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

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

A minimalist "dynamic rhythm" game.


Life/Routine captures the duality of a life built around their daily routine. It describes both the calming beauty and the overwhelming claustrophobia that comes when you run the hamster wheel of the mundane routine. It captures the very essence of "familiarity" created by our own actions and how we can either fall in an endless pattern of a life of same beats or break free from it.


You either create objects or destroy them. The objects will give out specific sounds when they touch the bottom of the screen and they become part of the pattern and repeat after a short point -- very much like your daily routine.

The difficulty is entirely dependent on the player and their actions in creating/destroying objects will dynamically adjust the difficulty.
Creating more objects results in more sounds and a more vibrant routine/music pattern but also makes the game difficult and more overwhelming(music can turn into noise).

The top bar called "Life" indicates the duration of the life(and of your game). When it is full, the game ends. It increases at a constant rate that is only marginally affected by the number of objects you have spawned.

Below that is the "Routine" bar which increases whenever you are hit by one of the scrolling objects you have spawned. That is the sign of you falling prey to your own routine.
If you hit too many spawned objects, the Routine bar fills up and the game ends prematurely.


--Left-Click to Destroy
--Right-Click to Create
--Move around by moving the mouse

Related to the Theme-- "Minimalism":

--Minimal art and music.
--Controls -- only two
-- No overlying narrative/explanation of concept. Everything that needs to be interpreted is conveyed through the gameplay concept.
-- Score and other details are abstracted from players only to be revealed in the final "Death" screen

Additional Notes:

-- Glad I finished my first "complete" game in my first LD that too somehow managed to meet the 48hr-Compo deadline too!

Since people are have asked for explanation on the bar on the top -- it's segmented in different colours resembles more like the different phases of life. The music behind and the speed indicate that. Obviously the middle-age is when you get most caught up with the fast-moving routine and you start and end with slow speeds.
Hope that makes it clear to some people who were confused by it.

Probable Bugs:
-- One of the Mac users said the right track-pad doesn't work. Unfortunately,I cannot test it as I don't have a Mac.

(EDIT) Fixed:
-- Right-click on Web player no longer brings the context menu and should work fine.

Downloads and Links




Hegemege says ...
Apr 29, 2013 @ 11:19am

That was a bit weird :P

The collision detection was a bit sloppy and in the third phase the bullets moved kinda odd, but the way the sounds were created made for some pretty cool and nasty melodies.

cahman says ...
Apr 29, 2013 @ 11:30am

I tried to get the file from Dropbox, and it told me:
"Nothing Here"

Apr 29, 2013 @ 11:36am

@cahman -- It should be fixed now. Sorry about that.

Apr 29, 2013 @ 3:01pm

You wrote a long game description about the game's concept, gameplay, and connection with the theme, but never once mentioned that you play the game with the mouse and mouse buttons! Try to keep the description short, people want to play your game, not read about it!

That aside, I thought the gameplay was pretty interesting. I thought that the game's story was kind of tacked on and unnecessary though. It didn't seem like the game had anything to do with daily routines or life, even in the most abstract sense. Still a fun music toy though! You did a great job recording so much audio!

cahman says ...
Apr 29, 2013 @ 4:26pm

@lightnarcissus - Yes, the link works now.

It took me a couple of tries to figure out what was going on, but by the end, my life had a pretty rocking soundtrack!

Apr 29, 2013 @ 5:47pm

This is excellent, beautiful sounds.

netmute says ...
Apr 29, 2013 @ 5:47pm

Whats going ooooooon, I don't even....

Musicolor says ...
Apr 29, 2013 @ 6:10pm

cool, did you write the music yourself? for some reason i couldn't right-click with my track pad on my mac.

Apr 29, 2013 @ 7:44pm

@Musicolor -- Yes. I used a MIDI keyboard, interface and FL Studio to mix and apply filters. Unfortunately I don't have a Mac to test that issue (made it on Windows and exported via Unity). Let me know if the issue persists.

peggiosoft says ...
Apr 29, 2013 @ 9:19pm

i puked all over my keyboard, thanks anyway.

evilseanbot says ...
Apr 30, 2013 @ 1:00am

Neat to have such a far out idea. Its pretty fun once you figure it out.

There's a couple of problems with the web version: 1. The explaination screen is cut off at the ends. 2. Right clicking pulls up a context menu for Unity.

henrykun says ...
Apr 30, 2013 @ 3:27am

Interesting game, I like sounds and graphics :)

MaxSzlagor says ...
Apr 30, 2013 @ 4:27am

Interesting premise. I couldn't get destroy to work (and right click in a window brings up the Unity web player settings, but even in full screen I couldn't get it to work). Thanks for sharing!

Apr 30, 2013 @ 5:42am

@MazSzalagor @evilseanbot -- It should be working now. Had to disable the Web Player's context menu. Let me know if the issue still persists.

Uhfgood says ...
Apr 30, 2013 @ 6:07am

Very weird.

omaromeir says ...
Apr 30, 2013 @ 8:46am

Whoa pretty cool idea when I got the hang of it. I created some decent tunes too :3.

PiotGuy says ...
Apr 30, 2013 @ 8:49am

Create music is so fun and random, I like it =)

caporaltito says ...
Apr 30, 2013 @ 10:38am

That was... weird. But it is really an interesting concept. A give you the max for Theme because it really fits.

Apr 30, 2013 @ 11:21am

It was strange, and a bit confusing at first. I still don't exactly understand it, and I can't say I had a lot of fun with it, but it was interesting. Definitely different.

Nisshoku says ...
Apr 30, 2013 @ 12:00pm

The sound I finally got was hypnotizing as hell. I didn't really understand the mechanics, except that when placing objects/sound bytes, the progress bar filled faster. Maybe the point was that by facing more obstacles, we get further? Despite the game being odd and the instructiones being vague, I thought it was oddly attractive. I liked how the sound changed a bit near the end, didn't expect that.

Xatulu says ...
Apr 30, 2013 @ 2:30pm

I really love the work you put into the sounds, gameplay is a bit strange but it still is very nice!

Apr 30, 2013 @ 3:26pm

A very unique take on the theme! I think I'd have preferred to play with button controls instead of a mouse. But other than that, well done!

KunoNoOni says ...
May 1, 2013 @ 3:28am

What a wild take on the theme. It was different, in a good way. Gratz on completing your first LD!

reetesh says ...
May 1, 2013 @ 3:32am

Very good. It's an interesting look at life. No matter what, you die at the end. If you want to not have any variety, just play safe and don't add anything, you will survive without any trouble but it will be bland forever. But if you choose to be adventurous and add some music to your life, it gets more and more difficult. If you get too adventurous, the elements that give music to your life itself can cause harm and bring you to your death earlier.

Good parallel to how life goes on, playing it a few times and reading the first few lines of desc helped in getting the clear picture. Well done.

HackThePanda says ...
May 1, 2013 @ 10:28am

I love the message :D The gameplay was a bit confusing at first but once I got it it was pretty cool

Hopps says ...
May 2, 2013 @ 8:10pm

Cool sounds, but way to fast for me :D

Tyro says ...
May 3, 2013 @ 6:23am

Woah, procedural music generation? Far out. This sure was a creative and engaging way to express minimalism. The instructions seemed to be a bit confusing, but I quickly learned what to do by getting in game and clicking around to experiment.

I like how the player can adjust difficulty on the fly. Sometimes the sounds were a little too loud when I'd placed a substantial number of obstacles; maybe an option to adjust the volume would remedy that?

This one definitely get high marks for creativity. Good work, 'tis a very unique game!

SnoringFrog says ...
May 5, 2013 @ 4:16am

Interesting idea, but it didn't really work for me (not talking about technical issues, everything worked smoothly there). Maybe it's just my own musical ineptitude, but my 'life' always sounded more obnoxious than anything, even when I kept it mostly simple. Only 'ending' I ever got was "your life was anything but well-defined." Again, neat concept, and I feel it's something I could have ended up loving, but it just did not click with me and I didn't really enjoy it :/

PsenFilip says ...
May 5, 2013 @ 3:59pm

I was overwhelmed at first, especially by too much graphical information and colors and what not.
It was a weird experience but very creative entry!
I spent quite some time on it just creating sounds and overlapping samples. Pretty fun.

Spiridios says ...
May 7, 2013 @ 4:21pm

Very unclear what is going on. Not sure to do or what not to do. I guess if you're going for the art-concept, then that's what life is like.

GranaDa says ...
May 7, 2013 @ 6:50pm

Nice audio and mood. Good entry!

MinionStudios says ...
May 7, 2013 @ 6:53pm

Very interesting and fun to play around in!

mrexcessive says ...
May 9, 2013 @ 8:10am

Very novel idea (to me at least) of creating the things which come back to bite you. Good job!

GaTechGrad says ...
May 10, 2013 @ 3:20am

Neat little music maker game. Some of the music reminded me of the "Haunting Torgo Theme" from Manos Hands of Fate on MST3K. I couldn't tell if there was a correct time to add/remove the notes, or if it's up to the player to make their own music.

ohsqueezy says ...
May 11, 2013 @ 9:55am

Awesome, a game inside a few seconds long, user made audio loop. Place stuff, avoid or destroy it and listen to some berzerk sounds. Cool abstract representations of notes, beats and effects.

Rafael Sales says ...
May 12, 2013 @ 6:04pm

Fantastic concept. Extremely interesting the "level editor" and the inverted rhythm game. Cool idea. Congrats!

Cambrian_Man says ...
May 12, 2013 @ 7:04pm

Well, that's the first game I've ever played that actually made me dizzy. I think a more subtle background and higher quality audio (as in, some of it sounded really fuzzy) would help that. If there was a goal, I couldn't figure it out, but I still thought the concept can definitely work I just had a hard time sticking with it to make it through it.

sP0CkEr2 says ...
May 13, 2013 @ 3:11am

well -- that was different -- i give you high marks for originality and sound -- not sure about gameplay tho -- nice job!

Sylvain.p says ...
May 15, 2013 @ 7:31pm

Very strange. It leak some feedback but the concept is interresting.

ashdnazg says ...
May 16, 2013 @ 12:00pm

It's awesome having cool abstract entries like yours and not only "get your square to the end" entries.
Very original and thought provoking.
Well done! :)

Xanjos says ...
May 19, 2013 @ 2:06pm

Took some time to get used to the game mechanics but overall, the concept was actually rather interesting. Really loved how you can dynamically change the difficulty on the fly by creating more objects and essentially give yourself a challenge.

ilo says ...
May 19, 2013 @ 5:11pm

An innovative idea - procedural music and adaptive difficulty adjustment should equal a win. That said, I found it difficult to make anything harmonious, and the allegorical layer (game as an interpretation of life) seemed a little forced; I think it would be perfectly fine as a purely abstract experience.

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