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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DNA Polymerase

by bering - Compo Entry

This is my entry for the compo. You control the 2 white DNA Polymerase enzymes on screen. Your job is to complete the DNA sequence shown in the bottom of the screen. A goes with T, C goes with G.

Press the left button (A, CTRL, Fire1) to pluck the nucleobase picked by the enzyme on the left, or the right button (D, ALT, Fire2) to pluck the nucleobase picked by the enzyme on the right.

It was made with Unity 5.3 and Monodevelop, the Nucleobase models with blender and the sounds with Audacity. Thanks to the authors of the quite extensive Wikipedia pages on DNA for wasting an hour reading :-)

Known bugs:
* Half the Nucleobase letters have their rotation wrong
* Score is kinda meaningless, it should punish you more when you make mutations
* Score is missing sounds for good and bad move. The code is there and ready for it though.
* Starting the Standalone player in fullscreen messes everything up. Although you can start in windowed mode and alt-enter to switch to fullscreen.
* There's no way to get out of the GameOver screen (You'll have to ALT-F4 in Windows or refresh the page in your browser)
* The Game Over screen is pretty arbitrary. It shows up when the left Enzyme runs out of nucleobases to pluck (they only look at their half of the screen). I found out that it was throwing an exception 4min before the deadline so I hid it behind a Game Over screen :-)
* I also didn't have time to make a decent randomizing algorithm that would make sure that there is always a good nucleobase to pluck. It's totally random right now and yeah, it sucks :-(

* I didn't know I had to remove debugging files even if I didn't check "Development Build" so the Windows zip was 40 mb. It's now a more reasonable 10 mb.
* I rebuilt the Windows version to not start in fullscreen by default

I fixed most bugs and made a more playable version. This is what I wanted to do when I started:
* WebGL:
* Windows:
* MacOSX:
* Linux:
* Sources:

Ported to Android!
* Android:
* Sources:

Thank you for trying the game and leaving comments, it's much appreciated!

Downloads and Links




Dec 14, 2015 @ 2:40pm

Nice concept :)

MorganLeFay says ...
Dec 14, 2015 @ 2:47pm

I like your idea in general. Could also be used at school. But I find it frustrating that the right tile sometimes is nowhere in sight an therefore can't be used. Also I don't understand the GameOver. Why is it happening? It's not because I picked the wrong nucleobase...

ac7 says ...
Dec 15, 2015 @ 2:23am

Very cool concept and especially nice graphics, but the game is pretty much unplayable. Some of the time there's no available correct nucleobase, and the GameOver screen seems arbitrary as well.

Alarmed Dino says ...
Dec 16, 2015 @ 5:29am

Could i compile the source into an android version with some minor tweaking? i would like to show this to my bio teacher :p

rjhelms says ...
Dec 16, 2015 @ 5:53am

I never would have thought to use both themes in this way, it's a nice take on it.I saw this game from your post-mortem, and my critique of this game would pretty much cover the points you've already raised.

Sounds like you learned a hell of a lot - great job getting something in for the compo on your first go-around. I had to do 3 jam entries before I figured out what I was doing well enough to get something done in 48 hours.

blohod says ...
Dec 16, 2015 @ 6:11am

nice concept, very easy if you have the right enzymes, as you just look for the same letter on the top row.

bering says ...
Dec 16, 2015 @ 12:28pm

@Alarmed Dino Hell yeah :-) There are no left and right buttons on Android though so you'll have to change the InputController on the EventManager object and make the enzymes "tappable". I used UnityEvents so it should be very easy. I'll try to do just that when I get back from work tonight!

bering says ...
Dec 16, 2015 @ 12:29pm

Thanks a lot for your feedback guys!

pjimmy says ...
Dec 17, 2015 @ 10:37am

cool concept, nice job

karlipoppins says ...
Dec 18, 2015 @ 8:06am

Very cool concept with some very fun gameplay potential. I died a couple of times because there was no possible match, but with some nice music, a timer that reduces the amount of time you can pick the "right" enzyme amongst 2 as you go, this can make for a very cool entry. Nice job

Dec 19, 2015 @ 12:20am

Interesting idea. Makes me want to learn more about DNA to know what I'm doing.

Anti says ...
Jan 1, 2016 @ 11:36pm

I liked the concept but it could use a little polish. Very nice game overall though.

Jan 1, 2016 @ 11:40pm

I thought DNA was CA or TG, this is very odd - not sure its a full game right now. Also not sure why you only put yourself forward for 3 categories.

Wumbo says ...
Jan 1, 2016 @ 11:45pm

Cool game; I like the idea. Sounds like it was inspired by chemistry class? I thought the game was pretty fun, but I think it would be a lot better if it was more of a challenge. Now, there isn't really anything wrong with walking away from your computer and coming back in an hour or so. Maybe if you had like 3 seconds to pick the next one and you lost a life if you pressed the wrong one or waited too long it would be more challenging. Also, the bug where you are never sure that there will be a right answer is kinda game-breaking...

Tselmek says ...
Jan 2, 2016 @ 1:15am

Fun concept. I couldn't always undertand the loosing conditions and the enzymes sometimes were out of the camera's field.

Geckoo1337 says ...
Jan 2, 2016 @ 5:46am

Funny. Well done ++

davekalina says ...
Jan 4, 2016 @ 2:02am

Interesting idea but I'm not sure it's working properly. Would potentially make for an interesting puzzle game if sequencing the DNA required the player to look ahead in order to plan; instead, the player is just reacting to the current situation and picking the correct choice out of two available.

danbolt says ...
Jan 4, 2016 @ 5:01am

Haha, that was super cool! I've seen a few "use the DNA to grow the thing" type of games on this compo, but a puzzle-matching game is super neat.

I found the gameplay a bit complicated, but once I figured it out I had fun. Thanks for uploading!

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