• Mcwequiesk
  • 3 months ago
  • 9th


Lysis: (n) the disintegration of a cell by rupture of the cell wall or membrane.

How long can you keep the viral cycle alive in this precise, high-skill arcade game?

Play as a bacteriophage virus with one purpose in life: reproduce. If you're familiar with biology, this is done through the lytic cycle, in which a virus injects its genetic code into a cell where it gets replicated. In Lysis it is up to you to see how many times you can loop this cycle before being destroyed by the dreaded immune system and its antibodies.


These are documented in-game as well.

  • Mouse: Charge and launch your bacteriophage virus, guide your RNA
  • Left Mouse Button: Click rapidly to inject your RNA, and have your RNA move faster once injected.
  • Right Mouse Button: Detach from a host or have your RNA move slower once injected.
  • M: Toggle Music.
  • F11: Toggle fullscreen.
  • F12: Hold to restart.
  • Escape: Hold to force-quit.

The Stages

This game is divided into three stages.

  1. Infect a host. Skillfully land your virus backwards onto a host cell, and click repeatedly to inject your RNA. Watch out, because there are a lot of antibodies out here, and the host cells themselves may attack you if you can't inject your RNA fast enough!
  2. Invade the Nucleus. Guide your RNA to the nucleus and munch away until you make an opening. The organelles will try to attack you, but your RNA can dissolve them. Watch out for ATP coming towards the nucleus, it will make it powerful and invincible!
  3. Defeat the DNA. Guide your RNA and munch at the tail of the cell's DNA. Last one standing wins, but you can only deal damage at the end of their strand.

Good luck! May the fittest survive!

Source is also included too. Feel free to learn from it.

So, how obvious is it that I know nothing about biology?


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This was a fun game to make, and the first gm48 where I composed unique music, wrote and used my own shaders, and sat down and took it seriously. I stayed up for more of the 48 hours this time than I have in the past couple years of the jam.

I was concerned when the theme first came out: I didn't have any ideas cool or unique enough for me, so I wasted about 10 hours thinking and doing other stuff, until it hit me like a bolt of lightning. I wanted the game to originally be about computer viruses, but as I continued developing I realized that would be a little hard to do.

I would like to say that my planning worked out in the end. I went most of the development getting the player controls, effects, and game loop right, and actually programming in more enemies kinda took a back-burner. By the last day I did add as many enemies as I would've wanted, though. It was a little tricky balancing my time working on the three stages as well as the title screen, even though the title was much easier.

I'm happy with the end result. I'm afraid the game wouldn't make sense right away, or that the difficult increase is too sharp, or players wouldn't be able to grasp the controls, but based on player feedback it seems like those aren't fair concerns to have, and by having them I created the long and boring text tutorial, which is the one thing I would go back and change. Other than that, I love it and am super satisfied with it!

Result 9th