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

Ludum Dare 26 — April 26-29th, 2013
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by Frozen Fractal - Jam Entry

A soothing and relaxing puzzle game. Find the optimal route to drag your rake across the zen garden between the rocks.

Uses HTML5, CSS3 and canvas. Best played in Chrome; known to work in Firefox but more slowly.

Downloads and Links




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

This game is awesome! I just wanted to play it quick and rate it, but I ended up playing through all of it! Great work!

Split82 says ...
Apr 29, 2013 @ 7:32pm

Very nice! If it moves a little faster it would be even better.

deige101 says ...
Apr 29, 2013 @ 9:30pm

Very cool, love the style. I could see playing this on a tablet for quite a while.

gilmore606 says ...
Apr 29, 2013 @ 9:30pm

Really nice! The mechanic flows naturally from the elements involved, and ends up being challenging but relaxing, very in the spirit of the theme. BTW -- I fixed the Linux build of my game if you want to try it. :)

michail says ...
Apr 29, 2013 @ 9:37pm


Yacodo says ...
Apr 30, 2013 @ 4:34pm

Great entry, a little slow but not really a problem.

sanojian says ...
Apr 30, 2013 @ 7:51pm

I almost didn't want to solve it. I was having such a nice time making pretty patterns in the sand. Great job!

rwos says ...
Apr 30, 2013 @ 8:03pm

Fantastic visuals, the lines in the sand look impressive!

Apr 30, 2013 @ 8:05pm

Beautiful game! I like how its tranquility encourages the player to sit back and think about a path before drawing it. At least that's what I experienced.

gameXcore says ...
Apr 30, 2013 @ 8:07pm

What a uniquely excellent game... level 8 in 45 moves! :p

Sebastian says ...
Apr 30, 2013 @ 10:28pm


Ithildin says ...
May 1, 2013 @ 8:01pm

Nice idea, very fitting and relaxing =)

Cybearg says ...
May 1, 2013 @ 8:33pm

Very soothing game. Superbly done!

As others have said, it would be great on a tablet or something. You should definitely continue to develop this prototype into a bigger game. Think about how the gameplay could be expanded a bit.

Very well done!

May 1, 2013 @ 10:23pm

Absolutely gorgeous. Amazing what can be done with an extra 24 hours & a collaborator or two!

I updated my project page with a hint for RED. Cheers.

GertJohnny says ...
May 2, 2013 @ 6:49am

This is one of the best looking entries I've seen.

Dew says ...
May 4, 2013 @ 10:07am

Great game! The idea is perfect and the graphics are one of the best i've seen!

Awesome job!

SmilingCat says ...
May 4, 2013 @ 11:08am

Great game, loved the music and the concept.

Really well polished graphics, love the effect of the lines on the sand.

Awesome job!

May 5, 2013 @ 3:14am

Beautiful, relaxing game. The difficulty curve was manageable but challenging. Some of the best art I've seen thus far, and the music fit the mood perfectly.

Ludipe says ...
May 5, 2013 @ 6:53pm

Original and hard. It's nice to play this game for a while and just relax, very smooth.

caranha says ...
May 6, 2013 @ 1:35pm

Very calming entry! It fits the theme in many different levels!

All I wanted was a "undo" button, that allowed me to cancel my last move.

Also a "sandbox" (heh) mode, where I can place stones at will and play with the rack would be welcome :-D

Thanks for the game!

dertom says ...
May 6, 2013 @ 4:10pm

Brilliant game! Unique and very challenging. Fits 100% the theme and still unbelievable good! Good job!

May 6, 2013 @ 9:11pm

Great game! But becomes a bit boring after a while.

Hayawi says ...
May 7, 2013 @ 12:04am

Wow, that was a great game. Looks really good, and I'm super excited that you guys are going to be releasing it on the Andriod. Good Luck :D

sP0CkEr2 says ...
May 7, 2013 @ 3:42am

pretty interesting -- like the style -- got a good thing there -- great job!

ohsqueezy says ...
May 7, 2013 @ 10:50am

Great progression! Without a tutorial, the design communicates the techniques to move the rake most efficiently but leaves room for players to experiment on their own.

TurboDindon says ...
May 9, 2013 @ 12:06pm

Sand patterns are wonderful. Very zen and poetic game.

- SEPHY (@sephyka)

MinionStudios says ...
May 9, 2013 @ 3:22pm

Great game! Love the art and the mechanics! Challenging and fun

Madball says ...
May 9, 2013 @ 6:28pm

Cool entry, nice level design, though I think the music is too energetic. I liked drawing on the sand!

ethankennerly says ...
May 10, 2013 @ 5:04am

Rotating the rake and watching the zen garden unfold between the rocks focused me.

lotusgame says ...
May 10, 2013 @ 5:40pm

Very novel concept, so graphics, i a zen atmosphere. Very nice !

kill0u says ...
May 10, 2013 @ 11:46pm


HELLO23 says ...
May 11, 2013 @ 8:46am

I liked the graphics and the idea. Pretty slow movement though.

EggDestroyer says ...
May 13, 2013 @ 7:00pm

5/5 mood. Very relaxing, great concept, gorgeous.

Although, the collision box frustrated me sometimes as I wasn't sure if I collided or not. Also, I was stuck for countless movements sometimes when some unfortunate collisions occured, so I think the scoring system isn't really fit.

Polish thingies tho. :)

Sylvain.p says ...
May 14, 2013 @ 4:20am

Good idea and nice sand effect. Maybe a bit to slow.

Catman says ...
May 14, 2013 @ 7:09am

Genius! The mechanic is really innovative, good job!

kddekadenz says ...
May 17, 2013 @ 3:26pm

Awesome graphics :D

namuol says ...
May 17, 2013 @ 9:15pm

Very impressive! Fits perfectly with the theme both in terms of mechanics and presentation. The sand effect is extremely satisfying. How did you achieve that?

This belongs on mobile/tablets!

May 18, 2013 @ 9:05pm

@namuol: It *is* coming to mobile/tablets! http://www.ludumdare.com/compo/2013/05/06/aranami-is-going-mobile/

The sand is basically a bump map, done in software JavaScript (CoffeScript). A height map indicates the level of the sand at that point, 0-255 with 128 being the initial value. We can easily draw arbitrary things into the height map, because it's just a regular (albeit invisible) canvas element.

To show the rake's trail, we draw a series of "dent" sprites, which are small circles that are black in the centre (the trough), white around the outside (the little wall around the trough, where the sand was pushed out), and then fade out to transparency (so the wall slopes gently outwards). To prevent dents overwriting each other, each dent is actually a semicircle, rotated so the round side faces the direction of movement of the rake.

We then calculate the lightness of a pixel based on the dot product of the normal with the light vector, as in regular Phong shading.

To this we add some random noise based on the normal and the pixel's location, which means that every small change in the height map results in some noisy change to the colour. This gives the impression of grains of sand rolling around.

All this would have been much easier and faster in GLSL shaders, but as we started out with 2d canvas, it had to be all software rendering. Which, in spite of several optimizations, is why it's still a bit slow on Firefox.

May 18, 2013 @ 9:08pm

Source code for the sand, among other things: https://github.com/ttencate/aranami/blob/master/100-model.coffee (warning, LD-quality code, horrible hacks, etc. etc.)

loxo says ...
May 19, 2013 @ 7:49pm

A great idea that fits the theme very well. I like the calming effect of the game.

namuol says ...
May 20, 2013 @ 3:09am

I had a feeling you were calculating the lighting in real time, but didn't expect you to do it with software; bravo!

I'm no stranger to needless software rendering: http://namuol.github.io/earf-html5/


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