The Diviner

Discover the riches of the underground!

As an ambitious Diviner, you aspire to master the secrets of divination, by dowsing the underground for various valuable materials.

As your power is limited, you can't see everything. But by careful divination, you will localize enough valuables to be promoted, and advance through the ranks of the Diviners.

About the game

"The Diviner" is a relaxing "reveal the board" game. It was made in Java, using the LibGDX framework. Java is required in order to run the non-web version of the game. The art was made using Aseprite, and the music was made using LMMS.

The game is controlled by mouse. Hover over buttons or icons to see a description. You can access the Tome of Discovery in-game as well, which contains additional information.

I have included an experimental HTML-build (I've verified that the HTML version can be played to completion on my own PC). Some have reported trouble with the scaling - in that case, please use the alternate resolution link instead. If you experience other issues, please write a comment below.

Voting results

Overall
18th
6.400
Graphics
26th
5.267
Audio
9th
6.533
Gameplay
21st
5.733
Originality
23rd
6.400
Theme
16th
7.667

This game entered in the Solo competition (45 entries).

Comments (13)

Caique Assis
(@caiqueassis) • 7 months ago

Hey!

It was really satisfying to click and unveil those soils. When I got upgrades that let me see more tiles than the ones I had clicked, it was really nice. And finding the precious gems is just as good when you make a Tetris…

Also, I loved that dun dun dun duuuuun sound effect when you went to another area xD

Raindrinker
7 months ago

I liked this one. The only caveat is that I took the longest time to figure out a dominant strategy that wasn't clicking randomly, i'd like it to feel more like a minesweeper somehow. Ind the end I was almost thinking what I was doing, but not that much.

Gameplay: The idea is really solid and the execution clean. Every powerup is substatial. Maybe knowing how much I need to get to progress would disincentivise clicking randomly, because I felt I was getting points and I wasn't, the fact that score is reset between areas is not clear. The gameplay is simple but feels great so you hit some nail there.

Art: It's not gorgeous but its coherent and serves its function very well and is never confusing.

Music and SFX: The sound of revealing and the backroung music are cool and feel really retro/arcade, but in the end the repetition feels a bit tiring.

With cleaner graphics and a level system, this would be a great mobile game.
Great work! :)

Somnium
7 months ago

@caiqueassis Thank you for your comments! I'm glad you enjoyed the game and the tool progression! :) And the dramatic sound cues as well.

Somnium
7 months ago

@Raindrinker Thank you for your comments!

There are rules to the game, in the sense that both the groupings of the terrain features, as well as how the map-terrain generates, can be partially deduced. But yeah, it definitely makes my game more akin to Battleships than to Minesweeper :)

I agree that the "threshold" mechanic of gaining ranks is not communicated very well in the gameplay itself. In the end I decided to just mention it explicitly in the intro and in the Tome help-function. Perhaps the next threshold could have been stated explicitly on the game screen itself.

Thanks for the feedback! :)

Rubn
7 months ago

Nice use of the sound, and also amazing drone music, really sets the mood. I was lost for the first 2 areas but then got it, nice implementation of the idea!

treslapin
7 months ago

The concept is good, and I want to see this developed further. I'm a sucker for these types of games - mining and finding treasure. I really liked finding a vein of ores and then mining all around them. I really liked upgrading my tools and getting to see more of the terrain. With the current turn mechanic, there needs to be more strategy of how users can find the ores. A timer mechanic would work better with the current game in my opinion.

Somnium
7 months ago

@Rubn Thank you for your comments! Your powers are also quite limited in the beginning, until you start to unlock the more useful tools.

Somnium
7 months ago

@treslapin Thank you for your comments!

Hmm, perhaps. The current mechanics center on "getting lucky" at first, and then gradually using your knowledge of how the terrain and features are usually grouped, to make more educated guesses about where to find the rest. I feel that a real-time timer would quickly reduce the game to frantic clicking. Then again, perhaps this is how people are playing the game anyway, and in that case you might definitely have a point there :) Ultimately, I decided to gradually give the tools more "oomph", including the audio-visual feedback, so that they would be satisfying to use for delvers and clickers alike :)

Thanks for the feedback!

notnullnotvoid
7 months ago

This was a relaxing one for sure. I'm digging (haha) the aesthetic, and the audio is totally on point. That said… I'll take your word for it that there are understandable rules to how the ores/gems are generated, but I sure couldn't figure them out. It seemed like valuables tended to generate close to one another, but that's about all I could get. It was fun to play through anyway, even though I was clueless, but it didn't really feel like a puzzle game.

Somnium
7 months ago

@notnullnotvoid Thank you for your comments!

True, the game is definitely leaning more towards the "relaxing" than the "puzzle" genre. In retrospect, having predefined shapes for the various materials, could probably have made the game more satisfying for players wanting a more "structured" game experience (but would in essence also have turned the game into a variant of "Battleship"). But basically, as hinted at in the Tome, the most valueable ores are only found in rock, and ore-veins follow a "snaking" pattern moving N/S or E/W.

Thanks for the feedback!

HuvaaKoodia
6 months ago

I'm not into this "relaxing" business you keep mentioning so get ready for wildly inappropriate suggestions (no, not that kind!)

There is potential in the divination idea, but randomness needs to be harnessed for it is a fickle beast. Currently the exercise goes from "Get lucky with the first few digs or go broke!" to "Reveal 80% of the area and become the grand master!" in just one successful dig. Took me only 12 areas on the second time around. 10 or those were in the first category.

I would have preferred a puzzle (akin to minesweeper or sudoku) or a decision making competition (for instance, taking turns claiming tiles with one or more opponents. Using resources/items at the right times to make a difference) or even an interactive story about the reclusive cult of diviners!

The graphics are adequate as usual. There's been some improvement in the audio front. The background ambient fits especially well and the dramatic 80's synth cues are lovely.

Ok work. Not for me in its current form.

Overall: 6 (Above average)
Graphics: 6 (Above average)
Audio: 7 (Good)
Gameplay: 3 (Bad)
Originality: 7 (Good)
Theme: 7 (Good)

Somnium
6 months ago

@HuvaaKoodia Ah, I was wondering when you would drop by, to deliver the coup de grâce :-D

The number of moves was balanced around making it possible, but improbable, to "skip" ranks, but with extra time, it could certainly have been tuned better.

This time, the randomness itself (as opposed to a more "puzzle-like" approach) was intentional. I observed that many of my test players who played "The Hermetic Order of Alchemists", were clicking more or less randomly. So this was an experiment in whether "clicking (semi)randomly" could be turned into a satisfying experience.

But as you say, this definitely had the side-effect of lessening the importance/depth of the player's choices. Your "limited special moves, where you have to think about when to apply them" suggestion is a great idea, that could be implemented without changing the core game concept, but would still give additional weight to the player's decisions. And they could even be gathered, by hiding them on random tiles, which would again tie into the "click (semi)randomly" concept. I'm also considering adding some extra varieties of map types to the game, as well as some kind of overarching "story framing" around the current mechanics, to add more of a purpose to the game.

I did some experiments with LMMS since last jam, in order to make the music and sounds a more integral part of the game this time around. I'm glad it shows!

Thanks for your feedback!

HuvaaKoodia
6 months ago

I observed that many of my test players who played "The Hermetic Order of Alchemists", were clicking more or less randomly.

Those people played it wrong!

Never capitulate to the whims of the many!

Well, ok, experiments are fine every once in a while.

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Info

Discover the riches of the underground!

Links

Web Web (alternative resolution) Java/Windows/Linux

Author

Somnium