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

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Into The Universe

by novotmike - Jam Entry

===========================
### READ BEFORE PLAYING ###
===========================
- HOW TO PLAY : QUICK TUTORIAL -
1. Game starts PAUSED (you can Unpause/Pause using SPACEBAR or Button)

2. SELECT PLANET: Click on any planet and choose "SCOUT"

3. UNPAUSE THE GAME - Scouts should fly to their selected planes.
- You can select scout and make it return to ship

4. KEEP EYE ON TIMER
- If AUTOJUMP is enabled, ship will automaticly jump when timer reaches 0
- If AUTOJUMP is disabled, you can go past 0 s, but your ship can blow up

5. JUMP: Click JUMP button to jump to another Solar System
- Jump is enabled once HALF of the time in solar system passes
- KEEP an eyo on your SCOUTS, you can leave them behind

6. ENTER NEW SOLAR SYSTEM
- On each entry you GET 1 Point to assign to 3 categories + possiblity to repair/upgrade your SHIP HULL
- ENGINES category will add 10 seconds more for you to spend in each system
- WEAPONS category will add 5 more damage to your weapons
- SCOUTS category will increse SCOUT speed

7. FIGHT ENEMY
- You can target 1 Enemy Ship at a time
- Click on Enemy ship and choose "TARGET" to make it a target
- You can see Enemy info, by selecting it


# Your goal as a player is to survive for as long as possible => to get the best high score.

I know there is STEP-BY-STEP tutorial missing, but there was no time. Mechanics are pretty easy to undestand.
- Connection to theme is explained lower in "Story".
=================================

==================================
##STORY - (Theme interpretation)##
==================================

***Disclaimer: I got inspired by StarGate quite a bit!***

The game is set in our time when an Ancient SpaceShip lands in our Solar system. A group of people is dispatched to research this ancient ship. Unfortunately right as the researchers arrived, ship jumped to hyperspace and to another solar system.
Ship engines (or drive) are powered from Stars. Ship always jumps conviniently near the Sun to power up. Engines are complex and people on board cannot really control them. They found out that drives must be charged half way to be able to jump, but if you stay longer in star than you should, ship will be destroyed. Their main goal is to survive.

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## Controls ##
=================================
Left mouse: Select items + Drag the view
W,S,A,D (arrow keys): Move the view
Space: Pause/UnPause

=================================
## What the game contains ##
=================================
- Randomly generated solar systems
- Each planet has 6 biomes, 2 of which are used for game (scrap amount,...)
- Each planet has individual size, orbit speed and rotation speed
- Stars are divided in 6 classes, planet biomes distribution is directly dependant on the star type
- Player cannot move - but can send out "Scout ships" by selection a planet and clicking "Scout".
- Player can fight enemies
¨
=================================
##Things that are just missing ##
=================================
- Fighting does not have visuals (only audio)
- There was absolutelly no time to balance the game or to test the gameplay properly!!!
- No animations on enter/leave Solar system
- No animations on explosions
- No TUTORIAL (:/)

Downloads and Links


Comments

Chris0903 says ...
Aug 30, 2016 @ 8:20am

I have no idea what to do, but it seems cool

novotmike says ...
Aug 30, 2016 @ 8:47am

@Chris0903: Game starts paused. You are supposed to send out scouts to nearby planets to collect "Scrap". You can unpause the game using a button (top left corner) or by pressing space on your keyboard. You have limited time to scout each system.
- Hope it it a bit more clear, I did not have time to implement proper tutorial

Aug 30, 2016 @ 10:10am

Cool game! Very neat basic idea. Could've gone for a step-by-step tutorial or something like that - I felt a little uncertain as to what I should be doing. Some sound effects for stuff other than shooting would've gone a long way too, but now I am nitpicking - besides that, there is a very nice core game, would love to see it elaborated more

cushycode says ...
Aug 30, 2016 @ 10:17am

The base concept is pretty interesting. I have no ideas how this game related to the LD36 theme, but anyway was quite enjoyable 20 seconds! х)

However, the game mechanics are a bit weird at first. You really need a good tutorial or step-by-step demo level.

The soundtrack is cool, btw.

novotmike says ...
Aug 30, 2016 @ 10:27am

@TheFlyingSatan
@cushycode
I'm glad you liked the game mechanics. As you both said it needs the step-by-step tutorial a lot! I had it all planned to play in the beginning, but time wasn't on my side.

teamBallShui says ...
Aug 30, 2016 @ 12:11pm

I like the idea. In my first run I could barely reach the closest planet in 30 seconds. Might wanna check that. Is there a goal other than survive?

Geared Games says ...
Aug 30, 2016 @ 12:36pm

I had a lot of fun playing this game! Probably the most fun I've had playing Ludum Dare 36 games so far. It looks great, it plays great and the audio is nice.

Except for when you die, that sound was horrible and scared the shit out of me :P

Geared Games says ...
Aug 30, 2016 @ 12:55pm

I should add that for an endless game where you try to get as far as possible I think it's too easy.

In my second playthrough I got really far really easy and I think you get more powerful quicker than the game gets more difficult, which results in an endless positive feedback loop meaning it could pretty much go on forever.

My suggestion is, make the game progressively more difficult. Increase the prices of hull upgrades everytime you purchase it or something.

That's my two cents anyway :)

novotmike says ...
Aug 30, 2016 @ 1:21pm

@teamBallShui I originally planned to have end game goal, but there wasn't enogh time to pull it off. So I made it into endless game.

@Geared Games: Thank you very much for your feedback! I know exactly what you mean! I found out about the lack of challenge too late to do anything about it. Enemy power (maximum possible amount + damage) depends on number of systems you already visited. I think that making Hull upgrades more expensive everytime you purchase it would balance the game quite a bit. Sadly it is too late to change it (even though the change would be a one-liner).

kingpirux says ...
Aug 30, 2016 @ 3:03pm

quite a nice concept, wiht a little more details it can became a good simulator. I was playing FasterThanLight a few minutes ago so i have that feeling xD

MonsieurDuc says ...
Aug 30, 2016 @ 3:11pm

very nice :D

Allthebees says ...
Aug 30, 2016 @ 9:51pm

This is a great concept! I love the the feeling of helplessness of not knowing whether a scout might make it back in time. Even more content e.g more goals, more variation etc would be nice but being a jam there's only so much you can do. I would definitely play it if it was improved on!

Aug 30, 2016 @ 11:29pm

Fun idea and plays nice!

axoona says ...
Aug 30, 2016 @ 11:37pm

I really liked the mood of the game, it reminded me of mass effect even though its not the same gameplay at all.
the music is nice and doesn't get boring.
I think the game has nice potential, if you would add some sort of story mode it would really make a great game.

Geruhn says ...
Aug 31, 2016 @ 8:22pm

I liked the game would love to see more of it.
I died when I was shot down by another space ship which resulted in an endless loop of some crashing(?) sound playing, very loud, very horrible. But besides that, it was very enjoyable!

novotmike says ...
Aug 31, 2016 @ 9:04pm

@Geruhn: That is the only bug I know about. If you die being killed by another ship, there is endless loop of blowing up sound. Sorry about that!

Druid says ...
Sep 1, 2016 @ 10:46pm

Pretty catchy game! I played this one over hour :D Game mechanics are pretty interesting! Sometimes enemy ships spawn one one place so i can't really tel how many are there. But that is just minor flaw! You should play this one too!

Sep 2, 2016 @ 12:53am

I felt like there could have been easier to see the health of things without having to click on them, and I wasn't really sure what scouting did. A timer would have been really helpful as well, but the core of the game was pretty fun.

psilon says ...
Sep 2, 2016 @ 5:27pm

I love this game, i played a while when i realised it's doesn't end. :) Graphics are nice, Gamplay is fun, only "bug" is the enemys spawn a group, and you can only click one, but it's makes a bit harder. At the end I let them blow my ship.
I liked Stargate Universe, so the theme works for me.

fabsy says ...
Sep 2, 2016 @ 8:57pm

Spaaace! I love this one, obviously. It was fun to play and I'd love to see how it would feel with actual objectives and balancing.

Bonus: when you die in the game you die in real life, but that's ok :D

Sep 5, 2016 @ 9:58am

You should upload WebGL to itch.io or something so people can play it online

Sep 5, 2016 @ 9:58am

*WebGL build, sorry

novotmike says ...
Sep 5, 2016 @ 1:21pm

@Alsatian Studio: You can play WebGL version here - or on my website:"http://ld.novotmike.com/". Hope that helps.

amras0000 says ...
Sep 14, 2016 @ 3:06am

Game was easy enough to get into, even without reading the instructions. And I commend you for that, since making a strategy game clear during a LD is something I very rarely see.

For a strategy game though, I feel like this doesn't offer any real choices to the player. You send out scouts to the nearest planets, if you can, then select the nearest enemy and target them, rinse and repeat. Selecting an upgrade every minute doesn't really add much to the enjoyment.

A lot of the actions you're having the player do could easily be automated, and -in other games- often are. I think the game ought to have these sort of mechanics running in the background (send scouts out to nearest planet, target nearest enemy) and focus on something else for the player interaction.

Maybe it could've helped to be able to move around the mothership, either to dodge enemy attacks or pickup scouts about to get left behind. Or to be able to use the resources gathered to launch fighters or shields. Plenty of things you could do with this format, just a matter of being a bit more engaging and giving the player a bit more agency.

joe40001 says ...
Sep 19, 2016 @ 12:49am

Awesome game! My final score was 21320. I found the rules really easy to understand and the game really deep and fun, my only complaint was that it wasn't clear how you acquire additional scouts, it seemed very random. Also I think the damage might work better if it's DPS (continuous), as it was there really wasn't much difference between doing 55 a second to 75 a second but it still cost 4 upgrades to go between them.

Really well made game, super polished, awesome job.

Score: (because I like scores)
Overall 5/5
Innovation 4/5
Fun 5/5
Theme 2/5
Graphics 5/5
Audio 5/5
Humor 0/5
Mood 4/5

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