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

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by timtipgames - Compo Entry

Commander Left Right

* You can maximize the window if you like, the game will scale accordingly
* The online highscore is optional. You will be prompted for a username in the beginning. If you leave the field empty, no data will be sent. The highscores of other players will still be fetched though.
* I hope it's not too difficult. I am very well trained now ;)

When I added android support and tested on an older device, I realized that some things weren't calculated independently of the FPS. That was not only a disadvantage on lower end machines but also unplayable under certain circumstances. I changed those and only those calculations to take the time delta into account. Everything else stayed the same as in the initially submitted version.


I uploaded an Android version, let me know how it works! highscores are shared between platforms.

Make sure to have a semi recent java version. If you have problems on windows try this version with a working java runtime included:

Input notes
Key "R" resets a level
Key "A" left Thruster
Key "L" right Thruster
Key "ESC" return to menu

Programming: libgdx, artemis-odb, intellij, universal tween engine, box2d
Graphics: Inkscape
Maps: Tiled
Sounds: Recordings with Reaper, my Korg SP-250 E-Piano, editing and synths also mostly in Reaper

Downloads and Links




yumaikas says ...
Dec 14, 2015 @ 7:57am

Good game, L-R arrow keys would be nice to have.

adamyounis says ...
Dec 14, 2015 @ 8:05am

Really fun! I enjoyed this one so much I made sure I beat every top score on the chart (4.88 for level one, come at me!) I thought the premise was a bit silly (why stars?), but the mechanics were really solid. Seriously I'd play a more fleshed out version of this, definitely.

Evannex says ...
Dec 14, 2015 @ 8:49am

I really like this!

rosden shadow says ...
Dec 14, 2015 @ 9:13am

good job

Akhera says ...
Dec 14, 2015 @ 9:20am

Love the concept! And the execution is great as well. I feel that damage is a bit inconsistent, though - sometimes small bumps take much more health than larger bumps.

ccglp says ...
Dec 14, 2015 @ 9:33am

Is a hell of a game! It's very hard, I promise to play more later, is good!

dvdking says ...
Dec 14, 2015 @ 9:38am

really awesome, worth beating every level

Dianouille says ...
Dec 14, 2015 @ 9:44am

Really good game. I had a lot of fun playing it ! Maybe a little too difficult. Really, really good job !

peterthehe says ...
Dec 14, 2015 @ 5:10pm

This would make an amazing mobile game. Nice work!

ajopart says ...
Dec 14, 2015 @ 5:11pm

Ho God I suck at this game. But its nice !!!

Tutti Ankka says ...
Dec 14, 2015 @ 5:27pm

Amazing game, played all the levels and had a lot of fun!

DesignerNap says ...
Dec 14, 2015 @ 5:57pm

A fellow "Commander" game! Nice work! Tricky in a fun way. Enjoyed this a lot. Great intro too!

FrozenCow says ...
Dec 14, 2015 @ 6:01pm

Nice controls. Feels good to fly around. I was stuck on one level (couldn't make it), but I wished there was a more open level where you could do tricks and stuff with the controls. Still though good game.

Deity says ...
Dec 14, 2015 @ 6:30pm

Fun game! Unexpectedly difficult but I managed to get through a handful of levels. Nice work

Dec 14, 2015 @ 6:36pm

nice game dude.

pcmaster says ...
Dec 14, 2015 @ 6:43pm

Pretty difficult, good job! I'm sure I'll play more of this :)

elliottd says ...
Dec 14, 2015 @ 6:55pm

really nice entry, It would have been friendly to put "A" and "L" on the first level. there was a period where i didn't know what i would control on the screen and thought i was affecting the spin of the first star (which is a nice little animation by the way). I also found that dragging a wing does a seemingly unfair amount of damage compared to a bump

Luke says ...
Dec 14, 2015 @ 7:09pm

Ragequit; this game is super hard and fun.

A333 says ...
Dec 14, 2015 @ 7:17pm

Got through it, beat some records.
Once you've managed to wire up your reflexes and learn how to fly downwards, this game starts to be even more fun. Overall a very nice game. It would be nice to see it expanded properly.

VascoF says ...
Dec 14, 2015 @ 7:29pm

Awesome, had a great time trying to beat the high scores. Great use of the theme.

A333 says ...
Dec 14, 2015 @ 7:36pm

VascoF, sorry dude, it seems that I've beat some of yours. Better start over.

Aaants says ...
Dec 14, 2015 @ 9:31pm

Really smooth and well polished. Control of the ship is tight and the scoreboards make it even more interesting.

Dec 14, 2015 @ 10:45pm

Darnit, man, you're taking all of my stars! Fun gameplay, plus the fact that I really want a high score, with clean graphics and perfect audio, I can't really complain about anything except the fact that you only have 6 levels!

ianh says ...
Dec 15, 2015 @ 10:43am

I love the control scheme. It seemed "flipped" at first (press right to turn left?) but I got used to it quickly!

RadStar says ...
Dec 15, 2015 @ 10:50am

Really nice game, you really feels in controls of the ship.
Nicely polished, no bug and leaderboard, good job!

Leaghorn says ...
Dec 15, 2015 @ 11:02am

Fun and addictive but hard as hell.

And why A+L? Arrows would work mych better (or A+D). And the controls shoud be inverted. That way flies tye way we press the key. I couldnt finish 1st level, but when I rotated keyboard 180 it got much easier

bloomingbuds says ...
Dec 15, 2015 @ 12:41pm

freaking funny, really simple to learn, bloody hard to master. I could spend hpurs with this game, congrats!

Namek says ...
Dec 15, 2015 @ 8:28pm

Actually, controls somehow felt reversed for me but overall nice done. I like a lot whole audio stuff.

Jelinib says ...
Dec 15, 2015 @ 11:52pm

Love the super clean style. The music also makes me feel alone in space--awesome job! I went through all the levels.

I have no idea how VascoF does it so well. I suspect they're a robot that does everything optimally with perfect precision. Insane! :P

I really have nothing to complain about. It takes some practice, but what doesn't? The controls feel pretty solid, and the levels are all challenging in their own ways. Really well done!

lastninja2 says ...
Dec 16, 2015 @ 9:15am

I really liked the controls and the theme presentation.

Modoc73 says ...
Dec 16, 2015 @ 10:22am

Good job. Nice art, and cool idea. Tricky controls but good.

banana4life says ...
Dec 16, 2015 @ 10:30am


Dec 16, 2015 @ 10:44am

Nice classic, well done for the jam, fits the theme well.

Ionut(Tyrants.not.found team)

Erlend Aakre says ...
Dec 16, 2015 @ 10:51am

Great game! sweet controls, nice levels. Does the 'P' key show debug info only?

Dec 16, 2015 @ 11:01am

Very challenging but in all the right ways. Felt mechanically satisfying and had a difficulty curve that felt a little steep but was enjoyable. I liked it a lot! Great work.

krashja says ...
Dec 16, 2015 @ 11:04am

Cool game! i like it!

DrZanuff says ...
Dec 16, 2015 @ 11:18am

Looks like you got a nice game. Presentation is good. I really liked the narrator voice, funny! The problem for me is the Landing, very frustrating. If you could make an auto Landing, when the ship gets near the Landing zone the ship automatically corrects the angle and position.

Warboys says ...
Dec 16, 2015 @ 11:29am

Tons of fun! I like how complete it all feels. Great polish, smooth controls, fun level designs. Love the score submission too, it's amazing how much it makes you want to optimize your play and retry each level.

Two thumbs up!

NidzaKornjaca says ...
Dec 16, 2015 @ 12:19pm

Really good game, too bad I'm terrible at it :D

yhsper says ...
Dec 16, 2015 @ 1:17pm

Very nice! Loved the controls (even if I'm not best at them!), the graphics are cool (the explosion of the ship is spot on). Highly skill based and very rewarding! Congrats!

Bemmu says ...
Dec 16, 2015 @ 1:54pm

Amazing, the most addicting LD entry so far. Just kept playing and playing to try to beat the high scores. Reminder to self: high score tables are important!

Dec 16, 2015 @ 2:00pm

I really liked this game. I had a similar idea for mine but then I droped it!

Tuism says ...
Dec 16, 2015 @ 2:37pm

I enjoyed the setup :) Kittens and such :)

One big gripe was that I felt the controls were not only inverted, that you put them so far apart means I had to do it with two hands. If they were closer together I could choose two hands or one.

I had to flip my keyboard upside down to feel like I knew what I was doing.

My game this time BOOST was also based around this kind of mechanic, I think I got my controls quite intuitive, if you'd like to check it out.

Would have liked a little bit of grace in difficulty by giving the ship a little bounce when it touches a wall, instead of just taking all my life because I'm touching it constantly in half a second!

Good solid entry :)

timtipgames says ...
Dec 16, 2015 @ 3:06pm

Thank you all for your comments and kind words. I am really happy that you are enjoying the game as much as I do :)

Regarding the controls:
They are the way they are for a reason. I was trying to create more of a "simulation" feeling than an arcade game. While those are a lot of fun (and yours is great btw @Tuism) I wanted to create a sense of controlling the individual thrusters and not of controlling the ship directly - if that explanation makes sense to you :) I do understand that some people would decide differently, but it was a conscious decision.

I also played around with "one hand controlls" like A+D or arrow-keys, but I found that it creates a completely different feeling that I did not want. The same happened when I inverted the controls - although the impact wasn't as drastically.

If I create a follow up, I may consider to at least allow to invert the keys, but I am not sure yet. I am pretty sure that I won't change to one-hand control, even though I am always open for arguments as to why I should do it despite my reasons that I just listed.

Concerning the damage, @Akhera is right it feels pretty inconsistent even though technically it isn't. In a follow up I'd change it to be more based on impact speed and may also take @Tuism's idea into consideration to add a little "bump" effect when scratching along walls.

Thank you all so much for your thorough reviews and comments, I am reading all of them and find every single one very important. If you are interested in a possible post compo version, make sure to follow me on twitter: @TimTipGames :)

@Candyjapan @VascoF @A333 you guys are freaking robots - I have a hard time beating your scores and I have basically been playing this game for half the weekend :D
@Erlend Aakre yes :)

Dec 16, 2015 @ 3:58pm

Nice game mate i really like the controls :D

Riftpoint says ...
Dec 16, 2015 @ 4:25pm

Cool game, really fun to play. It was a little difficult tough

YinYin says ...
Dec 16, 2015 @ 5:41pm

Can't say it's innovative or humorous, but 5 stars in every other category.

I'd love to see more levels, perhaps even a larger cave adventure with less blocky/arcade style progression.

DevDad says ...
Dec 16, 2015 @ 6:51pm

Great game , good job :D

Dec 16, 2015 @ 6:56pm

(Android version) Awesome game! Super polished, both the graphics and the sound design. It 'feels' really good on mobile, definitely keeping this game to kill some spare hours on the train :)

Tapehead says ...
Dec 16, 2015 @ 7:13pm

it's a hard game, with cool very and challenging gameplay! very well done!

rnlf says ...
Dec 17, 2015 @ 9:22am

Seriously cool game! Reminds me a lot of Crazy Gravity, just in HARD.

Took me a million tries to finish level 6 (I always failed at the steep ascent in the end or hit the edge on the corner to the landing zone).

The interaction of the particles with the level was nice and looks cool.

The android version kept forgetting my online name, so I guess I played a few times without it registering on the highscore, but tbh it wouldn't have made a difference with everybody always being three or four times as fast as I was :)

With some extra polish, this could be great mobile game, even outside the scope of LD.

publicidadeba says ...
Dec 17, 2015 @ 1:27pm

Fun as hell! Apple store is waiting for you!

pjimmy says ...
Dec 17, 2015 @ 2:26pm

cool game, very creative, fun and challenging, well done

Remicy says ...
Dec 17, 2015 @ 5:43pm

Best game of LD34.

VascoF says ...
Dec 20, 2015 @ 3:17am

@A333 You dare challenge me??!?!! I've just beaten all the high scores. Please don't make me do it again :P

@timtipgames Great game once again, it's the only LD34 game I went back to again (so far) :)

Dec 20, 2015 @ 3:24am

Pretty hard, but quite fun. Good stuff.

dvdfu says ...
Dec 29, 2015 @ 5:39pm

Great entry, it's very difficult at first but very rewarding to master. Good take on the 2-button theme, as well!

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