Isles of Solara by ashen

made by ashen for LD28 (COMPO)
Use the wind to sail the Isles of Solara. Look for an island for your people to settle on and prosper. Watch out for pirates, destroy them and their lairs! Once you settle on an island there's no going back, you only get one island! Oh and there's also dodgy poetry!

You win when your people grow to a population of 100.


People on an island will collect food from any fields or deer, water from any spring/pond and wood from trees (to make houses). Each house supports 10 people. They build more houses when the population grows.

If your island is missing any a resource you should sail to another island, click 'Collect resource' and click on the field/spring/tree/deer. When you have enough sail back to your settlement flag and click 'Deliver resource'.

Made in pure Java code with my state machine design and using Simplex noise code originally by Ken Perlin. Game loop and bitmap classes based on code Notch used in previous LD comps. The audio system is based on the great Tinysound Java mixer. Code written in Eclipse Kepler, Graphics in PSP7, sound Audacity and BFXR.

It's a Java 7 runnable JAR file. No install, just run. The source files are included in the JAR. If you try to run it and get no window, check you have the latest Java runtime installed. No applet because I didn't have time. Have fun!


Coolness 91% 2
Overall 3.90 32
Audio 3.06 218
Fun 3.87 23
Graphics 3.44 248
Humor 2.59 351
Innovation 3.63 101
Mood 3.49 111
Theme 3.08 400


16. Dec 2013 · 04:06 CET
I LOVE THIS GAME. Only suggestion is make the sailing better. It is pretty good but it irks me a little(I am a sailor). Also add disasters like the mas falling if you sail straight into the wind and you have to anchor for some time to repair it which costs wood. Altogether AWESOME GAME!
16. Dec 2013 · 04:22 CET
Eric, thanks it's good to hear from someone who sails for real, as I don't. I tried to make the wind work simply enough for anyone to use, it could be more realistic.

Yes I made a note for storm clouds and disasters but didn't have the time to implement it. Likewise for ship repairs, maybe in a newer version if enough people like the game.
16. Dec 2013 · 04:28 CET
Nice game! the sailing felt a little slow to me but other than that its awesome! good job. looking for votes on my game to:
16. Dec 2013 · 04:28 CET
Great Game!
I'm not a sailor, but i liked the "simulation" feeling the game has. The game is fun, and that's the best compliment a developer may receive, so congratulations on your project!

One thing i think i should point out is that the wind direction feels a bit too common/predictable. Maybe dividing the wind flow by regions would make the exploring part a bit better, as you could make maneuveurs and plan movements more dynamicaly.
16. Dec 2013 · 04:38 CET
High points for fun! One of my favorite Ludum Dare games! Is there any way to fix the ship? I wanted to keep playing but it was frustrating to slowly get weakened by endless pirates.
16. Dec 2013 · 05:26 CET
deathray, thanks and you're absolutely right. It's really annoying I missed that as it would have been so easy to gradually heal the ship with wood when near the settlement flag. Will add in a new version.
16. Dec 2013 · 06:05 CET
Really nice game ! It's a pleasure to play this game, I hope you will continue to develop it, the gameplay is really cool and it's so hard !
16. Dec 2013 · 06:19 CET
Wow, very nice game you have here :D
Very fun, and the graphics are simple and sweet!
16. Dec 2013 · 06:23 CET
Nice rhymes :D
Love the sailing part, missing hotkeys and collision visualisation tho.
16. Dec 2013 · 07:20 CET
Rhymes are great and this mechanic... Perfect! Make it a big game, please? ^.^
16. Dec 2013 · 07:29 CET
For the love of god make a full game out of this!
It's a shame I couldn't repair the ship, otherwise I could be playing this for days!
16. Dec 2013 · 07:30 CET
This is really good. Very impressed with what you were able to get done! Very solid, already spent an hour on it!
16. Dec 2013 · 07:33 CET
Very nice!

My only problem would be that the sounds were a little bit jumpy, but then again, I didn't do sounds myself so I can't complain ;)
16. Dec 2013 · 07:36 CET
I really liked the idea and the use of the theme for the game. I think sailing around was my favorite part - it is too bad it had to end!
16. Dec 2013 · 07:36 CET
Thanks for all the feedback. I think I'll make a "post compo" version and add a link from here. I'll add ship repair and some other enhancements and try to fix a few bugs.
16. Dec 2013 · 08:26 CET
Very nice little game, very ambitious thats for sure. Has great potential.
16. Dec 2013 · 09:38 CET
Reminds me a bit of dwarf fortress, except you stay aloof from the colony. The goals are simple and it's fun to just sail around and blow stuff up.
16. Dec 2013 · 09:47 CET
Very relaxing game, when pirates aren't blowing you to bits. I really like the idea, it could be great as a full game.
16. Dec 2013 · 09:51 CET
This game looks really fun!
I'd like to play it but when ever i open it, the screen just flashes black and grey =(
16. Dec 2013 · 10:40 CET
flatgub: Sorry to hear that, make sure you have the latest Java runtime 7 installed, it often fixes it.
16. Dec 2013 · 12:44 CET
Really cool game! It was somewhat hard to steer the boat. But other than that it was really great!
16. Dec 2013 · 18:01 CET
Definitely one of my favourite games so far.
ocarina of lime
16. Dec 2013 · 21:46 CET
Incredibly fun! Would have been good if you could repair your ship at your home port cause after a while you just end up having to avoid pirates cause you're so low on health only way to win is to basically camp in a spot they cant get to you or in a place where they kill themselves running into rocks. Really like the settling mechanic, wish there where more rts/sim games on ludum they are one of my favourite genres.
16. Dec 2013 · 22:30 CET
Really cool! I love little simulators like this. the sailing was a bit awkward but I guess sailing a ship really isn't that easy. A nice feature would be shanties. Everybody loves shanties.
17. Dec 2013 · 04:40 CET
i like the graphics and gameplay. it wasnt super clear what i should o on land once i settled but i'm sure i can figure it out if i spend more time.
17. Dec 2013 · 07:12 CET
Thanks for all the positive comments, it was fun to make, but it's even better that someone actually has fun playing it!

mcapraro, All you need to is help the population get to 100 to win. They will gather resources themselves if found on the island, if not, you will need to get resources from other islands and deliver them. I'm doing an updated version with suggestions, but I don't think I should put it up here until voting is finished.
17. Dec 2013 · 16:22 CET
Fun game! I like sailing to unknown islands and settling there. And it's funny and satisfying to see those settlers walking around and building houses :)
17. Dec 2013 · 18:20 CET
Nice! I really enjoyed sailing and settling, but I couldn't get fresh water? And once settled, we stay there,right?
17. Dec 2013 · 20:57 CET
Wow. I like the concept here and If you are going to expand it someday I'll definitely play it again ;) Humorous note: Do you know the feeling of sailing with lowered anchor? Took me about minute in my first game.. :D
18. Dec 2013 · 00:07 CET
Just to add something I haven't seen in the comments before: Many pirates I encountered were half dead ;)
Well done, played all my way to the 100.
18. Dec 2013 · 16:41 CET
Are there any shortcuts to lower the anchor and such? Would come in handy as emergency brake :P
Cool game, it's great to shoot down pirates and collect resources ^_^
18. Dec 2013 · 19:43 CET
I love the game! The sailing is cool because of the wind changing. One issue I have is Every time I settle I seem to lose shortly after and the game doesn't really tell me why. So I don't know what i'm doing wrong
19. Dec 2013 · 00:12 CET
JayPC000 and X-Or, I'm putting key shortcuts and info why you died in an updated version that I'll add a link to on this page soon.

Might be unfair for me to add a link before voting has finished though, as people will probably download and vote on the improved version, not the comp version.
19. Dec 2013 · 03:11 CET
I don't get it, how do you play it?
19. Dec 2013 · 03:26 CET
1. Sail around exploring islands and avoiding/shooting pirate ships until you find an island with some trees, deer, fields etc that will support your settlers.

2. Settle on the island and the settlers will gather what they need to grow to 100. If they are running out of a resource, you can go to other islands and collect wood and deliver it back to your settlement.

You can't directly control the settlers, just your ship. It's simplistic I know, but I didn't have time to expand it further during the comp (I will in a new version that I'll post a link to here.)
19. Dec 2013 · 04:03 CET
Oh,sorry I should have been clearer. I don't know how to run the game.
19. Dec 2013 · 09:47 CET
You'll need the Java Runtime Environment version 7 installed on your computer.

Get it here:

Then, once the it is installed you should be able to just double click the IslesOfSolara.Jar file and it will start.
22. Dec 2013 · 09:35 CET
Best one I've played yet!
22. Dec 2013 · 14:09 CET
Wow, nice twist on Pirates! I like how you came up with a different shootin mechanism. That really could be something if continued.
27. Dec 2013 · 02:41 CET
I really liked the sailing
01. Jan 2014 · 13:20 CET
Excellent surprise ! I didn't expect such a game in a LD... furthermore in a 48h entry ! You should correct the pirate collision with lands. It's strange to see them wreck all alone on reefs. It's a great game you should continue ;)
01. Jan 2014 · 16:31 CET
WOW. So much content.
I really love the details like the sails getting bigger in the wind, the pirate ai, the wind mechanic, the deer...
My settlers were somehow stuck, they just build two towns and then ran around but did not collect any resources.
The sound lacks a bit of quality in comparison to the rest of the game.
01. Jan 2014 · 23:03 CET
Very nice. A fantastic effort for 48 hours and still plenty of mechanics to expand upon. It could turn into anything from a 4X to a "privateer" type game, to something completely new. Great work.
03. Jan 2014 · 18:33 CET
Wow. To create such a game in 48 hours!
I also had fun playing this. I actually liked the sounds.
Well I just don't know what to say but: great!
07. Jan 2014 · 06:56 CET
Hey ashen, nice going scoring that #32 overall! It's well earned. Congrats, I really enjoyed your game!
07. Jan 2014 · 08:13 CET
PEBKAC: Thanks a lot! It's great you and enough others liked it enough to give the game good votes. Your game has plenty of potential too.
15. Jan 2014 · 14:14 CET
Love the updated version, I've since then gotten better strictly because I know why I lose all the time. would love to see this continue to be developed, maybe even into a full game.