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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by synthetic-entropy - Jam Entry

Tailwind is a top down racing game in which you play as a seed spirit riding a leaf through various areas to replant the barren areas. Your goal is to go as quickly as possible so you can bring life to the next area.

The controls are simple - just move left and right. If you try to go the opposite direction while turning, you'll slide your leaf along the ground, pulling nutrients from the soil. This charges your leaf, which will fly on the wind with tremendous speed when you release at least one button.

Since you're trying to hurry, you just spread seeds behind you wherever you go. In retrospect, this wasn't the best idea - now you're running into the plants you've already planted the last time you went through here, and running into them slows you down, so try to avoid them. They grow bigger over time, and the bigger they are, the more caught up in them you become.

## Playing the game

To play from source, clone the repository and install 0.9.2 for your system. On Windows, you can drag the folder onto `love.exe` to run it, or you can change into the cloned directory in a terminal and run `love .`

You can also check the releases for the latest release, we try to build for all available systems.

There are a number of control mappings to the two buttons:
- Left and right arrow keys
- Left and right control
- Left and right shift
- A and D
- H and L
- B and F

## Credits

- zeta0134 - engine programming, sound editing
- cromo - menu programming, art, sound effects
- rgarza533 - music, sound effects
- robertoszek - testing
- gboblyn - testing

Downloads and Links




josefnpat says ...
Dec 15, 2015 @ 3:02am

Nice job guys! The maps came out really really pretty!

Dec 15, 2015 @ 4:01am

Unique and awesome experience. Good job!

moltanem2000 says ...
Dec 15, 2015 @ 6:46am

Oh man that drifting is fantastic. Well done with the two-button theme!

Weeping Rupee says ...
Dec 15, 2015 @ 6:50am

Good use of both themes. I liked the encouragement to choose a different route each time

disdanes says ...
Dec 15, 2015 @ 6:55am

Hmmm I think the movement code was really slick, but the map seemed a bit short. Otherwise a great game, I would love to see implementation of something like this on a phone, with tap vector movement.

disdanes says ...
Dec 15, 2015 @ 6:55am

Double commented because I forgot to give you your ratings like a dummy >.< haha still well done.

Epicruins195 says ...
Dec 15, 2015 @ 7:20am

I would love to play this properly, but I am prevented by random slow-downs (game slows to half speed) and stutters that occur every few seconds.

ironleonem says ...
Dec 15, 2015 @ 7:44am

This is a great little title! Over all, I loved it. Very well executed. A few suggestions for possibly post compo... and I only go this in depth for my favorite titles.

Consider multiplayer! This game would be a lot of fun to race my friends on!
Respawning could be handled a little better.

Great job!

adamk33n3r says ...
Dec 15, 2015 @ 5:20pm

Great fun! Controls are very nice. Like ironleonem I think that multiplayer would be awesome and the respawning is a little wonky since sometimes you keep running into the dead zone :P

10/10 would play again.

Dec 15, 2015 @ 5:39pm

I liked it. The art style nice, it worked well and I liked the fact that you could see your previous runs.

One thing that I found annoying was that I would often crash into the wall and then I would crash several more times while trying to get out of it. I think reorienting the player after a crash would be helpful

Dec 15, 2015 @ 7:16pm

Thanks for the feedback everyone! This is cromo. I'd like to address the comments so far:

- art: thank you for all the kind words. I'm really happy with how it turned out. I'm not especially artistic and I had no idea what style to go with when I started. It just kinda popped into existence and I went with it. You can even tell which pieces were done earlier on because they have sharp corners - I moved to rounded corners on everything once I got a feel for it.

- drifting: I'm really happy with how this came out. The physics of the game went through roughly three iterations over the course of the jam, with the last one feeling the best.

- theme: I feel the mixed themes made this game what it is. And yes, the idea behind growing plants on the track was to encourage players to take a slightly different route each time and plan ahead.

- map length: I agree, the maps are on the short side. I restricted the maps to 2048 pixel squares because we load the whole map into a single texture, because we don't know what sizes other people's computers can handle. Love guarantees at least 1024 (though our computers support 16384). On our to do list was to implement stitching multiple textures together to allow for larger levels, but we focused out efforts on polishing the maps we had already done.

- phone version: this is definitely something we want to do! In fact, it was discussed shortly after deciding on the concept, but we had already selected love for familiarity, which doesn't have phone support, and the ports of it that exist are incomplete.

- performance issues: that's rather unfortunate. We never ran into issues on our systems, which are pretty beefy. We didn't do any optimization whatsoever. In particular, all plants are drawn every frame.

- multiplayer: absolutely! This was on our feature wish list, but unfortunately some early design decisions prevented us from being able to add it in the limited time. I want to add this in the future. In lieu of multiplayer, we also considered AI racers and time trial ghosts.

- bad respawns: this is really the worst part of the game as it is now, in my opinion. We had a slightly more sophisticated system in place, but it would occasionally put you out of bounds, getting the player stuck in an infinite respawn loop. Adjusting the rotation some depending on the direction the player was going would be a simple solution. Sadly, because I was cramming the map within our size limit, some of the borders - especially around the edges - are way too small.

SSJMetroid says ...
Dec 18, 2015 @ 2:53am

Decent job. I think it started slowing down after a while for me, maybe because of all the trail particles? I wish there were other racers to interact with. Also, I wasn't feeling the music, it was a bit repetitive.

Anti says ...
Dec 21, 2015 @ 1:08pm

The controlls felt very nice. Awesome job!

Benjamin says ...
Dec 27, 2015 @ 9:10pm

I'm not fond of the trial particles but I like the game mood. The leaf is cute :)

Dec 27, 2015 @ 10:05pm

not perfect, but is playable and fun :) the lack of control (sliding around heaps) made it a little frustrating and the high lap number just caused the game to become a little tedious :P but it was still a nice idea and well made.

Dec 27, 2015 @ 11:08pm

Loved it! The growing plants made me smile and helped me improve in further laps, as I could see where I had issues in prior laps. Given the limitations of a game jam, I liked your choices as to what to include and what not to include (multiplayer/phone versions/etc. would be great, but not as important as making the core gameplay experience for a jam).

KZdev says ...
Dec 27, 2015 @ 11:28pm

Neat little racing game. At first I thought it was a bit weird to play a racing game without brakes, then I realized that the plants from the previous laps could be used to my advantage, which is a pretty unique and fun mechanic. Looks pretty good too!

phi says ...
Dec 28, 2015 @ 8:05am

Man, I love the controls! You really implemented the two button controls theme well, the menu navigation is awesome!
The gameplay is quite intriguing, too. The maps are interesting and the graphics simple and effective. Only the music seems a little unfitting for a rather "happy" game like this one.
Otherwise, not much to criticize, awesome job, thanks for the game!

hunttis says ...
Dec 28, 2015 @ 8:50am

Nice work on the theme. It did kind of leave me hoping for an accelerate/brake button, since I kept running off course.

Like said before, multiplayer could be cool. Maybe racing against other people's ghosts (asynchronous multiplayer), so you wouldn't have to worry about realtime netcode.

Jan 2, 2016 @ 1:31am

Cool idea. I got stuck in a wall at some point, but I really like the idea that you need to take separate paths for each lap. Well done!

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