GMC Jam Love is Life

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rui.rosario

Guest

This is my Jam entry for the Post-Apocalyptic GMC Jam #1, where the theme was EVERYBODY IS DEAD. Please provide your feedback! Every asset was done by me, that's the main reason why the game is really simple :p
[01/08/2016 - 01:59] Made some half-ass music in LMMS for the game (apologize in advance for the quality). It's late, so I'm going to wrap up the entry. If I have the time, tomorrow morning I'll try to add some voice overs for the intro (the last thing I really wanted to put in the game), but I won't make any promises.

[01/08/2016 - 00:03] Officially the only thing missing is audio! Now comes the hard part....

[31/07/2016 - 23:46] Finished making the highscore persistent!! About the mechanical keyboard: it's really cool, but I'm going to have to get used to it since it is on US layout, and I'm used to Portuguese keyboards

[31/07/2016 - 23:22] Back from going out and eager to try out my new mechanical keyboard :D nothing better to try it out than programming the last bit of my game

[31/07/2016 - 13:41] Only three things missing now! Persist the highscores, create an instruction screen and audio!

[31/07/2016 - 13:22] Ok, lunch is over and a few more tweaks are in! Enemies now increase their speed as well, and I've adjusted the different spawn ratio.

[31/07/2016 - 12:48] Higshcore, dynamic difficulty and some other tweaks done! Just a few more tweaks and it'll be finished, then it's full-on audio focus.

[31/07/2016 - 12:04] Finished the core gameplay for the God mode xDD Going to start working on the highscore system.

[31/07/2016 - 11:50] Back to the Jam, let's see if I can make it on time! Going to begin working on the God Mode gameplay

[31/07/2016 - 00:45] Tweaked a few things, intend to finish it up tomorrow without any major problem, since this is a simple entry (haven't used GM for actual game dev in a while).

[31/07/2016 - 00:33] Finished the bare core of the first game mode gameplay,

View attachment 1663

[30/07/2016 - 23:45] Started structuring the actual game screen, so far I have this:

View attachment 1661

[30/07/2016 - 22:33] Got back to Jamming! Changed the Easter Egg a bit, to something more meaningfull

[30/07/2016 - 20:43]
Worked a bit on the graphics and actual game mechanics, but now I'm gonna stop for a few hours to rest my head.

[30/07/2016 - 19:58] Finished the look on the Main Menu! Even added a little easter egg :p


[30/07/2016 - 19:18] Came back from dinner. Time to start working on the main screen

[30/07/2016 - 19:04] Finished the game logo!


[30/07/2016 - 18:43]
After a small break I'm going to start working on the game's logo, for the main screen.

[30/07/2016 - 18:31]
The intro sequence is finally done! Bad quality gif:


[30/07/2016 - 17:04] Halfway through the intro! Taking a bit longer than what I thought it would, but I think it's coming on reasonably ok.

[30/07/2016 - 15:56] Going to restart working on my Jam entry!

[30/07/2016 - 02:38] Prepared the first sprite for the intro screen:

Going to sleep for now since I'm very tired... will keep at it later today.

[30/07/2016 - 01:59]
Finished writing the intro text for my entry! The intro is:
In a world of ever-growing technology...
People start isolating themselves more and more...
Which leads to a deteoration of the heart...
Because unity and love is what keeps us alive.
People stop caring and slowly fade away into oblivion.
Feelings wither and people begin to die inside.
The world as we know it is dead, and only you have the power to revive it!

(intro subject to change)

All times GMT +01:00
 
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nvrogers

Guest
Reposting my jam review here, sorry for the semi-necro bump:


Tension is a fairly fundamental part of the fast-paced, semi-puzzle genre that Love is Life belongs to. It helps to keep what would otherwise be a mundane action interesting by constantly raising the stakes and demanding skilled play. Tetris (one of the first in the genre) is a masterpiece of tension. The actual gameplay is nothing more than stacking blocks, but ever-increasing speed and the fact that even the smallest of mistakes can result in disaster keeps the game engaging. Love is Life is based on the similarly simple task of matching heart shapes, but due to a host of poor design decisions it lacks the tension it desperately needs to be engaging.

Before I get to the design issues, I need to mention that, for all of its failings, Love is Life has style to spare. The intro establishes a clear tone, addresses the theme in an interesting way, and lays out the art style of the rest of the game. The minimalist white and red outlines are visually striking and, intentionally or not, thematically appropriate. However, the font did not fit in with the rest of the artwork. The animations are surprisingly smooth for a jam game, but I would have liked a few more of them to help improve the somewhat lackluster game feel. More sound effects would have been helpful for the same reason. Overall, though, the presentation is very appealing. The major issues are in the design.

As I mentioned earlier, Love is Life suffers from a complete lack of tension. The easy culprit is the game’s speed. More than one pair of potential lovers seldom appear on screen at once, and the actual movement speed increases at a snail’s pace. But lots of games are exceptionally tense and quite slow (Dark Souls, anyone?). The issue is that slow speed combined with several other factors, one of which being the mundanity of the basic gameplay. It’s putting the square peg in the square hole and nothing more. Its an easy enough problem that you can solve it almost as soon as the problem appears on screen, and then you have to wait about 5-10 seconds so you can solve the same problem again. There is so much time between actually having to do anything in game that I had time to push my chair away from my computer, do a few stretches, and then come back in time to wait a couple more seconds. The game feels so slow not only because of the progression and movement speed, but also the fact that the gameplay is so easy that it makes the game feel even slower. This is also the reason why the music doesn’t fit. It’s an upbeat drum rhythm playing over very little action. Both of these issues are amplified by perhaps the most glaring flaw: the score system. Points function both as score and health, meaning that as the player accumulates points (which is all but guaranteed), the player’s health increases. As a result, the game gets easier as it progresses, and mistakes lose all meaning after about the 5% mark. Simply put, the difficulty curve is backwards. All of these issues taken together cause the game to lack the kind of hectic, stressful atmosphere that makes Tetris a classic. Instead, the gameplay lands with a resounding “meh.”

I don’t mean to be harsh, but the gameplay simply doesn’t accomplish its goals in Love is Life (my criticism applies to both human and god modes). The game does have its saving graces, though. The presentation has a solid foundation and the concept is a goldmine for game ideas. I strongly suggest you revisit both of those in the future, but maybe try some new gameplay.
 

Ax8472

Member
I enjoyed it. Maybe you could add a little something for every couple you get together? Maybe have a few lines pop up at the top at the start of the level, and then whenever you make a couple fall in love, a random letter would appear. Once you get all the letters then the level is complete? The words could spell out simple things at first such as "Love" and "Lust" however when you get to higher, harder levels, you could have them spell out longer words such as "appreciation" and "romance", and because it takes longer to get more letter, there's more chance of people going past without matching up, and you failing the level.

Just an idea?
 
R

rui.rosario

Guest
I enjoyed it. Maybe you could add a little something for every couple you get together? Maybe have a few lines pop up at the top at the start of the level, and then whenever you make a couple fall in love, a random letter would appear. Once you get all the letters then the level is complete? The words could spell out simple things at first such as "Love" and "Lust" however when you get to higher, harder levels, you could have them spell out longer words such as "appreciation" and "romance", and because it takes longer to get more letter, there's more chance of people going past without matching up, and you failing the level.

Just an idea?
Hmm, I'll have to look into that. I haven't touched the game yet because I'm waiting to aggregate all the feedback from the Jam, but I'll look into your idea as well!
 

chance

predictably random
Forum Staff
Moderator
This is an interesting game idea. Sort of a puzzle, I suppose. But the challenge is really more about reflexes and keyboard control. As nvrogers said, there's not much time to act whenever a matching pair of hearts appears. So the real challenge is rapid control and coordination. I'm not particularly good at that, but I managed to join a few hearts.

The graphics were minimal here, but they work fine. Portraying people as hollow outlines goes with your opening premise. And it contrasts well with the red hearts. That said, the size of hearts was unnecessarily small, making it difficult sometimes to spot matching halves. No particular reason for that.

The game's intro was clean and presented fairly well. But the premise seems a bit overly dramatic -- i.e. to claim we're all dying spiritually. Of course, I realize you did that in order to follow the theme of "everybody's dead" -- so that's fine. Aside: sometimes I feel just the opposite. I mean, we're so obsessed with "being connected" these days, that I could use some friggin' privacy. o_O

Theme aside, the gameplay mechanic is interesting. Pushing things around on-screen to form matched pairs is a versatile idea. So I think you could use this idea in lots of different ways for a good casual and/or mobile game.

Overall, this was a good Jam entry. Good use of theme, and an interesting gameplay idea. A few issues, but it has potential. Nice job.
 
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