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    Ludum Dare 22

    December 16th-19th 2011 :: Theme: Alone

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    Maze Explorers - caranha - 48 Hour Compo Entry

    MazeExplorers is a maze game with a few twists. Your goal is to find the exit of the maze before your food runs out.

    My goal regarding the theme was to use "alone" in the mechanic of the game, not necessarily in the "dressing" of the game. There are other explorers in the maze - each of them will give you some ability, but they will also eat your food (do you will have less time to complete the maze), and they will block your way (possibly taking you to dead ends).

    So, is it better to try to solve the maze alone, or ask for their help? This is a crucial decision.

    There are 5 mazes in the LD48 version of the game. Even if you beat a maze, you can still try to find the minimal path.

    Also, there is a secret kitten mode ;-) Let me know if you find it.

    This was my first entry to Ludum Dare, and it was quite fun!

    Code is Java/Slick. Sound is sfxr and espeak. Sprites based on the openPixel project.

    Make sure to check the time-lapse of the game being made: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0tpQZ1pjQKM

    View caranha's journal. | View all entries by caranha

    Ratings

    Coolness100%
    #10Community3.96
    #182Fun2.78
    #210Innovation2.80
    #219Overall2.95
    #252Humor2.10
    #307Graphics2.73
    #312Audio2.31
    #470Mood1.97
    #487Theme2.25

    Comments

    Awennor says ...
    Dec 19, 2011 @ 7:10pm

    I liked it, but not a whole lot to do with the theme!

    ladron says ...
    Dec 19, 2011 @ 10:18pm

    Nice little game! At first I didn't think it was more than a simple maze solver, but the characters and their abilities really add a lot.

    caranha says ...
    Dec 19, 2011 @ 11:35pm

    Thanks for the comments!

    Awennor: Yeah, the idea was to have the theme link up with the decision, each maze, of having the characters join you or going alone. If I had time to write more levels, I would have explored this further.

    cakemonitor says ...
    Dec 20, 2011 @ 2:16pm

    Great little game and I loved your ideas for different types of help you can get from the various other people in the maze (although you're not exactly 'alone' when your game specifically involves teaming up with other people ;)). It was a bit of a annoyance that if I walked into a dead-end with a helper behind me I was stuck and couldn't walk back because they blocked the path so we had to both stand there and starve - I felt that's too stubborn on their part! Still, very good work overall.

    caranha says ...
    Dec 20, 2011 @ 8:45pm

    cakemonitor: Well, I wanted to use "alone" more as a gameplay element, a choice, than as the central theme of the game. But I see your point. Thanks for the comment!

    The "blocking your path" thing was a decision I made, that is why I added a key to quit the maze. But maybe it is indeed a bit too harsh, a lot of people are complaining about it. Maybe I should make the game auto-detect that you are stuck and game over you there.

    SonnyBone says ...
    Dec 21, 2011 @ 2:39am

    "Failed to load" on start.

    :(

    caranha says ...
    Dec 21, 2011 @ 2:56am

    D: That sucks... are you using OpenJDK? I couldn't get it to run with OpenJDK on my linux system, so I had to use Sun's Java. I'll look into it tomorrow and get back to you!

    kiwieagle says ...
    Dec 21, 2011 @ 4:29pm

    Great game!

    (Yes I had to shift+f5 >.> <.<)

    kiwieagle says ...
    Dec 21, 2011 @ 4:31pm

    One question though: Is it normal for the white wizard to get you stuck in alleys?

    dr_soda says ...
    Dec 22, 2011 @ 7:13am

    I liked the basic idea for this one, but the "stuck" mechanic seems a bit unfair at times, as it doesn't really allow you to explore the maze freely. It seems like you have to explore on your own for as far as you can until you die so that you can have a mental map of the maze. This isn't necessarily bad, but at the same time I feel like it's a bit too unforgiving right now.

    Oh, and "Nom nom nom!" :)

    Sempai says ...
    Dec 22, 2011 @ 8:48pm

    Well... It's a nice game.
    Simple, perhaps too simple... but, try the escape is fun...
    Good job...

    The flame gays block me... it's normal...?

    caranha says ...
    Dec 22, 2011 @ 10:00pm

    dr_soda, sempai, kiwi: Thanks for the comments. Yes, the "assistants" blocking your way was a design decision, and part of their balance. I see that I didn't manage to get this part very clear to most players. Oh well :-(

    SeanAtr0n says ...
    Dec 23, 2011 @ 3:49am

    I like that the companions eat your food and block your path, makes being alone preferable so I think it is on theme. Also, good job balancing the difficulty, I like failing occasionally :)

    cadin says ...
    Dec 23, 2011 @ 5:33pm

    I like this a lot. The helpers mechanic is a really great idea. I like the conflict that they introduce (they can help you, but they can also hurt you by blocking you in). It is a little too harsh to have to start over though.

    Maybe you could choose to kill/abandon them if they get you stuck. You'd lose their special ability, but you could continue on with the game...

    Great work!

    waynebeam says ...
    Dec 23, 2011 @ 9:02pm

    nice job! i like the idea of alone or with help+consequences. never played a maze like that before. the simple graphics/sounds fit well too. great first dare!

    Make A Game says ...
    Dec 24, 2011 @ 6:43pm

    A maze with a twist =D!
    Although I have completed the 5 levels I couln't find the cat easter egg.
    I got mixed feelings concerning the sound, in one hand the omnomnom sound helped with the humor, but the step sound was so annoying that made me turn the sound off, but anyway good job ^-^, and congratulations for your first participation =).
    Keep the giving us games :P

    caranha says ...
    Dec 28, 2011 @ 12:55am

    Cadin: Yeah, I should do something about the "getting stuck" part. My main goal is to make certain routes impossible when alone, but the food penalty should be enough for this, if the level is well designed. I will probably drop the "friends block you" feature completely from the post-LD version.

    Make A Game: Thanks for the comments! Yeah, sound is really my weak spot - the synth voices are tooooo low compared to the sfxr sounds... I will probably do all sounds over for the post-ld version.

    Thanks all for the encouragement!

    caranha says ...
    Dec 28, 2011 @ 12:56am

    Oh yeah, I posted a hint to the easter egg in my postmorten ;-)

    Pierrec says ...
    Dec 28, 2011 @ 7:17pm

    Well...This is a very clever game! I really would like to play more levels.

    Pierrec says ...
    Dec 28, 2011 @ 7:18pm

    Well...This is a very clever game! I really would like to play more levels. And I think it has a lot to do with the theme. Being alone or not is an important decision.

    Hazard says ...
    Dec 28, 2011 @ 11:59pm

    Great game! Especially the negative aspects of the followers make the it interesting and strategic.

    caranha says ...
    Jan 3, 2012 @ 6:40pm

    Thanks for the comments :-)

    jeffz says ...
    Jan 4, 2012 @ 6:45am

    would have liked some music and automatic level progression, but otherwise cool!

    caranha says ...
    Jan 4, 2012 @ 7:44am

    Hmmmm. Authomatic level progression: that's something simple that I didn't even consider, wow! Added to the to-do list for the post-LD version, thanks!

    h.attila says ...
    Jan 5, 2012 @ 2:40am

    Nice concept, and I kinda liked the sounds as well (nom-nom-nom).
    I think the transition takes too long when you run out of food, and it was frustrating to get stuck because the companions block your path (as already mentioned).

    Jorjon says ...
    Jan 5, 2012 @ 3:51am

    Interesting approach to maze games! I didn't completed the whole game, but I liked the abilities feature.

    guzzungo says ...
    Jan 8, 2012 @ 12:53am

    Wow! I've got a score of 52 in the 4th maze named "somebody to love".

    summaky says ...
    Jan 9, 2012 @ 8:14pm

    I fail to see the link with the “alone” theme when there are other people around the maze. People, by the way, that are more of an obstacle than anything else most of the time ¬_¬'

    I liked the graphics, but was fun only to a point.

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