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

Ludum Dare 26 — April 26-29th, 2013
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by arrogant.gamer - 48 Hour Compo Entry

This is a text adventure game that deletes itself the more people play it. Eventually all the text will be gone and the game will be blank, with no choices left to be made. I've set it up with my best guess as to how many visits the game should permit before going blank...

In my mind the game is about the effect of tourism on the beautiful place of the world. Mandala is a curious, tiny world that begs to be explored... but the more people enjoy and explore it, the more damage they do. Authenticity, life, and utility slip away. What is left is a husk, filled with high-school children on field trips, and tourists flashing their cameras.

It has been pointed out that this format also fits the theme of environmentalism, so I will probably make a piece on that theme as well. The source is available on github, and with a bit more polish I may be able to release it for people to use.

If you sit down to play this game, and discover that it is just a blank screen, or a single hallway... remember that at one time it was more than that. At one time it was filled with my thoughts.

EDIT: wow people are actually playing Mandala, I'm thrilled! I just want to say, for the record... I will not reseed the database during the competition. I've thought long and hard about this. I thought I might reseed after a week -- like "reset" the world -- but I've decided that would take away from the message.

EDIT: If you are one of the people who have played Mandala, and you received an orange flavoured candy from a little girl, please leave a comment. As many as 10 players may have encountered the girl, but I think only 1 or possibly 2 actually received an orange flavoured candy from her. I'm just curious to know who. I kind of think of that as being the "goal state" of Mandala, so if you received the candy: you beat Mandala!

Downloads and Links




visibleatom says ...
Apr 29, 2013 @ 6:02pm

It's hard to judge, based on the core mechanic of the game. I saw a house, and a garden, and talked to an old woman (who was not on vacation). Hard to tell which choices might be going away soon.

Milo says ...
Apr 29, 2013 @ 9:14pm

This is a very neat idea, although it does not offer me many meaningful choices...

wy477wh173 says ...
Apr 29, 2013 @ 9:18pm

interesting concept, Game's not exactly a thrill to play, but then again that's not the point is it?

ToastyAbraham says ...
Apr 29, 2013 @ 9:20pm

Interesting idea but it feels like a bit of a shame to not allow everyone to see what you've worked on - although I understand this add value to it

Holofire says ...
Apr 29, 2013 @ 11:21pm

I have never seen a game like this. Its hard to rate since everyone who has tried it before me have influenced my experience.

Apr 29, 2013 @ 11:33pm

it was just blank for me ??! heh only joshin.. anyhoot good idea man.. well done :)

ahmeni says ...
Apr 30, 2013 @ 12:33am

Cool concept, nice execution.

Apr 30, 2013 @ 2:26am

Thanks for the comments everyone! I wish I had had more time to polish the actual world more, as it stands it is not as engaging as it could be (and too wordy in places). I started LD48 late enough that I only had 24 hours... :)

Andy West says ...
Apr 30, 2013 @ 2:48am

Very unusual and interesting.

messiano says ...
Apr 30, 2013 @ 3:01am

Innovative concept, but not very enjoyable.

Dew says ...
Apr 30, 2013 @ 3:22am

I like the concept and your justification, suit the theme perfectly!

amijlee says ...
Apr 30, 2013 @ 4:46am

Beautiful prose!

Ryusui says ...
Apr 30, 2013 @ 5:13am

A fascinating concept - I'm genuinely curious how exactly you put it all together. Could have used some more proofreading, though: you have a "seen of a whether worn coast" which should be a "scene of a weather-worn coast."

Apr 30, 2013 @ 5:33am

Ha ha ha oh man. Just before launch I noticed I had spelled "plain" as "plane" all the way through. There are two factors: all the content was made in about 5 hours; I am a terrible speller and spell-checkers don't help with that kind of error.

If I had had time to really proof-read, that would have been great.

ThreeUp says ...
Apr 30, 2013 @ 5:34am

brilliant idea, and maybe the audience is for the hard core, but I think most players need a little more assistance to figure out what to do, or some big moments to make it fun.

Apr 30, 2013 @ 5:43am

The concept is interesting and I cannot disagree that the manner in which you executed it suits the theme too.

miharbi says ...
Apr 30, 2013 @ 10:06am

beautiful idea and a very interesting experience. Playing the game and thinking about how everything around me was affected by other people beforehand really gave the impression that I was in a habitable place where others before me have come and go and left a mark. Really liked the game, concept and theme behind the game.

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

By the time I'd played the game, the effect of the other players was evident, but it seemed like there was still enough there to explore. Some of the choices seemed a little confusing, but concept is wonderful and I would love to see more games like it.

protensity says ...
Apr 30, 2013 @ 9:43pm

Very cool idea - reminds me of GlitchHiker. I like seeing cool twists on text adventures.

Makes me wonder how much I missed - how many features were already destroyed by the time I got here.

May 1, 2013 @ 9:14am

Every time I "play" one of these I keep thinking how they'd work with graphics. I think this one would work quite well.

May 1, 2013 @ 4:51pm

A few entries this year presented zen gardens or rooms with sliding shoji screens. I wish I had the skills to present such a place, perhaps in tandem with text.

zeelyndz says ...
May 3, 2013 @ 2:24pm

This was really cool! Love the execution, loved seeing things disappear while I was playing them, really unnerving.
(Also you tried to play my game when it was down, it's up now!)

DaveDobson says ...
May 4, 2013 @ 4:23am

It's an interesting idea, but a little hard to get into. Very much a high-concept game with the fading text. I got stuck in a couple spots with no apparent exits and had to back-button to get out. The writing is interesting, and the fading mechanic is definitely artsy.

mcc says ...
May 5, 2013 @ 2:34am

My game session ended when I entered a room, all the exits to which had already eroded away.

Very beautiful both as a concept and as an experience.

Porpentine says ...
May 5, 2013 @ 11:56am

i've had very similar ideas about crumbling online spaces...glad to see some praxis. i cant wait to play around with these concepts more

nice job!

atraxgames says ...
May 5, 2013 @ 3:16pm

I love the idea! Surely is more "conceptual art" than a game, but i think this kind of interactive art has a bright future

Tom 7 says ...
May 6, 2013 @ 12:22am

Excellent idea! The world is almost gone for me, but I guess that's part of the point. :)

May 16, 2013 @ 1:05pm

Oh, i think there's no more game to be played! Anyway, very interesting idea, fits nicely into the theme, good job!

Please, take a minute to play and rate my game! Thanks!

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