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

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by GaryS - Jam Entry

Shiftah is not only my first LD entry, but also my first ever game!

Shiftah is an endless runner style game where you navigate your ship through an onslaught of blocks and shapes, trying not to get stuck. Collect as many shapes and last as long as you can.

The physics are a bit shonky, it has to be said. Still playable though.

Built in HTML5 & Javascript using the Phaser framework, in about 30 hours.
Includes my first attempts at MOD tracker music!

Downloads and Links




tayl1r says ...
Apr 19, 2016 @ 12:47am

Really nice job for your first game ever.

I got 2350.

I did mostly play by running into blocks and mashing space until they turn, though!

GaryS says ...
Apr 19, 2016 @ 12:52am

Hey, thanks!
I have to admit, I found it easiest to play that way too... I'd love to rethink the mechanics a bit, but time is not on my side!!

Thanks for taking the time to play and comment. ;)

Headmade says ...
Apr 19, 2016 @ 12:54am

Very nice entry, especially considering this is your first game ever. Good job! I like the clean look and the music.

The collisions lack a bit of umph though, when I crash into the wall it's a bad thing, right? So give me feedback, shake the screen, add a nasty sound effect. I think this would make a big difference in the game feel.

Headmade says ...
Apr 19, 2016 @ 12:54am

Oh and I got 2400 :) Eat this tayl1r!

GaryS says ...
Apr 19, 2016 @ 12:58am

I didn't really think about crashing into the wall being a bad thing, just a mechanic for pushing the player back... I could certainly add a bit of feedback to it, but I'd worry that it'd be happening *all* the time! Perhaps if the walls knocked the player back a tiny bit, but I also increased the spacing of the rows?

The physics aren't great really... I'm using the basic AABB collision and as the walls are pushing the player back it can tend to get stuck when you collide.
I wanted to change the physics engine to see if I could do something a bit smoother, but I've not used anything else and haven't had the time to delve into it.

Anyway, thanks a lot for the feedback. I appreciate it.

Headmade says ...
Apr 19, 2016 @ 12:59am

And now I have 3800. This is fun!

Apr 19, 2016 @ 1:01am

Great job GaryS!

I enjoyed the game, simple and challenger. You developed very well the Theme.

Ah, and incredibly I also got the score of Tayl1r, 2350 xD

GaryS says ...
Apr 19, 2016 @ 1:02am

Oh wow, I didn't even really expect anyone to play this, let alone *enjoy* it! Thanks!!

Josh Riley says ...
Apr 19, 2016 @ 1:31am

Really enjoyed it. It looks great, and feels pretty good too. Ended up with a high score of 3500, but was mostly going for distance, instead of score. Good job!

nihilaleph says ...
Apr 19, 2016 @ 11:32am

Welcome to LD! Hope you're enjoying it~!
At first my score was 1200, after tayl1r tip I got 4300!

Very nice indeed for your first game! I like the clean graphics and the music~ Though in the first screen I kept clicking the star and the "SPACE" text xp

Oh also sometimes I got stuck in the wall while trying to slide up/down

Anyways congrats on your entry!

GaryS says ...
Apr 19, 2016 @ 12:21pm

Thanks for the feedback chaps! I have indeed enjoyed my first LD. I'll be back for more, and hopefully teaming up with a friend or two for some lovely graphics in future! ;)

Alas, yes - sometimes the player gets stuck on the wall. I'm not sure I can do anything about this... it's very basic AABB collision and the collide function will force the player sprite outside of the boundary of the colliding block. As the blocks are constantly moving on each update loop, it seems that the player sprite is moved back on each update before it can catch the input to move up or down.
At least... that's what I *think* is happening.

I may hit up the guys on the html5gamedevs forum to see if anyone can help with a workaround - I ran out of time trying to figure it out myself. :(

teamross says ...
Apr 20, 2016 @ 12:46am

yay! I'm so baddd! 940 :'(
Good job!

Arvydas says ...
Apr 20, 2016 @ 12:47am

Gameplay is really fun, the controls and physics needs to be refined, overall great job for your first game :D

ccollider says ...
Apr 20, 2016 @ 12:50am

I didn't have any problems with the physics once I got the hang of the controls. Really solid game overall, awesome first effort!

savethejets1 says ...
Apr 20, 2016 @ 12:53am

This was fun! I enjoyed it.

nihilaleph says ...
Apr 20, 2016 @ 1:15am

@GaryS Oh I see, if you're using AABB on each block then maybe that's your problem. I also had this problem with collision on squares side by side. The things is that even though they are at same line, it may detect a collision on the edge of the next square, thus making you stop. The only solution I had found was to make a box collider around the whole "wall", not one for each box. I hope this helps!

PS: Sorry for mentioning the problem twice, somehow I skipped your comment about it ^^;

TeamScripta says ...
Apr 20, 2016 @ 1:21am

GG bro this was fun ;)

RafaSKB says ...
Apr 20, 2016 @ 2:04am

I play space to play but nothing happens... (Mac OSX + Chrome)

Geckoo1337 says ...
Apr 20, 2016 @ 5:49am

Nice controls and nice music. Gameplay is a little bit too hard for me, but it's fun. Well done ++

Larzan says ...
Apr 20, 2016 @ 10:17am

Nice, good concept, well implemented, although it is a bit difficult from the start, maybe you should start with a slower speed and then speed up with playtime.
Good game, great visual concept!
Music was not bad either :)

GaryS says ...
Apr 20, 2016 @ 3:17pm

Thanks again all for the feedback. Everyone's being really nice about a game that I think is mediocre at best, and not a great deal of fun to play. Makes me think I can do a lot better with more work, so thanks for the encouragement.

@nihilaleph - Thanks for the suggestion. I can see how that might explain it, there's actually a small gap between each block too. The code thinks of each block as a single entity and doesn't group them into rows, so it might be a bit of work to get collision to work that way, but I may give it a try.

@RafaSKB - I'm sorry, I don't have a mac I can test with, but I can't see why you'd have problems. I'm using the Phaser framework which is handling the input, I don't have much control over it. Are you sure the browser window was active?

@Larzan - I started off with the game much slower at the beginning and ramping up speed quickly (you might not notice, but the speed is still increasing slowly in the current version), but I found it a little dull for the first 30 seconds or so of play.

APantaloni says ...
Apr 20, 2016 @ 5:05pm

Not sold on the sort of "beeep" audio effect and the ship gets stuck sometimes. Except for that it's a pretty fun game! I also like the clean look of it :)

BitDare says ...
Apr 20, 2016 @ 7:35pm

Nice game especially for a first.

DivineOmega says ...
Apr 20, 2016 @ 7:58pm

Congratulations! This is a great first game ever. It looks very polished.

I found it really fun to play. It is deceptively difficult and I ended up just going as fast as possible and hitting space many times to get through.

midgard says ...
Apr 20, 2016 @ 9:15pm

Congratulations on your first game ever. However, I think you overcomplicated things with the rotation mechanics, simpler movements, like in a shmup, would have been better imo.

GaryS says ...
Apr 20, 2016 @ 10:03pm

Ahh, you might be right about that... I began with simple 8-way movement, but it felt a little too simple. I moved to the rotation style movement to make it more challanging, but the collision detection doesn't seem to work as well.

fin_nolimit says ...
Apr 21, 2016 @ 12:39am

Hey, thanks for playing my game! I responded to your comment with a little hint on the portals. So, your game is very addictive. I got to 3,150 points. It took me a couple of turns to figure out what to do and then I had it. My daughter had to help me lol. Also, I think this would be a perfect android game! Excellent Job!!!

wboqm says ...
Apr 21, 2016 @ 4:18am

Like the style; took a couple turns before I understood what to do and how; after which it became a lot more fun.

Mixer says ...
Apr 21, 2016 @ 11:52am

Very nice, and for a first game, fantastic. Graphics felt polished.

psyxose says ...
Apr 21, 2016 @ 3:04pm

Very good game. Innovative with nice graphics.

Roland M says ...
Apr 21, 2016 @ 7:30pm

Good job for your first game. =]

Apr 21, 2016 @ 9:17pm

It looks very polished for a first game. Unfortunately, it doesn't play very well because of the collision detection and game mechanic. Still very good for your first game. Why was it in the jam, as it seems it was made by one person in less than 48h?

sepharoth213 says ...
Apr 21, 2016 @ 10:25pm

Great first game :) There's nothing stopping me from mashing space and totally ignoring that mechanic though.

GaryS says ...
Apr 21, 2016 @ 10:47pm

I entered the Jam for two reasons:
1) I didn't think it was or would be anywhere near good enough for the compo.
2) I had a pretty busy weekend and couldn't dedicate as much time to this as I'd like.

You're right about the collision detection - I've yet to figure out why that's happening, but it's been suggested that it's because the blocks are moving rather than the camera. It'd take a rewrite to try the alternative, so I'm not sure if I'll get around to it... I want to work on other games now!!

And yeah, you can totally ignore the mechanic... it was a rush and I didn't have many ideas to work with. I tried a few things to make it more playable, but in the end I just needed to get it done!

Mr MadCat says ...
Apr 21, 2016 @ 10:48pm

Good job on your first entry. You did a really good job on polishing the game.

blubberquark says ...
Apr 22, 2016 @ 9:26am

The music is very good. The graphics are okay. The mechanics are not particularly interesting, but not bad.

The controls and the feedback are where the biggest problem lies. The Rocketship feels like it has no weight to it. It feels floaty. There is too little feedback (The fire coming out when you accelerate is a nice touch though). The fast-paced action of the game really accentuates the kinetic aspect. Maybe try to experiment with different control schemes and wall movement speeds.

Also I got stuck on walls often. Maybe try to do x and y movement independently, so you can slide along a wall in y direction if x is blocked and vice versa (I learned this trick from Notch, by reading the source of one of his game jam games).

Soron says ...
Apr 22, 2016 @ 9:38am

Very nice. Loved the music :). There were a few places where the game behaved differently than I expected (walls not harming you, 4 shapes rather than the triangle/circle/square everyone else seems to have used), but having a fresh perspective is nice. And once I got into the rhythm of it, it was really fun!

My main critique is that it's hard to tell which shape is coming up next. That's probably because the indicator is down in the bottom-left, where it's out of the way and hard to notice. Maybe put it top-center, and make it transparent? Hopefully that would make it (a) easy to see at a glance, and (b) not too distracting to the player.

GaryS says ...
Apr 22, 2016 @ 12:51pm

That's some really good feedback guys, thanks!
I haven't decided if I'll keep working on this or put my efforts into something more substantial for my next game; but I'll certainly take your comments on board.

Glad you both liked the music though, I've really only put a few hours into learning tracker software, so I'm excited to see what I can come up with when I have more experience.

TheMightyTeam says ...
Apr 22, 2016 @ 7:39pm

Nice game. I liked the graphics. Maybe you can add something for the background (something related to the music perhaps?)

tomlum says ...
Apr 23, 2016 @ 3:50am

Really nice clean look, gameplay was a little simple though

gnerkus says ...
Apr 23, 2016 @ 5:36am

I like the clean look and the nice colors. Could you share your palette?

For some reason, I couldn't hear any music. I think it's due to the browser (I played the game on Safari). I later tried it in a Chrome browser and heard the cool beats. Kudos

The game was a bit tedious for me because I wasn't aware of the mash-to-play tip.

Tym17 says ...
Apr 23, 2016 @ 8:26am

Really nice job, i would loved seeing the player changing shape or color. Nice game ! :)

endel says ...
Apr 23, 2016 @ 10:36am

Cool. Needs a little tutorial to explain the controls. Died 3 times too understand how things happen. Cheers!

Togimaro says ...
Apr 23, 2016 @ 11:45am

Cool game mecanics and lovely arts!
Great job!
(PS The first time the game has crash when I approached near the left edge)

Apr 23, 2016 @ 3:31pm

Incredible stuff for a first game, especially 30 hours, wow! Remember my old ones and they weren't that good at all. Gameplay was fun, feedbacks too (love the "pointburst" effect with the text that fall), audio was good too and it looks nice. You have to continue to do LD you could become super good pretty fast ! Keep it up dude :D

squigglez says ...
Apr 23, 2016 @ 10:52pm

wow. amazing for a first game. took me a few runs to figure out what i was doing. great job

LOSTALLOY says ...
Apr 24, 2016 @ 7:10am

Great job! It took me sometime to figure the spacebar mechanic, but managed to play and have fun in the end!

Odyssey says ...
Apr 24, 2016 @ 11:54pm

I like it, really great entry! Except you can just smash spacebar and hope for the best. The frantic feel is great

AnaGF says ...
Apr 25, 2016 @ 10:20am

Nice concept, it is a good take on the theme with a runner. Cool game.
However, movement controls feel a bit weird to me, maybe a classic movement based on axis instead of setting direction would have worked better.

Freank says ...
Apr 25, 2016 @ 10:23am

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

axoona says ...
Apr 25, 2016 @ 7:39pm

nice entry, but a bit difficult right from the start. it would probably be easier if the left-right controls didn't rotate the player but would just move it up-bottom but maybe that was your intention to add additional difficulty
otherwise I really liked the nice minimal graphics

marmpa says ...
Apr 26, 2016 @ 1:01pm

Nice game.I was really in to it.

ExSpecter says ...
Apr 27, 2016 @ 12:33pm

The controls are quite hard but its a nice casuall game! I like it. But the sound of counting the points is a little bit irritating over time.

Sir Magic says ...
Apr 27, 2016 @ 8:48pm

Neat concept right heree and I think the floaty movement suited the game as it added a nice fitting scale of difficulty.

shane1090 says ...
Apr 27, 2016 @ 10:55pm

Really good use of the theme! Most I could manage was 1250 - I was a little rubbish at it! Well put together (though I couldn't work out the controls at first). Think there was a ringing sound applied when colliding with blocks that got a bit annoying but other than that a solid entry! Enjoyed playing it a lot!

DevelopTech says ...
Apr 30, 2016 @ 9:49am

Congratulations for your first entry.

The game is very fun to play and also very easy to understand. I also like how challenging is. Simple and effective

albinobat says ...
Apr 30, 2016 @ 10:09am

Nice little game. was quite fun but got a bit easy after a while, maybe if it got more challenging later in the game it would have improved a lot :)

badia_r says ...
Apr 30, 2016 @ 1:30pm

Nice game, very fun to play! No bugs at all, good music. The only annoying thing is the sound effect when you hit a wall. Anyway, one of my favorite entries! Got 5050 :P

Satyre says ...
May 5, 2016 @ 12:34pm

Nice work for your first game :) Pretty solid gameplay. The themes was used well and the music and graphics fit very well.

csanyk says ...
May 9, 2016 @ 2:30pm

Very well done for your first ever game! I'm impressed with the presentation and polish. The game feels like if Asteroids and Flappy Bird had a baby with a memory match game. I'll be interested to watch you progress in the future.

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