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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Neo Oxygene

by Jwatt - Jam Entry


Grow a plant to farm resources on the left screen, and use them on the right screen for some two-button action.

-When you cut branches, a bunch of resource balls matching the branches' color fall out.
-The pink squares are containers for your resources. Hover over balls and they get sucked into the containers to be used as currency.
-Don't let the brown resources run out, because you'll need them to cut branches. (If you do get stuck, press R to reset.)
-"Engage" brings you into the right screen. Playing costs yellow and gray resources.

Downloads and Links




HacksawUnit says ...
Dec 15, 2015 @ 2:49am

Hard to understand at first glance, but once you comprehend it, the game is pretty fun! Liked the concept of having to earn power to do basic "game" things like movement and shooting.

ChainedLupine says ...
Dec 15, 2015 @ 2:50am

Neat idea, though it took me a while to figure out what was going on.

But the catchy little ditty playing in the background kept me there until I figured out how to play!

pvtroswold says ...
Dec 15, 2015 @ 3:02am

Wow this is really an intricately designed creation! Really digging the grooves and the artstyle. Good job! Btw I got a score of 2628 :)

Dec 15, 2015 @ 3:34am

Pretty fun once I got the hang of it. I like the art style and color scheme a lot.

SkullPixel says ...
Dec 15, 2015 @ 3:38am

I will say, I had no clue what I was doing. Maybe a bit more of instructions would be nice. But I'll come back to it tomorrow, and maybe then I'll figure it out. :)

LordKawaii says ...
Dec 15, 2015 @ 3:48am

Great mood, fun to play, pretty clever and definitely like the dual game thing, it's fun to work out :)

Nega Drive says ...
Dec 15, 2015 @ 4:01am

Doesn't explain itself very well and is quite confusing, but is interesting when you get the hang of it. The idea of one game fuelling another game is pretty clever. Neat graphical style as well.

ianh says ...
Dec 15, 2015 @ 9:13am

I liked the graphical style and the music. It was frustrating to run out of the brown resource: it doesn't seem like there's any way to recover once that happens. Great work though!

Jwatt says ...
Dec 15, 2015 @ 2:26pm

Yeah, it's intentionally hard to recover from losing all your browns. It's essentially the lose condition if you want to find one in this game/toy.

In edge cases, the plant can chop off some of its small branches to produce more browns. But if you get stuck, just press R to reset.

ashdnazg says ...
Dec 15, 2015 @ 6:02pm

The game makes a pretty interesting economy and the growing is really cool.
I can't say I'm very fond of the visual style, but the audio is definitely a favourite.

Jwatt says ...
Dec 15, 2015 @ 6:07pm

I only regret the font, which is one of my Flashfunk library's defaults, because I couldn't get the fittingly futuristic ones to work properly. Otherwise it looks basically just like it did in my head.

RhythmLynx says ...
Dec 15, 2015 @ 9:44pm

I don't understand what's happening :(
Could you put instructions in the description?

pjimmy says ...
Dec 15, 2015 @ 10:50pm

nice game, love the sound and aesthetics, but it takes some time to understand the game mechanics. very cool concept, well done :)

Drury says ...
Dec 16, 2015 @ 1:42am

At first it was confusing but then the game said "rekt" and that's when I realized I'm actually just playing TF2.

kaype says ...
Dec 16, 2015 @ 8:07am

Very nice Jwatt! I've been hyping this up in irc for a bit >_>

Very creative concept and the music is jammin' like seriously god damn i can't stop tapping my foot right now

maunovaha says ...
Dec 16, 2015 @ 7:00pm

Nice game, but for me it took a while before I understood how to play it. Lack of introductions and graphics were the problem.. e.g. what is a container? :D.. then I started to click everywhere and suddenly noticed that I was out of containers.. then I realized. But yea, game fits the theme - both of them, so nothing to complain really. good job :)

Crosstales says ...
Dec 16, 2015 @ 9:59pm

It took me quite a while to understand, but then it was pretty cool! The soundtrack is catchy too ;-)
As many users mentioned: a "tutorial" or some instructions would be very useful.
Anyway, well done!

Jwatt says ...
Dec 18, 2015 @ 12:22am

Added some tips in the description based on feedback.

If there's some specific things that you don't get, I'd appreciate some pointers on how to communicate them in-game.

Tijn says ...
Dec 18, 2015 @ 9:13pm

I think the pointers in your description really help to understand what's going on, because it can be a bit abstract at first. Once you figure out how it all works it's a pretty cool game though. Some kind of warning before doing something that will make you run out of brown resources would be nice though, because I kept getting stuck that way, haha.

After several runs my highscore was 1847. Please tell me that doesn't completely suck.

Also... why no rating on audio? The tune is pretty awesome! Some sound effects would have finished it off though.

Graphics are awesome, I like the palette :)

All in all a pretty cool game!

Jwatt says ...
Dec 18, 2015 @ 9:17pm

Tijn: I'd disabled the Audio rating for honesty's sake, because the track wasn't made entirely during LD. I simply picked up an unfinished track from my magical drawer and worked it into a listenable form.

I did have another dubby song brewing for this game in particular, but now it's become one for my magical drawer of unfinished songs.

FrederickK says ...
Dec 19, 2015 @ 12:43am

I took a looooooonggg time to finally get it how to play.
Visually, looks great, simple but efficient.
The game play, I think the idea is great but could be better refined. I think the most annoying thing is to not have resource to do anything, having to wait your doom or reload the page.
But I know of the time restrains, and you already made TWO games in one! Which is an amazing feat by itself.
In other words, good job, if you make more work on it, it would be even better! :)

euske says ...
Dec 19, 2015 @ 8:38am

I didn't know how to beat the white square. The game gets a bit tedious to me, but the mechanics is one of the most innovative.

Jwatt says ...
Dec 19, 2015 @ 10:31am

You don't beat the white square. It's only there to FUCK YOUR SHIT UP.

(It reflects back bullets, essentially disabling shooting on the same line and protecting the other enemies.)

Although I realized its effect lingers around for a bit too long after it's gone off-screen. Might cause some "WTF I died" moments, but oh well.

Zanzlanz says ...
Dec 19, 2015 @ 5:40pm

Very unique game ideas and mechanics! I wonder if you could have implemented "growing" in the engage part of the game - it would be cool to have some sort of context as to what the game on the right is. Love the style, great work!

Andrew Deem says ...
Dec 20, 2015 @ 2:47am

Nice game, but very confusing at the start which can be unnecessarily frustrating. Still, good use of the theme, nice graphics, good music, interesting gameplay.

I think it'd be cool if the two sections (left and right) were connected somehow. Story-wise or something. I dunno...

Jwatt says ...
Dec 20, 2015 @ 11:45am

Well my headcanon is that the right area happens inside the branches, but in the end I wasn't able to add anything in the actual game to convey that.

Would be mechanically interesting if there was a sort of feedback loop between the two screens, as in good scores in the right one would allow you to progress on the left. Think of that as a possible post-jam scope.

randomhuman says ...
Dec 20, 2015 @ 8:04pm

Cool game, very unique, and it's got a great visual style and compelling gameplay.

GFM says ...
Dec 21, 2015 @ 1:09pm

This game is quite challenging, but the tips were of great help to understand it. After a few playthroughs, I was able to try and play for sometime without running out of brown resources (instead of not having the slightest idea of what I was doing).

The most difficult part of the game, for now, is detecting the "root" of a branch. Without knowing it, it's pretty tough to clear a branch and save the containers... But I can see how that is actually part of the game.

Well done! :)

Acerio says ...
Dec 22, 2015 @ 5:11am

Some neat graphics, great retro feel to it as well. A little confusing at first, but is easy to figure it out once you see things *rolling*.

Ulydev says ...
Dec 22, 2015 @ 10:55am

Took a while to understand the mechanics, but after that the game is really fun! It very much reminded me of Tamagotchi games!

Mantlair says ...
Dec 22, 2015 @ 2:12pm

Too complex for me. I think purple was too important. For containers and cutting at the same time. I could fully play second part because it always ran out. Maybe I suck at the game I dont know. But yeah idea is cool. Music and animations have some kind of rhythm. Well done!

Jwatt says ...
Dec 22, 2015 @ 6:45pm

There's the observation I was bracing for, about that one color being too important. I agree, and adding a fourth dedicated resource would perhaps save people from getting stuck so easily. I did impose a four-color palette limitation on the game, so adding any more would be tricky (and probably unnecessary because I could just charge several types for some hypothetical super swag).

g12345 says ...
Dec 22, 2015 @ 11:10pm

I'm not sure what to say here. It's very confusing.

Cutting is never clear which part will explode. If you can only build one kind of building then why do you need a submenu?

In your screenshot you're also building them everywhere, while it's probably much easier to build them all in the bottom left corner.

The >>>>> line at the bottom is confusing because somehow if the balls dont go exactly there they will stay at the same screen and not go to the next screen.

You can also very easily run out of red blocks. In the end I've build a 6x6 container at the bottom left, run out of red blocks, and then use the rest to do the right screen for a couple of games.

And by that time I reached the right screen, my brain was so confused I'm not very well into an unpredictable zx mini game.

But the left part is fun. And the right part is very funny.

Aurel Bílý says ...
Dec 25, 2015 @ 7:56pm

Not bad, took a second to understand the concept (should be explained in-game), then I was somewhat disappointed that playing in the 'Engage' screen seems to be just for the high score?

Nanocryk says ...
Dec 26, 2015 @ 10:26am

Wow ... Graphics are awesome, gameplay is very good, the growing mecanic is very well done ... Awesome game

Geti says ...
Dec 26, 2015 @ 11:48am

Enjoyable if moderately easy to stumble upon a game over condition. Having the whole left side predicated on one resource which is unable to be generated without any of said resource is a bit tricky ;) nice music and gfx though and the plants grew into interesting shapes. Enjoyed your write up as well.

Jezzamon says ...
Dec 28, 2015 @ 12:33am

I like the music a lot! I got a score of 7112.

I think the main thing this game lacked was a win condition or some type of goal.

mockthebear says ...
Dec 28, 2015 @ 2:12am

Wello, you put one theme at each side of screen... innovation 5/5 XD

danbolt says ...
Dec 28, 2015 @ 4:03am

I got confused, enlightened, confused, then satisfied, then confused again. I love the aesthetic and colours none the less! I felt like I wasn't 100% how to gain resources, so I got a bit stuck playing with my plant, haha.

How did you decide the tones for your four-colour palette? They do a good job of being distinct and enable the player to tell different things apart. I feel like when I look at colourized Super Game Boy games, the developers attempt to do smart things like that, but can often fail. This is a great example!

If you were to expand on this concept, I'd love to see it implemented on Nintendo DS homebrew. Or the two-screen mechanics are a cool idea for these sorts of controls.

Jwatt says ...
Dec 28, 2015 @ 4:59pm

It started with just the yellow and brown, which I think were hue shifts of something slightly less absurd. The write and intermediary gray were easy additions, and the magenta just... happens to be there as the fifth wheel.

I love making crazy palettes, they give each game a distinct character of their own. Four colors is particularly fun to work with.

Nintendo DS homebrew would be crazy, but if I did ever work on that, this would be the first concept to remake.

Jace239 says ...
Dec 29, 2015 @ 7:36am

Thanks for leaving a rating and commenting on my game! I included your game in an episode of my Let's Play Ludum Dare 34 series to show my gratitude! :D

Below is a link to the post with details, and you can find out my opinion of your game in the video as I play!

torcado194 says ...
Dec 31, 2015 @ 7:11am

interesting concept! I was confused for a while, and im still not sure if i understand the game fully, at least not the right side of it. but i love the art style!

qkerguelen says ...
Dec 31, 2015 @ 1:17pm

Hey I made some good score. It was really cool! I liked the fact that the game is seperated in two smaller games. Very clever! And the music and visuals are great. You did a great job!

Steven Miller says ...
Dec 31, 2015 @ 10:55pm


dregamr says ...
Jan 2, 2016 @ 12:37pm

Strange.. but awesome! XD
great job!

drludos says ...
Jan 3, 2016 @ 12:31am

Woaw, strange but entertaining entry, I love it! It took me a while to understand how to play (your description here was useful, thx!), but once you understand it, it's great fun. The music is excellent, and I like how you have to "earn" power to play the action game on the right. Eventually, I ran out of brown and my container got destroyed by the tree that I could no longer "cut", but I used my stock to the bone on the mini action game. My High score was 3287 :)

Great entry, congrats!

Jan 4, 2016 @ 6:40pm

At first I was like, what the heck is happening but that's what I loved about this game because it took a while to figure out, a while to get a good, and another while playing because you was hooked.

The graphics and music were so simple but extremely effective. It was a lovely game! Fantastic job!

Jwatt says ...
Jan 4, 2016 @ 7:45pm

A delightful reaction.

klianc09 says ...
Jan 4, 2016 @ 8:51pm

Really hard, I always run out of the main resource. The idea of one game fueling another is neat, but the righthand game is rather bland... the plant growing is where the action is at. Maybe if you would also gain some bonuses for the left game, by playing the right game it would be a greater incentive than the highscore counter.
And it's surprising how well this color scheme works.

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