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

Ludum Dare 26 — April 26-29th, 2013
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by mtrc - 48 Hour Compo Entry


A game in development, for Ludum Dare #26

Arrow Keys
Spacebar, sometimes
Tab, rarely
!! R to restart a level !!

Unzip and open 'placeholder.jar' to play.

Code up soon at www.github.com/cutgarnetgames

[placeholder] is an abstract puzzle game about an abstract puzzle game. It's inspired by games like Mosaic (by Darren Grey), Starseed Pilgrim (by Droqen), and a game I forget the name of where you play within a 'beta' of another game.

Thanks for playing! This game was a lot of fun to make, but ultimately didn't work out as I wanted to. I had two ideas - pushing for a narrative ending which would've taken too long to code up, and pushing for a puzzle-oriented angle with deeper mechanics. You see elements of both in the final thing. But the mechanics weren't fulfilling enough, and the ones that I really wanted to go deep on (like the ascending/descending blocks) ended up not working because of unexpected interactions with Flixel that I couldn't diagnose in time :(

No art, and all sounds are produced from a single source effect made in CFXR. My first time editing audio, was great fun.

More on my games: www.cutgar.net
More on my research into games: www.gamesbyangelina.org

May be some stability issues on later Macs - I can't actually run the released jar on mine(!) because of issues with LibGDX right now I think. I'll try and fix it if I can.

Might extend this in future. @mtrc on Twitter for updates!

Thanks very much for taking an interest! My second LD and closer to being finished than last time, I think.


Downloads and Links




Mark Hildreth says ...
Apr 29, 2013 @ 5:31am

I think this is a game that all LD programmers can relate to. Very cool, played through to the end.

mtrc says ...
Apr 29, 2013 @ 11:11am

Thanks a lot! The ending comes a bit abruptly, I don't really explore the mechanics much, but thank you so much for playing. There certainly was a bit of personal code frustration in there (some of the code is lifted right out, and "possible bug" is an actual comment!)

DdlyHeadshot says ...
Apr 29, 2013 @ 1:02pm

Great Game, though I found that at the "just delete them" level, you can get to a point where you can't progress or restart the level, so I had to reset the game! Very annoying... Nevertheless a good game!

mtrc says ...
Apr 29, 2013 @ 1:04pm

Oh dangit, I forgot to add the reminder of pressing R to restart the level. I meant to put some on-screen text for it. I'm so sorry!

Holofire says ...
Apr 29, 2013 @ 2:14pm

This is pretty damn awesome. I was a bit skeptical when I saw the screenshots, but my god, it is awesome. The graphical style gits with the theme nicely.

I found the jumping was a bit...difficult.

corrigan_sam says ...
Apr 29, 2013 @ 2:16pm

Very good fun!

Puffi says ...
Apr 29, 2013 @ 2:18pm

Cool game, tough I think the character moved slightly too fast/far from juts a little tap of a key. In general great concept and execution.

Are says ...
Apr 29, 2013 @ 2:18pm

You have one of the highest ratings given by me :) Your game is very interesting, I wish there would be more levels and some other blocks with special effects. But anyway - good job!

JohnBroadley says ...
Apr 29, 2013 @ 2:20pm

Hey, cool game, fits in great with the theme, and the audio is good too!

AngelDE98 says ...
Apr 29, 2013 @ 2:23pm

It's bad to not rate this game bad.
It just fits how I felt during LD.. creepy.. D:

JimmyLord says ...
Apr 29, 2013 @ 2:52pm

Fun game. Enjoyed the theme. Took me a while to get by the "bug" until I realized it doesn't kill you on touch... :)

mtrc says ...
Apr 29, 2013 @ 3:09pm

Thank you, everyone! I'm so glad you all enjoyed playing. I need to work on tuning my character control generally, almost every game I've made I get told things move too quickly :P

All your lovely comments really cheered me up. Thank you!

hypothete says ...
Apr 29, 2013 @ 4:28pm

Nintendo tough! I kind of ran out of steam at the "bug" that kept changing the tiles back to gray. The audio was very enjoyable as well - it fit the graphics & play. Thanks for playing my game as well. :)

Chman says ...
Apr 29, 2013 @ 5:05pm

Ahah loved this game ! The jump is a bit weird sometimes, but the game's really fun, nice work !

Apr 29, 2013 @ 6:10pm

Lovely! Not just for programers! :)

ThirteenWB says ...
Apr 29, 2013 @ 7:01pm

If I wasn't so rushed to finish my own game and actually added some comments this is probably what they would be like.
Really fun to play, my favourite has to be the possible bug comment level. I didn't think there was anything particularly wrong with the sensitivity but oh well :p

ThirteenWB says ...
Apr 29, 2013 @ 7:11pm

Also +1 for hidden levels commented out in the source code! :p

mtrc says ...
Apr 29, 2013 @ 8:06pm

:D Haha, well done for finding them and thanks for checking the code out :) They were originally part of an extended endgame where the player fell out of the game and into the game engine. Me, the coder, attempted to delete the player out of memory and you ran to escape. I realised it would take too long to code, so I ditched it.

Thanks to everyone for the kind comments. :)

lucasncv says ...
Apr 29, 2013 @ 9:07pm

Basically the story of my life, haha. Nice ending!

lightsoda says ...
Apr 29, 2013 @ 9:32pm

Some really nice ideas here, probably the geekiest entry I've played so far.

Arcana says ...
Apr 30, 2013 @ 3:04am

Great surrealism there. It's amazing how much the comments substituted as a story, and influenced my state of mind while I was playing. I was expecting bad things on many of the levels and was almost doubting if I could finish the game. I eventually did though.

imagnity says ...
Apr 30, 2013 @ 8:32am

Very nice concept with coding. Catchy! :)

crneumre says ...
Apr 30, 2013 @ 7:29pm

Awesome game,i really enjoyed playing through it,simple yet fun.The UI was well done.
Great job man.

mtrc says ...
Apr 30, 2013 @ 9:07pm

Thanks for the comments everyone! Feeling very special that you're taking the time to play :)

Xanjos says ...
Apr 30, 2013 @ 10:55pm

Absolutely loved this game. Very clever level design :D

SnoringFrog says ...
May 1, 2013 @ 4:14am

Very interesting little game. I thought the ending was a little abrupt, but it kinda made sense that it was. Loved the idea on this one, great work!

Sebastian says ...
May 2, 2013 @ 3:14am

Aa I really like this. Very pretty, very clever, and I like the sound. Especially the save state thing is very cool.

zeelyndz says ...
May 3, 2013 @ 2:07pm

This was really cool, definitely very relatable aha.
Also you tried to play my game when it was down, it's up now!

mtrc says ...
May 3, 2013 @ 2:53pm

Thanks everyone for still plugging away at this! I'm having a great time reading these comments.

free_napalm says ...
May 4, 2013 @ 1:40pm

This was pretty cool, like watching a theatre play from backstage. Perfect for the LD audience too, as everyone developed at least one game here.

KEFIR says ...
May 4, 2013 @ 5:37pm

I couldn't pass level with bugs :( Or it is ending? It is really frustrating because idea and realisation is very very cool! I want to see this game finished!

mtrc says ...
May 5, 2013 @ 3:34pm

KEFIR, is this the "Possible bug" level? Try touching the blocks on the far left and right first, and then just chase the Grey and touch the blocks as quickly as possible before he can stop you! :)

mtrc says ...
May 5, 2013 @ 3:34pm

Also I like the "Backstage at a play" idea, napalm :)

manax says ...
May 5, 2013 @ 10:49pm

Excellent concept & implementation. Clever backstory.

Rafael Sales says ...
May 13, 2013 @ 3:29pm

Fantastic puzzle!!! You really catch an awesome solution to the theme. Congratulations!

kill0u says ...
May 13, 2013 @ 11:22pm

Lots of bugs! :D

Sylvain.p says ...
May 14, 2013 @ 7:25pm

Impossible to make your game working on my computer.

mtrc says ...
May 15, 2013 @ 12:15pm

Sylvain.p - can you give me some more info? Are you on a modern mac by any chance?

Sylvain.p says ...
May 17, 2013 @ 3:58am

Well ... a PC (win seven 64bits, i5 2500, 8 GB ram), a widows opens an closes directly. I haven't see that it works on mac, I'll try-it tomorrow.

mtrc says ...
May 17, 2013 @ 12:34pm

Okay, cheers. If you can get any terminal output (say, running the java -jar command in CMD) that would be ace. Otherwise I'll try and find a fix - I know there are some problems higher up in LibGDX but I'm not sure how they affect 64bit machines.

hamrath says ...
May 18, 2013 @ 10:23am

Nice one!

Sylvain.p says ...
May 18, 2013 @ 4:12pm

So, on mac book, it works, and the game have lot off really nice idea. Few level are a bit hard, but anyway it's cool.

mtrc says ...
May 18, 2013 @ 9:56pm

Thanks for sticking with it and getting it working, Sylvain! I really, really appreciate it :)

Koltiman says ...
May 18, 2013 @ 10:42pm

Really cool game! Have not seen anything like it before, good rating coming up! :)

Simon says ...
May 19, 2013 @ 6:39pm

This is really really good. I was ready for more levels though :) Great job!

klianc09 says ...
May 19, 2013 @ 10:08pm

Really great idea. :D

tankete says ...
May 20, 2013 @ 6:09am

Wow! Really unique idea. The "just delete them" level took me the longest to figure out. Felt like a doofus after. This was my first Ludum Dare. I only wish my second turns out as well as yours! Well done!

May 20, 2013 @ 6:15am

Very nice. Loved the variety of puzzles and the movement was nice and tight.

numpad says ...
May 20, 2013 @ 12:10pm

The best game in the compo!
The idea is so great and it works fine, although the players movementspeed is a bit high.

TurboDindon says ...
May 20, 2013 @ 12:36pm

Very fun concept.
I really like. There are many good ideas as the teleportation of the square, visual bugs. And I like sounds and colors of the squares!

- SEPHY (@sephyka)

Puzzlem00n says ...
May 20, 2013 @ 8:07pm

Woah, great. I made a game a long time ago named [placeholder] too, but I think this one's a lot better.

I love the comments as tutorials, awesome! Although, admittedly, some of that code might be a bit daunting for non-programmers. But who cares? They probably aren't your intended audience anyway.

There are some minor collision bugs (try jumping while holding left with a tile directly to the left) and the save mechanic is a bit hard to understand at first. Also, the sounds are very grating if you happen to have a headache, but that's mostly my fault. =)

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