[SA Game Jam 2018] The Search

Members: @konman
Level of experience : Hobbyist
72hr entry

The Search is a 2D action game that can be played with the mouse. Left mouse button only.
There is turn-based combat and special abilities to be found.
It has a powerful soundtrack and the ending has a little twist if you make it there...

Download playable build here.

Thanked by 2SUGBOERIE mmillions_


  • This is excellent progress. You already have the frame for your experience! I'm interested to see what other systems you're able to prototype in a similar manner with the pace you're going at, particularly in the direction of the competition theme.
    Thanked by 1konman
  • @Nandrew, thanks! I'm a big fan of your work. :) It's a challenging theme this year TBH. With escalation comes balance requirements and that's going to be interesting to say the least :) The progress has been fast cause I'm using scripts from older prototypes for the usual stuff. Also the unity canvas is doing a lot of the heavy lifting for me. No physics in sight.

    Tomorrow I'll tackle the combat bits as I have run out of energy a bit. I'm thinking turn-based. Might just be paper-rock-scissors or maybe a 1D10 random thing... Thanks for the feedback :)
  • Hey! I gave this a try and noticed that sometimes when I enter the circles it doesn't give me the option to leave. Is this a bug? Also, will the items inside the circles be collectibles?
    Thanked by 1konman
  • Heya! :D I agree with you, this theme was really difficult! But I like the direction that you are going with this :)
    I played the prototype that you have up and a couple of things I noticed were:

    1) It's sometimes a bit hard to see the icon that comes up when you hover over a planet to enter it. Initially, I didn't know what it meant or what would happen if i clicked on a planet (I didn't want my little ship to blow up and die D: ).
    2) Sometimes I will click on a planet to enter it but then it'll say that I can't enter my vessel instead.

    Well done on making such great progress so quickly :D I think this is going to be super cool!
    Thanked by 1konman
  • @kirsty_lee0 @PartyPanda
    Thank you so much for the feedback!

    The cursor icons need a lot of work still, I agree 100%. I am currently working on the core mechanic, so hopefully I'll get the time to address the cursor issues. So much to do, so little time! :D
    Thanked by 1kirsty_lee0
  • edited
    I have completed v1.0 of The Search and it's uploaded with 20 minutes to spare.


    What a ride It's been, loads of fun and I learnt a lot.
    I would have liked to add so much more, but it's pencils down unfortunately.

    I managed to fix the cursor issues and a large chunk of the time was spent on the turn-based combat system which I am pretty happy with. The game has a real ending too. :D

    Good luck to all you contestants, I cannot wait to play all your submissions.

    See you all next year! :)
  • I've updated download page to reflect PC, MAC and Linux as per Unity build screen. Tested only on PC though.
  • I think this must have gone through several iterations already because I didn't experience some of the mechanics mentioned in earlier comments. Were they removed?
    The narrative at the end was a nice interesting revelation. It made me wish that you could have had more time to flesh out the mechanics/balancing and make the visuals tie in with the premise.

    A small bug... the incoming fire from enemies didn't draw correctly (from source to target). It looked like the player character was doing all the shooting.

    Turned based games are kinda tough and I wonder if it might have been more interesting as a real time shooter?

    In any event, it was fun and curious to see what comes next and kept me going. Kudos on keeping the player engaged.
    Thanked by 1konman
  • @Pierre Which mechanics mentioned in comments are you referring to that might have been removed?

    It is very unbalanced as you can 1 shot everything currently, so the turn based action doesn't really shine as intended. The enemies need more health and damage so that the power-ups become useful. I just ran out of time.

    I'll look into the shooting graphic. Its a simple line renderer, which could be replaced with something else. I did add it in the last 30 minutes though LOL. Glad you managed to reach the end. Thanks for playing! :D
  • Things that may have been mechanics that I didn't see...
    "Also, will the items inside the circles be collectibles?" - I didn't see any items inside the circles, or were those the pickups after the fight?
    " it'll say that I can't enter my vessel instead. " - was there a time when you could go outside your vessel?

    I hear you, about time. There was so much I still wanted to add myself, but I didn't want to try and squeeze things in a rush, so at about 11:30 am on Sunday, I decided to start wrapping up the game loop. Start, Stop, Game Over etc.
    On the one hand, I have some regret, that I didn't add more.
    But on the other hand. I felt really good to clean up and close off a bit early. It felt like I had scoped right (Usually I over-scope and then I fail to deliver)...
    NOT that I'm saying you failed to deliver! heavens no. But I can see (and understand) that you had more that you still wanted to do. :)
    Thanked by 1konman
  • @Pierre
    I didn't see any items inside the circles, or were those the pickups after the fight?
    Yes, the items inside the circles being referred to are the pickups after the fight. The earlier iteration has them scattered around as I was testing the hotbar and pickup mechanics.
    was there a time when you could go outside your vessel
    Aaah, I forgot about that. You could click on the vessel and a message popped up. I removed it because clicking on the vessel interfered with the players ability to click on a circle when the vessel was over the circle and it didn't add any value anyway.

    Yep, I still want to add an indicator during the player's turn saying you can use your power-ups now. I don't think it is obvious you have to click on it during your turn. etc etc :D
  • Nice music, gameplay, narrative combo! Your choice of music for the game felt very spot on. Also it must have been difficult to try and balance that kind of game-play.

    As far as I could tell the progression came from collecting power ups, which was a result of fighting well with your current power ups. So the players attention isn't directed to trying to do something specific other than win to ensure that progression happens. In crashlands you need to collect specific resources to get specific power ups.
    Maybe if destroying the ships gave you power ups and there were a limited amount of rounds, then the player would have to choose who to shoot, to both stay alive and get the best power ups for their choice in escalating their possibilities.

    Though I don't know whether that would even be necessary. Also, cool star/asteroid/background effect, its so simple but I love the feeling it gives.

    Thanked by 1konman
  • The Search v1.01 update ​(Post jam - see download link)

    -Add Battle log (better indication what is happening each turn)
    -Fix lazer incorrectly indicating who attacked who
    -First attempt at balance so player doesn't 1 shot kill (Balance is hard!)​

    Known issues:
    Player cannot die.
    Special abilities not factored in.

    More to come... :D
    Thanked by 3Pierre Asriele Trian
  • edited
    The Search v1.02 update (Post jam - see download link)

    -Fixed a nasty bug where enemies benefit from player power-ups :D
    -Special abilities factored in
    -Better balance
    -Minor tweaks

    ...and it's a wrap.
  • As a fan of classic JRPGs and turn based games in general, I just love that you did a turn based game! It's great to see a core game play mechanic that doesn't appear that often anymore

    I have a suggestion, while flying it would be nice if I could hold in the left button and have the ship track and move towards the mouse's position. Instead of having to click all the time while navigating

    Also, great choices in sfx and music
    Thanked by 1konman
  • (I played the jam version.)

    I was pretty confused by what was happening during combat. I sort of figured it out after a while, but a lot of the miscommunication was in where the line renderer was drawing.

    I enjoyed the audio; I think the music made a pretty big difference.

    I can see this being pretty darn compelling, wondering between portals/encounters, outsmarting enemies, and unlocking more pathways and more abilities, and more snippets of story, and I think it's so impressive to me that you could evoke that kind of imagination with the jam time limits that you had. This is something I'd definitely want to play again with more polish on the UI, balance and feedback on what's happening! Congrats!
    Thanked by 1konman
  • Thanks @Elyaradine for taking the time to review my game.

    I have since fixed most of the items you mentioned and uploaded a new build after the jam has ended, but to put it in Eminem's words...
    "You only get one shot, do not miss your chance to blow"
    There is a reason why a jam has a limited time-frame and should be scoped for accordingly :)

    What was great about this jam personally was feeling inspired enough to carry on working on the game afterwards, as many others seem to have done as well. That's a good thing for MGSA and the SA Game Jam.

    Really appreciate you taking the time to provide feedback! :)
  • I also emailed the creator of the music I used over the weekend and sent him a link to the jam. He got back to me too! That doesn't happen often! :)

  • edited
    It's a rad little game. Managed to get to the end on the first run, but I felt like I nearly got killed at least twice (by myself planning a bit poorly). So it felt very well balanced for an enjoyable, edge of the seat, experience to me.

    What I would have really loved in this sort of game would have been some choices as to what powerups to take or which planets to go to in which order. Combat got more and more interesting as it went on, but I would have loved for the abilities in combat to be tied to decisions I had made in some way. I would have played again if different runs produced different results and I could experiment with powerful combinations of abilities.

    You've got the basis here of a game a little bit like Slay the Spire, and I (and a ton of other people) really enjoy the experience of playing Slay the Spire.

    A little more feedback on the shooting (as other's have mentioned) would have been nice, but by the time the combat was challenging me I had worked out the order that enemies fire in and how the abilities system worked.

    I definitely got a sense of escalation here! It was a little weird reading the text at the end of each combat about "possibilities escalating", which might have been a bit too on the nose for me, but the numbers and abilities definitely were increasing in quantity and complexity.
    Thanked by 1konman

  • The Search v1.03 update

    -Improved art. I discovered Blender 3D, so had to add some stuff :)
    -Improved laser effect.
    -Various tweaks.
  • The Search v1.05 update...
    Added some more tweaks, polish and blender objects :) I think it is a wrap on this one :)
    Here's a vid too...
    Thanked by 1critic
  • Looks good. The lasers are easier to follow now for sure.

    Was one of those tweaks that the Smart Bomb only deals 50% damage? That seems like a (smart) decision that will open up a bit more strategy.
    Thanked by 1konman
  • Thanks @EvanGreenwood, the update is mostly to make the prototype a little bit more presentable while learning a new tool as well (Blender).

    I think the game lacks player choice/strategy currently, but is a start to experiment with and understand scale and balance a bit better.

    To call it a strategy game I would need to dig a whole lot deeper, by allowing the player to fail and experiment,
    backtrack then push forward with new knowledge learned. I think playing more board games is key to learning that skill.

    At best I can use this as a balance tester in the future.

    One thing I do love about these jams are that they are focused and especially the SA Game jam themes
    are important cause they highlight the building blocks required to make a cohesive game, such as past themes: Primitives/Collect/Escalation etc. I don't think I'd just naturally focus on those aspects otherwise :)
Sign In or Register to comment.