August 19th-22nd 2011 :: Theme: Escape
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Number 23 Escapes!

by toastie - 48 Hour Competition Entry

Wow. I literally just wrote code, 3d-modelled, composed music pretty much non-stop for 48 hours. I had some problems building the Windows version in the end, so posting this a little late (thank god for the extension!).

The game is a little smaller than I originally planned, but I'm pretty proud of it and I hope that you enjoy it!

I used a framework called Polycode (which I am also the developer of and which you can find at

Aside from that I used Blender for 3d modelling and animation, Photoshop for all graphical needs, Reason 4 for music and SFXR for sounds.

The code is a real mess, so don't take it too seriously. I had to jam a ton of quick fixes in the last few hours, so it's really really ugly.


Downloads and Links




Hempuli says ...
Aug 22, 2011 @ 10:09am

Neat graphics, but there were a lot of little bugs and then gameplay got quite repetitive later in the game. It seemed to me that the guards couldn't hit the protagonist at all, and it was impossible to predict their movements. Using the buttons to change the active barrier was a bit annoying because standing on the button made the barriers toggle very fast, thus making it impossible to be sure that the desired barrier is on when you leave the button. I got nearly to the end, until in one room trying to leave through a door made the character fall off the world instead.

Aug 22, 2011 @ 2:04pm

Stealth-game! Yes!

The soundtrack is also quite fitting.

mpc174 says ...
Aug 22, 2011 @ 7:11pm

Nice music, art syle, and zelda-puzzleish mechanics. Controls were a bit wonky, relative to the character rather tahn typical isometric controls. Also would be nice to see the guards' projectiles, or have the counter stop. You did some nice work here.

mcc says ...
Aug 23, 2011 @ 5:35am

So first off, in terms of graphics, sound, style and scope this is an amazing achievement… definitely an EXCELLENT advertisement for Polycode. Not joking-- while playing I kept thinking "Wow, Unity sure does let you do a lot in a brief time" before remembering this wasn't a Unity game!

The problems I did have: The gameplay seemed very slow (the guy didn't seem to move very quick) and the AI's behavior seemed nearly random. Sometimes the enemies couldn't seem to hit anything, sometimes they would zap me on the first try (four or five times I got sniped as I was entering through a door). Sometimes they would decide to run in circles forever instead of shooting (a couple times I had an enemy run into me and just keep running instead of try to shoot) and sometimes they'd run out of the room and not come back. Because I never figured out things like what would make enemies likely to start shooting at me or not, what would make them more or less likely to be able to hit me, even where they were aiming or their bullets were landing most of the time, or what the rules were for when the "Alarm" would restart after 30 seconds vs stopping... because of all this whether I got through any one situation felt like mostly a matter of luck. Meanwhile, since in a lot of the rooms I *could* get through just by charging through and hoping I didn't get shot, I felt like I didn't have a lot of incentive to play "correctly" vs barreling through. Some of the rooms looked like they had interesting level geometry to them that could be used to get through by stealth, but it seemed like if I tried to play that way I'd be increasing the chances a random AI behavior would kill me whereas if I just ran for the exits eventually I'd get a run where the enemy would either miss me or voluntarily run out of the room or something. Because rooms were small and saves were frequent this all wasn't really a problem for most of the game, but then I got to the last four rooms, died I lost count how many times in a row trying every variation of strategy I could think of, couldn't get through and gave up :(

I feel like, if you were willing to keep working on this a few small changes could have a really dramatic impact. I like the way you implemented a stealth game that feels like an arcade game, that seems unique (basically, I'd really like to play a version of this that had predictable enough AI to support playing it like a stealth game). One obvious thing that would help a lot is a save function. Another thing that stood out to me, the fact that sometimes enemies did run off the edge of a screen seemed to suggest the idea that it would change the game a lot if enemies could chase you in to other rooms. There was this <a href="">one room</a> that didn't seem to serve a gameplay function, but looking at it it was easy to imagine a version of the game where if you're in "alarm" mode the enemies can chase you into the next room, and then you'd need rooms like this one (full of nice big hiding places) in order to lose them.

I ran into a handful of bugs, but only one big one. Every time I saved, there was a phantom "save tile" shimmer at a seemingly random point in the room… in <a href="">this room</a>, the switches fire continuously, not just when you step on them… and there seemed to be a lot of slowdown which at first happened only when there was a lot of stuff in the room but toward the end seemed to sometimes occur even in empty rooms. The one big bug: If you hit "M" while running, the dude will keep running as long as the map is showing… and… if the dude goes through a door in this state… he will fall OUT OF THE LEVEL and the game will effectively be frozen. I got halfway through the game my first time and then ran into this and had to start over..

I guess I'm posting a lot of criticism here, I do want to stress that the only reason I'm able to find so many areas for potential improvement is that the game had so much ambition! This is really incredible for an LD48 game.

Two more tiny thoughts: Sometimes I'd be running between two enemies and they'd both shoot sort of "at each other" as I was just between them, it would be funny if the guards could shoot each other. Also, the isometry means there's a lot of hard edges to the lines in this game, I would be VERY curious what this looked like with something like 2x FSAA.

mcc says ...
Aug 23, 2011 @ 5:36am

OK, things I learned just now - don't use HTML on a comment on the ludum dare site - don't use ellipsis characters ^_^;

Shigor says ...
Aug 23, 2011 @ 9:39am

Good one (I considered doing similar game for my entry :), but there are two big problems with the gameplay:
a) hiding behind bigger obstacles means I have no idea where my character is, which way he's facing etc - which together with controls mean unnecessary problems
b) although "sneaking" game has by definition slow pace, sometimes it gets incredibly annoying and boring - sometimes waiting for guard to move so I can run past him takes very long time - first room with guard I've spent about two minutes just trying to wait him out after attempts to draw him out or run past him failed. Then on another attempt he moved so nicely I just walked around and it was it...
Thumbs up for the iso graphics :)

Superdeath says ...
Aug 24, 2011 @ 3:33am

Awesome visuals and audio!

localcoder says ...
Aug 27, 2011 @ 10:31am

This is very cool.

There are some issues as others have mentioned.

I particularly like the music and the "Test subject number 23 is missing from his cell." announcements - they give it a lot of atmosphere.

MacTuitui says ...
Sep 4, 2011 @ 11:37am

Cannot get past the last(?) room with the 4 guards in the open space... As others have said, the AI is a little unpredictable and sucks at shooting a lot. Some small bugs (and the game made my computer slow down to hell after a while - maybe pause a ms every two frames to let the thread breathe a bit) but apart from that... That's amazing amount of work you've put in this game!!!

I have no idea how your own framework helped with the development or how often you use such techniques in your daily work, but I have to just say... "wow". The presentation of your game is amazing. Reminded me a bit of "alone in the dark" in some ways.

Very nice work. Maybe a little more gameplay elements would have been nice, but that's asking for too much!

DrPetter says ...
Sep 7, 2011 @ 10:12pm

Very cool. Very stylish. The game makes me like it, despite flaws and glitches. Running past alerted guards seems a bit random in terms of getting killed or not, but that actually adds a neat roulette sort of mechanic where you can't really predict or influence what is going to happen, so you just gun it and hope for the best. You're already on thin ice after having been spotted, so it's not really a huge penalty to restart at that point. More like a bonus if you make it alive. The characters all have a cute tubby look that gives them a lot of personality. Strong entry!

gcopeland says ...
Sep 9, 2011 @ 9:26pm

Nice graphics and addictive game play. Definitely renewed my interest in Polycode. One thing though, the source link at the top,, does not work...

onefineline says ...
Sep 13, 2011 @ 6:47pm

Very interesting start. Very good atmo. I agree that the movement speed is painfully slow. I'll refrain from making any other criticisms, because this was made in 48 hours and it's pretty cool (WAY cooler than my joke of an entry lol).

Oh and the source file is broken. I try unzipping it, but I get an infinite number of new zip or cpgz files =(

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