Ludum Dare 35 — April 15th-18th, 2016 — Theme: Shapeshift

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by rxi - Compo Entry

For those having issues with the key mapping:

I've made the following patch, download and extract it to the game's folder (so that `pak1` from the zip is in the same folder as `pak0`). You can then edit the `keymap.txt` file to remap the keys:

Note this does not change the behaviour of the controls besides the direct key mapping.

For people who questioned using the `XCV` instead of the `ZXC` keys, see rnlf's post for an explanation of why:

Downloads and Links




Idkfawin32 says ...
Apr 18, 2016 @ 2:10am

What a slam dunk this one is

UncleChris says ...
Apr 18, 2016 @ 2:11am

Really liked it - I had trouble keeping airborne and died a lot (hence not as fun as probably could be), but I blame that on the last 48 hours over your engine. The audio and graphics were really well done, liked them a lot.
The tutorial keys should be able to be pulled up - or get back easily to them (kept having issues trying to remember them).

Membrane says ...
Apr 18, 2016 @ 2:16am

I'm forcing myself to stop playing your game so that I can go rate some more. You did an incredible job on this

ougrouk says ...
Apr 18, 2016 @ 2:19am

Boobie clouds!
The game is really nicely done good job.

Mithreindeir says ...
Apr 18, 2016 @ 2:27am

Wow. Great job.

RyanMan56 says ...
Apr 18, 2016 @ 2:30am

First one I've played so far and I can already see this one winning!

CMLSC says ...
Apr 18, 2016 @ 3:10am

Controls are a bit hard. .-.

TideS says ...
Apr 18, 2016 @ 10:34am

Best graphics iv seen this ld yet and awesome game btw. The controls could be a bit better though.

Eshford says ...
Apr 18, 2016 @ 11:38am

Great game with some excellent visuals! I could've kept playing it for a long time.

seitnerk says ...
Apr 18, 2016 @ 2:32pm

What a great game! nice audio an pixelart. The gameplay is also very good! :)

unoion says ...
Apr 18, 2016 @ 2:35pm

Great platformer!Excellent graphics, animation and sounds!

Goutye says ...
Apr 18, 2016 @ 2:35pm

As each LD, an amazing work again RXI. Was a bit tough but I finally succeeded! I still think that the controls could be a bit easier. For example, an auto-shift when you try to jump but you are still an human. Having to jump -> shift -> jump jump is really painful sometimes because you mix up a bit the keys.
Overall: Perfect!

rnlf says ...
Apr 18, 2016 @ 2:53pm

As usual, this look, sounds and feels perfect. I can't imagine you having made this just after finishing LOWREZJAM.

I couldn't finish it yet, I'll need some more time to adjust to the keys; I would really love UP for jumping and flapping, that'd feel much more natural to me and keep me from entangling my fingers all the time.

Madball says ...
Apr 18, 2016 @ 3:12pm

Controls are very frustrating (maybe I'll even give you a trophy for that). Every time I'm about to pull off a sick trick, I mix up "X" and "C"! Why would you set the jump key to anything but "Up"? More than that, you could make the butterfly auto-activate when you try to double jump.

Also, it's a bit annoying that you can't do anything without you butterfly form. Every time you need to climb something, it's just high enough to make you unable to jump yourself, and you need to wait for shifting to recharge. (My game has similar mechanic of rechargeable shifting, but I made it optional, you can complete most of my game in any form)

Other than that, I thoroughly enjoyed the game. It is very fun to play from beginning to end. The 1UP system felt a bit awkward, but it didn't spoil the gameplay at all. I also liked that you can skip some platforming with careful fluttering, whether you intended it or not.

Gamepopper says ...
Apr 18, 2016 @ 6:39pm

Very solid platformer, I'm not sure why you chose XCV for your controls instead of ZXC (which is what I'm used to, but probably not others). The form changing mechanic works well and the level really accommodates for it.

Great music and minimalist pixel art as well!

Apr 18, 2016 @ 8:59pm

you're alive!
(I'll play the game later)

Ethan Allwood says ...
Apr 18, 2016 @ 10:16pm

Nice game. I like the graphics. Controls were a little bit difficult though.

batmanasb says ...
Apr 18, 2016 @ 11:25pm

The game looks really nice, but the control layout is unbearable! Jump/Flap should not be between the 2 action keys! Please, rebind Jump/Flap to the UP arrow and/or Space and then reupload the game as v1.1 so I can play it. But until then, I just can't. I won't rate it yet, and I'll bookmark it and check up until you fix the bindings so I can give it a fair playthrough :)

Gtron says ...
Apr 19, 2016 @ 12:57am

Very fun, fantastic music!

Wefiends says ...
Apr 19, 2016 @ 3:27am

Had a lot of issues with the controls, but the cool art style kept me going. Wasn't able to make it very far, but I think it says a lot that I really wanted to.

sP0CkEr2 says ...
Apr 19, 2016 @ 5:04am

oh yes this is going into my play again file - nice work here - but got really mad falling off all the time

oxysoft says ...
Apr 19, 2016 @ 5:59am

This game would benefit a lot from dropping the slow recharge for flying, it should recharge as soon as you land. Better controls would help a huge deal as well, and I don't see why you did XCV when it could just have been ZXC.

an example of better controls would be hitting the jump button while in midair should just transform you to the bat directly. That would make it a lot more fluid already.

madmarcel says ...
Apr 19, 2016 @ 8:58am

Love the graphics, controls were a pain though.

image/31 says ...
Apr 19, 2016 @ 12:08pm

It does not easy, look great, laconically. Like it very much.

Aurel Bílý says ...
Apr 19, 2016 @ 4:33pm

A simple platformer, but extremely well polished.
I appreciated the enemy spawns not being random, that would have been very bad :D

Rafos Games says ...
Apr 19, 2016 @ 5:36pm

This is one who hoped to play, and is a funny little platformer.

amras0000 says ...
Apr 19, 2016 @ 5:39pm

Awesome. The dynamic of coins to purchase lives actually gives incentives to coin collection without the stressful overtness of a lives counter. And the balance is just right that I didn't have issues getting to the end once I learned the controls but also didn't feel like I wasn't challenged, and my coin count stayed within 10-40 bounds throughout most of the game.

regarding XCV, I found myself consistently moving my fingers to ZXC every time I scratched my nose or stretched my hands, so while you're being more open to other keyboard layouts you're also working against hard-engrained muscle memory.

Afaict after you've used up all your bat jumps you get another extra boost which transforms you back into a human, and there's one optional jump that uses that feature. Good on you for not making it mandatory to use the mechanic, but it definitely wasn't obvious or signposted well.

Also, it seems like there was a slight shortcut at one point, but I just barely couldn't make the jump (3 horizontal squares, then a big rectangle to their right, then a jump from the big rectangle onto a platform to the left). Not sure if that was intentionally misleading or if I can make that jump somehow.

Anyway, awesome work. As always you've managed make the rest of us look shite in comparison :P

randomhuman says ...
Apr 19, 2016 @ 7:02pm

Excellent. I can't believe you put together something this polished in two days!

local minimum says ...
Apr 19, 2016 @ 7:38pm

I see this is a really well made game, and I wish it was a little kinder on me, but something just makes my brain not get the jump-fly-flap-switch-jump-switch-fly-flap thing and I just die and fail and fall. So I wish it would have been much easier and forgiving start. Or maybe there are some tweak possible to the details of the two states to make it easier.

They way I felt playing you really never benefited much from the humanoid state, more like an evil necessity between the flaps. So maybe that could be balanced if the human state could generate higher speed when running. Just a though.

cowboycolor says ...
Apr 19, 2016 @ 8:03pm

Really awesome! Art is great, feels really good, music is tight! Sound effects felt a bit sharp / generic, but everything else is super tight!

brainstorm says ...
Apr 19, 2016 @ 8:10pm

Great game! Just that the controls are a bit uncomfortable and there could be an autoshift as someone said.

blinry says ...
Apr 19, 2016 @ 8:35pm

This game looks and sounds very nice! I struggled with the controls, and wished you could fly for longer periods of time.

tgrehawi says ...
Apr 19, 2016 @ 8:40pm

Love the music! I fumbled a bit with the controls, but otherwise well done!

pirate_shell says ...
Apr 19, 2016 @ 9:09pm

I loved this one. The graphics were simple, yet worked so well. I also enjoyed the music which had enough elements that built up over time to make it not repetative. The gameplay was solid tight platforming action that I love to bits. My only two gripes are that the camera movement tends to be a bit stuttery for some reason, and the bat form has just a touch more momentum than I would like. Other than that, bloody fantastic!

Biliogadafr says ...
Apr 19, 2016 @ 9:44pm

Like it! Solid game with nice music, graphics and animations. And all this in compo. Impressive :).

Apr 19, 2016 @ 10:08pm

The massive hitboxes are a big issue. I can't stand to play it because of getting hit when I wasn't even near being hit.

lycoris102 says ...
Apr 19, 2016 @ 11:57pm

It's great. Like this :)
(I want to use same key for jump /switch.)

samlo says ...
Apr 20, 2016 @ 12:05am

Neat little platformer! I love attack animation (screen shake is juuust right). If anything, I wish that the bat-flaps recharged on landing instead of over time, but that's quite minor. Also - this is the first game I've played that did shape-shifting into an animal, which I liked. Good job!

PanicTheFirst says ...
Apr 20, 2016 @ 12:32am

Amazing graphics and gameplay!

Yword says ...
Apr 20, 2016 @ 1:57pm

I just finished it, it is really amazing and polished! Well done!

Smiley says ...
Apr 20, 2016 @ 5:52pm

Awesome as always rxi :)

EpiFouloux says ...
Apr 20, 2016 @ 7:17pm

great ! miss parameter menu but the game is cool !

egos says ...
Apr 20, 2016 @ 7:17pm

impressive work for a compo entries

thephantom says ...
Apr 20, 2016 @ 7:24pm

great game .. lovely pixel art and colors.

TheCain says ...
Apr 20, 2016 @ 7:26pm

It was fun. pretty difficult. I killed the ghost, but fell down and had to restart.

DSSiege11 says ...
Apr 20, 2016 @ 7:34pm

Gorgeous game! :D Music is fantastic too. I'll sure be taking more time to complete this game later :)

Sir Magic says ...
Apr 20, 2016 @ 7:39pm

I found this game really fun and I liked how attacking gave a tiny bit of speed as it gave me a really cool combo of flapping and attacking. Nice game.

kariamoss says ...
Apr 20, 2016 @ 7:40pm

Very good game! :)

notime4games says ...
Apr 20, 2016 @ 8:25pm

Really great job! Awesome pixel art and great music and sound. However the controls in combination with the level design is too punishing. The theme felt a bit forced upon the game

Sanka-X says ...
Apr 20, 2016 @ 8:25pm

Very good game, with nice music & sound. I Thing that the control when in bat form should be a little more accurate(I miss quite a few time near the end because of this :D). And I think a little bit more charge for flying would be cool, because it's frustration to have to wait for jumping to the next platform.

nopogo says ...
Apr 20, 2016 @ 8:49pm

Every ld I get to be jealous of your pixel art and animations. Keep it up.

EdoMiyamoto says ...
Apr 20, 2016 @ 9:07pm

Hey it's very good :)

OttersDen says ...
Apr 20, 2016 @ 9:09pm

The game has so much juice! It feels very complete and fleshed out. One thing to note: I found the controls to be a little hard to grasp? To go up as much as you can, you need to press CXCCCC. I feel like it would be more intuitive to jump normally with C, and shapeshift automatically when going up even more. So you get rid of the X altogether? That might be simplifying it too much.

But don't let that get you down. Like I said, this was great. The game feels very complete and fun. Awesome job!

Riftpoint says ...
Apr 20, 2016 @ 9:33pm

Very cool game, the art is amazing, the movement and animation too. Congratulations to the team

aemiliu5 says ...
Apr 20, 2016 @ 9:35pm

Impressive compo entry! Couldn't get very far but it's a great overall experience :)

Ithildin says ...
Apr 21, 2016 @ 5:05am

Very solid entry, as usual. I really liked the music in particular.

However, controls were a bit frustrating. I understand the reasoning for the choice on keys, (actually, for me ZXC would have been even more cumbersome even if I have a QWERTY layout), but juggling so frequently between jump and switch was causing some strain on my left hand's ring and little fingers.

This aside, congrats for an amazingly polished game :D

Ironhead says ...
Apr 21, 2016 @ 6:30am

This is very well done all around. I will be coming back to this one post rating. Good job!

batmanasb says ...
Apr 21, 2016 @ 7:09am

Beat it in 8 min 31 sec! OMG that was intense! It's not often that platformers test your skill at flappy bird! The one part that felt just like the flappy bird pipes was especially brutal! But overall I loved it once you fixed the awful initial controls! Great patch!

This is one of the best games I played this jam, but here are a few suggestions anyways! Some noobs (not me) would get really pissed off if they ran out of coins near the end! So that might be a risky mechanic for a LDJAM if you want people to beat your game, but I liked it. Also, the attack launches you forward, which feels great, but gets you damaged by some of the enemies, usually because they are in a group but I think the ghost got me because there wasn't enough knockback. Which isn't necessarily a bad thing, just something to keep in mind. Then lastly, jump should probably morph you into a bird, it's more intuitive that way, as someone else here mentioned.

Freank says ...
Apr 21, 2016 @ 4:54pm

Hi, nice game ! We're realizing a video with several games of the Ludum Dare #35.
Can you add your game on ? (it's free)
So we can include also your game in the video ;)
p.s. write #LDJAM in the game's description

p.p.s. your pixel art is amazing !!! great job !!

Norgg says ...
Apr 21, 2016 @ 6:51pm

Whee, didn't enter this time so can't rate, but enjoyed this!

I liked the continue system, but would second amras0000's comment about the continues feeling on the cheap side. After my first death I was kind of expecting the next continue to cost say 15 then 20.

Norgg says ...
Apr 21, 2016 @ 6:53pm

(oops, misread his comment. I ended up hovering around 50+ coin through most of my first good run, ended with 59 coins in 7m22s)

Afendar says ...
Apr 21, 2016 @ 7:42pm

I love your game. i have played 2 hours. The mechanic is very fun. Great Job.

WetDesertRock says ...
Apr 21, 2016 @ 9:44pm

I didn't manage to beat this until I came back to it to listen to the music again. I'm not very good at platformers, and the controls didn't help (and yes, I saw I could change them via patching them). I did get more used to them after awhile. I'd have to say that was my main complaint.

You were afraid that it was a rather short, game, and for me I spent around 30-40 minutes not beating it (and then ~7 minutes beating it while writing this). So that says something about your game and about my skill. I didn't get too tired of it, and I'm not very good.

Your graphics were spot on, you had a concrete style, nothing out of place (maybe the tweens on the death screen were out of place, not sure I care though), and everything was cohesive.

Sound wise, nothing stood out to me. The sounds were generated in sfxr, which is alright (in the style of the game), however I never find those super interesting.

The music was good, however now that I think about it, I think its weakest point is the fact that there isn't a ton of space in the song. No chance for it to breathe. It wasn't just one part, I think it was a combination of factors. Every part by itself sounds good.
* Your bass line is super active (and maybe could use a low pass filter? Probably just personal preference at that point)
* Your melody line compounds on top of the bass line
* Drums are a bit present in the mix
* Nothing really has any release, no trails after the notes.

I preferred the winning music (although I'd probably say it wouldn't fit in the main game).

All that being said, I don't think your music is bad, I just think it was a bit claustrophobic.

The level design was well done, the difficulty progression very smooth.
That being said, I wish there could've been bonuses along the way. It didn't seem to have a "plot". The challenges were similar, they just got harder. However, it is a LudumDare game after all (and my game didn't really have level design itself, so who am I to say).

Really well done, I think this entry is spot on.

Dmitrix says ...
Apr 22, 2016 @ 6:47am

Fun game!

managore says ...
Apr 22, 2016 @ 9:22am

Oh wow, I'm always so impressed by how beautiful you manage to make each of your games, and this is no exception! The controls were so responsive, and the knockback added a really interesting element to the combat which really brought it to life. Trying to high score this game would be a lot of fun, though I wish I were better at it! :)

Sean says ...
Apr 22, 2016 @ 2:31pm

Like a lot of other people commenting, I had issues getting the controls to "click" - every time I switched to the bat, I instinctively wanted to keep pressing the switch button to make the bat flap instead of going back to jump.

Other than that, this was a great game! Nice graphics, cool music, and I loved the way you used coins as currency for continues; that was a great way to add some incentive for picking them up beyond an abstract points system!

SteveSalmond says ...
Apr 23, 2016 @ 6:18am

Awesome job man, I actually loved the control scheme. Thanks for putting up the timelapse, I really enjoyed watching that too after playing. Props!

tompudding says ...
Apr 23, 2016 @ 11:34am

Stunningly great, perfect balance of difficult and addictive. Looked amazing and the music was great. The coins for continues was a godsend too. Fantastic!

mukult says ...
Apr 23, 2016 @ 6:40pm

The control scheme is kind of weird...

The game is awesome.... Nice polish and feels smooth! But could have used better control scheme... it just seemed to bug me a lot :)

Apr 25, 2016 @ 5:42pm

Really quite difficult (for me). I mixed up the action keys even after playing for a while.. and using the patch to get "my own" controls (i.e. what I would expect). The continue system is rather unforgiving.

On the plus side, the audio is nice, and the graphics are 5/5 as usual.

SantiHisteria says ...
Apr 25, 2016 @ 6:29pm

Wow... awesome graphics and controls!! A bit hard for usual gamers but it's ok! I liked it!

Freank says ...
Apr 25, 2016 @ 6:50pm

i'm still waiting it *_*

blubberquark says ...
Apr 26, 2016 @ 1:27pm

I really wanted to like it, but I fell down a lot and had to get back up again. Outright dying would have been better. I also had problems with the controls, but I am grateful for your consideration of non-US keyboards.

derr says ...
Apr 29, 2016 @ 12:39pm

Where to start ... the game looks and feels super solid and polished. I loved the graphics, music, the level design. Everything was done perfectly.

Only thing I missed was Gamepad support.

Top notch entry!

Kerdelos says ...
May 1, 2016 @ 1:45pm

The game and the music are gorgeous but the controls and the gameplay are hard to grasp.

DrPetter says ...
May 1, 2016 @ 7:31pm

Yay! Very pretty, very good music, nice balance once you start to get enough coins to hold a few continues. The game is hard enough that winning feels like a good reward and relief.

It's true that the controls are slightly cumbersome at first, when you have to switch back and forth between keys to do seemingly a single action (multi-jump). It does get easier when muscle memory kicks in though.

The thing I was most afraid of after a while was falling down, mainly from using the dash attack near platform edges. It did add some sense of urgency though, so not a bad thing.

runvs says ...
May 3, 2016 @ 8:46pm

Wraaarw! Hulk-Smash! Those spikes! controls are a bit off (jump on space would have been nice).
Super cute graphics, super cool sound and sound effects, animations and juice are extremely well done!

EvanEGibbs says ...
May 5, 2016 @ 8:08am

I loved the mechanic of transforming and being able to jump and flap around. :) The music and pixel art were great! Really brought the whole thing together. Nice job!

Tijn says ...
May 5, 2016 @ 10:57am

I'm super proud of myself for having finished this, haha. The game was quite a challenge at first, but after a few attempts, it started to dawn on me how to play. Eventually I needed 5 continues to finish a run in 7 minutes. I don't know if that's terrible or not, but for me it's a victory.

I see a lot of people commenting on the control scheme. While playing, I wondered if it would have been possible to play this game with only two buttons, where the jump button would automatically shapeshift you into a bat if you weren't already. Perhaps such a simplified control scheme would help some players who find it too difficult. But to be honest, even though I'm generally terrible at platformers, I did find it was possible to get used to the controls fairly quickly actually.

Anyway, this is a great game! It's incredibly well made, as the graphics and music are marvellous and it all feels very, very solid. I think the modulation in the song is a clever way to avoid it sounding too repetitive.

Well done :)

Tegu says ...
May 7, 2016 @ 10:46am

It's amazing to see and hear this level of polish. It took a while to get used to the controls and switching but after that it became smooth (okay, I still occasionally mixed them later). The fact that the punch moves the player forward bit me a few times and I fell down from platforms. I like that the bird is able to punch as well, makes some parts easier. Punching should also not be odne too close to the enemy or the player loses health. I also tried to punch the little flies but they didn't seem to care. I like that the red enemies jump if you try to simply jump over them. However, if you don't want to punch them (although the coins it gives would be nice), you can just lead them to jump out of the level. :P

Nice to see that the coins have other function than just score. Saved me a couple of times from further frustration, especially on the tight part with spikes in the later part of the level. Restarting the whole level at that point would have been annoying. Sometimes the coins spawned under the platform, especially with the flying enemies, so I couldn't get them. :(

There wasn't a 32-bit Linux build but compiling Juno was easy enough. At first I simply tried to use plain LÖVE but it errored due to lack of juno. Had to google what is Juno to get the game eventually running. Worth it.

About two button controls, I guess it would require some modifications to the level. That's because sometimes you just need to use shapeshift on the ground instead of jumping because flapping is lower. Indeed it would simplify the scheme, but I guess it needs some experimenting (for which there is not usually too much time on LD, I guess).

Finished in 7 mins 43 secs on the first try with 63 coins, 92 in total, 3 continues used and 208 switches. Not quite optimal result. On another (but not second :P) attempt I finished in 3 mins 39 secs, collected 64 coins, 84 in total (thus 2 continues, still not good), and 144 switches.

Overall, a really enjoyable game!

Geckoo1337 says ...
May 7, 2016 @ 3:04pm

Nice game with a neat aesthetic. Great game and well done ++

BluShine says ...
May 7, 2016 @ 10:03pm

Managed to beat it, here's my score:

The difficulty level was perfect for me! I liked that the character is kinda floaty in the air, although I wish that platforms were a little less slippery. It was really hard to stay on those small blocks. Also, I kept falling off platforms while trying to kill enemies. But it felt good when I managed to transform and save myself by gliding down onto a lower platform. Music was good, and the pixel art is awesome!

One thing that I disliked about the controls is that you had to keep switching keys whenever you jump. Every jump is pretty much "C, X, C C C C". I think it would be better if you could just press "C" to jump as a human, and then if you press "C" again in mid-air, it would automatically transform you. You could still hit "X" if you wanted to manually turn back into a human, but I can't think of any situation where you would want to hit "X" on the ground to transform instead of doing it after jumping.

Also, I have to say that I really liked your respawning system. Not only can you pay coins to continue, but it also spawns you back at the last "safe" place you stood, and there's even an invincibility timer when you spawn! That's a level of polish that is very rare to see in a game jam. Very nice touch on top of an already fun game!

Tanton-H2X says ...
May 9, 2016 @ 2:24pm

very solid and fun entry,short and pithy.
at first several times, i fell a little bit hard and this controll buttons a little bit Unaccustomed for me (i more usually use z x c) died so many times! but after about 3 times, really get the key to controll. and there are one thing let me so impressed and surprising which is the menment when i died at middle stage and it told me that i could use conins to relife! very happy~ this design is cool and so kind~
also i think this game more let people to explore and built the rhythm by themselves,it is a little bit chanllenge but seems worth to experience!
otherwise,there are some platform which have good vision also let me think there may have some HIDE Area at nearby..ToT but it seems that i was wrong... Fortunately i have enough coins hahah!~:P
( and i just forgot to say that the music is super awesome~ fit the rhythm very much love it)

csanyk says ...
May 9, 2016 @ 3:15pm

Decent little platformer that felt like a GameBoy Color game.

tomlum says ...
May 9, 2016 @ 11:40pm

Super cool, very satisfyingly challenging as well, controls took a bit to master but were super satisfying once I got them down.

May 10, 2016 @ 12:43am

Really loved the look and feel of this one. The control scheme was a tad odd, but it was lovely to look at and play otherwise.

thx1342 says ...
May 19, 2016 @ 8:22pm

Sound and graphics are amazing! Loved it! Great work!

The controls, on the other hand, are very frustrating. I don't know why but ZXC seemed more natural to me and I was constantly thinking about my next keystroke (something I prefer not to do on platformers). Also had trouble with the attack that rushes the enemy, I could never connect an attack without getting injured myself.

cassioraposa says ...
Nov 2, 2016 @ 10:30pm

Very nice! The controls are hard at first but you manage to get used to it. Feels like playing an amiga classic, graphic and mechanic wise.
Had a very good time playing it!

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