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

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SHAPE.SHIFT()

by Xanjos - Jam Entry

(The standalone version is recommended if you plan on rating this game as these have extra graphical effects that are not available in the web version :))

Update (19/4/16): Reduced the time it takes for the game over UI to appear so you can now restart the game faster.

Update (27/4/16): Added a link to a slightly easier post-jam version (WebGL only for the moment) with increased distances between obstacles so you have a bit more time to react accordingly. For rating purposes (and bragging rights) however, the original version is still embed on this page (as well as available on my GameJolt and itch.io pages).

Update (1/5/16): Post-Jam versions are now available to download in my itch.io page.

You are a block of data wandering aimlessly throughout cyberspace. You must pass through each checkpoint correctly or risk deletion (Apologies for my rather lame attempt at making some backstory for my game :P).

If you're playing the standalone version I recommend playing on a resolution of at least 1280x720 or higher.

Mac and Linux versions are available on my itch.io and GameJolt pages.

Notes: Yes the game is very difficult but it is actually possible to get a good score. You just need some good reactions. But in case you still suck at this here's a small guide I wrote http://ludumdare.com/compo/2016/04/24/tips-and-tricks-on-how-to-get-a-good-score-in-my-game/ (TLDR - git gud :V)

Known Bugs:

Sometimes your score doesn't increment when you pass through an obstacle (This is pretty rare but it's to do with Unity's triggers)

Instructions:

W/S or Up/Down to move
Left Click/Space to switch shapes

Tools Used:

Language: C#
IDE: Visual Studio
Library/Framework: Unity
Skybox Texture: Inkscape
Obstacles: Blender
Sounds: bfxr

Additional Credits:

Font: Liquid Crystal by Chase Babb

Music: Going Deep by Section 31-Tech


Don't forget to leave a comment so I can play and rate your entries as well :)

Downloads and Links


Ratings

Coolness100%
#427Theme(Jam)3.48
#638Mood(Jam)2.98
#654Graphics(Jam)3.13
#751Overall(Jam)3.00
#777Fun(Jam)2.82
#967Innovation(Jam)2.46

Comments

APantaloni says ...
Apr 18, 2016 @ 11:36pm

Cool music and visuals. Very challenging. Correctly aligning the shape with the hole is maybe harder than it should. Or maybe I just need to practice :) The background texture looks compressed a lot. Fun nonetheless

EthanBierlein says ...
Apr 18, 2016 @ 11:55pm

I like the visuals, and the idea, but the game is *very* difficult. I had a lot of trouble trying to get at least one point.

Apr 18, 2016 @ 11:57pm

It's very hard. But fun. and that's good, although I think that the walls should be instantiated off-screen

Xanjos says ...
Apr 19, 2016 @ 12:23am

@EthanBierlein: That's partly my fault. I should have made the holes a bit bigger when I was modelling the obstacles but if the first obstacle has a center hole you can pretty much stay still for some easy points :).

@APantaloni: I had no idea the skybox/background texture looks compressed to you? Was this on the web or standalone version?

brainybeard says ...
Apr 19, 2016 @ 12:42pm

Cool game man! Interesting mechanic, really hard though. Also the death screen takes a long time to say game over. Maybe a simple reset button by hitting space could work?

kabel says ...
Apr 19, 2016 @ 1:53pm

This is way to difficult, I could hardly get past the first few. Despite the good music, I think this needs some optimization.

dcRfj15 says ...
Apr 19, 2016 @ 3:08pm

After ~10 minutes my high score is 80. I liked the graphics for the game, and the game seemed to be very polished!

The game is really hard. To me, this felt like a result of the Camera being at a angle which made it a little hard to see whether the cube was lined up or not (a little feedback would be helpful to tell the player when the cube is lined up with the hole), and also, there was very little time in between each panel. If there was an extra second or so between each panel, it would make the game a little easier.

arhpositive says ...
Apr 19, 2016 @ 6:36pm

Highest score was... 40, maybe? Movement was a little slow to catch up with the shapes on screen. Overall, it's a decent game with a good amount of polish. It has room for improvement.

By the way, that grid is a little bit distracting & could've been better.

randomhuman says ...
Apr 19, 2016 @ 6:49pm

The flashy visuals are great, and the gameplay is compelling. I feel like the only thing missing is a more gradual difficulty curve. I think if it had that this game would really suck you in and give you a strong sense of achievement as you progressed.

smbe19 says ...
Apr 19, 2016 @ 7:11pm

The game looks pretty cool and it has a nice style to it.
The soundtrack complements the look quite well, although it gets a little repetitive with time.

In principle, the game seems very similar to flappy bird: A game about not crashing into walls, which is very challenging to boot. I think that it works quite well and is very intuitive.

Your game is rightfully labeled very difficult. I don't think that's a bad thing at all, because an easy game of this principle would be extremely boring. Now that every wall is a real challenge, it feels quite exciting. However, I would have made the game start out slightly easier, maybe with bigger holes and larger distances and then getting harder until it reaches the current level of difficulty at around 100 points. This would ease the player into the game but still make it very challenging in the end.

The graphics were pretty good for this kind of game. If you made them more detailed, they might be distracting and interfere with the simple principle of using the correct shape in the correct location.

thebrainfuse says ...
Apr 19, 2016 @ 7:34pm

Hard, but really cool!
You should definitely check out our game...
coz... you'll see...
http://ludumdare.com/compo/ludum-dare-35/?action=preview&uid=24501

Xanjos says ...
Apr 19, 2016 @ 7:46pm

@randomhuman: I actually planned on having the game start out a slower speed and have it gradually increase every time you pass an obstacle until you get to the speed it is currently is right now but unfortunately didn't have time to implement it (My reasons for the speed being that way is because I was trying to find the best one that's not too easy and not too impossible at the same time but obviously my interpretation of what I consider to be very challenging is probably different from everyone else's).

Apr 19, 2016 @ 9:46pm

For me the game was way too hard :( Had no fun.

Lady Beardo says ...
Apr 19, 2016 @ 11:02pm

Well done! My reaction times are terrible but this is cool.

AsixJin says ...
Apr 20, 2016 @ 4:34am

I couldn't tell if the game is suppose to be hard or not. Lining up the shape with the wall can be difficult. Otherwise nice entry.

tppr2046 says ...
Apr 20, 2016 @ 6:43am

Music and visual is good!! I had fun!

Khaoz_Fang says ...
Apr 20, 2016 @ 7:42am

The visual is very cool, but it's really difficult to align with the hole.

Solocov says ...
Apr 20, 2016 @ 11:45am

Good game, but maybe change the controls a bit.
Its extremely hard to get through the middle and the circle/box was often(for me) to slow to come from the top to the bottom :P
Make 3 instances up/middle/bottom, instead of sliding :P

Thanks for posting your Entry in my Post :P

Xanjos says ...
Apr 20, 2016 @ 12:22pm

@Solocov: There's a bit of timing when going from a top hole to a bottom (or vice-versa). You kinda want to move/change shape as soon as you pass the hole (ideally just after you hear the sound play). As for middle holes, as some sort of visual guide, the position you're in at the start is most often the one you want to be in when going through middle holes.

Matzigon says ...
Apr 20, 2016 @ 1:02pm

Nice game. The middle hole is just too hard, the bottom and top ones are fine. A different camera and a bit bigger holes might have helped.

WojtaW says ...
Apr 20, 2016 @ 5:44pm

It is hard to play.

Heiky says ...
Apr 20, 2016 @ 6:50pm

Nice game, I only think that there could be a larger space between the red plates/boards to give us some time to align the shape in the hole, or could it just be me :D Hard and fun. :)

Big Cow says ...
Apr 20, 2016 @ 11:49pm

Fun, addictive, nice aesthetics and music. I agree with others about the difficulty - mainly because it's hard to visually gauge whether you're lined up or not due to the angle.

James Coote says ...
Apr 21, 2016 @ 4:32pm

Conceptually, I like the idea. My main criticism would be that there isn't enough time to get from top hole to bottom hole given the speed of the up/down movement. I think it'd make more sense to tie up/down to the mouse and use keys to change shape.

The other issue I had was with accuracy. I think the game needs a bit more to indicate whether I'm slightly off-line and about to die (maybe some sort of line projecting out the front of my shape?)

The music is really good!

Xanjos says ...
Apr 21, 2016 @ 4:45pm

@James: I actually did consider adding mouse controls but unfortunately I had no time to configure the sensitivity.

ekkiiiii says ...
Apr 21, 2016 @ 5:28pm

Very good presentation, feels polished and looks nice. I guess the difficulty has been mentioned enough already. I'd suggest providing a visual aid to show where the three positions are so it does not feel unfair when losing while being very close to the opening. The current version withouth the aid would work pretty well as a hard mode, imo. :)

AnaGF says ...
Apr 21, 2016 @ 5:30pm

Cool graphics and gameplay, it is a bit addictive too. Good job!

McFunkypants says ...
Apr 21, 2016 @ 5:51pm

Looks awesome! With a different camera angle I could see if I was aligned more easily. Or maybe a dotted line showing the shape's forward vector? Like a laser sight? In any case, great work!

Yumeito says ...
Apr 21, 2016 @ 7:53pm

Nice Game:)

Geckoo1337 says ...
Apr 21, 2016 @ 8:41pm

It's very hard. However it's fun. However I think that the walls should be instantiated off-screen. Cool aesthetic. Well done ++

CaptainPilot says ...
Apr 21, 2016 @ 10:07pm

Looks good, sounds good, fun to play!

psychomonster says ...
Apr 21, 2016 @ 11:05pm

Nice music and simple gameplay design... it works very good and its challenging a lot... I was really bad in changing the shape and finding the right position to pass trough the holes :) Good Job!

luquio says ...
Apr 22, 2016 @ 12:09am

Ive made almost the same concept of game, so i think is great! at first its a Little difficult to fit the position! maybe could use some array of positions and smooth follow to them ( i did that ) Cheers!

pi_pi3 says ...
Apr 22, 2016 @ 2:15pm

Passing through middle holes was too difficult. It created fake difficulty.

APantaloni says ...
Apr 22, 2016 @ 5:51pm

@Xanjos I played the Windows downloadable version

Apr 22, 2016 @ 7:09pm

I like visuals and gameplay and all that but still mate the game is REALLY difficult. And the holes are just to small mate we have to fit it in precisely (you made me say something that I don't say often in real life wait what lol)

Game is really nice though, good job :D

Gamepopper says ...
Apr 22, 2016 @ 11:01pm

I love a good neon art style, so kudos to you for that.

However I think the game is a bit unforgiving with getting the pieces through the holes. It feels like you need to be really precise with your position to get through. Combine that with the slow movement and it gets really difficult to get a good score.

I did manage to get far, but it took longer than it should.

ElliotFiske says ...
Apr 23, 2016 @ 5:48am

Great art and music! I love the bloom filter and the particle effects.

Once I realized the top and bottom holes were always all the way up/down, I got pretty far! The game is super hard, but I managed to get 160 points, my crowning achievement.

Overall, great fun!

WizzardMaker says ...
Apr 23, 2016 @ 8:36am

Nice and funny little game, its really hard to get to the other end of the shape, but if you get the hang of it its really funny

Sheepolution says ...
Apr 23, 2016 @ 10:17am

This is pretty hard. Trying to place the shape perfectly in the center can be tricky. I would've preferred if the shape would move automatically to the center.

Pickens Inc. says ...
Apr 23, 2016 @ 5:00pm

Very addictive and brutally difficult. Nice music, would be great if you added a difficulty curve by increasing the size of the holes, then decreased them for ever wall.

Had fun playing it on stream!

TheMeorch says ...
Apr 23, 2016 @ 8:54pm

Really cool visuals and a good use of the theme. I wish the leeway you gave the player in terms of positioning were more forgiving -- it's extremely difficult to align the shapes just right, especially with the gameplay taking place on an angle. It seems like mastering the current level of difficulty is possible, but easing the player into that will help that actually happen. From your comments, I'm glad to hear you'll be working on that, nice work!

PaulJs says ...
Apr 23, 2016 @ 9:41pm

Cool game !

Apr 24, 2016 @ 2:03pm

Cool idea. Definitely need more time between the walls, especially at the start of the game when you're learning and certainly when you have to switch shapes and hammer on the up key to go from the bottom to the top. Aside from that though, the theme is essential to the gameplay, which I really like, and the graphics are really cool. Nice job.

fin_nolimit says ...
Apr 24, 2016 @ 3:05pm

I liked he beats and the game was extremely addicting!! Nice work!!

tompudding says ...
Apr 24, 2016 @ 3:29pm

I read your blog post, but I still found it way too hard, sorry! It's not the speed, but rather the precision required to pass; I'd hit the side because I hadn't lined it up correctly even given plenty of time. Still it looks great and with a bit of an increase to the hole size I think this would be fantastic.

eduardogacn says ...
Apr 24, 2016 @ 4:51pm

Good Game :)

knason says ...
Apr 24, 2016 @ 7:58pm

Cool graphics and music, I really liked the 80's look of it :) It was quite challenging though, I played for a while but scored 40 (mostly on pure luck) Good job! :)

LukeZaz says ...
Apr 25, 2016 @ 3:20am

Loved the mood of the game, but it was very challenging. Found it difficult to get beyond 100 score, though I did manage a few times!

WeirdMind says ...
Apr 25, 2016 @ 7:19pm

Very cool music and in general a very nice idea. I alreday saw some of your gifs on Twitter during LudumDare Weekend.
It was just too difficult for me XD

Katamori says ...
Apr 25, 2016 @ 10:58pm

Very hard and ugly, but the Tron-like mood makes it something acceptable.

Ibzy says ...
Apr 26, 2016 @ 6:40am

Damn thats hard! Struggle to line the shapes up myself, but the game runs nice and smoothly.
Cool neoney graphics too.

crucknuk says ...
Apr 26, 2016 @ 10:28am

Nice entry! You came up with a use of the theme similar than ours :) The game is quiet hard, especially when you have to fill in the middle. A solution could be to have predefined position for you character. We are facing the same problem and we are improving that for the post jam version. Anyway, good job ;)

bigbuggames says ...
Apr 26, 2016 @ 3:18pm

Cool game, nice touch making the walls transparent so that you can predict what comes next. Maybe the shape fits way too tight making the difficulty quite hard.

A recommendation to improve the game would be to take away the free movement of the player so that they can only go to the correct locations on top mid and bottom, and to increase the speed so that it keeps being challenging but making it more fun.
My best score was 70! GG!

Yakka says ...
Apr 28, 2016 @ 11:29am

The game is very difficult but I like the idea. Maybe the camera angle doesn't help to align the shape with the obstacles. Have you tried to put the camera in the same axis than the other objects? I'm sure it would help ^^

morrilet says ...
Apr 28, 2016 @ 10:57pm

Very cool. It was hard but enjoyable. The angle of the camera made it a little tough to line up the entry sometimes, but you get used to it. Music seemed fitting as well.

Aaranos says ...
Apr 29, 2016 @ 12:11am

I played the original submission. The game is challenging but fun. I think the visuals were nice and I didn't have too much of an issue aligning the object with the wall, however the original's movement speed is a bit slow and you have to be on to the next immediately.

BSODDevTeam says ...
Apr 29, 2016 @ 6:26pm

Nice game. Can't wait ti see it on mobile market. Well done!

puppetmaster says ...
Apr 29, 2016 @ 11:06pm

Very cool game.
I like the idea how you have implemented the theme.
Keep up the good work!

Omiya Games says ...
Apr 30, 2016 @ 12:54am

The middle holes are absolutely evil! I thought this game was really addicting, and the fact that you kept things to a minimum (two shapes to change to, 3 tracks) helped the game immensely. That said, the analog up-down controls makes it difficult to play, especially when the middle hole appears. I also think the game could be a little more forgiving in the gaps between one hole to another, but that is my opinion. Flappy Bird got away with making the gap infuriatingly small, so maybe you can get away with it, too?

flummox3d says ...
Apr 30, 2016 @ 3:24pm

There should be alignment tracks, so it isn't too frustrating to navigate. Good work nonetheless!

General says ...
Apr 30, 2016 @ 5:41pm

Video: https://youtu.be/OC2Isnqi0nY
I also thought of holes and shapes, but then my game evolved into a different direction. It's quite difficult to aim correctly

StrayCat says ...
Apr 30, 2016 @ 6:59pm

I liked the mood! the game is a too fast in the compo version, but the post jam timing is good. More shapes, and maybe some more colors would be nice. Good job!

Alphish says ...
May 1, 2016 @ 2:10pm

Hmm, the game difficulty feels kinda unfair. Like, you need to be really precise to enter the center, and it takes long to go from the very top to the very bottom. I sense the serious need for rebalancing. The fact that restarting requires mouse while the game does not adds a bit of annoyance, too... I didn't see any difficulty progression, but then I guess there's little room for one, and no opportunity for me to notice it. >.<

Too bad, because had the game been more balanced, I guess I could enjoy a few plays (even if the idea isn't particularly exceptional). Better luck next time, maybe? ^^'

Xanjos says ...
May 1, 2016 @ 3:03pm

@Alphish: I actually planned on having some sort of progression (start at a slow speed then increase it as you pass through more obstacles) but unfortunately didn't have enough time to implement it so I ended up playing around with various values to find the best speed I could play this at without it being completely impossible (which in hindsight is pretty much a bad idea).

mkghoster says ...
May 1, 2016 @ 6:09pm

Really hard!

May 1, 2016 @ 6:36pm

I liked the game but it feels a little unfair sometimes. It's very hard to aling your shape in the middle hole and sometimes it's hard to get to top one to the bottom one and viceversa.

PanicTheFirst says ...
May 1, 2016 @ 10:13pm

Good job! Pretty hard but i had this feeling of "just one more try" :D

3T3A says ...
May 2, 2016 @ 4:32pm

It's a challenging game you got here. It's pretty hard but i liked the audio and the graphic. Maybe the difficulty should come progressely. Nice post.

KairosXIII says ...
May 2, 2016 @ 11:58pm

Love the audio and overall feel of the game. Couldn't get pass 100 points!

rhastapunk says ...
May 3, 2016 @ 7:42am

Difficult but interesting. Good job here!

AinoraZ says ...
May 3, 2016 @ 10:09pm

Way too hard for my tastes

May 3, 2016 @ 11:10pm

Great game! I liked the sound, style and, omgg, it's soo hard! haha

Great job! ^_^

PinkIndian says ...
May 4, 2016 @ 4:59pm

Highscore 70 :D This game is way too hard for me. Maybe the space between walls could be a little longer?
But solid good controls, nice neon graphics and awesome music. I especially like the transparency. Great entry!

Trasevol_Dog says ...
May 5, 2016 @ 1:12pm

Those holes need to be larger!!! The concept is really cool though and overall the execution is neat! Nice entry!!

FiSilva says ...
May 6, 2016 @ 1:48pm

I like the visual effects. It's very hard, but maybe that's the point

Jacic says ...
May 6, 2016 @ 8:55pm

Quite challenging, as the holes are the same size as the shape. Fun though! :)

pixelpotions says ...
May 7, 2016 @ 12:17pm

Very fun game, played both the original and post-jam version. Like others have said the game is very difficult, for me it was lining up the shape with the middle hole. Maybe you could add like static positions and you move up and down on these positions? I love the graphics and music, with some practice I did manage to get farther, my highscore is 240. Solid entry and good job!

PixlWalkr says ...
May 7, 2016 @ 2:04pm

Cool game, I like the concept and the mechanics. audio is also nice!

RyanNielson says ...
May 7, 2016 @ 5:17pm

Great style, and it's a nice simple game. It could be improved with less movement granularity.

May 8, 2016 @ 12:19am

Liked the simple concept but I did suck at getting the positions right in the ludum dare version. Nice that you updated with the post version which definitely did help.

broknecho says ...
May 9, 2016 @ 4:01am

Wow the difficulty stars at 11 :P. Cool concept. Those collision bounds were really tight! Challenging game. Nice entry!

derr says ...
May 9, 2016 @ 6:42am

I like the visual representation and idea of the game. It reminds me a bit of those old games they showed on TV that you played by calling in via phone and issuing commands to the player. Good job!

Sadly I have a tough time with gauging distances in 3D so I didn't get very far.

May 9, 2016 @ 7:54am

Love the overall feel, definitely polished - there's a whole game there!

Very congruous with the theme. I felt the music was really fitting as well, something about the rise and fall of that theramin sound went well with moving up and down to fit through the wall.

Unfortunately I couldn't get that far because of how difficult it was to fit through the middle! I think if your plan is to create a reaction game, something that requires quick reflexes, it would be better to just have three possible positions, up, middle and down, that I can switch between. Trying to position myself correctly for the middle meant I lost prematurely every time! Or, if you wanted to keep that level of movement, maybe have the shape cast a shadow against the wall, so I can line up as the wall comes towards me?

Regardless, a really good effort, and a nice, fully formed game!

bazkur98 says ...
May 9, 2016 @ 12:57pm

Sounded good, looked alright, but play-ablity was very difficult but I could just suck too. The hole always started at the top or bottom and the next hole comes to quickly to move to it to actually get past the second barrier. I enjoyed the concept but perhaps if you would have made it where the hole could appear in one of three spots and then when you tell it to move up/down it moves to a precise position within those three position options. This would have resolved the play-ability issue for me I think

abuzreq says ...
May 9, 2016 @ 2:22pm

The music,the font and the graphics were good and well suited

There was a problem in the flow..generally for games that requires multiple repeats\trials there should be a minimal barrier\clicks between one play and the other, so things like waiting for a time T before screen transition and having to press on one button out of two (Restart and MainMenu) should be avoided.
(so reduce time of transition and allow player to restart if he pressed anywhere on screen or if he pressed SPACE for example)

I am not sure if the distance between one wall and the other where always well chosen , sometimes it appeared to be impossible (like in cases as these Top-Bottom-Top)

The game could be made easier and more forgiving (but perhaps less visually pleasing ) if the player moves in a discrete way.
so rather than moving slightly up or down as long as the button is pressed ,move the player by a distance D where the holes in wall lies in one of those discrete places .

I hope that was helpful :)

csanyk says ...
May 9, 2016 @ 2:26pm

It's very tough to line up exactly. Rather than end the game on a single failure, maybe have a lesser penalty, and allow the player to continue on. A near success could result in a screen shake and slowing down of the game, and you could have a scoring gradient so that misses are worth 0 or negative points, while the closer to perfection you get, the higher points you get. I felt there should have been more space between the walls to allow you more time to adjust, and it was hard to know if you were aligned due to the angle the camera is viewing the game from. But overall for a simple game, this has potential to be pretty fun.

grayhaze says ...
May 9, 2016 @ 3:58pm

Tried and failed repeatedly to get more than 10 points, but the idea is a good one. Maybe it would be better by moving between a few preset positions rather than just being free control?

May 10, 2016 @ 12:37am

I like the little bloop noise it makes when I fail. Since I did so constantly, I heard it frequently.

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