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A jam submission

IIslands of WarView game page

Build and fight with floating islands!
Submitted by jwiggs — 1 day, 1 hour before the deadline

Play game

IIslands of War's itch.io page

Results

CriteriaRankScore*Raw Score
Most Fun#1n/an/a
Community Choice#14.7634.763

Ranked from 59 ratings. Score is adjusted from raw score by the median number of ratings per game in the jam.

Judge feedback

Judge feedback is anonymous.

  • This game is super polished and feels like something you could buy for $5-$10 dollars. I really enjoyed the loop of looting, building, and advancing - however I feel like the campaign-map might be too close to Slay the Spire’s. I couldn’t really judge this game in terms of the jam theme because the original Islands of War would not run properly - I thought it was an unnecessary sequel to an older game called Stratosphere: Conquest of the Skies.

    Liked

    • Very solid and complete feeling game
    • Impactful island-building

    Needs Work

    • Questionable theme adherence
    • Map might be too close to Slay the Spire

    Building your island is super satisfying, as is having multiple ways to win an encounter.  I would prefer more fine-grained movement options, I ended up losing a fight because I ran off the top of the battle by accident. On the map, I would’ve liked a little more guidance with forging - I never had enough extra stuff to know if I could make something and if it would be worth it, so I only ended up forging blocks in to better blocks. I would also say that the map itself is too similar to Slay the Spire’s and that you should work on remixing that. FTL has a map system that serves a similar purpose but presents it differently, and I believe you could come up with something that has a unique user experience for IIslands of War.

Elevator pitch
A tactical roguelite where you must construct and battle floating islands made of over sized blocks of earth. And they have cannons. And lasers and shields and floatrons to keep them afloat.

Go about exploring a procedural generated map with procedural generated enemies and beat the living daylights out of them.

Describe how your game adheres to the theme
IIslands of War is a sequel to a game I made a couple years ago, Islands of War. With an extra couple of years of experience, I thought it might be a good idea to take the core gameplay of the first one and then rebuild the entire game design from the ground up.

It is unnecessary? Yes. Knocking enemies out of the sky is absolutely unnecessary. So is the plot, which doesn't do much to justify your sky bound carnage.

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Comments

Submitted
Pros:
  • So much dang content
  • Fun and customizable experience
  • Huge variety in strategy
Cons:
  • Enemy ship randomization tends to be overpowered
  • Randomness leads to extreme rareness of items
  • Divergent paths compound the above
Here & There:

This game is crazy, you put so much stuff in this, it's just simply impressive. This is what having an idea of what you're going to do can lead to, and it's mostly a blast to play. The art style isn't particularly inventive but it is consistent throughout which is by far the most important attribute a visual style can have and it's very well done. I got to the second area, but picking a path that is devoid of shops or treasure and having random drops mostly give blocks led to a few runs where I was all but doomed, especially when the enemy ships tend to be at least slightly more powerful than I was. I spent quite a bit of time playing this, hoping to make some real progress but alas I was unable to get too far. I don't want to misrepresent things or whatever, but with some balancing tweaks, altering of the randomness and progression this could easily be a sellable product which you might want to look into doing. I have no experience to back this up, but it's as close to one that jam games get from what I've seen. Excellent work.

Really great game all round!! And creative. But it’s annoying that it erases your progress when it is updated, but updates are good so I’m not to bothered. 

Hey jwiggs I want to congratulate you on making in my opinion the most creative game I've seen in months. I have one idea for game improvement, the thing that I'm going to be talking about is the forge system. I think that for the forge there needs to be a recipe book that expands as you collect new parts and that would allow the game to become much better being that starting out you have no idea what you can forge.

Developer(+1)

I am really glad you enjoyed playing this game. 

I totally agree with you on a recipe book. However, each item has around 20-30 crafting recipes. That being said, maybe I could build  in system where they could favourite certain item recipes. 

Thanks for the feedback!

I have been playing for a couple more hours and i noticed a critical error you made. You forgot to add a pause menu it is essential when having a fast paced game also there might need to be a few balance issues i am up to where people are only quartz and some times You can end up with massive enemy's with 11 guns and your out matched no matter what. I will continue to try to find Stuff for you to improve upon because this game has so much potential and could maybe make it to console. I would love to be apart of the development of this awesome game.

Developer(+2)

This game is still in some major development, it is only less than a two months old(total development time).  That being said, if you look at the skymap, you will notice that the pause feature is right up there near the top. I am working in order from top to bottom for the features and the next update is going to introduce better weapon groups, meaning the one after that is probably going to have a pause button. I have a lot of other features I would like t put in as well, but there are some things that are more urgent than others.

There is a pretty bad bug in 1.15 that allowed enemies to overstack their weapons past the weapon limit, usually having 2-2.5x more weapons than the max. That really stunk. So in the next update(coming soon) I have spent quite a bit of time to polish the enemies to make them better.

With regards to a console port, I currently have no intentions on putting this on the console. Currently we have Mac and Windows, with Linux and mobile coming next. After that, probably the switch and then probably lastly, console. I have no guarantee that any of these other ports will be happening, but if they do, that would be the order.

Love the pic and thanks for the feedback!

(+1)

next time on itch.io: iiislands of war!!!

Developer(+2)

If I decide to make a 3d version sometime in the future, you bet its gonna be called IIIslands of War!

awesome little and fun game 

coooooool game

Great game! I found this from a youtube video by Draegast entitled "Islands of War - Building a Floating Fortress! - Ilands of War Gameplay"

I like the addition of the save function, but could you please be able to return to the forge when I forget to dismantle blocks, I don`t like it when I forget to remove 3 common blocks and realize that I can`t use the forge again when I exit it, speaking of which, the rarity of each block makes it weird for me to forget, apparently you can`t forge blocks from different rarities? there was`nt any of that in the Tutorial I believe

and I also get this problem AFTER I defeat the Boss of the 1st map (I`ve tried 3 times, it doesn`t change)

############################################################################################
FATAL ERROR in
action number 1
of Draw Event
for object obj_battle_end_controller:

DoAdd :: Execution Error
at gml_Script_tech_get_sprite
############################################################################################
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
stack frame is
gml_Script_tech_get_sprite (line -1)
gml_Object_obj_battle_end_controller_Draw_64


Could you add a multiplayer? That would be cool TBH

Increase chances of Floatrons and weapons, I`ve encountered ONE of each in the 1st map, but I got 3 rare blocks which is nice.

And please include Tech in the Tutorial, I was surprised when I got it the first time `round

-----

Overall, 8/10 cuz I cant get past the 1st level

Developer(+2)

When at a forge, you can go left and right to move between forging and building. Even if you leave you can still go back using the edit island.


That bug is a pretty major bug that I found minutes after release. I have issued another update(v1.14) just a couple minutes ago that directly adresses this gane breaking issue.


Yes, the tutorial needs to be updated to include tech and the new forging system. 


Floatrons will always be sold at the shop. So will weapons. 


Multiplayer would be awesome, but if it happens it will be in the far future.


Thanks for all that feedback. Its really helpful. 

(1 edit) (+1)

This is a great game spent hours playing and got to the last boss I wish It was not so hard because I got really good luck and got some really good stuff but it was still hard for me to destroy even 1 block on it. Also I think you should make difrent difficulties like esay and hard.  You should make it so the enemies try to protect there core and the better the block or iteam would be placed closer to the core so some of the matches wont last seconds. You should also add like save slots so you can do like 3 or 4 games at once and can you make a creative mode for it where you can build anything without any limits. But over all It is  a grate game and It is neat and new. Good Job

is pretty good. it need a way to save your progress thought

Developer(+2)

I totally agree. Saving and loading games are going to be in the next update dropping sometime later this week.

I'm glad you enjoyed it!

This was overall a pretty nifty game. Just got a few thoughts for it:

It's not terribly clear on the map screen that the alternative paths are no longer selectable. Darkening the unselectable icons or changing their appearance in some way might help with that.

It ultimately didn't really feel like the !, !! and !!! icons really meant much of anything, as occasionally lower-tier enemies were a lot tougher than higher tier ones. 

Aside all that, the interface is great. Had no real issues piecing my islands together, shopping, really much of anything. Solid effort all round.

Developer(+3)

Thanks for the feedback!

Darkening unelectable paths would most definitely help, maybe also brightening up your options of where to go could help visually communicate the linearity of the map.

Enemy genration is a bit off. There is a difficulty stat that directly affects the generation, but it is not always spot on and there is still some variance. The only thing that really is controlled for the most part is the total health and mass of the enemy island. I'm working to fix this problem specifically and the changes will probably be dropped in the next update. It's probably going to be a massive rework of the enemy generation system to work with some new mechanics I'm sticking in, like having limited weapons for instance.

Anyways, thanks for your feedback to help make this game better and more appealing!

Submitted

Okay, wow!  This is a fantastic game!  It's got great mechanics, a lot of replayability, and really stands on its own!  Kudos!

Developer(+2)

Thanks a lot! Glad you enjoyed it.

Submitted (1 edit) (+1)

Wow, dude, this thing is incredibly good. It feels like a real honest to goodness game, not a jam game. I expect to be reading about the Steam release on IGN in six months. I was playing this for an hour and having a legitimately great time. The mechanics are just so solid. I love this sort of twist that you've put on FTL-esque mechanics while, at the same time, being nothing like FTL mechanically. My girlfriend walked in while I was playing and asked if this was the sequel to FTL, so you should feel some pride, there.

That said, I think your tutorial needs work. This isn't really a complex game at the end of the day (or, at least, mechanics are introduced so incrementally that it's totally palatable). But as I flipped through your tutorial I was like oh god oh god oh god. One of the issues is that it's hard, visually, to differentiate between tututorial text and normal UI text. So that would be my first change since that's pretty easy. Ultimately, though, I think you could easily have a playable tutorial. Like, you just play using the base ship against a stock level 1 enemy and explain the buttons and mechanics with pop up text as that happens. Then the player unlocks a block as a reward and you walk them through adding it to their ship, ba da boom. 

Some quality of life things I would like: 

I wish I could replace blocks with other blocks instead of removing the module, (trying to remember what module I had there), removing the block, placing the new block, replacing the module. On top of that, it's hard to parse where you should be upgrading. I wish when I hovered over blocks on the ship, the left would show information on the module, and then also information on the block (weight, HP). I got a bunch of new blocks and I would say "Okay, now what should I remove to add you..." And that question is kind of hard to answer, visually, especially with so many blocks looking so similar. And the game is 80% incremental upgrades, so the user goes through this process a lot!

I wish I could get lives back. I lost both of my lives in world 1 when I was trying to learn the mechanics. Ultimately, I got really far (world 5 or 6 maybe? I lost track), but the lack of lives was a bummer. I think it might even be fair if the end world bosses always offered you one life as a loot option. So it's recoverable a bit. I would settle for a chance at a life, even. 

The treasures seemed abnormally bad. I'm not sure if there was a bug and you can only get world 1 treasures, but I would be in world 4 getting sand and 6 gold. Maybe that's intended? But it didn't feel good. 

I'm not sure what the solution to this is.. But the AI ships outclass your ship pretty quickly. And I see why that is, I think. I wasn't particularly struggling against their better ships using my human brain, but it was kind of a bummer to see them with 60 missiles and shields when I had pea shooters. Even if it turns out that's pretty balanced. Shrug, just an observation. 

Overall, definitely my game of the jam so far. Extremely well done. 

Developer(+2)

WOW! Thanks for your feedback!

I totally agree that the game needs a proper tutorial, I just ran out of time. Totally hear you that the tutorial text can'y really be differentiated from the normal text.

Definitely could use some quality of life to make editing your island easier instead of having to start from scratch as well.

Regaining lives lost should also be in the game. I was thinking of having the boss drop a life, but again didn't have time to implement.

I'm gonna look into the treasure drops, probably a bug in there that gives low tier blocks.

Enemy ships are fairly hard due to the unfortunate reason that they have more firepower and spam you. I'm thinking of making a change where you can only have a limited number of weapons, maybe 3 to start and increasing by 1 each map so the it takes more skill rather than just spam them to death. And I totally agree that the AI isn't very smart right now. But with these changes, I will probably have to create a new and better enemy whose strategies may even evolve (run a quick strategy evolution to determine how they are going to play).


Im glad you enjoyed the game and I'm gladder with all of the feedback you left. It's really encouraging!

Submitted

This one was surprising! Felt kind of FTL-ish in terms of the branching map and two ships battling against eachother with weapons on timers. It's definitely worth continuing this one, so improved art and refined mechanics and you would certainly have something!
The UI was a bit confusing, I didn't figure out how to attach my new cannon that I got on my second fight (a !! fight, was super challenging for early game but it felt great to succeed). If there was a way to keep all the available things on the same menu, it would have been a lot clearer, and I wouldn't have struggled as much. I figured it out before the penultimate battle when I got a second engine.

Developer(+1)

Thanks! I also took quite a bit of inspiration from FTL while making this (Slay the Spire was the other one).

Great idea to keep all the items on one menu. It would definitely make the building less confusing and also easier since you don't have to switch back and forth to find the things you need.

When you mentioned refined mechanics, what exactly were you thinking though? Could it be more along the lines of moving the weapons into more distinct roles with room for strategy and counter play? I would  love to hear your thoughts and ideas on how to go about doing this better.

Thanks once again for your feedback! It means a ton to me, especially in the early development of this game.

Submitted

Well, there are a lot of things that could be done.  There's a lot of room to expand your core game. Here are some ideas off the top of my head, feel free to accept or reject any of it.

  • Room for more interesting weapons. Right now all the weapons I saw would fire in straight lines. A weapon may fire in an arc and be able to hit the top of the island.  Or weapons that target specific tiles and have slight homing.
  • The intro suggests people live on these islands, Having population could be a possible mechanic. Population could effect the cooldown timers, if you have a lot of people things go more quickly. Having a block of your island blown off could lose some population. People could be something that you find in events on the map. People could also act as raiding parties to the other island.
  • FTL had lots of story wrapped up in its map. Story events could lead to fights where you have the choice to engage or not, crew, various weapons and items for your ship. More story events give players a reason to replay.
  • FTL had a bunch of unlockable ships that changed up the play style. Made he want to keep replaying to unlock them all and explore how they changed things up. Would be a good idea to explore.
  • Fuel that limits how much you can explore of the map, and becomes a resource.

You've got a fun core game that's relatively unique, but it's short and relatively simple right now. There's a lot of room for it to grow into something that people would want to keep returning. Have fun with it!

Developer(+1)

Wow! Thanks for putting all of this down. 

Different kind of weapons are definitely on my radar of things to add in. You will find some mortars, rail guns and penetrating plasmas, wind to blow projectile back and ion weapons that go through shields as you go throughout the game though. Ido have to work on the game balance to make it less harsh and punishing though, since some player never got around to seeing these things.

I love the idea of population. Having different species could also get interesting and then maybe making them work around in different places could be cool as well.

With regards to the story, I really really wanted to have events in this release, but I ran out of time. The unknown points on the map were supposed to be more of the story aspect and from there add in little story elements to normal locations. I totally agree the story point give players a reason to play, since they would be discovering the story as they went along over different runs.

Speaking of different runs, starting islands would be a cool way to reward the player for progressing in difficulty. Im thinking of trying to get a way to reward the player at the end of a run with an item or block that would get added to every preceding run. 

Fuel is something that I have played around with. At first, my idea for fuel was to explore the map. But then I created a linear map where you cannot go downward. This eliminated the need for fuel. So then naturally, I added fuel into the battle. You had fuel tanks that would store fuel and replenish every battle, but this made the game awful and not much fun. So I just removed fuel completely. I also was thinking of ammunition as a resource, but I didn't go through with it. From the sounds of it, it seems like it would be better to have more permanent resources that persist outside the battle.


Thanks so much again for taking the time to write all of this out. I really appreciate it. 

Submitted

Cool! Well good luck on expanding it!

the beginning is kinda harsh, but it gets more interesting in late game.

Developer

Thanks! I'm considering moving up all the cooler items like shields earlier in the game. My biggest worry was that there would be too much information overload in the beginning with having to learn about energy and energy systems.

The beginning is very harsh. I have been working on tweaking the generation of them to be a little under the difficulty curve to start things off. I may have to redesign the way I'm generating them though, since sometimes in harder levels you might find enemies that have sand and other weak blocks.

Thanks for your feedback! Need as much of it as I can to help me move forward.

Submitted

Game is very good.  I like the implementation of the Slay the Spire style map.  Everything is really polished, just overall well done.

Developer

Spot on! I took inspiration right from Slay the Spire(though I haven't yet played it, just seen others) for the map. It took some time to figure out how to make something like that.

Glad you enjoyed it!

Submitted

WHOA.

I never thought a game this good could be created during a game jam.

1 thing though:  I recommend making pausing. I pressed Esc, and instead of pausing, I lost all of my progress. Which is quite a bummerb, since I was already in the second world.

You should 100% turn this isto a full game.

My arousement has not limit!

Developer

I am so sorry about that you lost your progress Pausing the game and saving games are right up next on my Todo list. 

I'm really loving making this game and i think i will stick with it post jam for some time. 

Thanks for your support and feedback!

Developer

The game had a massive UI scaling bug that has now been fixed. Sorry about that for those of you who experienced it.