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    Ludum Dare 23

    April 20th-23rd 2012 :: 10 Year Anniversary! :: Theme: Tiny World

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    Microbial - LukeRissacher - 48 Hour Compo Entry

    A strange cellular Action / Puzzle game - made in 47.9 hours :). Get your white blood cell to the tentacle-looking receptor to advance through the levels (40 total). Fight a big tumor at the end.

    Built with XNA, BEPUphysics, Blender, FL studio, Audacity, and Photoshop.

    More info / source code at:

    http://net-savant.com/ludumdare/

    Tip for filthy cheaters: you can skip ahead a level with PageDown.

    [Update 1: Fixed a localization problem that kept people in some countries from starting the game. ]
    [Update 2: If you get an empty "Level 1", use the "compatibility mode" .exe - it turns off hardware 3D model instancing which is not working on some graphics cards.]
    [Update 3: Fixed occasional intermittent level-skipping bug. Current "Windows" download is fixed version. No gameplay changes, etc., rest is exactly the same as the original.]

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

    Ratings

    Coolness100%
    #81Overall3.67
    #102Fun3.50
    #127Theme3.63
    #149Mood3.23
    #166Audio3.15
    #196Graphics3.44
    #303Innovation3.21
    #356Humor2.37

    Comments

    LukeRissacher says ...
    Apr 23, 2012 @ 5:03am

    I should mention this is made in XNA 4, which you download the redist for at http://www.microsoft.com/download/en/details.aspx?id=20914 if you need it.

    Music / SFX in FL Studio & Audacity, modeling in Blender, texturing in Photoshop.

    Beanalby says ...
    Apr 23, 2012 @ 6:10am

    Got to title screen, hit space to start, empty level 1 comes up, and nothing happens. wasd/backspace do nothing, esc goes back to the title screen.

    DaveDobson says ...
    Apr 23, 2012 @ 6:28am

    Well-made and interesting; lots of clever puzzles from simple concepts. One of the best I've seen so far.

    LukeRissacher says ...
    Apr 23, 2012 @ 6:34am

    @Beanalby: Bummer - did you see any 3D / polygonal stuff (textured blue background, cells, etc.)? Maybe my shader code is messed up for your graphics card.

    @DaveDobson: thanks!

    spacerumpus says ...
    Apr 23, 2012 @ 7:06am

    Excellent Game! 3d objects, nifty mechanic, strong theme interpretation.

    I played this for quite awhile and it is the first game I have reviewed where i "lost myself" and was fully intent on the gameplay. I think the seeker viruses were a great feature.

    Ishisoft says ...
    Apr 23, 2012 @ 7:11am

    Enjoyed what I played of this, the level designs did a great job of keeping things interesting. I like puzzle games where a few elements can be combined to create a good variety of puzzles.

    Unfortunately I hit some sort of bug around level 23 (entrapment plus); I trapped the baddies and then the level ended, then it kept moving me to the next level every few seconds, then crashed shortly after. Enjoyable game though even so! :)

    LukeRissacher says ...
    Apr 23, 2012 @ 7:36am

    Thanks guys!

    @Ishisoft: yeah, sounds familiar - think there's a problem in my engine where it can spawn a 2nd copy of the gameplay screen and make things weird. Fairly random/rare.

    spiral says ...
    Apr 23, 2012 @ 8:10am

    Cool! Some good puzzles there. Nice and frustrating at times :D

    DoktorAce says ...
    Apr 23, 2012 @ 8:49am

    Can't run cause I have mac :(

    Shephiroth says ...
    Apr 23, 2012 @ 9:15am

    Cant play it, download XNA files, already have then but selected repair...Still unable to play. Doctor Watson didnt like it, the program dont even start :(

    LukeRissacher says ...
    Apr 23, 2012 @ 9:18am

    @Shephiroth: Weird - only other thing I can think of is the .NET framework - I have a link to the download at http://net-savant.com/ludumdare/

    TenTonToon says ...
    Apr 23, 2012 @ 9:24am

    Same problem as Shephiroth, here... :(

    Wampus says ...
    Apr 23, 2012 @ 10:13am

    This was my last review for the night (3 in the morning). Glad I got this in before sleeping. Excellent entry all round.

    Shephiroth says ...
    Apr 23, 2012 @ 10:43am

    tried .net framework....same as XNA, already have but still repaired. Problem persist.

    This time checked info error, and dont know if this info can help, but:
    EventType: cle20r3 P3:4f94a1ef P4: microsoft.xna.framework P5: 4.0.0.0 P6: 4c72cc22 P7:3ed P8:63 P9: system.argumentoutofrange

    Sounds like a bad index or an array too short? Maybe tried to access zero position of empty array?

    marudziik says ...
    Apr 23, 2012 @ 12:25pm

    Can't run on Win7 x64, GeForce 8800GT. Got XNA and all that stuff. Nothing shows up, prog doesn't even start. :(

    LukeRissacher says ...
    Apr 23, 2012 @ 6:20pm

    @Shephiroth: Aha - thanks for that info, at least I know it's throwing an exception - will try to track down & fix that tonight.

    One quick guess - at startup the game loads the level files into an array - it's possible the files are hidden due to folder permissions or the "local path" being wrong on startup - might try checking "Run as administrator" in the EXE properties.

    LukeRissacher says ...
    Apr 24, 2012 @ 5:48am

    @Shephiroth, marudziik, TenTonToon: not sure if you'll see this comment but if you do and have a spare couple minutes, please drop me an email at LukeRissacher@gmail.com - I can send a quick debug version that'll record the details of the error and hopefully show me what needs fixing.

    SpaceToaster says ...
    Apr 24, 2012 @ 6:50am

    Nice puzzle game!

    Shephiroth says ...
    Apr 24, 2012 @ 7:30am

    Ok, talked with Luke on em@il. Now at least know where to find. We will have a fix soon (i hope :D)

    the8donut says ...
    Apr 24, 2012 @ 8:11am

    Nothing shows up, that's too bad because screen captures look promising! Win 7 64bit, XNA installed

    LukeRissacher says ...
    Apr 24, 2012 @ 8:47am

    @the8donut: not sure if you'll see this comment, but just posted a version with some crash fixes.

    @Shephiroth and @marudziik, big thanks for the help with bug fixes!

    marudziik says ...
    Apr 24, 2012 @ 9:18am

    O.M.G. 40 levels. What can I say. Wow. "OMGYouSirAreCrazy" Wow. And these are no "quantity over quality" - new mechanics are introduced every few levels, and the level design is awesome... No level feels out of place - and the learning curve was just right for me. Controls were very my taste, so I was able to finish without cheats, although some levels were a pain in the bottom. Music, sounds are just about perfect. Just listening to them puts me in the right mood, especially regarding the topic of the game.
    "Arbitrary Mood Change" level + 2 next ones were unexpected and just great, I laughed my ass off. And the boss fight... Wow.

    Gosh, I don't know if this is just me, but it seems this is one of the highest rated games by me. It's incredible that this is your first compo! Yeah - the idea is fairly simple, and there's not that much innovation mechanics-wise (I've seen other games like this) but I really love how everything works together. It feels very much complete!
    The only flaw: PageDown cheat. Remove it! :D

    It was definitely worth waiting for the fix.

    chambers says ...
    Apr 24, 2012 @ 11:35am

    I can't play the game, even after downloading the redist. Help?

    LukeRissacher says ...
    Apr 24, 2012 @ 8:36pm

    @chambers: Bummer - drop me an email at LukeRissacher@gmail.com if you have a sec and I can send you a debug version, to help figure out what's crashing.

    netmute says ...
    Apr 24, 2012 @ 9:36pm

    Couldn't rate because I'm using a Mac. Sorry :(

    LukeRissacher says ...
    Apr 24, 2012 @ 9:44pm

    @marudziik: Thanks for the glowing review! Really glad you liked it and made it all the way through - and thanks again for helping with the debugging, hopefully I can work out the kinks.

    devwil says ...
    Apr 24, 2012 @ 10:36pm

    ***I'm posting this on all non-browser games I bring up in an attempt to encourage folks to make browser games next time around. Do not take it personally.***

    When hundreds of people make non-browser games, that means that, to play all of the entries, I would need to download hundreds of games to my computer. I typically use OS X, so Windows-only entries are particularly inconvenient.

    Please consider making a browser game next time.

    MurrayL says ...
    Apr 25, 2012 @ 12:37am

    Amazing game! A really outstanding entry. My only suggestion would be to add some music, and perhaps tweak the difficulty of some levels - I don't like the ones where it's possible to lose if you don't start moving immediately! :(

    ericdpitts says ...
    Apr 25, 2012 @ 12:44am

    I get the same thing as Beanalby, an empty 1st level. :( It's a shame, this one looks and sounds extremely promising.

    LukeRissacher says ...
    Apr 25, 2012 @ 12:58am

    @MurrayL: Thanks :). Yeah, some of the difficulty progression's a little off. Music actually kicks in at level 28, and a 2nd track in the boss fight (a sad 8-minute attempt at drum & bass :).

    @ericdpitts: If you have a sec to try a debug version, drop me an email at LukeRissacer@gmail.com - after it crashes it can log what went wrong - would love to get this one working for everybody.

    LukeRissacher says ...
    Apr 25, 2012 @ 1:07am

    @ericdpitts: Oops, not a crash sounds like - maybe email a screenshot of the empty level, I'll try to figure out what's up.

    omaha says ...
    Apr 25, 2012 @ 1:45am

    Wish I could run this on my mac :(

    liger13 says ...
    Apr 25, 2012 @ 1:49am

    wow. this game is sweet. Quite a bit of content for 48 hours and pretty nice looking

    AlwaysGeeky says ...
    Apr 25, 2012 @ 4:44am

    I really liked the vibrant colours in this one. Interesting gameplay also :)

    Kitch says ...
    Apr 25, 2012 @ 4:58am

    Really good job. It was fun, and the graphics and audio really worked.

    LukeRissacher says ...
    Apr 25, 2012 @ 6:53am

    @ericdpitts, Beanalby, the8donut, chambers: Figured out that "empty level 1" problem - the current download has a "compatibility mode" exe that disables hardware model instancing which was not displaying on some graphics cards.

    chambers says ...
    Apr 25, 2012 @ 8:16am

    Hey, I tried the new version and it worked! The game is amazing! There are some really cool level designs, though at the game's first stages it looked like the game would be very simple. I liked how new mechanics just kept adding and adding.

    The level names were really funny, especially level 15 and the levels at the Arbitrary Mood Change part.

    A boss fight in the end was really unexpected and fun. The second to last level was too hard in my opinion, as well as the "relay" one, but all others were well-paced.

    My favorite level design of all was Lilly Pads and Piranas. reeeeeeally well crafted!

    Congratulations on the game!

    LukeRissacher says ...
    Apr 25, 2012 @ 8:34am

    @chambers: Thanks, glad you liked it! Fun to hear other people's experiences playing it. Glad that new version worked too.

    the8donut says ...
    Apr 25, 2012 @ 8:53am

    Ah, the fix worked! finally I was able to play it :) Great job! I find puzzle games usually slow paced and pretty boring, but yours is very fun to play and forces you to think fast. Level design is clever and the way you managed to create a generally smooth learning curve in 48 hours is really impressive. Loved it!

    Skully says ...
    Apr 26, 2012 @ 12:47am

    I am green with envy. Great game and entertaining timelapse

    sampyxis says ...
    Apr 26, 2012 @ 3:00am

    Nice puzzle game - great entry

    MadGnomeGamer says ...
    Apr 26, 2012 @ 3:31am

    :P Good thing I'm a real game-geek. HTML5 shockwave Flash Java applets most jars most zips some rar's all GM, AGS, Unity ...but 7L's, some rars, most files that used WinZip to compress them, and all Windows XNA don't work.

    If you understood all of that you are a TOTAL NERD JUST LIKE ME! :D

    LukeRissacher says ...
    Apr 26, 2012 @ 4:01am

    @MadGnomeGamer: Heh.... soooo.... it didn't run? Or didn't unzip?

    madflame991 says ...
    Apr 26, 2012 @ 5:28am

    Only the "compatibility mode" version rendered 3d stuff for me which is weird since I'm on Win7, .Net 4, XNA...
    The game is pretty great for 48 hours. I liked your sound effects - they were't the generic SFXR beep-boop.

    Arkazon says ...
    Apr 26, 2012 @ 5:43pm

    Very impressive. How did you think of all that in 48 hours?

    Reached the end but I'll admit to having to skip two levels, one was level 20, the other was nearer the end but I've forgotten the number.

    Enjoyed it a lot, nicely done.

    JustinMullin says ...
    Apr 27, 2012 @ 12:33am

    That was wonderful. You managed to squeak out an incredible amount of interesting and creative content from just a few simple mechanics...job well done, sir! Also, the "mood change" levels...you are a genius. xD

    zdanielz says ...
    Apr 28, 2012 @ 6:00pm

    That was great - fun game play, clever mechanics and pleasant graphics and audio! so many levels as well! awesome.

    tfendall says ...
    Apr 29, 2012 @ 8:33am

    Great game! I played 37 levels before my battery ran out and I had to quit. I'll likely play again to see how many levels there are. I can't say that for a lot of games entered in the compo. Well polished and a lot of game play squeezed out of a few simple and fun mechanics. Well done.

    summaky says ...
    Apr 29, 2012 @ 9:56am

    It is incredible the amount of levels that you put into this game and how well balanced they seem. They introduce the game mechanics very smoothly and I enjoyed all of them (although some of them made me scream out of frustration). That water background sound is perfect for this game.

    Congrats!

    LukeRissacher says ...
    Apr 29, 2012 @ 6:19pm

    Thanks everyone :)

    Raptor85 says ...
    Apr 30, 2012 @ 11:29pm

    can't test due to XNA4 dep, doesnt work on WINE.

    interesting textures, photos of meat and rocks i'd guess?

    LukeRissacher says ...
    May 1, 2012 @ 1:47am

    Yeah - XNA's what I know unfortunately - hoping to check out MonoGame at some point, supposedly brings XNA to a lot more devices.

    The red texture there is actually my carpet (no meat in it as far as I know :) - think I took a few rock photos too.

    Adhesion says ...
    May 2, 2012 @ 3:10am

    Great level design! Got the same bug as Ishisoft though, it started to skip through levels automatically when I died at some point. Not sure what exactly triggered it.

    LukeRissacher says ...
    May 2, 2012 @ 3:13am

    @Adhesion: Thanks - yeah, need to track down and fix that bug.

    May 2, 2012 @ 4:25pm

    Solid game, with good graphics and well balanced difficulty curve.

    LukeRissacher says ...
    May 5, 2012 @ 8:05am

    @Adhesion, Ishisoft: got that level-skip bug tackled.

    schnerble says ...
    May 5, 2012 @ 10:42pm

    Nice game - well polished; good graphics and sound effects; nice style and quite original idea. My only issue is that it relies a lot on high precision movements so the frustration factor can be pretty high.

    davidwparker says ...
    May 8, 2012 @ 1:32pm

    Sorry, I can't play this as I don't have Windows.

    robcozzens says ...
    May 11, 2012 @ 4:45am

    I would try it if you had a Web or OSX version.

    Thotep says ...
    May 11, 2012 @ 8:58pm

    Nice graphics, great level design, impressive quantity and amount of polish. Good entry!

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