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Author Topic: Broken Cave Robot  (Read 13644 times)
Matt Thorson
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« on: September 01, 2009, 12:14:59 pm »

Broken Cave Robot was my entry for Ludum Dare 15.



You are a damaged robot with a dying battery and no idea where to go. The map you draw is saved and you begin with it on your next play.

You can download the 48h version from the LD site.  The newest version is much more stable, and includes a few design changes for the better and one new room (basically I worked on it for 2 more hours to polish it up a bit more).

Download v1.03: http://mattmakesgames.com/games/BrokenCaveRobot.zip

« Last Edit: September 01, 2009, 12:25:59 pm by Matt Thorson » Logged

deathtotheweird
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« Reply #1 on: September 01, 2009, 02:10:19 pm »

The map idea is fantastic, and really useful. Although I don't think I've beat the game yet, I've only played it twice. As much as I enjoyed the music in MoneySeize (fav indie game soundtrack of all time perhaps) I love the route you took with this, using a cheap guitar. In the latest build you separated the music from the exe, which made it easier to copy to my game music folder  Beer!

As usual you don't disappoint. Excited to see what else you produce in the future. Cheers.
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Xion
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« Reply #2 on: September 01, 2009, 02:57:23 pm »

The zip file is empty? Sad
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Matt Thorson
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« Reply #3 on: September 01, 2009, 02:57:47 pm »

The zip file is empty? Sad

No it isn't!  You may have tried to download while I was uploading.
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Therum
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« Reply #4 on: September 01, 2009, 04:45:59 pm »

I only got to play this once yesterday, but I really, really loved it. The music, and the way the graphics look, and the floaty controls sort of combine into this really awesome aesthetic that I really, really liked.

The map thing didn't appeal to me - not sure why. I sort of wish it was just a standard Metroid-style map (even though that wouldn't work with this layout) just because that's what I'm familiar with - it's a cool mechanic, but I hate drawing, is what I'm trying to say I guess.

Also didn't like seeing a power up and being all "oooh, a power up" and then it ended up being another set of Climbing Gloves even though I'd gotten them already from somewhere else.

Everything else I love though. Going through entrances to find myself back at the starting room was sort of a mindfuck and that really made the game even better. Don't know if I'll ever beat it, but I'm going to enjoy just playing it over and over again exploring, I think.
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Curseman
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« Reply #5 on: September 02, 2009, 02:40:46 pm »

Does this game have an ending?  I think I've explored the whole cave, but I'm not sure.  Are the gems just kind of a scoring item?  I certainly hope that they don't make you win the game by collecting them all, but I suspect that that might be the case.

Also didn't like seeing a power up and being all "oooh, a power up" and then it ended up being another set of Climbing Gloves even though I'd gotten them already from somewhere else.

Multiples of the same powerup make that ability stronger.  In the case of gloves, it improves your climbing speed.
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Therum
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« Reply #6 on: September 02, 2009, 02:50:45 pm »

Oh, huh. I noticed that with the flashlight but I didn't notice with the gloves. Thanks.
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Xion
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« Reply #7 on: September 02, 2009, 05:07:08 pm »

yay it worked.

This is vurray nice-ah. Haven't beat it yet - I'm assuming there's an end.
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Triplefox
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« Reply #8 on: September 03, 2009, 10:43:15 pm »

I've collected 14 items and 39 gems. I'm getting flashbacks to Pitfall... presumably there's a solution for collecting everything? Or was that asking for too much in 48 hours?
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pyabo
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« Reply #9 on: September 08, 2009, 10:29:27 pm »

I'm also wondering if there is an escape from this cave.  I'm starting to lose hope.

SPOILER WARNING...


I find a few things significant... First, the glowing blue orbs.  What is their purpose?  I have activated all three that I've found so far, and seen no effect.  Second... the hardest part of the cavern to get to (requries gloves, jet pack, and big jumps) has nothing in it except... more gems.  WTF?  I was certain I had found the exit until I saw this.  Sad

Third, and maybe I am just smoking crack here, BUT... it's interesting that the game is called "Broken Cave Robot" and not "Broken Robot Cave."  The naming implies that the protagonist is either a Cave Robot (so he's stuck?) or is traversing a Broken Cave.  Maybe I'm going out on a limb here.  <shrug>

Would love to hear from anyone else playing this game.  I have a fairly extensive map on paper at this point, and more in my head.
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Triplefox
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« Reply #10 on: September 08, 2009, 11:24:32 pm »

Curiosity got the better of me so I decompiled the game to answer our questions. There is no win condition. I counted(by hand) 67 gems and 17 items. I suspect that a perfect game is either impossible or close to impossible, though if it were done tool-assisted, who knows?
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Matt Thorson
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« Reply #11 on: September 09, 2009, 09:11:37 am »

On whether or not is possible to escape the cave: no comment.

On the title being a bit backwards: that's intentional Smiley I wanted the player to doubt what exactly the "Broken" is referring to.

I have some ideas for a sequel I might do eventually, but I don't want to add anything more to this game so I'm going to stop updating it (except if there's bugs).  I'd like to preserve it as it is now because I like the things it expresses (to me).
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pyabo
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« Reply #12 on: September 09, 2009, 10:21:47 pm »

Matt, you are infuriating.  Smiley

Could you perhaps give us a hint about the blue orbs?

This is by far the most time I've spent with a game since Team Fortress 2.  Awesome game... all the more amazing that it happened in 48 hours.  This is also the first game since Bard's Tale that I've had to bust out the graph paper.  (20 years?)  I have a pixel-accurate map of about half the cavern so far.

Some suggestions: the key for dismissing certain dialogs and quitting the game could be different.  Possibly... and this is somewhat questionable... why are the cavern walls and the darkness the same color?  I would think that you could easily make the cavern itself a different color/graphic and still maintain the same atmosphere and gameplay, but the presentation itself would be less confusing.

I wish I could vote for the LD competition.  Winner hands down.
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Loren Schmidt
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« Reply #13 on: September 09, 2009, 10:30:10 pm »

Oh, oh my god, this is the most OCD inducing game ever. :D

I am now on a quest to get a tile perfect map of the entire cave system.

Nice work, Matt. This is really atmospheric and complete feeling considering the time limit.
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Loren Schmidt
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« Reply #14 on: September 10, 2009, 12:17:17 am »

Okay, dang. I really need to go to bed :D.

Edit:
It seems that the map's size in tiles is larger than the mapping grid. How dastardly!

Is it true that if all the separate regions of the map were laid out side by side, the passages between them wouldn't all connect and there would be some overlaps?

This is awesome, I'd love to play (or collaborate on?) an expanded version, should one happen.
« Last Edit: September 10, 2009, 11:20:31 am by Sparky » Logged
Matt Thorson
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« Reply #15 on: September 10, 2009, 03:29:07 pm »

Okay, dang. I really need to go to bed :D.

Edit:
It seems that the map's size in tiles is larger than the mapping grid. How dastardly!

Is it true that if all the separate regions of the map were laid out side by side, the passages between them wouldn't all connect and there would be some overlaps?

This is awesome, I'd love to play (or collaborate on?) an expanded version, should one happen.

I'm working on a sequel that takes many of the concepts of this game and fleshes them out much better.  In particular the cartography side of the game is going to be a lot more useful and fun.
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Loren Schmidt
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« Reply #16 on: September 10, 2009, 11:09:33 pm »

Have you thought about showing the player location on the map? I don't know if it would be an improvement- I kind of like drawing the map blind- but it might be nice because it would allow us to keep mapping if we fall down a pit or something and lose track of how far we've travelled. In those situations I often find myself resetting.
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Matt Thorson
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« Reply #17 on: September 11, 2009, 10:31:40 am »

Have you thought about showing the player location on the map? I don't know if it would be an improvement- I kind of like drawing the map blind- but it might be nice because it would allow us to keep mapping if we fall down a pit or something and lose track of how far we've travelled. In those situations I often find myself resetting.

I'm debating a few improvements to the map system.

I don't like the idea of showing player position on the map though, because this enforces a scale on the player.  Best-case scenario every player's map is unique even in scale.

Also: I like the idea of the player not being exactly sure how far they've gone and having to estimate.
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pyabo
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« Reply #18 on: September 11, 2009, 03:39:46 pm »

Agree with Matt here... that's part of the challenge of the game.  For me, it's a big part of the fun, I think, specifically because it evokes the retro PC games I loved as a teenager.

The mapping tool itself though, I found pretty useless.  It's all pen and paper for me.

You're not going to give me a hint about the orbs?  Concerned

Here's my revised thoughts and spoilers in tiny font: The orbs do nothing.  At least, nothing I've been able to decipher.  Definitely hit all three in a single game and nothing seemed to happen.  I believe I've been everywhere now, with the possible exception of exploring the whole roof of the Giant's Tub.  There seems to be no exit.
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deathtotheweird
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« Reply #19 on: September 11, 2009, 06:37:39 pm »

Glad to hear you're making a sequel, or so.

If you're going to make it more arcade-y then you should do it in Flash. I was thinking you could do multiple "zones" that would be roughly the size of each one in the current game. Don't want the maps too big, would cause a bit of frustration and confusion. It would be fun with various designed zones though (ice cavern, volcano themed, etc). Time limits would be fine..but an exit would be great too. That would help for re-playability. Just a few suggestions, take them with a grain of salt, of course.
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