Ludum Dare 35 — April 15th-18th, 2016 — Theme: Shapeshift

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The Skinmancer

by derr - Jam Entry

[Important note]

If the game window is too small, go to the Video Settings menu and switch to Windowed 3X or Fullscreen. Fullscreen sets the screen resolution to 1920x1080. I didn't have time to write code to figure out the best resolution, so if your monitor does not support that, please use Windowed 3X instead.


The young warrior's family was captured. Help him free them and learn animal forms from them!


Playing with a Gamepad is recommended.


WASD (Movement)
I - Shapeshift (W and D to choose form, let go to lock in)
J - Jump
K - Attack
L - Block

D-Pad (Movement)
Y - Shapeshift (Left/Right to choose form, let go to lock in)
A - Jump
X - Attack
RT - Block

You can duck and duck attack. Enemies will do the same. You can also duck in ferret form to avoid arrows and down sword hits.

Unity 5
Tiled Mapeditor + Tiled2Unity
Visual Studio 2013
Bitwig (Music)

Thanks for playing!


@mstuetzer (Art, Design)
@rendelmann (Code, Music)

Downloads and Links




EdoMiyamoto says ...
Apr 19, 2016 @ 1:24am

I am victorious ! Nice game, more sound effect would have been nice. Design is very good, gameplay quite good.
Backtracking is a bit hard when you don't kill everyone (I tried a pacifist run), also attacking a knight from one square above them doesn't do anything ! (I was on my knee, aiming for headshot, and nothing !)
Good entry :)

Le_Sarus says ...
Apr 19, 2016 @ 7:11am

Really nice looking game, combat is harder than it first looks too

Casey Jordan says ...
Apr 19, 2016 @ 7:12am

Very on-theme. I don't know if a lot of the design decisions that I'm lauding were intentional, but I'm really feeling the vibe of this game.

You give the player the affordance of combat, but make it...prohibitively weak to be of any value, especially after you unlock the ferret.

Giving the player the OPTION to fight, but making it useless might seem pointless, but it has a massive effect on player perception. It did in my case, at least. There was a notable point when I was just, like, "Eh, fighting these guys is pointless". Which helped me fall into this shamnistic role. The music reinforced it as well.

Very cool. :3

Apr 19, 2016 @ 7:45am

For once, I didn't mind the lack of sound effects in a game. Not sure what made this one so special, but there's just something about the feel of it I guess.

The best thing about this one is the level design. When I got the Song of the Ferret I kept running up against a corner and wasn't sure what to do, but I just wandered around and ended up figuring it out. You're lost *just enough* that finding your way feels rewarding instead of easy, but it also isn't frustrating. That's hard to do well, and it's really satisfying to play a game like that.

The way you acquire new shapes and use them to unlock things reminds me of Castlevania: Symphony of the Night. Well done, but not especially unique. What was nice was the way the combat was dimly possible, but still difficult enough that you're encouraged to sneak past enemies. More stealth games should do it this way.

Easily the best game I've played so far in LD35.

marod says ...
Apr 20, 2016 @ 7:59am

Nice game, and nice looking game! Quite good

EdoCreate says ...
Apr 20, 2016 @ 11:43am

Pretty game. Nice art, sound and game mechanic, but view too small. Good job!

Apr 20, 2016 @ 11:52am

Good job, hard combat, maybe too hard, but possible pacifist run.

kestrelgames says ...
Apr 20, 2016 @ 12:43pm

Really nailed the retro aesthetic. I like how there were just enough clues left to be able to search around and figure out where to go after unlocking the first form without being too obvious.

Yumeito says ...
Apr 21, 2016 @ 10:30am

Good Gmae:)

vctr_seleucos says ...
Apr 21, 2016 @ 10:41am

Nice game, well done. The graphics are good, and the music is nice. I miss some sound effects!!

rjhelms says ...
Apr 21, 2016 @ 3:17pm

All the detailed comments I could make have already been made, so I'll just say: great job!

runvs says ...
Apr 22, 2016 @ 1:49pm

Very nice game. I really like the graphics and the background music. Some more sound effects (like an attack or hit sound) would have been nice. The level design is quite nice.
It was kind of hard, but i like the idea of the game.
Well done :)

Apr 24, 2016 @ 7:02am

I actually quit out of this one simply because I died and the checkpoints were too far away. As someone in my stream chat said: they're really unforgiving since they can only be used once.

The design and idea of it is good though and I do wish I knew how the story finished.

I played it on stream @ 1:34:50 :

derr says ...
Apr 24, 2016 @ 8:44am

@QuestionableQuality: Thanks for playing our entry! Regarding the check points, I tried putting one before each difficult area. They work like the Bonfires in Dark Souls, though, you respawn at the last one you used. They can be checked in at multiple times. :)

RealityCheck says ...
Apr 26, 2016 @ 9:08am

I liked the pixel graphics a lot. Music was good as well. The game itself was fun, albeit very hard... especially since I had to play with a keyboard. Great entry, though.

Arvydas says ...
Apr 26, 2016 @ 12:00pm

Nice looking game, the combat system is hard, i found that i was most skipping enemies and not actually take the time to kill them, the forms are really intresting, only problem i found is that with the owl you can reach unfinished/void parts of the map.

crucknuk says ...
Apr 26, 2016 @ 1:04pm

Nice entry! Art is great! Fighting system is a bit hard with a keyboard so I ended up running away, especially once I got the furret form. Anyway, good job ;)

Joror says ...
Apr 26, 2016 @ 1:50pm

Very nicely constructed gameplay & multi-level playing field. I like that it is forgiving and you have multiple avenues. (ferret jumping all the way)

BubsyPoochies says ...
Apr 26, 2016 @ 2:04pm

Wow!! Amazing! I really sorry i couldn't finish the game (I'm at work right now) but it's one of the best games I've played this ludum dare. The graphics are really good, and the mechanics are pretty good too. Yeah, it's hard kill a soldier, or just move to the correct position to hit the enemy, etc, but it's addictive. Congratz

Fanatrick says ...
Apr 27, 2016 @ 12:07am

Absolutely amazing meshing pixel art :O

gnerkus says ...
Apr 29, 2016 @ 1:25pm

I was hypnotized by the music. I only got the ferret form.

Killing guards did get a little bit tedious. It was also difficult to view some platforms.

Apr 29, 2016 @ 2:04pm


Hjalte500 says ...
Apr 29, 2016 @ 5:47pm

Could use a few more sound effects but you pretty much nailed everything else so how can I complain.
You really got the look of the game perfectly. Really feels like a jungle in an NES. Awesome game.

Rock Eaters says ...
Apr 29, 2016 @ 6:00pm

Nice graphics but it's really hard to reach the ferret and start enjoy the game. Very nice music but it could be nice to ear Sfx. :)

BSODDevTeam says ...
Apr 29, 2016 @ 6:01pm

Cool game. I'll play it through one day.

SUNFURY says ...
Apr 29, 2016 @ 9:07pm

Very nice art and game.
It's a little annoying that enemy cause damage even when they don't attack you

puppetmaster says ...
Apr 29, 2016 @ 11:34pm

Wow!! What a great game. Love the beautiful art!
Keep up the great work!

dcRfj15 says ...
Apr 30, 2016 @ 12:11am

Well done, I had a lot of fun playing this!
I liked the game's mood, and the gameplay was very well crafted, especially the combat system.
The game was hard, but by having persistent enemy deaths it made the game easy enough that every section was fairly easy to complete after a couple attempts. Also, great job on the graphics and audio for the game - it added a lot to the game's experience.

I thought it was slightly unfair that enemies were allowed to damage the player by walking through them because it was hard to prevent this from happening. Also, it would have been very handy if checkpoints and player dialogue with the NPCs worked when the player was in their transformed form (I had to transform into a human in order to activate these features).

SteveSalmond says ...
Apr 30, 2016 @ 3:12am

Wow, that was great! The combat was cool, made you consider your actions quite carefully. I liked how you felt at a disadvantage, and that avoiding a fight was sometimes a more sensible option. Loved the bit where you could suddenly access the little tunnels as a ferret ;)

thebrainfuse says ...
Apr 30, 2016 @ 11:51am

Great design, visuals and audio! Maybe it was me, but i couldn't get jump + attack to work at the same time... Also, i feel there were far too many hit points on the soldiers, which detracted from the fun.

Ironhead says ...
Apr 30, 2016 @ 5:10pm

Great entry. I enjoyed the platforming and the combat mechanics were decent. The music was great for the overall mood. Good graphics too. Awesome job!

Kerdelos says ...
Apr 30, 2016 @ 5:26pm

The game is cool, the audio fit really well and the graphics are nice. I find the pace of combats is way to slow and the ennemies are tougher than they would need to be in my opinion. I also was confuse because i was able to shape shift at the beginning of the game. The are different and it is nice playing with each one. Too bad we cannot activate save point when in another shape. And the camera is positioned a little bit too much at the bottom when in the flying shape. I'll conclude with a good job overall ! I <3 bears !

pirate_shell says ...
Apr 30, 2016 @ 9:10pm

I quite enjoyed this one. The graphics were awesome and so was the sound design! It was tough for sure but quite fun. Overall, solid entry! (I also like your post-mortem on it)

May 1, 2016 @ 8:07am

Liked the visuals, thought they worked well and the animal changes was a nice mechanic in that the owl and ferret added a difference to the gameplay not just in looks. Did end up flying out of the stage as the owl though.

Aaranos says ...
May 2, 2016 @ 12:29am

Really well made. Has the feel of a game you'd find on the super nintendo. The controls could use some polish but overall really good.

derr says ...
May 2, 2016 @ 6:58am

Thanks for all the great feedback everyone. :)

May 3, 2016 @ 7:49pm

Lovely graphics! I included it in my video compilation series of Ludum Dare games, if you’d like to check them out :)

psychomonster says ...
May 3, 2016 @ 11:15pm

Wow the artwork ist really good. I like the colors and teh atmosphere. Sound is not a problem for me cause my Laptop has some broken speakers... Good mechanics... a really good job!

HolyBlackCat says ...
May 6, 2016 @ 10:29pm

Ok, I've just finished it!
First of all, the graphics is AMASING. It's one of the best I've seen on this LD, if not the best.
I really liked the mood and the story. Music was nice too.
The level was interesting enough.
Lack of sound effects and HP indicator is a shame, but the game is ok even without them.

I found only one small bug: ferret hitbox is too wide on the left side.

The combat system is interesting, it kinda reminds me of the old Prince of Persia for NES, but imho it could be polished a bit more. First of all, damage on contact feels strange, but maybe that's just me. Then, with current system it's wise to always fight while ducking, which is a shame. In my opinion, it would be better if "upper" arrows and sword hits would still damage you even while you're ducking. If would make ducking and standing positions equal, kinda how it was is PoP.

Regardless of what I've said, it's still a great game, one of the best on this Ludum Dare.
Good job!

PixlWalkr says ...
May 7, 2016 @ 1:22pm

Great polished entry, art and audio are also nice. good job!

Ellian says ...
May 8, 2016 @ 11:45am

Cool game! I wasn't expecting so much content. This is pretty great! Art and music are nice, gameplay is a bit stiff but efficient. Kudos!

WERT Studio says ...
May 8, 2016 @ 8:22pm

wow really the only thing missing is that there are no sound effects but man neat game

Xanjos says ...
May 9, 2016 @ 4:16pm

Could do with some hit sound effects and the pacing is actually a bit slow (particularly from the start to the first power up) but I really liked the retro graphics and the game overall was generally pretty enjoyable to play.

May 9, 2016 @ 4:47pm

nice game, a bit unusual the controls. I like the music, the pixel art is quite cool. took me a while to get to the shapeshift squirrel. is moving very smooth. good luck!

May 9, 2016 @ 7:06pm

Very nice game, really polished too! The only thing I liked a bit less is that the enemies are quite strong, maybe some weaker enemies to start with would be better. Apart from that it's really well done, congrats!

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