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

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Shifting Shapes

by g12345 - Jam Entry

This is a very simple html5 puzzle game I've made for my second LD.

Movement of the cursor is done by the cursor keys, pressing Control + direction will shift a row/column of symbols.

You score points when you make rows or columns of 8 of the same symbols, and those symbols will change.

There is a limit in number of shifts. You get extra shifts whenever you complete a line, but you get less extra shifts as you progress. The game ends when you run out of shifts.

The Timer has no influence on the gameplay.

R will restart the game.

There was supposed to be autotracker music for the game, but I've decided against it after testing it myself.

Comments are always appreciated.

EDIT: Postjam version released, with a longer keyboard delay, and a level difficulty display.

Also added the Source link.

EDIT 2: Fixed a "game-breaking bug" that some people experienced when using ctrl + cursor keys in the embedded version.

Downloads and Links




Apr 19, 2016 @ 9:54am

There were shapes and I shifted them. My score: 4000.

It wasn't obvious how you gain fewer shifts for every match over time, but that *does* happen so that's a factor in the game I wasn't aware of my first time through. For a second there, I thought it was just ridiculously easy and starting playing recklessly. That probably cost me some points. A "difficulty level" editor would've been good.

Anyway, I'm not a huge fan of the whole "you get less to work with as you play but nothing else really happens" thing. I'm not sure what else you would do for progression in a game like this, though. Maybe add new shape types when the player's score goes past a certain point? Or put useless blocks that can't make matches in there?

Some basic sounds would've been nice, and I prefer mouse controls to keyboard controls for this sorta thing so that would've been an improvement too.

Besides all that? It's a puzzle game! Who doesn't like those? Stupid people, that's who. Do we have stupid people here, reading this right now, offended by my dismissal of their stupidity? Probably, but they're stupid! So, who cares? It's a competent enough entry, really.

blubberquark says ...
Apr 19, 2016 @ 12:58pm

The game is very well put together: I like the clean simple graphic style. I like the balance and the difficulty curve.

One point of criticism: I often shifted too far. I think it should not shift so fast when you hold a key.

Please make a post-compo version with some sound effect when completing a row and better controls!

This concept could also make for a fun phone/tablet game.

nintendoeats says ...
Apr 19, 2016 @ 4:08pm

My main complaint has already been addressed, namely the keyboard issue. Other than that, it works well and the principles are sound.

I did have colourblindness issues. If there was a real timer I would have been boned. The stars and squares look very similar, the moons and triangles almost identical. It kinda messed up my eyes as well. Obviously this problem only affects about 5% of th epopulation, but there you are.

A game like this relies almost entirely on visual and auditory feedback. If you were to expand on it, those would be the first areas that I would look at.

Good Work!

amras0000 says ...
Apr 19, 2016 @ 4:27pm

Regarding the control scheme, since this is a html game, you generally want to avoid using arrow keys for controls (same goes for right-click). Hitting up/down made my browser scroll and gave me horrible motion sickness after only a couple of turns.

Regarding the game itself, my main complaint is just the lack of feedback. The mechanics are fine and reasonably challenging, but there's no satisfaction in making a complete row. As a simple imptovement, lerp the position of the rows over 0.3s or so to make them slide.
Ultimately though, you really should've put some more effort into making the finished rows pop more. Anything would work, like adding a white rectangle over the line for a split second or giving the finished blocks some rudimentary physics and applying random forces, but with the complete lack of feedback there's not a lot keeping me going.

tsjost says ...
Apr 20, 2016 @ 11:18am

Match-3 gone hardcore! Interesting take on the genre by limiting the amount of shifts -- and the shapes are indeed shifted.

The controls were way too sensitive, which is nice to see fixed in the post-LD version. It was very easy to figure out the controls and what you are supposed to do.

Sometimes I intuitively felt like the cursor had moved along with the shift, even thought it does not. I'm not sure if such a modification would improve the game though.

I think some sound effects would have greatly enhanced the experience!

erikkire says ...
Apr 20, 2016 @ 7:48pm

Mouse input would be nice

kleinzach says ...
Apr 20, 2016 @ 9:52pm

Thats a well put together game there. not much pizazz, but I enjoyed it for what it is.

Pickens Inc. says ...
Apr 20, 2016 @ 9:53pm

Sweet and simple! I think the vertical shift is a little too sensitive, personally, so I think there should be a short cool down to a shift, to prevent the occasional "scrolling" that I did, costing me several shifts both in the mistake, and in fixing.

Nice graphics, sweet and simple again, and a neat difficult curve.

dj_pale says ...
Apr 20, 2016 @ 9:55pm

Very nice and simple puzzle games. As others have noted - too little delay for keypresses when shifting.

BoltKey says ...
Apr 20, 2016 @ 10:22pm

I liked it. I almost immediately knew what to do, so points for that.

I was missing an undo button, as it was very easy to do an extra move.

Also, the theme was not so well interpreted imo.

neontropics says ...
Apr 20, 2016 @ 11:08pm

Pretty cool! I probably would've liked a 6 lines instead of 8 and more emphasis on doing stuff fast, but that might be personal preference. Going for 8 is just a bit of a big commitment and makes you go AAARG when not making a line for whatever reason. It is very satisfying when you do it though.

adrian09_01 says ...
Apr 22, 2016 @ 6:55pm

Oh, I see you stole the idea from Yoshi's Cookie. But your theft is pretty playable and fun! Maybe not so beautiful, but playable!

Tegu says ...
Apr 22, 2016 @ 7:13pm

A simple yet fun game! It was challenging to try to find the line that requires the fewest moves to get filled. Or more like, finding a line that can be filled with the least moves but that is even more difficult as it's not as clearly visual. I kinda just ignored the timer, but it would probably add more tension if one tries to be as quick as possible. The shapes and colors were distinct, which was good.

At least on Firefox, the ctrl+direction occasionally jumped a couple steps instead of just one. This was sometimes critical when I was running out of shifts. The cursor could also wrap around the edges like the shapes.

And my scores were 2600, 3400, 4500, so maybe I learned something after each round.

gnerkus says ...
Apr 23, 2016 @ 5:28am

These shapes shift for me.

I had a bit of difficulty controlling the cursor because of the functionality of the Ctrl key in a browser (for Mac). I finally got a column to shift but couldn't stop it from shifting.

I'll have another go at the game.

ragnta says ...
Apr 23, 2016 @ 8:16am

It's a nice game, but I think the game will be tiring with time. :( But good job!

Togimaro says ...
Apr 23, 2016 @ 9:45am

Good game but quickly repetitive :/
A lively music would surely have been cool!
But dispite this good work!

bytegrove says ...
Apr 23, 2016 @ 12:09pm

Neat idea and clean execution of it. The movement was a little annoying as it felt like the cursor accelerated way to fast.

APantaloni says ...
Apr 23, 2016 @ 4:00pm

Solid base for a game that would have greatly benefited from some kind of audio. Would be nice to see this expanded further.

fin_nolimit says ...
Apr 23, 2016 @ 9:10pm

super cute game!!! I would like to try that one the phone!!

SHLFStudios says ...
Apr 25, 2016 @ 1:37am

I think it was a fun game. I thought it was really easy though

wboqm says ...
Apr 25, 2016 @ 3:21am

It took a bit to work out the instructions and game play - might be helpful to be a bit clearer on that. The controls are also frustrating as you waste time when it skips from moving too fast.

Odyssey says ...
Apr 25, 2016 @ 4:20pm

Very similar to the one I made, still enjoyed it anyhow

themadknights says ...
Apr 25, 2016 @ 5:18pm

Pretty nice entry! I think it's better to control the game using your mouse. Try to add some kind of sound effects next time :)

mountainstorm says ...
Apr 25, 2016 @ 7:15pm

Can't get it to work on my Mac, tried Safari and Chrome :(

Apr 25, 2016 @ 7:22pm

That keyboard repeat rate :(
Otherwise, neat and simple

GodsBoss says ...
May 1, 2016 @ 4:40am

Nice take on the theme and the game is addicting. As others already pointed out, there could be more feedback, like little effects when a row vanishes and is replaced by random shapes.

euske says ...
May 1, 2016 @ 2:20pm

Allowing a diagonal line would make it more interesting.

MintArcade says ...
May 1, 2016 @ 9:50pm

Very simple, but cool mechanic. Just add mouse/touch support and game will be even more cool.

ReactorScram says ...
May 4, 2016 @ 11:28pm

Could be fun with some "juice" like animations, sound effects when you shift or when a row disappears.

The only really annoying issue is the autorepeat on the keys. It should be 1 tap == 1 shift. I got to 400 score before I kind of got bored.

jordgubben says ...
May 5, 2016 @ 7:00am

I had to disable some standrard OS X shortkeys (trl + Left/Right) to play this. But then I found this very enjoyable.

There are generally to few pozzle games on LD. Good job!

knason says ...
May 5, 2016 @ 6:27pm

Nice game, and it felt polished. nice and clean graphic! well done!

dollarone says ...
May 6, 2016 @ 1:50am

Cool take on the theme! Once I got the hang of it I started seeing patterns everywhere! I didn't feel the # shifts or time was too pressing - perhaps even too lenient as I think you can play for a looong time.

Nice to see an original puzzler!

broknecho says ...
May 10, 2016 @ 12:19am

Nice start of a matching game. Never seen one with such long line requirements before!

Great job! Was fun.

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