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A jam submission

Shield CommandView game page

Missile Command without the defensive missiles...
Submitted by machinescreen (@machine_screen) — 1 hour, 8 minutes before the deadline
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Shield Command's itch.io page

Results

CriteriaRankScore*Raw Score
Design#2893.3603.360

Ranked from 25 ratings. Score is adjusted from raw score by the median number of ratings per game in the jam.

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Comments

Submitted(+1)

Loved this game, very cool power management mechanic. The biggest problem that got in the way of my enjoyment was the lack of conveyance. Particle effects are all good but more visual representation of the power flow and how full the shields are would help a lot.

In terms of actual design, whilst I loved the game's mechanics in general, the ending was a little confusing; as in from a logical standpoint I should be invincible because the one city has all the power, however the projectiles all target the one building left which wasn't too obvious. Perhaps a more effective approach would be to have the projectiles continue to attack each city (I thought they were meteors which made the targeting confusing) but have each city provide power. That way, if you lose all but one of the cities, you won't have the power to provide for it but the projectile mechanic doesn't change unexpectedly. Or maybe just a way to convey that they only target living cities would help. Or I'm just dumb.

Minor gripes aside, really cool idea executed well. Do you plan on doing anything more complex with this idea?

Developer (2 edits)

Thanks! Yeah, I had originally planned on having a UI element (bar or text) to represent the shield charge level but ran out time to implement it.

If the single remaining city was invincible the game would never end and for simplicity's sake this version is designed to be unwinnable - you will always lose, the only thing that changes is how quickly you lose. I definitely think there's something in having the power available be related to how many cities you have remaining but again there wasn't time to implement a mechanic like that for the jam. Yeah, I agree that the projectiles look too much like meteors in this version - I think changing them to be more obviously artificial would make more sense with the re-targeting mechanic.

Yeah, I think I've got some ideas about how to develop the idea further.

Submitted(+1)

Fantastic game! Simple yet very effective with what the gameplay requires of the player to do. A very polished game!

https://itch.io/jam/gmtk-2018/rate/298998

Developer

Thanks!

Submitted(+1)

Interesting concept, it was fun experimenting with the shields to find the optimal way to do it, protip: the optimal way is not to turn all of them on at once, apparently that only causes death. Eventually I figured out a lasting strategy. Nicely done for only 10 hours!

Developer

Thanks!

Submitted(+3)

Pretty cool, I think one thing to add would be a way to visualize the amount of energy going to a shield so you can see how having all valves open is less effective.

Developer

Thanks. Yeah, I was unsure whether something like that would be spoon-feeding the player too much. I kind of like that players have to discover it for themselves (as you have obviously done).

Submitted

I see what you mean with having the player discover the mechanics, but isn't not showing information detrimental to the gameplay? It creates a brief mystery at first but for the most part the player is just left uncertain and can never really grow because it's harder to judge if what they're doing is wrong.

Developer

Hmmm, I'm unsure. I don't think hidden information is always detrimental to gameplay. I also think that if you're paying attention to the shield visuals it is obvious that opening a single valve to one shield charges it so much quicker than if you've got all the valves open charging all the shields. Maybe the potential player uncertainity you mentioned would be mitigated by adding the UI elements I mentioned in my other response which should make the charge level of a shield and its rate of change more readable.

Developer

KNOWN BUG: Depending on the order in which the cities are destroyed you may find that as you progress valves give power to the incorrect shields which kinda breaks the game. Unfortunately as I identified this bug after the deadline I can't update this version. You can play a version with just that bug fixed here: https://machinescreen.itch.io/shield-command-bug-fixed?secret=fJgZTvjg2ZOwNy3Eqp...