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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by pkenney - Compo Entry

Psycho Tennis! Update coming, follow @pkenneydev to be notified.

Fast-paced and addictive - play an insane variant of tennis against some maniacal musical bricks.

You'll need your reflexes and your wits for this one; I hope you find it fun!

PATCH UPDATE NOTES (12/16/2015):

Gameplay and content is exactly the same as original compo build, but I fixed a few obscure bugs and upgraded to Unity 5.3 to make a WebGL build, which introduced a few physics bugs I had to work around. The patched version should still be good for voting, but if you prefer the pre-patch version it's totally viable and I have included that link as well.

The patch has the following changes:

- Fixed rare but gamebreaking bug where ball gets stuck between two blue bricks; ball now re-hits bricks during prolonged overlap
- Fixed bug where ball contact sound could be interrupted by ball bounce sound on short-hops; added second AudioSrc to ball
- Added twitter handle to title screen; @pkenneydev

- Unity 5.3 upgrade:
- Upgraded Unity to 5.3 to get WebGL sound distortion fix
- 5.3 physics issue where racket mostly wiffed; added rigidbody to racket
- 5.3 physics issue with occasional dud impacts; replaced ball tween with enlarged overlay

Downloads and Links




EwChap says ...
Dec 14, 2015 @ 5:00am

Love the game-play on this one. Jumping and smashing the ball at just the right second to save your last block is a really great feeling. Love the sound and overall feel of the game. Great Work!

fishbrain says ...
Dec 14, 2015 @ 7:52am

This is awesome! Just good clean fun with nice arcade feel. Probably my favourite game so far :)

ranseur says ...
Dec 14, 2015 @ 4:45pm

Very cool game! Loved the graphics and audio.

ripatti says ...
Dec 14, 2015 @ 4:47pm

Excellent! Actually it's just an horizontal arkanoid with jumps. But implementing of it is a masterpiece. I love the sounds. Great work!

gene-z says ...
Dec 14, 2015 @ 5:11pm

Very Nice concept

tiffi says ...
Dec 14, 2015 @ 5:15pm

This was really awesome. It looks perfectly polished. Great Game.

Dec 14, 2015 @ 5:16pm

Such a cool game! Really don't want to stop. Well done

Dec 14, 2015 @ 5:30pm

Wooow! What a great combination of Pong, Arkanoid and Tennis. Fitting visuals and solid gameplay. I loved the fact that the sound effects could be thought as building a soundtrack, since they are harmonically related. And the bouncing sound of the ball felt like the kick drum.

Loved it!

Dec 14, 2015 @ 6:35pm

I love the punch of the controls. Though I didn't feel *in* control exactly, just trying to return the ball. This is a nice game though.

pinion says ...
Dec 14, 2015 @ 6:48pm

Good fun, I could feel myself getting better at it. Jumping just right and hitting the ball felt good!

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

Really cool! I very much enjoyed this game, got up to level 10 before stopping. But I'll be playing it again later.

MicroMacro says ...
Dec 14, 2015 @ 8:23pm

This is one of the best entries I've seen so far. I love the concept; simple, yet addicting and fun! It's like if Pong and Atari breakout had a baby, and it's fantastic.

Fabulous job!

refreshgames says ...
Dec 14, 2015 @ 9:33pm

Very cool game. the styling throughout all matches up and each level is just around the perfect amount of time for it, this game is remaining on my desktop to play again for other days, if you plan on updating it in the future, let me know :)

Dec 14, 2015 @ 11:59pm

This is my favorite game so far. I have nothing in-game to critique. It was simple and well executed and very fun. I do wish I had some kind of chargeable power smash or something to give it a little umph.

rjhelms says ...
Dec 15, 2015 @ 2:28am

Good fun. Controls work really well once you get used to them, and I especially love the way the sound builds up as things get crazy.

Dec 15, 2015 @ 2:46am

This is one of my top plays so far. Love the sound effects. They are perfect. Great arcade fun. Simple use of the two buttons. Just works. Great entry.

adaFish says ...
Dec 15, 2015 @ 5:38am

Solid, simple, & addictive. Sounds great and controls feel really nice. Seconding the suggestion for a power smash, as there were moments when that would have been really cool. This is definitely one of my favorites.

aplomb says ...
Dec 15, 2015 @ 8:01am

Awesome! I love the psychedelic graphics and sound. I felt like I was mashing buttons on an old arcade machine. I'm glad it lets you retry levels because I don't think I'm very good at it.

Justin Mullin says ...
Dec 16, 2015 @ 3:16am

Super tight controls and mechanics. The jumps become natural really quickly. I don't think I really got to the point of mastery (reached round 12 or 13 I think), but I really enjoyed the twist and the execution was spot on. As with every Breakout variant, landing that perfect hit to sneak behind a big row of bricks is quite the feeling. I appreciate how the "four strikes" mechanic lets the game go nuts with speed without becoming too punishing immediately or breaking the action to reload a ball. Also: the sounds when you clear a combo of bricks are awesome and super satisfying. I remember really enjoying TURN it UP in LD31 too - I'll have to check out your other stuff. =) Very nicely done!

xslipher says ...
Dec 16, 2015 @ 4:32am

This had a really cool look and was pretty fun to play. I like how the you have to guard your 'health'.

Good job :)

pokipsy says ...
Dec 16, 2015 @ 9:17am

Awesome game, so simple and addictive !
The mix of brick breaker and tennis game works very well.
I reached match 15 but then the ball got stuck between unbreakable bricks.
A nice feature to add could be the ability to do a super smash holding E (player would be frozen in air while charging the smash), which would do more damage on bricks.
Also I'd like to thank you for your usefull feedback on my game (Pandora), I totally agree with you on the fact that controls could be smoothed out. I will rework on that when I'll have time, taking your suggestions in consideration :)
Again, congrats for this very solid entry !

TheWzzard says ...
Dec 16, 2015 @ 9:21pm

One of my favorites so far.

Darkflint says ...
Dec 16, 2015 @ 10:03pm

Just perfect, nothing more to say.

fluidvolt says ...
Dec 17, 2015 @ 1:17am

Super fun! Love the aesthetics and the simple bleep sfx. I needed a reset button once: for some reason the ball lost all inertia and lay limp on the ground. I dunno how that happened. Either way, this feels really good to play. Good job!

pkenney says ...
Dec 17, 2015 @ 6:58am

Thanks so much for the kind words everyone, I'm really excited people are enjoying it.

@pokipsy I have uploaded a small patch that fixes the bug you experienced with the ball getting stuck, thanks for reporting it!

@fluidvolt the ball will slowly die when you are in the "you lose" state, and you have to press space to get a rematch. The game lets you still whack the ball around in that mode for kicks though, so sometimes it's easy to forget you're in that mode... is it possible this is what happened to you or do you think I have a bug? I have not been able to get the ball dying outside of that state but it's a bug I'd love to fix if you did.

Trasevol_Dog says ...
Dec 17, 2015 @ 10:28pm

This is a very smart take on good ol' Pong! Gotta love it! Maybe it would have been interesting to have a set of hand-designed levels and after that you unlock the procedural mode or something? But yea, nice and solid entry!

Dmitrix says ...
Dec 19, 2015 @ 8:31pm

It's pretty fun.

xWarZonex says ...
Dec 19, 2015 @ 8:31pm

AWESOME ENTRY! Very fun and innovative, the audio the game well. I have nothing to complain about.

knason says ...
Dec 19, 2015 @ 9:13pm

This was really awesome. I loved the controls, I loved the 8-bit feeling in both graphics and audio. well done!

sP0CkEr2 says ...
Dec 20, 2015 @ 7:46am

wow combines tennis, arkanoid, breakout - genius - one of my favorite compo games - nice job

flwns says ...
Dec 20, 2015 @ 6:52pm

I really enjoyed this game. Especially the sounds. But also, the "freeze frame" mechanic when you hit the ball, I adds a lot of emphasis on the hits.

The only flaw I found was, when you lose your bottom red tile, and you sill have blocks to hit on the bottom of the screen, you can just do nothing and the ball will bounce on its own to clear the blocks. This is not a super big deal, but it doesn't force the fast and reactive gameplay of when you first start out a level.

Great submission though.

mukult says ...
Dec 20, 2015 @ 9:02pm

wow!! Amazing entry!! Loved it!!

Warboys says ...
Dec 20, 2015 @ 10:29pm

Thanks pkenney for your feedback on Slum Runner. I'll definitely be playing PSYCHOTENNIS as soon as I can. Away for Christmas but I'll get to it in the new year, just want to let you know :)

Modoc73 says ...
Dec 21, 2015 @ 8:49am

Great game, great idea. Awesome job. Loved it, real fun, audio suited perfectly. Loved the delay when you hit the ball. Well done!

logon13 says ...
Dec 21, 2015 @ 9:12am

Loved how unique the gameplay felt. I managed match 10

dx0ne says ...
Dec 21, 2015 @ 12:42pm

That's some clever use of theme. It's nice how you can get better in time.
Like the sounds :)

triello says ...
Dec 21, 2015 @ 1:21pm

Solid entry, man! Well done game, this work very fine and it's a funny experience. Congratulations!

Thanks for the feedback on Parallax! We'll take note of the issues listed by you to work on update to fix it and improve game experience. We're very happy that you enjoyed our project and give us a very helpful feedback!
If you want to get notified when we lanch a new package, please follow the game page on game jolt!

Thanxs a lot!

See ya!

freaknarf says ...
Dec 21, 2015 @ 1:23pm

Great arcade game ! nice trick combining old school games, visuals are simple yet feels good and physics are well mastered. I loved the feel of power when you hit the ball, and the original gameplay resulting from this game melt.
Quite addicting, i played until level 15 before ragequit...
Good work ! cheers !

Ludipe says ...
Dec 21, 2015 @ 10:06pm

Thought it was a pretty fun game, a nice take on the breakout mechanics. Art was simple, but it does the trick and suits the game.

Well done! :)

Warboys says ...
Dec 28, 2015 @ 4:34pm

This was pretty fun! It reminds me of a single player Lethal League, which is always great :) I'd have loved a little bit more control over where my ball went in relation to my strike (it felt like you could only hit the ball one way), apart from that great job!

Really like the art style too, nicely done

fullmontis says ...
Jan 2, 2016 @ 11:44am

This is a super fun game! I found it really enjoyable and fun, and I think you did a great job with the visual style too.

DavidErosa says ...
Jan 3, 2016 @ 7:02pm

This is my favorite entry so far! Such simple graphics and control, but it feels fantastic! Congrats!

Zanzlanz says ...
Jan 4, 2016 @ 5:43pm

I love how you made use of the two buttons! Really cool idea!
It SEEMS to get too fast, where you can't really hone in your skills to be precise enough. Maybe the same control scheme can be applied to a more balanced game style or goal?
And awesome work with the sounds - they were effective and pleasant!

Solifuge says ...
Jan 5, 2016 @ 1:40am

Loved the frenetic breakout-platformer action combined with the sound of various bricks chiming together in little arpeggios as they get popped by your pixelated tennis ball. Excellent design, sound, graphics, all the things!

martincohen says ...
Jan 5, 2016 @ 3:13am

Congrats man for #16, and high five for the tie! <3

Justin Mullin says ...
Jan 6, 2016 @ 1:36am

Grats on the gold. Well deserved!

pkenney says ...
Jan 8, 2016 @ 2:47pm

@fluidvolt - apologies for doubting you! I just found the bug where the ball gets dead even when you're not in the game over state.

It has to do with jumping and hitting the ball as you press space to start the new level. If you time it exactly right you can get the racket and the ball in a weird moment where the racket "bumps" the ball that is waiting for the serve as it gets placed for serve, and then the ball starts drifting around waiting to be served, until friction kills its momentum and it just hangs in the air.

I have fixed this in the post-comp version I'm working on, thanks for reporting it!

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