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A jam entry

Life is Full of InspirationView game page »

Submitted by Slug_Overdose with 1 hour, 10 minutes before the deadline

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Visit Life is Full of Inspiration's game page

Results

CriteriaRankScore*Raw Score
Music#103.6923.692
Sound Effects#223.3083.308
Fun#693.0003.000
Humor#801.9231.923
Art#822.6152.615
Graphics#872.4622.462
WTF#1041.6921.692

Ranked from 13 ratings. Score is adjusted from raw score by the median number of ratings per game in the jam.

What INSPIRED this game?
To be honest, I was distracted when the theme was announced, so I caught that it was inspiration, but didn't notice that we could make a game inspired by something. So instead, I made this game about inspiration itself. Players will unlock a series of pictures that my wife and I have taken on our various vacations since getting married. The lesson to be learned is that our lives and the world are full of inspiration; we just have to be willing to look.

List any additional team members here.
I credited my wife in the game's credits screen because she may have taken a few of the photos used. However, she was not involved in the creation of this game at all. I am the only developer.

List the parts of your game you or your team did NOT make. (Pre-existing assets or downloaded content)
The only asset I didn't create was the background theme song, "Acoustic Breeze", by Bensound (https://www.bensound.com/).

Also, for the sake of maintaining 100% transparency, I technically did not make publicly available the photos used until late in the game's development, when I pushed my code to the GitHub repository (https://github.com/SlugGames/LifeIsFullOfInspiration). However, I suspect this is a special exception to the rule, as they were all personal vacation photos on my phone, as opposed to purpose-built game assets.

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Comments

Submitted

Lovely game :) I enjoyed it. I think I played it in just the right setting: dimmed lights in my room, chilled evening, hot cup of tea and just fond memories of someone's life mixed in with some riddles supporting them. It's so simple yet powerful. I couldn't get 6 of the, but I'm also not an native speaker, so I guess that was bound to happen. I did find one or two that were almost like life advice, and less like a riddle so I wasn't too sure what you were refering to. Thanks for making this game and good job!

Developer(+1)

Thanks for the feedback! Yes, unfortunately, I wanted to test the riddles with people beforehand, but I just ran out of time to really work on them. I wrote them late at night in the middle of the jam. I would definitely try to focus on the quality of riddles if I came back to this.

Submitted

You know what? Things don't have to be perfect. I don't actually think you have to get back it, if I'm totally honest. It is what it is and it's beautiful in it own perfect little way. I would just keep the magic, even if not all riddles are easy/ totally solvable. By the way, what was the water related riddle? I need to know so bad! I was thinking of things like canals or pools, puddles, nothing worked! Aaarrrggghh.. :P

Developer

There were a few based on water. Just to keep the answers off of this page in case people don't want to see them, here's a link to all the riddles on GitHub:


https://github.com/SlugGames/LifeIsFullOfInspiration/tree/master/Life%20is%20Ful...


You can view all the java files in those directories to see all the acceptable answers. Also, they were not case sensitive, as the solution text field automatically converts to lower case.

Submitted

Of course, thanks. 

Fun and challenging, I loved it! <3

Developer(+1)

Thanks for the comment! It's definitely not everyone's type of game, so glad you liked it!

Submitted

This game is so wholesome. I can really feel the love put into this. Its a celebration of life and that is beautiful.

Developer(+1)

Thanks for the comment! Yeah, my original idea was for some kind of action game, but when the theme was released, I felt like I should do something more light-hearted and happy.

Submitted

That was fun, definitely had some trouble solving a few of the riddles, and there are still a few I'm stuck on. The photos are very nice as well :) Radically different from the "norm" as far as games go, which I really like to see.   What did you use to make your game if you don't mind me asking?

Developer

Thanks for the comment! Yeah, honestly, I missed the part of the announcement where Tim said we could make a game inspired by something, so I just made a game about inspiration itself, which pretty much ruled out any of my previous ideas for action games.


As for the underlying technology, I did not use any game engine. I like to say I wrote the game from scratch because it sounds hardcore, but in reality, Java provides a ton of built-in features that make it easy. I used something called JavaFX (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/JavaFX), which is actually a standard feature of the JRE, so it requires no external dependencies.  It's intended to be a replacement for the old Swing/AWT GUI frameworks in Java, but is really so much more than that. It supports audio, video, images, hardware acceleration, 3D, animation, special effects, CSS styling, and all kinds of other things that go way beyond the traditional enterprise GUI application. In some ways, it's actually comparable to a very basic game library. If you've ever used SDL or SFML, it can do a lot of the same things as those. All the grids, buttons, sliders, etc., are all standard JavaFX features. And there's a Scene Builder GUI application that lets you drag and drop components to build up a UI, so that you don't have to do it all in code. It's really quite nice. Unfortunately, it falls into some of the same traps as pretty much everything in Java in general, such as having a high learning curve because the interactions between all the components are somewhat of a dark art. But with enough practice, it's a very capable framework.


One of my favorite demos of JavaFX is this NASA mission control software that they use to find stable orbits around celestial bodies (skip to 52:30 if the link doesn't automatically do that):


Submitted

I'll be honest, I cheated haha.

Developer(+1)

At least I know my project's directory structure is easy to navigate, haha.

Submitted

I am not a native eng speaker but still managed to get some of the answers))) was very happy about it. Loved the music and the voice acting, it creates a nice calm atmosphere

Developer

Very nice! Apparently I made it harder than I thought. That's the problem with riddles. The writer knows the answer before even starting ;) Thanks for your comment about the calm atmosphere, that's definitely what I was going for.

Submitted

jar file is not running, shows error: could not find main class

Developer

Hmm, interesting. What platform are you running on? It ran on all of my systems, so it should definitely have a main class. Which JRE version are you running?

Submitted

java 1.8, Windows 10

also windows file explorer treated it as a zip file, ie. it gave a zip file icon and it just opens the file when I double it. But I have other jars, which gets correct icon and works correctly.

Developer

Very strange, because it was developed with JavaFX 8 on Windows 10, and on my system, the JAR file gets correctly launched by Java as an executable. I also know several other people have been able to successfully run it across several platforms. I did build it with the latest JDK 8 (update 162 if I remember correctly), so maybe you have an older version than that? JAR files are technically just ZIP archives if I remember correctly, so although the extension should be associated with Java, I wouldn't worry about that too much, as it may just be some system setting.


I would start by updating your Java if possible. However, I do recommend the installers if you're having trouble. I created them specifically for instances like this, because they package the correct JRE with them, so there should be no need to worry about compatibility. I know many people don't trust random indie game installers, but in this case, it is providing a convenience over the JAR file itself.

Submitted

Cool game! gotta admit, I'm a little too stupid to play it though XD 

Developer(+2)

Actually, it's not just you. At first I thought maybe it was a language barrier for some people. But I got a native English speaker who should have been able to get all the references to try it, and he gave similar feedback, saying it took him a lot of tries to guess some of them. So I would probably need to rewrite them to optimize the experience. Admittedly, I wrote all the riddles at like 2 am in the middle of the jam, so I was quite tired, haha.

Submitted

lol Ah I see. it's still a great concept though! good job :) 

Submitted

Very enjoyable! Thanks for submitting, great distribution coverage!

Developer

Thanks for playing! I also wanted to package for Linux, but that's easier said than done. I figure if people game on Linux, they probably don't mind just downloading the jar file, lol.

Submitted

The poetry was good. Some riddles felt a little too vague to get the answer you had chosen. Synonyms for that answer may be a good idea. Music felt very appropriate, and at first I thought you were perhaps inspired by 'Life is Strange' because of that. Needs more goals and/or riddle sets to become something you might play regularly. (Perhaps if it could connect to a 'riddle server' online or something to get new daily riddles?)

Developer(+1)

Thanks for the feedback! I hadn't even thought of a riddle server with daily riddles. That could certainly extend the game going forward.

Submitted

I got to your game page and as far as my first impression goes,  it's pretty good. I like the fact that you have many downloads for different OS. But when I downloaded the game(to be honest I don't appreciate music in background it kinda hurts my head a bit) I didn't how the window resized yet the buttons didn't. Also the buttons are kinda small and plain I mean they don't have good visual stiles to them. When it comes to the actual game though, I'm sorry but it's not that entertaining I mean I can imagine how people who like to solve riddles would play the game yet your game just presents a riddle. It doesn't feel like there is an actual goal besides solving riddles. Your game design knowledge and experience is good but the game idea wasn't the great in my opinion.

Developer

Thanks for the feedback! Yes, resizing UI elements is certainly something I wanted to do, but I literally was working on polishing the game to the last minute before the deadline. I actually focused more on supporting small screens and windowed mode with things like scroll bars in case the text area got too big, but unfortunately, for big screens with high resolutions, the buttons will appear very small. As for the music, there's a music volume slider in the settings menu.

Submitted (1 edit)

And I had to look through game files to find answers for some riddles. Could not guess them myself but wanted to see the pictures :P

Developer

Thanks for the feedback! I'm actually glad you cheated, because then at least you got to trigger the updated text and voice saying "Thanks for Playing!" That was a last-minute addition that I was hoping would increase the level of polish.

Submitted

This game is basically a crossword but with no crossing of words. Music fits the overall theme, those riddles vary in difficulty and the writing is pretty good. I liked the voice promts on wrong and right guesses, but I think it would be even better if you voiced over the whole thing.

Developer

I thought about voicing the riddles, but I just didn't have time unfortunately. It's something I'll consider adding in the future. Thanks for all your feedback.