Gamejam entry: Sporg

My first Ludum Dare entry, created over a weekend in August 2010. Primarily a technical learning exercise, there isn't a great deal to be said about the gameplay of Sporg.

Simply guide the ball to the yellow exit to progress to the next level. Your task is complicated by the presence of enemy turrets which will fire deadly projectiles at you should you cross their line of sight.

Enemies as weapons

The theme of the competition was 'Enemies as Weapons'. Sporg incorporates this by giving the player no weapon of their own but creating obstacles that require a weapon to pass. In this screenshot the route to the exit is blocked by the rightmost red turret. In order to remove the turret, the player must carefully cause the middle turret to fire at them by entering the line of sight to the right, then when the turret opens fire, deftly dodging the projectile so that it proceeds to destroy the rightmost turret. A hint to the player is given as the level caption shown at the bottom of the screen (though this did not stop my first playtester insisting that this level was broken and impossible).

The only real appeal the game maintains for me is the humour of the messages presented upon finishing or failing a level.

Win messages include such timeless classics as:

  • Members of your preferred gender are attracted by your skill,
  • Zombies lust for your intelligent brain

Losing is rewarded with cutting wit:

  • I suppose you did that on purpose,
  • Perhaps you should try a turn based game?,
  • Don't try blaming that one on poor collision detection,
  • Distracted by the amazing graphics?

And this was recognised by the fine judges of Ludum Dare, who awarded the game #13th place for humour of the 213 entries and #91st overall.

A playable version of Sporg is not currently available. If you're interested though, just ask me on twitter and I'll dig it up for you.