In the ancient days, long ago, roughly a forntight...so two weeks I guess, the forest was a peaceful place.

But not so today!

Today is the time for vengeance and letting bloodless bloodletting sate your bloodlust... Or something. Anyway, the enemy forces probably have a base there.

Honestly, we don't know, and we don't care enough to send more than one ship; that one ship is you!

The inertial stabilizers on your ship are a bit busted, so you may have some trouble maintaining a steady altitude.

Good Luck Pilot


[note if you are running linux and you don't have a joystick plugged in, edit gamelib/joystick.py and change this:
if sys.platform == 'linux2':
if False:
or the game will crash - sorry]


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Ratings (show detail)

Overall: 3.8
Fun: 3.4
Production: 3.9
Innovation: 4.1

23% respondents marked the game as not working.
Respondents: 16


File Uploader Date
bjorn 2010/04/04 19:21
Cardiographic Space Catastrophe (aka Level 3)
bjorn 2010/04/04 19:19
Oscilliscape build 150
bjorn 2010/04/04 04:01
bjorn 2010/04/03 07:21

Diary Entries

Stunning visuals achieved - fun factor still unknown

Well, we've got some nice multi-layered scrolling levels (the screenshot really doesn't do it justice).  Now some serious fun factor tweaking is in order.

I'm really happy this time around about how things have gone - we came up with a kind of novel game concept had a 'playable' mechanic up and running after the first day.  Our lone artist is producing some really nice stuff too, so that's very helpful.  I'm keeping my fingers crossed we can figure out how to squeeze the maximum fun out of the game.


Best Entry Yet

For me that is.  Actually I think it's going to do pretty well overall as well, so I'm really pleased with what we built.  I uploaded the final version last night, but didn't have the energy to post about it until this morning.

Here's a screen shot from the 3rd level (there are 4 levels total):

As is always the case, there wasn't enough time at the end to tweak gameplay ond tune the levels to find the right difficulty.  If you don't die (which isn't too hard once you get the hang of it) you can beat all four levels in about 10 minutes (that includes loading times, which are longer than we'd like). 

I have to apologize about the size of the download; our single artist was extremely productive and despite having four programmers we just couldn't keep up and get all of the assets included in the game, but I didn't have time to trim the data down and only include what was actually used.  This may not have actually saved a lot of space though, as a quick survey estimates I maybe could have trimmed 6MB (total package is ~30MB)

I'm a little sad we weren't able to get all those great art and sound assets in, and a little annoyed at the brutal looking hud (Shields and timer) which totally clash and detract from the overall beauty of the visuals: A nice shield charge bar (or equivalent indicator around the ship) would have helped a great deal.  Some alpha on the timer (ala the FPS counter) would integrate it better, but in the final hours I decided getting the storyboards in for each level was more important.  I hope that was the right choice.

I'm a little nervous how it will perform on some slower machines, since I didn't get a chance to test it on one, and we didn't get to do any optimization.

Also (random note) it seems to crash occasionally on me, or start up and you won't see the graphics update.  I'm not sure why, most of the time it's fine, so if you see that just restart the thing and it should clear up the issue.

 I hope you enjoy it!


A little retrospecting

First of all I'd like to thank all of the people that took the time to try our game and provide feedback.  It looks like the main issue for people who couldn't run it was a segfault; I think this is probably audio related so an easy way to disable sound may have helped here.

As for gameplay, it looks like quite a few people discovered that you could just turn your amplitude down and your frequency up and cruise through the levels that way.  This was known but we didn't leave time at the end to tweak things so this wasn't possible.  Anyway I don't think it really ruins the fun if you play as intended and just try not to run into stuff.

More specific responses follow:

I like the oscilloscope mechanic, but it's not as satifying as just blasting things. It would be nice if there were sections of standard shooter so as to mix it up a bit

Yea, we actually had hoped to put some missiles in (the art assets are there), but ran out of time.  I'm thinking of adding some sort of boss at the end - probably the ship will auto fire so the objective will still be just to dodge whatever he shoots at you (plus terrain)

Excellent concept and great graphics. Feels like a very complete game. The idea is very original. I like how you have to put yourself in danger to recover shield, though personally I'd have it "high frequency and high amplitude", since high frequency and low amplitude is still kind of safe. HUD needs polishing as you yourself said, but thanks for the "next level" counter. Although there's not much to expand and the game is already very polished (aside from the HUD), if there were an expanded version of the game, I would definitely like to play it. Excellent work. :)

Yea, i think we might be able to use something like regen rate proportianal to frequency + amplitude; I'll definately try that out and see how it feels.  The next level counter was essential for letting the player know how much longer they had to stay alive, but if the boss mechanic I mentioned above works out it might go away. 

Is there any way to kill things besides colliding with them? The winning strategy seems to be to just keep oscillating at maximum frequency and amplitude and ram everything.

Yes, unfortunately that works, but it won't in the future :)  Destructible terrain would be extra cool, but I'm not sure how easy it'd be to pull off.

The idea, to control the sinus curved flightpath to avoid obstacles is great and fun to play. Also i like the graphics style of the levels. Besides that it's a game that can be played for 10 minutes (lack of long term challenge) and for me the style of the levels and the main menu style are not matching 100%. The main menu appears less colorful than the great colored levels. But this is only minor point. Overall it's a really great game. Congratulations!!

I think the long term challenge can be addressed somewhat by tuning the levels to have a nice difficulty progression; sadly we didn't get to do much of this before submitting (isn't that always the case though?).

Thanks for the feedback on the menu vs in game style, that's a good point.  It might be true for the music too (I was really happy how well the music matched the graphical theme of each level though).

not that easy as it looks like :)

Really hard, but not bad.

Indeed (unless you discover the trick w/ the frequency of course). 

One of the best games in the competition. Well balanced gameplay, though it did feel a bit shallow after a while. Music was excellent.

Thanks!  I think there are things we can do to help the depth.

runs too slow on my machine to be playable.

Sorry about that; we didn't find time to optimize  :(

Quite interesting! I like the idea of the movement... in critical moments (when the wall is near and the enemy too) my fingers become crazy and I crash with everything in the worst way :-)

I know how that goes :)  - I found it a little easier w/ a game pad, but not a ton.

Fantastic game, a real pleasure to play. The descriptions were funny and well written. I only wish that the shield regen wasn't linked to the speed or rate of oscillation! I found that I was able to complete all levels with no effort at all by having the oscillations period extremely short. The backgrounds were amazing, surely your artist has an eye for detail .

yea, our artist was quite prolific.  And I was amused enough by his storyboard descriptions that I decided I had to put them in rather than make the HUD integrate at the end.  Actually he even had recordings of him reading those to go with them, but we didn't get to put them in.

sorry, couldnt make it work. had to disable the joystick and still had problems: File "gamelib/main.py", line 125, in update self.handler.update(dt) File "gamelib/levels.py", line 504, in update actor.Tick(dt) File "gamelib/player.py", line 71, in Tick contents = ships[0].getHudContents() File "gamelib/player.py", line 113, in getHudContents return ["Shields:{0}".format(int(self.shield)), AttributeError: 'str' object has no attribute 'format'

Hmm, this one I don't know about; I would be curious what version of python you have.

Sorry, I cannot run you game in my linux ubuntu 9.10 machine. Segmentation fault. I don't know why.
I think it's probably audio related.  I'm running Ubunto 9.10 as well, and saw the occasional crash, but usually it worked.

t takes a while to get used to the ship's controls, but this is damn fun. Needs balancing.

I agree, balancing would help a lot.

Very innovative, great graphics and sounds. Unfortunately I'm too stupid to win a level.

I doubt it's a stupidity thing.  We need a more introductory level of difficulty at the beginning.

original idea, lotsa handmade artwork i like

Lots and lots - more than we could get in :)

The backgrounds are awesome, the music is energetic and the control is interesting. Sound effects are missing and there is not much to do unfortunately. I won the game by simply going to maximum frequency and minimum amplitude. If only you could shoot and collect bonuses it might be much more fun. Perhaps you could have done without any moving objects, since those are practically impossible to calculate into my avoidance. Or maybe only introduce them on the second level.

Yea, sound effects are among the assets that we didn't get to work in (yet).  Definately there should be fewer enemy ships on the first level, to lower the difficulty, but they can be avoided with practice.  I think I managed to play through all four without hitting more than one or two things.

Seg faults when trying to run. There is no information give. Tried the suggestion for changing the joystick.py with no effect. Really wanted to play this just to see why it needed NumPy! :(

Erm, NumPy was just so I could be extra lazy and use arange() to get an array of floats for drawing the path :p.  It already exists on my Ubuntu python install - my teammates all subsequently complained because it was an extra thing to install on their windows boxes.  Probably I should have just written a few more lines of code and avoided the dependency.

Brilliant game mechanic that I've never seen done before. It was hard but satisfyingly so, rather than irritating.

Yea, we spent quite a while brainstorming after the theme came out and i was really happy with the mechanic that came out of that.  We even had something up and running after the first day so we could try it out, which was awsome!