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

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Soaring with the Ancients

by xzippyzachx - Jam Entry

Soaring with the Ancients is an exploration game were you must use your ancient flying technology to explore the land and discover all the ancient landmarks.

Soaring with the Ancients was made in 72 hours by one person, ME! -xzippyzachx

If you want to see a full time lapse of me making this game check out my you tube channel and it will be available there soon!



Quit: esc
Roll: A & D
Yaw: Q & E
Air Brake: S
Pitch: Move mouse up and down
Free Look: Hold left-alt and use mouse to look

Downloads and Links


CalmKai says ...
Aug 30, 2016 @ 2:40am

Love the art style!

mitya1234 says ...
Aug 31, 2016 @ 1:40pm

Graphics is really cool, but controls is not very well. Maybe full mouse controls will be better.

xzippyzachx says ...
Aug 31, 2016 @ 9:33pm

I messed with the controls a lot and found, full mouse control was not the best.

minnouu says ...
Sep 1, 2016 @ 10:26am

The game looks really great, but; maybe it's just my mouse sensitivity or something, but I really couldn't control the plane very well. It really wanted to flip all over the place.

Steel Lynx says ...
Sep 8, 2016 @ 7:41pm

Great graphics, but as mentioned above: really odd controls.
It seems like the mouse is trying to simulate a joystick where you have to move the mouse in the opposite direction to "recenter" the controls, i.e. if you pull back a bit the plane keeps pitching until you've pushed forward about the same amount. For mouse controls it might work better if the controls automagically recenter if the mouse doesn't move. It might not be as realistic, but should make the plane easier to control. It should also make it more possible to enable yaw or roll on the horizontal axis.

Strike says ...
Sep 9, 2016 @ 6:05am

I'm really sorry but I cannot control the plane at all. I think mostly it's because it is way too sensitive. A little press on the controls and it starts turning very fast. About the mouse I'm ok with this type of controls, but I really need to see where my cursor is, because after a while I'm totally lost mostly when the plane starts spinning very fast. It seems like there is no collision (actually there is, after 3 plays I managed to hit the ground, but if you spin too fast you can get through it easily) and I believe I end up under the ground with only the skybox being visible.
Maybe you can have a look at how Strike Vector does it :

I had to quit the game and restart it. This time I decided to not touch the mouse. Funnily using Q and E makes the plane drift.

I tried a third time. This time I had to really move my mouse by just a little millimetre to kind of be able to control the plane. This is really too sensitive. I manage to see one landmark, and I started spinning like crazy again near the second one. I'm wondering how you implemented your controls and hope it's not frame rate sensitive.

That's sad because I really like the atmosphere of the game, the art and sounds. It's just that the controls are really too sensitive. Thanks for making this game, I can see you did a lot of good work here and that's why I tried so hard and so many times. It just needs some minor adjustments and it would be really enjoyable.

ReyHax says ...
Sep 9, 2016 @ 6:00pm

It took me a while to get used to the controls, but after I did it was pretty fun ( I did still however get some strange drifting movements when turning). I could never find all 5 landmarks though. The game looks very pretty and the music really adds to the experience. Nice Job!

felixsoum says ...
Sep 9, 2016 @ 7:42pm

Very nice 3D models. To do: improve controls!

xzippyzachx says ...
Sep 9, 2016 @ 8:09pm

@Strike yes I am very sorry about the controls! Now I know to put a sensitivity option in future LD games. I guess when making the game I played it a lot and got very used to the controls and should have got some one to play test it before the deadline. Thanks so much for the feedback!!!

WERT Studio says ...
Sep 10, 2016 @ 12:35pm

Hard to control i would like to play it again if they are better working the visuals are neat

Sep 10, 2016 @ 4:11pm

This looks really awesome. Great job!

Sep 11, 2016 @ 12:07pm

Wooo, really nice one! The flying controls are a bit too sensitive but it's ok, I manage to found the 5 ancient landmarks :)

xzippyzachx says ...
Sep 11, 2016 @ 12:34pm

@WERT Studio I have fixed the controls I THINK. If your still interested in playing Soaring with the Ancients again, it would be greatly appreciated if you could comment what you think of the controls now! Thanks!

qikcik says ...
Sep 11, 2016 @ 8:16pm

cool concept, cool music, and nice graphics, come physics were a little spoiled :P , I really like the giant world, good job :D, cool game :D, ps. sory for my bad english :P

Jelinib says ...
Sep 12, 2016 @ 1:22am

The music and look of the game are quite relaxing!

But the plane didn't want to let me relax, haha. If I wasn't holding onto the brakes, the plane would too easily zoom miles away from the terrain, which would be quite hard to find again if I went too high as well (white would be everywhere).

Maybe having another key to manually press to go, rather than automatically going all the time, may give me some time to take in the scenery without having to grip the leash so tightly so the plane doesn't get away, haha. :P

Very nice graphics and atmosphere though. Well done!

squirrelbot says ...
Sep 12, 2016 @ 11:21pm

Graphics seem nice, but I can't handle the controls at all. It doesn't need anything fancy, maybe just go where I point with the mouse. Also, you can fly straight through the ground right now.

jeremyfa says ...
Sep 13, 2016 @ 11:39am

The music is nice, the graphics are good too for low poly style. But the controls are pretty hard.

I would rather provide some very simple controls to move right or left, remove the need to control the plane angle etc... ie. make the control more 2-dimensional, even if the space is 3D.

An interesting entry overall :)

amras0000 says ...
Sep 14, 2016 @ 2:23am

Side tangent, really wish you'd package the 32- and 64-bit builds seperately so the zip wouldn't be 200MB.

The game looks very pretty (though you'd benefit a lot from cutting down on your specular values if using Unity's shaders; they tend to make things look like a magical girls transformation) but is absolutely impossible to control.

To start with, the plane goes far too fast, and almost immediately exits the game world if you don't hold down the brake. The roll/yaw are far too twitchy and turn you around far too fast. The yaw actually feels really unnatural for a biplane, and should either be left out completely or very slow.

What I'm assuming happened is that you set constant values per frame on your acceleration/turning, and then tested them on a slower machine/slower build. Remember, always take into account the frame length on this sort of stuff. I think Unity uses FixedUpdate for that, though my memory's hazy.

There are a couple big issues that arise from the uncontrollable speed, aside from the unpleasant handling. Presumably because of either unity's default shaders or some sort of fog effect, the entire world becomes a white square if you're too high above it, so once the game launches me out of bounds it's impossible to see anything to steer by until I'm too close to avoid crashing. Second, once I do crash, half the time the game lets me fall right through the terrain. I don't remember what fix you're supposed to use for that in unity, but if you're letting the player go a million miles per hour you need to check for edge cases in your collisions. Finally, once I've exited the world and tried to come back in, most of the time the world's actually gone. I'm not entirely sure what happens but if I try to approach the white square I'm just greated with a grey screen with some particle effects on it. interesting entry to be sure, but it's unplayable at the moment.

goodbadokay says ...
Sep 14, 2016 @ 7:10pm

May be I'm strange person, but for me controls are good. Played on MacBook Pro 13 with touchpad (no mouse) and found all 5 relics :D! I know that controlling biplane is hard thing, but this game offers adequate way for controlling ailerons, flaps and elevators of air vessel.
Minus for me is indestructible hull and may be low sensitivity of ailerons and flaps. Also in one of comments you've mentioned that you're cardbord developer. May be this game could be very immersive in VR glasses with gamepad controls.

invader says ...
Sep 15, 2016 @ 3:25pm

stunning visuals and music!

I like the overall feel of exploration once hovering over the landscape. Controls are little bit tricky, but you can used to it. It is easy to get lost completelly, hovering over endless gray ocean with no sense of direction. Some kind of compass would've been nice.

Also I've got those strange effects when everything got mirrored after dive into the ground - I was wandering if that effect has any special meaning to the game? :)

xzippyzachx says ...
Sep 15, 2016 @ 8:16pm

@invader Thanks so much for the feedback! I think the mirrored effect is just a bug where you fall through the world

xzippyzachx says ...
Sep 15, 2016 @ 8:20pm

@invader @goodbadokay @amras0000 @jeremyfa @squirrelbot @Jelinib @qikcik @Jacqueslelezard @actuallycameron @WERT Studio @felixsoum @Strike @ReyHax @Steel Lynx @minnouu @mitya1234 @CalmKai

Thank you so much for the feedback on Soaring with the Ancients!!!

I know now not to make a game for LD that has flying controls or any complicated controls for that matter and that I need to learn how to make proper plane controls in the first place!

I did have much fun making this game though and the visuals was the main purpose of the game. (Even though you have to control the plane to look at them LOL!!!)

Thanks so much again and happy Ludum Daring to you!!!

Steel Lynx says ...
Sep 15, 2016 @ 10:52pm

@xzippyzachx Just keep working on the controls. I'm sure you'll get them sorted out :-)

Sep 17, 2016 @ 8:32pm

The graphics and sound are absolutely fantastic! I really like the atmosphere - the music is perfect and fits wonderfully with the wind.

My problem is I couldn't stay on the map for more than a few seconds. :(

The controls are certainly problematic - they were way too sensitive and I also couldn't really tell exactly what they were doing.

The other problem is that the plane moves way too fast for me - I needed to just slow down so I could stop flying off the map, and also so I could get used to the controls, but there was no way to slow it down very much.

I also think I would be more patient with this game if there was a way to reset - it simply takes too long to get through the intro for me to try it again. :(

If the controls were fixed, this would be a very nice little game! I'm glad others were able to play it - I'm sure it's quite fun - but the combination of the controls and my lack of video gaming skill makes this unplayable for me.

goodbadokay says ...
Sep 19, 2016 @ 6:05pm

@xzippyzachx actually control are too realistic for casual gamer. It is cool to have opportunity of changing all Euler angles, but gamer must have basic knowledge of physics and aerodynamics. I like controls as is, but may be simple car-like control (no rotation around x, z axes) would be simpler for casual users.

csanyk says ...
Sep 19, 2016 @ 10:29pm

I liked that it didn't punish me for crashing, since I did that a lot. The controls do take some getting used to. But I love the graphics and the general vibe that I got. Very good aesthetics, and a nice peaceful exploration game. Congrats!

PainGames says ...
Sep 21, 2016 @ 1:46am

very cool, i always wanted to fly in an old aircraft in ancient times.

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