Ludum Dare 39

A few weeks ago, I did a pretty neat game on Ludum Dare!

Can you survive the onslaught of the dead? Duck and roll!

The game is called “Shy Gladiator”, and can be played here. The theme this time was “Running out of Energy”. As usual, I tried to find a unique interpretation for the theme. Most of the other entrants used the idea that the player had its own energy as some sort of limit. In “Shy Gladiator” on the other hand, it is the ENEMIES who are limited by energy. The idea is that you have to hold your own until the enemy dies out and die (the excuse is that the gladiator is too shy to attack). Most people reviewing the game liked the idea.

This big dragon is here to mess you up and break down columns, and she is almost out of columns…

Also, for the first time, I participated as a group instead of individually, and it was an extremely interesting experience. You might have noticed that the graphics of the game are much better than my usual fare. This is thanks to the amazing work of Felipe who also did the music and part of the sound effects. It was a bit hard to collaborate on the one-file-per-game pico-8 cartridge, but we made do with a common dropbox folder to a “code” cartridge and an “art” cartridge back and forth. The end result was certainly worth it. Felipe used the entire PICO8 sprite sheet to create monsters, fireballs, a background and animations.

If you get close to the cyclops, you can trick him into spending his energy.

The feedback so far from the Ludum Dare has been great. Original idea and animations seems to be the strong point. On the other hand, many people found the game to be “too slow” or “passive”, because the main game play is to just sit and wait until the monsters die by themselves. I guess I must agree. In the first monster, the cyclops, there is a small bit of strategy where you can
try to stay close to the monster so that it uses its strongest attack and, if you can dodge it, die faster. But for the other
two monsters there is no such strategy. If I were to add anything new to the game, it would be an option to “taunt” the monster
and make them use a stronger attack at you, to add an element of “risk vs reward” play to the game.

There are, of course, many other smaller additions that I would like to make, such as a better title screen, and some more
special effects, but I am very happy with the final result. Please play “Shy Guardian” and let me know what you think!

Play Here. And if you participated in Ludum Dare, vote here.

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