April 29th-May 2nd, 2011
Theme: It’s Dangerous to go Alone! Take this!

More Info: Ludum Dare 20 Has Begun! (Keynote), Theme Voting Results.

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Breathing Room

by Shaun Inman - Competition Entry

Left and right arrows move, C jumps, hold X to charge (shake) your inhaler and release to inhale. The Asthmathlete gains superhuman speed and reflexes when he uses his inhaler. To the Asthmathlete it just looks like everything else is slowing down.

This was my first ActionScript project in more than 5 years and my first with AS3. It was also my first time using Flixel. I'm pretty happy with the way it turned out. I implemented a number of different types of speed traps (the only ones missing in the demo are the down vertical and horizontal darts) and have more ideas. I was never able to find a satisfactory workflow for level building (DAME was closest) so the "game" is really my two screen workspace. The music was created in GarageBand. Graphics in Photoshop. My favorite part of the game is probably the checkpoint strips. "Cross your heart and hope not to die."

With more time I'd craft some levels that introduce each speed trap and slowly ramp up the difficulty. That masher first thing is pretty brutal. I've posted a postmortem on my personal site: http://shauninman.com/archive/2011/05/02/breathing_room_postmortem

Downloads and Links




TellusE says ...
May 2, 2011 @ 3:39am

I'm so easily swayed by retro graphics, but I like the way this played out. Unfortunate the game is so short, but the mechanics were solid enough to warrant high grades. Well done :)

Endurion says ...
May 2, 2011 @ 4:14am

I like it. It's a shame it's very short though, I would've loved to see more.
A you've done it screen would be nice ;)

Dan C says ...
May 2, 2011 @ 2:31pm

Interesting idea and well presented. Great work. I too was disappointed by the short length, though.

lingmops says ...
May 2, 2011 @ 7:31pm

Love the time dilation effect. Definitely worth stretching out into more of a game, it's waaaay too short.

SonnyBone says ...
May 2, 2011 @ 9:25pm

The inhaler concept for BULLET TIME is really awesome. MAJOR INNOVATION POINTS! It is a bit short, but this is Ludum Dare! You've come up with a great idea, now go make it betta!

jsmars says ...
May 3, 2011 @ 6:23am

really nice work, but way too short!

eli says ...
May 3, 2011 @ 6:23am

The contrast between music is what makes it for me. Excellent work there.

Cool mechanic, would be nice to have more.

fishbrain says ...
May 3, 2011 @ 9:05am

nice work!... lol, yeah - i love the contrasting music tracks too.

zachstronaut says ...
May 3, 2011 @ 4:54pm

Wish there was more to play! That last jumping challenge had me swearing like a sailor, in a good way. I too enjoy the contrasting music.

Kynrael says ...
May 3, 2011 @ 8:58pm

It's too short, but otherwise very original and cool :)

mwest says ...
May 3, 2011 @ 9:24pm

Nicely done - just too short!

Winterblood says ...
May 3, 2011 @ 11:15pm

Very slick, like the frequent checkpoints! My only niggle is that EVERY obstacle REQUIRES you to stop and inhale. It would be more fun to just play the whole thing in slowmo without having to pause. But if the challenges were (just barely) doable without the inhaler, then you could time it and reward the player for not having to stop and inhale...

Milo says ...
May 4, 2011 @ 2:36am

I love the concept. Brief, but high quality.

May 4, 2011 @ 4:03am

Solid platform for further development, would highly recommend taking this one to the next level.

Great work!

Hamumu says ...
May 4, 2011 @ 3:19pm

Man, this is I Wanna Be The Guy ruthless. It's a good thing it's like 2 seconds long! It's a little weird that there are absolutely no limits on the inhaler (and you can start it up again while it's still going), it's almost like the game should just be in slow motion all the time. You can even charge in mid-jump! Winterblood has good points on this thought, I see.

The music was a very nice touch.

Shaun Inman says ...
May 4, 2011 @ 6:12pm

Thanks for the kind words everyone. I'm really glad the music has been received so well.

I've already started building out more levels that better introduce and gradually increase the challenge; the "game" I "finished" in 48 hours was basically whatever state the debug room was in when I was finished building out the last "threat."

Hamumu, Winterblood, without the slowmo inhaler Breathing Room would be just another poorly designed, floaty indie game instead of a poorly designed floaty indie game with an interesting if underdeveloped core mechanic :) The actual level designs I'm working on make use of slowmo to better effect.

May 4, 2011 @ 10:56pm

Very well done, even with the short length. The retro graphics and the music really clicked together. Hope to see this developed further !

crackerblocks says ...
May 6, 2011 @ 4:39am

When can we buy the soundtrack on iTunes?

jonbro says ...
May 6, 2011 @ 10:09am

The graphics are great, I just wonder how much deeper this can go than a simple twitch mechanic? Like maybe you could have a stimulant inhaler? or the effects of the inhaler only effect a certain bubble around you? And then you start getting into braid :)

Shaun Inman says ...
May 7, 2011 @ 12:13pm

crackerblock, you can download the sound track here http://shauninman.com/breathingroom/Breathing%20Room.zip (also linked from the footer of the Web link above)

hexygen says ...
May 8, 2011 @ 4:10pm

Nice idea, very funny!
I love the retro graphics, the second that magenta came up I was going "awwwww" for old time's sake.
The contrast in the music is really nice but the non-inhaler music was a bit hard on my ears, so that's the only thing that put me off...

One other thing actually: You should really give a clew when the game is over. I actually made all the way back (checkpoints and all) just to make sure I didn't forget to click a button or something :)

elbowroom says ...
May 8, 2011 @ 5:59pm

It is really nice, I guess I understand you are not used to doing AS3 but I like what you did and it would have been awesome to see more.:)

alexlarioza says ...
May 10, 2011 @ 12:15am

Quite short even for an LD but the main game mechanic was brilliant! I also really liked the grungy 8bit metal you had going on. ;]

May 12, 2011 @ 4:46pm

Haha! this is awesome. The two music tracks, the contrast between them. Checkpoint-placing is also good.

Tom 7 says ...
May 21, 2011 @ 5:59pm

Funny interpretation of the theme, and I love a good portmanteau. Love the music. The game is easy because there's no reason not to just use your inhaler constantly, and because it's only two screens long! But I enjoyed the short demo. :)

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