because I can pretty easily just keep going forever with my combo climbing higher and higher.

Dec 20, 2015 @ 2:57am

Clever control scheme to avoid automatic movement (which so many of us used!). Really like the audio too, especially the music.

kezhaar says ...
Dec 20, 2015 @ 12:16pm

Really smooth controls, great job !

ssodelta says ...
Dec 20, 2015 @ 1:11pm

God dammit that is a good game! ;D

rogueNoodle says ...
Dec 20, 2015 @ 1:15pm

Another awesome entry taking inspiration from a well known game, but definitely making it your own. It felt as though I was getting hurt when collecting things, so initially I avoided them. Didn't take long to figure that out though. Occasionally got stuck ramming horizontally into walls, but overall the controls were very tight. Nice work!

Eduardo says ...
Dec 20, 2015 @ 2:27pm

Really really like it. I got to 1100m. I love the musics and graphics. It's juice too. Wish it have more levels and content. Great job!

Trasevol_Dog says ...
Dec 20, 2015 @ 3:17pm

Graphics and sound are top notch! Controls are a bit difficult but the idea is really nice. Besides, squids!

sP0CkEr2 says ...
Dec 21, 2015 @ 6:23am

good game here - solid controls - nice job

anissen says ...
Dec 21, 2015 @ 9:10pm

Absolutely awesome execution. So well done! :)

kaa says ...
Dec 22, 2015 @ 8:56pm

Awesome game!

publicidadeba says ...
Dec 23, 2015 @ 1:26am

With a bit of balancing this can be really big!

cameronpenner says ...
Dec 23, 2015 @ 1:56am

Really solid work. It didn't feel like the game got more difficult as you progressed, but the gameplay felt really great.

mukult says ...
Dec 23, 2015 @ 2:51am

Great game!! remind me of downwell!! :)

Epicruins195 says ...
Dec 23, 2015 @ 3:03am

Awesome entry, feels very well made. The style, art, and audio are excellent in their own right, but become even better when combined. At first I had trouble with the controls, but after figuring it out (after dying a few times) the game became significantly more enjoyable and felt good to play. Only suggestion is more interesting obstacles in the level.

Nice work!

GhostBomb says ...
Dec 23, 2015 @ 3:38am

What? Your game can't be this good! That has to be against the rules.

Awesome.

Difficulty curve seems a bit flat after you get the game down, though.

psychonull says ...
Dec 23, 2015 @ 3:44am

great game!, really fun and excellent arcade feel!

Garris says ...
Dec 23, 2015 @ 3:46am

Very nice work. I like the minimalist, high-contrast graphical style, and the game is very easy to read in terms of getting the hang of what to do. The only thing I might recommend is maybe some rotation inertia. I think it would help a lot with precision movements to have the rotation speed start slowly and speed up the longer you hold down the button. I found myself running into walls a lot because I overturned slightly when I just needed a tiny little adjustment.

Yakka says ...
Dec 23, 2015 @ 11:38am

Neat! Good gamefeel, great game!

Dec 23, 2015 @ 12:03pm

Plays pretty smoothly!

GFM says ...
Dec 23, 2015 @ 12:28pm

Nice homage to downwell!

Great and fun to play game! You nailed using only two buttons!

Bensonance says ...
Dec 23, 2015 @ 5:26pm

Awesome game!

The controls are superb, the graphics spectacular, and the music excellent and the fan-service on point.

Congrats on an awesome gamd!

Ithildin says ...
Dec 23, 2015 @ 5:33pm

Nice take on the theme and Downwell, you gave it a clever twist :)

Controls, audio and graphics are very polished as well, so here goes a perfect five for one of the best compo entries this LD34.

Amazing job!

scorched says ...
Dec 23, 2015 @ 5:52pm

Nice job! The only complaint - I thought at first that I died by wall collision (several times), got it right only when died in the open area!

Herzucco says ...
Dec 23, 2015 @ 7:07pm

Good, look like a lot like downwell

fermenter says ...
Dec 24, 2015 @ 4:37am

Lovely work! Loving the inspiration, as Downwell is my favorite game at the moment.

SaintHeiser says ...
Dec 25, 2015 @ 6:04am

Good game! Very solid implementation and gameplay! Game is pretty simple and i'm getting borded after five minutes of plauing and 90x combo. It needs various things to add =)

jdoughty says ...
Dec 26, 2015 @ 5:13am

Liked this game alot. My one concern is that the sound for collecting the red dots made me think i had been 'hit' when in fact its the life force in the game. Didn't take me long to correct that notion though, and I had fun with the simple mechanic!

Jezzamon says ...
Dec 26, 2015 @ 9:02pm

Nice clone

;)

Dec 27, 2015 @ 1:24am

Great job! Well done at RVA representing ;)

NightShadow0 says ...
Dec 29, 2015 @ 1:24am

Oh i like this, it's far more strategic than it seems at first glance, you have to let yourself float down and control your rotations to get the pickups at the right angles. Once i figured that out i got up to 450m, but it did start to get a little monotonous after a while.
Love the aesthetic, too. Great work!

EwChap says ...
Dec 29, 2015 @ 4:50am

Awesome take on Downwell style with a totally different gameplay mechanic.

Dege says ...
Dec 29, 2015 @ 6:46pm

Loved the (super) reduced palette pixel art. It is fun, I enjoyed it. Maybe you can release a mobile version, looks perfect for casual gaming. Nice usage of theme.

CrownCity says ...
Jan 1, 2016 @ 9:40pm

Your game is nice, I even felt like a squid playing this. It's very polished and it all fits well together

Jan 1, 2016 @ 11:41pm

Quite nice and addcitive game. It took me a while to figure out that I can rotate by holding left or right button. The sound feedback from collecting hearts was a bit confusing at first - I thought that I've got damaged, not healed.

ChuiGum says ...
Jan 2, 2016 @ 11:18pm

Loved the graphics, and music. Just a great addicting (could see mobile) game! c:

radmars says ...
Jan 4, 2016 @ 12:18am

First p*ng & n*dhogg, now d*wnwell? Tsk tsk :P

Seriously though, this game is really fun, though I found it a little bit unintuitive at first to be honest - the snacks exploding seems like it should be a bad thing. Once I got it though, I was hooked. Playing on keyboard, the controls bugged out a bit at times, like I would get stuck pointing to the right and only after hitting right again would left work. Awesome style btw, the graphics and audio are great. My high score was 1311 (82 combo). Nice work!

Jan 4, 2016 @ 7:09pm

You were featured on Ludum Dare to Believe! Check it out! - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aHct4hxdQmI

rxi says ...
Jan 4, 2016 @ 11:33pm

The best squid-based entry I've played so far.

jward says ...
Jan 5, 2016 @ 8:29pm

Great game! It has a nice balance between "it's hard" and "one more time and I'll do better!"

Jan 17, 2016 @ 6:33pm

Really cute game! I included it in my Ludum Dare 34 compilation video series, if you’d like to check it out :) https://youtu.be/xIPr3jDQjJ0

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