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

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by commando - 48 Hour Compo Entry

This was my first Ludum Dare, and I must say I'm somewhat surprised that I got anything done given how busy this weekend has been.

In between studying for a philosophy test, practicing for a physics quiz, going to driving school, and going to an interview, I really only had around 8 hours to work on it. It will only last you 5 minutes, but I can guarantee that what you read in it will last you for a very long time. It only has one gameplay element (figure out the password), and the rest is a loose story. This was my first LD, and I realized how little I knew about programming, especially seeing what others have made.

I would appreciate any advice on more efficient or better programming methods (perhaps a generous soul would look at my poor, aching source code and tell me what I should have done instead?). Does anyone know a good way to map in java OTHER than defining rectangles where you can/can't go. Better question: can someone tell me that way? I'm sure I did a very poor job of it.

In perspective, though, I'm happy with it! I learned a lot about game programming, and I'm hoping to do much better next time. Thanks for giving it a look! I hope you try it and enjoy what little it has to offer. Have a nice day!

Use arrow keys to navigate the menu, space to select/interact. Mouse is only used when entering the code in the first room.

Downloads and Links




CplMustard says ...
Dec 19, 2011 @ 6:51am

Good use of the theme, very basic though, and not much to it, also couldn't help but notice that you can run on top of tables, seems to me you should collide with them.

commando says ...
Dec 19, 2011 @ 1:57pm

Ah yes, about the tables - didn't have the time to work that bit out, and my collision method was very primitive as I don't really know the ideal way to do it.

Robotic says ...
Dec 19, 2011 @ 10:42pm

I found the password fun to find, and enjoyed reading the messages you find, but the picture of the outside world ruined it for me. In my opinion, it would have been better not to show the outside, instead of this drawing. But even if it was short, I found it kinda well written, and it gave me a little feeling when I realised what the password was.

Outlier says ...
Dec 20, 2011 @ 2:52am

I completely agree with that comment. ^ Every single word.

Outlier says ...
Dec 20, 2011 @ 2:57am

I also agree that the table should have been collidable. But all in all, I think it was pretty awesome storywise.

John Conrad says ...
Dec 21, 2011 @ 3:37am

Honestly for a first time entry with limited programming experience this is pretty great. It is short but the narrative is interesting and it makes you think a bit.

Also I liked the final shot. :P

Per says ...
Dec 21, 2011 @ 1:40pm

Ahh, I feel so stupid now. I can't figure out the first password. I thought it was "death" but that doesn't seem to compute...
Anyway, I think that you really get the theme and the mood right.

commando says ...
Dec 21, 2011 @ 2:45pm

If you want to find out the password you can just check out the source code by the way.

Stargoat says ...
Jan 5, 2012 @ 10:44pm

the puzzle was nice, good use of the theme.

Kelly Thomas says ...
Jan 7, 2012 @ 12:26am

I would have preferred an explicit enter button for the password.

I find it very frustrating when playing a puzzle game and I don't even receive confirmation that an attempt is being recognised by the game

DalsGames says ...
Jan 8, 2012 @ 10:33am

I liked the game alot! I found the story very interesting and the "twist" at the end was great!

commando says ...
Jan 8, 2012 @ 4:15pm

Thanks for all the comments people! They're very encouraging and I'll be sure to keep the advice in mind the next Ludum Dare.

Jeremias says ...
Jan 8, 2012 @ 4:37pm


- Setup a list of rectangles where the player can't move instead of rectangles where he can move.
- Use the intersect()-method to check, if the player wants to move in a collision-rectangle.
- If he wants to move, set a temporary variable with the wanted position, check if there is no collision and then set the
player's real position to that (you did this right ^^)
- Every trial of moving you can check the player-rectangle against all collision rectangles: this method is okay and for
a 48 hour game there is no need to implement intelligent collision checking until the simplest way has a bad performance
or doesn't feel right.
- Now, you can add collision boxes for the table and other things.
- If you want to implement the interaction, you can setup a second rectangle for these objects which is bigger than
the collision rectangle. If the player intersects with it, there is a interaction possible with space-key (you did this
with a contains()-method, what is okay too).

Efficient collision checking is an interesting research field :) there are a lot of methods to do these checks in a efficient way.
If you want to go on for the next ludum dare, try to implement a line intersection check so you can let the player colliding with
a polygon.

And really important: Try to use the simplest way instead of wasting time for heavyweight collision checking algorithms.

wgemigh says ...
Jan 8, 2012 @ 5:09pm

An interesting concept that works pretty well. I'll second the call for an explicit 'Enter' key on the passcode. Overall, a great first attempt!

commando says ...
Jan 8, 2012 @ 6:28pm

Wow, thanks Jeremias! I'll definitely implement that from now on, and I'll look into polygon collisions. Interestingly, I recall having done those in an asteroids game a while back, but I've completely forgotten them! Also, I usually do the "can't move" instead of "can move," but for some reason (brain glitched out for a second?) I did the reverse this time. Again, thanks for taking the time to help me!

Dan C says ...
Jan 8, 2012 @ 11:03pm

For something so simple this very effectively achieves what you set out to do. Kudos.

Jan 8, 2012 @ 11:13pm

Pretty sad mood. Weird how so many games here suggest suicide as a solution. It makes me really sad.

commando says ...
Jan 8, 2012 @ 11:17pm

Thanks Dan!

Gebirgsbaerbel: I understand what you're saying, but notice how the game "narrator" explicitly notes that his method of escape - suicide - should not be chosen. He is implying that it represents a weakness, that a human should never resort to such measures, and that our hero in this case should certainly not do so.

Jan 9, 2012 @ 2:21am

Fits the theme very well, and although it was short it used the time well. Nice job, and I look forward to seeing what you bring to the next competition.

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