Okay, so actually, a guy named BoltKey from the Ludum Dare site claims to have gotten over 30k points, and has a screenshot. I believe him, although I was a little confused by his post if he achieved it with a glitch or not. My high score was not glitched at all. But whatever, I do give him the benefit of the doubt. However, I believe I just got the world's first trout:
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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:
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.
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.
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):
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.
I did not press F, because I did not see any instructions to do so. I tried pressing a bunch of keys randomly, but none of them did anything. Perhaps it's because there was no flying tutorial in that download?
Very nicely done! Great puzzle game. It is quite challenging, which in and of itself is not bad, although I recommend reducing the difficulty due to rock obstacles just a tad because it can be frustrating. For example, there was at least 1 puzzle where you had to separate your 2 energy sources horizontally by a certain distance to get them to move around rocks and reach the targets. However, if you created the wrong sized gap, or you accidentally created a vertical gap by bumping into one of the rocks, it was very hard, if not impossible, to correct, and you had to restart, even if you were on your way to solving the puzzle. Reducing this kind of difficulty due to frustration would help create a more enjoyable player experience. However, the bulk of this game is really well done, and I had a lot of fun.
Some of the things in this game feel really weird. For example, holding a gun as Earthworm Jim, but not being able to shoot. And the coins and other drops floating horizontally as well as just dropping vertically. Still, it was pretty fun.
The game is absolutely gorgeous, one of the best looking submissions by far. But the enemy ships are definitely bugged, and also, having to repeatedly move the mouse over and over again is a really bad control scheme, especially for people like me who have their mouse chord in some kind of cable managing desk. It feels like it was designed with gamepads or touch screens in mind more than mice.
I'm sorry, but this game completely lost me. First, it was triggering all kinds of anti-virus warnings, which I kept trying to ignore, but they apparently broke the game's menu, so I had to restart it. And then for some reason I couldn't figure out how to start the game, so I started hitting random keys, and it started. But I had no idea what to do and the game just immediately threw me into a bunch of stuff that killed me. When I checked the controls menu option, everything looked like it was for a gamepad. It may have great gameplay mechanics, but I just have no idea how I was supposed to play.
The shooting itself does feel really good. However, I couldn't really get a grasp on what was going on. Are the bats enemies? Why do they change colors? Why are there so many of them just blocking all the doors and hallways? Why does the 2nd enemy type do so much damage to you the instant you open a door? These are all questions I had as I was playing.
I also had problems getting out of wherever I started. I played the Google Drive version. All I could do was run around. There was no combat or flying or anything. So really, all I can rate are the graphics. Which admittedly are amazing. The running animation is so smooth.
Lol, the art style is so amazing. It reminds me of Rugrats. The game is actually pretty fun. It's very simple, so it wears out quickly, but for what's there, it's not half bad. I could see this being great as a mobile game. I lasted 56 seconds.
Although the menu does instruct the player to find blue boxes, there appear to be very few of them, making it extremely difficult for players to not only progress, but also internalize the fact that they're looking for those blue boxes. You could honestly have a high level of difficulty with less confusion by placing some more boxes and reducing the amount of health they give. Still, the atmosphere created by the music and the visuals is quite amazing. The feeling you create with just simple squares as particles is fantastic.
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.
I didn't realize there were more levels until reading the comments below. This game just feels really unpolished, despite some nice visuals. The car just stopping when you let go of the mouse button is really weird. I like how you incorporated Tim's voice. I could see this developing further into something nice, but for now, it's really rough around the edges.
Windows 10. Correct, it's pixel clear, but there aren't enough pixels, lol. Is it rendering at like a set resolution of 100x100 or something? Because it's not fuzzy in the blurred together sense, but fuzzy as in not nearly enough definition to accurately represent the game's visual concepts in a pleasing way.
Actually, the gameplay options are fine as they are. I meant more along the lines of integrating them into the black text screen, rather than just being some separate OS-styled controls down at the bottom. That way somebody can set it to full screen and be really immersed.
LOL, I never played a "top-down shooter" with melee combat before! This is actually quite fun and unique. I had a good time. There are certainly things that could use tweaking though. Enemies spawn way too quickly (or perhaps more numerously, I'm not sure what triggers they're spawning) and player movement feels very awkward at times, since the speed is quite variable. However, the core combat is pretty good.
I actually like text based games, and this one wasn't too bad. I'm really impressed that you took the time to implement save files, because not many game jam games do, and it's absolutely crucial for a game like this with a lot of reading that people may want to save for later. For being so simplistic, I wish it had a better UI, and perhaps some background music and sound effects. Just because the genre is old doesn't mean recent examples can't be more modern. Even some voice narration would be really nice, although admittedly, that adds a substantial amount of work.
Great puzzle game! It got really tricky at times! It's amazing how quickly the difficulty escalates as you add more cubes, but you did a fantastic job of building the tutorial into the game by making easier levels first.
The game works incredibly well for having been made in a weekend. In terms of the actual layout of the pinball table itself though, there are definitely some problems. Things are placed just right so that the ball ends up right between the paddles way too often. For example, if you charge the launcher all the way up, it'll bounce around for a while and then just fall straight down the middle. If you bounce the ball ever so slightly off the top of the left wall, it goes straight down the middle. And the red/green gate things that I guess you're supposed to toggle 3 of to get a bonus or something, they never seem to really stick. No matter how many times I tried, I would toggle one to green, then it would drop right back down and toggle it to red. They should just stay on green I think. Also, the paddles protrude from the rail just a little too much at the fat end. Either that, or perhaps they are just visually misleading. I had a ball hit that round end hard, and I assumed it would bounce over into the rail, but instead, it just plopped right down into the middle for some odd reason. Basically, the core functionality of the game works incredibly well for a game jam submission, but the actual balance of the pinball table itself could use some adjustment.
I can't tell if the viewport is just super tiny, or if it's because the hallways are so narrow, but this game could really use some zooming in or something, because even playing maximized, it felt like I had to squint to see anything. And that's at 1080p. Somebody on a 4k monitor might find it impossible. The cubes must also move way faster than I anticipated. I was trying to test their movement speed on the 1st one, but I guess I was out of range, because it didn't move. However, as I was moving my flashlight back and forth for a split second at a time, the 2nd cube came from my left and immediately killed me from the dark, meaning it practically teleported while I wasn't looking. And finally, I don't know if you really wanted this game to be a scary horror game, or more of just a stealth game, but your page seems to suggest the former. If you're really trying to scare people, that's when it's worth investing some effort into creating a scary monster or something. Normally for a game jam, I'd understand using cubes and such as substitutes due to the time constraints. But when fear is a core feature of your game, blank cubes just ruin the immersion. If you look at one of the other horror submissions (https://scruffiest-bear.itch.io/it-is-here), you'll see they did almost the exact opposite: the enemies are these freaky looking aliens, but the environments are completely blank flat boxes and walls. And yet when you're being chased by a mysterious alien with bright eyes that wants to kill you, you immediately forget that you're just running around in a primitive rat maze.
Hey, like I said, if you're willing to call it a game of chance, then it's a very good one. In my experience, very few video gamers enjoy a game being presented as a skill game, when it's really down to luck, even if they can influence that luck. Like they may find it enjoyable when they win, but you just know the instant they lose because of bad luck, they're going to hate the game. However, if you lean into the fact that it's a game of chance, and you market it as a funny game to play with close friends and settle bets and stuff, then it's absolutely perfect for that. I could see this being hilarious for streamers if it were online and they were able to host games with their viewers and things like that.