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    Ludum Dare 23

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

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    [Darkness Creeping] - AD-Edge - 48 Hour Compo Entry

    My Entry for LD 23 - An attempt at a 3D survival horror in an insane 48 hours. Highlights of LD23 included TWO power blackouts (the first was for 7-8 hours).

    Game Summary:
    ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    You play as an unknown character, whos been rejected by the people he belongs to. You've spent too long, lying on the floor in a dark and abandoned old dungeon, completely forgotten.
    Suddenly you take it upon yourself to escape, and so that is your main mission - starting by escaping the cell youve been in for an immeasurable amount of time, into an unknown and potentially dangerous environment.
    Lots of critters scurry about the floor, and with thanks to a special ability (the very ability which got you into so much trouble in the first place) you find you can inhabit the bodies of the smaller creatures scurrying nearby.

    Maybe this will be your first step towards being free again?
    ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------




    Made with Blender(BGE), Gimp, Audacity and coded in Python.


    >>Read the Readme.txt!<<
    Controls are in there, I didnt have time to add all of the instructions in-game, but most major controls made it into actual in-game popups.


    **** Missing VCOMP100.dll error????
    Some people have reported that the game wont run due to a 'missing VCOMP100.dll' error. This is to do with not having installed the Visual C++ 2012 Redistributable on your system
    Its a pain that this is happening, but quick google search will come up with several different places to download (go for the one hosted on the Microsoft website). Once thats installed everything should go smoothly. (for those of you who are really keen to play this game, but who are being stopped by this error)
    ****



    -Audio issues fixed in v0.9-

    Ill be trying to get both a mac and linux version up asap as well, so no one will be forgotten hopefully :)
    Also, note, you may need a pretty modern rig to run this game. Theres a link below to a less resource intensive build of the game, either way though -let me know if your fps are acceptable - or not. That was my main concern during the development of the game....

    Full 48 hour timelapse of the creation of the game below!
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=v-s_raRVcF0


    So feel free to download (30mb) and give it a shot! Id appreciate feedback and comments.

    Windows(32bit)- http://www.mediafire.com/?7684syfaa19day2 (as in the header)

    *source is also available (~85mb) (see header)


    Original build (v0.6) is here, this is what I first submitted, and is 64bit windows only, with show stopper bugs - so most people wont be able to play it - http://www.mediafire.com/download.php?ly15m87itpqkoj0





    Is the game running slow for you??
    Heres a build which should run faster for those with slower computers/laptops, Ive cut out the dynamic shadows so youll lack some eye candy there. And the frame size is reduced to 800x600.
    Link - Win(32bit) http://www.mediafire.com/?c4e3u8oribpz0ba

    View AD-Edge's journal. | View all entries by AD-Edge

    Ratings

    Coolness76%
    #5Mood4.26
    #117Graphics3.77
    #125Overall3.55
    #142Audio3.21
    #177Innovation3.48
    #370Fun2.93
    #543Theme2.80
    #678Humor1.73

    Comments

    mattchu says ...
    Apr 23, 2012 @ 10:16pm

    The mood setting was great. It was an interesting mechanic, though I wish there would have been more to take over.

    The only things that I noticed that bothered me were that it seemed too easy to fall over when running, and the cockroaches didn't animate when you took them over, even though they animated on their own.

    Shigor says ...
    Apr 23, 2012 @ 10:45pm

    I'm sorry, I really tried, but I just couldn't find the cockroach. Even in dark room with secondary monitor switched off all I can see is red lock and i kinda can recognize some bars and ground... couldn't find cockroach, couldn't play (mouse look is INCREDIBLY slow on my machine no matter what I've done). Won't rate for now, but unless I find a way to actually see something....

    AD-Edge says ...
    Apr 24, 2012 @ 4:36am

    @mattchu
    Thanks for the feedback! And yes I was disappointed that I didnt have time to implement the cockroach animation for the ones you take control of, just ran out of time :)
    And I was a bit unsure about the falling over mechanic, I added it by accident at one stage, and kinda enjoyed it so I left it in. Can be frustrating at times. But I thought it added a nice dynamic to the game, since *if* you had to run away from something, it would add to the stress of the situation - having to scramble to get yourself back up off the ground if you fell over.

    @Shigor
    Sounds like you need to download the more optimized version, theres a link in the description for slower computers which might work out a lot better for you. And I was worried about the darkness of the game as well, you only have to have a slightly darker screen and a lot would be lost to the darkness. This is made better when you find the 'light source' at least, but initially when your trapped in the cell its quite dark indeed - perhaps try adjusting your display a bit brighter.

    And as far as finding a cockroach goes, theres a pipe outside the cell which has them dropping out often, and 2 will spawn in the cell with you at the start of the game under the bed.

    Hope that helps :)

    AD-Edge says ...
    Apr 24, 2012 @ 4:39am

    Also should mention, since I know people give a very small amount of time to play each LD entrie (probably cause theres 1400 of them!) make sure you read the readme - and in particular the hint:

    "Secret hint - There might be a crack in the wall, just outside the cell - just sayin'"

    Im not one for spoilers, but I dont want people stuck in the cell for so long that they give up and miss the rest of the game.

    Shigor says ...
    Apr 24, 2012 @ 8:35pm

    Optimized version didn't help much (hint, put it up in links, not just in text, most people will miss it). I've cranked up brightness on my monitor to max and after a while I managed to find out cocroach, after some blind walking with it around I found the crack and put key down. Then my human character got so completely stuck in the bed that I ragequit , after probably already spending more time on it then on any other 40 entries I've played.

    While mood and idea seems nice (points for innovation, theme and mood), it's pretty unplayable :/ falling mechanics is excercise in frustration, and mouse look is incredible slow.

    AD-Edge says ...
    Apr 25, 2012 @ 6:51am

    Thanks for the (brutally) honest feedback Shigor :)
    Ive taken it all into account, and updated the game to V0.9 (hopefully the final update) so that future players dont encounter the same issues.

    And can I put a 2nd windows download options up in the links? Seems to only let me do one...

    As for the updated version, the level has been made brighter for people with darker displays, along with a bunch of other little glitches fixed. Ive also made the player a bit more sturdy, but you can still fall over readily if your not careful - basically, if you wouldnt run blindly over a bunch of large rocks in real-life, dont do it in this game either, cause youll land on your face :)
    The slow mouse-look would be related to your low fps, Ive setup the mouselook to work smoothy (but only if the game is running at a decent speed on your computer of course)

    Ive also rebuilt the runtime in a different version of blender, which seems to be a bit faster (fixed the audio issues as well), so that might mark as an improvement as well.

    Hopefully this new build will be more playable for others, and I hope no one is too discouraged by these initial issues.

    Finishing up the timelapse now!

    blob says ...
    Apr 26, 2012 @ 5:51pm

    I think you can rename the download links.

    AD-Edge says ...
    Apr 27, 2012 @ 2:27am

    Eugh! So simple.... Cheers blob.

    jwolf says ...
    Apr 27, 2012 @ 7:40pm

    Missing VCOMP100.DLL -- couldn't start either version.

    ...and I'd rather not go on a .dll hunt. :)

    Tomalla says ...
    Apr 27, 2012 @ 8:48pm

    It is a really unique entry, I must say. The greatest issue though in my opinion is glitchy collision system. Examples:

    1. I've found the first key. I felt really confused afterwards after gadding with my cockroach something about 10 minutes. I had to find a light source and something was telling me it had to do something with the crystal in another cell. After another 5 minutes in that cell my cockroach ... fell under the floor only to find the crystal item laying there with him as well. That annoyed my quite a bit.

    2. After resetting and picking up a crystal, I went down a dark corridor with a crystal in my hand. I approached to the yellow key. I was really surprised since I couldn't pick it up. That was confusing as well. Soon I found out the ... ceiling was missing and I was floating in mid air. Turns out that when I was 'recovering from a fall', I clipped through the ceiling. Well, since I had no clue how to get down I simply walked to the yellow door and hovered over it like nothing ever happened until the ending screen appeared.

    Still, I am really amazed you made a 3D game in so little time, though it doesn't make it more playable on the other hand. I didn't find the falling down mechanic irritating at all and the mood you created was just lovely, I like such eerie atmosphere!

    Hope it helped and the game will get another fix soon, because it really is a good game, there's no doubt about that. Cheers!

    AD-Edge says ...
    Apr 28, 2012 @ 4:21am

    Tomalla, glad you enjoyed it and managed to get to the end! Guessing the boss wasnt much of an issue for you cause you glitched out onto the roof :/

    And yes, my biggest issue is the collisions, which are a prominent issue with the game engine Im using (BGE), and has been ever since I started using it. Having said that, after making this LD entry Im planning to work on changing/improving the collision physics of the game engine (its opensource and Ive been wanting to get into Blenders development for ages), to finally rid it of this issue.

    I got my brother to playtest the game the other day as well, and he too managed to push the crystal though the floor during his first play though, which is a showstopper bug. It seems to happen rarely, but still too often to be acceptable. Ill see if I can reinforce that area more (Ive already made it slightly stronger), but for everyone else - just be gentle with the crystal for now, push it gently!

    I also ran out of time to add constraints to the player controls, ie when you fall over you can still use WASD which can cause some issues. And jumping still works as well, which can cause even more issues...



    Also, timelapse is up, theres a link in the notes to the video on youtube. Check it out if you want to see exactly how much work goes into a 3D game in such a small amount of time O_o

    j_peeba says ...
    Apr 28, 2012 @ 7:31am

    A great, ambitious game. Very moody and mysterious and I enjoyed the adventure even though it was a little short. It was a pretty solid experience for me since I didn't encounter any major bugs.

    I'm not sure how familiar you are with physics engines but you could probably achieve more stable collisions by using bunches of simple primitives as collision shapes (box, cylinder, sphere or whatever else Bullet supports) instead of using the render meshes as the collisions. I mean, if you're not already doing so. If not, you should definitely look into it. I'm not familiar with Bullet physics engine specifically so I don't know the details of how to set it up though but the same principles usually apply in all the major physics engines.

    R3ason says ...
    Apr 28, 2012 @ 8:12am

    well this is just dandy. Thanks to your creepy little game I am for sure going to have nightmares tonight... :D But really, well done! I dunno, but I kinda liked the I'm-almost-out-of-control-but-not-quite feel of the game. Definitely conveyed the feeling of being extremely weak. Mood/feel for this game is just perfect. Would love to see this developed even further (and would therefore be quite scared to play it!!) Thanks for making this.

    AD-Edge says ...
    Apr 28, 2012 @ 9:17am

    @J_peeba
    Thankyou! The level did turn out a bit short, you can see from the timelapse that I didnt actually start out on the level design until there was 8 hours left (eek). I had 3 areas planned with a few more puzzles and an additional boss :(
    For the game I use an -as simple as possible- convex hull for the players main collisions, the player model is only visible when your in cockroach mode and is otherwise discarded and unused.
    And the crystal had an even simpler collison shape, using only a 'box', yet it still runs into issues. Ive even doubled up most important objects, eg the walls have the main model + an invisible box of faces around them to help with collisions. I could increase the physics step (ie how often the physics are calculated), but that could degrade the fps further. Ill have a play around sometime.


    @R3ason, good to hear! And sorry for the nightmares, if you have any *evil laughter*.
    I also liked the out of control feeling to the game which is why I left it in there and added to it, Im yet to play any game where you have to worry about falling over simply from uneven/rocky terrain or running into a wall too fast etc. Ive even managed to scare myself on a playthough at one stage, scrambling back down that tunnel and falling over at the worst time possible.....

    Ive had some people suggest I keep working on the game, so I might just do that, or least add the bits I planned intially and make it all more stable. We shall see!

    Apr 28, 2012 @ 9:24am

    I really love how awesomely the camera works! And the idea of controlling other things is awesome. I haven't gotten too far in yet but I'll be freeing up some time to play this :D

    Arkazon says ...
    Apr 28, 2012 @ 10:43am

    Impressive little game, died just after getting the yellow key - not sure why though - do the spiders attack you? The other ones I'd walked past didn't.

    Took a while to find the first cockroach but I managed it in the end. As others have said, the fall mechanic is a bit annoying, seems far too easy to fall over.

    The possession mechanic works well, good game overall.

    AD-Edge says ...
    Apr 28, 2012 @ 1:07pm

    @Arkazon
    Sounds like the boss got you before you even noticed it!
    I should have added more sounds for it, to make it obvious. But it sounds like you grabbed the key and did a runner, no looking back (probably a good idea really) ;)

    dr_soda says ...
    Apr 28, 2012 @ 4:03pm

    I also was unable to play the game due to the same missing .dll as jwolf. Sad. :(

    I really like the screenshots, and just from that alone I think it looks really interesting.

    tequibo says ...
    Apr 28, 2012 @ 4:57pm

    I liked idea that you chose, but there few problems. Game is just too dark. Camera bobbling is a bit too much, made me feel a bit nauseated.
    Though protagonist that can fall over and struggling with gravity is hilarious it is incredibly silly. I couldn't figure out what to do after I left the cell.

    robbiehunt says ...
    Apr 28, 2012 @ 9:38pm

    Never played a game made in Blender before - nice job!

    I enjoyed the idea and the atmosphere of the game - but it was a tad bit too difficult. There's a lot here for just 48 hours of work though, I think it's a project worth expanding on!

    PsySal says ...
    Apr 29, 2012 @ 6:54am

    Seems really good, however it is just incredibly dark for me. I know that might seem like a silly complaint given the title but it renders it basically unplayable. I wish I could have gotten more into it but it really was just too dark.

    Sorry I know that must be a frustrating comment to read, it looks like a really admirable effort! I did manage to get control of the cockroach and find the key but my eyes were just tired at that point...

    AD-Edge says ...
    Apr 29, 2012 @ 11:04am

    @tequibo, PsySal & anyone else with a resulting very dark game
    Have you guys tried adjusting the brightness and contrast of your monitor? The game is indeed dark on purpose, but it shouldnt be so dark that you cant play it properly.
    For example, if I stand at the non-bed end of the cell I can only just barely see the brickwall at the other end of the cell.

    Thats how it *should* be.
    Then of course once you get out of the cell, you should find yourself lost and confused in the darkness, at that point you need to explore around the level and learn where things are. I know thats a bit of a burdon at times, especially if you get completely disorientated and lost, but part of the game is learning about the environment around you and making your way helplessly though never ending darkness (it does get easier to see once you get a light source)

    Ill see if I can get some kind of brightness setting setup, but it might just be a simple case of adjusting your monitor, or playing in a dark room so theres no glare on the screen (or both)

    Munch says ...
    Apr 29, 2012 @ 12:02pm

    Unplayable. I get a black screen on startup with a somewhat ominous sound repeating endlessly. On Windows 7 x64.

    Apr 29, 2012 @ 12:08pm

    "You escaped!!". What a relief! This game is moody as balls. Kept me on edge the whole time i was playing it. The controls are also really good, but a bit wacky(fell through the floor and walls a few times). Haven't seen anything like this before.

    DDRKirby(ISQ) says ...
    Apr 29, 2012 @ 12:22pm

    Ambitious! I like the idea; you need to make more concessions for "LD-type playability" next time though ;)

    I didn't play through all the way because I think this might be the kind of 3D engine that gives me headaches (don't worry, it's not the only one, so no fault of yours).

    Gotta say though, that's a pretty mean spider model you have there.

    Jan Willem says ...
    Apr 29, 2012 @ 12:28pm

    Looks great, good mood. Buggy collisions though. Also very annoying you can't see much, but I guess that's the point. :P

    Sanguine says ...
    Apr 29, 2012 @ 12:28pm

    Missing VCOMP100.DLL, doesn't run for me :( Looked interesting though

    10WonXero10 says ...
    Apr 29, 2012 @ 1:05pm

    This has an awesome feel and story to it. Loved the shambling movement and massive camera bob, makes you really feel like a weakened prisoner making a break for freedom.

    AD-Edge says ...
    Apr 29, 2012 @ 1:17pm

    So the issue with the missing VCOMP100.dll seems to be related to not having installed the Visual C++ 2012 Redistributable on your system (Id say this would effect a lot of pre-2010 systems, because my new laptop hasnt had this issue and I havent had to manually install the package.
    A quick google search will come up with several different places to download. Once thats installed everything should go smoothly.

    caranha says ...
    Apr 29, 2012 @ 1:49pm

    The possession mechanics was quite interesting, and I liked the wobbling and falling effects, although I thought they could be toned down a little bit.

    I was a bit disappointed that picking up the light object didn't make the screen brighter :-)

    Thanks for the game.

    schizofunky says ...
    May 1, 2012 @ 11:18am

    Really great interpretation of the theme! I like the mechanics of controlling bugs and just needing to push tiny items around! The spiders are very creepy especially the one near the yellow key T_T. I found the player movement a bit painful tho, it was like controlling a drunk who would stumble and fall every now and then!

    ratking says ...
    May 1, 2012 @ 12:49pm

    Very creepy, but overall much too dark to see anything ...
    Also, is it just me or does the light source really falls through the floor everytime I try to push it? That's why I couldn't play any further, I think, and I really tried more than three times. :-|

    someone says ...
    May 3, 2012 @ 5:32pm

    I wanted to control the spiders, they were cool, though they didn't seem to do much.
    The player movement was interesting.

    DaveDobson says ...
    May 4, 2012 @ 5:31am

    Couldn't run - it said VCOMP100.DLL is missing from my computer. Didn't want to go looking for it, sorry - looks cool, though....

    samoojamies says ...
    May 4, 2012 @ 7:26am

    Had to restart game after crystal dropped below surface. After restart finished game easily. Very good graphics! Also great mood and some innovation there.

    Gunmonkey says ...
    May 4, 2012 @ 8:11am

    un able to play :(

    uuav says ...
    May 4, 2012 @ 8:16am

    nice mood but I feel drunk now !

    evilseanbot says ...
    May 4, 2012 @ 9:09am

    The game opened, but I only saw the title screen and then a message that zoomed in repeated telling me to hold space to fast forward.

    robcozzens says ...
    May 5, 2012 @ 8:55pm

    I would play it, but I'm on an iMac.

    Jedi says ...
    May 7, 2012 @ 6:39am

    I'm surprised nobody else pointed this out, but by updating the game after the competition and not linking to the original, you've broken the rules. Please re-link the results of your work after 48 hrs, bugs and all.

    As for the game:
    As others have mentioned it is way too dark. I understand it's *supposed* to be dark, but this is stupid dark. I have to crank up my gamma about 50% just to play it and it's still a huge eye strain, even though it feels like I'm "cheating." I understand that you didn't want the player to see far off in the distance but you could have achieved that without blinding the player overall. Maybe you could've given the player some kind of a tiny light or torch and have a close fog (well, you already have the close fog).

    The cockroaches seem very content to ignore me in my cell most of the time :(. I also had the crystal fall through right away. I was let down that I couldn't possess the spiders.
    It's a really innovative entry but it's problems kill the fun for me.

    AD-Edge says ...
    May 7, 2012 @ 7:54am

    Hey Jedi, Ive read though the rules on the main page for Ludum Dare, and no where is it stated that what I have done is breaking the rules.
    I guess its just some kind of unspoken LD courtesy, so Ive included the original download now, note that its 64bit windows only, so hardly anyone would be able to play it, its effectively useless (which is why I removed it in the first place)

    And yes, if I ever do a dark game again, Ill have to include some option to 'tune' the settings. Its hard to say whats going on with this, because I cant see exactly what your seeing, so I cant be sure if your seeing what your meant to, or if its in fact way too dark.
    Not sure if you got as far as picking up the crystal or not, but the light from that helps (a little)

    Either way though, I respect the feedback, this was my first LD entry, and a lot has been learnt!

    davidwparker says ...
    May 8, 2012 @ 12:51pm

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

    yosh says ...
    May 8, 2012 @ 1:53pm

    Great mood !
    This game is clearly impressive for a 48 hours entry, however I'd mainly criticize the fact that you don't go further with the "mind control" concept.
    Another weak point: it's missing some sounds and ambient musics for a better experience.
    A very interesting thing is also how the main character is actually moving, unsteady and slowly...

    ericdpitts says ...
    May 9, 2012 @ 12:32am

    Really ambitious entry! I loved it. The presentation was outstanding, especially given the time frame. The sound effects and mood were spot on, pretty creepy atmosphere. Great job!

    Datw says ...
    May 9, 2012 @ 2:58am

    Altough I was really looking forward to this one, I won't be able to judge it because all the graphics of the games are just white (which is obviously a bug), and the intro is just a couple of white boxes. Damn, it was looking great!

    gregdevice says ...
    May 9, 2012 @ 5:34am

    Nice mood and I like the overall idea. The controls were a little tricky. When pushing the light crystal as a cockroach it fell through the ground and out of sight. Will keep trying.

    Danik says ...
    May 9, 2012 @ 4:29pm

    Very nice mood, kind of dark on my monitor though and a little hard on the eyes.
    The sound effects made it very atmospheric and I liked the way you could fall if you walked into stuff. That really conveyed well how weak the player was.
    Very atmospheric and mysterious, nice work!

    JaJ says ...
    May 12, 2012 @ 2:59pm

    While the mood was great and the concept clearly very clever, I had to start the game over a couple of times because I got stuck in walls or died without explenation, Even though I knew where the red key was I was never able to reach it because of these bugs. I bet there was still a lot to see after that, but I just didn't want to have to start over again. That may sound negative but I gave you a lot of stars for this, just not that many for 'fun'.

    PIXEL^3 says ...
    May 13, 2012 @ 7:38am

    The mood for this is simply amazing. And it's a good game overall. I didn't have to much trouble with the collisions and clipping but I did have to restart the game a few times. I also wish that the player didn't bob so much. I realize that it supposed to make the player seem weak, and it works, but it's rather disorienting and just makes things annoying. The slow 'camera' speed didn't help that either.
    Aside from this the graphics were quit good for only 48 hours and that ambient background music was a nice little icing on the cake.
    I do have one question though. What does the blue key do?

    -AlucardX60

    AD-Edge says ...
    May 13, 2012 @ 12:12pm

    Good to see theres still people playing my game right up to the final day of voting :)

    @JaJ, Sorry you didnt have as much fun with the game as I would have hoped. Not sure what the issue was getting to the red key, but if you take control of a cockroach, youll find a crack in the wall just outside the cell, you can use this to get up behind the cell and push the red key down, then change back into the person, pick up the key and open the cell door.
    Your feedback helps though, I have a lot of things I want to do differently and improve for the next LD :)
    And I do appreciate that you still gave a fair rank for the other categories!

    @PIXEL^3 Thankyou! The bobbing is a bit exaggerated yes, especially when you run. Didnt really notice as much until people pointed it out (it was a lot worse during the early stages of the game)
    As for the blue key, I originally had 3 keys in the test level, but I never got around to implementing a 3rd door to unlock (there was going to be 2 more main areas in the level but I ran out of time!) so I left it in there, hidden in the rocks as a bit of a mysterious easter egg :)

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