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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SpaceHex

by Sheepolution - Compo Entry

Create your own space station in SpaceHex

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- Controls -

Everything with mouse, left button and scrollwheel

Helpful shortcuts:
■ A and D or Left and Right for scrolling through options
■ W or Enter to confirm
■ Space to move to the center
■ If you have problems closing the game. press delete

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- How to play -

Click on a room to select it.
You can now build rooms adjacent to this room.
Scroll to select the room you want

There are 6 type of rooms:
■ Energy - Every rooms needs to be adjacent to an energy room (except the energy room itself)
■ Miner - Gathers spaimonds. You want to build this one first.
■ Shields - Defends you from enemy bullets
■ Weapons - Shoots down enemies
■ Repair - Repairs your rooms
■ Grabber - Grabs spiamonds left behind by destroyed enemies
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Try to reach all goals, and defeat the final boss!


Good luck and have fun!

Timelapse: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bEDlwJAjrbc

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Changes:
■ Changed some numbers so that it's easier and actually playable
■ Fixed bug where repair and rooms attached to repair can't die
■ Fixed bug where the boss didn't appear after reaching all goals

Downloads and Links


Ratings

#83Graphics4.10
#117Overall3.77
#145Mood3.55
#148Innovation3.73
#219Fun3.53
#278Audio3.09
#293Humor2.78
#690Theme3.45
#1888Coolness35%

Comments

Nanolotl says ...
Dec 14, 2015 @ 5:46am

Had a pretty good time with this, although I found it super difficult as I became overwhelmed by attackers before I could get enough resources to properly defend myself. (Although I might just suck) The user interface was reasonably well designed, but had a few confusing things like how the camera instantly centers on a new room when it is added and how the rooms were difficult to differentiate at a glance. However the mechanics were so interesting it made me wish a I could be better at using them. Overall a really good job.

IAmSpencer says ...
Dec 14, 2015 @ 5:52am

man this was surprisingly tough!

really nice graphics, and solid idea, very fun overall.

I will definitely be playing this a bunch more times in the future, and I really hope I see a "post-compo" version as well, great work! :)

hexagore says ...
Dec 14, 2015 @ 2:17pm

So I promised I'd sit down and really play this before rating it. Glad I did. It starts out very difficult indeed but I found that getting a repair hex as soon as possible gave me *just* enough breathing space. Upgrading the range of your shield and weapon hex is pretty critical or you get swamped completely. There's sort of a tipping point where you go from not being able to cope to suddenly you're basically indestructible and can totally win. :) getting to that point felt like a real achievement though, so that was great.

I *think* I reached the goals.. got some text popping up anyway? Well, I reached a goal for rooms, enemies defeated and spiamonds but nothing seemed to happen? :)

Thanks :)

Ybalrid says ...
Dec 14, 2015 @ 2:18pm

It's a cool concept. But the dificulty is really high! :s

Jstank says ...
Dec 14, 2015 @ 4:00pm

Three things. #1 is feedback. I need a sound or visual que that what I am doing is or is not allowing me to place a tile. So If I can't place a tile, then there needs to be a buzzer sound, and If I place a tile, then some construction (welding) sound plays, and I see the tile being constructed. The second problem is balance. Is there enough time to build up before the spaceships hit. The third thing is that I don't like how the camera centers over the newly created tile. It should move only when I want it to move because it gets very confusing. Otherwise this game could be fun if those little issues were ironed out!

Dec 15, 2015 @ 12:51am

Really, really difficult. The ships come to attack you too quickly and it's no easy task defending yourself early on.

Later once you figure out a good starting build, it's still hard to tell what's going on at any given time.

Two things which would help a lot, I think, are 1) a more zoomed out view, as you can barely see all your rooms and where the attackers are after building a bit, 2) have the camera pan to a newly selected room (or not at all), instead of instantly centering, as it's quite disorienting when all the rooms are so similar.

Besides that though, I like the idea, the graphics are great generally speaking, the sound and ambient background music is all good.

bering says ...
Dec 15, 2015 @ 1:57am

Too darn difficult :-/ Allowing us to rebuild destroyed rooms could probably help a lot. Nice graphics and music, and a very nice concept!

Tetha says ...
Dec 15, 2015 @ 9:21am

Hmm, I love the idea and where this could be going and this could turn out to be an amazing game.

Sadly, the current balancing just doesn't seem beatable for me. In pretty much all configurations, there are spots where attackers can outrange my one affordable weapon, and even if that doesn't happen, theres a good chance that 3 attackers just snipe a room instantly and it's way too expensive to repair it. Maybe I'm missing something here?

commodoreKid says ...
Dec 15, 2015 @ 12:24pm

I didn't have much time to get deep into this but I assume there is a way around to beat it. I liked animated pixel art and resource management mechanics. It just starts too hard in my opinion, could make a curve instead. We have a similar mechanic in our game, you may want to check it out.

jackyjjc says ...
Dec 15, 2015 @ 12:44pm

I love the art as usual with your games and I love the idea of a base building game. However I find the game very difficult since the enemies is overwhelming in the beginning and I didn't get enough resources to defend my base. Also as others metioned, centering on the new room is kind of confusing. I hope this get more works afterwards to balance the game a little bit then I will play a lot of it :) I would love a mobile version of this :P

TijmenTio says ...
Dec 15, 2015 @ 1:07pm

Gast ik heb het echt zo'n 10 keer geprobeerd maar ik ga de hele tijd dood in de eerste 5 minuten ofzo. Wat ik ook probeer D: het is fucking moeilijk!!

Tasgardyen says ...
Dec 15, 2015 @ 2:25pm

I liked it a lot!! The graphics are so funny with the animations, and i think it fits the theme in a new and intereseting way :D.

The game it's really hard too, and it took me a lot of tries until i could survive the early waves, GJ!

nopogo says ...
Dec 15, 2015 @ 2:47pm

Really cool concept, lovely art. Love the endless building potential this game has.

Dec 15, 2015 @ 5:46pm

Once again, nice game! :) The design could be improved though :p

arzi says ...
Dec 15, 2015 @ 6:00pm

Fun and really nice pixel art, but a bit difficult.

Sheepolution says ...
Dec 15, 2015 @ 6:56pm

Thanks for all the feedback so far. I figured the game is too hard to play, unless you abuse a bug. So I fixed the bug, and rebalanced the game. It should be playable now.

Alex Rose says ...
Dec 15, 2015 @ 8:02pm

Game looks nice. I like the atmospheric space music lol.

It's too hard for me, but the concept is solid and the tile types are correct, the animation of the rockets etc. and how you can see them actually doing shit is cool, I do really like the idea and execution, it's just this type of game isn't for me.

rnlf says ...
Dec 15, 2015 @ 8:35pm

Wow, pretty difficult game. Took me several tries to survive longer than a minute.

The pixel art is really great. This could easily have been an actual game in the 1990s.

Except for the harsh learning curve I have nothing to complain about.

Nicely done!

TaoPhoenix says ...
Dec 15, 2015 @ 10:42pm

-------------
Hey guys, for all of you who got frustrated with the first ultra hard version try it again. It's balanced much better and while I still lost first try, I'm gonna go back and try a few times because at least it feels like I have a fighting chance this time!

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

This is a truly superb game you've got here, Sheepolution. It's very challenging, I haven't been able to get to the end yet, but I've tried several times and enjoyed the game very much. The animations are very nice to create the feeling of a real, living spaceship. The audio is very spacy, it's a great experience all round. But where the game really shines is the actual gameplay. It's just a very compelling little strategy game, which is truly fun to play. Congrats!

g12345 says ...
Dec 16, 2015 @ 12:05am

I like this a lot, even it's probably too fast for me right now. I will come back and take a better look later.

Also, really nice graphics.

Jwatt says ...
Dec 16, 2015 @ 12:12am

These sort of coffee break strategy games are my jam. The difficulty's pretty well optimized to not be too easy and to make use of every structure type. Looks very much like a DOS game with the details of aliens doing their thing inside the hexagons.

If there's something explicitly negative to be said, having the camera just snap around the place is kinda disorienting. And there's the bfxr effects once again, taking the focus from the otherwise spacey ambience.

4 stars gj brah

tyr_arcana says ...
Dec 16, 2015 @ 12:26am

Difficult to progress very far with it, as the enemies quickly overwhelm your station, but this is a really awesome game. I'm blown away that you managed to get all this done in just 48 hours and was sure it must have been a Jam game until I came back to rate it. Very well done. If you do make a post-compo version, the only thing I would suggest is adding more feedback to let you know why a thing cannot be built, and to warn you that the other side of your station is being attacked and destroyed, as it wasn't obvious and the micro management of it was tricky.

SirSoltex says ...
Dec 16, 2015 @ 1:00am

very hard (in a good way), i really liked graphics, and the itch.io page is surprisingly well polished *thumbs up*

Aerohand says ...
Dec 16, 2015 @ 3:14am

It is a really complicated game at the beginning without any tutorial...
Also the feedback from doing stuff is pretty weak.
But the graphic is awesome! rly like the animation

SuperDolfy says ...
Dec 16, 2015 @ 4:05am

Great game!

mattlevonian says ...
Dec 16, 2015 @ 4:18am

Way too punishing. There wasn't enough feedback, IMO, about the status of your station. The visuals were too crowded and it was hard to quickly understand what type a tile was. Maybe some indicators of where you are being attacked, better feedback about what your tiles are doing (exactly how many resources the miners are getting, how much repair the repair tiles are doing, the status of the shields, etc).

That being said, I enjoyed it and found the concept refreshing.

KaiseanGames says ...
Dec 16, 2015 @ 7:21am

Very nice one. I found it a bit too hard, but other than that, very nice game.

It reminds me in a way of my game :)

kaype says ...
Dec 16, 2015 @ 8:34am

I've been hyping this up after seeing all the GIFs you've been posting on the twitters! Glad to see you've finish it.

Amazing art, felt very relaxed.

tantumgames says ...
Dec 16, 2015 @ 12:32pm

Nice graphics and music. Great work.

ashdnazg says ...
Dec 16, 2015 @ 1:45pm

With careful planning I've managed to beat the game on my third try.
I like the "Here, have lots of interesting tools and very few rules, now let's see you deal with it" approach!

The room graphics are amazing, cute animations and all.

Music wasn't exactly my cup of tea, but it did work well with the game so I can't complain.

Good job!

Dec 16, 2015 @ 2:38pm

Nice! This is really hard, yet very fun :)
And it looks/feels incredible! Another great job, Daniël!

josefnpat says ...
Dec 16, 2015 @ 9:26pm

Nice job, sheep! I think this game could have done much better if it weren't fixed to two buttons. However, I really liked the game and the art!

Dege says ...
Dec 16, 2015 @ 10:23pm

Really really hard, maybe a little easier and I have tried more times. I loved graphics, simple, cute, functional, and... hexagon (which is a big plus! ahaha).

I completely agree with @Jstank for suggestion.

Hope you will develop more. This can be a mobile, casual, cuter version of FTL.

pjimmy says ...
Dec 17, 2015 @ 12:34am

very cool and creative strategy game! It should be easier in the beginning, you should also add a tutorial level. The graphics are off the chart, very nice! Well done! :D

NightShadow0 says ...
Dec 17, 2015 @ 1:51am

I died my first playthrough with no idea what i was doing, having some arrows when building rooms would make it more obvious that you can select different ones. Being able to zoom in and out would probably have also been useful. Of course, it doesn't help that i'm absolutely horrible at the game. Interesting concept, though, nice work!

Moosefly says ...
Dec 17, 2015 @ 11:06am

Once again, you went and made an awesome game. The only gripes I have, have already been mentioned (feedback, camera pan instead of instant roomzoom). Anyway a great entry which I will continue playing and hope to see expanded!

ajopart says ...
Dec 17, 2015 @ 12:57pm

5*

pi_pi3 says ...
Dec 18, 2015 @ 4:10pm

I really like the idea of it, but it doesn't get progressively harder, or different. It gets repetitive after a while. And the repairs are far too expensive imo. 50-100 base cost would be better. And the buildings get too expensive too quick.

Polith Games says ...
Dec 19, 2015 @ 4:01pm

Excellent mechanical, challenges you to always think about the next steps. The graphic is very nice and the game looks pretty polished.
I just thought if from a certain point of the game, you are invincible, depending on the amount of collected resources.
Good job!

VDZ says ...
Dec 19, 2015 @ 7:48pm

While I like the idea, and conceptually the game is very solid, the fact that it's hard to know what's going on around your base and the fast pace of the game combine to make a disappointing game.

The UI is rather clunky and lacking in information. I can't just zoom out and immediately get to the room I want to view/edit. Vital information on room productivity (how many spiamonds/sec does this generate? How much damage does this shield absorb?) is lacking from the interface, while other information is only visible on mouse-over, or sometimes has to be deduced after mouse-over (what level is this room's productivity at? How much does it cost to upgrade?). The menu for building rooms is slow, and the lack of any confirmation when upgrading means you need to do it slowly or risk upgrading too much or too little.

But the most frustrating is how little you know about your base at any given time. You don't even get audio cues to signal you're being attacked and the attack penetrated your defenses somewhere. There really need to be warning signals indicating when things require your immediate attention. There is no way to view your entire base to get a good idea of where you should focus your efforts, it's not possible to view shield/weapon ranges unless you have that specific room selected, room damage is too subtle, it's hard to see where there are spots for building rooms with an energy connection, and the rooms look too much alike to immediately glance how much firepower/defense/repair/etc you have in a given area. All in all, you don't know enough about what's going on until it's too late and the enemy's approach is already unstoppable.

In a turn-based game, this all would be fine. But as this game is real-time, and the effect of falling behind is self-reinforcing (losing rooms makes it harder to defend your base, which makes you lose more rooms), these issues entirely ruin the interaction with the enemies. Either you build your base right quickly enough that the enemies pose no problem at all (also a frustrating process considering the interface issues), or you get completely devastated by the enemy without any hope of rebuilding. If you have to respond to the enemy, it's already too late.

These issues are made worse by the way things get more expensive as time goes on. Building defenses in time is no longer possible when they're made so expensive by your earlier defenses, especially not when they've just blown up your mining room. The cost of repairing rooms is extremely prohibitive, yet at the same time not repairing rooms leaves you far too vulnerable.

Overall, the gameplay has a lot of potential, but it just doesn't work the way it is now. It's a speedrun building game where you lose if you haven't built your base in time, rather than a base management game where you defend your base from enemies.

The graphics look very nice, but unfortunately they're not sufficient on a functional level (see 'hard to see what's going on' stuff above). The audio is very atmospheric, but is utterly lacking functionally (you don't even hear your rooms blowing up when you see it happen!).

-1 to Overall and Fun for making balance changes to the version being judged. Please upload a post-LD version if you want to have players play a better game; the version to be judged should be what you made in the 48 hours, complete with balance flaws. Balancing is hard and takes time, and many games would be better if only the creator had more time. Getting that right is part of the challenge too. (And yeah, I failed that part pretty hard on mine this time.)

WetDesertRock says ...
Dec 19, 2015 @ 10:39pm

I thought this was a rather clever game, however I think you probably didn't give yourself enough time to balance it. Maybe it was the UI glitches, but I found it really difficult to stay afloat and continue building. Fixing the the UI so it doesn't try to click on a hex when you click on a UI button is probably the most critical. For awhile I think I kept upgrading random hexes because I didn't know it was switch to a new hex after I hit the upgrade button the first time. I'd also give a better indication if you could buy an upgrade or not, such as coloring the text, I'd also put the price right next to the upgrade. This holds true for building a new hex. Just those things would make the game easier to play because they give better feedback to the player. As well as more animation on the repair and shields. I wasn't sure where my shields were holding up, how often they were going down, or what my repair cells were doing. Something like flashing green when repairing, and more shield outlines and changes when the shield is down. I'd also make it so new cells always cost the same no matter how many you buy. And the ability to destroy dead cells (I also couldn't tell what they were before they were dead).

Sound wise I didn't think everything meshed so much. I felt like your music should've been up tempo or whatnot to go along with the frantic ship fighting. Maybe some cutsey hoppy thing would work quite well.

I really liked the visual style (although refinements to the UI were needed). The cell animations were fantastic as well as the spinny missiles. The concept is also really wonderful, and I'd like to see it in a full game.

Oh, also just remembered, I wanted a bigger screen or the ability to zoom out. It got too packed for my taste.

Dec 20, 2015 @ 5:47pm

As others have said it was just a little too hard, which is a shame because it's a near idea. The graphics were very nice and I really like the idea of building up the hexes to make a ship. Great little character designs too

loxo says ...
Dec 21, 2015 @ 2:12pm

The game looks and sounds great and I like the concept very much. But it feels really hard, maybe a slower start and an integrated tutorial would help a bit. It didn't take long before I got overrun by enemies. And there seems to be a bug. I could choose a room but after clicking non was built.

SteveSalmond says ...
Dec 21, 2015 @ 8:26pm

Tricky! Was a lot of fun though :) I think a bit more feedback when placing the buildings would be helpful for the learning curve - e.g. you can't place here because there's not enough energy, vs. you can't afford this hex. Gonna go play a bit more now.. :)

sP0CkEr2 says ...
Dec 22, 2015 @ 6:16am

would love to see post compo of this - too many enemies - this was very fun - nice job

Drauthius says ...
Dec 22, 2015 @ 1:52pm

Very beautiful and nice game. Really like the hexes and the space theme.

euske says ...
Dec 31, 2015 @ 10:44am

This game required me some patience. I achieved the first two goals (5000 pts, 300 enemies) relatively easily and just rushed out building more rooms. It was fun after getting the knack of it.

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