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

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Thunder On

by Lia-Sae - Jam Entry

WARNING: This game includes one occurrence of bright flashing light. Epileptic people, take care.


You are a lightning bolt.
You must touch the ground.
Press left and right to choose your path.

Descending costs energy.
Avoid the clouds, they drain you.
If you run out, try a new path.
A bolt needs branches after all.


Thunder On is a Jam entry for Ludum Dare #34. You are a ball of thunder picking a path through the clouds, hoping to find the ground. You lose energy as you go, and if you run out you need to find a different path. The previous one is indicated, so you can learn from your mistakes.
Guaranteed 100% Art Free(TM), but includes two mesh generators, simplex noise and binary trees.

Made in Unity Personal Edition
Made solo in 48h, but with Creative Commons sounds. Hence, a Jam game!


EDIT 18/12: Postmortem now available!

Downloads and Links




Roffe says ...
Dec 15, 2015 @ 9:37pm

It was quite hard to understand if the white things were clouds or just background. Very simple game but still nice :)

Move127 says ...
Dec 15, 2015 @ 11:08pm

It was kind of hard to tell what was going on. I didn't realize that I was moving down each time I pressed an arrow. Otherwise, it is an interesting little game, with good visuals and audio.

globemaster says ...
Dec 15, 2015 @ 11:11pm

Cool concept. It was hard to understand what I was doing even after reading the instructions but it was cool seeing the lightning bolt I made at the end! Nice job!

zenmumbler says ...
Dec 15, 2015 @ 11:12pm

This is almost more an art installation than a game, but it's intriguing and with the sounds feels good too. Original idea, I like the multiple branches etc. Well done.

hyperscope says ...
Dec 15, 2015 @ 11:18pm

It wasn't until my 4th play through that I had any idea about what was going on only due to Roffe's comment. Other than that nice simple jam esque idea!

zzapp says ...
Dec 15, 2015 @ 11:22pm

Creative use of the theme.
Overall it was quite simple, but making it to the ground and watching the lighting strike is satisfying.

BubuIIC says ...
Dec 15, 2015 @ 11:44pm

Very creative game! At first you are a bit confused, and finally, you get you reward. Is there a way to not reach the ground?

Lia-Sae says ...
Dec 16, 2015 @ 2:17am

Thanks all for the feedback! Yep, massive usability problems in here. I overlooked that it wouldn't be obvious that the camera is looking down and that you are moving. Traditional dev myopia! Maybe a trail would help? And I couldn't come up with a UI-free way to indicate altitude.
@BubuIIC: Yes, there is, but due to poor tweaking and randomness it seems pretty rare. Try to run into every pink cloud on the way down! :)

Lullaby says ...
Dec 16, 2015 @ 11:10pm

Hard to understand but at the end very nice, maybe needs a bit more feedbacks but interesting!

PowerSpark says ...
Dec 16, 2015 @ 11:11pm

I had no clue I was descending, try to make that more obvious. A trail would be great!

Leaghorn says ...
Dec 17, 2015 @ 12:10am

oh man, it took me a while to realize what am I doing. The instructions should be more precise.

Dec 17, 2015 @ 10:17am

Love this idea! Very artsy :)

would love to see more games like this which are more about "play" than "achievement"

Rialgar says ...
Dec 17, 2015 @ 9:33pm

Very nice, also I recorded myself playing it, editing and uploading now, will keep you posted once it's online.

I really liked the satisfying flash and thunder at the end, but I did not realize the camera was pointing down until I read the comments. Maybe show little lights like from a city near the ground. No need for actual lanterns, just the lightbulbs, small and hard to see at first, getting larger and more bright the lower you get. Maybe organized in lines as if along a road or two. These could also serve to tell the player how high they still are.

Rialgar says ...
Dec 17, 2015 @ 10:01pm

Video online now:

Lia-Sae says ...
Dec 18, 2015 @ 12:36pm

City lights were what I was thinking, yep (to keep the night feeling). Plus maybe some atmospheric layering.
I hadn't thought of going back up part of the way, that is a very very interesting idea.
The left/right controls are very limited, yes: my old-ish initial idea for this concept was more freeform. Restraining it to the two buttons is what gave me the idea for the binary tree-based implementation and made prototyping possible! We'll see what I do with it later on.
Indicating the path as you're tracing it wasn't possible with the dead-down camera angle I picked (it'd look glitchy with the near plane). But now that I think about it, maybe a slightly tilted angle would contribute to a better feel and allow for that trail behind you.
All in all excellent feedback once again, lots of good ideas, lots of things I could do :)

TeamDromedare says ...
Dec 18, 2015 @ 3:07pm

I like the idea, but I agree, it was hard to understand if the white was clouds or just background. It's too easy, and the animation tween between choosing and moving needs to be longer because it takes too much time; it gets annoying pretty fast.

I do like the idea though. Nice and simple, but no real challenge really.

adsilcott says ...
Dec 18, 2015 @ 5:46pm

What a cool concept! The first time I played I won, so the next time I tried to lose on purpose so I could try to make a branching pattern, which was actually cooler.

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