Ludum Dare 35 — April 15th-18th, 2016 — Theme: Shapeshift

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Temple Shifters

by sftrabbit - Compo Entry

A tile-based puzzle game in which you must help the ancient warriors perform their sacred ritual. Transform between the Warrior, the Ogre, the Phantom, and the Serpent, using their special abilities to interact with the environment around you and get the warriors to their goal.

A few of the puzzles have some major flaws that mean there's a super simple way of solving them. As a bonus meta-game, you can try to figure out how I *meant* for you to solve it!

Arrows to move. R to reset the level.

Tools used:
- Phaser (first time using this)
- Tiled
- Sublime Text 2
- Gimp
- Photoshop
- Ableton Live (and an M-Audio Axiom 49 MIDI controller)

Source (needs to be tidied up):

Things I wish there had been more time to do:
- Fix the puzzle flaws
- More puzzles involving formation movement
- More puzzles involving the blue character
- The render order (the characters appear above the tops of the walls)
- Some nice particle effects when shapeshifting
- Sound effects (moving, falling, level complete, etc.)
- More wall tiles so they connect together better
- Add environment details (actually had things in the spritesheet but didn't have time to add them)
- Level select
- Level names

All in all, however, a mostly successful second Ludum Dare for me!

Downloads and Links




lightsoda says ...
Apr 18, 2016 @ 7:14pm

Some nice twists to the puzzles, not what I was expecting, and it didn't ramp up too fast. Nice music too. The only minor nitpick I would have is the input buffering, but other than that, what's there is well done.

Bendix says ...
Apr 18, 2016 @ 9:02pm

Cool concept! The first game I actually enjoyed even though I got stuck a few times

FerraWare says ...
Apr 18, 2016 @ 9:05pm

Wow, I wasn't expecting much at first, but the clever use of a simple mechanic and the level design made this a pretty good game!

jdmazz says ...
Apr 18, 2016 @ 9:06pm

I like puzzles, but the puzzles were really easy. I liked the FFV style graphics. Music was good enough to set the mood. Overall, good job!

laFunk says ...
Apr 18, 2016 @ 9:07pm

Nice work! I like every aspect of it!

ultravioleta says ...
Apr 18, 2016 @ 9:07pm

woow, I loved this game, the level design and the concept, just needs a restart level button :)

Jod says ...
Apr 18, 2016 @ 9:11pm

Wow. That's some _really_ nice game design you have there. Very good introduction levels and a way to build up the player experience by giving them consistently more difficult challenges while introducing new gameplay concepts. I am honestly impressed.

I also loved the tileset (old-school dungeons) and the sound. Very nice!

If I had to pick something to improve I would say the user interface. Adding just a border and a bit of text would make the whole thing more complete.

Jungle says ...
Apr 18, 2016 @ 9:36pm

I like the graphs! Good level design job. Music are nice also. Congrats!

Apr 18, 2016 @ 9:38pm

I can't run it :( the browser keeps complaining:
GET 404 (Not Found) -- will definitely be back here. the music I can hear is awesome!

Apr 18, 2016 @ 9:49pm

okay, this is probably some chromium issue; got it working on opera!

sftrabbit says ...
Apr 18, 2016 @ 9:53pm

Thanks for the feedback everyone! I'm glad to see the difficulty seems to ramp up nicely. I think there's definitely a couple of "aha" moments in there. Wish I'd had more time to explore some of the puzzle mechanics more. And @Jod - totally agree, would have loved to have a background and some level select/menu screens.

Apr 18, 2016 @ 10:10pm

That was amazing! I love sokobanish puzzles; 5/5 on every aspect! If I had a limited number of tries I would have to spend much more time; some puzzles were quite tricky; I await full version with more levels :)

Apr 18, 2016 @ 10:11pm

ps also I love the way the game explains itself with initial levels. sooo cool!

APantaloni says ...
Apr 18, 2016 @ 10:52pm

This one is really enjoyable. Very neat puzzle game with cool retro graphics and nice music. Very easy at the beginning, then gets tricky.

ekx says ...
Apr 19, 2016 @ 4:44pm

Great puzzle design. Liked the idea of having to kill off your guys to get through a level. Would have liked to not have to repress the arrow keys for every step.

LOSTALLOY says ...
Apr 19, 2016 @ 6:56pm

So many levels! I like puzzles like this! Good job!

Odyssey says ...
Apr 19, 2016 @ 7:53pm

This is quite nice

Pomb says ...
Apr 20, 2016 @ 8:39am

A bit like sokoban! It's cool :D

Fumiko says ...
Apr 20, 2016 @ 8:50am

Phew, I got to the end. The Phases I went through: "A Puzzler! Neato!"
"Man... I think this is to easy"
"Oh hey - that's a nice twist"
"Alright I'm getting the hang of it"
"Oh no... will I be able to finish this? How could I dare to comment otherwise? ;__;"
"Wait... it's over? Kewl. :D"

The mechanics are simple, yet lead to complex puzzles - that's a nice feat to achieve. I liked your game very much. Although you probably spend too much time on the earlier levels and then lacked time for later ones. As the game ends after having introduced several new mechanics which where explorered only once or twice. It's an awesome game, but for it's length it would've probably been better to cut some of the early levels to get faster to the shapeshifting. However when the player get's there the shapeshifting-theme is quite present and imo very well interpreted. I liked it! Want more of it! :D

sftrabbit says ...
Apr 20, 2016 @ 8:56am

@Fumiko Totally agree - I both wanted to gradually teach the mechanics and also explore everything deeply, but I simply didn't have time to make more levels to explore the shapeshifting well. For me, there are a couple of stand-out levels: the one where you're first introduced to sacrificing a warrior, the one with green/white where you have to change their formation to get the statues out of the way, and the one with the line of red shifter circles. I would have loved to explore these kinds of things more, in particular combining the formation mechanic with the shifting more.

Insality says ...
Apr 20, 2016 @ 9:09am

Sign on all comments above, amazing work
Love it, for it simple and great level design

I have a question to you, if you can answer me. How do you create such levels? With growing up difficulty and so perfect player feels? I want you expierence :D

sftrabbit says ...
Apr 20, 2016 @ 9:23am

@Insality That's a difficult question. I'd say there were two things that helped:

1. Being able to quickly make levels with Tiled
2. Having a set of simple mechanics that you can introduce gradually and combine in different ways

If I had just had one mechanic, let's say the "altar" mechanic where you move against the thing with the hand on it and it allows them to keep moving while the one walking into the hand stays still, I certainly could have explored it further, but it wouldn't have had the same feeling. You'd learn the rules, and then it would just be level after level of applying the same rule in more complex situations. To make the learning experience fun, you need to introduce new rules that all interact with each other.

One of my favourite moments, when you sacrifice one of the warriors, was just a happy accident. I had the mechanic of needing to cover the exact number/colour of goals, and I had the mechanic of them falling down the pit, and then I realised I could use these together. I think it works especially because by that point I had set the pits up as a bad thing, and then that level twists it on its head.

There are some mechanics that I think *don't* work well. If I were to develop this further, there would need to be some tweaks to the statue pushing (perhaps areas of the floor where you can't push it?). Currently, it's just too *free*, so doesn't restrict the solution space sufficiently.

M2tias says ...
Apr 20, 2016 @ 9:49am

Nice concept for a puzzle game. I loved the sacrificing mechanic and the temple theme. Maybe you could have emphasized the transformation graphically a bit more. I didn't realize they transformed (other than color) before I read it in the description. Puzzles were fairly easy but not the easiest I've seen in this LD...
Good game, great ambience, well done!

Apr 20, 2016 @ 1:54pm

A very lovely game. Great job for the small amount of time available. I especially enjoyed the music :)

Larzan says ...
Apr 20, 2016 @ 5:00pm

Haha, so mean, i got to kill them to proceed.
I like the twist on the sokoban idea, well done!

Big Cow says ...
Apr 21, 2016 @ 10:31pm

Really nice entry - interesting mechanics, good level design, nice aesthetics.

marod says ...
Apr 22, 2016 @ 5:47pm

Challenging game! Nice!

scorched says ...
Apr 22, 2016 @ 5:55pm

The kill-to-fit idea is quite fresh, and the mood is set up great!
Got frustrated on hand-altar levels though...

gnerkus says ...
Apr 22, 2016 @ 9:53pm

Nice puzzles.

Tex Killer says ...
Apr 23, 2016 @ 3:27am

Very nice puzzles!

As the others have said, the first levels are more though out, so the end was pretty abrupt, but it was still very entertaining. You might want to put some visual indication in the game that the 'R' key resets the level, as people might not read the description here before playing.

reheated says ...
Apr 23, 2016 @ 12:41pm

Clever rules and nice puzzles and music!

Rafos Games says ...
Apr 23, 2016 @ 7:45pm

The puzzles are very challenging, good level design =)

puppetmaster says ...
Apr 24, 2016 @ 8:03pm

Very atmospheric unique puzzle game.
Congrats for your cool entry!

geekguy100 says ...
Apr 25, 2016 @ 3:55pm

Nice game! A unique puzzler.

orukinawa says ...
Apr 28, 2016 @ 10:40am

I kept wondering how it fit the theme until the later stages. Nice interpretation and solid game!

P.S: I felt bad for the extra templars :'(

NuberuGames says ...
May 1, 2016 @ 10:34am

Great idea and puzzles. Good job!

Mantlair says ...
May 1, 2016 @ 10:44am

Veeeery good. Please continue making this thing. Concept is kinda like my game. (The going togatger part. On my game tiles have to be connected tho.) You even made pixel animations. That's a nice thing for an LD. Well done! (Music really puts you in the mood!)

knason says ...
May 1, 2016 @ 8:00pm

Awesome! really great game! I got stuck and needed to restart on some of the levels, It would had been nice if you could just reset the level your on. But overall great job!

sftrabbit says ...
May 2, 2016 @ 2:11pm

@knason Thanks, and you can! Just hit R and it should reset the level!

May 6, 2016 @ 8:33pm

Great puzzler and a lot of content!

ragnta says ...
May 7, 2016 @ 7:09pm

It's an awasome game. But when I started it, I got a white box. If I push an arrow, I got a character.. I think the game has a bug at start :/

(Note: Please read the instructions of my game the next time! ;) )

Ellian says ...
May 8, 2016 @ 11:13am

I see where you're going with this shapeshifting thing, it's a smart puzzle game you've made there. Difficulty ramp up pretty nicely too! Good job!

fin_nolimit says ...
May 8, 2016 @ 7:14pm

I got stuck a few times (especially on the level where you can drop in the hole but I loved the game! I like figuring out puzzles. nice work!!!

sftrabbit says ...
May 9, 2016 @ 1:40pm

Thanks all - lots of nice and helpful comments!

lkr says ...
May 9, 2016 @ 6:18pm

Fun gameplay and game mechanics, with a nice difficulty curve. Love the visuals and moody music also.

MSiddeek says ...
May 9, 2016 @ 8:19pm

Very nice mode and consistent visual style. The background music also added a lot. How many levels are there? I didn't manage to finish it

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