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

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by wboqm - Jam Entry

h3engine allows exploring hyperbolic 3-space, from the inside; the space is discretized using an icosahedral lattice. For Ludum Dare #35 (shapeshifting), we put our engine to the test and built h3ss: shape shifting in hyperbolic 3-space.

Push and pull the icosahedra around the space into configurations that will allow the 'life-like' update rules to wipe out all the cells. An 'off' cell with three neighbours will become 'on' and an 'on' cell with three or more neighbours will become 'off'.

By removing all the cells, the first puzzle is solved and you progress to the next one; we have three such puzzles ready to introduce the mechanics and hope to have more on the way shortly.

By popular request, a walkthrough has been made available:

Please checkout our website, sign up for our mailing list there or just follow us on twitter @wboqm.

Downloads and Links




TechXSoftware says ...
Apr 19, 2016 @ 3:26am

Interesting concept

kleinzach says ...
Apr 19, 2016 @ 3:26am

Im really not sure of what I'm doing, but I like trying to visualize it. For sure unlike anything I've seen before.

EighthNote says ...
Apr 19, 2016 @ 3:30am

The mechanics are too opaque. I can't figure out what to do!

Jeff0029 says ...
Apr 19, 2016 @ 3:36am

Really interesting what you did there. I'll admit the first time I played I explored instead of doing the puzzle and was able to break the shader pretty horrifically lol.

Javabot says ...
Apr 19, 2016 @ 3:57am

well, it's interesting, but I find that if you click too rapidly the game throws you outside of the geometry. Also for some reason the sound of breaking green in this game is very pleasing.

wboqm says ...
Apr 19, 2016 @ 5:42am

Thanks for pointing out the bug when clicking quickly. I've now got that one fixed!

The problem with exploring to far from the origin has been fixed in theory, I just haven't had time to put the new code in and test it. Was hoping to have had that working but turned out the puzzles I could come up with were quite contained anyways.

As for the opacity of the mechanics, I hope to put together a GIF or video sometime in the next couple days to illustrate the mechanics better. Be on the lookout for it!

EdoCreate says ...
Apr 19, 2016 @ 6:55am


Apr 19, 2016 @ 11:38am

I honestly have no idea what I am actually trying to do.

Geckoo1337 says ...
Apr 19, 2016 @ 2:43pm

weird concept - good project ++

Sean says ...
Apr 19, 2016 @ 2:52pm

Well I had no idea how to actually progress the game, but it was visually interesting.

Weeping Rupee says ...
Apr 21, 2016 @ 1:36am

very interesting. I found myself clicking a lot longer than intended :)

Chris Delta says ...
Apr 21, 2016 @ 1:59am

Man, I just went from somebody's first top-down shooter to "exploring hyperbolic 3-space". Awesome engine, guys

PowerSpark says ...
Apr 21, 2016 @ 2:00am

Interesting visual effect, very disorienting but neat.

Ryusui says ...
Apr 21, 2016 @ 5:46am

I didn't understand what I was doing at all. I think the concept of hyperbolic geometry might work better in 2D (c.f. HyperRogue).

Also, why does the game default to the upper-left corner of the screen on start, with the window header hidden offscreen?

ZpeedTube says ...
Apr 21, 2016 @ 5:50am

I did not get at all how this works?!

wboqm says ...
Apr 21, 2016 @ 6:34am

Ryusui: I definitely agree that hyperbolic geometry is easier to visualize in 2D. Being inside hyperbolic space makes it harder to visualize, but I think is also something worth exploring.

As for the window position, I thought it is the window manager's responsibility to place the window rather than the game's (though I have noticed that SDL_CreateWindow does allow a flag to specify to center the window); I haven't had this problem on linux but the positioning of the window has been a little funny on windows (it is completely on the screen somewhere near the top-left corner; though I don't get any window decorations at all). I've since put in a fullscreen mode (which hasn't been uploaded).

Strike says ...
Apr 21, 2016 @ 11:05am

I'm really sorry because I have no idea of what hyperbolic geometry is and I cannot understand at all what this game is about. I looks cool anyway so I would really love be understand what is going on there. Maybe a step by step tutorial would help a lot.

nihilaleph says ...
Apr 22, 2016 @ 3:32am

Very cool concept! Though I didn't quite understand what was going on ^^; But I would like to understand it better and play it again later! Anyways nice entry!

Strike says ...
Apr 22, 2016 @ 7:02pm

Thank you so much for your walkthrough video. It totally blew my mind. Time to give you some extra stars ;)

Gamepopper says ...
Apr 22, 2016 @ 8:19pm

Nice concept, definitely looks interesting.

retrograze says ...
Apr 25, 2016 @ 4:33am

Loved the concept. It was really impressive, as I know that all that math had to be quite the headache. I like how it lets you see the vastness of really quite a "simple" idea, and I FEEL like I learned something, even though...I probably didn't. Good project.

aeveis says ...
Apr 26, 2016 @ 7:18am

Very interesting to navigate the space. Most of the time the triangles looked black to me, but not sure if that affects gameplay. It took a while to understand how to move the triangles around, but not sure if I completely understand the ruleset for the game (is life-like referring to Conway's game of Life?). very cool though.

wboqm says ...
Apr 26, 2016 @ 10:08am

aeveis: I've also seen the black triangles on a laptop with Intel graphics but haven't had a chance to debug it yet. You are correct that life-like refers to Conway's game of life; an empty cell with exactly three neighbours becomes 'alive' and an 'alive' cell with three or more neighbours will become empty.

wboqm says ...
Apr 26, 2016 @ 10:09am

aeveis: Also, glad you found it interesting, and thanks for taking the time to have a look!

DevelopTech says ...
Apr 28, 2016 @ 7:24pm

Interesting concept, but it is a little confusing . I really dont know how it works, but I like the visual art

CliffracerX says ...
Apr 28, 2016 @ 7:54pm

This is probably the most innovative and amazing idea for a puzzle game I've ever seen - but I can't comprehend hyperbolic 3-space, so I couldn't even beat the first level. :P

Make a post-jam version and keep working on this, but expect a lot of people arriving and groaning about how hard hyperbolic space is to understand.

Larzan says ...
May 3, 2016 @ 9:27pm

Can't wrap my mind around hyperbolic space (pun intended) crazy idea, love it!

Reis Mahnic says ...
May 4, 2016 @ 8:07am

Fascinating bit of tech.
Really cool concept.
Also found the visuals appealing.

Naca says ...
May 8, 2016 @ 10:14pm

Very interesting project. It would be nice to have an in game tutorial in addition to the textual description. The first two minutes of the youtube tutorial are very useful to understand how to navigate this space, but it would be good to have it into the game itself. Anyway, it's pretty difficult to get used to the space in this game :D

Really interesting engine guys, hope to see more games using it!

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