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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Growing Sakura

by ripatti - Compo Entry

Growing Sakura

A puzzle game about... Growing Sakura.
You have a hexagonal field and a few sakura buds on it.
Clicking on the buds you make sakura branches to grow.
The branches grow according to specefic rules,
that sometimes makes the game is very difficult.
The goal is to cover all hexes of the field.

To play run "bin/GS.exe" (for Windows)
and either "bin/GS-x86" or "bin/GS-x86_64" (for Linux)

If it don't want to run on Windows - try to install
OpenAL and VCRedist2008 from "_CommonRedist" folder.

On Linux you may need to install OpenAL and libMPG123.

Your progress will be saved automatically in the "save.txt" file.
Sorry, it saves only which levels were solved, not solutions.

HOW TO PLAY
(the best is to click the HELP button in the game)

You have a hexagonal field and a few buds on it.
Click on the root bud makes 3 branches.
Click on the branch bud by the left mouse button makes "Y" fork.
Click on the branch bud by the right mouse button makes "I" fork.
Branches don't grow if the corresponding hex is already occupied.
Hint: clicking the buds in the right order is very important.
The goal is to cover all the hexes.

There are 40 levels. Some of them are really HARD.
Also I'm not sure about quality of the last levels.
I had not so many time to carefully check them.

Hey folks, what do you think about big remake of this game for PC and mobile?
Please write your thoughts in the comments.

Enjoy!

Updates:
Dec 19 2015. Built the game additionally for Linux and uploaded it onto Itch.io

Downloads and Links


Ratings

Coolness55%
#4Theme4.63
#5Innovation4.37
#10Overall4.30
#22Fun4.05
#72Mood3.81
#114Audio3.59
#157Graphics3.83

Comments

Jeroenimoo0 says ...
Dec 14, 2015 @ 3:32am

They were hard from the start dang, but it felt good once you solved them. Fun game!

mortus says ...
Dec 14, 2015 @ 9:47am

At first I thought it's a trivially simple game, but once you realize how hard and unpredictable it can become, it turns out to be a clever and unique puzzle. Great one!

Skaz says ...
Dec 14, 2015 @ 3:03pm

Really hard! It's a very interesting game, I struggled to get to the level 4... simple yet efficient mechanics!

Niphram says ...
Dec 14, 2015 @ 4:15pm

Great! Just played through the first 5 levels, and after im done rating a few other games i'm definitly going to continue

Cyranh says ...
Dec 14, 2015 @ 6:06pm

Wow. Amazing game. Looks great, plays great. Just so refreshing to see a good new puzzle concept.

Dec 14, 2015 @ 6:09pm

Really fun and challenging puzzler. Surprisingly hard given the controls. Will definitely play more!

Chewie says ...
Dec 14, 2015 @ 6:20pm

Was hard to understand at the beginning the rules of the puzzle. Other than that it's good puzzle game to solve.

Robin says ...
Dec 14, 2015 @ 7:06pm

Very original concept, and very hard too! The game play smooth and I love the combination of the two themes integrated into one game.

nihilaleph says ...
Dec 15, 2015 @ 1:09am

Pro:
+ Very interesting and original concept
+ Cool art and sound
+ Hard to solve
+ Simple and elegant
Con:
- A bit hard to understand at the begging, but didn't take long to get it
Obs:
o Loved the puzzles!

Awesome work!

commodoreKid says ...
Dec 15, 2015 @ 10:54am

I'm not a fan of puzzle games so I quit it on 5th level but I won't criticize it with my personal choices because the game looks beautiful. I like the fact that I could undo anytime and how the flowers blossomed when I win. Puzzle mechanics are in place I guess. You nailed it I'd say. Why not a mobile game from this?

ripatti says ...
Dec 15, 2015 @ 6:36pm

2commodoreKid: Yep, I'm thinking about remake of this game for PC and mobile too.

Starspell says ...
Dec 16, 2015 @ 4:22am

I'm not sure that I fully took in the instructions and the concepts. However the levels a was able to beat was very fun. I like the look and the sound of the game as well. Great stuff.

Akhera says ...
Dec 16, 2015 @ 8:57am

I love puzzle games like this. Unique, easy to learn, but very challenging in later levels. Great use of both themes.

Si1ver says ...
Dec 16, 2015 @ 9:58am

Nice puzzle game!
Your game is awesome as always =) LoA is still my favourite though.

StMatn says ...
Dec 18, 2015 @ 12:14am

Awesome game! One of my favorites :)
The gfx look nice, especialy the win-animation. The sounds are fitting and have some kind of "eastern"/japanese sound :)
It was a nice experience to play the game!

orion_black says ...
Dec 18, 2015 @ 2:34am

It took me some time to get used to the controls, but once I did I really enjoyed your game.

Did you used some mathematical property of hexes to design your levels or just kind of threw them out and checked if they where solvable. I'm asking because I did this thing where I would look for a side and encircle as much as possible(maybe branching in once or twice), then either repeat or work it from the inside to the outside and finally fill whatever remained(here's an example http://imgur.com/0rFyrzH). At the same time there were other levels that I simply couldn't crack that way and took me more tinkering.

I'm not sure if there's an underlaying principle, it's a good heuristic or it was just coincidence(plus some perception bias from my part hehe).

At any rate, a remake sounds like a good idea.

Evannex says ...
Dec 18, 2015 @ 6:31am

Bonus points for being about cherry blossoms!

Seriously though great game, great puzzles, great graphics, great everything ^_^ I really enjoyed this. And I've added it to my play later folder so I can try to beat all the levels.

ripatti says ...
Dec 18, 2015 @ 7:38am

2orion_black: For the most puzzles I just tried to solve random configurations by C++ solver written for this game. And then for solvable ones further developed it to finish state making small changes and handled the level by hand.

I think levels may be more complex and cannot be solved by simple strategy. But the current levels do not illustrate all possible variety because they were made in just one day.

dx0ne says ...
Dec 18, 2015 @ 1:51pm

Perfect execution of the theme. Hard but enjoyable. Great work!

dx0ne says ...
Dec 18, 2015 @ 1:52pm

Btw. you should put in on itch.io.

Ittai Manero says ...
Dec 18, 2015 @ 9:06pm

I like the simple graphics and the general mood on this one! The music is pretty cool too, I think it fits very nicely. Well done!

Zeriver says ...
Dec 18, 2015 @ 9:09pm

Yeah it's definitely a game that i could see on mobile devices. It's pretty fun to play and different from typical logic games. Gameplay is entertaining and difficulty curve is just right.

Donar says ...
Dec 18, 2015 @ 9:22pm

I like puzzle games and I'm usually not that bad in them but this one is bloody hard. I really like this one, awesome job!

I didn't always get how the thing will split. An indicator would've been great but well, we all know that the time was fairly limited.

mockthebear says ...
Dec 18, 2015 @ 9:25pm

Best game so far

daveh says ...
Dec 18, 2015 @ 9:38pm

Nice puzzle game. Simple, intuitive logic but it gets hard pretty fast. Great job.

kernel panic says ...
Dec 18, 2015 @ 9:39pm

This is a great puzzle game! I love it!

Janacek says ...
Dec 18, 2015 @ 10:05pm

GReat game, I lov eit !

Dokthar says ...
Dec 18, 2015 @ 11:13pm

Very good.

Zanzlanz says ...
Dec 18, 2015 @ 11:19pm

Fantastic puzzle!! I definitely think you should make a polished version of this - I can see people really enjoying it on mobile and PC. I'm amazed that you have 40 levels!

jnharton says ...
Dec 19, 2015 @ 12:30am

Looks very good and is fun to play, if only for a short while. It can become mildly frustrating if you get backed into a corner a lot. Got through the first 3 relatively easily. A simple mechanic done well, and that's not super easy.

Dec 19, 2015 @ 12:44am

I couldn't get the game to work. I'm running Windows 10 and ran Bin/GS.exe. The game loaded, but the only button that worked was the Level 1 link! Clicking the filled hexagon didn't do anything (left and right click), and neither did clicking the help.

I don't see anyone else here commenting with a problem so maybe I did something wrong :( It's too bad, because I wanted to play! It looks like a unique puzzle game.

Also, the Logs/Console don't seem to display any errors...

logon13 says ...
Dec 19, 2015 @ 4:35am

Wow so many levels it must have been really hard to design all of them in such a small amount of time

Steven Miller says ...
Dec 19, 2015 @ 6:08am

Absolutely amazing! So much content and extremely fun!

Dec 19, 2015 @ 6:10am

This game is very cool. It is also incredibly difficult. It took me a long time to do the fourth level.

ripatti says ...
Dec 19, 2015 @ 8:29am

2BoxedMeatRevolution It's possible that the game works with fps much less than 60 on Win10. The game detects clicks checking mouse button state on two consecutive frames; for low fps you may make the click between frames and the game won't detect it. Try to press mouse buttons slowly (hold and release it with some delay).

From my side I'll try to fix the problem if I find an access to a Win10 machine.

spotco says ...
Dec 19, 2015 @ 9:13am

Wish there was more visual feedback on "why" a certain branch couldn't be done. Nice music.

n8m8 says ...
Dec 19, 2015 @ 4:34pm

Good, difficult, smart game.

amras0000 says ...
Dec 19, 2015 @ 7:55pm

Very well done. The game's difficult from the start, and, unlike what I'd expect from abstracted mechanics, actually feels a bit like I'm growing a plant.

The game's definitely difficult from the start, and might benefit from a slightly gentler curve up front (first 4-6 levels) - something simple to introduce the mechanics and mode of thinking you'd need for the rest of the game. The first level is good for this, but it might've been good to keep a tutorialish feel going until level 4.

That said, the save feature does allow the player to put the game down for a while and pick it back up with a fresh mind, which is excellent for this genre.

As far as I've played it, the game seems well designed and certainly feels very smooth to play.

Nega Drive says ...
Dec 20, 2015 @ 5:13pm

Cool puzzle mechanics, seems simple enough but becomes deceptive challenging. Nice presentation too!

ianh says ...
Dec 21, 2015 @ 10:36am

Really elegant puzzle mechanic. I'd love to have this on my phone!

reheated says ...
Dec 21, 2015 @ 12:17pm

I'm only about half way through, but I'd better vote now in case I don't finish it before the voting period runs out! It's really wonderful. Clever rules and excellent puzzle design. Some nice hard puzzles. It's impressive how many levels you designed. (I understand you used a solver to speed up the level design - it's a clever way to make lots of content in a short amount of time.) Very nice presentation too. A most enjoyable and memorable game, well done.

Ithildin says ...
Dec 21, 2015 @ 11:59pm

Awesome idea, it's very challenging and execution has an overall relaxing vibe with the sakura setting.

Well done!

n8m8 says ...
Dec 22, 2015 @ 2:10pm

Thanks for your game!
This game was tough but fair. I really enjoyed it!
I played your game along with several others from this jam and 'reviewed' them here: https://n8r8.wordpress.com/2015/12/22/n8-r8s-8-ludum-dare-34-part-1/

Skywilly says ...
Dec 22, 2015 @ 5:30pm

A great puzzle-game, congratulations !

LukeZaz says ...
Dec 24, 2015 @ 3:29am

Surprisingly fun game. Still can't believe you made 40 levels - excellent work! Only issue I had was that the controls were slightly annoying when trying to go down a path.

NuSan says ...
Jan 4, 2016 @ 10:10am

I love hexagonal grid and puzzle game, so this is great ! I don't see yet how to solve hard levels, but I will come back to this. Keep up the good work

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