Ludum Dare 36 — August 26th-29th, 2016 — Theme: Ancient Technology

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Pharablock

by mvasko2 - Jam Entry

Ever wondered how Egyptians built their pyramids? Well, the answer is actually quite simple...


The goal of the game is simple - you need to build the basic shape of various gigantic monuments using nothing but huge blocks and a giant slingshot! You control the angle and strength of the shot simply by dragging the slingshot holder.

You can find block reference and a story in the Help section of the menu.

Thanks for playing!

-------------------

The team:
Pavol Molcsan - Graphics
Milan Vaško - Programming

-------------------

http://fryhet.com
https://twitter.com/FryhetOfficial

===================

The Web version is known to be broken on some browsers, unfortunately we haven't been able to fix it yet. If it doesn't work for you, we advice you to download the standalone version instead, which *should* be working.

Sorry for the inconvenience!

Downloads and Links


Comments

steph88 says ...
Aug 30, 2016 @ 6:07am

Hi, nice game and congratulations ! We're realizing a video with several games of the Ludum Dare #36. We made the same thing at the previous jam.

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.

mvasko2 says ...
Aug 30, 2016 @ 11:46am

Thanks!
Sure, it should be there by now.

yotam180 says ...
Aug 30, 2016 @ 12:26pm

Neither the web version nor the windows version worked for me... However, the concept of the game *sounds* interesting and fun.

mvasko2 says ...
Aug 30, 2016 @ 12:36pm

Sorry to hear that, @yotam180
Can you tell me the details about what happened so we can try and fix it?

yotam180 says ...
Aug 30, 2016 @ 12:43pm

@mvasko2 Well, the web version says "This website is temporarily unavailable, please try again later." So I'm going to return to it later. The windows version just won't open :P. I'll try again with a different architecture after lunch and inform you if it worked.

mvasko2 says ...
Aug 30, 2016 @ 12:52pm

@yotam180 Yeah, I noticed that the website does that, but I currently have no idea why :( It's freshly launched, so there's probably some stupid mistake I made, I hope to resolve it as soon as possible.

I don't know what's wrong with Windows version either, when I tried it now on my machine, it launched, but the controls were broken for some reason...

That said, since we've uploaded the web version to indiexpo.net, I have at least provided an alternative web link, I hope at least THAT will work...

mockthebear says ...
Aug 30, 2016 @ 1:35pm

Loved the graphics.
There is one thing you can improve. The control of the sling seems work in a log function.
Like, you pull only a little, it goes a little. You pull a bit more, then the block goes until the end of the level.

Maybe youcan do something more linear, or an strenght bar.

Amine Tcherak says ...
Aug 30, 2016 @ 1:50pm

Great games i like it good works and good graphics

Xakkar says ...
Aug 30, 2016 @ 3:19pm

Cool game)

kingpirux says ...
Aug 30, 2016 @ 3:49pm

really intresting, this is not my kind of games but i found it really creative :D

teamBallShui says ...
Aug 30, 2016 @ 3:51pm

I could not click on any of the buttons on neither of the web build links you provided. Should maybe look into it and provide a fix.

Piotrek says ...
Aug 30, 2016 @ 3:57pm

Fun game.
What about changing audio effect volume depending on how fast block moved before hitting?

Casevse says ...
Aug 30, 2016 @ 4:40pm

Original concept, and it's challenging. Good work!

scriptorum says ...
Aug 30, 2016 @ 4:44pm

Hey, that's fun. Too bad you couldn't get the slingshot cord in but we get the point without it. :) Some additional aid for aiming would be nice, perhaps an angle and power indicator. The additional blocks definitely increases the challenge. I'd love 1-3 short cut key for changing the blocks.

CMangas says ...
Aug 30, 2016 @ 4:53pm

Solid physics, challenging and fun for a while. Good job! For some reason I can advance without having to complete the levels thou...

tonynogo says ...
Aug 30, 2016 @ 4:59pm

Very cool, fun.
I'm a very bad architect ^^.
Congratulations!

aschab says ...
Aug 30, 2016 @ 5:03pm

Really challenging, interesting concept.

Latis Games says ...
Aug 30, 2016 @ 5:17pm

Wow, this is tough—and I mean that in a good way! A fun little puzzle, that could be made easier on the player (but where would be the fun in that?) I've enjoyed myself with it, at least. That said, I'm encountering the same problem as @CMangas.
—StarFahx

DaanVanYperen says ...
Aug 30, 2016 @ 5:25pm

Original idea! Reverse angry birds. Would give some gratification if the game gave a bit of feedback when the block lands correctly.

RadMcCool says ...
Aug 30, 2016 @ 5:38pm

All worked well. Really fun style of catapult game. Precision is important and rewarding when done well. Graphics aren't top tier but still very nice and fitting. I liked the fast moving sky. You should do the extra effort to get this on the mobile market.

Aug 30, 2016 @ 11:28pm

Very well made. Would be fun if I could launch multiple blocks!

TomBuston says ...
Aug 31, 2016 @ 12:03pm

Nice concept, I liked the art style :) I love the fact that we can push other block to "correct" a previously failed launch

mato26 says ...
Aug 31, 2016 @ 12:21pm

Dobrý nápad a super zapojenie témy :D

mvasko2 says ...
Aug 31, 2016 @ 1:03pm

Thanks for all the comments! I will try to respond to some of you here.


@mockthebear Funnily enough, it IS a linear function :) (at least should be, I may have screwed something up). I agree that it needs some fiddling though.

@teamBallShui That's weird. Can you please give me more details, like what browser you're using and what system you're on? Also, have you checked if there's any output in the browser console? I don't know what can be wrong at the moment.

@Piotrek Yes, admittedly, I did a crappy job with the sounds, they were added in relatively quickly and carelessly, and it's a thing which we'll surely improve in the upcoming versions.

@scriptorum Funny thing about the slingshot cord (or not funny, depending on how you look at is) - it IS actually there, but doesn't show up in the web build. If you tried the standalone version, it should be there. I'm not sure what's causing it, probably there's a bug somewhere in the HTML5 Godot export.

We did consider adding some kind of a visual aid, but decided to drop it for the time being - we will probably add it in the future.

Also, the shortcuts are a good idea, why didn't we think of that?

@CMangas and @Latis Games - It's not a bug, it's a feature! More seriously though, I don't know what I was thinking, I probably wanted to ease up on the challenge a bit, so the game is completable without actually winning it, but in retrospect, it really doesn't make much sense.

@DaanVanYperen Good idea, will look into it!

@RadMcCool We have thought about porting it to (at least) Android, it probably will happen at some point.

@Avalanche Games Interesting idea, but it would probably be hard to do precise shots with this, so I'm not sure if it would work. You probably could brute-force the shape with this and some luck though, it's something which would require some experimenting.

@mato26 ġakujeme ;)


We appreciate all the feedback, thank you once again!

Hackingroelz says ...
Aug 31, 2016 @ 1:44pm

Nice art and sound effects. It's a fun concept and it's pretty fun to play, though the blocks don't really seem to slide much which can be kinda annoying. Overall a pretty cool game :D

PS: The game doesn't seem to work in Safari on Mac:
abort("Assertion failed: undefined") at jsStackTrace@http://assets.indiexpo.net/html5/1638/index.js:1:17215
stackTrace@http://assets.indiexpo.net/html5/1638/index.js:1:17389
abort@http://assets.indiexpo.net/html5/1638/index.js:35:11971
assert@http://assets.indiexpo.net/html5/1638/index.js:1:7579
http://assets.indiexpo.net/html5/1638/index.js:1:24107
doCallback@http://assets.indiexpo.net/html5/1638/index.js:1:101952
done@http://assets.indiexpo.net/html5/1638/index.js:1:102038
http://assets.indiexpo.net/html5/1638/index.js:1:80847
http://assets.indiexpo.net/html5/1638/index.js:1:82350
getDB@http://assets.indiexpo.net/html5/1638/index.js:1:81127
getRemoteSet@http://assets.indiexpo.net/html5/1638/index.js:1:82292
http://assets.indiexpo.net/html5/1638/index.js:1:80796
getLocalSet@http://assets.indiexpo.net/html5/1638/index.js:1:82187
syncfs@http://assets.indiexpo.net/html5/1638/index.js:1:80722
http://assets.indiexpo.net/html5/1638/index.js:1:102190
forEach@[native code]
syncfs@http://assets.indiexpo.net/html5/1638/index.js:1:102114
http://assets.indiexpo.net/html5/1638/index.js:1:24080
_emscripten_asm_const_v@http://assets.indiexpo.net/html5/1638/index.js:1:27228
Ki@http://assets.indiexpo.net/html5/1638/index.js:16:24606
callMain@http://assets.indiexpo.net/html5/1638/index.js:35:10341
doRun@http://assets.indiexpo.net/html5/1638/index.js:35:11047
http://assets.indiexpo.net/html5/1638/index.js:35:11202
If this abort() is unexpected, build with -s ASSERTIONS=1 which can give more information.

Gorp900 says ...
Aug 31, 2016 @ 2:56pm

Looks very nice and plays incredibly smoothly.
Ultimate satisfaction when the blocks slide perfectly into place :)

gonutz says ...
Aug 31, 2016 @ 9:42pm

It says "Downloading..." for a minute, freezing the rest of the browser, then gives me 'Exception thrown, see JavaScript code'. Are you installing some kind of ransom ware on my system? ;)

mvasko2 says ...
Aug 31, 2016 @ 10:03pm

@Hackingroelz Thanks for the comment and the log, unfortunately, I don't have a Mac available to test it and do something about it. Also, the log looks scary and not overly helpful...

@gonutz Worry not, no ransom ware involved ;) There seems to be something rotten in the HTML5 export, but it works on my machine in Google Chrome, Firefox AND Opera. What browser and OS do you use? Please tell me it's not Mac... also, I would really appreciate the specific version of at least the browser.

I'm sorry for the inconvenience people, I hope at least the desktop version works for you.

gonutz says ...
Aug 31, 2016 @ 10:12pm

I am using Windows XP 32 bit, Firefox 47.0.1.
I just tried it again, still the same story :(

gonutz says ...
Aug 31, 2016 @ 10:13pm

@mvasko2 forgot to address you directly so this appears in your profile, see my last comment...

mvasko2 says ...
Aug 31, 2016 @ 10:21pm

@gonutz Wow, XP is still around! The memories...
I'm afraid the bug may have something to do with the fact Godot dropped support for XP (I'm pretty sure I read that somewhere), so there may not be much I can do, sorry :(

I'm going to do some research tomorrow (as it's getting really late here now), both regarding XP and Safari, but I can't make any promises.

Junber says ...
Aug 31, 2016 @ 11:29pm

That was really fun and definitely original. Both types blocks felt too light in terms of gravity and it was hard to accuraely control them. Sometimes the UI buttons just refused to work for me and I had to reaload the game. Also the accuracy percentage once showed me something around 30% even though the blocks were placed quite accurately (I expected 80%-90%). Sorry that this comment sounds so negative. I really think it's a good game but I like pointing out small problems.

Sep 1, 2016 @ 1:11pm

I loved how close your game matched the theme! Gameplay mechanics was creative, but kinda hard. I got <30% most of the time. I also had a javascript exception once, running on Firefox. But otherwise, good job!

mvasko2 says ...
Sep 1, 2016 @ 1:28pm

So I did a little more thorough testing, and the only bug which I'm able to reproduce so far, is an exception thrown (probably) during block collision.
Apparently, we're not the only ones...
https://github.com/godotengine/godot/issues/6274

@Junber Thanks for the comment! You're right, the blocks do feel a little too light and they probably require some fiddling. After all, they're supposed to be giant blocks the pyramids were built with. On the other hand, it probably increases the challenge, since it's easier to push them accidentaly. We'll need to play around with it a bit more to find a good middle ground.

The UI buttons freezing actually happened to me too, but only once - I haven't been able to reproduce it since...

Regarding accuracy - that's strange, *currently* the accuracy system should actually be quite forgiving - it only takes into account the distance of the middle point of the blocks, and adds them together, ignoring any blocks which are not the same type as the template. If the template block is "covered" with real blocks of the same type (that is, you don't have to be 100% accurate with one block, you could be 50% accurate with two blocks, this behaviour is most apparent in the first level), it should give you the appropriate percentage. Are you sure the blocks matched in type?

Anyway, thanks for the (helpful) comment, we're glad you liked the game.

kyyrma says ...
Sep 1, 2016 @ 6:02pm

Angry Birds mechanics work well! Day and night is really nice. Excellent work, one of the best ones I have seen in this LD!

komilll says ...
Sep 1, 2016 @ 6:48pm

Really great game. That would be an amazing mobile game.

ianb96 says ...
Sep 2, 2016 @ 12:18am

Great game I enjoyed slowly getting better at using the catapult while still being really bad at it.
I think that the day/night cycle was too long, it can get distracting and background music would be good too. The slingshot should have its bands pulled back with the stone so it is easier to gauge the angle. Arcs that show your last shot may be helpful and would make the game easier as well. A current completion % would be interesting to see as the blocks fall into place to give immediate feedback how good or bad that shot was when things get tight and the mirage gets blocked out by more blocks.
Really nice use of mechanics and overall aesthetics, well done!

juxipolo says ...
Sep 3, 2016 @ 3:42am

Seems like there are a lot of ways you could build on this with different block types, physics, and terrain. This is a solid start

Linus123xbb says ...
Sep 3, 2016 @ 9:59pm

Very cool concept, reminds me of angry birds in a way :p

Narkhos says ...
Sep 5, 2016 @ 7:38pm

Good game. The physics is working well and it's really challenging. Good idea to make the player constructing something by throwing blocks rather than destroying it.
On the first level I accidentally made a 92% on my first try and was expecting the game to load the next level. I think you should at least give a direct feedback when the level is "solved". You could as well highlight the blocks that are in place during the game.

Great job :)

Ebriosus says ...
Sep 6, 2016 @ 7:34am

I can't exactly say that your choice for the theme is very original, seeing how many people picked an Egyptian one.

The game's mechanics isn't particularly unique either, but it's more so than the choice of setting - it reminds me of those many Flash games where you launch a cannonball or a cat out of a cannon to get it as far as you can, or one of those older turn-based strategy games like Scorched Earth or Worms, except not as refined. Some kind of interface that displays something like your current slingshot strength and accuracy, and previous strength and accuracy (or at the least, the former) would have been really helpful. In this way, I wouldn't need to continually make rough estimates of where my mouse cursor was when I launched my previous, well-aimed shot, to only have my current one either knock out the well-aimed block or completely fly to the other side of the screen.

A brief indicator of how close the block is to its rightful position on the currently landed block itself or on a HUD on the screen would have been nice. I have to click 'Finish level' just so see how accurately my blocks are placed, which is regretful, because if you were doing well on a puzzle with lots of blocks but didn't get a high enough percentage yet, you have to restart the puzzle.

As far as the title menu goes, it's hard to see the text on the buttons. The text needed a bit more contrast to separate it from the brown buttons.

I was also sort of under the impression that the types of pyramids you could build were pseudo-randomly generated, giving me many possible pyramid shapes, but I remembered that there was a 'Level select' button, and there's only eight levels listed under it - that's too bad.

For what it's worth, it's pretty fun, kinda like the Flash and old games I mentioned; but your pick for the theme is not exactly unique, and gameplay got a bit marred by the inability to more accurately calculate where your blocks will land; also, with only eight pyramid shapes, it's pretty short. The game's not too bad.

mvasko2 says ...
Sep 6, 2016 @ 9:19am

@Ebriosus thank you very much for the detailed review!

I agree that the Egyptian setting is kind of a cliché at this point, though to be honest, we haven't given it much of a second thought, since it fit quite well with the type of game we were after.

We didn't go the indicator route for the jam simply because of the time, the laziness (obviously :P) and the increased challenge. Since a lot of you guys correctly point out that some kind of a strength indicator/hint/whatever would be a good thing to have, it's definitely an issue we're going to address. Same goes for showing the accuracy percentage in real time.

Interesting note about the button contrast, it hadn't even occurred to us that it could be an issue. We may as well do a bit of a redesign at some point, so we will look into that.

More levels is also on the TODO list, though you gave us an interesting idea with the random generation - maybe it could be a separate game mode?


Once again, thanks for the honest feedback, it's been really helpful!

SamuelSousa says ...
Sep 12, 2016 @ 5:53pm

Yep! That's how the pyramids where built ;)

Solid presentation. Interesting take on mechanics. Pixel art isn't too impresive but gets the job done. Lacks sounds but makes up with available number of levels.

There is so much you make out of this new... new... new...

Great job putting this together!

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