Ludum Dare 34 — December 11th-14th, 2015 — Theme Tied: Two Button Controls, Growing

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Super Space Invader

by BlackBulletIV - Compo Entry

An explosive arcade game combining space invaders, bullet hell, some Vlambeer, and other influences. Plough through 13 waves and choose from 13 ship upgrades along the way.

If there's one thing you do, make sure to jump into sandbox mode. It's a great way to get a taste for what the game offers and/or get to blowing stuff up quickly, especially if you're finding the normal waves too hard. Sandbox mode to puts you straight into the last (infinite) wave with a fully upgraded ship.

There are only two controls (in theory), left and right (or A/D, LMB/RMB). Hold both to confirm your selection of menu item. Tap both to activate and deactivate the ship's shield (available after a couple waves).

Auxiliary controls:
* Q to quit
* P to pause/unpause
* Enter/space to select menu item if holding down left and right is too much trouble

Other notes:
* For theme, I obviously majored on the "two-button controls" theme, but did include ship upgrades to allude to the "growth" theme.
* The .love file requires LÖVE 0.9.2

Let me know what you think, especially if it's too hard or too easy.

Downloads and Links




mukult says ...
Dec 14, 2015 @ 8:48am answer your questions...
Its neither too easy nor too hard..

It has a good linear increase in the pace of the game! :)
Nice game... i like the art,sounds and the gameplay.

Good work!

Tensoplast01 says ...
Dec 14, 2015 @ 10:40am

Good work, nice concept :)

Eshford says ...
Dec 14, 2015 @ 10:44am

I like this visuals. Gameplay looks pretty fun. Music is really awesome. Good game!

zulman says ...
Dec 14, 2015 @ 11:00am

Super cool! I really in love with tactility of shooting and exposions. Amazing pixel art and alpha transparency combo. Music also is awesome (2 times i even thought that it's musical game like Beat Dat Beat). Good luck, wanna by it for my smartphone!

srakowski says ...
Dec 15, 2015 @ 12:34am

Particle effects/graphics and audio were very good. Good job!

josefnpat says ...
Dec 15, 2015 @ 2:23am

Nice game! The difficulty ramped up perfectly which made it just hard enough, but not too easy. Solid job with all the particles! Nice juice!

PotatoGrader says ...
Dec 15, 2015 @ 11:41am

This is a really great game. Everything feels so polished.
There were times, though, when it felt too hard or too easy. For example, one time closer to the end I was just standing in the middle of the screen and me regular bullets were taking out everything by themselves.
And there were a few times when I had to retry a wave, but overall difficulty increase is ok.
By the way, it was kinda frustrating to see bullets that are flying right in your face and not being able to dodge them because you are in a corner. I think the gameplay could be improved. Not in a way "there's much to improve. It sucks now", but in a way "Everything always could be improved. There is no perfection"

BlackBulletIV says ...
Dec 15, 2015 @ 1:33pm

Thanks for the positive feedback guys! Sounds like I did a better job at the difficulty than my previous entries.

@josefnpat: Yeah, sure got a workout.

@PotatoGrader: Yeah, I kinda had to cram the wave scripts at the end, so they're far from perfect. I also know what you're talking about with getting stuck in the corner. Not sure if it needs altering though, as annoying as it can be, since you can escape with your shield. Thank you for the critical analysis, of course.

Dec 15, 2015 @ 3:12pm


hydancer says ...
Dec 15, 2015 @ 3:53pm

Pretty good game and good upgrade system. The graphics look good and it's kinda juicy. But some tips that might improve it:

The ship is too floaty on both velocity increase and decrease, if I'd guess you have to double the acceleration and damping values you're using. Missiles should use a seek steering behavior to move towards their target as it looks cooler. If you're doing the explosions with code there's no reason to not make them more varied in size, this can be done by randomizing the initial velocity of each particle a bit as well as randomizing how fast they disappear. Explosion particles could look cooler if they started out more like lines and morphed into circles, this would give your explosions a more intuitive looks. When multiple enemies are killed at the same time or when a big boss is killed you could use frame stops. The angle at which projectiles come out could be slightly randomized (like say, between -math.pi/64, math.pi/64), especially when you start getting more fire rate and multiple shots upgrades, this would make them look cooler while also. Finally, you could play with the idea of letting the ships horizontal velocity carry a bit into the projectile's horizontal velocity, this could prove to be more interesting too.

Dec 15, 2015 @ 5:40pm

This is an extremely awesome entry! I can't believe this is a compo game, it feels so polished, looks visually stunning and has a TON of content. Not only is there a ton of content, it is very fun and entertaining as well.

Quality meats quantity in one of my favorite entries this LD!

Great job!!!

paraxite says ...
Dec 16, 2015 @ 1:31pm

Holy s**t this game is amazing! The particles, the sound effects, the controls, all very solid!

You cannot dodge yellow ship attacks when they shoot when they are at the bottom of the screen.

makiki99 says ...
Dec 16, 2015 @ 6:59pm

A pretty fun little game. Upgrade system is done well, except it may be a bit unbalanced. Graphics are nice, but it is sometimes hard to see bullets of small yellow enemies. Music is nice, but sound effects are a little bit tiring. But well, it is a great game. I just wish it had difficulty levels.

Anshul Goyal says ...
Dec 17, 2015 @ 3:31am

Sandbox mode is awesome!

Karai17 says ...
Dec 17, 2015 @ 3:37am

A solid 5/5. Great execution, great mood, lots of content. Awesome job!

Karai17 says ...
Dec 17, 2015 @ 3:38am

On a side note, I feel like the player bullets should be a little thicker, like 2-3px instead of 1px. In the beginning it was hard to hit anything because I was always 1px or so off. It wasn't until I got the third gun that I felt comfortable with my ability to shoot things.

Hot Box Games says ...
Dec 22, 2015 @ 9:19pm

Loved it! Nice visuals and particle effects, I particularly liked the sandbox mode, mainly due to overpowering firepower for the start.

sP0CkEr2 says ...
Dec 23, 2015 @ 1:03am

woah - awesome game - well done

aplomb says ...
Dec 28, 2015 @ 7:28am

One of my favorite LD games ever. There's nothing revolutionary here, but it's still enormously fun. I love the way the music transitions from low-key on the menus to high-intensity during battles. I love the satisfying crunchy effects when blasting an enemy. I love the upgrades. It's brilliant!

hunttis says ...
Dec 28, 2015 @ 8:44am

Nice work. Couldn't get past the boss with the lifebar, since it kept trapping me in a corner from which there was no escape. Really nice work!

I didn't feel like the health upgrade was worth it over the firepower upgrades (well, the boss taught me otherwise :D), since the firepower upgrades always seemed much more useful until that point.

BlazzGuy says ...
Dec 28, 2015 @ 9:00am

Absolutely fantastic. Various parts come together to create a really enjoyable experience with emerging gameplay.

The only thing to do is add -more- stuff. Without being limited to the time limit, you could easily add in eye candy and make a true high-end game that would sell for a few bucks on Steam.

So that's my gushing praise, here's the negatives:
-Could use more fluff and "innovative" weapons/enemies
-Because of that, I opted not to keep on playing (despite it being enjoyable enough as is)
-Audio gets a tad repetitive

so... add more stuff and sell the thing! It's a very nice, fun little game!

BlackBulletIV says ...
Dec 28, 2015 @ 9:21am

Thank you all for the positive feedback. I appreciate it.

@hunttis: Well the strategy to get past the boss is to move suddenly to create small gaps in the bullet stream (since it compensates its angle immediately). I certainly understand that such strategies and that you need defensive upgrades for later down the line are perhaps not as obvious as they should be.

@BlazzGuy: Yeah I would've liked to add more music tracks, but there's only so much I could do. I'll keep your advice in mind if I make a post-compo version; try vary the explosion soundscape a bit too.

zenmumbler says ...
Dec 28, 2015 @ 12:45pm

Very nice compo entry with a nice twist on the Space Invader idea. Music, sfx and visuals are consistent and create a solid mood.

MercuryXGames says ...
Dec 28, 2015 @ 2:18pm

This game is solid, good job

mar3k says ...
Dec 28, 2015 @ 5:15pm

Really good game, I love the upgrades and the different enemies, also the effects were really nice. Good job!

acotis says ...
Jan 1, 2016 @ 3:04am

On linux, the game is slow and choppy, and it crashes when I shoot an enemy, error message "entities/Enemy.lua:206: attempt to call method 'setLinearDamping' (a nil value)"

Traceback: Enemy.die (line 206) -- Enemy.update (line 109) -- World.update (line 64) -- Game.update (line 37) -- init.update (line 34) -- main.update -- function xpcall

Jan 1, 2016 @ 3:21am

Nice one, I missed the formative years of my live where one gets good at vertically scrolling shooters, so I found it a bit hard, but everything was well polished, the music and graphics suit the format perfectly. Great work.

BlackBulletIV says ...
Jan 1, 2016 @ 3:51am

Thanks again for the feedback guys.

@acotis: Not sure about the choppiness (never heard of that problem before, even on Linux), but the error is generally caused by your system having an outdated version of LOVE installed (likely 0.9.1). Due to functions like that it require 0.9.2.

Acuity says ...
Jan 1, 2016 @ 3:59am

Not bad, sound effects are crisp.

Anti says ...
Jan 1, 2016 @ 11:50pm

Very fun to play, the visuals are awesome! Nice work!

Wumbo says ...
Jan 2, 2016 @ 1:22am

I absolutely loved the game. The story was excellent; I think it was delivered entirely without words, if I remember correctly, which is always difficult. I really liked how all of the levels were different, and I thought they were all really cool, though I do think you should be able to lose the last one if you crash the drone-thing. The only suggestion I have on difficulty is that the first level with the traditional pinball-style thing is a little too difficult for an intro; the first level should be something a monkey can pull off, and yours took me like 20 minutes because I kept shooting it too high. Oh, also the level where you are the elevator took a while to figure out how to do it, but that is expected as it is like halfway through the game, so you are probably fine there.

Music was pretty good, matched the art style and helped the mood. Excellent use of the one-color foreground. Great game!

Wumbo says ...
Jan 2, 2016 @ 1:49am


<Shield Ready> <Shield Broken>
5 seconds later..

<Shield Ready> <Shield Broken>

<Boss white thing comes down>
You Lose...

Yeah, so its a super fun game. Loved the amount of stuff and explosions and such. I liked the difficulty, but after putting about an hour into it, I could only make it to Round 9. I don't know if you wanted people to go further, but I think it gets really hard around there, especially if you hardly invested anything into the health side of things. Very fun though!

Graphics were cool, I liked the particles and the glow everything kinda had, as well as the way it looked like your spaceship was turning as you went left and right. Very cool, but stayed true to the retro theme.

Background music could have been better, but the manly voice <Shield Ready> and bfxr explosions made up for it.

Very fun game!

Omiya Games says ...
Jan 2, 2016 @ 2:46am

Very fun space invaders inspiration. Feels very polished and well-balanced. Nice job!

BlackBulletIV says ...
Jan 2, 2016 @ 9:41am

@Wumbo: Lol, I think you posted two reviews here. I was thinking, "wait, there's a story in my game?" But I'm flattered that you invested an hour into the game. A shame it was too difficult. I think next time I'd try to work in easy/normal/hard modes, as some people are saying the game is a little easy, while others are saying it's very hard. I hope you tried sandbox mode though.

Jan 2, 2016 @ 4:26pm

Nice work! Playing this was a real blast, and the sweet music helped keep me in the zone throughout.

The only thing I'd recommend is to maybe make the base fire rate/damage a little higher. Once I had a few attack upgrades I stopped noticing it, but early on the slipperiness of the movement was really bothering me.

Thanks for a really fun game!

Jan 17, 2016 @ 6:35pm

Well made game! I included it in my Ludum Dare 34 compilation video series, if you’d like to check it out :)

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