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

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


Use WASD or the D-pad or an Xbox 360 controller or SNES gamepad

Right/Left - Roll clockwise/counter-clockwise. Note: this is not always the same as moving left or right

Up/Space/Trigger - Bounce

Use your spin to control how you bounce, especially off walls. You will bounce a bit higher on subsequent bounces. Don't go nuts with bouncing or rolling like crazy, it's better to make more carefully controlled bounces and movement.


Bring up the console with ~ and type "volumeScale .7", this will reduce sound effects to a lower level.


Bring up the console with ~ and type "lightEnable 0", it won't look nearly as awesome but should at least be playable! There is also a low detail setting in the autoexec.cfg file in the same folder as the exe. You can open that up and uncomment the lines under "low graphics settings".


My goal was to experiment with pure color values and explore the flat 2D space while keeping the game itself very simple. The concept is based on linearizing a metroidvania style game and removing all the upgrades and powerups. I am using a technique where the final light mask is rendered fully rather then modulated in like it normally would be. There is also a vision pass which prevents you from seeing through walls. This was all done using my open source game engine "Frank Engine".

The gameplay is physics based, the only buttons are left, right and jump. It also supports keyboard or gamepad. There are no upgrades, weapons, secrets, powerups or any other things to collect. Though there is a potato at the end.

Some of the little touches that took up a ton of time were the rain effects which includes simulated 2D water droplets with lightning, thunder, and splash effects. I made the doors open in a cool new way to help show off how the light is passing through them.

I created the music from scratch during the comp using Figure by Propellerhead on my iPad.

I put up a link to an unofficial post-comp version where I've already fixed some bugs and refined the gameplay a bit. I will continue to make changes based on feedback in this thread.

Downloads and Links




Beerman says ...
Apr 29, 2013 @ 6:28am

Damn. That is really quite stunning. Think you've got a serious contender for winning this thing there.

Moist says ...
Apr 29, 2013 @ 4:46pm

The visuals are quite impressive. The controls feel kind of weird, but still - a VERY solid entry!

bummzack says ...
Apr 29, 2013 @ 5:58pm

This is really a wonderful game. Stunning graphics and great soundtrack. Amazing.

phi says ...
Apr 29, 2013 @ 6:30pm

The control delay is very difficult to handle, but the graphics are overwhelmingly amazing and the 3D-sound is great!

ataxkt says ...
Apr 29, 2013 @ 6:52pm

This is totally sweet. Best looking game I've seen so far! The controls make it very hard to avoid the lava though, and dying is frustrating as hell because it takes so long to respawn. I think I'd enjoy the game more without the lava! Good luck to you!

iamorim says ...
Apr 29, 2013 @ 7:00pm

As the guys said the controls are a little weird but the idea and graphics are very interesting!

Apr 29, 2013 @ 7:01pm

Thanks guys! When I was working on it I mostly played with an Xbox 360 controller. I tightened up the keyboard controls a bit in the enhanced version.

pereubu says ...
Apr 29, 2013 @ 7:10pm

wow, this is quite an incredibly long and polished game, great job on the design.
For the art, I just don't like the fact that there's on one hand some very minimalistic aesthetic with geometrical shapes and on the other some limbo-like environments, they're both good-lookin' but don't combine well.

That's an insanely good job :D

vico87 says ...
Apr 29, 2013 @ 8:55pm

Great game! It is fun, has nice music and graphics.

The only criticism I have is the rolling sound, which gets annoying (maybe a bit higher pitch would be better).

Nambew says ...
Apr 30, 2013 @ 12:51am

A very good game, the controls is a bit hard to manipulate at start, but the idea is good. I finish the game after a lot of dead.

Apr 30, 2013 @ 4:12am

Thanks for all your feedback guys!
ataxkt: The zoom time is 4 seconds and you can start moving in after about half that. I feel your frustration though with the controls. In the enhanced version I increased the initial zoom time but decreased subsequent times to 3 seconds and controls are better.
pereubu: I thought the style was pretty consistent. I had it using only geometric shapes at first but I wanted to explore the look more. I get your point though.
vico87: I agree with you here, I tweaked the roll sound a bit post compo to reduce volume and frequency.
Nambew: The controls were a little too loose in the 48 hour entry. I originally had them too tight and over-loosened them. It controls better with an xbox 360 controller. The updated version has tighter keyboard controls.

Chman says ...
Apr 30, 2013 @ 9:19am

Impressive aesthetics ! The controls could use some fine tuning (haven't tried the post-compo version yet) and some checkpoints were a bit too far apart, but other than that really good game !

eBunny says ...
Apr 30, 2013 @ 11:51am

What a great game! I loved everything from the visuals to the level design, I even enjoyed dying. And I didn't think it was that frustratingly hard. There was one part where I kept dying for a bit, but when I figured out what to do it was not that difficult. And I got used to the controls quite quickly.
*Spoilers* At the end I actually for more than 10 minutes tried to push that potato up the hill to see if there was perhaps an easter egg, because it reminded me of that Greek Sisyphus myth where he had to push the boulder up a mountain, but at the top it rolled down again, but it was quite hard so after a while I just gave up.

jolle says ...
Apr 30, 2013 @ 3:39pm

Pretty cool. It's a bit hard to make the thing behave as you want. Cool intro sequence. Nice look.

xdegtyarev says ...
Apr 30, 2013 @ 10:49pm

Pretty! Very polished! Enjoyed it.

bernhard says ...
May 1, 2013 @ 12:46am

Wow, some really amazing tech powering this entry. It just looks stunning. From the intro-zoom all to the end. Also, I found the built-in editor and had some fun with that as well :D

May 1, 2013 @ 1:51am

@Chman - No doubt, I tried to put checkpoints before all the areas you could die but maybe I missed something.
@eBunny - Thanks! I found the controls to be pretty decent once you figure out how to how the spin works, so I'm glad you figured them out. That is a a funny story about the potato, I want to add more to the game so maybe I will include something like that.
@bernhard - Thanks, my engine is starting to get really nice. I've been working on it for years now. I'm glad you figured out how to mess around with the editor, I am continuing to make progress in making it more user friendly. There is also a debug console on ~ with a ton of commands.

ilo says ...
May 1, 2013 @ 3:03am

It looks superb and the design is strong. For the most part I thought the controls were fine, I just found those green bits on walls tricky to navigate and got stuck when missiles were added to the mix. Good job though, reminds me of NightSky.

smilingrob says ...
May 1, 2013 @ 4:30am

Just amazing, great work.

ddionisio says ...
May 1, 2013 @ 5:36am

Wow you went all out on special effects for this one! You have an awesome engine, really cool! I especially love the shadow effects.

I also enjoyed the gameplay, it was a little hard to do those jumps in some occasions. Also the screen went all white when I switch to window mode but went back to normal after I switch back to fullscreen.

qdowngames says ...
May 1, 2013 @ 5:41am

This game was stunning, smooth and picturesque. Created in such a short space of time - well done.

fishbrain says ...
May 1, 2013 @ 7:31am


stromchin says ...
May 1, 2013 @ 8:15am

Nice visuals, and a very entertaining game.

vapgames says ...
May 1, 2013 @ 10:35am

It looks so cool! Shooting homing thingie was hard. Impressive!

Ditto says ...
May 1, 2013 @ 10:51am

Wow, this was incredible! I particularly love the controls, they felt really unique. Level is really well designed also. I also have to comment on the graphics which are grade A! Good job! :D

IceCliff says ...
May 1, 2013 @ 2:07pm

A bit weird on the controls but a very cool game, especially visually.

lightsoda says ...
May 1, 2013 @ 2:44pm

Pretty awesome, looks good, feels good.

SuperDisk says ...
May 2, 2013 @ 12:24am


Neat game, however the controls and sound were atrocious. The concept was cool, I just couldn't really get into it, sorry :(

Also, I've seen you on Tigsource! Did you make this with the Frank engine?

May 2, 2013 @ 2:17am

@ilo - I think some maybe people are getting confused with how the controls feel "reversed" when you are on the ceiling. To me it just makes sense that right rolls clockwise and left rolls counterclockwise. It's a different way of thinking about things.

@ddionisio - That's weird, I've never heard about that issue with the screen going white before but I'm glad it worked in fullscreen mode at least.

@SuperDisk - Sorry to hear you had such a negative experience. I know the controls could use some tweaks but I played through many times without even dying so they must be at least functional. I think maybe what you mean is that you couldn't figure out how to use the controls properly which is a totally valid complaint I need to work on. I adjusted the roll loop sound, but what sound was the most atrocious? Yeah, it's all Frank engine.

May 2, 2013 @ 4:31am

Holy Cow! This is fun idea, explored well (the green tracks, bouncing, momentum) and polished to a brilliant shine! Climbing that hill at the end honestly felt like climbing a real rocky hill (struggle, slip, try again). I can honestly say, if you were to add a few more levels to this, and put it up for sale, I would buy it! Put it on Steam, I'd buy it for a few friends too.

I was kind of hoping the prize-at-the-end was being able to fully see that behind-the-game image (since the game teases us with it at a few spots) but perhaps that's an idea for the retail-version ;)

juaxix says ...
May 2, 2013 @ 2:03pm

Amazing videogame, thank you for the potato reward ,lol.
Dont want to change anything, this is perfect balance between just fun and art going together, from the very start of the intro you know it is gonna rock, as other players have said, it distilates Limbo style but with the part we all missing: beautiful colors, that storm outside and the lights under the tunnel,wow... let me know that you have the vision to choose where and how to use them, i'm glad to be part of the experience and to see the sources, and this is written in C++! :) good engine you have created...hat off

whitetigle says ...
May 2, 2013 @ 3:52pm

It's a neat game with a good concept. Easy to grasp yet not that easy to play. I love the visuals and there's an unique atmosphere.
However, I did not have much fun. But that's because this is just not my type of game :) Still, this a very good work! Congratulations!

Sebastian says ...
May 2, 2013 @ 6:57pm

Really, really beautiful.

MinionStudios says ...
May 2, 2013 @ 9:43pm

Wicked lil platformer! I love the play on resolution, particles and the static, crackling sounds...

LionelJitro says ...
May 2, 2013 @ 9:58pm

Simply amazing.

Takes the theme and just destroys it.

The visuals are amazing, the mechanics are amazing, everything is amazing.

KEFIR says ...
May 2, 2013 @ 10:04pm

"Stunning" is close to fit my impression of this entry! One of the best! My computer gives only 15-20 fps on this game :( But it's enough to see how cool it is!

karlin says ...
May 2, 2013 @ 10:14pm

A little bit difficult to control, but really nice visuals and great sound design.

naufr4g0 says ...
May 3, 2013 @ 1:18am

Excellent visual style, physics and gameplay!
It reminds me Nifflas' nightsky, but cooler!
I need more levels and puzzles! :)

Alucard J says ...
May 3, 2013 @ 2:36am

Amazing game, great idea, awesome visuals, audio really suits it. Had a lot of fun playing this with controller. Well Done =]

Jorjon says ...
May 3, 2013 @ 2:46am

Missing d3dx9_43.dll

May 3, 2013 @ 4:25am

Thanks for all the comments and feedback everyone!

@KEFIR - For anyoone having slow performance try pressing ~ and type lightEnable 0, it won't look nearly as awesome but it should still be playable!

@naufr4g0 - I have not played nightsky but I'm a fan of Nifflas. I will need to play it now for research!

@Jorjon - You need to update DirectX! The version I'm building with is already a few years old so most people are updated by now.

pragma says ...
May 3, 2013 @ 9:56am

This is ridiculously good! I can't believe you made it in just 48h! Grats man!

zkenshin says ...
May 3, 2013 @ 9:32pm

Like others have said, graphics are very nice, but controls were a little awkward. Good game though. :)

May 3, 2013 @ 11:31pm

Very cool lighting & effects demo. Full points for graphics.

NateNaterson says ...
May 4, 2013 @ 1:56am

I thought this game was really very neat! I enjoyed the control scheme, it was fun to mess around with. I love the art, and the lighting is done very well. The music could've been a tad louder, and the ball revving and dying sounds could have been toned down some, but other than that the sound effects were good. The ball revving up was particularly satisfying.
Overall, you did a very nice job, I hope you place high!

QXD-me says ...
May 4, 2013 @ 4:55pm

Graphics are great, but it has really bad performance on my computer

Zim the Fox says ...
May 4, 2013 @ 7:26pm

I just read you can lower the sound effects because, seriously, the spinning sound murdered my ears. Other than that, this is an incredibly well designed and polished game, with a very good song and beautiful looks. Congratulations!

oatsbarley says ...
May 5, 2013 @ 6:43pm

Awesome! This is a great game. Nice graphics, audio, gameplay. I don't know how you made this in 48 hours. Another game that I'm going to have to check the source code out for. Great job!

Fadobo says ...
May 5, 2013 @ 8:13pm

This is a compo entry? My brain can't even compute that. Really good!

Dans17 says ...
May 5, 2013 @ 8:29pm

Amazing graphics and frustratingly difficult.

Tifu says ...
May 5, 2013 @ 8:55pm

Not sure what is going on here, when I run it (win7) I see the intro sequence, and then I just have a yellow screen with some black blurs along the edge of the screen. Moving around (I think I'm moving anyway, I hear bounces) just blurs things more. I had a quick look at the youtube clip and its obviously not meant to do this :(

tankete says ...
May 7, 2013 @ 12:45am

Loved the look and simplicity. Struggled a bit with the controls, but still enjoyed it. Great job!

Sylvain.p says ...
May 7, 2013 @ 9:38pm

Waouw, well polished game. I love the light effects.

moomoo112 says ...
May 9, 2013 @ 9:01am

fun and very polished, great job!

Norritt42 says ...
May 9, 2013 @ 9:22pm

Nice game play from the videos and the lets play I have seen but the game tells me that: d3dx9_43.dll is missing. One I did update the directX I still did have like a 1 sek delay on my controls. I'm realy sad since I really whish I could play the game.

kill0u says ...
May 10, 2013 @ 9:02pm

Nice :)

sP0CkEr2 says ...
May 12, 2013 @ 4:15am

really great game -- could not stop playing -- great job

Ryusui says ...
May 16, 2013 @ 10:07pm

Very nice - even the "respawn" sequence was pure eye candy. My only issue was that the green "spider ball" tracks were a bit fidgety, but then I'm pretty sure I played the Compo release.

martijn says ...
May 18, 2013 @ 8:34am

Looks great.

Rafael Sales says ...
May 20, 2013 @ 11:42pm

Awesome game. Perfect graphics and interesting mood. Congratulations!

pansapiens says ...
May 21, 2013 @ 12:00am

This looks and sounds stunning, and played quite well once I got the hang of building up a bounce. Ran nicely under Wine on Ubuntu too !

Matriax says ...
Jun 20, 2013 @ 7:19am

Simply great i hope learn how to do dinamic lights like this, all very polished ;)

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