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

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pulsar

by dvdagames - Jam Entry

My first LD and my first game ever.

It's a mediocre top down shooter that's like if Asteroids and a bullet-hell game both had weird cousins that liked to hang out and they got drunk one weekend and decided to make their own game.

=== HOW TO PLAY ===

(this information is also found in the How to Play section of the game)

Keyboard:
- Arrow keys move the ship
- 2 key transforms into the second form (an energy cloud)
- 1 key transforms back into the first form (the ship)
- Spacebar fires bullets in ship form; uses energy to generate bullets in cloud form

Gamepad:
- D-pad moves the ship
- B/Circle transforms into the second form (an energy cloud)
- X/Square transforms back in the first form (the ship)
- A/X fires bullets in ship form; uses energy to regenerate bullets in cloud form

General

- Cloud form drains energy (green bar); ship form regenerates energy
- Cloud form absorbs bullets and takes no damage
- When you run out of energy you will transform back into the ship
- PROTIP: The game is best played by switching between forms frequently

Essentially, you pilot a shape-shifting ship with limited bullets. You can regenerate bullets via switching to an energy cloud form and absorbing bullets from enemies. While in cloud form, energy drains; while in ship form energy regenerates.

Things that definitely need more work:
- Enemy AI
- Enemy animation
- Edge of map collision

I was originally trying to finish it in time for the Compo, but ran into some bugs with the enemy AI that pushed me past the 48 hour deadline. All sprites, animations, and sound were created within the 72 hours for the Jam.

NOTE: Project files and documentation can be found here: https://github.com/DVDAGames/pulsar/

NOTE: 32-bit versions for Windows and Linux can be found here: https://github.com/DVDAGames/pulsar/releases/tag/0.2.1

Downloads and Links


Ratings

Coolness51%
#647Audio(Jam)2.42
#858Graphics(Jam)2.76
#875Mood(Jam)2.61
#887Theme(Jam)2.80
#889Innovation(Jam)2.60
#921Fun(Jam)2.62
#993Overall(Jam)2.73

Comments

Weeping Rupee says ...
Apr 21, 2016 @ 4:01am

Cool game. Not sure it fits the theme. Are there bullet pick ups? i kept running out :(

dvdagames says ...
Apr 21, 2016 @ 4:23am

Yes, you can pick up bullets by switching between the two forms of the ship. If you are using a keyboard it's the 1 key for the default, ship form and the 2 key for the energy cloud form which collects bullets or allows you to drain a significant amount of energy to generate a number of bullets. If you are using a gamepad, it's the Square/X button for the ship form and the Circle/B button for the energy cloud form and X fires bullets in ship form / generates bullets in cloud form.

I'll add that to the game notes, as well. It's in the "How to Play" section, but maybe I should outline it here, too. If you have some time give it another shot with the transformations, the game it meant to be played switching between forms frequently.

ProjectX593 says ...
Apr 21, 2016 @ 4:37am

The download link for the windows version seems to be broken

dvdagames says ...
Apr 21, 2016 @ 4:41am

@ProjectX593: Thanks for the heads up. Should be fixed now.

MudFarmers says ...
Apr 21, 2016 @ 4:59am

The core idea isn't bad, I'm up for an asteroids style shooter. The graphics are fine for a jam game, but it's hard to keep track of your facing when in the cloud form. One more enemy type might have helped a bit here as well. Nice job over all.

Apr 21, 2016 @ 5:05am

It said press a button on gamepad or keyboard, but neither seemed to register anything until I unplugged my gamepad and restarted and then keyboard worked.

Anyway, other than that it seemed solidly built. Graphics are clear despite the chaos. It always took me a few seconds to realize I was out of bullets, so maybe some more feedback (sound or graphics) would help that. Nice job.

Xinelu says ...
Apr 21, 2016 @ 5:06am

Nice entry :D!

dvdagames says ...
Apr 21, 2016 @ 5:16am

@mike.cullingham: Sorry about the gamepad issues, if you happen to see this and can let me know what version of the game you were playing and what kind of gamepad it was I can look into it. I've only got a few lying around to test, so there could be some bugs with other gamepads

I definitely agree on the bullet count feedback. That part of the interface needs a lot of love.

Thanks for the feedback.

dvdagames says ...
Apr 21, 2016 @ 5:19am

@MudFarmers: In my naivety, I planned to have multiple types of enemies and 2 or 3 other forms for the ship. Unfortunately that all got cut when downsizing the scope to be more realistic. Totally agree on the cloud form being difficult to navigate. I probably should have made it just sort of circular with some sort of "eye" or something at the front to help you orient yourself.

Thanks for the feedback.

blockdroppers says ...
Apr 21, 2016 @ 5:54am

Neat game

Apr 21, 2016 @ 9:19am

@dvdagames thanks a lot for such technical and design analysis of my game. Believe me it's people like you are helping the most to novice developers like us. Thanks once again for MAC issue rectification and everything

Freank says ...
Apr 21, 2016 @ 4:54pm

Hi, nice game ! We're realizing a video with several games of the Ludum Dare #35.
Can you add your game on indiexpo.net ? (it's free)
So we can include also your game in the video ;)
p.s. write #LDJAM in the game's description

mf1214 says ...
Apr 21, 2016 @ 11:45pm

Nice job on your first game! I really liked the action feel of the game with all the bullets flying everywhere. Some edge collisions would be nice though. Great job!

ElliotFiske says ...
Apr 21, 2016 @ 11:58pm

Interesting concept!

It's pretty satisfying being able to use the enemy's attacks against you.

Controls are a little weird on the keyboard, it might've been good to use the mouse for shooting.

F4KETHIS says ...
Apr 22, 2016 @ 12:35am

Fun! Once I figured out I had to switch between forms periodically to regain ammo I quite enjoyed it, I like that mechanic a lot. Different enemy types would be nice though.

I flew off screen and got lost after a bit, couldn't find my way back and had to quit. If you keep working on this you might want to set up some sort of barrier around the play space.

dvdagames says ...
Apr 22, 2016 @ 12:57am

@F4KETHIS: Yeah I definitely lost a few ships to Deep Space. Thanks for the feedback.

@ElliotFiske: The controls ended up being weird on the controller and the gamepad, I think I need to go back to the drawing board on them, but yeah I'm thinking a KB+M combo like in an FPS, you move forward, backward, strafe left, and strafe right with WASD/Arrow Keys and then control rotation, firing, and shifting forms with the mouse. The gamepad will probably use the analogue sticks and the trigger buttons instead of the D-Pad and face buttons. Thanks for the feedback.

@mf1214: Thanks! I definitely need to do something with the edges. I initially liked the idea of being able to swing out and turn around and come back through, but you can't see anything that's going on and it's really easy to get lost out there and never find your way back.

Khaoz_Fang says ...
Apr 22, 2016 @ 1:29am

Nice game, and the concept is interesting. The control is a bit strange to me though.

Freank says ...
Apr 23, 2016 @ 7:14am

Hi, nice game ! We're realizing a video with several games of the Ludum Dare #35.
Can you add your game on indiexpo.net ? (it's free)
So we can include also your game in the video ;)
p.s. write #LDJAM in the game's description

Apr 26, 2016 @ 2:18pm

Good and fun game !
Go vote mine ! :)
http://ludumdare.com/compo/ludum-dare-35/?action=preview&uid=90478

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