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A jam entry

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A relaxing 'endless runner' atop a Möbius strip.
Submitted by LadTy with 12 hours, 58 minutes before the deadline

Results

CriteriaRankScore*Raw score
Aesthetics#54.9124.912
Feel#683.9473.947
Overall#1193.6883.688
Overall#1673.5963.596
Innovation#1783.4213.421
Theme#3842.5612.561

Ranked from 57 ratings. Score is adjusted from raw score by the median number of ratings per game in the jam.

How does your submission match the theme?
TLDR:
[space/enter] = jump (with small speed boost​) + doublejump​
Fastest phase (glowing 'goblet') = by jumping, you leave yourself powerups on the Mobius strip for your next lap​
Powerup = boost + remove obstacles nearby​
Highlighted stairs = your 'progress'/'speed', you gradually speed up until you reach the top, you slow down when you hit an obstacle
Obstacles = block path (if you run into them) or boost you (if you jump on top of them)
Goal = relaxation... No score, no ending, no external rewards. Sorry to those who seek that in a game ;)

I tried to give more functionality to the one input in the game, not only by incorporating classic speed boost + doublejump, but also connecting it with the weirdness of Mobius strip in the later phase, were you also drop powerups for yourself (your next lap) by jumping. You can also use the objects that block your path to your adventage, by using them as trampoline. Plus some additional information is encomposed in the 'environment' by highlights, as well as height encoded in the colors (so you know when going down or uphill which varies the speed) - so that every part of the presentation has some use to it.

Third-party resources
Unity 3D
- ProBuilder - editor plugin for modelling directly inside Unity
- ShaderForge - editor plugin, a node based shader editor for quick shader prototyping
- MasterAudio - for including sound and music to the game
- FXPro - postprocess effects which I had to use, since built-in Unity postprocesses had visual glitches in the resulting image :( Used mainly for bloom+vignette effects/color tweaks
- SFX (due to not enough remaining time) were picked from the pack "Gamemaster Audio - Pro Sound Collection" (not the ingame music though)

Contributors
Apart from the aforementioned used resources, everything in the game (shaders, models, code, music) was made for this jam by myself.

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Comments

Lovely game! I included it in my Game Maker Toolkit’s Game Jam compilation video series, if you’d like to take a look. :)

It's amazing! But really I was  waiting for ending for some time when  reached the final circle.

What a beautiful sight to behold. Makes no sense as a platformer but I was too stunned by beauty to care. Here is why it doesn't/probably wont ever work as a platformer. 1. The goal of platformers are to get to the end, if the level is a endless loop then there never is an end or at the very least if there is one there is no way of knowing if you are getting closer to it. 2. since you can't know what is on the upcoming section until it flips over that means you don't have enough time to prepare yourself from what is about to come up. 3. Even if you know exactly what is coming up because of the warped nature of the level it is near impossible to predict where you will land especially considering the variance in speed and if you are making a platformer predictable jump arcs are a must. I think the slow and contemplative nature of these graphics would lend themselves better to the puzzle genre. Here is what I propose: rather than a newly generated map after each spin have it be one constant map throughout the level. You already have tiles so it would be perfect for a tile based puzzle game. Here are some mechanics that would work well in this format. You could have cracked tiles that after walked on disappear. You could have blocks that you can push around then if the blocks that you push around look just like the ones you walk on you could have a mechanic where if you jump on a block that you have been pushing around you can push it into the ground such that on the side you are on it is flat but if you keep walking around the strip you will find that you pushed what used to be the floor up such that you can now use that as a block. But in order for this mechanic to be necessary it means that it shouldn't be possible to push a block all the way around the strip so there could be walls too.  If the walls are only 1 block high then you can jump on top of them just like the block and if they are a certain color you can ground pound them onto the other side too. But if they are 2 blocks high then the player can't jump over them. Then there could be a tile that if you jump on it then it flips you around to the other side. I could really go on all day about the puzzle potential of this game. If you want to hear more about how this works let me know

I didn't notice some stuff you state in the description but definitely is fun and relaxing. Aesthetic is amazing and maybe some light semblance of a challenge like getting collectibles as the goal could work as another mode. Nothing too crazy hard, just something that doubles both as a playground and a goal. Really cool!

(+1)

This game is an audiovisual marvel. The gameplay is simple, but effective. I really like the sense of speed you get. The bounce pads were also interesting as both an obstacle and something you could get a boost off of, contributing to the dual purpose design. The game is just a really relaxing experience done incredibly well. Good job!

(+1)

I think it's safe to say you won the Aesthetics category. The ambient music, the stunning visuals, the uniqueness of the Mobius strip, everything about the game comes together to make a beautiful experience.

...Except, in my opinion, the gameplay. I couldn't get a good flow going because I felt like the game was actively trying to punish me. I can't count the number of times I jumped on a launch pad only to land directly in front of another one with no time to react, losing any speed boost I could have earned. And that's when the game allows me to jump on the bounce pads at all, instead of landing just short enough to miss them but not enough to jump over it (admittedly this is a personal problem, but the fact that it occurred with such regularity just left a sour taste in my mouth).

Developer (Edited 2 times)

It is not 'your personal problem', I sure know that it is something that needs to be addressed in a game. I felt it too  a bit and obviously I spent a lot of time in the game to have a better feeling abound the jumps, ergo for another person it must be 10x that. It sure is something that has no place when you are aiming for a flow feel I aimed with this game. It also is the reason I choose doublejump instead of other 'side effects' (like dash etc) for the jump, using that you can prevent situation like this -most of the time-. It is still not good enough for potential release or anything, I fully understand that it can very well break the experience/feeling/mood I tried so hard to evoke. It just couldn't be tuned up more with all other tasks at hand within the 48 hours, I couldn't make the flow perfect.

But I'm well aware of the strengths and weaknesses of this particular prototype, and if I picked up on it some day, I sure would first and foremost focus on finetuning these breaking points and enhance the surreal/etheric/(? , not that good with english to find proper words) dynamics the game is working with.

Thanks a lot for the feedback overall, you are sure right, I tried as hard as possible but I can't hide the fact that it's still a 'prototype' with regards to real world production.

(+1)

After all the games that didn't provide instructions, you did, but "Press SPACE" is all the instruction we really needed. As everyone said already, beautiful game with fitting music, interesting mechanics, and well used physics (the path reacting when you land on it.) Also, you're probably one of the only people who had a valid reason to be making his own shaders while under this time limit. Anyway, you had an interesting idea which was very well executed.

(+1)

I started playing and I didn't really find the charm, but as it continued, I was continually impressed with the mechanics and how they worked together.

Developer

Happened to me in the exactly same way during development :)) Glad you enjoyed it.

(+1)

It's effectively relaxing! In fact, I've rarely seen a runner that much peaceful. The visuals and music are gorgeous!

And I really like the absence of score or goals. I enjoy games that just feels nice to play, put in some mood, and are all about the appreciation of the moment. This is a great philosophy. Sometime it's cool to not worry about winning.

Developer

I am so happy that an audience like this is on itch.io as well, thank you! :)

I can't really qualify this as a game since it has no rules or goals, as it fits the criteria more a toy. But still, this toy kept me occupied for like thirty minutes. I believe you meant this as a relaxation tool, and boy did it work!

If you would like to see my submission, please check out Napalm Town: https://itch.io/jam/gmtk-jam/rate/159296

Developer

Yes, it's as you said. The eternal 'what is a game' question, if Dear Esther or The Stanley Parable are games and so on. But it was deliberate to leave the scores and goals out, they did not fit into the feel I aimed for in the end. And yes, it did eat a surprising amount of my time just jumping around as well :D Will give your game a try as well, thanks ;)

Well, it has rules in the sense of your control scheme, how you build up speed, and your interaction with the obstacles. But you're right about there being no explicit goal. That being said, I'd argue that there is an implicit goal of trying to go as fast as possible without bumping into things. This could have been highlighted with points and a high score board, but, as the developer said, that's not the feel they were going for.

(Edited 1 time)

I like visuals, but sometimes its annoying when you cant see obstacles created behind tower.  Another problem is that in higher stages its just impossible to play because of too dense amount of obstacles and gates. I have a question to you about this mobius- How its works? Is this animation generated by script or something?

Developer (Edited 3 times) (+1)

Implementing the mobius part was the biggest challenge I guess, it ate up too much time to be able to address other important stuff. But it sounded interesting for the theme in the start so I went there, maybe not the best idea but thats jams... Anyway, the players moves with some speed (variable, based on boosts and overall progress). The tiles rotate based on players position (0-360deg position, well, more precisely 0-720deg since on mobius strip you have to go 2x around the clock to get to where you started), which was needed so the player is always visible to the camera and does not get occluded by the other side of the moeb strip (must always face up). And then there's the gravity part, which is calculated based on the current 'angle' where the player is, and if he's on the 'top' or 'bottom' part of the strip. And all that is calculated/recalculated from the local coord system to the woorld coord system, because the strip spins around the global Y at an angle to make it more visually pleasing... So yes, the animations are all generated by script, always with regard to where the player currently is so he is always higher than the ground itself even though in the 'mobius' sense he's on the back side.

(+1)

Good job with that. Thanks for answer. Someday i will try to make something similar just to learn. For me generating levels and behavior via code is most interesting thing in game development.

(+1)

Love the visuals! The Mobius strip is mesmerizing.

Developer (Edited 1 time) (+1)

Added (post-jam) a ScreenSaver build for windows, which can be set as a screensaver or just run as an exe to just stare at for a while :D ("M" to mute/unmute, default is muted since it's a screensaver)

Awesome visual! But feels a bit pointless to play,  because  there is no clear progress  markers or goal like score or ability to lose.

Developer (Edited 1 time)

Thank you. The score - that was actually intentional. I feel like not every game needs to award players by scores, score felt out of place considering the feeling the game was evoking in me during the playtesting. There's your progress incorporated in the middle 'sculpture' (glowing stairs/trophy), you gradually go up, and go down a step when you hit something.

At first it seemed like the pyramid was spinning, but now I think the camera is orbiting it.

(+2)

Wow, this is pretty! I also like the gradual addition of mechanics. The only problem is the shifting distance makes it hard to judge the length needed to make the jumps to land on the bounce pads. Being able to adjust the length of jumping somehow could add another element of control (though in only 48 hours you got more done than I ever could).

Developer (Edited 1 time)

Thank you very much. I had a 'slam' as a secondary functionality already implemented, that helped with the timing. But it required another button (or replacing of the doublejump) and there was not enough time left to solve things connected with it, so it was not included in the 48h submission sadly.

(+1)

Bootyfull game! You nailed it!