El's World

El's World

  • Alex
  • 5 months ago
  • 38th

You are a celestial being named El, living on a tiny cube shaped planet. The planet is empty, except for 3 stone tablets. Combine the tablets in different ways to cast magical spells. You won't know the effects until you try different combinations! More tablets can be created with spells, increasing the possible combinations. The world will soon become a chaotic place!

This was my first ever "game jam". I really love the theme of "Small Worlds", so it was perfect for me. It surprised me how much I could get done in such a short time! The game is experimental and weird, I'm sure there are bugs, and not just the butterflies. But it's fun to mess around with. No music. I recommend playing something you like while you play.


WASD movement

Left click - push buttons and select tablets

Space - Cast spell shortcut

Ctrl - Clear spell shortcut

Shift - Move forwards (useful for navigating the planet)

C - Swap the coloured tablet design with different shape design

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  • Fachewachewa

    Really interesting game. Playing around in it is fun, and I liked the idea of discovery in it. It reminded me a little of Starseed Pilgrim on a surface level.

    I'm a little disappointed thought that the interactions aren't more clear, because I clearly saw some strange things happen but didn't have the time to realize what was happening.

    On my first time I didn't find any new tablets too, so I replayed it later and indeed found a few more tablets, but it became less interesting to try different combinations because of the number of possibilities compared to the small variations.

    And it seems radomized too, because I had a lot more different stuff with my 3 starting tablets in my first game than in my second.

    But that's definitely an interesting game, and not something I thought I'd see in a jam!

  • Megan
    Megan Megan Level 6

    Cool game! I like how pretty the world gets--the feeling of creation and just filling up a white space. I especially like the tiles that fade into each other, you can get really beautiful landscapes from that, and I love the little animals. I like that there was a freeform/implied objective to get all the tablets, but I couldn't get 2 of them :( The sound effects worked but you could make them more soothing/magical that really communicates creation. Thought the mana meter was unnecessary too; maybe trees could produce mana as well as the natural recharge? If you continue this, it would be really cool if you had music that changes as you build up the world. A spellbook that can be sorted by colour(of the resultant object) and object-type would be helpful too for keeping track of combos. Overall this was really fun!

    • Alex Fantastico Alex Fantastico
      Level 4

      Thanks! I'm glad you discovered how the tiles can fade into each other, I think it's a really beautiful effect too. The sound effects were just made quickly with BFXR, I'd probably need to get help with sounds to make anything better. I'm also a novice at making music.

      The trees actually do produce fruit which can be eaten to farm mana, but it seems like the method was too convoluted for people to discover it. If they are planted on a grass tile, they will produce fruit periodically. Otherwise, they die. Grass also grows better or worse depending on the colour of the grass versus the colour of the dirt, so your fruit farm can be made more effective by getting the right grass on the right dirt. But I guess you need a lot of people to spend hours playing your game in order for them to discover these complicated mechanics, so I definitely should have made a simpler farming mechanic.

      I do have an enhanced version planned, I'll see what I can do about the music. I also have a spell book feature planned. Thanks for playing!

  • dosto
    dosto dosto Level 5

    ...I felt so happy playing the game. Especially when bugs started to appear I wanted to procect them from all the bad in the world.

    Working with the spells and the other interactions were really well made. Even though the goal remained as a mystery till I went to read the comments, the actions themselves were easy to understand.

    Sadly the sound effect of casting spells gave me bad shivers. It break some immersion of the otherwise so harmonized world.

    Good job!

    • Alex Fantastico Alex Fantastico
      Level 4

      Thank you! Just don't feed the bugs too many hamburgers!

      I'll try to dedicate more time to sound design next time!

  • Tero Hannula

    It took while to understand how world is located corresponding itself, good you had made cube map down-right. It was nice small sandbox-game. I didn't open all the stane tables, but maybe 5-6. There started to be too many combinations already :D

    • Alex Fantastico Alex Fantastico
      Level 4

      Thanks! There are an awful lot of combinations, but, for most of the tablets, there are many combinations which will create them. So getting them isn't quite as rare as you might fear at first.

      • Tero Hannula Tero Hannula

        Well at the end I tried find new tablets maybe for 15 minutes, and didn't find right combination ^^" Fooled around and build the world. It was nice that some tiles affected nearby tiles, spread

        • Alex Fantastico Alex Fantastico
          Level 4

          Well, if the tablets you couldn't find happened to be the orange and cyan ones, they require a more specific combo to find. I really should have made it so they could be found by any combo, bad decision on my part.

          To get orange, you need to make some combination of red, yellow, and green, and for cyan you need some combination of yellow, green, and blue. If the colours you couldn't get were any others, you just got unlucky. I'm going to make an enhanced version of the game where getting tablets is a better experience.

          Thanks, there are quite a few little interaction between tiles and objects to find.

  • ceaselessly
    ceaselessly ceaselessly Level 5

    I really loved the calm and openness of playing this game. It was a fun and relaxing time to just wander around and explore! I would definitely be interested in playing an expanded, post-jam version, were you interested in making one.

    It took me a while to understand the layout of the rooms, and what I was meant to be doing. Neither of these is necessarily a bad thing, but maybe a little bit more in-game hand holding at the top would help make it more accessible.

    Once I figured the open-world idea out, though, I had a lot of fun with this game. Definitely one of my favorites in the jam so far. :)

    It was part of my Twitch stream last night, which you can check out here if you'd like: https://www.twitch.tv/videos/600892007

    I play your game from around 28:20 through about 43:00.

    Truly great work here. Would definitely love to see more!

    • Alex Fantastico Alex Fantastico
      Level 4

      Thanks! Very useful feedback, including some of your comments in the video. I didn't prioritize my time very well during the 48 hours, so a lot of stuff I would've liked to include didn't make it. I do want to strike a better balance between letting the player discover things on their own and giving them guidance next time. But I ended up adding the save system last, and didn't have time left for a tutorial.

      By the way, there is a way to keep the bushes alive so they provide fruit, which is a source of mana. But it's true that the mana system is not great as it is. I included it in order to give some penalty for being hit by bullets, mostly. But I could have thought of something better.

      I'm definitely considering cleaning up the game and adding more content for a post-jam version. But I have a big game project that I don't want to sap too much time from. But if I utilize some of the code from that big project, it might not be too much extra work.

      Thanks a lot for streaming the game, it really means a lot to me. It's really fun to see people explore my weird little game and to see what they end up creating. Each save game has a different set of spells by the way, so it's different every time.

  • Heather
    Heather Heather Level 7

    Actually quite adored this game. I think it fits the theme really well and it was fun to discover new elements. Would be nice to have a history of things you've tried or other ways to explore things made. Though after awhile I felt i was meticulously brute forcing different combinations rather than the same sense of discovery I had earlier. I enjoyed experimenting but maybe something additional could have kept the sense of discovery and exploration going. The sense of "wonder". I enjoyed wandering around without a strict objective and that game scratched that itch for me.

    • Alex Fantastico Alex Fantastico
      Level 4

      Thank you! I love the theme of "Small Worlds", so it was a great one for me.

      I had more planned, but this was my first Game Jam, I didn't exactly manage my time well! This is some useful feedback that I'll (try to) apply next time. You can expect more procedurally generated discovery and lack of strict objectives from me, though!

  • PineTree
    PineTree PineTree Level 6

    The more I played, the more I wanted to keep playing! Even though it doesn't have music, I enjoyed the subtle "hum" of things flying around the world. It would be awesome if when I discovered a new combination, it would record my findings in some sort of recipe book. I hope you continue this project!

    • Alex Fantastico Alex Fantastico
      Level 4

      Thanks PineTree! I'm glad you had that "moreish" reaction. I had the same feeling while making it, and wasted too much dev time playing! I thought about the idea of a spell record, but ultimately decided it would be more fun to let the player record their favourite spells manually in a notebook. Not to mention saving some dev time.

  • GameDevDan
    GameDevDan GameDevDan Level 2

    I didn't necessarily know what I was meant to be doing aside from guessing different spells. But it was interesting to find out what each combination did and I filled up quite a bit of the cube with stuff.

    Incidentally the idea of representing a cube on a 2D plane was very clever. Confusing - but clever.

    • Alex Fantastico Alex Fantastico
      Level 4

      There is no "meant to be doing" in this game, just experimenting, and creating a weird, chaotic world! So it sounds like you succeeded :)

      Admittedly I did plan to have villagers, and sustaining a village would be somewhat of a goal. But I got sidetracked and made magic bugs and butterflies instead.

      I have put a lot of thought into the best ways to represent a planet with 2D planes. Spheres are extremely difficult. Cubes are much nicer!

  • Veralos
    Veralos Veralos Level 33

    I'm not sure I quite understood what was going on in this game, but it certainly seems very interesting and unique. It's kinda fun just wandering around trying out different combinations of spells and seeing what happens. There seems to be a lot of detail but put into how elements in the world interact e.g. I saw a pool of water got slowly filled up by dirt next to it. I would like a bit more instruction, but maybe the would hurt the game's charm.

    • Alex Fantastico Alex Fantastico
      Level 4

      "Wandering around trying out different combinations of spells and seeing what happens" is exactly what is going on in this game :) I like making weird, experimental games, without enforcing a goal on the player. But I will keep this feedback in mind for next time. Maybe just by letting the player know that there isn't an explicit goal.

  • Chris

    It was oddly satisfying to figure things out and discover new spells. I really like the idea of a creation game from a total white space and the idea of having each cube side be like a fresh canvas is cool.

    • Alex Fantastico Alex Fantastico
      Level 4

      Thank you! I'm glad my decision to not have a tutorial was appreciated, and that it's intuitive enough to figure out on one's own! I'm kind of obsessed with tiny worlds and creating new worlds starting from nothing! It's a theme in a lot of my work.

  • Nyveon

    Very cool game!

    I'm very impressed with the implementation of procedural content in a game jam game. The number of possible combinations is astounding!

    My main feedback would be that what you can do and how you can do it is kind of unclear, also the game window was kinda small.

    For a first game jam game, super impressive, congratulations! :)

  • Yosi
    Yosi Yosi Level 22

    Really interesting game! I can't believe how many spell combinations you were able to add. I wish there was some sort of objective to the game so it would be more than just a sandbox, but it was still a lot of fun collecting and using spells.

    • Alex Fantastico Alex Fantastico
      Level 4

      Thank you! I tried to add as much variety as I could in the limited time! The spells are different for every "New Game", too, so everyone's experience will be a little different!

      Letting player's define their own objective is something important to me. But I did plan to add villagers who'd build huts, so building a little village could be the objective for most players... Not enough time, though! Still, you can build a butterfly farm. That seems like a nice goal!

      You could also try unlocking all the tablets for maximum spell power! That's mostly luck based, though. I wanted to make earning tablets something that you'd do through progressing gameplay, but I didn't find time for that either. I'll try to manage my time better next time!