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Anticolonias

by KJB of IBwWG - Mini LD 69 Entry

NOTE: the above is embedded HTML5, but you can also get the Flash version at itch.io below...

Colonization: Don't let it happen to you, nor anyone else.

Six minutes of wacky alien ghost fairy strategy!

My first MiniLD entry, and actually my first game jam in general. Not as complete/balanced as I would have liked (many ideas were cut), but I hope you enjoy it nonetheless.

The tutorial is short, but there is more info to be found in tooltips, explanations in the menus, and the beginning story itself. The game's speed is adjustable and it starts slow, but there's more to explore than it might seem at first...

See if you can encounter all six endings, including the one that says your score is PERFECT :)

Known bugs: Caravans get stuck sometimes; once you play a fairy overtop something else (a village or another fairy) you can't select the thing under it anymore.

Also it was designed for 1024x600, and resizes automatically, but not during the game itself--you have to resize while you're on the title or intro story screens.

Finally, there's no audio, and it's all procedurally-generated programmer art. :)

-----------------------------------
Some helpful info not yet in the in-game tutorial:

Communities left alone may or may not send out a caravan when they grow, but the probability gets higher the bigger the community, until they are at their max size and then they always send one out.

You can click communities, caravans, fairies, colonizers, and the tower to see more info about them. Clicking ocean, green land, or resources on the map will centre the map where you click, but show the tower info.

You can also:
- divert fairies who haven't reached their destination yet, or recall them once they have.
- convert between Fairy Dust and Earthling Spirit by clicking the bars at the top
- control the game speed with the buttons below the map, the more you want to manage what's happening or just watch things play out

-------------------
CHANGELOG

1.0.1:

- growth rate is now globally affected by Grower Fairies
- Fairy Dust and Earthling Spirit now show precisely how many points you have on their indicator bars
- placing a fairy now works! because I am rereleasing as Flash instead of HTML5
-sorry, I was testing in Flash all the time so I could debug more easily! didn't realize there was an HTML5-specific bug here...waiting on help because I can't see why there's a difference yet
- I had made it so you can resize the game (but only during title/story screens)--however, this doesn't work on embedded flash! if you download the SWF and play offline in a standalone Flash player it will...

1.0.2:

- now back to html5 again and you can place fairies this time :) also released for Flash though just in case...
- fixed communities having the wrong icon if they grew too big
- fairies now cost what they say they do

1.0.3:

- use system cursor instead of HaxeFlixel cursor, to hopefully fix it so the cursor is visible on Macs
- fixed so clicking ES/FD bars at the top when tree is selected no longer gets you stuck in the ES/FD conversion menu
- fixed dead communities leaving a ghost image behind
- added sixth ending

1.0.4:

- tower and default view are now combined
- tower empty slots now suggest what to do
- "upgrade tower" button now enables when ES passes amount needed (without having to switch away from tower and back)
- clock and tower shortcut are now near the map instead, and tower shortcut is always enabled
- added some tutorial popups and a tooltip on the tower upgrade button
- fixed tooltips and other UI elements to work properly even when the game is paused

1.0.5

- fixed fullscreen layout: top bar was too big, some tower text cut off

Downloads and Links


Comments

Aug 3, 2016 @ 4:15pm

I'm sorry, I have no idea what I as the player actually DO in the game... I can switch around Earthlings and Fairy dust but apart from that there's nothing I can do...

It sounds interesting and I'm sure you had a lot of great ideas while making it, but I just have no idea what is happening :(. Also it seems to be quite slow on my computer (maybe to much calculation haappening every frame?)

Aug 3, 2016 @ 9:40pm

We need a step by step explanation what to do..

- After clicking the bars with abilities I don't see any way to go back to the menu with the upgrade tree, and create fairies so I get stuck.
- the bars at the top do not display actual numbers so I never know if I have amount needed to upgrade the tree.
- I tried to send fairies, but it said to place them near resources, what are resources on the map? then after choosing a black square, then clicking somewhere on the map the game completely freezes (a crash?)
- I'm a programmer too, and my art can be horrid at times but yours is too abstract so I do not understand what everything is. you can look online for free artwork/sprites, I'm sure you can find something to use (even as a temporary place holder) to show what is a tree/village/fairy etc..

If you ever get to update and post a new version I will be happy to test it again.

KJB of IBwWG says ...
Aug 4, 2016 @ 6:31am

Thanks for the feedback @kfischer_okarin and @CyberStarLight! Indeed, I had planned a tutorial and really wanted to include it, but it was a bit past midnight and I had put off too many things so had to end where I did. I've updated the game's description above, hopefully that will be enough to get you started.

@kfischer_okarin what kind of specs do you have on your comp? Mine seems to be fairly low-end and it didn't seem to slow down too much until maybe near the very end of the game. When does the slowdown happen for you? There's a countdown timer in the upper-left. (I do have a lot of calculation happening every frame and was going to limit certain calculations, but it had seemed playable enough without, so I had left it for now.)

@CyberStarLight I didn't encounter that bug, I'll have to see if I can reproduce it. If I said to place them near resources I meant green land--those are unoccupied resources (which then turn brown if you occupy them, or yellow if a colonizer does. The more a community grows, the more resources it occupies, 2 per population point.) Anyway you can place fairies anywhere other than the ocean. If you're leading a caravan you probably want to place the fairy on green land that has enough green land around it, otherwise when the caravan gets there it will see it can't make a community, and will redirect to the nearest spot that it thinks it can.

Hopefully the explanation above helps explain the art a bit but it was intended that these *were* the placeholders for now. :)

That's true about the bars, I should have some numbers in them. They're out of 100, to give you a sense of scale for now.

KJB of IBwWG says ...
Aug 5, 2016 @ 8:26am

@CyberStarLight I couldn't make it crash but I'm glad you reported that, because I also couldn't place a fairy! There's something messed up cross-compiling for html5 for some reason (I'm a bit baffled: http://forum.haxeflixel.com/topic/178/html5-switch-statement-wth-help ) but my early tests with html5 had given me more confidence than I apparently should've had. No wonder you and @kfischer_okarin had trouble playing, you couldn't do the main thing that you do in the game, sending fairies! I'm so sorry that was your first experience with it. I hope you'll give it another try now that I've rereleased it as a Flash game, where it at least works!

Also in 1.0.1 I put numbers on the two bars.

Steven Miller says ...
Aug 6, 2016 @ 8:52am

I really like the map generation, and I loved seeing the communities sprout up around the map. I also liked the humor in the game. The best I did was a score of a little under 200 (I believe it was 185, but I'm not too sure).

One bug I noticed was that if I opened the menu to change between fairy dust and earthling spirit while I had the tree selected, the menus for switching would no longer close, meaning I could no longer create fairies. After realizing what triggered it, it was easy to avoid.

Overall, I think with a little fine-tuning, this could make a great strategy game (perhaps some basic art changes for readability, implementation of audio, and a more in-depth introduction to the game). It took me a while to figure out the mechanics and how the fairies worked, but with an in-game tutorial (even a short/text-based one), or maybe a slightly more in-depth tutorial in the description (for example, just saying to select an empty slot on the tree and then choose a village to send it to would probably be enough), I could see this not being a problem at all.

Also, there is no need to worry about updating your game further, for my first few miniLD entries, I was very wary of the deadlines, but this is my 8th miniLD, and I can say from experience that the deadlines are very lenient (the submission option for miniLD #67 is still available and that ended May 29th).

inc_b says ...
Aug 7, 2016 @ 5:43am

A bit confusing, but only because it was so big and fleshed out. A tutorial might help, or trimming back the options (I'd lean towards tutorial, maybe several levels where you get access to more and more abilities?). Nice flavour text too although receiving it all at once was pretty overwhelming - it was hard to separate back story from instructions. I hope you stick with it, the concept is interesting and the gameplay felt good even if I didn't always know what I was doing :D

KJB of IBwWG says ...
Aug 8, 2016 @ 1:17pm

@Steven Miller, thanks for your feedback! I fixed the bug you mentioned in 1.0.3 just now. I appreciate the tips on updating too, I didn't realize the deadline was quite so lax as that. Do you find people keep looking/playing/commenting so late too?

I was thinking maybe it would help with the mechanics if I combined the "default" view (when you click on a random square that doesn't have a special menu) with the tower, and then made that the default. Then it's a bit more clear that that's the main interface/action.

I definitely agree with everyone that some tutorialness is needed. I didn't manage to come up with a good and clear system yet. I also just read an interview with someone who definitely did more hallway testing than I did, that nobody reads them anyway...so I've been holding off until I have a better vision for super-short, clear explanations and what order they could come in. I think I agree with you Steven that even just something for the main mechanic would go a long way; I don't need to explain every last feature via tutorials, but can leave things to be discovered. At least it would be a start.

@inc_b thanks for playing & commenting! By "so big and fleshed out," do you mean the story or the map zoom level? You make a good point about the text (glad you enjoyed it too)--part of it was that I thought of many elements of it in terms of how they fit with the game's structure and mechanics, so that's why it's blended together like that. I think I would also find it hard to separate, but I guess if there was a tutorial, then the story really would be skippable. Or maybe I could find a way to highlight key game elements / instruction-ish stuff within the story.

Thanks for the encouragement! :)

Steven Miller says ...
Aug 9, 2016 @ 3:20am

Unfortunately, commenting/playing typically dies down after about a week. Mini events and full events are basically reversed, mini events have a long window where people create and update their games, but a short window of trying other games, while full events have very strict deadlines but encourage playing and reviewing for three weeks after the event.

KJB of IBwWG says ...
Aug 9, 2016 @ 9:10am

@Steven Miller, that's very helpful to know :) Thanks!

NinjaNic says ...
Aug 9, 2016 @ 2:32pm

I just enjoyed to watch the civilization grow! Nice game.

KJB of IBwWG says ...
Aug 9, 2016 @ 4:35pm

@NinjaNic, thanks, that was one of my favourite milestones while developing, just being able to watch the chaos at full speed :)

Darenn says ...
Aug 10, 2016 @ 1:06pm

Hi,
You have many ideas in this game, it's good, but I try and didn't achieved to understand what is happening. I think you should add a step by step tutorial. And maybe change the way you tell the story. (it is not attractive to read great bloc of texts) Keep improving this game which seems interesting.

KJB of IBwWG says ...
Aug 12, 2016 @ 7:47am

@Darenn thanks for playing and for your suggestions. At the time of your post there was a bit of a tutorial already at the beginning...or should have been? A few popups? Anyway do you have any suggestions for the story presentation method? Would graphics and splitting into smaller pieces help, like make it more cutscene-ish? I'm not sure how to put them into the actual game without potentially interrupting the action, since it's real-time, that's why it's mostly at the beginning.

Sep 4, 2016 @ 10:26pm

Interesting game! I included it in my compilation video series of all of the MiniLD 69 games, if you’d like to take a look :) https://youtu.be/nRFzaIcVxgM

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