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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S.E.N.T.I.N.E.L.

by rnlf - Compo Entry

NEW: Web version added! If you can't run it, please try the Windows or LÖVE version! I made it with Motor2d, which is an experimental LÖVE clone for the web (http://github.com/rnlf/motor). Especially if you don't get any background music or very slow display, please play and rate one of the standalone versions!

UPDATE: Thanks to to ashdnazg for helping me find a problem in my shader that broke the web version on some windows browsers!


S.E.N.T.I.N.E.L. is the operating system and artificial intelligence built into humankind's strongest weapon against the ever growing slime population.

Can the growth of the slime be stopped? Find out!


***** Bugfix 1.01/Dec. 14: Slimes should be easier to hit now when they are really close to the player.
***** Bugfix 1.02/Dec. 14: Sometimes the games crashed when killing enemies which are very close to walls.

You can get the original versions by changing the version number in the URL to 1.00 or 1.01!

Downloads and Links


Ratings

Coolness62%
#19Mood4.19
#20Graphics4.45
#79Audio3.74
#129Overall3.75
#167Fun3.62
#269Humor2.84
#483Innovation3.15
#921Theme2.64

Comments

amras0000 says ...
Dec 14, 2015 @ 1:07am

First off, the graphics are impressive as all hell. Great job on those.
The terminal on the side is a very nice touch as well.

The combat itself is nice and tense, since you're always able to outrun/outmaneuver the enemy, but have to get in vulnerable positions to fire.

Or rather, the combat would be nice, if the cannon shots registered consistently. There's a deadzone directly around the SENTINEL in which you can't hit the enemies, and that deadzone is exactly where the spawners aim for. I could see that being by design, but half the time even when I move away I can't hit the bastards.
Most of my damage was due to shots that visually appear to hit not registering.

Get that fixed and this would be a great game.

Dec 14, 2015 @ 3:03am

Great game! Very fun to play, reminds me of a Walker for Star Wars. Only problem i see is its hard to aim at times.
But other then that great game, and great job!

sydan says ...
Dec 14, 2015 @ 3:18am

Loved the terminal and the graphics was nice, but it was hard to hit the slimes. Found myself shuffling a lot and getting hit without doing any damage back...

Tijn says ...
Dec 14, 2015 @ 1:12pm

I can't believe how pretty this game looks. And to think it has been made with LÖVE in 2D, amazing!

I also really dig the terminal next to the game. I love those messages running along, and it's a great way to tell the story without getting in the way too much.

I played the updated version and ran into very little trouble. It works quite well! The audio is also nice. The simple musical drone is fine for the atmosphere of this game and the sound effects are quite good. I just wish there were some cool metallic robot sounds to really finish it off, haha.

The plot twist in the end is also a very nice touch and works to give the game a feeling of closure.

Very well done, especially in the ridiculously small timeframe of just 48 hours. I wouldn't mind playing a longer version of this game!

Akhera says ...
Dec 14, 2015 @ 4:48pm

Nice graphics and audio. The game plays well, although, as was mentioned, the hit detection isn't perfect. Loved the terminal. I could see the plot twist from mile away, but I still liked it.

rxi says ...
Dec 14, 2015 @ 7:33pm

Following the old Ludum Dare tradition, the game unfortunately didn't run for me. In fact it manages to bring down LOVE itself with the following being printed to the console on exit:

intel_do_flush_locked failed: Input/output error
AL lib: ReleaseALC: 1 device not closed

Additionally LOVE would continue to quit with this error on *any* project (including the no-project screen -- though only the first line is shown) afterwards until I rebooted -- I ran it again to confirm that it was the game that was causing this. Very strange.

A real shame as the entry looks wonderful! Hopefully I'll find some means of getting to try it out.

smealum says ...
Dec 15, 2015 @ 2:19am

fun twist !
aiming is kinda hard sometimes.

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

Fun game!!

The graphics are A W E S O M E

Dec 15, 2015 @ 4:27am

** MINOR SPOILERS INCLUDED **

A bit tricky with the limited aiming capabilities, although it wasn't a huge problem. Pretty light on content.

Beyond that, really nice graphics style. Very 90s, but I mean it in a good way. Great background drone, basic but moody and functional. Good sounds. Startup screen/output terminal was awesome.

I liked the twist with the visual system. I'd have liked to see a new game plus mode where you.. see things more clearly. Overall very nice!

drnick says ...
Dec 15, 2015 @ 6:11am

I was thinking "this game is not very rnlf-y" but then that ending!

Very good graphics indeed, am happy that your recent work on depth-buffer stuff paid off.

Expected some more gameplay though.

We shall talk on IRC about the noisy lighting.

WetDesertRock says ...
Dec 15, 2015 @ 6:20am

You kept trying to sell yourself short on IRC. Good thing I knew you were lying.

**SPOILERS**
The background sound was actually quite effective. Although drones are used everywhere in LD games, I'm a big fan of the minimalistic backing track. An idea that may (or may not) spark your fancy is the use of a texture rather than a drone. While the drone sounds nice and I enjoy it, perhaps using something clicky or more mechanical. I know I'm not explaining myself well. Instead of trying to think of it like music, think of it as an ambient aural accompaniment. Players will frequently forget about the music anyways while playing a game, so you can really replace it with anything acoustically pleasing that makes sense with the theme of the game. For an example or two of things like this, look at my LD game Fluidity, and rxi's Fragment.

Again, I did like the drone and I think it was a good choice, but other accompaniments are possible as well as relatively unused in the LD world.

Initially I thought the footsteps of your massive robot were underwhelming. However, thinking about it after playing the game, they make sense. You have to think of the footsteps as being heard from inside the cockpit. I still think the footstep could've been modified to be more effective, but I also think you could've added more sounds to put the listener into the spot inside of the robot rather than outside.

I liked how your slimes were portrayed, and I liked what they represented, however I don't know if it makes sense with the story itself. The fact that they are just representations of whats in the playing field could be portrayed a bit better. Such as overlaying them with a grid, keep the slime but show the quads/tri (triangles make more sense, quads look better) that go into the slime shape would help enhance the effect that you are looking through the computer's eyes.

Another small thing would be to make the robot's on and off position different. Maybe droop its head or have it sit like a chicken when it is booting up. It would be a nice detail, but also indicate to the player that they can't control the robot. In fact, at the end of the story I stopped controlling before I went to the next area (joke, there wasn't a next area) and didn't realize that I actually lost control until I was idly pressing buttons.

In the end, your terminal was really well done, it felt real and not faked, it gave a nice bookend approach to the story telling, and it added background information that couldn't be easily shown. Your graphics may of been hacky in the backend, but came across great in the front end. Seeing things through walls was well done, as well as the general white-wall dirtyish style.

I think you did a great job!

Verrazano says ...
Dec 15, 2015 @ 6:24am

I like the game and I got all the way through it, the only issues I had with it were aiming, which seemed really clunky. Otherwise I liked the little terminal it was funny and the combat was pretty alright.

ashdnazg says ...
Dec 15, 2015 @ 8:57am

While I had some difficulties hitting the slimes at first, I figured how to position myself to make my shots count fast enough so that was OK.

The shooting sound is very satisfying for some reason, mixes well with the background music too :)

The terminal was incredible!

**SPOILERS**
The moody track kinda betrays the surprise in the end, it's obvious from the start that it's not exactly a happy-shooty kind of game.

Komradus says ...
Dec 15, 2015 @ 12:35pm

Beautiful graphics. Responsive controls. And a solid story. Really enjoyed this game, hope you do well.

Meta-link says ...
Dec 15, 2015 @ 6:36pm

Good game !
Maybe a little slow for me, but the gaphics are really amazing, good job !

PTSnoop says ...
Dec 15, 2015 @ 7:51pm

I get the feeling I'm going to have to delve into the source code here, just to get my head around how you managed to make Love2D act like *that*. Good game!

nopogo says ...
Dec 15, 2015 @ 8:30pm

Love the aesthetics of this game. The walking animation, the slime animation. But really the terminal intro is what sets the mood perfectly.

kaype says ...
Dec 15, 2015 @ 9:28pm

Very fun! This graphics style is really impressive, no idea how you managed to pull that off in only 48 hours.

The gameplay reminds me a lot of stuff like this from Super Mario Sunshine: http://i.imgur.com/9VWVEzl.jpg

This is really well polished, great work. The directions did take a while to figure out though.

Here's some gameplay footage I took (720p60fps):
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ytL2hH3DR88

Robber says ...
Dec 17, 2015 @ 12:23am

great entry, very satisfying sound and amazing visuals. i think some mouse aiming would be nice, now the challange lies mainly in manouvering the sentinal. with mouse game the slimey enemy's could be more aggressive and it would have more action..love the twist..excellent job

nosfer says ...
Dec 18, 2015 @ 3:19pm

great! fun to play and too damn short! :) I was expecting that kind of ending :)

SkullPixel says ...
Dec 18, 2015 @ 4:44pm

I think we have one of the top 100 in at least one category right here. ;) I agree with everyone else, the terminal was GREAT.

DustyStylus says ...
Dec 18, 2015 @ 4:54pm

Aside from some collision issues, a very clean and aesthetically pleasing game! Had some instances where I was on the same line but didn't seem to register hits (when 2 slimers were together) but other than that no major issues.

vortex says ...
Dec 18, 2015 @ 5:40pm

I get an error when I try to start the web version:
lust/statemanager.lua:54: attempt to index field'?' (a nil value)

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

Web version works now. Great job.

Tapehead says ...
Dec 20, 2015 @ 12:20pm

cool game! well done!

MicroMacro says ...
Dec 20, 2015 @ 6:41pm

Awesome entry!

And thanks for the web version of my game!

GagaPete says ...
Dec 20, 2015 @ 6:59pm

Love that "Terminal Feeling" of the hud. Graphics are awesome sounds are nice. Pretty hard game.

Geti says ...
Dec 23, 2015 @ 3:57am

Interesting ending. Ran kinda slow for me, and the aiming was pretty annoying, but the tech seemed reasonably impressive.

Efuvex says ...
Dec 29, 2015 @ 8:31am

In 48 hours, that is stunning. The story line was amazing, and really really well written

ReactorScram says ...
Dec 29, 2015 @ 11:48pm

Not gonna rate this one on humor. But it's good.

gallerdude says ...
Dec 30, 2015 @ 12:08am

Oh my goodness this game is beautiful.

The boot up sequence is awesome. The soundtrack is menacing and ambient. The gameplay is fun and deliberate. The mood is amazing, I'll bet this takes top 20 for mood.

Tyler says ...
Dec 30, 2015 @ 12:49am

Theme didn't fit very well, but everything else was stellar!! Great graphics, gameplay, and limited (and funny) story. Thumbs up for this entry!!!

PowerSpark says ...
Dec 30, 2015 @ 3:03am

Amazing graphics and nice twist at the end.

Geckoo1337 says ...
Dec 30, 2015 @ 5:21am

Impressive work. A good project. The ennemies remind me some creatures in an old game called Alien Syndrome. It could be better if the robot moves faster. Great ++

nucleartide says ...
Dec 30, 2015 @ 6:38am

Woah, amazing graphics! Lining enemies up with one of the robot's eight directions is challenging.

hexagore says ...
Jan 2, 2016 @ 3:41pm

This has a really distinct look, very slick animations. Gameplay felt a little slow paced for me, but I did manage to get through it all which is always a bonus.

The log at the side really helped with the atmosphere, for me.

freaknarf says ...
Jan 4, 2016 @ 7:24pm

Great game !
It was a bit easy but it allowed a fluid storytelling using the console, until the awesome ending.
Visuals were really nice, and controls pleasant,such as sfx and atmospheric track.
Also thanks for the amazing timelapse !

VDZ says ...
Jan 4, 2016 @ 8:02pm

Great graphics and really fitting audio.

The gameplay, however, felt slow-paced, too easy and especially lacking in variety. It was just positioning yourself right and repeatedly pressing the attack button until everything is dead, with only a slight difficult ramp as you progress through the game. It just didn't feel very interesting.

I agree that the terminal was extremely well-executed. The plot (or, pretty much, the twist, as there's not much to the plot beyond that), however, was extremely predictable (I saw it coming when I first saw the boot-up failures at game start); the twist is too obvious and overdone, as well as lacking in any impact (even if I didn't see it coming, I'd have probably just thought 'oh, so that's what I've been doing'). This is not helped by the disconnect between the mech vs slimes gameplay and the 'real' situation; the enemies behave nothing like they should (plot-wise), you die if you do not kill them, and you are a mech (read: murder machine).

emmes says ...
Jan 4, 2016 @ 10:23pm

The Web version works pretty well - didn't notice any glitches. Firefox on Win7/64.
All in all this is an awesome game. Superb graphics with see-through effects, great sound, and I really really love the BIOS sequences and the black humor!

One of the best games of this year's LD! I'm glad I finally tested it...

dollarone says ...
Jan 5, 2016 @ 12:51am

Very good! Dig the terminal, the story, the buildup, and there's even an ending! Great stuff. Awesome graphics and gameplay - I always wanted to be an AT-ST :) Challenging but not impossible, and a lot of fun. Great!

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