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A jam entry

Spirit RoverView game page »

Help a lonely mars rover reach its destination
Submitted by Sebastian Lague (@SebastianLague) with 41 minutes, 28 seconds before the deadline

Play game

Visit Spirit Rover's game page

Results

CriteriaRankScore*Raw score
Overall#14.6504.650
Visuals#14.7504.750
Fun#24.3754.375
Audio#34.2004.200
Innovation#44.4254.425
xkcd-ness (how well it matches/interprets the comic)#64.5754.575

Ranked from 40 ratings. Score is adjusted from raw score by the median number of ratings per game in the jam.

Link to xkcd comic / 'what if' article the game is based on
https://xkcd.com/695/

Please list any pre-made art/music/other assets that you used.
Wind and sand sound effects.
Rock texture.
xkcd-style font.
Music generated at jukedeck.com

Team size

1

Team's social media links:
https://twitter.com/SebastianLague

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Comments

(Edited 1 time) (+1)

This is a game I would have loved to make. Awesome job! 

Developer

Thanks :)

Hello Sebastian,

Thank you for sharing source code with us. I am a fairly new developer so it is great to examine other good developers code styles. When I download and open it in Unity, meshes are missing. There is a prefab problem i think ? How can I manage to work this out ? Could you please help me ?

Developer

Hi, I'm afraid I'm not sure what's going on. I downloaded it again and it opened fine for me. What version of Unity are you using/any warning or error messages showing up in console when you open?

Unity 2017.2

Thank you for your reply. I am using Unity 2017.2

Developer

It's possible that you need to have Blender installed, as I imported the .blend files directly instead of exporting to .fbx. If it's worth the trouble, you can download Blender here: https://www.blender.org/ and then try reopening the project.

Thank you again but i already have blender installed. I think this is a import/export package issue. But i couldn't figured out yet.

Hi Sebastian,
I opened models with Blender and made blender for default .blend opener. And then I opened Unity-Open and select the file path for assets it worked. I played like 1 hour and it was worth it. Just one suggestion, i will try to add a checkpoint system after i study your code. Thank you again. Have a nice day :)

(+1)

This is a great game with an excellent interpretation of the original comic. That simple little terminal was brilliant! I really love programming in games, this one brought back memories of writing turtle programs in MS Logo at school. It also had great graphics and sound, the rover model was amazing and little touches like the motion of the sun at the beginning made the whole experience so polished. Definitely the most polished and complete game of the jam.

I only found two issues: the way the player is sent back to the start every time the code is re-run and the lack of deterministic physics making certain moves unreliable. The first could be solved with some sort of simple rewind mechanic but the second is harder to fix in the time allotment of a game jam. However, it might be possible to write some simple deterministic physics since the rover basically moves in 2D across a height map. Neither of these issues are critical though.

I also want to say that I used your RPG character tutorial to model, rig and animate the bird in my entry so I want to thank you for making such a great set of tutorials! Without them I wouldn't have been able to make any 3D models at all.

Developer

Thanks for the excellent feedback! I'm happy my tutorials were useful to you :)

(+1)

I had a lot of fun playing your game well done. The polish makes the slow pace feel good, instead of boring.

2 things I would like to say:

First: Did I get the record  if I did it in 7 steps? A leader board would have been really good.

Second: Just mentioning it if you didnt notice, the little robot is moving a little different everytime.

Developer

Thank you! I'm aware the physics is a bit inconsistent (and sometime hugely so in cases where you hit a rock). Sorry for any frustration caused by that, I realize it's a pretty major flaw in the game. 7 is very impressive! I've been keeping an informal 'highscores' linked on the game page here: https://pastebin.com/JNEeYMnV Someone else has managed a 7, although as noted there, it only works some of the time due to aforementioned physics problems. Do you happen to have a record of the commands you gave so I can add you to the list? I did want to add a leaderboard to the game, but quite simply ran out of time.

(+1)

Nah I wasnt frustrated, it was a game made in a game jam after all. I dont expect everything to work ^^
Well mine only worked once, because it involves hitting a rock, and ignoring another by just driving over it.
I dont have the commands anymore, I didnt save them since they only worked once :D

(+1)

Awesome job! Beautiful graphics & audio, and I mostly enjoyed the gameplay—my one complaint is that I wasn't able to plan ahead or see where I was going, so I had to restart over and over again and wait until the rover got to where I was testing my latest code which got a bit tiresome. The fact that I stayed around to do that though stands to my enjoyment of it!

(+1)

I was thinking of doing this same comic for my game so I was interested in what you did. Pretty cleaver, actually teaches some programming logic. The visuals and audio were perfect, even if some were pre-made, they work well together. The thought bubbles were cute and is what really brought it back to the comic that it was based on.

Anyways, my entry is here if peeps want to check it out: https://itch.io/jam/xkcdgamejam/rate/196142

(Edited 1 time) (+1)

Man, that comic is sad. :,( Let's see how you interpret it in your game.

It slightly deviates from the heart of the comic, and focuses more on the opening panels than anything, this game is really good!  The idea of executing commands to control the robot is solid and well-implemented, the 3d space is gorgeous and fully realized, the graphics and colors are simple but effective, and the music is melancholy but beautiful.  I love seeing the things the Spirit Rover thinks throughout the game, and their movement is pretty satisfying as well.  

My main complaint is the level of challenge in this game, which is partially because of how the game itself is framed--hear me out.  At the start of the game, you simply present us with the controls and a goal, and leave us to it.  Because of this, I overused accelerate, left, and right, trying out wait and break once in a while but not much.  Eventually I gave up on the level when I kept failing a turn and looked at the walkthrough, where I noticed the skilled use of wait and brake.  If there had been a tutorial (or heck, maybe even a video) modeling things like wait and brake, I might've actually used it more, but I felt no reason to use it with the information presented to me, nor did I really feel the need to experiment with it (since the game didn't really give me room to do so, because of the level design--it's a tight space).

I understand this is my subjective opinion, but I truly feel that this is a flaw in the game. There no real room or space for the player to experiment with the commands, nor are the commands modeled before the game starts, which made Spirit Rover more challenging than it needed to be.

And it really is a fun, decent challenge, with some interesting tools to utilize to get Spirit to the end.  But if I had been more familiar to those tools, I could have had a lot more fun with it.

Even so, I found this game beautiful, funny, and a nicely challenging.  Thanks for making it. :)

Developer

I do agree with your comment on the 'artificial' difficulty of the game, I should definitely have found the time to make another, simpler level (with much more open space) to begin the game with. Thank you very much for the detailed feedback, and I'm happy you had a good time with it despite its flaws!

(+1)

This looks stellar.  One thing I'm not sure of though, is that the delete and backspace keys don't work for me. So its kind of hard to go back to make corrections to the commands, or am I missing something? Played the web version.

Developer

Thanks! I'm afraid I have no idea why backspace isn't working for you :(

(+1)

Cool idea and very polished! Reminded me of human resource machine! 

Anyway one thing I do want to mention is I'm doing a review of design on the games in this jam so here's a shameless plug to my channel if you want to be notified of the vid when released: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC7Vj46GGL9VMUvd4YTMtjXg

My XKCD game jam analysis is out!

(+1)

Love it. It has a very peaceful atmosphere and great visuals making for a nice challenging game that is very relaxing to play and easy to pick up.  Great job man!

Developer

Thanks, I'm happy you had a good time playing!

(+1)

Very cool concept. Reminds of games like Quadrilateral Cowboy, just in a much slower sense. It is slow, but hey - that's what you expect on a mission to mars. Good work! The visuals, sound, and game play are a solid aesthetic, I can't recommend any improvements as this is 100% solid experience all around. Nice. 

Also I knew I knew your name from Youtube! It was really cool for you do the cross-over with Brackeys. (I'm not rating high because of that - it was a good game without my bias)

Developer

I was worried about the game being too slow-paced to be enjoyable, so I'm glad that didn't kill the experience for you. Thanks a lot for the feedback :)

(+1)

Slower paced games are often scary to make, but I think practically they have their place in development and as a player.  And no problem!