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

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by Echo Team - Jam Entry

This is a story about a lokator named Teddy.

- Use the mouse to look around.
- Use WSAD to move around.
- Hold F to enable the freely movable mouse cursor.
- While holding F, use the left mouse button to select a pest, and right mouse button to order it around.
- Press Alt-F4 to exit the game.

Known bugs:
- While holding F, clicking a mouse button will cause the window to lose focus. This doesn't affect pest control, but it does affect camera control. You will have to click the window again to regain focus after releasing F. This is *googles* apparently a known issue in Unreal. Sad face :(
- Context sensitive music could be less context sensitive. When you hear the audio cue that a pest is nearby, you can already see it. This currently makes the game a little hard.
- It not really clear what to do aside from walking around. Once you've found all the pests (there are 8) the narrator will indicate what to do next. This is mostly because we were pressed for time when we were adding in the narration in the final moments.
- A pest can be seen floating above the crater XD
- Stalks don't cast very good shadows.

- The outline shader is largely derived. Please ignore it while rating the game.
- When running from source you'll have to overwrite the engine's sky material with the one in the zip. We accidentally overwrote it, and there was no time to go back.
- The game upload for this game was late because our coder's computer had trouble producing the final package (i.e. the UE4 commandlet kept freezing). It was available 18 hours after the submission hour by packaging it with a work computer. The source was provided 30 minutes after submission hour because it took 90 freaking minutes to upload :/ Rest assured, this game was made in 72 hours (and it shows XD).

Echo Team:
- Art & Narration: Lauren Herda
- Music: Nathan van Ofwegen
- Coding: Berend Wouda

- 23:00 (GMT+1) 15-12-2015: Updated the description to include the controls and known bugs, as well as trying to make it a little clearer on what you can do in the game (without spoiling it too much).
- 22:00 (GMT+1) 15-12-2015: Uploaded the game in both 64 and 32 windows versions, after finally managing to get Unreal to package the game (we resorted to copying the project to a more powerful computer at work).
- 7:00 (GMT+1) 15-12-2015: Updated source to include built lighting. Removed a bunch of empty or unused files and directories Unreal had apparently only pretended to delete, to reduce the size of the download (well, upload).

Downloads and Links




FurkanFS says ...
Dec 15, 2015 @ 6:19pm

This game looks amazing!! The graphics are unreal! And the character looks very mysterious. I hope I can play it soon :))

Dec 15, 2015 @ 7:18pm

Your game looks promising, sad I can't download it :(

Echo Team says ...
Dec 15, 2015 @ 8:16pm

Almost there, uploading it now!

Dec 15, 2015 @ 8:30pm

Game still not available. Come on, you miss deadline.

scorched says ...
Dec 15, 2015 @ 8:47pm

Nice screenshots, wish you uploaded the game...

Louspirit says ...
Dec 15, 2015 @ 9:25pm

Firstly, the graphics are really really amazing. Secondly, the voice is a nice idea but if we misheard we have no way to find the controls or even quit the game. I found a pest and tried everything but nothing happened.

Echo Team says ...
Dec 15, 2015 @ 9:29pm

We're sorry, we're still in the process of uploading the packages, etc. We're planning to update the description here in a few moments.

You can exit with Alt-F4.

modenv says ...
Dec 15, 2015 @ 9:50pm

Very good looking! Also nice music and with the voice over.

I missed the instruction on how to select insects the first time (f + left mouse button, right to command) and I am unsure if they are suppose to be used in some specific place on the map or if that is the end of the game.

either way I foremost enjoyed the atmosphere; exploring the alien landscape :)

juaxix says ...
Dec 15, 2015 @ 10:14pm

I love the alhambra style (and i live in granada , the alhambra city!) , the shaders and models are outstanding :)

Echo Team says ...
Dec 15, 2015 @ 10:29pm

Ok, I'm back from work. I updated the description to be more... descriptive. I guess mysterious doesn't work if your game is not completely finished XD

The game has been uploaded for a while now as well (I see people have played it already! Yay! :D).

broknecho says ...
Dec 16, 2015 @ 6:14am

Great Character Model! The narration was a nice effect.

Good start here.

Teekeks says ...
Dec 16, 2015 @ 6:24pm

Sorry but you did not even hit close to the submission time...

Echo Team says ...
Dec 17, 2015 @ 6:29am

Such are the woes of an underpowered computer user.

bwatanabe says ...
Dec 17, 2015 @ 8:59am

The game looks great! I had some difficulty interacting with the pests... I found the controls kind of confusing. It looks really promising!

Echo Team says ...
Dec 17, 2015 @ 10:36pm

Hmm, I figured it would be nice if you could switch to precision mode with a cursor (there is a similar system in Uru, for example). We actually intended on having click and order to both be with left mouse, and right mouse to activate a special ability depending on the pest. But that was a little too grand a scale XD

Another issue is this is not an over-the-shoulder camera (more of a back-of-the-head camera) so the regular look-and-click didn't really work. So I either had the option of messing with the camera, or implementing a thing from a MYST game. Guess which one I preferred :D

Hot Box Games says ...
Dec 17, 2015 @ 10:49pm

Excellent character model!
The voice acting was a nice touch and really added to the mood.

Clavus says ...
Dec 17, 2015 @ 10:57pm

Took me a while to figure out what exactly to do. I finally found one of the 'pests' the narrator spoke of. Then took a bit of thinking to figure I had to bring them back to the starting platform. Pretty simple game in the end.

Also, at first the game started in VR because I had my Oculus Rift connected. Sadly it's not really playable in that mode since you can't see the mouse cursor. I'll just assume you never figured to turn off the VR module in UE4 :P

Echo Team says ...
Dec 17, 2015 @ 11:31pm

There is a what now? :P

Echo Team says ...
Dec 17, 2015 @ 11:32pm

Once you've found all the pests the narrator indicates that you should take them back to the platform. But it's a bit hard to find all 8 pests at the moment.

Echo Team says ...
Dec 17, 2015 @ 11:35pm

Hmm, it looks like we didn't really mention that pests will just follow you around if you stray too far from them. Hence the "growing", your "flock" gets larger as you find more.

There are also two buttons :P

Aumni says ...
Dec 18, 2015 @ 1:36am

Graphics and music are really good !

SSJMetroid says ...
Dec 18, 2015 @ 2:20am

I can't really see any reason for this game to be 500MB. Like what's the point? Sure, the materials look nice, and there is a really silky-smooth motion-blur post-processing effect going on, and this object outline shader is pretty dope, but it doesn't contribute to the actual gameplay at all, which is the only thing I'm really interested in. I hope your future titles will work a little more on the gameplay rather than just the swanky graphics. Sorry for sounding harsh, but I tend to be as honest as possible. On the plus side, I am nowhere near as good of an artist as yours lol. But I did think the skybox could use some work!

Echo Team says ...
Dec 18, 2015 @ 2:44am

Yeah the size kinda threw me off as well. I don't know what Unreal does under the hood.

For us, this LD was mostly about learning to use the tools.

Dec 18, 2015 @ 2:56am

This is definitely the best looking entry I have played so far. I enjoyed the really relaxing, slow-paced experience. Unfortunately I unwisely jumped down a crater too steep for me to escape with only one pest left to find, so I didn't get to hear the ending :(. I'm not really sure how this fit the theme though.

Echo Team says ...
Dec 18, 2015 @ 3:10am

If only the moon didn't have that crater... I had meant to place a blocking volume around it, but you know, time.

The theme is about growing a flock and then using one of two buttons to decide their fate, but the growing kinda got pushed to the background.

VersatileBox says ...
Dec 18, 2015 @ 3:34am

I found three tadpoles and made them follow me. Is that it? Did I win?
There's not much to enjoy on this game. At least not yet. I'd love to play it when it's done, though. Tadpoles are cute.

Amazing graphics and amazing model/animations for the main character, amazing music (amazing "context" music), but you didn't make it to Ludum Dare. I'm really sorry.
I am pretty sure this will be a nice game once it's ready :)

OberynMartell says ...
Dec 18, 2015 @ 3:52am

I did not understand very well what I had to do. =/
The graphics are really good, but I felt a bit dizzy with the motion blur. I think the problem could be me! lol.
The narrator voice is very soft, I think it added a great lot to create the mood. Very well! =D

Kenneth Ng says ...
Dec 18, 2015 @ 4:27am

Very pretty. Ambience is great. Not sure what to do after you pick up all these pests. Also got stuck in one of the craters.

Trash Games says ...
Dec 18, 2015 @ 4:34am

The graphics and the atmosphere were captivating, and I really want to explore the world more. 5/5 for that. Sadly, I feel like mechanically it fell short, I had trouble actually clicking the pests and I didn't understand what to do even after instruction. The audio was a bit grating but I do like the idea of the narration, really cool concept. It feel like a great prototype. Please keep working on this!

jigalx says ...
Dec 18, 2015 @ 9:51pm

Looks and sounds lovely! But what's a pest in this game? Nothing happened when I clicked anything while holding F.

Echo Team says ...
Dec 19, 2015 @ 8:47pm

The pests have a hitbox that is too small for their model. I didn't really know how to fix it (characters must have capsule components, I think), and given the time I left it like that.

You'll have to click on their... midsection, as it were.

Echo Team says ...
Dec 19, 2015 @ 8:48pm

Oh, a pest is a little worm-like critter you find around Escher. Once you get close to one the music changes.

psychopsam says ...
Dec 20, 2015 @ 12:55am

Nice atmospheric sound track. Adorable character and most impressive was the narration to explain the controls. I didn't get any indication taking the pest back to the middle platform/housing was the correct thing to do. Needs to flash or disappear and get a score or something to let you know you are on the right track. Though it was done in 48 hour and looks super slick. Nice to see an Unreal game that looks personalised. Great work. Would make a good start to an even larger story world.

Xanjos says ...
Dec 20, 2015 @ 1:09am

Not sure what it is I'm meant to do with all these pests I find but the detail and shading of the character models was absolutely gorgeous.

Echo Team says ...
Dec 20, 2015 @ 2:07am

To be fair, it was done in <em>72</em> hours.

orion_black says ...
Dec 22, 2015 @ 7:26pm

First of all your models and animations are really good. Now, considering you were going for mood I think you should pay more attention to movement. For instance Teddy's animation gives a sense of difficultness of movement that clashes with the sensation of how Teddy actually moves and also the corresponding physical input. Maybe this sounds too nitpicky but imo that kind of little details is precisely what really makes or breaks this kind of game.

I'm not sure how you actually manage the logic of your movement but by moving the mouse left and right(fast-ish) I was able to climb to the highest point on the map and walk out of the level. I reckon this "technique" could also be use to escape that dreaded crater.

Echo Team says ...
Dec 27, 2015 @ 1:43pm

You broke Unreal! :D

ALobker says ...
Dec 31, 2015 @ 11:31am

Best game ever! :P

Simonaiso says ...
Jan 4, 2016 @ 2:35pm

Wow great world and alien you built here. Love the animation, the voice acting and especially the music!!

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