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

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by KayZ - Compo Entry

You are one of many. You are a Dark Matter Creature, a Damacreat. One of the lowest life forms existing in the vast space of Dark Matter. You have just evolved your first pair of thrusters. Once you learn how to navigate, you will have a better chance at surviving in the hostile environment that is Dark Matter.

It's eat or be eaten. Survive! Grow! Dominate!

Or so it should be. Luckily for you, God only had two days to create the Damacreats. And you are the first and only prototype with a digestive system. So it's just eat! Eat! EAT!

Two Button Controls
* To turn right, fire your left thruster with F or left mouse button
* To turn left, Fire your right thruster with J or right mouse button
* To move forward, Fire both thrusters at the same time
* If that's too hard, turn your mouse or keyboard by 180°

Downloads and Links




gkxd says ...
Dec 14, 2015 @ 5:19am

There's a bit too much text on the first screen. It's not immediately obvious what the objective of the game is, especially if a player is impatient and skips the wall of text. Highlighting keywords would help a lot.

The controls are really interesting, but I think it could've used a bit more tuning. It's really hard to stop turning once you start.

The art style is nice. I liked the particle effects that shoot out from the ship.

markusfisch says ...
Dec 15, 2015 @ 10:56pm

I turned the mouse, the keyboard and the laptop but it's still too hard for me :) But I think the controls are quite interesting! So simple yet challenging. Good idea.

Vladik_Plays says ...
Dec 16, 2015 @ 6:09pm

I really liked the game I spent like 15 minutes playing it. The controlls were a bit hard at first but then I didn't use them because my damacreat just bacame big and I didn't press anything. A few minutes later, it filled the whole screen. It was great. I enjoyed it alot :D

Dec 18, 2015 @ 2:50pm

I love the particle effects, and the graphics overall. Simple, yet stylish and effective. As a concept, it also lends itself well to a gamejam, so it feels kina polished.

On the other hand I found the controls a little too wonky. Maybe a slower rotation might have helped to give a higher sense of control. Right now it felt like the games difficulty came from the frustrating navigation, rather than from a challenging task. Nevertheles, one eventually turns big and eats everything :D

I could picture myself playing this quite a lot if some chill ambient music was playing in the background. Good job!

denycetm says ...
Dec 18, 2015 @ 3:46pm

I think the difficulty curve should be inverted a little as the game got easier and easier as I got larger. Perhaps some way to cash in my size for other options. I liked the look of it though.

chabuduo says ...
Dec 18, 2015 @ 4:13pm

Wow i found this quite brilliant.
It will be more of a "game" if there was some things that you shouldnt eat. (i might have just missed them, never mind in that case ><)
otherwise i grow initially abit and then il just keep growing without any effort required.
Awesome stuff!

monetai says ...
Dec 18, 2015 @ 6:16pm

i could not find a single creature on that game. I spend a few minutes playing with gravity (that works well) then i dropped it

adsilcott says ...
Dec 18, 2015 @ 6:30pm

It was tricky to control at first, but it was fun to grow until I was the size of the screen and could eat anything.

YinYin says ...
Dec 18, 2015 @ 7:13pm

Could've used a camera zoom out as you grow and a goal to reach. Once you are larger than the majority of other objects you can simply set a moderate course and let it fill the screen all by itself.

Xanjos says ...
Dec 18, 2015 @ 10:40pm

It's kinda hard to work out where it is you supposed to go to but I like the control scheme a lot (although it takes a while to master - I always seem to keep spinning all the time).

Tuism says ...
Dec 19, 2015 @ 12:29am

Text text text.

Then the game itself didn't give you much visual cue to get anywhere. Initially I just spun in place without knowing what to do or where to go. Then after I figured out the controls (which were very strange, why map them to buttons so far apart?) (And they were definitely the wrong way around. Asking people to flip their keyboards... Why didn't you just make a second set of keys that was inverted? Wouldn't be hard).

Everything was so slow, I think things needed to be faster.

The inertia was too strong - it was basically super hard to get the ball to go where you want it to go. And when you get there, you overshoot and realise you have to try and stop on it for a while.

I didn't get to eat anything, I tried a few times, then got really frustrated and left it.

loxo says ...
Dec 19, 2015 @ 8:52am

Nice game concept. It takes some time to figure out how to really control your creature. With short bursts you can passably control it and it gets a lot easier when the creature fills the whole screen :) I would like to see some indicators in which direction you have to go to find more dark matter, because especially in the beginning it's a bit hard to find back if you have problems with the controls. And then it would be nice to have the instructions included in the gameplay, maybe with a little story. Some ambient music would have been great.

KayZ says ...
Dec 19, 2015 @ 9:22am

@gkxd: I changed how the controls are displayed in the post compo version, should be more visible now

@Tuism: the buttons are the base buttons for the 10 finger system, so you can control both thrusters with your index fingers in a way you naturally use your keyboard. If you used only one hand, I can understand your problems. Maybe I'll add AD and/or cursor controls or configurable keys in the post compo. I'm sorry that it was a frustrating experience for you. It should have been a chill and soothing experience. Once you grow really big, fill the screen and spin a bit it's kind of hypnotizing.

@YinYin: Actually I had planned for a zoom out and it'll happen in the post compo.

@everyone who had problems with the controls: I'll add the option to invert the controls in the post compo version. I'll also add an easy mode with the option to enable some kind of friction, making it easier to stop rotating

@everyone who would like some chill ambient background music: something like that will be added in the post compo version

@everyone: Thanks for the feedback, much appreciated and I'll see what else I can add to the post compo version.

aplomb says ...
Dec 19, 2015 @ 9:10pm

Neat atmosphere. Beautiful particle effects. I left the game going for hours and became the size of the universe!

PlasmaErnst says ...
Dec 22, 2015 @ 12:27pm

Ui! It was fun to move around with all the particles sprotzlin around, but had difficulties to control the Damacreat precisely.

Budi says ...
Dec 22, 2015 @ 2:30pm

The controls are interesting but really HARD.

tantumgames says ...
Dec 22, 2015 @ 3:55pm

Nice game, sticks, picking up points. good job.

Dec 22, 2015 @ 9:24pm

lol I love your description :P and the game was fun... your post compo is definitely an improvement but it still isn't very challenging :) very nice mechanic though.

StaNov says ...
Dec 23, 2015 @ 11:27pm

I grew all over my screen, did I win? :) Nice graphics and physics, little too hard to control though. But still, nice job :)

batmanasb says ...
Dec 29, 2015 @ 11:00pm

The creatures dissolving in your belly was a nice touch! However there doesn't seem to be any challenge besides getting used to the controls. After eating a few creatures be basically become an unstoppable cloud flying through space dissolving everything in its path!

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