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

Ludum Dare 26 — April 26-29th, 2013
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by 8BitPimp - 48 Hour Compo Entry

My entry for the LD48 is a minimal run and jump game with procedurally generated levels. Your character can slash, jump and use his grappling hook to kill enemies and get ahead in the level.

Watch Here:


It was created almost entirely from scratch in C++ using SDL. The pixel art was made in photoshop, and sound effects in SFXR. I tried as much as possible to program the art instead of just using static sprites.

It seems a large complaint is the controls can seem tricky. I agree with this entirely, and would have taken more time to get right. I would like to provide some more insight into the controls.

The player can only perform a slide when he is running at near full speed. You must hold [down] to keep sliding.

The player can also jump to different heights depending on how long they hold the [x] jump key down.

The jump key [x] also doubles to shoot out the grappling hook when its possible. There is likely a bug in the code for the grappling hook since it is not 100% reliable. You can grapple when you are up to 64 pixels below a ledge.

Also the attack [z] performed when you are on the ground can only be performed when moving less then full speed, so you need to slow down a little to use it. This was intentional to make the movement a little more thought full.

It may be a big letdown to some but there is no win condition in the game. The deadline was too close to implement this and have it tested well enough. My idea was to have some kind of meter that is always counting down. Every enemy that you kill adds to the meter or something. The levels already get slowly harder, making it harder to kill enemies, making death inevitable. The final score reflects how long you survives or something.

Downloads and Links




Kortuga98 says ...
Apr 29, 2013 @ 2:17am

Very, very cool game. Visually pleasing graphics and gameplay, however I'd like to see better control responsiveness (you can only attack/jump/slide when there are no other buttons pressed), but other than that i have no complaints.

invi says ...
Apr 29, 2013 @ 2:28am

How do you use the grappling hook? I accidentally did it once and became obsessed with finding it out. God I love grappling hooks! Needs instructions on that. I love the aesthetics and visual style. You are truly the 8 bit pimp.

Greg Power says ...
Apr 29, 2013 @ 2:39am

Absolutely beautiful. Those leaves..! It's rare to come across a legit original pixel style.

I'd agree with Kortuga98 on the control issue though. Could have been amazing with smooth controls.

Also, it's great seeing a game under a megabyte - I've just started using Unity - so much bloat!

Follett says ...
Apr 29, 2013 @ 4:08am

Controls didn't work some times which was wierd. But the art is amazing!

saampahlavan says ...
Apr 29, 2013 @ 4:11am

Really smooth. I like the sun and just all of the visuals. I kind of wish it was just a runner where I tore dudes up and grappled on stuff. Nice job

mire says ...
Apr 29, 2013 @ 4:15am

WOW. Amazing graphics. Very beautiful. You run so fast which makes game play almost like an auto-runner.

ENDESGA says ...
Apr 29, 2013 @ 5:43am

the graphics are spectacular! and the gameplay is pretty sweet too!
I'd love it if you could check out my game :)
thanks man, that was awesome


Lythom says ...
Apr 29, 2013 @ 6:31am

Hi 8BitPimp, here is some feedback.
What I loved :
- art, immersion
- dynamic gameplay
What I think could be improved :
- music ?
- multi input at the same time
- scoring (for a runner it's pretty essential ! you don't even know if you did better from a run to another)
- more explanations on the rules (is there a end ? is the goal to smash ennemies or to run far ? When can the hook be used ?)

I felt a bit frustrated not knowing if there was a end but could not reach it or if it was a scoring game... without score.
Good game overall, thanks for it !

Mekuri says ...
Apr 29, 2013 @ 7:11am

The graphics and mood in this game are spectacular. The game is a bit too fast for my liking, and the controls are.. weird. I really think you nailed it on the mood though. Good job.

omaromeir says ...
Apr 29, 2013 @ 7:28am

Wow, this is an amazing looking game. It plays well too, but sadly it isn't too responsive which makes it really frustrating :(.

Chman says ...
Apr 29, 2013 @ 7:51am

So beautiful ! Playing this fullscreen on a big screen made me feel like I was back in 1990 !

Infin8 says ...
Apr 29, 2013 @ 8:44am

Really cool stuff and great style. Controls are quite wonky though and i would have preferred that the ninja run on its own.

LionOfOrange says ...
Apr 29, 2013 @ 8:58am

Great looking game. Loved the colors, falling leaves, flying pigeons and the randomness.

Best compliment I can give is that I want to see this really finished in a complete game :)

For people wanting music: read the readme.txt

Manuel777 says ...
Apr 29, 2013 @ 9:47am

This is pretty good, except forone thing; it is horrendously hard to control!

Muu? says ...
Apr 29, 2013 @ 9:54am

Wow. Just wow.

NiallM says ...
Apr 29, 2013 @ 9:57am

This is a gorgeous game, though I agree about the odd control issues. Also, the slash and slide seem superfluous, since if you just run at full-tilt the enemies will never hit you.

Jod says ...
Apr 29, 2013 @ 10:38am

Loved the colour scheme, the combination worked really well. The Sakura were a favourite!

jhrrsn says ...
Apr 29, 2013 @ 11:18am

Looks awesome, I wish I could play it (Mac).

syawqy says ...
Apr 29, 2013 @ 11:37am

I like the art,really good!

Andy Go says ...
Apr 29, 2013 @ 11:44am

Beautiful :)

dualtagh says ...
Apr 29, 2013 @ 11:59am

Very nice looking game, pretty fun

noa says ...
Apr 29, 2013 @ 12:34pm

The player is truly a soap, I can't contol it :(

geepit says ...
Apr 29, 2013 @ 1:13pm

Looks lovely! And was fun. Only thing is sometimes the slash wouldn't work. Other than that though very cool

aquilicoco says ...
Apr 29, 2013 @ 1:28pm

I love the graphics style. It`s fun.
Good work.

naughtyloose says ...
Apr 29, 2013 @ 1:35pm

that was awesome but also very difficult! :)

wonderwhy-er says ...
Apr 29, 2013 @ 2:27pm

Wah, nice!

Apr 29, 2013 @ 3:20pm

Gorgeous game with a minimal color palette. Well done!

ColdBrain says ...
Apr 29, 2013 @ 4:13pm

Cool animation!

Husky says ...
Apr 29, 2013 @ 4:14pm

I really like the ambient!
And the smooth motion,
It's like The Legend of Kage on sunset :p

syner_d says ...
Apr 29, 2013 @ 4:15pm

very good!

RabbitRobot says ...
Apr 29, 2013 @ 5:01pm

Loved the graphics. The game was a REALLY boring.

RabbitRobot says ...
Apr 29, 2013 @ 5:02pm

Sorry my brother messed the last one up >:( Loved the graphics. The game quite fun. I enjoyed it.

Kiwiboi says ...
Apr 29, 2013 @ 5:07pm

Great game! I love the art style! :D The slide worked weird for me though.

Kyle Bolton says ...
Apr 29, 2013 @ 5:42pm

Your game looks super slick, but unfortunately I wasn't able to rate it (I'm on a Mac). I was a little disappointed that the Web link took me to a Youtube video...because I really want to play this! Maybe consider changing the name of the web link to "Youtube" or "Video?"

orangepascal says ...
Apr 29, 2013 @ 6:39pm

it's canabalt but with a ninja.. .. a ninja!

kyyninen says ...
Apr 29, 2013 @ 6:53pm

Stunning visuals! Nice twist on infinite runners, but controlling speed, jumping AND fighting dudes at the same time overwhelmed me pretty quickly and I ended up just speeding past everything.

I found tapping X feverishly before falling full speed the most reliable way to activate grappling hook.

PhilZ says ...
Apr 29, 2013 @ 7:16pm

A beautiful looking game. The gameplay is nothing new, but it's still fun to play. A little bit music would have been nice.

lucasncv says ...
Apr 29, 2013 @ 8:42pm

Incredibly beautiful game. The atmosphere and mechanics are clean and simple. Well done!

Apr 29, 2013 @ 9:01pm

Love the graphics!

donan says ...
Apr 29, 2013 @ 9:17pm

Canabal style rules :D. Even using a known gameplay style, the touches to the control, and the awesome graphics make it a really good running game :D

Zekyon says ...
Apr 29, 2013 @ 9:28pm

Very cool! Are very funny seriously

Zccc says ...
Apr 29, 2013 @ 11:26pm

Very nice, I liked the pixel art, even tough the sword slash looks very tiny! I didn't really felt I needed to use the slash and slide, but it's very fun!

Sakuyan says ...
Apr 30, 2013 @ 1:18am

Great aesthetics! I love the speed and the flow of the game :))

Apr 30, 2013 @ 2:26am

Wow. Please improve this post compo? The graphics were simple and gorgeous. The gameplay was tough at the start, but really improves on the endless runner formula. This game reminded me of Nidhogg for some reason... A huge 5/5

Andrewves says ...
Apr 30, 2013 @ 7:39am

The art style of this game is great, controls are not the greatest but overall i really enjoyed it.

zinfandel says ...
Apr 30, 2013 @ 10:36am

I love the mood and the visuals - the effect on the sun is especially impressive.
The gameplay is great and polished, though I've found it somewhat difficult to control and respond on time.

Hegemege says ...
Apr 30, 2013 @ 1:31pm

Beautiful game indeed, I would've liked an option for windowed, since SDL always moves my windows around when going fullscreen.

Really smooth game, but lacks a soundtrack.

rujo says ...
Apr 30, 2013 @ 2:05pm

this is cool in so many ways! love in particular the graphics style/palette.
great entry

RobKat says ...
Apr 30, 2013 @ 2:11pm

Seriously cool game, run slide slice, simple and yet soooooooooooo addictive

tonbery says ...
Apr 30, 2013 @ 2:26pm

simple and beautiful! =D really something to buy on app Store and google Play ;)

martijn says ...
Apr 30, 2013 @ 2:46pm

Love the animation on the sun

ArkadyDracul says ...
Apr 30, 2013 @ 3:24pm

Nice one!

jolle says ...
Apr 30, 2013 @ 4:28pm

Very nice artwork. Could have used some sort of score system (although that would be less minimal, yes).

I found myself usually just jumping over enemies instead of slashing.

cacciatc says ...
Apr 30, 2013 @ 5:32pm

Slick running animation.

TheBenjaneer says ...
Apr 30, 2013 @ 8:16pm

Great Graphics!
Pretty cool game. How exactly does the grappling hook work?

Also it seemed a lot easier to simply jump over the enemies rather than slashing them ( it seemed like you could go faster and it was easier to time ).

Anyhow, Nice Job!

paulmcgg says ...
Apr 30, 2013 @ 8:33pm

Absolutely stunning, such style. The controls were a bit unwiedly, but it was satisfying to get a good run going and take down a number of enemies. I would love to something larger in this style honestly.

KevinZuhn says ...
May 1, 2013 @ 1:53am

Really stellar style and tone!
I thought it was interesting that I needed to stop running to use my sword, although the enemies were slow enough that I didn't usually have to kill them. Running past is just as effective! Or, well, it is until I fall off of a ledge.

murilo says ...
May 1, 2013 @ 2:00am

Very nice overall! But it seemed a little useless to slash the enemies when could easily jump over them.

markusfisch says ...
May 1, 2013 @ 12:11pm

That's a really nice game! I would love to see this finished! Reminds me of those good old Ninja games on the C64 area and I really dig the mood and atmosphere.

Actually I liked the visuals so much, that I really wanted to play the game; but I don't run Windows so I made it compile on Linux. So if there's anybody on Linux too, here's a patch file (better use "save as" because of the CR's):


Use it with the original sources like this:

unzip NinjaFlare.zip
cd NinjaFlare
patch -p1 -i NinjaFlare.patch

So far this is my favorite game of the competition. Really well done 8BitPimp and a thanks a lot you provided the sources so I could play it!

GranaDa says ...
May 1, 2013 @ 1:32pm

When I try to run the game I receive this error: "It's not a valid Win32 application". Judging by the video, looks like a nice game. I would love to play it.

jerombd says ...
May 1, 2013 @ 2:45pm

Really beautiful graphics!
Maybe a later version with a scoring system and your meter bar (and some samurai/wuxia music)?

8BitPimp says ...
May 1, 2013 @ 5:29pm

Thats awesome that you made a port of the game. Thanks for doing that.

Hmm, I might guess that you are running winxp? I did read about support for that being dropped in the latest MSVC++ 2012.I will have a go at building one for winxp.

Also yes I plan to extend this game at some point and really improve the controls vastly after everyone's great feedback.

wzl says ...
May 1, 2013 @ 6:21pm

Great concept, great execution!
It's a bit of a let down to now have some kind of measure of how well you did.

A few remarks on the design:
Artwise it's very slick, love all the variation you put in there, and especially the hazing for the background! Although i'd love to see a change in environment if you advance further.
Gameplay-wise i love how the slashing works, it's fun to use it, but it's also rendered useless by the sliding mechanic which is easier and more reliable to use, and splashes through several enemies.
Otherwise the enemy never got to slash me, which removes much of the challenge. I'd love to seem them evade, jump or follow you for a bit.
Good work overall, lot's of fun to play \o Looking out for a post-compo version :D

Uhfgood says ...
May 1, 2013 @ 9:40pm

You need to keep working on it and release it publicly (meaning non-ld for profit or non) looks fairly polished but the combat could use some work. Should also put in some music. Graphics were pretty sweet.

May 1, 2013 @ 10:41pm

I've found out that the game is even more minimalistic if you only use z and x to move. It's quite difficult, too.

8BitPimp says ...
May 2, 2013 @ 10:19am

@CloudiestNights that is such a cool idea :)

GranaDa says ...
May 2, 2013 @ 9:39pm

@8BitPimp: Stills a "not valid Win32 application". I'm running WinXP 32-bit.

MinionStudios says ...
May 2, 2013 @ 9:54pm

Great game! Tough to get very far it because of the speed of the controls.

JohnnySix says ...
May 2, 2013 @ 11:02pm

Like the simple style of the silhouettes and the white sword/grappling hook. The shimmering sun in the background was a nice touch also.

Mesene says ...
May 2, 2013 @ 11:27pm

WEB links to youtube :< !! I had to download win
Nice game! i liked the sun's effect

Jorjon says ...
May 3, 2013 @ 2:30am

Nice atari-esque runner, though a score would be a good addition.

BrothersT says ...
May 3, 2013 @ 8:44pm

Yeah definitely could benefit from a score :P Really amazing style, seriously. I like the grappling hook but wish it was more forgiving maybe he should sling it even though it's going to miss, then you can see how much give it has. Perhaps there should be more of a point to killing enemies than just not to get hit, because I just end up running through them and playing it like Canabalt! Really nice game.

Cake&Code says ...
May 4, 2013 @ 9:23am

Great mood and graphics. Wish you could have run and slashed at the same time, that would have given me a lot more incentive to do more than just jump over the enemies. Great work!

The Consul says ...
May 4, 2013 @ 11:02am

It seems all right to me that there is no win condition. but perhaps you could add a score based on kills and distance... something like an infinite runner.

Fantastically atmospheric graphics!

sP0CkEr2 says ...
May 6, 2013 @ 4:37am

very good game, but the controls felt akward -- not sure why -- and it was a bit too hard at the beginning -- great effort. love the effect on the sun

rogueNoodle says ...
May 7, 2013 @ 2:50pm

Really nice work - love the animation! Would be cool to see some different scenery if you continue this further. Judging by your blog post, you are taking this further, and that's a really good thing :)

abomb999 says ...
May 8, 2013 @ 4:18am

Amazing, amazing game.

Make A Game says ...
May 8, 2013 @ 4:45pm

This game is beautiful. I loved it, and I also enjoyed reading your post-mortem.

someone says ...
May 10, 2013 @ 5:56pm

Beautiful graphics. Unfortunately the controls don't seem very responsive.
Plus it left my desktop at a stupid resolution when I quit the game.

May 12, 2013 @ 12:37pm

The visuals are absolutely fantastic. The controls took a little getting used to, and without scoring/leaderboards there was little incentive to slash through the enemy characters. It was also possible to abuse the grappling hook and swing across pretty crazy distances. That said, this was really well done, and with some improvements I could see it being one of the better entries in the Canabalt-like runner genre.

Gremlin says ...
May 13, 2013 @ 6:36pm

Love the look. I had trouble getting the hang of jumping until I realized that I didn't need to run at full tilt all of the time.

Still, some of the jumps I missed felt a bit arbitrary and I can't help but wonder if the game would be stronger if there was always something to land on, so that missing a jump was just a delay rather than instadeath. Make it easier to keep the flow going and stay in the groove. (And it did seem like you could only press one of the buttons at a time.)

Also, there wasn't really a way to tell how well I was doing, since there isn't a score or much indication of distance or how many warriors you've passed, so I played for a while and then stopped after what felt like a fairly long run.

dremelofdeath says ...
May 17, 2013 @ 8:55am

This game is gorgeous. The sun effect is stunning! Really enjoyed playing it, thanks for the great work!

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