Ration Race

Heya!

Ration Race my submission for the 2021 game jam. I know we had a much longer time frame to work on it but I set a personal time limit of 48 hours and this is what came of it.

Ration Race is a simple game but don’t let it fool you, it will punish you for mistakes. I was one failure away from a breakdown during bug testing. (Turns out I’m not the only one)

Link: Ration Race by Oceanaga

It was fun getting back into 2D art, it’s a medium I haven’t touched in a while and it definitely shows lol.
After the jam officially ends and winners are announced I’ll probably add in some more levels, update the art, and add in a cool big bad boss fight. Might even throw in mobile support since I kinda accidentally already coded it in. But those are plans for another day.

Anyways, I hope y’all enjoy and I’d love to hear any feedback you may have.
Best of luck to the rest of the 'jammers too, looking forward to seeing what y’all create!

-Oceanaga

Edit: Sorry forgot to mention, it’s PC only at the moment. I’ll see about adding in support for other platforms.

Edit 2: Updated game to have a respawn system. Turns out I’m a sadist when it comes to game design. Sorry.

Edit 3: Okay did one last update based on feedback (newest version is 1.2). Level one is MUCH easier, level two is a little bit easier, then level three is level three. Fixed the Meatyeors connecting through the light lines (I hope), and improved menu QoL. Thanks so much for all the feedback, it’s greatly appreciated!

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Please add save points to the game. I played for half an hour and only got to 1/3 rations. Either im bad or the game is very hard

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Out of curiosity was it the bad guys causing you to fail or were you falling? Since there’s only three levels I wanted it to be a little harder so people can’t just blow through but I think I can implement something that won’t punish falling as bad.

It was falling lol Maybe implement a save point after reaching the ration and when coming back to the beginning, that way u dont start from the whole beginning with 0/3

Surprisingly fun! The music is quirky and trance-like, aiding in that meditative zen state that makes it easy to play this game over and over.

And over and over you shall play because man you weren’t kidding when you said the game will punish you! The challenge isn’t daunting or unfair, however the unceasing pace and long levels are so that you can’t really break focus at all. It’s easy to make mistakes when you have the stress of trying to save yourself from being attacked or from falling. Too often I died simply because I was already falling when I entered the new screen, meaning I only had a tiny corner of the screen to quickly react towards saving myself. Setting the ration on the first stage so low was annoying for this very reason.

And yet, as frustrating as the challenge is… I still want to crack it open again for another try! You’ve nailed the “have another go” replayability aspect. I think either a checkpoint system or slightly reduced levels wouldn’t make this feel quite so gruelling.

A quirky, addictive (if slightly onerous) challenge! Recommended!

Oh, and one slight bug is that occasionally the game will streak a giant line across a screen - good in one sense in that it’s a free light bridge!

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I’ll be the first to admit I suck at this game but here’s a let’s play to get more interest in the project. :slight_smile:

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Whew! Updated with a respawn system… sorta.
So now whenever you fall off the map you pop back up at the ship through some sort of technology that has no lore to back it up! You will also lose one of your three lives, if that was your last life then it’s a normal game over and you have to do a full restart. I feel like this is a decent compromise since it gives a safety net but still keeps the ouch factor.

The music is by Kim Lightyear, I actually totally scrapped the old game I was making (it was going to be a tower defense) when I heard the music. I had to make a game around it and I felt like a space themed game would fit it best. Here’s a link to their soundcloud if you’re interested: Stream Kim Lightyear music | Listen to songs, albums, playlists for free on SoundCloud

I toyed with different platform positions and found that the low ones were just mean so I obviously went with those lol. I wanted players to try and memorize the maps so they could guess what is coming up. In testing I found myself using the floating foreground elements as “bookmarks” so when I saw the satellite I knew a high platform would be coming up so I need to get space guy to the top of the screen. Also makes for more reactionary gameplay.

I was hoping it would give a Dark Souls like challenge. I’m so happy to hear it’s punishing but not annoyingly so.

lol so there’s actually two big bugs in the game that I left on purpose. I figured since the game is punishing enough I could leave them in since they aren’t gamebreaking and can be sort of helpful. To get the “infinite lightbridge” you posted just hold down left click on the side of the screen space guy is about to walk into then when the camera jumps to the next position it will draw the bridge across the map. The other bug is… monkey bars. Just uh, hit your head on the bottom of a platform and you’ll see what I mean. Sorry for the noise ahead of time.

Ooh a lets play, Can’t wait to watch it! :smiley:
Quick edit: Just finished watching it and glad you liked the music too. It’s definitely the best part of the game imo. Kim Lightyears soundcloud is linked above, but that specific track is “Night in June”.
You brought back some rough memories with that ET reference. I greatly appreciate the feedback in the video and will use that to further balance hopefully improve the game with the next update.

Also, if y’all ever feel like pulling out your hair from playing you can close out of the game. It saves your progress. I.E. Once you unlock level 2 it stays unlocked unless you reset progress from the settings menu. Also it may bring y’all some comfort that I had to play through each level like a million times each to test so trust me, I feel your pain.

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One thing that would be really nice would be a pause menu or a reset level button.

Every time I reach the right side of the third screen the character hits an invisible wall, turns around, and kills himself. Is the hexagon supposed to be the supplies? Because there’s no label and it doesn’t change the supply counter. There doesn’t seem to be any way to actually win the game or anything because of this.

Also, yeah, needs check points. And it doesn’t really need a life counter, that just makes it more tedious to start over again and again. Just let people replay a stage/screen until they progress.

I’ll see about getting a pause game button in there.

Yeah the hexagon is the rations, once space guy picks them up you have to help him deliver them back to the ship. Once he successfully delivers them then the counter will go up. I’ll work on getting the Rations labelled better and making the how-to more comprehensive.
If I took out lives then the bad guys would have no use and they’re like half the gameplay lol. I appreciate the feedback on that part but I’m probably not going to touch the design when it comes to lives/respawn/enemies or the other core mechanics any more. I do want it to still be challenging and I made the first level drastically easier so that players can get a better feel for the mechanics before jumping into the longer maps. I may see about adding in an easy/normal mode so if you do easy mode you get more lives.

I also don’t intend to put too much more work into this at the moment since it’s already in a decent state and the more I work on this the less time I’m putting into a much bigger project that I think y’all will enjoy a lot more lol.
Nothing tonight though, gotta get some vidya in. :slight_smile:

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You could have running into the enemies make you restart the screen like falling into a pit does instead of taking a life(with no indication they did, I didn’t even notice it the first couple times). Also, the enemies are completely unavoidable on the way back, unless there’s some mechanic for blocking or going around them that isn’t explained. And the real problem with the rations is also that there’s no indication that you got the ration except for a sudden minor sprite change you don’t notice before you fall off the edge when he does an instant 180. These things need sound cues or an icon popping up so people notice that something happened.

Also, last thing, the window that the game opens up in is way too massive, and there’s no way to resize it.

I can add “heart removal animation” to the to-do list, but like I said above I’m not particularly planning on redoing the core mechanics especially since I’ve already submitted the game.

So for here, as it says in the how-to, you can draw a circle or other shape around them so that their path is blocked. I found that even a simple “V” works at blocking their path. Just make sure the enemy is inside the V.

Again, in the how-to it says that space guy will grab a ration then return to the ship to drop it off. Personally I don’t think it’s as big as a problem as you stated since everything space guy does is automated and your only job is to make sure the baddies don’t get him and he doesn’t fall (wait… do you fall in space?). I do agree I can do more in terms of notifications, so I’ll see about making the current task more clear.

Ah, I can make more resolutions available. I went with a basic 1920x1080 but I can get more resolutions available on next update.

If you press Alt-Enter while the window is active, you can play it in fullscreen. That might solve the resolution issue on your end. Also Alt-Tab works as a workaround pause screen if you need to give your fingers a rest.

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Is there a way to see the final stage of the female character after the third level or does it end there?

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In the game jam version it ends there but when I do the v2 update I’ll have a gallery system along with more story and weight stages (also hopefully some better art if i can get an actual 2D artist on board lol) I set a 48 hr time limit on myself for this so I was kinda crunched for time on how much I could do. Sorry for the inconvenience!

Finally finished the game on original mode! I enjoyed the game overall, although I’ll be honest in admitting that I struggled to see much of a difference between the difficulty of stages 2 and 3 - if there were more screens I wasn’t counting. The music on all stages was great though!

I enjoyed seeing the Captain’s plight and it would be nice if her character was expanded upon (no pun intended), both in dialogue and role in-game were this concept to be taken further.

Oh, and for those still struggling to deal with meatyeors, I like to present to you the “Cross Method”. Essentially draw an X to pin the enemy in place, protecting you from both angles as you pass below. Proven to be pretty effective!

Just to be clear, feel free to update the game until the end of the two week time limit, we allow people to release multiple versions of their submission up to the last day. After that, of course, we stop accepting updates.

I really like the concept of the game my only problem is the difficulty. The first two levels are hard but manageable but level 3 destroyed my very hopes and dreams, plus a lot of times the lil’ astronaut guy will jump and hit the meatballs through the wall (i went through all stages of grief when on my 30th try on the third level the little fucker decided to jump into the meatball on the last ration). Other then that i will love to see more of this game in the future.

I feel your pain - choking on getting the 3rd and final ration of that level didn’t feel great, but even when tanking two of the meatyors there is still enough of a threat to keep things spicy.

One small tip: on levels two and three there’s an annoying meatyor loitering right by the ship and it’s pretty tricky to dodge. My advice? Just tank it early and get rid of the threat. Your overwrought nerves will thank you from not getting hit by this final enemy so close to the finish line!

Congrats! :smiley: Yeah two is just about two or three screens shorter than three.

I think I can make this happen, I’ve got a few ideas to bring her more into the spotlight. I realized a bit too late that the weight gain aspect is not as “in the spotlight” as it should be. Excellent accidental pun. 5/7 perfect.

Thanks for the info, I wasn’t sure if y’all would judge the v1 or most updated version. I may sneak in another update if I have time before then.

Thanks so much for the feedback! I think this is the general consensus. I wanted it to be difficult but I may have turned that knob to 11… I’m thinking I will increase the base life count to four for normal mode and shorten the levels a bit to hopefully balance things out some more.

Dang, I thought I fixed that. I’ll see if I can’t get that truly fixed. Sorry for the added annoyance.

Thanks again everyone for the feedback too, hoping I can use it to improve the game for y’all!