Built for the GM48 "Small World" and Ludum Dare 46 "Keep it alive" game jams, in Dinosaur Defender, you play as a dinosaur protecting a small planet and the tiny dinos who live on it from the cosmic menace of extinction-threatening meteors!
Knock meteors into each other while the dinosaur population grows, and slingshot meteors around the planet to increase their scoring potential!
Move: Left/Right Arrow Keys
Jump: Up Arrow Key
Grab: Hold Space Bar
Aim: Left/Right Arrow Keys while holding Space Bar
Launch: Release Space Bar
This is a really adorable package - the music, dinosaur sprite, and sound effect of your little dino's feet drumming on the planet's surface as he scampers around it. It has got a lot of character.
It's fun to play too although I found it difficult to get a hang of how the meteors react when you chuck them back into space. It is really satisfying when a meteor you have chucked away arcs back and intercepts another meteor, but most of the time they looped back and hit my planet :(
The game seemed to reward me for being crap at it - the longer you play, the more meteors you will destroy, and the more points you will get. But the unlockable skins are a great idea and getting that final dino skin for saving all the dinosaurs is an incentive for me to keep playing.
I liked this game a lot. My high score was 283 :) I played second time safely, but in third time I had more fun putting asteroids in orbit without really aiming any existing other asteroid, just getting as many asteroids orbiting earth simultaneously. This was a working strategy and had much fun with it ^^ At first try I lost because I didn't know asteroids behave differently after hitting them, and all asteroids which I had hit earlier, came back to me xD I was 'what just happened'. Now in second try I understood that you needed hit asteroids with other asteroids and game was much more dynamic than I first thought.
Good music, and sound effects, and the dino moved fast to go round planet in time, but was still easily controllable. Also I liked jump not being parabolic, but dino staying bit in air before landing. Also there always spawned two asteroids at time, so you could hit one with another, there were good small things which make game feel better ^^ Here is bit of video of my orbiting asteroids: https://imgur.com/Ofdd3YC What I would change is bonk sound what disnour makes hitting asteroid, it doesn't fit the overall sound environment. (Listen video without looking it) I even hoped there would have been more smaller asteroids, so I could have had more asteroids orbiting my planet. Now they collide easily :DSubmitted
Controls could use a little tweaking and so could hitboxes (maybe one hitbox for picking up and smashing other meteors, and one smaller, more forgiving one for collisions with the earth?)..
But other than that, this was a very nice game. One of my favorites in terms of gameplay, I think. It was an awesome feeling accidentally sending a meteor into orbit for the first time, then having it save my ass a bit later :D
Fun gameplay, good use of both themes, and nice addition with the multiple worlds (could use some distinct gravities maybe?) and skins. Well done.Submitted
Really nice game. The concept is pretty clever and it's fun smashing asteroids into other asteroids. It took me a bit to figure out the aiming controls but once I did everything was great. There's a nice amount of juice with screenshake and such when asteroids collide.
The presentation is well done overall. The graphics looks nice and I like the little details like being able to see all the dinosaurs wandering around on the planet. The music is good and the sound effects work well. Alternate skins for the character/planet seems a bit unnecessary, but it's still a cool thing to have.Submitted
Alright, let's start with the bad...which aren't that many ;).
I would've loved having WASD as an option, or controller support. That would've been even better for the game.
Y U NO fullscreen? Mang, let me see those darn pixels much closer XD. Playing windowed kinda breaks the immersion of the game cause I can see my desk and everything else I wouldn't want to see.
That's all(the bad)
Now the goodies!
very creative theme, totally fun. Not only does your progress gets saved...you can unlock more Dinos and planets! Yas! I like this a lot. I'll try to unlock everything. This ads good replay value.
The music is very lovely and has good synergy with the gameplay. The sound effects are hella cute, so kudos for that, especially for the stepping sounds. Totally loved running around hearing my footsteps lol.
Now the game mechanics were pretty well defined and easy to learn, big props for that. I liked that you could make meteors reach a different state when launched into orbit and they spun for a bit. I liked that. Not sure if this other thing I'm going to suggest is in the game, but it'd be cool to have them get so hot they go through 1 meteor. Kinda like gaining armor. that'd be fun.
Great job guys!
I enjoyed this a lot! Very cute presentation and fun gameplay concept. Some areas of improvement to consider:
Sometimes I had to hit spacebar twice in order for the game to register that I had picked up an asteroid. This was especially (but not exclusively) the case when multiple asteroids were in range at the same time.
The difficulty stagnates pretty quickly, so if you wanted to expand this game into a fuller release, I'd definitely recommend playing around with asteroid density, or introducing other hazards as the game goes on.
What I loved included the graphics, sound, and the ability to unlock different dinos and planets based on how I performed in each play through.
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 18:20 through about 28:15.
Great job on this!Submitted
Thank you so much for bringing the space bar issue to our attention, and our game to the attention of your viewers!
On your stream, you asked about scaling asteroid danger with size. We do scale the amount of dinosaurs killed by an impact with the size of the asteroid.
Thanks for your feedback, and thanks for playing!
I like the idea a lot, its a very cute concept and playing with gravity/orbits is always fun.
Though I think it lasted a little too long, the gameplay was largely the same throughout the experience so it got a bit stale a while before I reached the end. Maybe introducing some point pickups that the player can try to hit, or maybe some enemies that shoot at you for the player to take down, etc would have given it a little extra pizazz. I do like the presence of the unlockable dino/planet skins though, introducing other goals did help a bit and it felt more like I had achieved something when I completed it!Submitted
Thanks for the feedback! I definitely think there's some more tuning that be done as far as how long it takes to clear the planet. I think that maybe some other obstacles, including stuff you have to jump over on the planet, would be a good idea for future exploration.
This was the first time I think I've worked on a jam game that had unlocks and was totally Bryce's baby, and it's awesome to see how much people are enjoying it.
I really enjoyed this precious little game. I was imagining my dinosaur community down there playing this happy, hopeful music while having a great time prospering. Made me motivated to do a good job protecting them.
The controls seemed a clunky at first, but I got used to it very quickly. I was thinking of an alternative control scheme: WASD to move and mouse to catch, aim and release. I think that would make it much faster and precise to aim where you wanted.
If the screen was one-to-one square shaped, it would make all asteroid spawning points sides equal. You have less time to react when the asteroid comes from the top or the bottom, currently. Though I guess that may be a deliberate design choice as well, I wouldn't know! Also I occasionally felt like I wanted to zoom out. Especially when I created some mighty asteroid belts, I would've like to have seen their full orbits and admire my work. Of course being able to zoom out is not such a trivial change in terms of game design, because then you need to spawn the asteroids from even further away if you don't want them to just appear from nowhere in the middle of the screen.
Venus didn't work! I unlocked it (like I unlocked everything else) and activated it but instead I got earth again. Mars did work correctly, though.
Sometimes the asteroids would spawn inside each other and it was impossible to tell until it was too late and an innocent little dinosaur or two perished.
To conclude: I was caught off guard by how much I enjoyed it. A compelling, very simple core gameplay, the general atmosphere created by the sympathetic little dinosaurs, their song and the player character's deterministic appearance... Had me smiling the entire time.Submitted
Just the fact that it made you smile the whole time makes it worth it to me! We actually debated the square screen like you suggested, but our limited play testing showed that the rectangular screen provided a more interesting difficulty curve. I think once we're able to incorporate zooming in and out, that a square playing field might make more sense. So much awesome feedback in this! Thanks so much Riuku :)
EDIT: Also, super sorry about the venus bug! That was a bug on my part... I missed a
breakin a switch statement, and we barely got the unlock system in on time! I hope you had fun unlocking everything else, and again... Real sorry for the bug!
Glad that the planet had one huge dinosaur to help them! Great idea to be able to grab the meteors and change their course a bit.
Music made me laugh a little; it was so calm and happy even when the planet is in grave danger! It keeps the mood high, even if few meteors here and there sometimes hit the surface.
I like the sound of the dino running around the planet. The game fit the theme perfectly and was original . Gameplay was solid. I unlocked all of the dinos!Submitted
Love the main game mechanic, very well polished and fun to play. My main feedback was that there was a lack of detail? It's not very specific though I just felt there could have been more. At first I thought meteorites spawning simultaneously was bad balanced BUT then I realized you could make meteorites orbit, and prepare for that which led to much deeper gampleya. The difficulty curve was well balanced, felt engaged throughout. Very well done! Congratulations c:
(I'm glad the dinosaurs get to live)Submitted
This is a cool concept! I especially like how the meteors orbit around the planet when you throw them, it adds another layer of strategy :) Really the only problem I had is that sometimes a meteor would hit the planet even though I thought I threw it in a way that wouldn't hit the planet, but that's not a big issue.Submitted
I agree with you. If we had more time, I would have loved to introduce a dynamic aimer that showed a preview of what the parabolic arc would be as the player aimed the meteor. Your feedback has inspired me to add this in once we start working on this again after the jam. Thanks for the review Yosi :)