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.

Back to Results

Back to Browse Entries


by nitram_cero - Competition Entry


Freezed v0.6 compo version:

Latest version (WITH HINTS SYSTEM):

=== Caverns v0.6 ===

Caverns is an experimentation game.
It's about tiny life forms coexisting in a cavern.

Try to find them all! Mess around with the enviroment and free your imagination.


Mouse: Paint tiles (palette at bottom)
C: Rotate through the materials (instead of clicking in the palette)
X: Mute sounds (keeps music)
0: Mute all


Freezed compo version:
Latest version:

Contact me (link on top of the game) if you need a hint sheet (but please play it for at least 10 minutes, I promise you'll be able to find more races if you play a little longer)


Made in AS3 (Flex), using the Flixel lib.
Tools: FlashDevelop, sfxr, Audacity, Reason 3, GraphicsGale.



Thanks for all your nice and encouraging comments and also for checking out this game!

I'm glad you liked the musical ambient/sounds. Even thou they're mainly made with sfxr I tweaked each of them by hand.
And I wanted the music to give a mellow misterious ambient, that doesn't bother to "leave it on". I'm not a musician so I was not sure how it would work, but thanks to your comments I feel like it fits ok.

I'll try to answer some of your comments:

* I've prepared a hint sheet.
If you really want it, please email me through the Contact link on the top of the game's page.
But I employ you to try for at least 10 minutes. Most of the people finally figures all out, just by spending a little bit more time.

* There will be achievements in future versions: Finding X races, Making X races coexist, The generation you got to (cascaded mutations) etc.

* I didn't understand well the lack of content comment. I did this game in about 10 hours because my girlfriend was home for the weekend. I have a lot more of ideas but I've freezed the game at v0.6 for the competition (you can check the latest post-LD48 version from a link on the game's page)

* I couldn't see the differenc between a toy than a game.
If it entretains you and makes you happy, you're still playing :)
You can play it just to fullfill objectives (finding races) like regular games
you can also design a nicer cavern, make colonies, withstand life for as long as you can, etc.

Thanks again for taking some time with this game!


Last update: I include a link to the SWF file for convenience (in case someone is doing a pack or something)


2009/08/30 - v0.6

Ok, I'll continue development on my own, but I've set up a link to "keep it freezed"

You can check the latest updates at:

Just in case, here's the official entry link (freezed at deadline hour 0):

Good luck!

2009/08/30 - v0.5

Well this is the version 0.5
Has music and some sound effects and a lot more of life.



There is not much of a background, the idea struck me today around 10AM and what I've achieved so far is the thing I'm posting.

I don't want to disclose any gameplay info or tips because it's meant to be experimented with.
You can change the cavern with the mouse and the palette in the bottom in different ways... you'll start seeing some interesting stuff soon!

It was made in AS3 using the Flixel library.
I used Graphics Gale for the graphics.

I hope you enjoy it!

Downloads and Links




You must sign in to comment.

Comments (archive)

gadlor says ...

man! i can't figure out how to get more than 4 or so of the races. is there a hint-sheet? :)

Comtemno says ...

Reminds me of dan-ball powder game.
Good graphics and music; my only complaint is that it lacks content. Other than that... good job!

Endurion says ...

Interesting. Once I got the plant you get a load of new critters to play with.
Quite nice for the short time, it however doesn't lend itself to repeated play once you figured everything out.

Kimau says ...

Brilliant little simulator game thing. Couldnt get the last two races.

dstrysnd says ...

It's cute! It's not really my thing, but this is the kind of game my wife really enjoys. Some sense of achievement other than just finding all the races would help me enjoy something freeform like this much more.

ippa says ...

1 race left to find.. this is cool, keeps me wanting more. especially go to war with my critter-army :P

fydo says ...

I didn't really understand what I'm supposed to do.
The graphics are cute and the music adds a lot of atmosphere.

deps says ...

Very entertaining game! Unable to find the last 4. Wish there were a bit more to do, but a very good game as it is. :)

Problem Machine says ...

Really cool game, I wasn't able to figure out the last race but it was fun playing around with it trying to set them up and the audio design was great.

graner says ...

Very fun idea, could not find more than 6 :)

nilsf says ...

I found them all :)
Quite fun to play with, but more of a toy than a game really.

badlydrawnrod says ...

Nice idea. Managed to get several of the races going, but still had about 5 or 6 to go. Good ambience.

GBGames says ...

I looked up and realized that I somehow found the final race. I wish I knew what it looked like.

Sophie Houlden says ...

its very pretty and sounds nice, but I really have no clue how to progress

Green Point says ...

Really, really interesting game. You could post a timelapse video, a food photo, a desk photo and the source code.

Doches says ...

Frankly marvelous.

noonat says ...

Aww they're ADORABLE! Haha. Love the critters. The sound is amazing in this, great job with it. I like the concept a lot, but I couldn't get into it. I couldn't get an investment in the creatures... I guess I didn't feel like they were doing enough in the world for me to care. If there is a way to make them interact with the world or each other more, I wasn't able to find it... and wish I could have. :(

Noyb says ...

Love the ecosystem concept. Found 8 races so far. I like how some of the critters interact in ways that are counter-productive to your goal, like the tarballs killing trees, or the tomatoes blocking some animals.

Might be cool if producing one or more of a certain race unlocks a character bio telling more about it, like in Tanaka's Friendly Adventure.

Cute sprites. The cave palette somehow reminds me a lot of lemmings.

Entar says ...

It's a tad hard to figure out what does anything, besides that different types of material makes different creatures. Beyond that, I never got them to interact or anything. Otherwise, cool concept.

Jonny D says ...

Couldn't find the last two races...

bburbank says ...

Really a quite wonderful concept.

jolle says ...

A little bit like the grow games. Except, sort of, completely different. Pretty cool, though I wasn't very good at it (4 left). Innovative.

dessgeega says ...

i like the way the creatures interact, and that the goal of the game is to see as many varieties of them as possible. i think there could be a wider diversity of behaviors and interactions - most creatures seem to move back and forth, changing directions when they encounter something. i appreciate that each creature makes a distinct sound.

i'm also glad you added the ability to select a type of tile by clicking on it, because my biggest frustration with the original version was my inability to do that.

Henry McLaughlin says ...

A tad boring, but well-made

philomory says ...

Loads of fun, though, I couldn't get the last two creatures and (perhaps related) could not figure out what on earth the Green material was for. I'm going to try the hinted version after voting, maybe that'll help me figure it out.

Anyway, very creative, liked it a lot.

(EDIT: Just wanted to say, my girlfriend and I played the expanded version together for over half an hour. That's pretty good!)

HybridMind says ...

I played this for over an hour trying to get the last pesky race! I managed to find all the others and it was strangely quite enjoyable and pleasurable to do so. I enjoy all the discovery involved as you try to setup the environment to encourage the positive interactions that will lead to new creatures. Definitely enjoyed the music and the graphic styling of this game. I can't believe how long I played this so congrats on that! ;)

ondrew says ...

It's a very nice simulator and the tiny graphics is awesome, but it's very passive.

mklee says ...

It took a few tries, but once this game finally "clicked" and some of the rules started to sink in I was hooked. Great job nitram!

[cache: storing page]