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Ludum Dare 37

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Bruce again, now with fixed controls and no random stuff

Posted by
Saturday, December 17th, 2016 7:59 am


Hello there,

After some feedbacks about the controls of Bruce, the escaping ant  and the boring waiting, I decided to upload a new version. Please have a look:

Bruce, the escaping ant – Now with better controls and no randomness

Changes are:

  • You may now control the jump in the air (well, a bit…)
  • The last jump doesn’t need to be absolutely precise
  • Geckos are not random anymore
  • Spiders’ hitbox is a little better
  • There are a few graphics changes

Please have a look!


Pedro Castro Menezes

Ludum Dare post mortem + shameless propaganda

Posted by
Friday, December 16th, 2016 12:09 pm

Hello there, it’s me again.

So I decided to write a few things about my first experience attending to Ludum Dare. I was thinking of not participating at all but thanks to some “pushing”, I ended up trying to do it.

The idea: As the theme was “one room” and I only have a small experience with platformers, my first thought was “how would be a platformer with only one room”. A man is too big, a rat is quite small, but still too fast so an ant (or another bug) would do the trick. Though it is a small space, I thought that it would be coll to have some variety to the scenario: Some jumping, some avoiding hazard and a mini-boss. As it still looks like it would be too easy, I thought it would be nice to force the player to do it as fast as he can, so the flooding. The whole thinking process took me about 5 min. 😛 Then I was off to the art.

The art: I recently bought myself a Wacom Intuos Draw® in order to be independent of artist, although I (thought I) couldn’t draw at all.

Someone who can't do art trying to do art. LOL.

Someone who can’t do art trying to do art. LOL.

The way I went through first to last one was having a look at some “ant anatomy” on google. I did the same for the other characters and I was quite happy with the final result, as I was expecting to do nothing better than the left version of the ant.

The Music: I had no idea at all what I was doing. The only thing I knew was that I needed something mysterious to begin with and then an action tune. After a few tries, I was satisfied with what I have (well… I was running out of time anyways. The music was the last bit)

The gameplay: Controlling the jump in the air is bull*, said Newton. As a physicist myself, I insisted on the idea that you should not be able to control the direction after jumping. The result: everybody hated it 😛 Realistic physics in games are fine for simulations, but not for jumping ants inside a flooding box with spiders, flies and geckos, I guess. Another thing was “you hit a platform, you lose it”. Both was bad design decisions and now I understand why



Still on the gameplay, there where some comments pointing the random nature of the gecko attack. It wasn’t supposed to be that way originally, but due to the lack of time, I left it the way I first developed

I really hope that this bastard doesn't attack me, Pls!

I really hope that this bastard doesn’t attack me, Pls!

Restarting and the story: When I developed the game, I wanted all to see the story about the ant. As the game ended up to be a bit too difficult to some, there where a lot of this:



and these:



so yes.. I realized that this wasn’t as clever as I thought.

Final thoughts, learning and the last cheap propaganda:

The feedback for the game was way greater than I could ever imagine, so thank you very much for all of you who spent some time playing and commenting! Here are my learnings:

  • Let people control the jumping – This was unanimous. Some didn’t care but even so pointed out that it was weird that they could not control. Also, turn the friction of the walls off so that the player can jump against walls and reach the platform above
  • Quick restart – Story is fine. Reading 100 times the same thing is not. Having a quick restart button doesn’t cost much and make the game more enjoyable. After making these two modifications I saw the huge difference (not available yet)
  • Random attackers where OK on MSX era because they didn’t know better –  I remember one game, Awf wiedersehen monty, which had this smashing thing with a completely random pattern. It was annoying then and it is annoying now. Never again.

For this small and humble project, that is it.

If you haven’t played yet, check it out: Bruce, the escaping ant.

If you played and like it, maybe you will like this one too: Stick Nightmare.

Thank you so much for playing! Cheers!

Pedro Castro Menezes

Expanding Bruce’s world: The yard

Posted by
Thursday, December 15th, 2016 8:29 pm

Hello there, it’s me again.

The feedback has been so incredible that I decided to make some tests with art and gameplay. As you may know, Bruce has been captured in the yard by a kid. I realized that it would be cool to make a stage where our hero is there, before being caught. Just some tiles and we have the very beginning of the yard:


I decided to keep the art style black and white, but I still have a lot to work on it. This is just a test screen for what’s coming next for Bruce, the escaping ant.


Bruce and the new jump

Posted by
Thursday, December 15th, 2016 7:51 am


After some complaints about the weirdness of jumping, I decided to change the jumping in Bruce, the escaping ant.

I’m not sure, though, if I am allowed to post a modified version now or if I should wait for LD to end to post it. What to do?


EDIT: Well, I can’t 😛

“Certain Bug Fixes are allowed. You can’t add new features, but if something broke or didn’t work correctly as you were finishing up, you can fix this after the deadline. You are asked to highlight the changes you make in your submission (a short change log). You probably wont get a 2nd chance with some players, but at least it wont be a problem for future players.”

I considered to be a new feature, so I’ll just leave it as it is for now.


Bruce, the escaping ant – about my first Ludum Dare

Posted by
Wednesday, December 14th, 2016 5:05 am


Hi all,

It has been amazing to see some great stuff made in such a restricted time period! It’s great to be a part of it.

For all of you who played my entry (**this one**), thank you very much! It means a lot for me.

It is even better to see that there are some of you kind enough to leave a comment, and it has been great to hear your thoughts (I got it. no control in the air is bad… BAD!!! :P). I am motivated to keep working on the game after this, and it’s all thanks to you.

For all of you who didn’t try Bruce, the escaping ant yet, please give it a shot! 😀 The link is right here: (as they say: Third time is a charm)

Thanks again!


Bruce, the escaping ant

Posted by
Monday, December 12th, 2016 12:58 pm

Here it is, after ~50hs. Enjoy :)

Bruce, the escaping ant

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