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    Ludum Dare 23

    April 20th-23rd 2012 :: 10 Year Anniversary! :: Theme: Tiny World

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    Recluse - chambers - 48 Hour Compo Entry


    May.5 - The OSX and Linux versions are back online!
    Apr.23 - I fixed a bug that ocurred when people tried to resize the window.


    This is a short metroidvania about persistence. Play as a socially withdrawn snail who never left its shell and try to find a way out of a recluse lifestyle. For an additional challenge, try to find all 3 hidden secrets!


    -Arrow keys to move
    -Alternatively, Z to jump instead of up arrow, in case you like the Z key as much as I do.
    -Esc to close game


    The screen sometimes flashes in some computers, but that's not intentional, it's a result of how Java deals with the game's core mechanic.

    I'd like to thank everyone from my indie group, www.catavento.art.br, for the moral support, and Helo and Saint11 for helping me hosting and uploading the game.

    View chambers's journal. | View all entries by chambers




    BNeutral says ...
    Apr 23, 2012 @ 5:21am

    This is incredible man.

    chambers says ...
    Apr 23, 2012 @ 6:30am

    I'm glad you enjoyed it, I'm still a little bit worried that the game might not work well in all OSs because of how Java deals with certain things of the this game's mechanics =/

    saint11 says ...
    Apr 23, 2012 @ 6:44am

    So far this is my favorite LD game! It reminds me of windows 3.11 games!

    porath says ...
    Apr 23, 2012 @ 8:12am

    great game, but it seems like after i got the collectible by the start, double jump stopped working and i wasn't able to get out of the pit. it's possible i just don't know what i'm doing, though.

    lanzz says ...
    Apr 23, 2012 @ 11:40am

    Does not work on OS X — dies with "LSOpenURLsWithRole() failed with error -10810 for the file /Users/.../recluse.macosx/Recluse.app"

    Tuba says ...
    Apr 23, 2012 @ 2:46pm

    That was unexpected :o

    Great game!

    vitor.navarro says ...
    Apr 23, 2012 @ 3:05pm

    At first I though ow wow just that how can I...wait....there is more, then more and then wow the world. Really amazing, surprising and fun. Congrats

    KevinZuhn says ...
    Apr 23, 2012 @ 4:27pm

    I quit the first time thinking I was stuck in a room.
    Thankfully I tried harder the next time! Expanding the window is super cool and satisfying, and the neckbearded snail is adorable!

    Apr 23, 2012 @ 5:34pm

    What a neat concept. I've never before seen a game that makes use of the window's size as a gameplay mechanic and it worked quite effectively. Great job. :)

    dokidoki says ...
    Apr 23, 2012 @ 7:02pm

    At first I thought the "Note" in the description was lame, but it makes sense now. Good job!

    Raptor85 says ...
    Apr 23, 2012 @ 7:05pm

    i love it, lol

    chambers says ...
    Apr 24, 2012 @ 1:54am

    lanzz: I'm really sorry you couldn't play the game. Thank you for testing and posting the

    error message. I'll work as hard as I can to find a solution for that, probably with the

    help of friends, but I can't guarantee I will find the answer (I don't have much

    experience in programming). I still have to check if it works on Linux. Meanwhile, please try playing the windows version in some other computer if you can.

    porath: Wow, that never happened to anyone before. I wonder what happened? I'll look into

    it, but it could be that you pressed the jump button too fast while trying to get out. Remember that the second jump is very short comparing to the first one, and it is of no use if you do it before the appex of the first jump. If that was what happened to you, I'll make the pit more shallow in the nect version.

    All the others: Thanks for the compliments! I hope you guys had fun, despite how hard it was to figure out the start (It was supposed to be part of the experience). But you all managed to escape the recluse life, even when it seemed impossible. Congratulations! XD

    davisan says ...
    Apr 24, 2012 @ 2:24am

    Great game!

    the8donut says ...
    Apr 24, 2012 @ 10:11am

    Dude... This is awesome!

    MyFault.com says ...
    Apr 24, 2012 @ 2:45pm

    Yeah, this is just flat out amazing. Definitely my fave so far. Very clever, very polished. I tip my hat to you.

    FrederickK says ...
    Apr 24, 2012 @ 3:17pm


    LukeRissacher says ...
    Apr 24, 2012 @ 9:16pm

    Nice! Never seen that mechanic before - perfect for a snail game. The endings were cool/funny too. Wish there was sound and music, and wish the game played a little faster - but it's a snail I guess. Nice overall vision, short little game but sweet.

    LukeRissacher says ...
    Apr 24, 2012 @ 9:19pm

    (@chambers: BTW, left you a comment on that Microbial game page)

    bms says ...
    Apr 25, 2012 @ 5:38am

    Haha really innovative game dynamics.. People who don't like native games EAT THIS!! xD Only problem for me was the movement speed, maybe It could have been a bit faster. But Other then that awesome game! congrats!

    edbadiux says ...
    Apr 25, 2012 @ 6:00am

    I LOVED the resizing screen mechanic. And not only the mechanic but the whole game, and incredible well done experience. Thanks! (I wish the game had music =()

    dukope says ...
    Apr 25, 2012 @ 10:16am

    Fantastically clever.

    marudziik says ...
    Apr 25, 2012 @ 12:09pm

    Wow, I've never seen such mechanic. Awesome. Lovely graphics, too!

    Apr 25, 2012 @ 5:13pm

    *LOL*, this is brilliant. Graphics are beautiful too, nice work!

    The game restarting was a bit harsh though, esp. since it takes some time to advance.

    Apr 25, 2012 @ 5:14pm

    Also props for not spoiling it. That's the best moment :)

    Kitch says ...
    Apr 25, 2012 @ 6:21pm

    Took a little while to figure out what was going on... but glad you didn't tell me, as that would have completely ruined it.
    I really miss the sound though.. it really would have added so much to the mechanic...

    Oye Beto says ...
    Apr 26, 2012 @ 12:09am

    I just gave you 5 stars in all categories but audio.
    This is amazing.

    JustinMullin says ...
    Apr 26, 2012 @ 2:13am

    Awesome. Props for being that creative. =)

    X-wing9 says ...
    Apr 26, 2012 @ 2:22pm

    Man, I'd never have thought of this concept... let alone program it. Brilliant game, very well-designed.

    Gabriel says ...
    Apr 26, 2012 @ 2:25pm

    Chambers / Pedro, this is by far one of the best 48 hours compo entries I've seen! What impressed me was the design consistency - the level is spiral, the character and the core mechanic has a lot to do with the theme, and the metaphor is very cleverly embbeded into the gameplay. Graphics are charming too! A shame it doesn't have sounds, but silence definitely hurts less than poorly implemented sound, so I think you were wise in spending the extra time in polishing what is in the game. This is my first 5 stars rating for Overall. Congratulations! And thanks for all the feedback in my game too, I'll be removing the Portuguese sentence and adding the checkpoint (I swear I played it through 3 times and didn't notice the sentence there - probably it's the stress! haha)

    uuav says ...
    Apr 26, 2012 @ 5:16pm

    awesome is not enough

    Misfit says ...
    Apr 26, 2012 @ 6:04pm

    Great idea and cute graphics. This resize feature is clever.

    bitbof says ...
    Apr 26, 2012 @ 7:11pm

    pretty pretty pretty good :)

    Fireblend says ...
    Apr 27, 2012 @ 3:32am

    Really clever mechanic you've got going there! Impressive, to say the least. Good job! :D

    Tifu says ...
    Apr 27, 2012 @ 10:08am

    Genius mechanic! Never seen anything like that before =o

    chambers says ...
    Apr 28, 2012 @ 5:37am

    Thanks everyone for the comments! Back when I was developing the game, I would never guess people would like it so much. I'll work on a revamped version taking into consideration all feeback you guys gave me (and sound). Unfortunately, the snail's speed is slow because of a bug (if the max speed was one pixel faster, the snail would go through some walls), but I'll see what I can do to fix it.

    Jiggawatt says ...
    Apr 28, 2012 @ 11:11am

    Unique idea and an execution worthy of it.

    triplefox says ...
    Apr 28, 2012 @ 11:21am

    The spider obstacles did not really add to the experience. Otherwise, a nicely done exploration platformer with a cool gimmick.

    samoojamies says ...
    Apr 28, 2012 @ 11:26am

    Nice innovation here! Good job.

    Hegemege says ...
    Apr 28, 2012 @ 11:41am

    Awesome game! Really original idea, liked the graphics a lot but no sound? :/

    pighead10 says ...
    Apr 28, 2012 @ 11:42am

    Brilliant game! Loved the mechanic, the flashing screen was easily ignored.

    Sheep says ...
    Apr 28, 2012 @ 12:38pm

    Awesome game! The expanding window thing is just awesome!

    whilefun says ...
    Apr 28, 2012 @ 5:54pm

    so great! Very original. And challenging, but not like, NES challenging which is nice

    desmarkie says ...
    Apr 29, 2012 @ 8:32am

    Great game. Sadly nerd points don't count towards the LD score, but ++ for using processing :)

    DDRKirby(ISQ) says ...
    Apr 29, 2012 @ 12:01pm

    Surprisingly good level design for an LD, and of course, great mechanic. I can see how something like this wouldn't be easily portable to other OSes though. Also, could have sworn I did collect all 3 collectibles, but I had to die to backtrack and get the last one (you sneaky bastard you) so maybe that was why I didn't get your secret ending. Oh well.

    Try adding sound next time; it's super-easy nowadays with tools like sfxr/bfxr/labchirp around, and adds instant polish to a game.

    caribou says ...
    Apr 29, 2012 @ 1:35pm

    Innovation : 7/5, I loved the level design.

    Draknek says ...
    Apr 29, 2012 @ 4:30pm

    Great concept!

    Frustratingly difficult though, badly needs more checkpoints.

    mooosh says ...
    May 1, 2012 @ 2:06am

    oh man this is such a cool idea. I love this. the graphics are excellent, and it plays really (surprisingly) well. great job!

    Chaoseed says ...
    May 2, 2012 @ 1:42am

    Very, very clever. :)

    matt says ...
    May 2, 2012 @ 2:25am

    holy shit this is cool

    johnfn says ...
    May 2, 2012 @ 2:37am

    Clever concept. My only gripe is that enemy fights didn't feel too interesting. Cool stuff though.

    dr_soda says ...
    May 2, 2012 @ 4:38am

    Every once in a while you find a game that makes you want to re-evaluate how you rated other games. This is one of them.

    amodo says ...
    May 2, 2012 @ 4:49am

    Wow. This is great! Something new, woohoo :) Also, very well done.

    vandriver says ...
    May 2, 2012 @ 4:57am

    sublime little game. my only suggestion is that hearts should refill when you restart - or at least respawn

    jeffz says ...
    May 2, 2012 @ 7:35am

    wish there was music, otherwise 5/5 for innovation.

    Jeremias says ...
    May 2, 2012 @ 10:47am

    Very nice concept!

    johanp says ...
    May 2, 2012 @ 11:01am

    Very nice and unique experience, well done! Perhaps getting your hearts back after dieing would be more fair. Movement felt a bit slow, but I guess that's a snail's life.

    Shifty says ...
    May 2, 2012 @ 12:41pm

    BRILLIANT! This idea is AMAZING! A bit of sound would have make it perfect. Great work!

    Shifty says ...
    May 2, 2012 @ 12:42pm

    You reinvented the notion of "exploration" in video game.

    Andrew says ...
    May 2, 2012 @ 2:38pm

    By far the most original mechanic I've seen. Awesome job.

    JaJ says ...
    May 2, 2012 @ 2:48pm

    Cool concept! I was actually trying to get the game to play in full screen or increase the window manually somehow before I gave in and thought "Fine, I'll play the game in this rediculously small window, but I'm not going to like it."

    Well I did like it.

    rvmook says ...
    May 2, 2012 @ 6:07pm

    Great use of theme and really fun to play. Too bad I only got to get 2 collectibles. More hearts would've been nice though

    spooks says ...
    May 2, 2012 @ 6:51pm

    Really creative! Solid complete game (minus sound)!

    AlwaysGeeky says ...
    May 2, 2012 @ 7:10pm

    Very good game, well done! I liked this entry it seem very good all round :)

    May 2, 2012 @ 8:10pm

    Mind blowing concept ^^ very well executed too :)
    The gameplay itself was interesting, albeit a little difficult (I thought the ants were strange enemies).
    Very nice entry! :D

    olav_st says ...
    May 2, 2012 @ 8:17pm

    Wow, really great!
    I would like to comment on two things. First the windows flickered alot while resizing, this may be because i played the game on a crappy laptop, but it was still annoying. Secondly, the ants seemed to have a different pattern every time I died. That was really annyoing and it took many tries to beat the game.

    Two minor problems in an otherwise great game. Good work :)

    KevinWorkman says ...
    May 2, 2012 @ 10:12pm

    This is one of my favorites. Very creative use of the theme, cool mechanic, great job.

    A little self-promotion, but I offer free Processing and Java hosting (as well as tutorials, a forum, etc) at http://StaticVoidGames.com. Might be worth checking out for the future.

    GFM says ...
    May 2, 2012 @ 10:41pm

    Amazing game!
    This game's mechanic is just... so... awesome!
    I wasn't expecting something like this... really!

    Danvil says ...
    May 2, 2012 @ 10:42pm

    Great game! Enlarging the window size is cool ;) For me the window flickered when resizing.

    Shadow says ...
    May 3, 2012 @ 2:07am

    Loved how you used the windows size a part of the game mechanics!

    Dr.Pingu says ...
    May 3, 2012 @ 11:57am

    a good idea well executed ! good game :)

    AD-Edge says ...
    May 3, 2012 @ 4:24pm

    Ha, that was not expected! Surprising to say the least, and very enjoyable and innovative. This is what LD game devs need to focus on - make one fun and creative gameplay element, then build a game around it.
    Nailed it!

    ilo says ...
    May 3, 2012 @ 8:20pm

    Eyebrow-raising is an understatement... Mine are currently in orbit!

    Niavlys says ...
    May 3, 2012 @ 8:36pm

    Graphics were awesome and the idea was brilliant. Still a bit frustrated by the slowness of the character, and audio would have been greatly appreciated :)

    vilya says ...
    May 4, 2012 @ 12:21am

    Absolutely beautiful. Well done! I think your snail is one of the most memorable game characters I've seen in ages -.

    otaviogood says ...
    May 4, 2012 @ 12:55am

    This is the first game I've played that I'm going to have to recommend to friends. Like everyone else, I started out saying WTF, why didn't this guy at least scale up his screen. Great game. Polished. Fun endings.

    Evgis says ...
    May 4, 2012 @ 4:23pm

    Super great idea man! I have never thought about this concept before, its really awesome. I just hate java a bit for flashing the screen while its resizing. Oh well, great job!

    MrBarnslig says ...
    May 5, 2012 @ 9:16pm

    Ha! Really clever. When the screen moved at first I literally said "Whoooooaaaa..." out loud. Nice work. Superb level design too, very Metroid like, how new abilities unlock new areas. My only gripe is that it's a bit slow, so when you die it's demoralizing. Nice job!

    namuol says ...
    May 6, 2012 @ 12:34am

    Awesome -- a few really nice surprises here that made me grin big. Obviously scoring points for innovation here, but I thought it also fit the theme especially well and loved the graphics.

    Things I might have done differently would be to probably just add more checkpoints or remove the ants entirely. I understand that you'd want to add a challenge but you could have worked in challenge with platforming, alone -- the ants really just made frustrating what was otherwise delightful.

    Oh -- there might be a bug in the linux version [maybe it's just me] where if the window loses focus, it never regains keyboard controls, and so I was forced to start over several times. Anyone else have this happen?

    Still -- one of my favorite entries! Thanks for putting out a Linux build! (Although in hindsight, I could have built it in processing myself since I use processing, too. Derp.)

    deejorg says ...
    May 6, 2012 @ 1:02am

    Fantastic game! great concept and it fits the theme perfectly!
    Very polished all around. One of my favourites no doubt! Congrats =D

    aquasheep says ...
    May 6, 2012 @ 1:18am

    Nicely done! I couldn't seem to finish it because I ceased to be able to get anywhere despite numerous sprinting double jumps, collectibles found, and many, many deaths. However, EXCELLENT idea with the window size mechanic! I like.

    Tom 7 says ...
    May 6, 2012 @ 2:55pm

    Excellent! The trick was a great surprise; the first I've ever seen that and very satisfying. The flashing on my computer was a regrettable distraction. Very smart, though. I like the graphics and the double entendres (shouldn't they be brown, though?) and secrets. Controls felt a little slow. Hi-score: true bro.

    May 7, 2012 @ 11:11am

    Incredible! 5 for innovation! The mechanic was awesome and surprising. Beat the game with all 3 (well-hidden) collectibles. Fantastic job! :) Some sound would've been great, but the rest of the game more than makes up for the lack of it.

    Knighty says ...
    May 9, 2012 @ 9:37pm

    This is awesome. Only problem I had with it was the double jump. If you hold Up it does the second jump right after the normal jump. It's natural for me to hold the jump button, but you can't in this game because of that.

    Krisjet says ...
    May 10, 2012 @ 3:46pm

    This game rocked! The only problem I had with it was the enemies, it felt like they were there just "because". I think this game would have been just as interesting if it was just exploring this world without the hassle of having to restart from the last checkpoint. Yes I died at the end. Several times :P
    Couldn't bring myself to give it less than a 5 for fun anyway though :)

    Beerman says ...
    May 11, 2012 @ 10:48am

    Awesome concept (could do with just a little hint at the start, maybe just "go right"), fun game except for the ants. Seriously, fuck those guys! ;)

    nornagon says ...
    May 12, 2012 @ 5:28am

    Loved the window expanding :)

    Mago says ...
    May 12, 2012 @ 1:23pm

    Great game. One of my favorite in this LD. Great Job!!!

    Kvisle says ...
    May 12, 2012 @ 2:26pm

    I beat it, didn't find all the collectibles though.

    Really good entry! I love the core mechanic - it was a bit surprising at first :)

    free_napalm says ...
    May 12, 2012 @ 4:26pm

    Nice game with excellent mechanics.

    Puzzlem00n says ...
    May 12, 2012 @ 5:09pm

    Nice job. You've done pretty well with this concept.

    jfroco says ...
    May 13, 2012 @ 5:20am

    Great gfx, great mechanics, great gameplay.. one of my favorites, sad you didn't have time to add music.

    tcstyle says ...
    May 13, 2012 @ 8:30am

    What an awesome game mechanic. I totally love the graphics. A pity there is no sound.

    jimmypaulin says ...
    May 13, 2012 @ 10:13am

    Extremely well made with wonderful graphical polish. The level design, difficulty curve and asset revelation is highly accomplished, and of course the central mechanic is a stroke of genius. Got a Tiny World? Make it bigger! Fantastic work and well deserving of a high score

    SonnyBone says ...
    May 13, 2012 @ 8:16pm

    WOW! That sorta blew me away, there. Best use of theme thus far. AMAZING window resizing element at work, there.

    AirRider3 says ...
    May 13, 2012 @ 8:43pm

    Wow, this is one of the best games of LudumDare23. Really original gameplay aspect :P

    It lacks sound though. (Or is it because I'm running it on a Mac?)

    Fififox says ...
    May 13, 2012 @ 8:51pm

    Great concept, I liked it a lot! (But please disable the window autocentering because it fails horribly on dual screen: the window is cut in half with one side on one screen and the other on the other screen...)

    Casino Jack says ...
    May 13, 2012 @ 10:19pm

    Bloody awesome fun, even if te flashing gave me a headache after a while :)
    From the 100+ games I've played so far, this is definitely top for innovation.

    r3d5 says ...
    May 15, 2012 @ 12:34am

    ahahaha, that was so awesome when I found out what the catch was. Well done! well done!

    chambers says ...
    May 15, 2012 @ 7:33am

    Guys, thanks a lot for all the feedback and comments. Every single comment in this page made me feel that making the game was more than worth it.

    Also, thanks a bunch for the ratings, getting first place in innovation was a real achievement!

    I've been really busy with college stuff but I will release a version with fixed bugs and better difficulty as soon as I can.

    madflame991 says ...
    May 21, 2012 @ 7:22am

    At first I thought: what?! a platformer got 1st place for innovation?! WHY??? But then, I pushed the frontier, I mean you pushed the frontier of innovation (see what I did there?). Great game, hands down!

    tokanite says ...
    Jul 30, 2012 @ 4:40am

    Would love to play this game, but I am (unfortunatley) a huge noob with things such as the mac terminal.

    When it says "from this directory", how do I specify the directory in the terminal command?

    chmod +x Recluse.app/Contents/MacOS/JavaApplicationStub

    if I just have it on my desktop, or a folder on my desktop

    chambers says ...
    Jul 31, 2012 @ 6:08am


    I'm sorry, I don't have a mac (those instructions are automatically generated when I create the file) but according to what I found on Google, the path to the desktop should be something like cd/users/your name/desktop ("cd" is the command that sets the directory you're at). Then you type in "chmod +x Recluse.app/Contents/MacOS/JavaApplicationStub".

    After doing that, you can exit the Terminal and click on the file normally.

    But I should tell you, I will release a new version of Recluse (with new features and corrected bugs) tomorrow night, so if you can wait, it will be a much better experience for you!

    DrTacoPhD says ...
    Nov 15, 2012 @ 9:36pm

    I'm having trouble getting the game... I click the mac link but I get 404 not found. Is this happening to everyone or just me?

    daiyi says ...
    Aug 12, 2013 @ 11:50am

    Aw this is absolutely adorable! Played well on my linux machine.

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