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

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by Aurel Bílý - Compo Entry

=== Nightshift ===
What a horrible night to have a curse! Defeat the evil in Outer Space to defeat the evil within.
An arcade vertical-scrolling shoot 'em up. Try the easier version if you're having trouble, don't miss out on the boss. :)

= Note on the easier (post-jam) version =
By popular demand, I have added a slightly easier version.
- smaller hit box (just the helmet)
- walls don't hurt you, only when they crush you against the bottom edge of the screen
- you move faster
- shorter delay on the shape selector (you can still switch shapes instantly)
- bug fixes

(not included in this version: street cred)

= Controls =
Arrow keys - movement
A / spacebar - shoot, menu action
S + arrow keys - select shape
S (hold) - show shape levels

= Notes =
- you can only switch shapes when you're not shooting
- you cannot move while shooting in Ninja shape
- timelapse coming soon

Downloads and Links




GAFBlizzard says ...
Apr 18, 2016 @ 10:05am

Crazy good art.

The sound effects are very loud on my system compared to the music. The music is nice enough though.

This game is SUPER super hard. Being able to restart levels, or even disabling wall damage so you can learn to use new powerups, would be nice. Holding the button to see the powerup position can get you killed the first time you gain a powerup.

Just a note, if you are holding or tapping A to shoot, it is easy to skip dialogs by accident.

nintendoeats says ...
Apr 18, 2016 @ 3:25pm

The production values and completeness are excellent.

I'm not big on shmups, so take these comments with a grain of salt:

Input lag on the selector wheel was frustrating
Covering my screen with a (really nice) effect when I've been shot was frustrating more than anything else.
The fat melee cat being slow seemed off to me surely the melee character should be bale to get in quickly to do damage?
Keyboard ghosting is a problem I think. I couldn't shoot and move at the same time.

Again, great production values.

csimpsonweb says ...
Apr 18, 2016 @ 5:01pm

really enjoyable to play

amras0000 says ...
Apr 18, 2016 @ 5:35pm

First off, the graphics and general aesthetic of the game are spot-on, consistent, very well done. The various forms feel like they need a bit of balancing but that's the case with any game jam so that's mostly a nitpick. The game is super visually impressive. Like, damn.

Gameplay-wise, it's mostly standard for a vertical shooter, except for a couple distinctions from the norm:
The main genre-convention-defying thing here is the extremely large hitbox that the cat has, for bullet hell standards. That makes maneuvering him very difficult, especially with all the tight spaces and walls to navigate through.

The second genre-convention defiance comes from damage on contact with walls. Typically if you get crushed in a v.shooter you die, but otherwise walls just push you around. With the damage as it's handled here it just seems to make navigating more frustrating without adding a whole lot of enjoyable challenge.

Generally, those tropes exist for a reason and it hurts your game not to follow them.

The movement also feels fairly sluggish and unresponsive. I realize that with the ninja you can't move left/right while firing, but it seemed like there was a moment after I stopped firing when I still couldn't move.

The levels (at least the first few, which I was able to get to) are designed in a way that reinforces the issues with the mechanics. They're filled with tight spaces and obstacles to dodge, with heavy bulletspongey enemies that don't pop well and occupy too much of the screen.

Generally, I'd like a much, much smaller hitbox, weaker enemies, and a lot fewer navigational kerfuffles.

On death and restart, the background music overlaps with itself.

I'll probably come back and play this some more when I'm less tired and can focus on getting further into the game. I'm curious what you put there.

M2tias says ...
Apr 19, 2016 @ 7:32am

What a nice looking cat game! The aesthetics worked wonderfully. It's not the most shapeshifting concept though. Gameplay was pretty good, movement felt right etc. I think that the enemies were a bit tough to my liking and the hitbox could have been a lot smaller in my opinion.
The upgrade system was cool, too bad there wasn't much game to explore it.
Castlevania :)

Lumicgames says ...
Apr 19, 2016 @ 2:29pm

Production value is awesome!! Tutorial is done well, art is great, amount of polish is good.

The movement for me let the game down a little bit. It's super slow and doesn't "feel good" Same thing with shooting, a little more "Game feel" or juice so adding a muzzle flash, faster rate of fire etc.. would have made the shooting way more exciting.

The wheel you use to shift can be hard to pull up at times and also I died a few times whilst trying to shift.

The over all production is awesome, the game-play let's it down a bit.

I still enjoyed my time with it and I hope you keep on developing it, I feel a few simple tweaks would make the game way more enjoyable. Keep up the great work =)

Munchy2007 says ...
Apr 19, 2016 @ 2:30pm

Fun shoot 'em up! But very quickly gets very difficult.

Aurel Bílý says ...
Apr 19, 2016 @ 4:20pm

By popular demand, I added a slightly easier version :)

arzi says ...
Apr 19, 2016 @ 7:53pm

Hah, I loved the intro! Really nice shoot 'em up, too!

The LD window is too small for the game, which hurts the playability a lot. Also, you use the same key for shooting and skipping dialogs, so it's really easy to miss the tutorials.

LeReveur says ...
Apr 19, 2016 @ 9:48pm

I ever wanted to be a cat. Even if it was a nighmare, like here. :D

neontropics says ...
Apr 19, 2016 @ 11:56pm

GREAST intro and graphics / atmosphere in general

The weird big psychadelic pixels that show up every now and then were great

The shape select thing seems laggy and is a nightmare to use

Personally I'm more of a fan of faster movement / smaller hitbox / more bullets kinda games but I guess that comes down to preference. Catloaf seemed a bit too slow to be effectful thouhj

esayitch says ...
Apr 20, 2016 @ 5:53am

Pretty awesome entry, feels like a complete game!

I loved the graphical style, sound was very suitable.

Mechanic is neat and well-implemented.

Only suggestion would be to make the button that advances the text not be the same button for attack, as while I was constantly holding it down to shoot, I would always advance the first line of text that would pop up before reading it :S

Aside from that, wonderful entry, good luck!

CasualCat says ...
Apr 20, 2016 @ 5:40pm

Super cute and high quality art. Extremely well polished feels more than complete. Good controls, a lot of cute little animations and I love that the cat gets stuck on yarn balls, so cute! The music was adorable and the sounds were great quality. I had a lot of fun, but I think it was a little difficult with the walls.

Apr 20, 2016 @ 5:47pm

The tutorial was superfluous. In a game like this, players will know to shoot everything and will learn what gives them things. Just put an instructions screen. It was painful sitting through the tutorial.

EdoMiyamoto says ...
Apr 20, 2016 @ 8:45pm

Hey, I really like shmups, this one got potential, it's already cool so far :) shape menu is a bit long to pop out (in my opinion), other than that: good job !

markusfisch says ...
Apr 20, 2016 @ 8:52pm

Totally awesome! Can't stop playing this :)

rahulparihar says ...
Apr 20, 2016 @ 9:42pm

I must say this has been one of the most fun to play entries of LD35. I really liked the visuals and music. Especially the opening 'cinematic', a tribute to Castlevania ?
Anyway, good use of the theme. A flawless game in my opinion, almost perfect scores. :)

Uson Chen says ...
Apr 20, 2016 @ 11:06pm

The art is great!
A classic style with interesting mechanic

mitkus says ...
Apr 21, 2016 @ 9:32am

Really solid entry. A bit slow at the beginning, but I enjoyed it quite a bit after the first level.

Nesferjo says ...
Apr 21, 2016 @ 6:15pm

Very cool art, also cats are always a +1. I also like these kind of games. It was easy to miss the messages in the tutorial, though, cause I kept hitting SPACE to attack which also makes dialogues to go away.

Sir Magic says ...
Apr 21, 2016 @ 6:16pm

I quite liked the take on the classic but I feel that bullets from the enemies should break blocks too to keep consistency.

AnaGF says ...
Apr 21, 2016 @ 6:31pm

Cool game, took me a while to figure out the theme, but it is good overall. I want that yarn too hard :X

Hectigo says ...
Apr 21, 2016 @ 7:15pm

My biggest gripe with the game is that it's simply too easy to skip the dialogs. A half a second delay before they react to a press of space would do a lot. Other than that, it's a pretty solid shmup with good controls and nice pixel art. Really like all the animal characters! :)

cudabear says ...
Apr 21, 2016 @ 7:17pm

A ton of content for the scope of the compo! I was surprised how long the game went on for. And that's not a bad thing! You seriously nailed the style of an oldschool game with a modern twist here, from the music to the animations to the opening cutscene.

I wasn't a big fan of the brutal collision, input delay on swapping shapes, or bird-poop splatter coating my vision, but you seemed to have resolved many of these issues in the "easier" version. When I think of a bullet hell, I usually think of smaller hitboxes to make everything seem that much more "near death" than anything, so I think the smaller cat hitbox makes a lot of sense.

I like how all the cats hat their genuine uses, but the "loaf" cat really didn't have one. He couldn't even outrun walls sometimes. I also feel like there were some scenarios where it was impossible to avoid taking damage.

Overall, a very nice vertical scrolling shooter with tons of content, awesome stylistic design, and a great feel to it. Well done!

Flzzlsharkop says ...
Apr 22, 2016 @ 9:56am

I enjoyed this a lot, it definitely has the most personality out of the ten or so entries I've tried so far! There's a lot of unique touches and the music is cool too, creating it by programming gives it a lot more authentically weird retro sound. Quite hypnotic. I didn't ever see the fourth form though despite having to try several times to beat the game. Loaf is definitely for pro players, you should keep it as is.

axoona says ...
Apr 22, 2016 @ 8:56pm

It's quite a cool game (I tried the easy version). The levels are sufficiently diffrent from each other so there's no feel of repetition and the lenght of the game feels just right. Also the audio and the graphics suit the mood very well.

panicq says ...
Apr 23, 2016 @ 7:31pm

Nice art :) Game mechanics are simple but are nicely produced !

Arvydas says ...
Apr 23, 2016 @ 8:04pm

Great, Great entry, i played the original version, it's a bit hard but playable and very very fun, really good entry in the compo!

MintArcade says ...
Apr 23, 2016 @ 8:11pm

Cool game. Slow at the beginning, nice classic.

Freank says ...
Apr 24, 2016 @ 9:56am

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

SHLFStudios says ...
Apr 24, 2016 @ 9:01pm

great compo entry! six/music levels are a bit out of balance, it was hard to hear any music. but the polish is amazing.

urfbound says ...
Apr 25, 2016 @ 1:54am

Great enemy design! The art is good and I liked the music too.

Some recommendations I thought of (many are said by others below):
1.) Make the shoot button different from the one that progresses dialog - I missed a lot of the mid-tutorial dialog for that reason
2.) I found it was really difficult to get rid of the orange boxes quickly enough and usually avoided them. Maybe the blasts should destroy two at a time, or they should be grouped together in fours to make them a little easier to deal with.
3.) The whitespace in the character hitbox could make wall collisions a little confusing. I think that it was remarkably well done for enemy/projectile collisions though, so great job there.

Overall had a blast and more than a few laughs playing your game. I love the art, hope to see it again in the future! Hope you had fun making your game, thanks for your submission!

doombrowski says ...
Apr 27, 2016 @ 1:19am

The game felt very complete. The only issue I had was with the tutorial. The space bar being fire made me skip over some text, so I'm pretty sure I was missing a mechanic while playing. :X

Geti says ...
Apr 27, 2016 @ 1:27am

I got some crazy freezes from time to time but the game itself was pretty fun!

Mase says ...
Apr 27, 2016 @ 6:43am

Very coherent graphics. Nice variety of unique enemies.

Apr 27, 2016 @ 4:04pm

Funny game, lovely graphics! I included it in my video compilation series of Ludum Dare games, if you’d like to check them out :)

Aaranos says ...
Apr 28, 2016 @ 1:08am

I played the original and I think it is okay. Good arcade game.

Apr 28, 2016 @ 4:23am

Loved the art and the sound! This is one of the games I most liked on this LD :D

Sometimes the character moved automatically to the left and I got stuck on there :/

Congrats for the game!

Ellian says ...
Apr 28, 2016 @ 7:11pm

Pretty amazing content for such a short time, good work. I managed to beat the game in casual mode but man, it makes me wonder how the hard mode is because that was already way hard enough ahah
Good job anyway!

PinkIndian says ...
May 2, 2016 @ 5:28pm

Very nice graphics and awesome music. Maybe a bit too difficult... :)

Rscar says ...
May 3, 2016 @ 1:08pm

Really great stuff! Fantastic color palette and art, and as others have been saying, the overall polish feels wonderful

May 4, 2016 @ 8:33pm

Thanks, I enjoyed this. Great music! Currently the respawn seems to put you in a position in the screen, regardless of whether there is a wall there or not. Poor kitty!

dollarone says ...
May 6, 2016 @ 1:25am

Great little game. I like the tutorial and gradual build up and also how losing a life makes you drop levels. Makes it more painful! The original one was harder, but I managed to beat it in the end. I like how the levels got progressively harder.

The chop-cat seems a bit useless, unless he does crazy damage. Ninja cat was good, and the original good vs boss. Didn't get to try the bottom one.

All in all felt like a complete - if short - game. And I like the yarn/scratch-pole items :)

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