December 17th-20th, 2010
Theme: Discovery

More Info: /ludum-dare-19-has-begun/

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by ShineSyndrome - Competition Entry

My first Ludum Dare, and my first time using C++ and SFML to boot.


SPACE - Interact.

Panacea is a procedurally generated maze game, where the theme of discovery is demonstrated by the purpose driven exploration the player avatar must undergo to keep alive and win the game.

Everything was written from scratch, and nearly everything I wrote was new to me. Coding this game was quite an intense experience, with many dirty short-cuts that needed to be taken as the deadline loomed ever closer.

Corners were cut pretty early in day two, soon resorting to whole sides being lopped off the project by evening. My greatest regret is that I didn't get to add sound to the project.

I'm not expecting this game to be judged well, but the competition was an awesome personal challenge and hopefully my next LD will be of competitive quality. This was an awesome experience, and the guys in irc were a fun bunch.

Oh and for those that read the source: Forgive me my sins.


Windows version created, the port required me to fix a stack over flow error. I have included a bug fix version of my original linux submission. Game play for all three versions of the game is identical.

Known Bugs:

- The maze generator breaks about 1 in 10 maze generations, and produces false walls. I would have hoped the bug was rare enough to not affect most peoples game play, but those it did affect assumed it was part of the discovery theme (it's a feature!)

- I left some console debug info in by mistake, which could help you escape a floor if only you knew the co-ordinates where you started.

- Rooms all look similar, not enough bodies etc. are all due to everything being generated by an unbiased random number generator. Bodies spawn with a 1 in 3 chance per room, and each room contains either a pick-axe, rail track, or crystal at a random orientation. I put that in a minute before the deadline, so it was very much a rush job. It does however look much better than the alternative of featureless black rooms.

Downloads and Links




LegacyCrono says ...
Dec 22, 2010 @ 2:27pm

This is difficult. I tried playing it twice, and both times I ran out of air and died. There aren't enough dead bodies to collect oxygen cylinders. And I went through walls at least twice...
Well, I couldn't get past the second floor. It's an okay game, but I wish there were more to do besides walking through rooms expecting to find either oxygen or the stairs.

Endurion says ...
Dec 22, 2010 @ 5:25pm

Hurray, I found the source!
Quite scary atmosphere, with matching music this is quite good (probably faster breathing would work as well).
In the lower levels I noticed that sometimes the doors would not be correct (I could walk through a wall).

Tom 7 says ...
Dec 23, 2010 @ 5:37am

X.> 0<,X
X 11 Y 7

.. I just had an idea where the assumed to be unintentional console window contains valuable gameplay insights. :)

The rapidly depleting air and then health definitely stressed me out. My avatar moved quickly enough that I could explore, and got at least to the second level, but I didn't have any confidence that I would be making progress... exploration basically seemed random. Couldn't interact with anything except bodies, to get more air (are those pick-axes? why are there so many?). Also walked through some walls, and though I couldn't tell if that was a bug or a secret, it then made me even more stressed out because then I had to check the walls in each room to see if I could go through them. (Fortunately due to a classic physics bug, I can walk 1.4x normal speed when moving diagonally. :)) But, I guess these are all lessons of the apocalypse.

barigorokarl says ...
Dec 27, 2010 @ 9:48pm

Whoah, like this panicky atmosphere. I reached the 3rd (or was it the 4th?) level but then I died ... How much levels are there? A little bit more oxygen for each cylinder would be ok though ;-)

Draknek says ...
Jan 3, 2011 @ 12:00am

It's not obvious what the active regions for picking up an oxygen tank are.

When a dead body and a crystal/train track are overlapping there's no transparency.

The biggest problem is that it just feels incredibly samey. Once you've played for a minute you've played exactly the same experience as if you'd played for ten (ignoring completing the game or running out of oxygen). The mazes are just too big (and too numerous: I got to floor 4 and didn't find the end) to be interesting.

Desperately needs audio: some appropriate music and a variety of breathing sounds based on the current oxygen level would give this so much more atmosphere.

I encountered the broken maze bug once.

badlydrawnrod says ...
Jan 3, 2011 @ 7:35pm

This is definitely a good start for a first game. I liked the graphical style for the objects in the rooms.

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