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

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Growth Control

by Akhera - Compo Entry

A turn-based strategy/puzzle mix where you grow your territory while trying to control the growth of your opponent.

Shoot enemy connections to destroy them and connect into left-over nodes to gain more territory. Protect your connections by moving nodes in the way. And don't forget to supply your growth.

Includes multiplayer.

Read the in-game instructions and still not sure how to play? Watch this handy tutorial:

UPDATE (12 hours after deadline): Added Linux port. It's a bit jury-rigged, so it may not be as stable or compatible as the Windows version. Mac port is technically possible, but unfortunately I don't have a Mac to develop it on.

Downloads and Links




Gornova says ...
Dec 13, 2015 @ 8:12pm

I'm not sure what to do for first move, maybe you can improve instructions? A little tutorial ?

dmecke says ...
Dec 13, 2015 @ 8:19pm

I love it! But it is fact really hard to understand how to control it. I don't know if I cannot do specific actions because I am out of resources or simply did not get the controls. I have multiple times shot when I did not want to whats a bit annoying of course.

I will definitively keep playing it and hope for some polishing update!

Ah and great visuals, I like them a lot.

Akhera says ...
Dec 13, 2015 @ 8:43pm

Thanks for the feedback! I don't think there's enough time to implement a full-fledged tutorial, but I added a few more lines to the instructions, which will hopefully explain some things better.

Dec 14, 2015 @ 3:45am

I imagine there's some kind of interesting strategy game buried deep down here, but right now it's just not clear how the game is played. The "How to play" screen is a discouraging wall of text, and might be better if it were broken up into contextual notes that pop up at the appropriate times when a node is selected.

pianoman373 says ...
Dec 14, 2015 @ 4:33am

You need a tutorial, or an explanation of the individual parts. I have no idea what to do.

Tensoplast01 says ...
Dec 14, 2015 @ 7:39am

So great! Nice concept! Plus, we can play multi :)
Just a little bit frustrating and hard to understand.

filthsu says ...
Dec 14, 2015 @ 8:00am

Looks nice.. but how do you play this thing?

jcwelgemoed says ...
Dec 14, 2015 @ 8:17am

Seems like an interesting concept but I could not figure out how to play it (even after reading instructions) - it says what to do but not how.

SvenFrankson says ...
Dec 14, 2015 @ 8:22am

Take a while to understand, but trully briliant concept !

I think some drawings might help understanding the game mechanics. But again, great work !

mukult says ...
Dec 14, 2015 @ 9:18am

Is there a mac version or a web player build...
Cant play it on the mac...

The screenshots look amazing! :) Please try to get a build for macs or even a web build

Would surely love to give it a try.

Blake_Lead says ...
Dec 14, 2015 @ 9:39am

What a beautiful game ! Too bad its so hard to get started. But I'm sure it could be a hit out there with a good tutorial (may be interactive) and polishing.

DustyStylus says ...
Dec 14, 2015 @ 11:44am

On Mac and no webplayer, would like to try this.

muit says ...
Dec 14, 2015 @ 11:49am

Could know how to play

Dec 14, 2015 @ 1:02pm

I agree that it is a bit confusing, but the game itself is pretty neat. I included it in my Ludum Dare 34 compilation video series, if you’d like to check it out :)

Modoc73 says ...
Dec 14, 2015 @ 3:32pm

Once you understand what your doing, it provides a good challenge, however, maybe there could be less red and more neutral nodes at beginning. Found it hard to grow.
Good use of theme, nice game. Well done.

peterthehe says ...
Dec 14, 2015 @ 6:01pm

Really pretty game. Amazing work.

x92rwzb says ...
Dec 14, 2015 @ 6:08pm

Fun but a little confusing at first. Nice graphics too

psychomonster says ...
Dec 14, 2015 @ 7:50pm

Hey there. The game sounds really good. But I don't know how to play it correctly. I think you need some kind of a tutorial... maybe you play the game and capture a video about how to play :) Let me know ... Want to find out how to beat the game

roninfight says ...
Dec 15, 2015 @ 11:42am

Great strategy game. It took me a while to understand the mechanics and get used to the controls, but once done, I had a blast. It simple, effective, tight and quite beautiful.

Only downside in my opinion is that once you know how to play, the AI is very very stupid. The hard mode didn't seem any harder than the easy mode. If anything, I saw less attacks in that mode.

Slothmachine says ...
Dec 15, 2015 @ 8:10pm

I like the neon glow in graphics. The mechanics and concept is quite complicated.

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

Thank you all for the feedback! I understand that not making a tutorial was a great omission, so I at least made a tutorial video. Link in description. A tutorial is now surely the first thing I'll do if I decide to continue development.

@roninfight - Yeah, the AI is stupid, which is why it has to start with so much territory. However, the hard AI should be a lot more difficult as it specifically targets your connections instead of just shooting randomly.

Dec 16, 2015 @ 2:54am

Absolutely amazing entry. Great job all around. :)

Erlend Aakre says ...
Dec 16, 2015 @ 9:57am

This is an awesome game! lovely concept, mechanics and graphics. It could really benefit from some nice ambient music and sound effects + AI improvements (very simplistic, and hard mode seems broken) to make it into a really nice little strategy game

pianoman373 says ...
Dec 16, 2015 @ 8:36pm

Very nice strategy game. Reminds me of risk, but a lot less random. It does take some time to learn and a tutorial level would be great and maybe easier to understand icons.

Big Cow says ...
Dec 16, 2015 @ 8:42pm

Wow very clever design. Took me a while to work out what was going on.

Dejvo says ...
Dec 19, 2015 @ 9:12am

very nice graphics. not sure about the gameplay

Dejvo says ...
Dec 19, 2015 @ 9:39am

sorry about the last comment. i was on a different game. this game is really good. proper strategy. polish it up a little, add more features and it could be a good, well selling game

rnlf says ...
Dec 19, 2015 @ 1:45pm

I couldn't run it on Linux. I figured it was a mono game, so I installed mono and tried to run it. Here's what I got:

Contact me on Twitter if you want me to retry it!

Dec 19, 2015 @ 11:40pm

Great idea. I feel that a few additional features could help flesh out the strategic gameplay. Things like walls or unique nodes would be cool.

Bogden says ...
Dec 19, 2015 @ 11:49pm

Outstanding entry! The gameplay is great and I love the ideas. Unfortunately I think there's a lot of UI/tutorial elements missing that could definitely make it hard for new players to get into this.

For instance, it's not obvious when or when not a placement is invalid. Turning a connection red when dragging over invalid areas would be helpful, for instance. You might also want to consider a more graphical way of choosing the actions you take for each node, rather than just left and right clicking.

I would LOVE to see a most compo version of this, potentially with online play.

Bogden says ...
Dec 20, 2015 @ 12:10am

Outstanding entry! The gameplay is great and I love the ideas. Unfortunately I think there's a lot of UI/tutorial elements missing that could definitely make it hard for new players to get into this.

For instance, it's not obvious when or when not a placement is invalid. Turning a connection red when dragging over invalid areas would be helpful, for instance. You might also want to consider a more graphical way of choosing the actions you take for each node, rather than just left and right clicking.

I would LOVE to see a most compo version of this, potentially with online play. I would definitely focus on the competitive aspect of this moving forward, and I think it has a lot of potential to get on steam.

If you do work on this more, couple thoughts for multiplayer:
- Definitely add a limit to how far you can move and connect. It's too easy to cripple your opponent on turn 1 by jumping across the map.
- Maybe add a built in +1 connection to the home star, since you basically lose as soon as you lose all your connectors.
- Think about adding map obstacles to encourage certain types of expansion/gameplay

KayZ says ...
Dec 22, 2015 @ 9:50am

Great game. At first I was like: What the hell am I supposed to do, then I read the instructions :). Won on easy after 12 turns and then tried hard. Got beaten in the first round twice. Then I won after 8 rounds.

As others were saying, could need some visual feedback if something can not be done. Like moving a node to close to another one (e.g. turn the circle around the moved node to red). Happened quite few times that I thought there was enough space but I still was too close.

StaNov says ...
Dec 22, 2015 @ 9:34pm

I gave it a few minutes, but wasn't able to get more than five nodes... Nice graphics and animations though! And menu and tutorial were also nice. Cheers from Brno!

Jan 1, 2016 @ 10:35pm

Would be much better if the line range was limited. We found that when playing it multiplayer you were able to just move your attack node really close and cut off the other player, hence ending the game very quickly. It would also be good if you implemented a check for if the player has run out of moves or has lost. The game was however quite fun and I can see it being very successful if you gave it a little more polish :)

Nega Drive says ...
Jan 3, 2016 @ 7:54pm

Interesting strategy game. I like the glowy neon style. Needs a lot of work in regards to teaching the player about how to play it, but I understand that the time is limited and you can't implement everything. Good stuff.

Jan 3, 2016 @ 9:38pm

Looks interesting but was difficult to figure out how to play. I like the concept, graphics look good. Having some kind of on screen display would help. Controls don't work the way I expect them to. Sometimes a turret won't shoot and I don't understand why.

jigalx says ...
Jan 3, 2016 @ 9:48pm

It took me a while to figure it out, but worth it. My kinda game!

nihilaleph says ...
Jan 3, 2016 @ 11:16pm

+ Awesome concept and take on the theme
+ Great mechanics
+ Cool graphics
- Took some time to understand how to play, but then it's just awesome!

Awesome work!

TaoPhoenix says ...
Feb 13, 2016 @ 3:44pm

Yep, I had a lot of fun on easy level, I'll repeat the comments above about simple but effective graphics and a nifty concept I'll liken to de-energizing your opponent's nodes.

I glanced at hard-mode and it does seem to be firing more accurately, so I'll think about that later the next round of playing.

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