Colornaut

  • Shooter
  • Lyra
  • 4 weeks ago
  • 48th

Description

Colornaut

A ship, bullets, enemies and obstacles. A simple shoot 'em up, right? Except everything is made of a different color and you have the ability to swap the background color. Maybe you'll need one color to see an enemy, but swapping will make other obstacles invisible to you! Thankfully, your bullets have a different colored aura to guide you. Try it out and get to the end!


Controls
  • WASD / ZQSD: Movement
  • Left mouse button: Shoot
  • Right mouse button / Space Bar: Swap colors
  • Escape: Quit the game

Some context

This is my very first game jam. I have picked up GameMaker Studio at the beginning of the month (January 2nd to be precise) and I thought this could help me get better at the game-making process. The theme did not speak to me whatsoever, so I just took the only two ideas I had (color-based puzzle game and "basically" Ikaruga) and went with it.

I really wanted to quit after the first day, because the time constraint would not allow me to fine tune the experience to make something good, but instead just have the idea thrown together on the screen without really exploring it (which is what ended up happening, in my opinion).

Halfway through the second day though, as I was ready to just give up and do something else, I hit a point where all the core mechanics were done, and I felt like I was finally designing a game, instead of just coding some logic. Once I got to that point, the process actually became fun, and I was able to finish this very simple game.

I am just a developer, so there is no music, art, or menus. I end up liking the minimalist feel of this, so I don't even mind that it doesn't have sound. If you want, you can put some track in the background. I was listening to Touhou 7's music during the making of the game, and I thought it fit pretty well.


Anyway, thank you for taking interest in the thing I made. I hope you enjoy it even a little bit!

Feedback
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  • Jupiter Hadley
    Jupiter Hadley Jupiter Hadley 9
    6 days ago

    Very sleek, well made game! I included it in my GM48: Colors are Important compilation video series, if you’d like to take a look. :) https://youtu.be/pzo4of_gRdw

  • FrogWax
    FrogWax FrogWax 5
    3 weeks ago

    I really like the aesthetic and 'painting' things with my bullets. Some interesting mechanics and a pleasing palette to stylize it. Some audio would be great to give this some punch. You've created a great basis for a game here, and it will be interesting to see what you come out with as your game maker skills develop. Great work!

  • trolog
    trolog trolog 3
    3 weeks ago

    Hey, considering you are new to game maker this is pretty good.

    There was some good bullet patterns that would be at home in many bullet hell games.

    Clearly you already know it, but I'll say it:

    • it would have benefited greatly from having sounds, a good site to make your own free sounds (within the rules) is https://www.bfxr.net/

    I found I could keep the game running forever if I just keep swapping non stop as it'll give me health until it maxes out at 10, I ddn't have to avoid bullets or do anything really.

    I also fought that bullets that are yourships color wouldn't hurt you, like in Igkurgi but they do?

    My advice is to use that site to make some sound effects and to keep advancing further with game maker, if you are this far in so quickly you'll be an ace within half a year.

  • Naxos
    Naxos Naxos 3
    3 weeks ago

    Well I turned on the Touhou 7 OST on YouTube and fired this up. It was a great call! Never played Touhou, but it really set a good mood for the gameplay. So much so, that I was confused when the music didn't stop as the game ended!

    I think the idea behind your game was pretty interesting. It reminded me of my entry in a lot of ways, and I share a lot of the sentiments of Croaks feedback. Though I would say that I wanted to understand what was happening a bit better, and I was trying to figure if there was a optimal time to switch colors. In the end, I swapped colors as frequently as possible / needed. It gets really intense toward the end, and I got down to 2 HP at one point!

    I enjoyed the minimalist style and the graphics, albeit it simple, were pleasantly cohesive. It was fun and I appreciated the variety of enemies you added. Given that you've had GMS for less than a month, I'm really impressed! I hope you keep participating in the jams and I want to see what you do next!

  • Croaks
    Croaks Croaks 4
    3 weeks ago

    Hey, it's the first game jam for both of us! And yeah, we need to talk about Colornaut. I laughed reading that the theme did nothing for you, because I can relate to that, but then you took an inspiration like Ikaruga and somehow turned it on its head. This is a completely different game.

    My understanding of Ikaruga (one of my favorites) is that it's a bullet hell that uses color switching for damaging enemies effectively, safety by absorbing like-color bullets, and charging up power blasts. This doesn't do any of that.

    Instead, the loop here is using a color switch to find enemies, see (and dodge) bullets, and heal. This game isn't about being smart, it's about survival.

    Can we take a minute to appreciate the incredibly smart design decisions you made?

    First off, the color switch cycle being one-way makes it so that I don't worry about what color should come next. I'm told what will come next and I just have to deal with it and focus on surviving.

    Second, the walls do double the damage of bullets. That tells me not to focus on enemies, I can afford to fire a bit blind as long as I'm dodging walls to survive.

    Third, that I heal by switching. That encourages me to not think, just switch. I already can't control what color comes next, I'm firing blindly, and now "oh great, the only way to heal is to keep switching colors." So I have to just keep mashing that button and praying I can SURVIVE the chaos that ensues with a hit box that is the ENTIRE SPRITE OF THE SHIP.

    And then that enemy type that's invisible in every color? Genius. Now I HAVE to care about the bullets to find that enemy in order to, you guessed it, SURVIVE.

    This game is smart and I'm so impressed with it, and you, and the way I feel right now. I put on a little Touhou music (as inspired by your description) and wow, I was sucked right in.

    It's so fitting that you close out the game at the end with an auto-close mic drop.

    Amazing.

  • Zachary
    Zachary Zachary 3
    4 weeks ago

    I love the bold use of color in a way that you rarely see. However, I found the game play somewhat confusing. I found it hard to tell if I was doing well or very badly.

  • Yosi
    Yosi Yosi 3
    3 weeks ago

    It's a cool concept, but there's no way to lose and you don't really need to switch colors to do well. The ship's controls are good and the different enemy types make the gameplay interesting.

Post-mortem

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