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    Ludum Dare 18

    August 20th-23rd, 2010
    Theme: Enemies as Weapons

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    Loputon - pekuja - Competition Entry

    Your goal in Loputon is to survive as long as you can and score big combos. As long as there's less than one second between each enemy you kill, your combo counter will rise and you'll score big.

    You can defeat the enemies by swinging your bat at them (X), or dashing at them (C). You can only dash once without landing, but whenever you hit an enemy with a dash, you can dash again, so keep chaining enemies to dash around infinitely. Both the bat swing and the dash can be directed with the arrow keys.

    The green enemies die instantly, but will make enemies right next to them die due to the small explosion they make. Yellow enemies will fly far back when you hit them, hitting other enemies in the process. Red enemies will explode, killing all nearby enemies.

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

    Ratings

    Coolness76%
    #24Audio3.12
    #44Fun3.18
    #48Community3.33
    #78Humor2.24
    #81Overall2.89
    #102Theme3.07
    #110Innovation2.79
    #126Graphics2.30

    Comments

    L says ...
    Aug 23, 2010 @ 1:04am

    As the bat seems so puny and horizontal, and the majority of incoming attacks are vertical or diagonal, it appears almost worthless compared to the dash.

    The enemies' designs could be a bit better (see: Phanto, Super Mario Bros. 2).

    There seems to be a bug where I somehow get stuck dashing into the top platform. Have a look into that.

    Doches says ...
    Aug 23, 2010 @ 4:39am

    It is indeed all about the dash. I second L's comment: it would benefit enormously from more intuitive ("Dude, that thing could totally explode. I better hit it.") enemy graphics.

    devinmoore says ...
    Aug 23, 2010 @ 6:20am

    The waves of enemies are interesting. The nunchucks are cool. I wish I could jump to the top platform... I think with a few more platforms on the screen, this game would have some serious legs to it.

    jakkarth says ...
    Aug 23, 2010 @ 6:39am

    The dashing took a little getting used to, but once I did it was a lot of fun. The music fit the game design well, and the mechanic was well implemented. Nice job!

    Zillix says ...
    Aug 23, 2010 @ 9:40am

    An interesting concept for a game! I do agree that the dashing was well done, though I never used the bat. Maybe it should give you some explicitly stated combo bonus or huge points for using it (or maybe it does, like I said, never used it =D).

    Danik says ...
    Aug 23, 2010 @ 3:06pm

    Quite challenging and fun!
    I agree with has been said. The attack waves were a bit repetive, "from all angles, from all angles, from all angles + bottom". :P
    I like the excessive score, it makes you feel good.
    It would be nice if enemies had some inertia and didn't always move directly towards you, so that you could trick them easier, though it doesn't matter much since you can just dash right through them. I found myself most successful when I just mashed slash and dash as soon as there were any enemies near.

    Hempuli says ...
    Aug 25, 2010 @ 6:55am

    Quite nice interpretation of the theme. The gameplay was a bit rough, and the angles the enemies came from made it quite hard to stay alive, but I liked it.

    eli says ...
    Aug 25, 2010 @ 9:50pm

    Definitely took some getting used to. I love the scoring system that quickly gets to the millions (a proper scoring system!).

    Lots of tiny collision issues. Also, after reading the comments, I completely ignored the bat and got a much higher score. Could definitely use a lot of polish.

    The dash is quite satisfying to perform, especially in chains.

    stqn says ...
    Aug 26, 2010 @ 6:05am

    Works very well under Wine, has keys settings, doesn't use 100% CPU to display two moving sprites like some other games, good music (though a bit short) and is even (a bit) fun.

    It would be nice to have a vertical scrolling so that the hero never goes out of view. Also I'm often hit by enemies at the end of a dash, not sure if it's just my fault for jumping into a bunch of them, or if for example a one second invincibility timer after each dash would be a welcome addition.

    Spooner says ...
    Aug 27, 2010 @ 10:34am

    Huge numbers of enemies homing in directly from all directions made avoiding them too hard, especially since they bypassed the platforms. The fact you could just continually dash in all directions made the bat (and the platforms) a bit irrelevant.

    Still, some un and has some potential, but I'm not sure what exactly would make it work better.

    pekuja says ...
    Aug 28, 2010 @ 1:21pm

    Just to respond to some of the comments:

    The dash is not in fact infinite. You have to either hit an enemy with it or land on a platform to dash again. Of course if you keep hitting enemies you can keep dashing. I may consider limiting it more in a future version.

    As for the bat, I agree, it's probably kinda useless compared to the dash. I came up with the bat first and it just stuck. You can however swing the bat in any eight directions, so it's not limited to horizontal attacks.

    You can actually reach the top platform by dashing. It's quite intentional that you can access the bottom platforms with a basic jump, but require the dash to get to the top. I didn't really utilize this for anything though, other than that fruit occasionally appear there, but then they actually appear on the bottom more often because there's an equal chance of a fruit appearing in any of the five spots (two on the long platform, one on each of the shorter ones).

    I also do agree that the enemy patterns get a bit boring, and the enemies always go directly toward the player so there's not a whole lot you can do to fool them or anything like that. I think for a future version I'll make most enemies dumb so that they just move in a single direction or just not towards the player at all in general, so it becomes more of a game of catching all the enemies for big score instead of defending yourself.

    I'm happy to hear people like the excessive scoring, but I actually discovered that it's a bug (feature?). I'll probably remove the bug for the next version, but I'll try to deliberately amplify the range of scores you can get similar to the original version.

    mwest says ...
    Aug 29, 2010 @ 1:18pm

    Cool game and good use of the theme - well done!

    I had a bit of a bug with the Windows download version - at 1280x1024 the sides were cut off (I couldn't see my high scores for example).

    Almost says ...
    Aug 29, 2010 @ 2:46pm

    First two tries I died while accomplishing nothing. Then I realized that I could aim the bat/dash with the arrow keys and it became a lot easier and much more fun. Also: It would be nice to not have to default to dashing in the facing direction if no keys are pressed. I was confused for a while as to why I could only sometimes dash.

    Almost says ...
    Aug 29, 2010 @ 2:48pm

    High score 33 million, by the way.

    DrPetter says ...
    Sep 4, 2010 @ 2:08am

    It moves fluidly and has potential, but I find object interactions too flimsy and I miss hit feedback against the player. It's hard to get a feel for collision zones and how to avoid/attack successfully. I played five times but got almost the same result each run - jump around swinging my bat repeatedly, trying to hit stuff while at the same time avoiding, in some kind of improvised circular pattern. Always losing a heart here and there until I was dead at the third or fourth wave. I would really have liked a good old punchy sound accompanied by a kick-back and flashing invulnerability when the player is hit, to help me figure out "how big I am" and how to avoid the enemies while still attacking them. Hitting enemies is better, but not perfect. The bat animation is rather long and uniform, with no obvious punch moment or hit region, so it feels somewhat floaty. Number of enemies is probably too high in the first couple of waves as well, making it really difficult to get into the game.

    DrPetter says ...
    Sep 4, 2010 @ 2:16am

    Ok, there's dashing as well... so much for my instruction-reading skills. Forgive me for assuming that "attack" is the primary form of offense. Maybe you should have included some kind of helpful illustration or other hint. This makes gameplay quite different, but my previous comments about hit feedback remain valid. I still find it hard or impossible to detect hits without glancing up at the health display (which is not something you do in this kind of fast-paced game). Arguably, you should have simply removed the bat entirely if it's inferior and rarely used in normal gameplay.

    sirGustav says ...
    Sep 4, 2010 @ 12:10pm

    this game is awesome! ... ok, maybe not but it's basically a combination of two of my old games and playing this game made me recall something: chaining explosions never gets boring, huge thanks for reminding me :) However, there are a few issues: plattforming feels floaty, collisions seems weird: I dashed through platforms and managed to get the player somewhat stuck, ie I stop walking I fall down, continue walking keep getting stuck. Someway to regain health would also be nice and a better feedback when you set a new highscore and get hurt wouldnt be so bad, other than that... I had fun playing it and I'll probably play it again :)

    lurreluck says ...
    Sep 5, 2010 @ 5:15am

    best game

    HybridMind says ...
    Sep 5, 2010 @ 5:52am

    This game is pretty fun. I must've played it at least 10 times trying to get better. One of my earlier plays ended up being the best (11 million or so) and after that I had trouble breaking 1 million consistently. Fun combination of mechanics though. I like the blend of chain reaction, beat-em-up, platformer. My biggest difficulty was trying to figure out when I would take damage versus when I could hurt the bad guys. Seemed I would take damage unexpectedly. I also had trouble not falling to my death. I would've liked this to at least initially start you in a world that had a solid floor so I could learn the game better.

    pekuja says ...
    Sep 5, 2010 @ 11:20am

    @mwest: Thanks. I'll look into that. I designed the game to run in 16:9, and the game is supposed to restrict you to such resolutions. I'm not sure what happens when your monitor doesn't match that.

    @DrPetter: Thanks for the pointers. Indeed taking damage should have a clear indicator and invulnerability period. Also, yes, the dash ended up being far more useful than the regular attack. The game started life without the dash, and I added it later, but didn't think to remove the regular attack in time.

    @sirGustav, @HybridMind: Yeah, the collision physics are pretty bad. I've already looked into it and I think I have pretty much solved it. I was trying to fight the Unity physics system, while still reaping some of its benefits... I should just either use it fully or use none of it.

    @HybridMind: The damage taking unpredictability seems to be some of the same problem DrPetter was having. I don't think it should be too unexpected though. If an enemy touches you when you're not dashing, you will take damage. Actually now that I think of it, I think there may be a chance that you can take damage even when you're dashing. I should look into that.

    @lurreluck: Thank you! <3 (^__^) <3

    Thanks for all the comments. I should probably set myself some sort of time to work on a post-compo version. Haven't had the time yet what with rating everybody else's games, starting plans on a Tiny Hawk sequel, classes starting at university, and of course I have plenty of Starcraft 2 to play. You know how it is.

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