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Ludum Dare 21

August 19th-22nd 2011 :: Theme: Escape
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Roundman: Escape from Squareworld - lectvs - Jam Entry


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Danik says ...
Aug 23, 2011 @ 10:38am

I like this game a lot (it is similar to my entry :) ), but I see many things that could be improved rather easily.

The movement feels too slippery, some air friction would help a lot when making precise jumps. As it is, you need to press the other direction to slow down, which is hard and somewhat frustrating.

The animations of the characters, and the way the tiles are sucked into the void are really nice. The music is pretty awesome too. There are a nice amount of enemies and the color powers are cool.

It would be nice to see more of what's in front of you, by having the camera more to the right, but since the "void" is stuck to the left side of the screen, that would make less room for error as you would be closer to it. One option would be to make it move independent of the camera, but that could make it less clear where it is, and if you are in danger. This was a problem for my game aswell.

I don't see why you couldn't have used the arrow keys for movement. A and D are a lot more akward, and might not work on all keyboard setups.

LegacyCrono says ...
Aug 23, 2011 @ 1:28pm

Lovely game! If this had online highscores, it would increase the replay value immensely... Nice work!

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

@Danik I'll add arrow key support and mess around with air friction. However, with the way we coded the level (including the void) it would be a lot of rewriting and experimenting for something that probably wouldn't work. The game would get easy if you could just outrun the void. We ran into that problem as well, so we settled on that so we'd have enough room for error, while not being able to see a lot of the upcoming level provides a bit more challenge.

Anyway, thanks for the nice comment and some constructive criticism, I'll definitely play around with the gameplay to see what works best!

Pvaiun says ...
Aug 24, 2011 @ 2:01am

Well, the game had floaty controls which made the basic running frustrating. However everything else was great I loved the color powerups, the musc and animations.

wally2069 says ...
Aug 24, 2011 @ 10:19pm

The controls were way too slippery for my taste. They were also awkward using the A & D keys. The bricks never gave me a power up.

You have something but it needs a lot of polish.

lectvs says ...
Aug 25, 2011 @ 12:40am

@wally2069 What do you mean by "slippery"? And the bricks aren't supposed to give you powerups, the colored ones are.

Rudy says ...
Aug 26, 2011 @ 2:02pm

Crashes at intro. Win7 x64, I should have usual redistributables.

lectvs says ...
Aug 27, 2011 @ 2:33am

@Rudy Due to a bug that's been fixed after the compo, you must have an audio device plugged in.

Rudy says ...
Aug 27, 2011 @ 1:47pm

I am not sure what you mean by "plugged in". Windows has to detect a plugged in audio input at some specific place? I'm with headphones "plugged in". Also I think you can update the file with game-crashing bugs like this post-compo. I tried misc device combinations to no avail.

lectvs says ...
Aug 28, 2011 @ 9:29pm

@Rudy I'm not sure if I can update the actual compo entry, but you can get the most recent version (includes the audio fix and arrow key support) at

dogbomb says ...
Aug 28, 2011 @ 10:17pm

This is fun, but I also found the controls rather slippery... I wish there was a bit more feedback upon killing a monster/hitting a block that I was gaining more score. A more defining "ting" or a pointvalue floating out of them or something.

I kept stopping to hit things, but not knowing why... was it score or powerups. (it was when I watched my footage later I figured out it was score).

It's on it's way there, and could be something special :D

ExciteMike says ...
Aug 29, 2011 @ 12:46am

I really liked the audio, except for the footsteps. The screams of enemies, things getting sucked up, kicking up dust as he lands from a jump: great stuff! And a nice mix of powerups although I killed myself a few times just figuring out what they did!
A few things you could probably do to improve it even more:
* increase the character's run speed a smidge
* the game over screen could show how much of your score came from enemies/collectibles (do those things even give you points? they probably should!) and how much from distance ran. And probably as you are playing little numbers could appear when you get points from those things!
* online leaderboards and/or a tweet-my-score thing like canabalt had
* It doesn't really seem to ramp up and get harder as it goes. Maybe the void (and your guy) could speed up over time?

Playing this I feel you must be a fan of Action Turnip :)
Great stuff!

Rudy says ...
Aug 29, 2011 @ 7:11pm

You can update to fix game-crashing bug, not control issues though. Anyway, the new version crashes the same with "Song playback failed. Please verify that the song is not DRM protected. DRM protected songs are not supported for creator games.". I seem to need to fix this on my end as this has happened on several games now. Some stupid Microsoft DRM shit and XNA/WMP incompatibility.

P.S. is that weird installer really necessary? I'm sure XNA can run fine without all that.

Vilborg says ...
Aug 30, 2011 @ 12:53am

(Co-dev speaking here)

@dogbomb Thanks for your input! I briefly considered score popups, but I dropped the idea for time constraints and some worries about the aesthetics. Since a lot of people wish the game had them, though, I'll see that we put those in.

@ExciteMike We're not really experienced in making sounds, so this is the best we could do under the circumstances. In future updates we'll see if we can get some nicer, more realistic step sounds.
Yes, the blocks and enemies give you points. Also, the speed does actually increase. The thing is, it increases every 100,000 points, so reaching it is a bit hard. Get past 300,000, though, and I guarantee it'll be zipping along nearly as fast as you are.
I've never played Action Turnip, but I'll take a look at it to see if it has any further inspiration for us. Thanks for playing!

@Rudy The song was made in GarageBand; I'm pretty sure it has no DRM. I'm sorry there seems to be a problem, hope you get it fixed. I know how you feel about DRM, I think it's pretty crap as well.
We tried a simpler install by just copying the executable and content to another computer, but it refused to run and crashed. If you've found a simpler way of installing XNA games, I'd love to know how. I think the installer is weird too.

lectvs says ...
Aug 30, 2011 @ 12:59am

Don't worry, everybody! Next LD's game will be made in Java, so all the crashing and installer issues will be gone!

marudziik says ...
Sep 4, 2011 @ 7:48pm

Devs, I think copying the executable and any dynamic assets should work, as long as the computer running your game has XNA redistributables installed, possibly some other dynamic libraries which you're using.

The game is pretty neat, especially the music. Gameplay is fine, but many times I stumbled onto situation where needed to jump on a platform above which there was the flying enemy - sometimes (without purple colour especially) this is just impossible. Also, there's no in-game indication that
a) you can kill enemies by jumping on them,
b) what does changing colour mean.
I mean, for some of the colours you can see that right from the start, while for others I still have no idea. Purple power-up (jumping high) feels overpowered.

Enough! Having written all of this, know that I think that this is a very good entry and a very decent game, even if not developed any further. The only serious flaw I could pick on is the installer.

lectvs says ...
Sep 5, 2011 @ 5:24am

@marudziik We've tried just taking the files, without the installer, but the game doesn't run when we do that.

We are definitely going to add more info-based stuff (help page, point pop-ups, etc), but unfortunately, as this was our first LD entry, ran out of time, and had to publish as-is. For now, though, your color indicates which powerup you have:
Orange - None
Yellow - Faster Speed
Green - Double jump
Blue - Dash in midair
Purple - Low gravity
Red - Multiple small jumps

Yes, the powerups seem overpowered at first, but once you've advanced quite a bit into the game, you'll realize just how easy it is to die.

Anyway, thanks for the feedback!

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