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

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All Ways Down

by noddingTortoise - Jam Entry

All - Ways - Down is a simple two button puzzle game, where the aim of the game is to try and navigate the level, collecting all of the growth pellets along the way. The more pellets you collect the more the ball grows, getting larger and heavier, and thus harder to control. When the player collects all of the pellets on the level they can then move to the next by hitting the goal button, but you will have to get to it first.

The player doesn't move the ball directly, instead the player controls the game using just two buttons, 'a' and 'd', which rotate the level left and right respectively, and so the player must rely on the always downward force of gravity to move about.

This game was made in under 3 days and has a total of 20 levels.

Controls:

a : rotate left.
d : rotate right.

Downloads and Links


Ratings

#94Theme(Jam)4.20
#199Innovation(Jam)3.59
#295Fun(Jam)3.44
#358Overall(Jam)3.49
#535Mood(Jam)3.19
#820Graphics(Jam)2.80
#844Humor(Jam)1.69
#1391Coolness49%

Comments

sputnik says ...
Dec 15, 2015 @ 3:13am

Nice simple game. Love the music.

SkullPixel says ...
Dec 15, 2015 @ 3:27am

Really well made, with some genius ides. It's oddly fun too.

Dec 15, 2015 @ 3:50am

Simple but fun, nice job!

Dec 15, 2015 @ 8:55pm

I Like how it performs the idea of using just 2 buttoons together with the puzzle. And I just can see one simple thing that I would change maybe the ball could move some faster.
Congrats for this game.

Drtizzle says ...
Dec 15, 2015 @ 11:33pm

Very nice concept! It really works out, you made some interesting puzzles with this mechanics.
The music fits the movement of the ball, it's very smooth and gentle.
Great job!

mukult says ...
Dec 16, 2015 @ 8:13pm

Neat concept!!

blackbird806 says ...
Dec 16, 2015 @ 9:35pm

Nice concept but the player and the pick up are too small

StrehFox says ...
Dec 16, 2015 @ 9:37pm

This is great. Simple, but effective!

monetai says ...
Dec 16, 2015 @ 9:53pm

fun and chalenging as hell, good work

DrTeaSpoon says ...
Dec 18, 2015 @ 2:03am

It's solid.

Big Cow says ...
Dec 18, 2015 @ 10:02am

This wins it for innovation for me great puzzle idea and great use of game dynamic to create challenges. With the music a nice mellow experience. Well done for sticking strictly to two buttons!

dcRfj15 says ...
Dec 21, 2015 @ 2:14am

Very good game. The graphics were lovely and the game's mood was very pleasant. It was also cool to see how you combined the two themes in your game.

Geckoo1337 says ...
Dec 21, 2015 @ 5:39am

Great. Simple, but effective!
Overall, this is a good project. Well done ++

Dec 21, 2015 @ 6:36am

Really clever design, and elegant use of the two button rule (and I just realised it had the growth theme too). I have to agree with some of the other commenters that a little more speed, and larger pickups would make the game more fun.

Spinning to try and get the ball through at the last moment was really fun, so I feel focusing your game towards being more dynamic could help make the most of that!

Jwatt says ...
Dec 21, 2015 @ 6:47am

Solid entry. This gave me an inspiration of a game with a similar control scheme where you need the ball to grow larger to break thicker and thicker walls.

But there is one big problem here. One that I'm surprised not to see in the comments already.

You are simply transforming the local coordinates of the *room*. It does not change the relative movement vectors for the *ball* in its local coordinates. There's no need to have this smoothed out trajectory business when turning.

Consider a short scenario without collisions. If a ball goes up at t=0, and there's a rotation at t=t_r, then it'd damn well keep going up (from the camera's perspective) at t>t_r. The direction of the gravity in the ball's coordinates doesn't change either! Which means the ball doesn't start swerving right/left or doing those bonkers loop-de-loops visually, even if one did keep spinning the room around. The way you're doing it now is as if the ball is collecting extra momentum from the rotation itself, but there's no interaction to cause that, which fucks with the player's brain.

This is a big deal because it causes the result of your input to be less intuitive and harder to predict than it needs to be. Also there are some additional concerns with the floatiness (common to Unity games because of default physics I guess?) and the lack of elasticity of the ball.

Dec 21, 2015 @ 12:46pm

Thanks everyone for all the awesome comments, it’s always great to get positive feedback :-)

@RedBricksStudio
@RockhopperGames
The ball being slow was partially a design choice, as I wanted the ball to start by feeling light and for the player to really feel the increase in weight when the ball grows, but not be too heavy at the larger sizes. However, based on feedback I do feel this could be tuned to make the ball go a little faster at smaller sizes, and to be slightly less floaty.

I’m also planning on increasing the size of pickups for the post jam version.

@Jwatt
The local co-ordinates of the room don’t actually change, in fact the level never actually moves :-p
In this instance, the effect is created by rotating the camera, and updating the direction of gravity so that it is always in the downward direction relative to the camera. The rest of the work( i.e the way the ball moves) is then left to the Unity physics engine, which applies the required forces based on the new direction of gravity to all objects. This is why the ball behaves the way it does, and does bonkers loop-de-loops :-D
The reason I chose this method was because of its simple implementation and because I liked the effect of the end result.

Jwatt says ...
Dec 21, 2015 @ 2:09pm

@noddingTortoise: thanks for the response, cool to know about the inner workings of the game. Quite an interesting way to approach the rotation mechanic. Perhaps it's an example of an engineering mindset, while I'm a physicist by education. (All this talk is giving me flashbacks to spacetime coordinate transforms in relativity and string theory... they're quite a whopper)

But if you've deemed your method to be functional gameplay-wise, then I guess I won't object to it any further. Glad to hear about post-jam updates as well!

Geck0 says ...
Dec 21, 2015 @ 9:23pm

It's crazy! nice!

EwChap says ...
Dec 22, 2015 @ 2:05am

Great game. easy to come back to. Great concept.

Dry Tree says ...
Dec 23, 2015 @ 9:27pm

Really nice idea. Somehow simultaneously soothing and frustrating!

Dec 24, 2015 @ 2:51am

I like it! It's fun to see how someone approached the same basic idea that I took a crack at. Very solid, well done!

astrophics says ...
Dec 24, 2015 @ 3:19pm

Nice game! Music is good too

Tommislav says ...
Dec 27, 2015 @ 4:57pm

I think this game would be really fun to play on a mobile, where you have to actually rotate the device!
Good entry, nice puzzles.

vortex says ...
Dec 29, 2015 @ 11:16am

Great and fun game... I really liked it, but it got slow at some points... Maybe a speed up time button would have helped

acotis says ...
Jan 4, 2016 @ 2:31am

The most frustrating part is that I can see my death coming a mile away, but I can't do anything about it because I'm too stupid to use the controls properly :P Nice game, great level design too.

Jan 4, 2016 @ 5:22am

Cool Game Mechanics! Liked the music!

Gins says ...
Jan 4, 2016 @ 10:38am

Really well done! Would also work great on a phone/tablet :)

schizoid2k says ...
Jan 4, 2016 @ 3:42pm

Great job! I love the "simple to learn, hard to master" type of games. The graphics are a good fit for the game too.

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