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

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Elemental Shaft

by NIGIC - Compo Entry

Defeat your ennemies in a rock-paper-scissor styled puzzle game, and progress through 25 levels of ever-increasing complexity!

Elemental Shaft is a puzzle game in which you control a "Shifter", a character who takes on the powers and appearance of those they defeat. Following a set of patterns, you must defeat the enemies in your path, and make it to the "goal circle" at the end of each level. Your score increases depending on the time it took to complete a level and how many enemies were defeated (more is better).

New features are introduced every 5 levels or so. Two endings depending on final score, though the epilogue had to be shortened to only a few (somewhat random) text boxes due to time constraints.

The game is built on vanilla RPG Maker MV. I've been working on a custom engine for a while, yet hadn't really produced anything with the environment, so I thought of giving it a try and see how it felt. Lost a couple hours to a false fire emergency, with sound being the collateral, but overall I'm pretty satisfied.

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>> Controls <<
===== ===== =====
Arrow keys - Move around
Shift - Move faster
Escape/Backspace - Open game menu
Enter/Space - Confirm (in menus)

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>> Change Log <<
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- Added full game description
- No change to game files

16-04-18 1.1
- Fixed level skip leaving the player on a black screen, sometimes softlocking;
- Fixed two characters in Level 14 being swapped, making the level unwinnable;
- Fixed some characters still using placeholder sprites in some situations;
- Fixed multiple one-way tiles in a row not behaving correctly;
- Added an OS-X build.

Downloads and Links




qu2 says ...
Apr 18, 2016 @ 11:25am

A nice puzzle game, definitely got me thinking backwards!

VictorDoval says ...
Apr 18, 2016 @ 1:26pm

Pretty fun, I got totally stuck in the 14th level with no way to skip level. Anyway congratulations, its a great work!

NIGIC says ...
Apr 18, 2016 @ 2:03pm

Hm. I do remember this level not quite working in my last-minute check. Thought I had fixed it, but might still be some issues left. Will check first thing tonight (and hopefully fix level skip while I'm at it).

Thanks for the feedback!

NIGIC says ...
Apr 19, 2016 @ 12:51am

All fixed now. Squashed a couple more bugs while I was at it - see change log for detail. Now, off to the lavatory!

Squid says ...
Apr 20, 2016 @ 4:06am

The puzzles were cool but the background made it hard to play on some levels.

Apr 20, 2016 @ 10:19am

I like this puzzle game dude. Nice graphics!

SoulBound says ...
Apr 21, 2016 @ 2:09am

Very entertaining. Well done.

Marc F. says ...
Apr 21, 2016 @ 2:15am

Sweet little puzzler - like the needing to take form of your next enemy concept, much like in our own submission. Fun to play, solid entry!

icefallgames says ...
Apr 21, 2016 @ 3:36am

Nice puzzle game that progresses steadily. Good job!
I did find the classes difficult to distinguish though - It would have been nice if their shapes were more different from each other.
The moving backgrounds are a bit annoying, I think you could have just left that out. Sometimes I just found myself losing track of what was going on and gazing at it :P

doombrowski says ...
Apr 21, 2016 @ 4:02am

Nice work. Feels very cohesive and complete.

eric777 says ...
Apr 21, 2016 @ 4:14am

Good game, I really enjoyed it. Difficulty ramped up nicely. Felt well engineered - smooth and glitch free. Nicely done!

Xinelu says ...
Apr 21, 2016 @ 5:13am

Nice entry and good puzzles! :D

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

Thanks for all the feedback, guys! (And gals. And nondescripts.) Much appreciated.

@backgrounds - But that's part of the charm! Though in hindsight their contrast is a bit too sharp; should have made their colors a bit more subdued.

@classes all looking the same - Yep. A bit of a byproduct of starting work on character art 3 hours before submission. Tried keeping their clothing color-coded, but they could have used a little more. Like, say, a bird's eye view instead of top-down. Or different poses. Everyone loves poses.

srakowski says ...
Apr 24, 2016 @ 5:22pm

Solid puzzle game, very well done!

hildegarbage says ...
Apr 24, 2016 @ 6:14pm

I liked the progression and the gameplay felt smooth and solid. Nice work!

Discussion: I'm not sure what I think about how the theme worked with this kind of puzzle game. It didn't really feel as the theme did anything to improve the game, other than added flavor, and in that case I think I would have liked another theme better for a game like this.

davor10105 says ...
Apr 24, 2016 @ 6:15pm

great puzzle game!

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

@hildegarbage - Fair enough. To me though, it's not so much a matter of improving the game as much as being a core component of the puzzle mechanics: no matter how one spins it, the element of "taking on the properties of the last removed piece" will remain. Now as for _how_ it's implemented, that's purely a matter of personal preferences, and I can't argue on that.

Thanks for the feedback!

Spiria says ...
Apr 24, 2016 @ 11:09pm

I proposed a rock-paper-scissors style game for our entry but was told it would be too complicated for an action game so I was curious to see your take on it. Congrats, your game turned out very well :) It's great you were able to make that many levels.

bentglasstube says ...
Apr 30, 2016 @ 11:53pm

I really liked the concept and the graphics were nice.

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