August 19th-22nd 2011 :: Theme: Escape
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Prelude of the Chambered

by Notch - 48 Hour Competition Entry

The web version will play immediately. If you want to play it offline, get the zip file and launch the html file locally.

You need java to play this!

Downloads and Links




Neilo says ...
Aug 22, 2011 @ 2:59am

Very cool little game that seems like a cross between Wolf3d and Chips Challenge :)

Mark Overmars says ...
Aug 22, 2011 @ 3:01am

Wow, this is the best minecraft fangame I've ever seen. You should work for Mojang!

Martan says ...
Aug 22, 2011 @ 3:05am

It was really fun to watch you code :) but even more fun to play the game! :D Reminds me of Wolfenstein 3D and Zelda

Ogee says ...
Aug 22, 2011 @ 3:29am

@Mark Overmars; you should read who the creator is. :)
Epic game. Fun to watch the development live as well.

VDOgamez says ...
Aug 22, 2011 @ 3:29am

It's pretty fun, but parts of it get extremely frustrating (GHOOOOOOST MAAAAAZE!) and the game wasn't very rewarding. It felt a lot like traversing a blocky slippery maze and it really felt like it could do with some kind of story or other appealing elements. The controls were a bit slippery, and made me kind of dizzy. I did like the game's progression, but it just didn't feel especially good. The combat was kind of superfluous feeling, although I don't know if it would have been better without it. Overall I have mixed feelings about this game, but it's definitely among the upper tenth of the ones I've tried.

MegaMech says ...
Aug 22, 2011 @ 3:55am

@Mark Overmars
lol he does work for mojang
awesome game good work!
awesome watching it being programmed live
should have had a boss at the end, I thought the ghost maze was cool but fairly difficult. that one place with the trinket and the rock guarding it felt like trial and error trying to punch it just right so it rolls out.

K1NET1K says ...
Aug 22, 2011 @ 5:14am

cant you guys tell when someone is trolling ? Hint : its almost all of them.

Nice work Notch, watching you made me not finish in time

adamatomic says ...
Aug 22, 2011 @ 5:35am

this turned out pretty cool :D nice job!

McTwist says ...
Aug 22, 2011 @ 6:54am

This game made me look at the livestream more than making my own game. Great work!

ointment says ...
Aug 22, 2011 @ 7:13am

The evolution of Mojang games: from punching trees to punching boulders.

tecfreak says ...
Aug 22, 2011 @ 8:42am

Inspires me to make a raycaster for my next project!

TheCodeTroll says ...
Aug 22, 2011 @ 9:08am

Being a games programmer myself, watching you code was inspirational to say the least. the game is fun, and watching how you think, and how you implemented certain things was awesome.

It was an epic thing for you to do, streaming the whole thing, thank you from me, and no doubt many, many others who watched :)

Aug 22, 2011 @ 10:28am

This is fun :-)

I especially like the 95-era asthetics.

Danik says ...
Aug 22, 2011 @ 11:04am

This is pretty awesome! I look forward to looking at the source and the stream (if it's available). I would have watched if I wasn't busy with my own game.

AntiBoomz says ...
Aug 22, 2011 @ 11:05am

Great game, but too easy if you have watched the livestream :/
I hope there will be a "sequel", since this is only a prelude 8D

cr says ...
Aug 22, 2011 @ 11:29am

Loving how simple this game looks, but how well it plays. Very doom-esque.

miniiman says ...
Aug 22, 2011 @ 11:32am

i liked it but it i find it too hard to beat the last boss and the end is not really special its just simply over :(

ShotgunNinja says ...
Aug 22, 2011 @ 12:59pm

Would you mind if I made a mod to this using the source provided? I would like to get your permission and approval, and make sure I understand the terms of use. Send me a PM with a response, and I'll tell you my idea.

shard123 says ...
Aug 22, 2011 @ 1:45pm

As always, another great game!

Aug 22, 2011 @ 1:54pm

Please someone post the playlist Notch was listening yesterday.

Maxi says ...
Aug 22, 2011 @ 2:56pm

@thiagocamposviana I've made an account just for you!!!

The two radio stations that I heard were - Groove Salad station and then Electro House channel.

Hope that helps :) They were the stations he was streaming at some point as I checked to make sure they were playing the same tracks :D

ointment says ...
Aug 22, 2011 @ 3:47pm

Simple but polished and fun. The difficulty level is just right, and there's a clear sense of escaping & exploration.

Basically a spot-on project for Ludum Dare, spiced with generous community involvement. The programming is ambitious for a 48h game.

Milo says ...
Aug 22, 2011 @ 3:59pm

Is there a prize for whoever got the most votes on their game?

54mf says ...
Aug 22, 2011 @ 4:11pm

It's honestly sick how productive Notch is. The game feels really Minecraftey, with the low-res graphics and all the punching - for obvious reasons, of course. But, the game is interesting enough to spend the time required to finish it, and plays off the theme well. Very impressive. I gave it 4/5 stars.

Naarkie says ...
Aug 22, 2011 @ 4:22pm

Game was pretty fun

EternalDeiwos says ...
Aug 22, 2011 @ 5:25pm

Good thing notch has quite a fan club... LD is probably squealing at the sheer numbers he is reeling in with Twitter and Google+ etc.

bushmango says ...
Aug 22, 2011 @ 5:52pm

I wish I could have played through the whole thing but the old style wolfenstein graphics make me motion sick after a while :( I liked the progression through each weapon, but I didn't feel in control during the combat and it's annoying to have to restart if you die.

KavuDX says ...
Aug 22, 2011 @ 5:56pm

Loved the game, hated the ghost room bit...

zr1freak says ...
Aug 22, 2011 @ 6:00pm

Is anyone else getting an error message when trying to launch the offline version? I always get this error: load: class com.mojang.escape.EscapeApplet not found.

Anyone else getting this?

Aug 22, 2011 @ 6:07pm

Best parts:
- Coding a raycaster from scratch in 2 days is impressive.
- The engine seems stable.
- The level design is compact, having no dead areas or underused items.

Average parts:
- Controls were sluggish at times, and the game flickered occasionally. but I'm thinking my computer is to blame for that.

Weaker parts:
- The chip sounds are fine. However, the richer the visual content is, the richer the sound content should be as well, to create an aesthetic balance. So here I felt there was too little sound. If the monsters made noises, or a simple tune was playing to enhance to mood, that would be better.

Overall: A nice piece of work. Well done. :-)

vintersphrost says ...
Aug 22, 2011 @ 6:10pm

ha, i'm pretty sure, mark overmars (creator of gamemaker) knows who notch is... he is just joking.

Aug 22, 2011 @ 6:17pm

@Maxi thank you very much

Doddler says ...
Aug 22, 2011 @ 6:29pm

I enjoy the game... although the ghost room is really dumb. The room itself is cool, but unless I'm missing something, I can't get the ghost to come back without getting brutally murdered. Playing 10-15 minutes to get to that point only to die, and then trying 3 separate times, is just too rough.

skelethulu says ...
Aug 22, 2011 @ 6:38pm

Really great game. I expect you will get many many votes, and you deserve all the success that doing well in ludum dare grants you. Plus, there were like 10,000 people that watched you write the code, so you probably didn't cheat.

battlecommand says ...
Aug 22, 2011 @ 7:01pm

I absolutely enjoyed watching you code. Please do that more often. I learned _so_ much.

Jonneh says ...
Aug 22, 2011 @ 7:23pm

An all round great game, love the whole "doom-style" graphics thing you have going. :)

Gornova says ...
Aug 22, 2011 @ 8:26pm

a metroidvania-wolf mix ? Good game, but only one life? :(

5/5 for community, best work ever :D

Erik McClure says ...
Aug 22, 2011 @ 10:19pm

Excellent game, but I feel that the ghost maze was just too difficult to get through. Despite this, one of the best entries to LD48.

stefano9 says ...
Aug 22, 2011 @ 10:28pm

Its awesome, but its a little bid hard on some parts :)

GreaseMonkey says ...
Aug 22, 2011 @ 10:44pm

Innovation... kudos for doing lock 'n' key.

Fun... I didn't get lost! Yay! I'm not here to play Super Bat Puncher though (it's a real game and it's better than it sounds)... thanks for reverting to the version which didn't spawn a crapton of bats. Having said that, the lock 'n' key aspect DID drive me to continue playing, though.

Theme... you pretty much nailed it.

Graphics... how do you do floor/ceiling mapping? This is one thing I suck at when doing this sort of engine. Having said that, apart from lacking y-shearing, you've really thrashed the hell out of the classic 2d grid caster. The actual assets look quite nice, too.

Audio... plenty of noises. Could do with more atmosphere tbqh.

Humour... well, pretty meh. Not bad, but not much.

Overall... 4 stars.

Community... doing a stream is pretty damn good. It would be nice if you were listening to suggestions on e.g. Twitter, though.

KamiKazeKenji says ...
Aug 22, 2011 @ 11:17pm

For some reason I'm having trouble getting this to run.

zazery says ...
Aug 23, 2011 @ 12:04am

My favourite mechanic is pushing boulders into the holes. I can definitely see the Link's Awakening inspiration in there as I'm playing through it myself. Thanks for streaming your process.

LegacyCrono says ...
Aug 23, 2011 @ 1:42am

This has a great classic Zelda feel with a gameplay similar of King's Field, which is awesome! Great job!

gbear605 says ...
Aug 23, 2011 @ 2:38am

This looks like its gonna be fun to mod XD

Basilios says ...
Aug 23, 2011 @ 4:23am

The simplistic UI is great, and the first time I climbed the ladder to the outside I was pleasantly surprised -- I didn't expect more than the single dungeon level.

I found it quite difficult to aim with the Power Glove, and think that things could be improved with a target reticle.

I stopped playing shortly after getting the pistol due to a bug. I'd somehow managed to position a boulder at the base of a ladder, and got stuck inside it.

mcc says ...
Aug 23, 2011 @ 7:36am

Hm... I really want to play this but... I am running this on OS X [snow leopard] in Chrome and I am having a lot of trouble getting it to run.. the screen flickers black every 3-4 seconds, and a few seconds into the game the character abruptly started running backward and would not stop. Has anyone successfully run this on mac?

miwuc says ...
Aug 23, 2011 @ 8:18am

@mcc Don't know about running backwards, but I had the same flickering problem when running it in a browser. So in the end I just downloaded it (by clicking "Windows" instead of "Web") and ran it from the command line. To run it:
java -cp PoC.jar com.mojang.escape.EscapeComponent

Bloodyaugust says ...
Aug 23, 2011 @ 8:50am

It was well done, just not a whole lot of fun.

callidus says ...
Aug 23, 2011 @ 10:58am

you have raised the bar, and I personally learned a lot from this entry. I find my self going back to play it again, sure sign of a winner.

Aug 23, 2011 @ 11:01am

@ greasemonkey :

The floor/ceiling mapping appears to be calculated on a per pixel basis, filling in whatever holes remain in the zbuffer. This is the most intensive part I imagine.

Titidu80 says ...
Aug 23, 2011 @ 11:25am

very good game compared to other but its hard for survive.
I'll play this Minecraft:)

Aug 23, 2011 @ 4:30pm

While i think that you deserve +9K community and +9K art, I don't feel that the game is *that* good overall, as many people have expressed (if you factor in Sound, Innovation, Theme and Humor).

This entry made me think that we really really need a *Tech* category, because in my book, you also have +9K there.

Tho I must admit that the livestream was AWESOME, and I actually left it there running as background music, and I was thoroughly entertained while having lunch.

BurnZeZ says ...
Aug 23, 2011 @ 4:41pm

The game was neat, but the control scheme could've definitely used some more thought.

Aug 23, 2011 @ 5:15pm

@ Felipe Budinich. I pretty much agree with all you said above. :)

bmfs says ...
Aug 23, 2011 @ 5:17pm

The camera control would have been initially less awkward with the mouse.

kavs says ...
Aug 23, 2011 @ 7:47pm

I tried twice and made it to the final boss on my second attempt. Died super easy though! The game is pretty hard, or I missed anything more than the 2 potions I found.

I would have liked to see the bats and eyes be a bit more aggressive. They float around and hover a bit too much, and since the combat doesn't really flow well while moving/punching, I found myself sitting in a corner punching out in all directions waiting for them eventually to close in. This is probably how you meant it, which is fine, but it was annoying on the beholder boss because it was so hard to skate and punch at the same time.

I think I may have preferred to have the flippers and skates be a passive effect. That might have made micro-managing on these surfaces a bit better, but it did make for some interesting fast-switching gameplay.

The one big criticism I have is that it doesn't really feel like I am escaping anything. Sure, I start in a prison, but after that it feels like I'm on a quest instead of trying to escape.

Either way, incredible entry notch! I spent 45 minutes on it and had great fun with the puzzles and figuring it all out. :)

wally2069 says ...
Aug 23, 2011 @ 8:55pm

So this is a pretty well polished entry. The tools were neat and self explanatory. Punching the walls was pretty fun. Only real complaint was the ghost maze being difficult with depth perception and what not.

Thanks for the game.

Kinta says ...
Aug 23, 2011 @ 9:28pm

@Mark Overmars
Thanks for making Game Maker. Without it, I wouldn't have a platform to develop my games on. ^^

A solid entry, but not very innovative. I liked the simple graphics, the controls were a little hard to handle, I used only the arrow keys for most of the time. Unfortunately I died in the crypt. :(

Winterblood says ...
Aug 23, 2011 @ 9:54pm

Impressive raycaster for 48hrs (although surely marching cubes and drawing each cell as quads would have been quicker to write?). Loved the level layout and item mechanics, particularly the ice. However, imprecise combat plus permadeath equals frustration, so not quite as fun as it could have been...

Cosine says ...
Aug 23, 2011 @ 9:57pm

Innovation: This is unlike anything I've ever played! This is mostly attributed to the fact that I don't play this sort of game, so I just won't be rating this on innovation due to lack of knowing what's on the market already.

Theme: It fits the theme well; I could tell that there was a definite focus on getting out at one spot. The interpretation of the theme was the bland "you are escaping from x," so I'm not giving you full score here.

Graphics: They work well, and are consistent. My only complaints are that they can be a little confusing to look at, and that the power glove looks oddly straight in the extended position.

Audio: The sounds worked and supplemented the game. It lacked any sort of consistent sound throughout, meaning that the game could be silent during down periods in the game.

Fun: This was the most lacking department. Again, I could just be missing the point here, but I felt this constant lack of knowing that I was, in fact, doing well/doing what I should be doing. I was also majorly frustrated by the game-length-to-save-point ratio (since there were NO checkpoints), and there were too few health potions. As a result, I ended up with 1 health left to tackle the ghost dungeon, no potions, and no bullets. Attacking enemies was a bit awkward feeling, and it was a delicate balance of edging really close and mashing the spacebar. Also, I ended up with a lot more golden keys than I used (I don't know if these were used in The Temple or at the end). On a more positive note, I did feel a good sense of exploration and danger wandering through the caves, and I liked using different items to traverse the mazes. In the end though, I felt like I was wandering through a maze, fisting enemies into submission, and getting hurt. A lot.

Overall: It was lacking in some departments, but it also did other things well. It was decent, but flawed. Work at this a bit, make something better. Also, add checkpoints.

gigitrix says ...
Aug 23, 2011 @ 10:08pm

You inspired me to enter this one (I saw the metagun timelapse before I had heard of minecraft) and you just knocked it out of the park. It's "Nintendo Hard" but it adds to the charm. The 3d is amazing. I was too busy to watch the streams but I know I'll be searching for recordings and downloading source code!

I guess all I can really say is thanks for introducing me to the magic that is Ludum Dare!

Spoonweaver says ...
Aug 23, 2011 @ 11:54pm

Surprisingly fun.

Aug 23, 2011 @ 11:55pm

second best game ever!!!!!!! (first being minecraft!!!!!!!!!!)

HybridMind says ...
Aug 24, 2011 @ 12:03am

I've tried this game out a few times and had a good time playing it. I keep messing around with the boulders too much and getting myself trapped! Love the old school wolfenstein / doom feel. I haven't gotten too far yet but it is pretty fun. The controls seem really weird to me as why you picked them but I did find I was able to get used to it pretty quickly! I also really enjoyed you doing the live stream thing as that was just really cool to watch. I felt that even though I didn't manage to finish my entry I got to participate a little vicariously through watching your streamed event.

mcc says ...
Aug 24, 2011 @ 7:07am

This is incredible and deserves all the gushing I've been hearing. I'm amazed how intentional all the little details of the game design feel. It feels like you spent days tweaking this.

I didn't have problems with the controls, but I am still running into this weird problem where it will suddenly believe one button is being held down forever-- on my first play (in a browser) this was the "run backward" button, on my second, serious play (using miwuc's command line suggestion) I got to (rot13) gur pelcg and then suddenly it was like the"turn left" button was permanently down. I could move, but the character was constantly spinning in circles. I got frustrated and went into another app, when I came back later it had somehow fixed itself. I'm on a mac btw.

I died shortly after my controls unstuck themselves, definitely want to come back to this one however many tries it takes :D

McTwist says ...
Aug 24, 2011 @ 11:39am

Finished it in 13 minutes. Very good indeed, where you also throw in the player in an atmosphere of insecurity and spookiness. Good job and keep going with other games as you usually does.

Sos says ...
Aug 24, 2011 @ 7:25pm

I love the claustrophobic atmosphere, great job!

Hangedman says ...
Aug 24, 2011 @ 7:44pm

A neat little adventure game, practical and straightforward and some fun little combat. A bit of a mess at the end with the ghost, but still cool.

Aug 25, 2011 @ 12:20am

I wouldn't be surprised if a AAA tried to pick this guy up for this entry. Solid.

aw4lly says ...
Aug 25, 2011 @ 1:07am

Hey, I just downloaded the code, I was wondering if anyone else would be able to help me compile it? I wanted to have a play around with it but couldn't work out how to do it in eclipse :(

mikolalysenko says ...
Aug 25, 2011 @ 5:27am

In addition to being so high profile, this is also one of the most fun entries of the competition this year! Congratulations to Notch on making yet another amazing game!

Vlad says ...
Aug 25, 2011 @ 2:15pm

Nice game, too bad you can die...

Kvisle says ...
Aug 26, 2011 @ 8:40pm

This game is very long for a LD-entry. Very well done.

tnelsond says ...
Aug 27, 2011 @ 3:23am

Great game, but the ice looks a bit too much like water. I didn't know what it was till I got the skates. :D

Aug 27, 2011 @ 6:42am

This is a great game, quite fun. I can see the Minecraft influence.

I wish the gun were stronger, it's pretty slow to fire and doesn't even really kill guys any faster than punching them.

Orz says ...
Aug 28, 2011 @ 5:57pm

Very cool. You did the impossible: writing clean Java code! Still trying to figure out how you did the rendering.

joekinley says ...
Aug 28, 2011 @ 8:57pm

Okay, though there is no timelapse, you are excused on that one. Because your timelapse was LIVE.

The game is okay I guess. Reminds me a bit of Ultima Underworld. Though I never got out of the jail after been able to punch those rocks.

Overall it is a nice entry, nicely polished and all, though I would have loved more story on that one.

jediman says ...
Aug 29, 2011 @ 6:44am

Very awesome game notch! I was watching you code it all the way on your livestream :D

rolo says ...
Aug 29, 2011 @ 5:14pm

It was very interesting to watch Notch coding and building his assets.
A C# port of the gamme is available here :

qwertyupo says ...
Aug 29, 2011 @ 8:46pm

There are no words to describe notch's EPICNESS!

tangentstorm says ...
Aug 31, 2011 @ 1:21am

I'm astounded that you did this in 48 hours. I'm probably going to have to dig through the source and learn all your secrets. :D Very well done.

HyramCar says ...
Sep 2, 2011 @ 10:07pm

@Mark Overmars this guy is the creator of minecraft

bluescrn says ...
Sep 4, 2011 @ 4:40pm

Very impressive the amount of features in this for a 48hr.

Personally I'm not a fan of lo-fi textures in 3D, but the Minecrafty style is obviously a very good choice when you need to create lots of content fast!

Combat was a bit awkward, and it seemed a bit easy to die

Watched bits of the stream, interesting to see how fast you could get stuff in - maybe I've gained a bit of respect for Java now!

Overall, a fairly awesome entry, so I won't deduct a community point for your fans contributing to the LD website troubles :)

elbowroom says ...
Sep 11, 2011 @ 7:39pm

An amazing game, LD or not. I am very pleased to have played this wonderful piece.

Cronos Dage says ...
Sep 11, 2011 @ 8:56pm


DrPetter says ...
Sep 12, 2011 @ 10:23pm

Sadly I failed some ways through and haven't yet found the courage to redo from start. Very good use of the time given though. Cohesive well-filled game and charming presentation. Streaming the development was a mad effort.

dudekazoo says ...
Sep 13, 2011 @ 1:52pm

If you are going to make a player start your whole game over when they die, it needs to be even remotely fun enough for them to want to do so. This isn't.

Sep 17, 2011 @ 3:22am

How do you use one image for multiple GUI's for Java? ex: In Bunny Press, /Notch_LD14_BunnyPress_src/res/bunnies.png

Devil0s says ...
Feb 27, 2013 @ 10:00pm

That is amazing. A whole funny game in 48 hours. Good job.
I think I will take a few views (or more) in your code to teach me something about 3D without engine, dungeon generation etc.. Thank you

creeperguy555 says ...
Feb 5, 2017 @ 5:24am

Mark Overmars, this is notch, the creator of minecraft..... so of course he is a part of the developer of minecraft

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