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

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Birds of Borg

by emmes - Compo Entry

We are Birds of Borg
Resistance Is Futile
You Will Be Assimilated

We are Borg. We are one mind. We all fly in the same direction.
We are directed by left and right cursor keys (or A and D).
We are strongest attacking together.
We regenerate when we are not under attack.
We are in the internet. If we choose to do so.
We are green. Prey ist gray. Other Borg are colored differently.
We will assimilate them. All of them.

Birds of Borg is a HTML5 web game written with phaser with a node.js/express/ based server, both client and server written from scratch.
It's best to be played with Chrome (also tested in Firefox). It has a single player mode with AI opponents, and there is an internet based multiplayer variant for 2 to 5 borgs. Due to time constraints the node server only supports trivial match making, as soon as enough players enter the same mode (2 players up to 5 players), a new game is started.
I have no idea how well the node server scales, please bear with me that a 48h multiplayer game isn't completely tuned ;-)

The "growing" theme was supposed to be supported as well, but I'd rather wanted to submit a reasonably working game than one with the game design changed in the last minute... It is 2 button only, though!

Have fun, and vote!

21.12.2015 Update: I updated the server to notify visitors about potential multiplayer games in order to increase their possibility; as the game hasn't changed at all, I consider this to be within the rules.

Downloads and Links




blohod says ...
Dec 14, 2015 @ 3:47am

great job, hope I get some online play eventually

jcmonkey says ...
Dec 14, 2015 @ 4:32am

a nice game.

paraboxx says ...
Dec 14, 2015 @ 4:37am

Cool idea controlling so many at the same time.

dekart says ...
Dec 14, 2015 @ 4:59am

Well done, interesting gameplay. Unfortunately, I didn't manage to try it multiplayer, but still a very interesting experience.

Few thoughts:
* there are too many obstacles, birds are not able to fly smoothly, which makes the first impression of being trapped
* it's better to separately mention controls, outside of the long text (nobody reads long texts) - they're hard to notice. I've found them from the second try.
* some background music (even simplest, generated) would set a mood and fill silence.

freddyw9 says ...
Dec 14, 2015 @ 5:12am

Really good, lots of potential there.

Magicolo says ...
Dec 14, 2015 @ 5:15am

Was cool... or was it.... oh yeasse ith waze.

danieldsj says ...
Dec 14, 2015 @ 6:10am

Very creative.

chr15m says ...
Dec 14, 2015 @ 6:52am

wow awesome, great html5 implementation!

emmes says ...
Dec 14, 2015 @ 6:02pm

Thanks for all the great feedback :-)

@dekart: regarding your points (thoughts greatly appreciated!):
* The many obstacles are actually by intention - I tried with less, birds flock too much then so it's getting difficult to kill any at all without being killed oneself
* For the controls I could add a splash screen on "Ready/Set/Go" on first time invocation - already wanted to do that, but time didn't permit
* Yes, background music would be awesome. Didn't have time, didn't check the tools, etc. pp. There's a hum in the background, repeating every 3 seconds, but maybe its volume is too low.

hexagore says ...
Dec 14, 2015 @ 7:40pm

Wow, doing a client and server as a compo entry? :) Always risky for a jam but you added AI as well so thanks for that!

JamesMowery says ...
Dec 15, 2015 @ 6:28am

Nice work. I will say the sound effects in the beginning were quite jarring, especially when I didn't know what was going on. But once I figured it out, the game was actually quite fun. I enjoyed it! Nice work on doing multiplayer too!

psychonull says ...
Dec 15, 2015 @ 2:20pm

Great idea. Really fun game!

Trasevol_Dog says ...
Dec 15, 2015 @ 5:28pm

Very nice idea! Would love to see this with hand-designed levels or maybe a simple procedural level generation!!

Dec 15, 2015 @ 7:10pm

Well made game! I included it in my Ludum Dare 34 compilation video series, if you’d like to check it out :)

CodeNMore says ...
Dec 15, 2015 @ 8:17pm

This was awesome! I like the concept a lot.

emmes says ...
Dec 16, 2015 @ 2:51am

Thanks for all the positive feedback :-)
Will check your games in the coming days, too!

@Trasevol_Dog: Hey, good idea! Hand-designed levels would be a definite plus.
The screen is actually procedurally generated, but only by very simple means. I had more ideas, but again, it was lack of time for implementing these...
@Jupiter_Hadley: Great, good to see that :-)

dlowe says ...
Dec 16, 2015 @ 3:38am

Very, very neat idea! I think this has a lot of potential. As it is currently, I think the chaos of the initial melee makes it feel luck-based instead of skill-based. If I survive the initial melee with more birds than my opponents, I win. The AI is also probably over-aggressive. But these are pretty minor points: on the whole, this is a very neat, very original game. Thanks!

DrFallos says ...
Dec 16, 2015 @ 12:12pm

Great game! Simple and smart project! Thx!

mockthebear says ...
Dec 16, 2015 @ 6:25pm

I would to love play with another one, but nobody came XD
actually its a good idea, srsly! fun game!! will you continue the dev?

Dec 16, 2015 @ 11:36pm

Multiplayer! Well done.

Robber says ...
Dec 16, 2015 @ 11:37pm

very original!

rd127p77 says ...
Dec 17, 2015 @ 12:19am

Pretty Fun.

emmes says ...
Dec 17, 2015 @ 1:07am

@dlowe: Yes, you're right, it feels this way.
@mockthebear: I plan to, but life is pretty tight with time slots ATM. I will post updates if I do.

Actually, the way the game was originally planed (and not executed due to time restrictions) would have felt less luck-based. I guess.

careless says ...
Dec 17, 2015 @ 1:48am

Really enjoyed the game, would be cool to try it out with multi players.

Nice simple but neat graphics, cool retro sounds and nice controls.

Had a look at your timelapse video also, thanks for sharing :D

timeshapers says ...
Dec 17, 2015 @ 6:38am

Oh man, this is awesome. Saw it on Jupiter Hadley's channel and had to give it a go.
I feel the one thing this game is missing is some kind of objective to fight over, otherwise the dominant strategy seems to be running away and letting the other AIs fight it out.
Also wondering if you've tried boids flocking algorithm? Could make it feel more natural.

cxsquared says ...
Dec 17, 2015 @ 4:16pm

Really cool idea and great gameplay. I'm a little sad I couldn't find another online player but it was really fun.

PowerSpark says ...
Dec 18, 2015 @ 12:32am

It's playable with others? Cool!

emmes says ...
Dec 18, 2015 @ 1:04am

@timeshapers: can't do standard boids flocking, because the birds all fly in the same direction...
There is a (rather sophisticated) flocking algorithm in place, I just didn't ramp it up too much, you should basically do the flocking yourself by running some birds into walls and letting the birds further away close up :-)
Unfortunately, the AI isn't that... smart yet. All AIs should actually team up against you, but it doesn't always work that way...

And yes, it's really a shame that everybody tries the game at different times, so you can't find somebody to play with ;-)
I'll probably update the server to show an estimated number of players looking at the landing page, so you can estimate whether there's a chance that someone will play a multiplayer game with you...

emmes says ...
Dec 21, 2015 @ 9:11am

I updated the server to notify visitors about potential multiplayer games in order to increase their possibility; as the game hasn't changed at all, I consider this to be within the rules.
I also added a Readme and a License to the source distribution.

publicidadeba says ...
Dec 23, 2015 @ 2:34am

I got the most gangsters birds in the skies bitches! Loved this one!

HeyChinaski says ...
Dec 23, 2015 @ 10:47pm

Nice original idea. Would love to play it multiplayer.

LoneStranger says ...
Dec 27, 2015 @ 7:48pm

Very well made. Feels and sounds a lot like a classic arcade game. Only thing I would think is a drawback is the collision with the blocks. It felt too "sticky" to me, and I think they should slide a bit more along them so I felt like I still had some control even though they were slowed down. Great job.

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