December 16th-19th 2011 :: Theme: Alone

Back to Browse Entries


by 23 - 48 Hour Compo Entry

An entry for LD48 #22.

You are a little boy alone in a scary place. Find the green light to the next level before the darkness gets you! Use matches to keep the shrimp at bay.

No time for a title screen, I'm afraid. Push "z" to light a match, "x" to count matches (you should hear a tone for each match you have). Works on Android if you have a keypad.

Sound effects from sfxr.

Base library is enchant.js from Ubiquitous Entertainment, which I re-investigated thanks to the prompting of Kazuhiro Sera (@seratch).

Art, story, and code by Paul McCann (@polm23).

Match counting idea from a recent Auntie Pixelante article.

Maze generation heavily guided by Wikipedia article on same.

Idea of giant shrimp in darkness inspired by the light shining through the fronds of a palm tree on a stormy night as I was half asleep.

Idea of world destroyed by horrible mind-reading shrimp in meteorite based on true events.

Thanks for playing! This is the first LD I've finished a game for and I'm looking forward to the next one. -POLM

P.S.: If you beat it and you'd like a New Game Plus, click this link and then play again:

(Please note New Game+ is not within Compo rules.)

Downloads and Links




Deza says ...
Dec 19, 2011 @ 9:11am

I love the fact it was JavaScript. To make it better try making the movement tile based as well, that way players won't get stuck behind objects.

Waynetron says ...
Dec 19, 2011 @ 11:58am

Deza had a good suggestion about the tile based movement. Simply upping the player movement speed could also help a lot. I found it quite slow.

Perhaps with the audio, you could have a temp that increases as the darkness encroaches to give a feeling of urgency.

Cross says ...
Dec 21, 2011 @ 3:20pm

Unfortunately, I'm having issues with the load bar sticking at 50%.

I'll hold off rating, but I have to say that I love the concept and I've been thinking about doing something similar.

Cross says ...
Dec 21, 2011 @ 5:27pm

Okay, got it running through the source.

I loved the game, maybe my favourite that I've rated so far.

The movement system could use some work, as has been said.

I'm curious as to what maze generation you ended up using, since the only one in the past that I'm used was the binary tree algorithm.

23 says ...
Dec 22, 2011 @ 2:20am

Thanks for the comments!

One thing I'll say is that I haven't had sound work except locally and I'm not sure why - this is the first time I've used the javascript library, so that needs more inspection.

On movement: I was hoping to have more large empty spaces and appreciate the freedom of movement by not being pegged to the grid, but I'm not sure how to make it more... slidy? If anyone can point me at or explain how to make collisions less unfortunate, please give me a tip, as everyone who's played so far has mentioned that as an issue. One issue that I just didn't have time to fix is that all obstacles occupy a square area even if they aren't square (like the rock).

@Waynetron: Thanks! I wanted to do something like that - have a chittering noise from shrimp that increases as the darkness closes in - but didn't get time for it.

@Cross: Thanks for the appreciation!

The maze generation is a randomized depth-first search beginning from a space on either the left or top wall. Given width and height for the maze area, a grid is made that's actually (2*x)-1 by (2*y)-1, with all even-numbered rows/columns being for walls. Thus, all spaces with two even coordinates are solid, and all with two odd coordinates are open, with others being determined by the search. After the maze is generated I just randomly remove some solid blocks (see the "decay" function) and it's guaranteed to stay as navigable as the original maze (or moreso). It's possible to have single-block islands on even/even spaces, but since the player is placed only on an odd/odd coordinate he can't be trapped.

summaky says ...
Dec 24, 2011 @ 6:06pm

As other have said, the fact that you allow the player to move pixel by pixel but making grid-based collisions is a little frustrating. I think it is best to move the player until it reaches the center of the cell and then check for the keys or something. The sound effects sound more like noise than anything else on my computer.

Anyway, I like your take on the theme and the game as whole. Very well done.

edibletoaster says ...
Dec 27, 2011 @ 2:59am

Kinda cool, but simple. Probably would've felt a lot better with some music. I like it though

Pierrec says ...
Dec 28, 2011 @ 8:46am

The game won't load on my firefox :(

23 says ...
Dec 29, 2011 @ 2:07am

Thanks for the comments, guys! I'll have to work on movement and sound.

@Pierrec: Are you getting an error, and can you try Chrome? I primarily tested in Chrome but I also checked Firefox and it should be fine. If you can, it'd be great if you checked the Javascript console for any output.

Hazard says ...
Dec 30, 2011 @ 2:44pm

The gameplay idea is nice, but doesn't entertain for long. Worked in Firefox from source, not from web. IE won't start it at all.

mcc says ...
Jan 9, 2012 @ 12:17am

I had a lot of trouble understanding this one at first-- I didn't read the explanation, so I didn't know about the z/x keys and was frustrated because it didn't seem to be possible to win a level. I played a LOT of times trying to figure out what I was missing before I figured out how to use a match.

Once I figured out the matches, I felt like I liked the basic idea and what you were going for (the "shutter" effect looked cool, the environment looked good, the idea of trying to navigate a maze in encroaching darkness where your ability to extend light is also your health is great) but it just didn't feel like it worked. One problem was that every part of the maze was like every other and every level was like every other, so it didn't feel like there was a lot of reason to keep playing-- it was just repetitive. The fact every part of the maze looked the same interacted badly with the closing-diamond trick, I didn't have much chance of exploring the maze in a systematic way because I couldn't tell if I'd visited a particular section of the map already or not. (I felt like one thing that would have helped would have been if my character left footsteps, so I could tell where I'd been before.) So I was just performing a random walk, grabbing matches if they appeared, until the level ended... The "oh quick, a match, get it" moments just as the darkness is closing in felt like they could have been exciting and fun, but there wasn't much of a sense of either reward in getting the match or risk in failing to get the match because the effects of winning a level and dying were the same (begin in a random corner of a random map). The match-counting x-key thing didn't really work in practice because (1) there was some kind of html5 sound glitch on my machine where the sounds were broken up, so it was hard to tell the difference between one tone and three and (2) it didn't really matter how many matches I had, all that mattered was "are there more matches or not" and if the answer was "no" it wasn't useful information anyway because my only option in that case was to die.

The act of moving the "boy" around didn't really feel very fun (movement was sluggish, it was unforgiving about turning covers) and this made me feel less willing to forgive other issues.

Technically speaking though this is a really good effort so I bet you could make something more "playable" from this basis later.

You must sign in to comment.

[cache: storing page]