August 19th-22nd 2011 :: Theme: Escape
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Escape the Fate

by Jiggawatt - 48 Hour Competition Entry

An 8-level (+intro) puzzle/action game about a curse. The objective is to kill yourself - or rather, the body you're haunting. Experiment with things like dying from fall damage or getting squished by moving objects.

Important: install the included font before playing. The game loves it so much, it seems to crash without it. Thanks to Joeyy from #ludumdare for helping me discover this. After that, start the game from /dist/curse.exe. The necessary few attributions can be found in readme.txt. And let's not forget bfxr for the sound effects.

A & D to move, W to jump (even when falling), S to flip switches. R to retry if you get stuck.


I initially submitted this game with several hours to go. Due to feedback, the update submitted on the extended time added a simple level 0.

For people with small screens (such as laptop users): I've made an alternative version which runs in a 608x448 window. This in turn made some animations play back faster, so I also slowed them down to roughly the original speed. Otherwise the code is unchanged, it's merely a bugfix. Thanks to Wallacoloo for mentioning this.

1.0d fixed a missing hard-coded event in the fifth level.

Downloads and Links




timgarbos says ...
Aug 22, 2011 @ 11:23am

Didn't really get it. Got stuck in the first level. S does nothing and killing yourself did nothing. What did I miss?

ointment says ...
Aug 22, 2011 @ 11:35am

Don't fall out of the screen. Level 1 involves fall damage, try jumping down from the highest ledge to the lowest one.

timgarbos says ...
Aug 22, 2011 @ 11:39am

Yes. I got it! There are some quite nice and tricky levels later on.

ointment says ...
Aug 22, 2011 @ 12:02pm

Thanks to Triplefox on #ludumdare for giving me the idea of an intro level. It does make a world of difference in explaining a what's proper death.

tgijsola says ...
Aug 22, 2011 @ 6:56pm

Way cool game!

Also your blog posts are hilarious.

marudziik says ...
Aug 23, 2011 @ 2:23pm

Cool idea. The game looks nice, but feels a little too hard (especially mid-fall jump can be a little hard to get). Regarding controls, some in-game hints would be nice. Audio is quite decent. It's a very good entry, congrats!

ointment says ...
Aug 23, 2011 @ 2:46pm

marudziik: Thanks for commenting! Regarding the controls, what kind of hints do you have in mind?

marudziik says ...
Aug 23, 2011 @ 4:36pm

Extended tutorial (like 2-3 levels more) + text info would be enough, I think. Also, it would be nice to be able to change WSAD keys to arrows. :)

Cosine says ...
Aug 23, 2011 @ 8:30pm

Innovation: Definitely interesting. Kinda like Karoshi in the whole "die-to-win" concept, but it has its own special mechanics.

Theme: It fits the theme. Not much else to say.

Graphics: They work, and don't hurt the eyes. Pleasing to look at. I don't have any advice on how to improve them, maybe a little more variation in the walls (more than one sprite) could make things more interesting.

Audio: The audio worked very well. I also liked the music very much.

Fun: The player moved a little fast, and the movement seemed pretty hectic. The vertically moving platforms glitched lots, I would teleport below them, and I once got one to teleport through the platform above me. I never got to the push boxes (I quit on the level shown in the last screenshot), so I can't offer any advice on that. On the other hand, movement was very smooth, and the engine was glitch free other than the vertically moving platforms.

Overall: Pretty fun, and polished for a game made this quickly. Just fix your engine and maybe offer more in the way of direction (giving the player an idea of what to do) and you have yourself a respectable game.

Community: You are hilarious. That is all.

ointment says ...
Aug 23, 2011 @ 9:32pm

Cosine: great comment, analyzing each component really helps me improve.

Re: Innovation: The Karoshi comparisons are inevitable, but yeah, I believe I managed to reach a whole different feel.

Re: Graphics: I tried to keep the graphics as simple as possible, with the philosophy that different-looking tiles should have different functions. It's both because of the time limit and the puzzle nature of the game. An exploration/Metroidvania game would've certainly required variation in its looks.

Re: Fun: I don't know exactly what's causing the occasional moving platform glitches, but rest assured they used to be worse. It seems you can regularly ride on top of them without problems, and you have to do some rather unusual moves to make them freak out. That was good enough for me to call them "fixed" on the late hours of Sunday. There's only a handful of them in the entire game, though.

The fluid movement, however, is an intentional design choice. I decided early that I wanted responsive controls. I realize it's a bit of an acquired taste, and might add some faux difficulty in the first half of the game, which is more about discovering a proper solution than platforming.

The climax of that first half is the level you gave up on. It's particularly problematic since the solution is unconventional: you're supposed to to get squeezed by the moving platform right under the stairs. I made this happen with a last-minute workaround - which was briefly broken by an update, making the level extra frustrating for some unfortunate players. The previous levels may have given you the false impression that moving platforms are always non-lethal. I'd say this is the one design choice I regret: it's a good level on paper (literally on paper, in fact), but it appears unfair without proper context.

jonnopon3000 says ...
Aug 24, 2011 @ 1:47pm

I liked the game, although the controls can be touchy. The art/audio and story won this game my love :)

SLiV says ...
Aug 24, 2011 @ 3:25pm

Great game. Not always a lot of fun to play though. I could've done without the moving blocks. Seems kinda odd that when I accidentally fall out of the level, I fail at killing myself and need to try again.

d_m says ...
Aug 25, 2011 @ 5:12am

This game was unforgiving, but I liked it. The puzzles were interesting, and I liked the challenge of figuring out how to die (as opposed to how to get to a given exit or something)... good take on "escape". The music was simple but great, hypnotic and eerie, like the curse itself. I wish the levels were a bit smaller so the graphics could be bigger, and I wish that the controls were a little tighter/more predictable (there is some glitchiness around the moving platforms) but overall I had a lot of fun playing through it. Great first LD game!

One note: you should provide the source for the laptop version too (or at least a patch/diff or something).

ointment says ...
Aug 25, 2011 @ 6:14pm

The source for the laptop version only changes a few lines. Added the other file to the source download anyway, if just for the sake of covering my ass.

dogbomb says ...
Aug 28, 2011 @ 10:20pm

This was fun. I liked the concept (though I got really stuck on level 3... curse my stupidity!) The art style is super-tight and sets it above some other games of this type. Nice music and sound too - it's not too overpowering and fits the world well. Very good.

MacTuitui says ...
Sep 5, 2011 @ 7:09am

Nice idea. A little bit too difficult/tedious for me to keep playing (after getting the idea, I went up to level 4-5). I did not like the sliding player when you move that fast, and I think that it is not clear if this is a puzzle game or a platformer.

After figuring out the solution of each level, getting there is a bit moot. I would appreciate another motivation or gameplay element to get to the next level. Similarly, getting the yellow heart (is there a point to getting those apart from going yellow?) was somehow "grab the heart and replay the level from the start" or "get to the finish". Not really a good incentive to get the hearts for me.

Liked the art. Nothing very fancy but it does the job. Nice music.

Basically what you might be lacking is test players! While this is not (might not be) possible for LD, most of the issues I have with the game could have been found with one tester.

I have to say that I appreciate the innovation for a platform game though! Good job.

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