Competition information for Ludum Dare 15, held August 28th-30th weekend in 2009.

The theme for Ludum Dare 15 was Caverns. Ludum Dare 15 had 144 entries.

For the announcement post (with keynote by Mike Hommel), click here. To see the results of theme voting see Round 1, Round 2, and Round 3. To see results of the user survey, click here.

Historically speaking, this was our first competition with the brand new submission system, a rudimentary compo website redesign (with logo), as well as a keynote.

Stay tuned for Ludum Dare 16, coming December 2009.

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Heart of Gold

by L - Competition Entry


This is a Metroidvania style game made in Game Maker. Explore the inner cavities of a constantly rotating planet until you reach the sleeping treasure at its core. There are 4 power-ups.

That is all for now.

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Comments (archive)

sol_hsa says ...

Either I'm not "getting it", or this game is way, way too difficult. I die whatever I try.

Radix says ...

Fucking cool concept.

AtkinsSJ says ...

Nice concept, but it's too easy to die, and it's not that clear what things are until you collide with them and find-out you're dead, again.

jazmeister says ...

Really tough, awesome idea. I can has analogue support, please?

Endurion says ...

Holy shit!

Sir, I salute you. This game is chock full of ideas and awesome stuff to explore. I couldn't stop until it was won.

Only small niggle: It's frigging hard.

jarnik says ...

The concept of the whole level being a planet that rotates is quite amazing. Unfortunately, I haven't played any of the games mentioned in the acknowledgment, so I'm not able to tell, whether it's your original idea or a tribute to some predecessor. If it's yours, I salute you :)

I admit that I didn't have enough patience to actualy finish the game (or am just not enough skilled for this type), but it gave me 15 minutes of a solid fun which I'm grateful for :)

The environment is quite vivid (I loved the pulsating blobs), although sometimes I cursed the savepoints for being too far from each other.

Some sounds would be nice, the dying sequence could be a half shorter (it becomes a bit annoying to wait for it to end).

In any case, I liked it, thumbs up!

Frimkron says ...

Brilliant game. I got well and truely hooked and couldn't stop playing until I'd completed it (a good half hour later).

Problem Machine says ...

The exploration is cool, but avoiding spontaneous depressurization is such a drag.

Hempuli says ...

I must say that I really loved this one! Not too hard, not too easy!

Jonny D says ...

Not at all "Metroidvania", but there are some good ideas.

afterthought says ...

Amazing stuff! I actually didn't beat it... got frustrated trying to escape the area where you get the small power, but I'll definitely be trying to beat it later. Part of what makes it hard for me is that your controls are never quite perfect. You've got 8 directions to choose to move in, but since the planet is rotating, usually none of those directions are quite the one you want.

sylvie says ...

Fun game with a cool and unique setting. It's really difficult to fit through small spaces though.

dessgeega says ...

i really like how the world is laid out and the journey to reach the center of it, but i think the game is too hard for the good of the story it's trying to tell (and in fact i didn't finish it because i got too frustrated trying to navigate the rings of the turning lock). it's a shame that the rotation of the world makes it so hard to deal with, because it's a very effective continual reminder of both the nature of the space the player is navigating and the goal of her mission.

noonat says ...

Pretty sweet idea, but the rotation makes it really really hard to move without hitting things. I found it kind of unplayable, as much as I wanted to like it. I really liked the art, though.

ExciteMike says ...

I think it became actually impossible after a while. The spinning rings inside seem to have drifted to the point where the outer ring actually goes into the dirt so I can't get out.

I had a good time up until then, but oh god did I ever want to be able to quicksave.

ondrew says ...

Really cool idea and very nice execution. Loved the graphics and spinning.

philomory says ...

There is a whole ton of interesting stuff here. The basic ideas are fantastic, I like them a lot. Unfortunately, my enjoyment of the game was somewhat hampered by the fact that the most challenging aspect of gameplay (and it was pretty challeneging, especially at the beginning!) was basic locomotion. The fact that it was never safe to 'touch the ground', that you could never safely take your hands off the keyboard, took the focus off of exploration and shifted it to dodging the walls. (Also, it's a fairly basic fact of planets that while, yes, they do rotate, stuff around them, espeially on or below their surface, tends to be rotating along with them).

None the less, though I had a few complaints, I really liked the basic setup of the game.

localcoder says ...

An amazing concept. I kept finding new surprises.

But after 20 minutes, when I got stuck in a cavern with some underwater cities, I had had enough. This is very hard, and while you normally respawn close to where you die, this doesn't happen in the small tunnels where I needed it most.

If you make an easier version, I would love to try it!

Comtemno says ...

Fantastic game.

lexaloffle says ...

Excellent game. I love exploring one big planet, but the rotation feels a little strange and unnecessary to me. There are plenty of other interesting gameplay elements to work with.

Morre says ...

This game is amazing. I absolutely love it!
...with that said, it's also ridiculously punishing. Gasp!

I completed the game, but it took me well over an hour (I wasted like half an hour in one place!).

Well done! :)

mklee says ...

Very cool concept! Definitely a unique spin on the theme of caverns yet at the same time familiar with the usual exploration antics. I like the idea of the planet spinning independent to the player although it takes a little time to get used to the movement being slowed down by the spin.

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