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

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Random Access Aliens

by edve98 - Competition Entry

Oh no the alien drones are attacking earth! They even destroyed all of our firearms and melee weapons! What could we possibly do to stop them?!

Use our good ol' grenades, of course!

This is a terminal turn based game that I did with my own engine (specifically made for Ludum Dare!). Your goal is to survive as long as you can! Every 10 turns new alien drones will spawn and you will find a new grenade/heal 1hp.

map.txt is the map. You can edit if you want - just remember that alien spawn positions are hard coded (I really wanted to make it not so it would be easy to change the map but I had to rush everything in the end).

there is also .score file that is keeping the score. But do you really want to cheat? :P

W, A, S, D - walk or or aim
Spacebar - change between walking and aiming
Enter - throw grenade or end turn
Escape or Q - quit game (score will not be recorded)

@ - player
A - Strong alien drone
a - damaged alien drone
_ - killed alien drone
# - wall (drones can fly over them!)
X - place where are you aiming
o - thrown grenade
* - explosion
! - place where alien drones spawn


P.S.S. If somebody wants an OS X version just drop a comment below, I'll see what I can do.

Downloads and Links


Sun-Wukong says ...
Aug 29, 2016 @ 4:00pm

Is it beatable?

edve98 says ...
Aug 29, 2016 @ 4:04pm

@Sun-Wukong Sadly no. At first I was thinking about making a few levels to beat, but I ran out of time :(

Vaiaphraim says ...
Aug 29, 2016 @ 4:19pm

Windows user here - your engine seems to work well in the command shell :)

Cool game, I enjoyed it a lot. Maxing out the splash damage and kiting the aliens is really fun! Too bad you don't seem to gain any score for blasting them - but it shows that the objective is to survive.. no more, no less, as well as you can.

DifferentName says ...
Aug 29, 2016 @ 4:19pm

It's tough to tell what's going on in a game when you have to look at a legend to tell what anything is. I don't know how anyone does it with more complex games like rogue. I was confused by the grenade at first, because the game let me aim with the grenade even though I didn't have enough AP to throw one. I managed to kill a few aliens though. Can the ! spawning places be destroyed? I was trying to blow one up, but nothing seemed to happen to it. I guess if it was possible to damage it, it would change to a damaged icon like the aliens do?

Multitudes22 says ...
Aug 29, 2016 @ 4:35pm

It was fun, but a bit odd to play. I couldn't help feeling like there was something missing to the game. But then again, it is 48 hours, so good job!

edve98 says ...
Aug 29, 2016 @ 4:44pm

@Vaiaphraim at first I was thinking of giving some points for that (or killing multiple aliens with single grenade) but I really ran out of time - I was working hard until the deadline.

@DifferentName yeah the problem with aiming was not fixed due to time shortage. And !'s cannot be destroyed. The game thinks of them like walls :P

amras0000 says ...
Aug 29, 2016 @ 4:51pm

Your engine's missing one very important aspect: numpad control. You don't understand how restrictive it feels to have to aim on a grid in 4 directions.

Aside from that, the engine's cute, legible enough. The lack of color's a bit offputting but it's ld so I'm not expecting too much there.

There's not a lot going on in the game, which is fine if you're just showing off the engine. If you'd had time to make the enemies path around the walls (and gotten more of them to spawn!) it might've been fun to clump them together and watch them all explode. Really, having enemies that are substantially faster than you, which swarm the screen uncontrollably, and which have to move around the same walls you do would've added a lot.

edve98 says ...
Aug 29, 2016 @ 5:26pm

@amras0000 it does have numpad support, I just didn't add that to the game. When I think about it it makes a lot of sense to have numpad as controls.

Color is there in the engine but not for Windows so I didn't bother to add it to the game (even if I did I would've probably chosen the worst colors possible, haha).

And I was trying to add normal path finding but it didn't work as intended an hour and a half until the deadline. I Decided to scrap it and finish off things that were really important (like grenades actually doing damage).

onyon says ...
Aug 29, 2016 @ 5:50pm

Feels great that you created the engine just for this! I like the ascii-like art. Sad you ran out of time cause I'd be looking forward to seeing more. Good job.

lordvorath says ...
Aug 29, 2016 @ 7:10pm

Nice work making the engine ad-hoc for the occasion! I Like ASCII graphics in general so that's cool, unfortunate that you ran out of time, would have loved to see more content. What else to say, it's a simple game but nicely executed. Maybe a bit lackluster in the theme department but that's optional so...

Amine Tcherak says ...
Aug 29, 2016 @ 7:23pm

Good Works nice Game ..

ryte2byte says ...
Aug 29, 2016 @ 7:34pm

Ya know, I don't think I've played an ASCII game with WASD controls before, lol.

Kudos on building a whole engine during LD! Great way to leverage the theme.

edve98 says ...
Aug 29, 2016 @ 8:11pm

Oh, I didn't make the the whole engine during LD. I made it *for* it a few weeks before it started (well, I continued with what I had since last LD). Did I say anything that suggest I made it during LD? English isn't my native language so that could've happened.

blinry says ...
Aug 29, 2016 @ 8:24pm

I'm familiar with Nethack and other Rougelikes, so I enjoyed the old-school style! Nice interpretation of the theme, well done! We had a laugh about "TODO: Write tutorial" and that large A's became small a's when damaged ;-) Without looking at the website, the goal was unclear. We would have liked sound effects and more gameplay elements. Good job writing your own game engine!

PetterBergmar says ...
Aug 29, 2016 @ 9:48pm

Nice ascii art!

MrBrenan says ...
Aug 29, 2016 @ 9:55pm

As a windows user I don't have any problem.
I love Ascii art and turn based game so I love your game.
Good job guy :)

AWOL says ...
Aug 29, 2016 @ 10:38pm

Cool game!

Chryse says ...
Aug 29, 2016 @ 10:45pm

Fun little game! Good job! :)

kraiom says ...
Aug 30, 2016 @ 2:27am

I really like what you did here. Fun to play, and I appreciate the tactics feel of it. Would love to see more content, though. Maybe don't let drones and grenades ignore walls, that'd create some interesting tactical ideas. But I realize the time constraint.

Again, cool game, really like the feel of it!

~ kraiom/guiocm

Fib says ...
Aug 30, 2016 @ 2:32am

It was really hard to learn at first. But once I figured it out I really enjoyed the ascii art aesthetic. Solid entry & bonus points for writing your own engine.

Piotrek says ...
Aug 30, 2016 @ 9:11pm

Gameplay feels really dynamic as for turn based game.
Good job.

tmpxyz says ...
Aug 31, 2016 @ 4:23am

It would be more fun if there're guns and more kinds of aliens

Rakart says ...
Aug 31, 2016 @ 1:55pm

Reminds me of the cataclysm DDA days (in the aesthetic way), good job on the engine.
Too bad the gameplay is a bit bland, it could really be an awesome game with mechanics.

Congratulations anyway, game works fine on Windows.

Jimbly says ...
Sep 2, 2016 @ 3:41am

Interesting little game. Played rather slowly, even for a turn based game - faster explosions would have gone a long way. I totally did not understand the AP system at the beginning, got very confused as to why I suddenly could not move (thought I was stuck in a wall!), then tried shooting, and it would let me do that either, so some feedback about "out of AP" when trying to do either of those would have been slick.

Sep 2, 2016 @ 2:50pm

Same as Rakart, I'm reminded of Cataclysm (and rougelikes in general) too. The base gameplay is fun, but I think the pacing could be tuned up a little. It takes a lot of time running away before you get a real chance to strike back, and a lot of that time is just busy work. Personally, I'd experiment with turning up the spawn rate a little bit and seeing how that works. Alternatively you could try the you move/they move style of rougelikes, and see if that does away with the slowdown of having to end turn after every few steps. Despite this, I thought it was still a tops game!

epb9000 says ...
Sep 6, 2016 @ 6:30am

There's nothing quite as satisfying as taking out 7 alien drones with one grenade. I'll admit that it got a little tedious having to kite for 10 turns for a limited chance to strike back, but this was still solid fun.

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