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

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Code Shift

by MikeTheWayne - Compo Entry

After 6 Ludum Dares, I still haven't got my time planning correct... But I'm getting better.

As a result of this, once again no music. The deciphering minigame only features one game, as opposed to the planned 3 (for each contract difficulty). Also, the option to modify variables in-game remains undeveloped unfortunately. But apart from that...

This is a game about running a decryption agency, taking contracts to decrypt codes. You can work individually at decrypting or hire staff and even computers to work with you. For once, the game supports file saving, you can save by going into the pause menu.

Apologies in advance for poor performance.

Have Fun!

Downloads and Links




pixlark says ...
Apr 18, 2016 @ 12:27am


Ok, so this game is pretty good. A nice concept, but here are my issues:

- The UI is clunky and slow (when I click a button, it takes a few milleseconds to respond, when it should be instant)
- The UI has little feedback - when I hover/click over a button there is no feedback
- Your character moves like a turtle
- A lot of the text runs off of the buttons
- The text on the employees menu is all jumbled and impossible to decipher (decipher get it)

Thanks for the game though, it's pretty damn fun once you get past the UI problems. :-)

rikoitza says ...
Apr 18, 2016 @ 1:56am

Can you put it in a zip file? I can't read rar files on this computer. Lucky for you, I think I have another computer that can, but others might not.

TechXSoftware says ...
Apr 18, 2016 @ 3:22am

Very computer themed then shaped, but I like the idea, probs coz were programmers and we can relate lol.

bobismijnnaam says ...
Apr 18, 2016 @ 7:33am

Screenshots look cool but couldn't get it too work in Ubuntu (not unexpectedly).

ccglp says ...
Apr 18, 2016 @ 8:07am

It's a very brave theme to take on a LD. Good job, making a management game is hard

artmadiar says ...
Apr 18, 2016 @ 9:28am

Java Virtual Machine Launcher
A Java Exception has occurred.

MikeTheWayne says ...
Apr 18, 2016 @ 4:09pm

Thank you for all of your feedback!

Yes, apologies for the slow performance, I didn't have time to work on any optimization, and just threw a bunch of stuff into the Game Loop.

I'm not sure about the text running off of the buttons, that shouldn't happen...

I've uploaded a .Zip version for anyone without a .Rar extractor.

I had some ideas to further link it with the theme, but ran out of time.


Apr 18, 2016 @ 8:50pm

I get a "java.lang.UnsupportedClassVersionError", the game was compiled with a newer java version than what I have in my debian repo.

I tried to compile the source but failed in my ignorance with javac: error: unmappable character for encoding UTF8 g2d.drawString("�" +, 5, 20);

If you have any hints or compile commands I would still like to play your game :)

MikeTheWayne says ...
Apr 19, 2016 @ 4:02pm

Hi keyboardmonkey, to fix your problem, I would go into the code and change anywhere producing that symbol to a $ sign, or just remove it entirely. Enjoy!

Apr 20, 2016 @ 4:57am

Hi MikeTheWayne, I replaced the symbols, the source compiled without error, I copied the resulting .class files to bin/ (preserving their structure). When I run it opens the game window but it is blank. Did I do something wrong? :)

MikeTheWayne says ...
Apr 20, 2016 @ 6:09pm

Hi keyboardmonkey, everything seems to be working, I think you probably need to have the 'res' folder at the same level as the .jar file, or the other source files. All of the images used for the game are in there, so I think that may be the problem. Try it out, if you have any more problems, I'd be happy to help, thanks!

Freank says ...
Apr 21, 2016 @ 2:13pm

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

MikeTheWayne says ...
Apr 21, 2016 @ 4:40pm

I've added it to Indiexpo, enjoy!

zenmumbler says ...
Apr 21, 2016 @ 7:06pm

Works fine on OS X 10.11 with Java 8 Runtime. The UI weirdness aside (a lot of text just runs out of its bounding box) and general awkwardness it's not a bad thing. But (like me) overscoped :) Good effort.

MikeTheWayne says ...
Apr 21, 2016 @ 7:14pm

Haven't tested it on OS X, but I think that running it on OS X is causing the UI issue, no idea why. It works fine on Windows, so I'm quite surprised to hear this...

nintendoeats says ...
Apr 21, 2016 @ 7:14pm

I definitely feel the fact that you didn't finish. It feels like there is stuff missing. The offset mechanic actually works pretty well, it reminds me of the hacking minigames from Mass Effect (which I mostly liked). I would often see a word and then think: wait, are these other things words? ok, coincidence."

The management system works, but as it stands it doesn't really do anything for me. I think there is a reason that management sims and other types of games tend to remain seperate: they require completely different playstyles and frames of mind. I like strategy games and I like action games, but I can't think of any strategy-action hybrids that I have really liked (except Red Alert Commando, but that was really just a shooter with a lacing of strategy). I wasn't sure how to play it, and I don't think that the two styles of gameplay compliment eachother in any way. Still, it's good to experiment with that kind of thing so I'm giving you top marks for innovation.

**** beige.

MikeTheWayne says ...
Apr 21, 2016 @ 7:30pm

Hi nintendoeats, thanks for the feedback! The game is supposed to be a management game at core, with the extra minigame at the side, which I felt that the game needed (right from the start of development), just to add an extra layer of depth. I'm sorry you disliked the combination, however I do see your point. Thanks, though!

TheCain says ...
May 5, 2016 @ 7:53pm

A bug I had was that once I hired an employee, I could no longer decode. Interesting, but it needs polish.

MikeTheWayne says ...
May 6, 2016 @ 5:58am

Hi TheCain, I looked into this, and found that employees don't decode at night, as it should be. There is however a problem, that they don't go home like they're supposed to. I'll see if I can fix this.

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