For the 34th triannual Ludum Dare, developers were once again tasked with creating a new game in 48 (or 72) hours. We’d like to highlight some of the Stencyl-made games we found interesting and some of the takeaways from those games.
Hearty’s Quest — LetMeThink
Hearty’s Quest is a turn-based puzzle game that condenses your typical four-way movement down to only two buttons. The player rotates their character with one key and moves forward with the other. Not only does moving take up a turn, but rotating does as well, which makes things interesting once enemies are thrown into the mix.
The animations are pleasant and make the game feel lively. It goes to show how some simple polish—which in this case is easily achieved using Stencyl’s tweening blocks—can go a long way.
Tree Life — Tooichi
Tree Life is an excellent example of how easily different meanings can be derived from video games. Here, you have the option either to tend to a tree, or leave it alone. That’s it.
To the player, the tree could be symbolism for someone or something in his or her life. After playing the game, and exhausting both options, what sort of symbolism did you apply to the tree? What meaning did you derive? Any at all? Interestingly, the author claims that the game doesn’t make much sense and that they originally intended for it to have a deeper meaning, and despite that, I got something out of the experience—likely something the author never thought of. As game developers, it’s very difficult to implant thoughts into the heads of our players, and every rule and piece of content we have in our games contribute to the broader interpretation, and individual interpretations can vary based on factors completely out of our control. It’s a lot to think about!
Panda & Squirrel — merrak
Panda & Squirrel is a game about a panda who likes to go fast and a squirrel who loves to fly. In tandem, you get to go fast while flying while the foreground trees whirl by, which is especially satisfying. The graphics in this one are cute as well.
Asteroid Rage — Six9ty
Asteroid Rage may not be the most polished game, but the consequences of firing being mapped to the movement keys are interesting. You may attempt to move out of the path of an oncoming asteroid, but by doing so you shoot the asteroid and divert it in a different direction, possibly causing you to have to quickly restrategize in order to avoid collision.
Control Two Buttons — ceosol
This game has an interesting concept where you interact with the world through contextual menus, like the ones on an operating system. It would be very neat to see the idea explored further.