There are sound effects and music, make sure to turn your volume up!
Take control of individual wyrm viruses over 13 levels, as they gradually warp the host's succumbed body and mind in this abstract entry. Despite what the description may suggest, the gameplay itself is fairly straightforward.
- WASD(or arrows) for sliding around, leaving dark, host-damaging trails behind you.
- SPACE fires your regenerating, corruption-fillled eyeballs towards the mouse cursor.
- LMB Clicks buttons in the menu and in-game.
- RMB Grabs and moves buttons in the menu, just for fun.
You must strike a balance between going in to use your toxic trail and using your eyeballs to corrupt from a distance, as it's easy to get overwhelmed; the host's cells, in addition to sheer quantity, will use green acid, white anti-bacterial ooze, and outright physical force, to destroy your wyrm.
New enemies, bosses and mechanics are frequently introduced throughout, and your level completion progress is saved between sessions as well. You're free to replay any level while within the main menu.
Red Bloodcells are defenseless (ram them or poison them), and drop O2, which heals you and ever-so-slightly upgrades stats, very important to keep in mind! If it's not a Red Bloodcell, avoid contact!
Anyways, have fun! I hope you'll give the game a chance, can you make it through all 13 levels? There's a tutorial which gives instructions in the menu if you have any trouble.
Music/Sounds : LMMS, Audacity
Textures : Paint.Net
This is the first game-jam where I feel as though I truly "finished" the entry, there's music, a fair amount of content and progression, sounds, decent art, a vague story, etc, at least as far as something I'm looking at as being made in 48 hours, I'm very happy with this entry. I went with something where some of the audio and visual oddities are in-fact deliberate; I think it sets an interesting mood, not to mention of course that it makes certain things easier.
Jackaroo Level 5
Very unusual vibe in this but in a good way. I like the pattern effects that go over the wyrm and cells. The wyrm itself is a bit difficult to control but I did get to grips with it eventually.....somewhat anyway. The music and sound effects certainly complemented the visual style well and contributed to the unusual vibe the game gave off. As for the gameplay, as I say the controls were a little tough, but the gameplay itself was fine. It was quite fun and frustrating at the same time. A very strange entry but a good one nonetheless.
I appreciate the feedback!
The story of the entry shifted a bit from what I originally intended, to fit more in line with what the gameplay turned into. Originally this was going to be a stats-management game, where you would control cancer cells to decay areas to move forward, while also making sure they did not become too aggressive and destroy everything, including the player; you had to maintain a fine balance. Since I couldn't think of a good way to bring this about early on (perhaps different "food" would have worked) I decided to have it be a bit more generic instead.
I was in a strange state of mind when I made this entry, I really wasn't feeling that great. I had this fear that I most likely did in fact have a cancer growing, whether real or metaphorical, and so when the theme was announced for this gamejam I felt very inspired to explore that idea. I made the entry with a frantic, lunatical style in mind, the text emphasizing not only the decay of the body but of its relationships as well, although admittedly that does get corny once or twice and seems to suggest complication in an unhealthy relationship in addition to this illness. This "wyrm" and its "decay", works well also, albeit unintentionally, as an allusion to Beowulf's death at the end of his story to the dragon and its venom, not a bad retroactive touch on my part. You can see that the "frantic style" mentioned above applies to this reply also, haha, I'm mostly just going over a few story elements which come to mind.
The final level, which includes a boss battle against a massive, horribly distorted, schizophrenic brain of the host, is meant to highlight the more psychological damage of such decay, whether it be physical or mental, while the audio recording at the end has some morphed and incomprehensible words of hope and of being at peace to contrast this.
I plan to go into the entry's development in-depth in a post-mortem video once the rating period is finished, it won't be this much of a ramble, haha.
I'm happy with how it turned out even with the change in direction, I'll likely explore the original gameplay concept again sometime as well. I'll definitely be focusing more on reducing frustration in future games as well, that seems to be a very common criticism, that developer bias is blinding. Anyways, once again thanks for the friendly feedback, and for playing!
Ethan Wake Level 4
Very original, very surreal, and very difficult. The Wyrm takes a long time to build momentum, making it incredibly hard to dodge white cells and acid bursts; I'd have had an easier time if the Wyrm could move just a bit faster. However, I can't fault you for making it intentionally slow, as it forces the player to just keep practicing. Sadly I ran out of patience after dying on the level 6 boss, but once I've cooled off I will revisit this because I want to know how it ends haha
Thank you for the feedback! Another issue with the movement is just that I got too used to it, I do agree that I should have buffed it though, or made red blood cells improve it as well so they had more of an important purpose, I may play with that sort-of mechanic next jam.
There actually is an improved upgrade introduced at some point after the level 5 boss (I don't remember if it's level 6 to be honest with you, haha) which can improve your movement acceleration along with a few other things (eyeball recharge rate, etc). The eyeballs are a bit overpowered for the bosses compared to the trail, I think I should have buffed the trail some as well (red blood cells upgrade it but not by much). Anyways, thanks for playing the entry!
C0DERP1GLET Level 31
You definitely nailed that innovation part. I can guarantee you that I have never tried nor will try anything even remotely similar to this. Everything from the art style and setting to the controls and even the menu buttons has been turned on their head.
Another thing you nailed is the variety of different possible playstyles. When I started, I relied mostly on poison and kept bouncing around the arena without stopping. Then, I realized the edges were dangerous and tried sticking more to the middle relying more on throwing my eyes. When the glowing red cells got introduced, I had to start switching between staying in the middle (to shoot white cells) and going to the edges to collect the glowing ones. Even after playing for a while, I can't decide which playstyle works the best.
As many (including me) have said, the controls are pretty chaotic. That isn't necessarily a bad thing, but it makes the game remarkably hard (which is a bad thing). I couldn't get past level nine, even after playing the game for over an hour. I counted all my deaths and got 115 in total, with 50 on the sixth level alone (although those deaths were quite fast). I know you probably have heard this a thousand times before, but just because you can beat all the levels blindfolded on the first try doesn't mean they are easy for everyone else. I recommend you let somebody play through it all before you submit it. Judging difficulty is hard.
Thank you for the friendly feedback and for making it as far as you did. I had the idea on another reply that I should have made the red blood cells upgrade movement acceleration as well, I think that would have helped with the movement problem/difficulty a lot, along with adding a unique gameplay element. I also had quite some trouble getting through this at times, and although there were difficulty tweaks periodically and near the end (the acid cells used to be ridiculous), I agree it would have been good to tweak it some more, I also should have buffed the toxic trail a bit. Near the end there was a bit of a rush because originally I intended for there to be 20 levels (there are even still sprites for these in the files), but I got tired of thinking of new gameplay mechanics and so just stopped it at 13.
The difficulty problem is actually even worse than you think, I even had trouble beating most of the levels, haha. It's good for you to bring up that developer bias, I should keep that in mind more. Thank you again for the feedback, I appreciate it!
The movement feels unresponsive, too slow. The resolution of the sprites and artwork is very high, maybe too high for what is needed cauing the file size to be fairly high for what the game is. I think the eyeballs should regenerate faster as well. Overall vibe and sounds were good but certain mechanics are more frustrating than fun.
Agreed with the others about the surreal / fever dream vibe. That was well done. But I also agree that the controls become frustrating. Perhaps a mechanic to increase mobility by picking up power ups would be nice.
In the later levels (Sometime after the first boss battle) there is a "Glowing" Red Bloodcell introduced which does in fact drop better upgrades which include increased acceleration. I agree that I should have just stuck some of that acceleration upgrade into the default ones as well though, it wouldn't have hurt and I like the concept.
It's just a matter of me getting used to the control scheme, eventually mechanics-wise I saw improved movement stability as a gift as opposed to a given, and that a part of the gameplay experience itself is getting used to the controls.
I still stand by this partially, as I enjoy somewhat of a challenging learning-curve especially in gamejam entries where they are typically breezed through in a few minutes at most, although I agree it would have added as opposed to detracted to this idea by making the Red Bloodcells slightly upgrade this along with everything else it does.
Also, thanks for the feedback!
Megan Level 9
I like the surreal vibe but after a few levels, I found the movement frustrating rather than interesting/fun. I found it really funny that you shoot your eyeballs, that was a fun mechanic.
Nadabladam Level 4
This felt like a fever dream haha. Which I guess goes with your premise of a surreal experience where a parasite consumes the host. It was a bit hard to read some of the prompts on screen since they appeared all at once and disappeared real quick but I that adds to the surreal fever dream experience. The music and art fit well together but the comtrols were a little unresponsive. Other than that this was a good submission that stuck with the theme!
Brian LaClair Level 6
What a wild game, Squeed!
Something about that art style made me feel like I was living in a claymation short, it was really interesting. I think the controls were a bit disorienting, but it held me captive for a while :)