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Cart #werugipano-5 | 2021-02-13 | Code ▽ | Embed ▽ | License: CC4-BY-NC-SA


Journey across the stars, crashing your Star Cruiser into a series of increasingly dangerous, procedurally generated planets. Explore their hazardous surfaces as you rescue your stranded crew, salvage lost cargo, and zap hordes of enemies. Can you survive long enough to reach the Mysterious Planet X? Or will you be consumed by a slime, zapped by an enemy blaster, boiled in acid, or choked to death by a toxic atmosphere?


Arrow Keys/Directional Pad - Move
[Z] - Jump (tap, or hold for higher jumps)
[X] - Use Held Item
[Down] + [X] - Pick up / Swap Item


There are several ways to earn score as you traverse a planet's surface:

Bopping enemies
Zapping enemies
Securing cargo
Transporting friendly crew off the surface
Completing levels
Blasting off from the planet in a new Star Cruiser
Several secret bonuses you'll need to discover!


As you delve deeper into space, the planets will expand in size, add more difficult room layouts and variations, increase the chance for high gravity, unlock new hazardous biomes (including burning lava planets, sliding ice planets, and rare toxic atmospheres!), more challenging enemy variants, more enemy crew, and fewer useful items to help you along the way. While the first few planets might not cause you much trouble, by the time you reach the Mysterious Planet X, you'll need the skills and bravery of a true Space Ranger to survive!


Humans are boring! While they're the most common species in the Space Rangers, the other sentient species have special bonuses to help in their adventures. Along with all the random features of each planet, you'll need to accustom yourself to the unique ability of your randomly chosen cadet.

Can you reach the Mysterious Planet X with a cadet from every species?


Game by @tmi_robot. For developer logs and other information, search #littlespacerangers on Twitter.

Uses portions of @matthughson's Advanced Micro Platformer library, which can be found here https://www.lexaloffle.com/bbs/?pid=46229.​


---------------- v1.3 ----------------

--- GAMEPLAY ---

o Lowered the number of screens per planet, and randomized the chance of extra screens on later planets instead of always having them be bigger, which:
1) makes the game easier
2) varies up the landscape more frequently
3) presents the player with a win feeling more often, making the game more fun overall.

o Removed the increase in enemy hit points on later planets, as, with no visual indicator, it's confusing and not fun to discover deep into a run.
o Removed the need to press up to enter the ship, removing the need to learn another action
o Fixed a bug where your high score wouldn't be updated when you win the game
o Changed screen clear score to take into account planet difficulty
o Changed score to not be stored as decimals, as score should never get close to 32k and conversion used tokens. Forced new save version to _13, to clear old scores as this and gameplay changes make old scores meaningless.

--- VISUALS ---

o Adjusted the HUD window size so that the full vertical play area can be seen properly
o Added a HUD prompt when near an item, instructing the player on how to pick it up
o Adjusted the title screen to be centered better, shifting all status displays a little higher
o Added random flavor text dialog strings to the crash sequence
o Added flavor text dialog strings that describe the overall difficulty of a planet upon landing
o Added ability to specify a blood color for death particles (robots no longer bleed!)
o Renamed the "talk-o-tron" to "tele-tron", to better match its concept

--- AUDIO ---

o Added a sound effect when entering the ship at the end of a planet
o Added a sound effect for the Planet: Cleared banner

--- CODE ---

o Updated the include pico-8 package to v0.2.0i (netting some free tokens!)
o Added back in code comments I had to remove a long time ago for .png format space and reorganized code for better readability
o Recaptured a bunch of tokens through various methods (multiple if chains converted to "if ands", some ifs that weren’t necessary (nil checks when nil is ok), a few missed multiple assignment lines, a few unnecessary assignments in reset() and other functions, a few never-used code paths (extensibility that was never used or generic functions that are only called in one place), and other assorted cleanups.

P#46149 2017-11-11 19:06 ( Edited 2021-02-13 19:07)

This seems like a long game for what was crammed into the map data, very nice! (Like my Alex Kidd game, heheh)

I kept coming across jumping crew members, with no way to interact with them, what's that about?

P#46157 2017-11-11 20:34 ( Edited 2017-11-12 01:34)

Thanks! Yes, it was a balance of lots of factors to decide on how much randomness vs. planned map blocks. There's a fair amount of variance even in the blocks, with mud, items, creatures, in addition to what you get with the species bonus and gravity modifying what routes you can take.

As for the jumping guys, if you pick up the Tele-Tron item, you can use it near a crew member of the same species and it will transport them offplanet, for some bonus points.

P#46174 2017-11-12 01:31 ( Edited 2017-11-12 06:31)

Wow this is cool. Maybe remove acceleration after jumping as it makes precise actions more difficult :'(

P#46274 2017-11-14 02:58 ( Edited 2017-11-14 07:58)

I tried to find a balance of weight vs. controllabilty (though it does certainly change with Demi and Fuzzis), but characters certainly don't stop on a dime. My hope was the high amount of air control would help a bit with no air friction, while also allowing ease of jumps/speed running from continual movement in air. But it may be I just like my games a little too slidey mario :D

Thank you for trying it out!

P#46488 2017-11-19 19:59 ( Edited 2017-11-20 00:59)

this game is so cool

P#88571 2021-03-05 09:23

Thanks Doodel, glad you enjoyed it!

P#88618 2021-03-06 18:13

Am I missing something? A jetpack maybe? Or a double jump? Most levels seem to have a lot of stuff just out of reach. Some look like they could be reached by using a monster as a jump boost, but it doesn't work.

Maybe it't the semi-random layout, but I feel like I'm missing the upper half of every level.

Anyway, cool game.

P#88732 2021-03-09 17:16

@pobop Different planets have different gravity forces. Notice the orange downwards arrow in your case (it can be green = light gravity, orange = heavy gravity or red = very heavy gravity)

P#88748 2021-03-09 21:41

I really love this game in general, but one thing in regard to balancing bothers me. I feel as if, to maximize points, the gun is completely useless. The teleporter is just flat out better, because hopping on enemies is better than using a gun, from a points standpoint. All I suggest is to flip the scores for hopping versus shooting enemies. Now, I can understand why these scores would be the case initially, you most likely wanted the footstooling method to be more challenging, but guns are an item, and if they don't benefit you more than not having it, there isn't a reason to get it. If you just change this one thing, I think the game would be exponentially better.

P#89144 2021-03-18 02:08

@FGH I thought the same thing at first, but then I started running into enemies that can't be jumped on. For those the gun is bonus points and makes the level easier, so it's sometimes worth it collecting it.
And even in the early levels, if you're just going for survivability and not points, then blaster always beats teletron.

P#89466 2021-03-24 18:46 ( Edited 2021-03-24 18:47)

Oh! And I absolutely loved this game, @tmirobot
Thank you so much for sharing it with us!

P#89468 2021-03-24 18:47

@pobop As @ChakAttack mentioned, each planet can have different gravity. Also, one of the species can jump higher than the others. You can also jump higher by bouncing off of an enemy's head if there is one nearby. Lastly, you can grab objects on ledges if you press down and x at just the right time at the top of your jump.

P#89475 2021-03-24 23:07

@FGH Thanks for your input! I'm glad you enjoyed the game. Here are the reasons I made guns the way they are -- I'm not sure if this will change your mind, but it's why I did it :D

  1. Guns are mostly to help players that are having issues just getting through planets (and eventually reach Planet X at the end of the game!). As you become more advanced, you should naturally choose Tele-tron, to help you score the most points on your journey, but the Gun's main function is to help survive.

  2. Related to this, as @mac mentioned, there are enemies later that cannot be jumped on, so the gun makes a safer path for you, as some of the timings to avoid spiked enemies can be very challenging.

  3. You get more points for jumping on enemies than shooting, because jumping on them is a riskier act - you have to get closer, and if you miss, you'll take damage. So I wanted to reward people that took that risk (even if they're holding a gun!)

Hope that helps at least see what I was thinking! Thanks again for playing!

P#89476 2021-03-24 23:11

@mac thanks for your comment, I'm really happy you enjoyed it! It was my first pico game, and I had a lot of fun making it.

P#89477 2021-03-24 23:11

@LawrenceJunior Thanks for playing! Glad you liked it!

P#89478 2021-03-24 23:11

Out of curiosity, what name generation algorithms do you use for each species? It seems quite interesting

P#91425 2021-05-03 15:37 ( Edited 2021-05-09 16:57)

whatdoes the teletron do?

P#109836 2022-04-07 12:19

If you press X/V next to a jumping crew member of the same species as you then they get teleported IF you have a teletron equipped

P#126680 2023-03-06 20:51

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