April 26th-29th 2013 :: Theme: Minimalism

Ludum Dare 26 — April 26-29th, 2013
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by Topaz - Jam Entry

Help this young girl to face her fears and overcome her nightmares in this combination top-down platformer and sidescroller. Maybe there's more to her dreams than meets the eye...

My second attempt at a Ludum Dare, this time with some other people to help. A fun experience, like last time, I hope you guys enjoy playing. Feedback is appreciated.

Before you vote down because you don't understand what's going on in it, make sure you've read everything below.

As a note to anyone who doesn't understand what's going on, the story is left mostly out as it is for the player to interpret their own way (the theme was 'minimalism'). In her mind, you are not "battling" monsters, you are teaching her to control her dreams.

Now go on, help her face her fears, defeat the monsters that live inside her head and make her dreams a nicer place! Help her to learn to take control of her fears and control her unconscious mind.


Art team: Zeapear, Binary Star
Audio: Topaz
Programming: Topaz
Bug testing: jetsam135
Porting: FezMan

Special thanks to FezMan for helping with creating an OSX executable!

Instructions are included in the README.txt

Downloads and Links




kingtharg says ...
Apr 30, 2013 @ 3:26am

The art (visual & music) was fantastic, but apart from that I didn't really understand what was going on, and I froze up in every combat.

zeapear says ...
Apr 30, 2013 @ 3:50am

Hi kingtharg, thanks for the feedback. I was one of the artists for this game (I worked on the level select screen mostly) and your comment is very much appreciated. :) In regards to your issues with combat, we are well aware of the many issues with the battle system. I think Topaz is working on fixing it up right now. :) Also, I will be the first to admit that the storyline is a little (read: very) confusing. I admit that freely, and if we had had more time it would (probably) have been executed better. We did have a plan for what was going to happen, but sadly due to time constraints and the complicated nature of the story we were trying to convey we didn't have time to tell it to full effect. I hope you enjoyed regardless. Have a nice day and good luck with your own entry. :)

wrongcoder says ...
Apr 30, 2013 @ 3:56am

Beautiful art and music. Unfortunately, I didn't see any game here. Maybe I missed it while also missing the story.

pvwradtke says ...
Apr 30, 2013 @ 4:56am

Loved the art style, I had to play it since I saw you main screen shoot. The game combat is very simple, maybe adding some more interactive sequences to that part would make it more interesting overall. The premise is good, but some more time may make the execution part better.

HelkeGames says ...
Apr 30, 2013 @ 5:38am

Cool game! Great job ;)

Apr 30, 2013 @ 5:45am

Somni (somnus) is Latin. Phobia is derived from the Greek phobos (φόβος) is Greek. Fear of sleep should be hypnophobia (ὕπνος + φόβος)

TehSkull says ...
Apr 30, 2013 @ 5:47am

I really don't understand what I just played. It was over so fast. And the combat never really made sense. Good art though.

Mekuri says ...
Apr 30, 2013 @ 5:47am

The graphics are very good, and the game looks promising right from the begining. Sadly it goes downhill from there. It's a shame you didn't have more time, this could really have been great. I hope you finish this game eventually, it has promise :)

eedok says ...
Apr 30, 2013 @ 5:50am

Interesting mix of art styles. Not much for compelling gameplay, and ends quite suddenly.

zeapear says ...
Apr 30, 2013 @ 5:53am

Jaime von Schwarzburg:
Thank you, we didn't realise. Originally we were going to call the game 'Oneirophobia' (fear of dreams/dreaming), but we decided it was too inpronouncable. I guess we kind of just assumed that 'somniphobia' would be okay.

According to the wiki article on hypnophia, however, somniphobia is also correct.

Your attention to detail is astonishing, and we appreciate your correction. :)

Apr 30, 2013 @ 5:56am

Beautiful sound and vision

Diventurer says ...
Apr 30, 2013 @ 6:04am

I really like this. There's not much to do, but the atmosphere of the game is just amazing. The music, the art, and the way it's put together. Brilliant!
I admit I had to restart the first level as I didn't catch that those puns were meant to be my weapon. ;p
Max graphics, audio and mood from me - but a bit down for the overall, but I like it. :)

timtimtimtim says ...
Apr 30, 2013 @ 7:05am

too much walking

Crazi456 says ...
Apr 30, 2013 @ 7:06am

Good art/feel

Jed Mayberry says ...
Apr 30, 2013 @ 7:08am

Combat was a little odd, not much to do, but your soundtrack was pretty OK.

EdoMiyamoto says ...
Apr 30, 2013 @ 8:23am

Graphics are pretty cool, with the change of camera and stuff, but i feel that levels are too much empty!

fullmontis says ...
Apr 30, 2013 @ 10:14am

I'm not really sure what I've watched but was cool nonetheless. Reminded me of Yume Nikki which can't be a bad thing.

Aceria says ...
Apr 30, 2013 @ 10:26am

Good mood and graphics, but missing interaction. Maybe you could have had a distinctive visual style for the enemies that meant they needed to have different buttons used to defeat them, rather than only one attack button per dungeon?

When you're designing games, there are two main approaches, either you start with gameplay or you start with story. You appear to be starting from the story, so really think about what interactions you need to convey your theme and events in the story. If you want to start with gameplay then think about what the character is going to be capable of doing then start mixing those abilities around with the interactive objects in the world (the terrain, puzzle objects, enemies, etc.) until you have something that feels interesting. It feels a little like you just went for your first idea here without spending enough time designing at the start.

If you fancy a brilliant book on game design for inspiration then check out Jesse Schell's Art of Game Design. It's by far the best book available on the subject: href="http://www.amazon.com/s/?_encoding=UTF8&ajr=2&camp=1789&creative=390957&field-keywords=jesse%20schell&linkCode=ur2&rh=i%3Aaps%2Ck%3Ajesse%20schell&sprefix=jesse%20sche%2Caps%2C308&tag=theothersid08-20&url=search-alias%3Daps

Keep at it - design gets easier!

Topaz says ...
Apr 30, 2013 @ 11:59am

Aceria: Thanks for the advice, I might have a look at the book. With regards to the game planning, and I will probably write a post-mortem about this, we started with a story-centered approach but ran out of time since members of the team were unavailable for a fair bit of the period we had to work on it. Thanks for the in-depth review.

Zim the Fox says ...
May 1, 2013 @ 6:17am

Heeey, another Python dev! Also, thank you for commenting on my game! :3

Onto the game. I know the theme was minimalism but I think the story lacked context. What is the meaning of the place she dreams about, why does she dreams of those monsters?

The music is very fitting and the artwork is great for having such a short time. The gameplay is lacking though, you could have made the puzzles less obvious, at least. Regardless, good job on making a game!

Purplescape says ...
May 1, 2013 @ 8:13am

This was a very promising game. I really liked the art, especially the loading screen and characters. The second level had a great atmosphere. It lacked a little in gameplay, but I still enjoyed it. The awesome music helped a lot!

Aceria says ...
May 1, 2013 @ 9:50am

You're welcome :) Good luck with your next game!

smilingrob says ...
May 1, 2013 @ 7:46pm

Those are some pretty freaky nightmares. The hand especially. I liked the use of parallax backgrounds, and the title screen was beautiful. The animation could have had some bending at the joints. The controls were a bit clunky. Here's a great video about "juice" that would have helped out the controls and animation: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Fy0aCDmgnxg Ha ha, not enough time to do everything. Congratulations on finishing LD26!

FezMan says ...
May 2, 2013 @ 6:44am

Great Jam guys. I definitely appreciated the graphics, though the gameplay was rather clunky. Damn fine combat system as well.

FezMan says ...
May 2, 2013 @ 6:48am

In all seriousness though I sincerely appreciate the effort put into this, as it is quite an aesthetically beautiful game. The music was suiting to the scene, the only flaw was in the combat system. 10/10 for the witty popups regarding combat mechanics.

FezMan says ...
May 2, 2013 @ 6:55am

As for compatibility with Mac OS X, If you are to follow the given instructions for executing using Terminal, it reads, however various sufficient functions cannot be found.

May 2, 2013 @ 12:08pm

Epic music & good graphics! good job

Muu? says ...
May 2, 2013 @ 12:41pm

The graphic and music art were great, but this entry is more a story rather than a game.
I really didn't understand what the combats were about...

Jhelle says ...
May 2, 2013 @ 12:52pm

Don't get whats happening and felt like the graphics styles were all over the place. They were nice however :)

PhaZ90771 says ...
May 2, 2013 @ 4:50pm

The art was interesting, but it needed to be cleaned up more, such as the extra white pixels on the edges of the character's side view sprite.

I liked that you used the key name in the text. It's an interesting twist to teach the player the buttons without spelling it out.

I didn't even feel like I was in combat when I was supposed to.

The first level should have been the closest one to the player at the beginning. It served to confuse me right at the start.

While I felt the story could have been interesting, I had trouble figuring out what you were trying to convey to me. I should be able to get something substantial with just playing the game.

Mostly, I think you needed time set aside to clean up the assets and make sure things were intuitive. Also, make sure that if the focus is the story, that you use the strength of video games, a.k.a interaction and affecting the world, to convey the story.

Anyways, hope you and your team continue making submissions.

kddekadenz says ...
May 4, 2013 @ 11:27am

Did not start for me.

Topaz says ...
May 4, 2013 @ 11:51am

Kddekadenz, could you be more specific? Did a window come up and then close, or did it not open whatsoever? What OS are you using?

MinionStudios says ...
May 7, 2013 @ 4:46pm

Moody and a bit disjointed, but the overall art is interesting and I love the music!

Misael.K says ...
May 8, 2013 @ 5:58am

The top view map looked very nice, but the side-scrolling part felt too rough around the edges, so to speak.
Strange choice of music, not something I would associate with "sleeping", "insomnia" or "fear".
I have the feeling that you ended up short of time. The side-scrolling battles feel "rushed", I believe some more transitions and effects are needed.

skintkingle says ...
May 14, 2013 @ 8:21pm

Good looking and sounding game. Did feel like more effort was made with the graphics than the plot.

Love the background affects when scrolling.

kibertoad says ...
May 20, 2013 @ 9:51am

would be nice for enemies to fight back.

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