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

Ludum Dare 26 — April 26-29th, 2013
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Wandering Darkness

by Graham Weldon - 48 Hour Compo Entry

You must find you way from your starting position through to the end portal, progressing from level to level as fast as you can.

Wandering Darkness uses minimal gameplay and a minimal art style to produce a fun and engaging 2D platformer game.

You control left, right and jump (A, D, and Space) to navigate the dimly lit rooms. You only have immediate visibility around your area, and must find the exit!

There are hints, some tricks, and special items to pickup throughout the levels!

How quickly can you complete all 15 levels?

This game was immensely fun to create.
Best of luck to everyone submitting games, I'm looking forward to seeing them all!

The Unity build of linux has always been a little flakey. I've provided it anyway, but have not had the opportunity to get it tested out at all.

If there are problems with the Linux build, please let me know. And I apologise in advance for those Linux users that do encounter problems.

Downloads and Links




puttputt says ...
Apr 29, 2013 @ 4:00am

Very frustrating, but I loved the concept. Really cool game, great job!

Jonapulse says ...
Apr 29, 2013 @ 4:55am

Fun. I liked what you did with light--i haven't seen many platformers that limit vision like that. Maybe because of the frustration. The music was a little loud and emotional--I think something lighter or more mysterious might have fit your atmosphere better.

Rose says ...
Apr 29, 2013 @ 4:57am

This is a great game, and the music is good too! I did find it a bit frustrating though.

nintendoeats says ...
Apr 29, 2013 @ 4:58am

I appreciate the clever usage of Unity's primitives and lighting effects. As a game, I wouldn't say that I would call it "fun". interesting more like. The optimal strategy seems to be "be careful and when you die don't make the same mistake again", which feels more punishing while you are doing it than rewarding when you complete it.

cwilloughby says ...
Apr 29, 2013 @ 4:58am

Super cool. Loved the lighting. Liked how you introduced the mechanics. Liked the variety in audio. Controls felt just a bit too loose, I had to nudge forward more than I'd like. Great job!

avidgamerNino says ...
Apr 29, 2013 @ 4:58am

It works, I think you could of lived without the blue power up

Graham Weldon says ...
Apr 29, 2013 @ 4:59am

3 frustrating comments.. While I did go for a bit of a frustration angle, in order to make finding the finish more rewarding, I hope that the concept and gameplay is not too frustrating! Hopefully you can play through the levels and complete it.

There are 15 levels. Feel free to post you completed time here too! Thanks for the feedback so far!

cahman says ...
Apr 29, 2013 @ 5:00am

Nice music and good lighting effects. But the game play was rather frustrating.

gabehollombe says ...
Apr 29, 2013 @ 5:02am

Very moody (in a good way). I really love the music track that starts with the cello; so mood-setting! I love seeing how such a simple mechanic like limited sight can contribute to a compelling (and frustrating) platformer. Thanks for making this one!

scriptorum says ...
Apr 29, 2013 @ 5:02am

Nicely done. 12:15.

Cheshyr says ...
Apr 29, 2013 @ 5:02am

This just makes me happy.

Guardian_Bob says ...
Apr 29, 2013 @ 5:04am

So the learning from death is a portal like mechanism, it would be really funny to insult the user when they make the same mistake twice. Just my $0.02.

Soundboy says ...
Apr 29, 2013 @ 5:06am

Really clever levels, great job!

eteeski says ...
Apr 29, 2013 @ 5:10am

I surprisingly really liked it. At first when I figured out that the game would consist of jumping around in the dark, i thought i was going to hate it. BUT the game was saved by the fact that the instructions explained very well tricks to navigate the darkness. this game has very good level design. both the writing and the level design do very well to teach the player how to do something that at first didn't seem like fun to do. it ended up being really fun. one idea is that maybe if you occasionally had some point lights move past on their own so that you can see a tiny bit while standing and waiting would help a lot with the frustration. maybe you could balance this out with a count down timer. just an idea. great game :)

Ian MacLarty says ...
Apr 29, 2013 @ 5:11am

Nice. I couldn't stop playing until I finished it.

Apr 29, 2013 @ 5:12am

A little difficult because of the distance you can see; but that is the game I guess. I really got frustrated on the parts that you had to jump up to a platform directly above you by jumping out and coming back. The character should be quicker to stop. That would make it easier to inch through the levels safer.

But really good job over all. I enjoyed the music and visuals and found myself playing for a little bit, curious about what would come next.

TrentSterling says ...
Apr 29, 2013 @ 5:22am

Hard! I ran past the door 100 times!

ananasblau says ...
Apr 29, 2013 @ 5:30am

I'm sure I've seen this concept before, dark levels, you carry the only light and need to find you way and platforms to reach the end. Nonetheless the execution is great, music, sounds, graphics all fit. And if I don't like the controls because they won't stop right before the bottomless pit, then they are usually perfect for everyone else :)

Kinzata says ...
Apr 29, 2013 @ 5:33am

Great job! I love the pulse of light!

frr171 says ...
Apr 29, 2013 @ 5:36am

Devilishly simple concept - I like it. The blue orbs were a really good twist, and I think they make the game much fairer.

GertJohnny says ...
Apr 29, 2013 @ 6:06am

6:38. Fun!

lpcustom says ...
Apr 29, 2013 @ 6:09am

Awesome platformer! As many platformers as there are, it's great when you find one with a fun new design aspect. The very limited light makes this a very challenging and fun game. The only part that I would change is the control response. It has a sliding feel to it. This follows the theme very well!

Graham Weldon says ...
Apr 29, 2013 @ 6:35am

GertJohnny at 6:38?? Wow! Nice work!

Msquirrel says ...
Apr 29, 2013 @ 7:20am

Very Nice, this was actually the first game I played, back before the deadline. I really liked it, nice idea, nicely executed. Good Job!

CagedRat says ...
Apr 29, 2013 @ 7:21am

I died lots.

Xgor says ...
Apr 29, 2013 @ 8:22am

Nice game, can be frustrating but is mostly fun. Would be nice with a jump sound though.

jhrrsn says ...
Apr 29, 2013 @ 8:38am

I like the use of light/dark, very cool. I'm not a fan of slippy player movement though, and it's frustrating to accidentally run past the exit. But yeah, cool idea!

aquilicoco says ...
Apr 29, 2013 @ 2:22pm

Nice but it's very difficult

LrdKzrth says ...
Apr 29, 2013 @ 3:36pm

Great concept, great mood, but tricky as hell!

Stiju says ...
Apr 29, 2013 @ 3:42pm

Great game! I had almost the same idea but that the walls kept illuminated even after you move away.

Though this is much nicer with the smooth lightning effects.

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

Pretty good, though the gameplay is a bit frustrating.

cmjd says ...
Apr 30, 2013 @ 7:11am

Great game! It was a fairly challenging game, but it was fair. The music was pretty great as well, nice work!

NuSan says ...
Apr 30, 2013 @ 11:24am

Cool game. Some jump are realy hard even when you see the ground ...

stromchin says ...
Apr 30, 2013 @ 2:08pm

Clever concept, nicely implemented.

tonic says ...
Apr 30, 2013 @ 3:51pm

I find these kind of games a bit frustrating generally, but it was nice enough that I kept playing for quite a few levels. The blue thing made it nicer, too bad it took a while to reach levels having it. :) Perhaps the radius could be a bit larger, now it's so easy to fall off edge with the inertia (basically, no time to react - have to learn & remember the edge places by trial and error). Nice work.

igrowbeards says ...
Apr 30, 2013 @ 5:58pm

Nice audio and a really good concept executed well. I personally found the controls to be a little too twitchy though - the players movement was just over the line between challenging and frustrating because of the lack of friction.

Apr 30, 2013 @ 8:03pm

The tutorial levels are well thought out and very effective. The music could have been a bit darker and moodier to fit the graphics better, but the overall effect still works. Gameplay is a bit frustrating.

BortStudios says ...
Apr 30, 2013 @ 11:07pm

Quite fun, I enjoyed myself

gilmore606 says ...
May 1, 2013 @ 5:46am

Very very pretty, but I agree with other commenters that it's quite frustrating and not so rewarding. Even so, a beautiful achievement for the 48 hour limit.

Graham Weldon says ...
May 2, 2013 @ 2:04am

Thanks for all the great comments guys and gals! Its been great to get some good (and bad) feedback on this one.

While its a simple game, I did push the frustration factor up a bit to make the game challenging, while providing some reward for completion. Maybe I could reduce the frustration somewhat by adjusting the controls. The sliding movement of the player seems to be the greatest cause for this.

This was my first attempt at doing levels integrated with the learning of the system. I find this approach both eases the player into the game, as well as keeps them moving, instead of getting bored with it too quickly.

Thanks again for trying it out!

Rafael Sales says ...
May 2, 2013 @ 8:21pm

Great game! Fits perfectly to the theme. Congratz!

Travis Irby says ...
May 2, 2013 @ 10:52pm

Really like the concept! Had a lot of fun playing nice job :)

May 3, 2013 @ 4:02am

Finished in 9:13. Nicely done and much better and more fun than I thought it would be! I feel like the light "powerups" are what keep the game from being overly frustrating. Wandering around slowly with no idea what's next is not particularly fun unless there's no threat of death.

kurrik says ...
May 3, 2013 @ 6:53am

Had a bit of a slow ramp-up curve, but I love that this was a real game with real puzzles. I'd love to see more powerups sprinkled around the game in a fleshed out version. Slowly walking around looking for drops is less fun than trying to jump to where you thought you remembered the platform was. Overall great job though.

May 3, 2013 @ 7:05am

Audio was great. Polish and presentation was all good too. My real issue is that games where the player is lost/confused is never a great idea. the light radius was such that you had little reaction time so you had to crawl through levels. Jump mechanics and everything was pretty solid and this is a very well done entry.

Kiwiboi says ...
May 3, 2013 @ 12:03pm

This was great, I love games like this where you actually have to be patient and pay attention! :D Love it!

May 3, 2013 @ 4:19pm

Honestly, it isn't the most fun to play but having worked in Unity, I can see you made good use of the lighting, so props to you for doing that.

May 3, 2013 @ 6:16pm

Nice work with the light!

littleball says ...
May 3, 2013 @ 7:15pm

Great style, well done!

May 4, 2013 @ 3:18am

This game is very hard! Nice Concept!

SmilingCat says ...
May 4, 2013 @ 12:37pm

Wow, awesome music, that's a lot for 48 hours of work.

I thought the game got a lot easier when the power-up items were introduced, maybe introducing them earlier and being more sparing with them later would reduce the frustration level.

Overall, great job!

GaTechGrad says ...
May 5, 2013 @ 1:46am

Too many leaps of faith needed, otherwise a solid game.

patrickward says ...
May 5, 2013 @ 11:30am

Well done. I thought the introductory levels helped tremendously. The controls were a bit frustrating at times; I seemed to go too fast and would fall off the edge too easily. So, I had to gently tap the keyboard, which slowed the game down. Maybe dampen the acceleration when the key is released? To slow the player down a bit? The lighting and concept were great and the increased complexity was well thought out. The changing soundtracks for each level was a great addition too. Outside of the controls, I thought it was a fun, challenging, and polished game. Well done!

May 5, 2013 @ 12:58pm

good game..i agree about too many leaps of faith required for me.. still good tho :)

Jellycakes says ...
May 6, 2013 @ 9:59pm

Was a pretty interesting concept to play with. Created a lot of suspense as you never knew where the end of the platform was, really well done. good job.

May 7, 2013 @ 12:41pm

Very nice game, congrats! The music is very good also, matches the mood perfectly!

Overall the game is very complete!

MathiO says ...
May 7, 2013 @ 2:18pm

Fantastic level design and music! Challenging at times yet I still pushed through to the end.

Celticraft49 says ...
May 7, 2013 @ 9:14pm

I enjoyed it, but I would have liked to see what level I am on.

May 9, 2013 @ 9:01pm

Fun stuff, ultra groovy soundtrack!!! Game plays a little like my game, but on another level. Cool game!

Sestren says ...
May 16, 2013 @ 1:14pm

Really cool-sounding music. The lighting is put to really good use here, as well. Good job!

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