August 23rd-26th 2013 :: Theme: 10 Seconds

Ludum Dare 27 — August 23rd-26th, 2013
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by Delca - 48 Hour Compo Entry

WARNING - here is the original entry, which contained two game-breaking bug now fixed :

In Ephemeral, you control little toys trying to get to a colorful panel labeled "GOAL". Each of them has a very short lifespan, and lives only for 10 seconds ; once the limit is reached, it dies. But it is up to you to make it so that its death was not in vain ! Each toy has its own properties, and each one dies in a different way, providing you with a new platform to walk on, destroying some walls around it, and so on.
But be careful not to fall in lava, as that will destroy the toy without activating its ability !

Controls :

LEFT/RIGHT - Move around, select a toy
UP : jump
ENTER : confirm your choice
N + L : skip to the next level

Currently, the game is composed of 8 levels.

Downloads and Links




tomsik68 says ...
Aug 26, 2013 @ 4:11pm

Graphics & Audio are awesome, and the gameplay is genius. I love this game :)

munchor says ...
Aug 26, 2013 @ 4:18pm

No way to restart the level is a bit bad (I have to restart the whole game and play every level again when I use Tiler to put a block on the wrong position). The idea of the game is great though. The graphics and audio are also awesome.

Delca says ...
Aug 26, 2013 @ 4:26pm

@munchor : I originally removed the skip-level cheat because I felt bad about leaving it in, but I restored it in the bugfixed version. You "just" have to restart the game, and after selecting a toy, press N and L together.

loxo says ...
Aug 26, 2013 @ 4:29pm

Nice graphics and sound effects. I like the concept very much.

PackSciences says ...
Aug 26, 2013 @ 7:24pm

A game that need to be longer.
Good audio

gikdew says ...
Aug 26, 2013 @ 7:27pm

Nice mood! The gameplay is so fun!

Sheep says ...
Aug 26, 2013 @ 8:29pm

Nice game. It's annoying to wait 10 seconds to die though ( for the bombs and tiles). But you have an intro, so that's a big plus!

Tifu says ...
Aug 26, 2013 @ 9:33pm

Love the idea, very cool mechanic, but I feel it needs a suicide button, so much time was spent just waiting for units to die. If that made it too easy to bridge gaps over lava, then it could be made so they can only do it when standing still.

Lars Faust says ...
Aug 26, 2013 @ 9:37pm

That took forever to finish. The tile-making character is extremely time consuming and needs to be taken too often. It gets a bit repetitive.

The overall gameplay concept and realization of said concept is superbly done though. Graphics are pretty cute as well.

Good job.

Kep says ...
Aug 26, 2013 @ 9:53pm

Great concept!... but somehow I kept getting a block over the spawn point and could not continue.
I also would like a suicide button, and block creation on impact with lava. Yes this would make it easier, but you could limit the number block guys available (i.e. lemmings). This would also then require some way to reset the level.
Sound and music fit great.

Delca says ...
Aug 26, 2013 @ 10:27pm

@PackSciences : I actually had to cut 2 levels from the final version, one because of last-minute bug (still unexplained), one because it was not that good (I mean : even worse than the four first level of the final version).

@Sheep : I would call that an "intro" rather than an intro. I always tend to invent some kind of background for those
colored-rectangles placeholders I used, hence the toy and "world full of wonders" thing.

Concerning the Tiler : I considered the "suicide button", but in my mind, it was taking the game away from the theme (yes, that is a twisted way of thinking). The only way I resisted implementing it was promising myself to add it in a post-LD version.

@Tifu : yeah, lava used to trigger the death action until I saw how much easier the game got as a result. I will definitely put it back later.

@Lars Faust : you actually played through all levels ? I am glad to hear that! As I did not receive any kind of input during the creation (by choice), I was scared that people would be easily put off by this whole waiting-thing when I let some people I know play it this morning.

@Kep : Yeah, reseting the level would be nice, but I am not sure I should do a whole new version just for that. I fixed the block-on-spawn bug though, and put up a new jar available here :
Tell me if you still experience it, and I will see what I can do.
Limiting the number of available toys was on my todo-list as a bonus (as were animated tiles). I think I will add it later at some point.

Thanks to you all for your reviews!

kristof says ...
Aug 27, 2013 @ 10:47am

Lovely visuals and sound. The jumping also feels good and responsive. The levels force the player to place a lot of blocks which takes a lot of time and is boring. Maybe design the levels in a way, that only one or two blocks have to be placed? I also experienced the "block in front of the spawn" bug and could not make it through the whole game. Still a nice little game!

ShitAndSon says ...
Aug 27, 2013 @ 12:25pm

Great idea and great levels.

Delca says ...
Aug 27, 2013 @ 4:15pm

@kristof : I changed the download link so that it now points to the fixed version (the original is still available in the description though). If you want to experience the full game (and the two other toys you missed), give it a try !

RobotParking says ...
Aug 27, 2013 @ 5:16pm


doonay21 says ...
Aug 27, 2013 @ 7:49pm

OMG I love this one :) Graphics and main character are awesome!

andwhatnot says ...
Aug 27, 2013 @ 8:05pm

Nice! Cute graphics and well-designed. I like the different abilities of the characters and how they interact with with each other.

Kragnir says ...
Aug 27, 2013 @ 11:35pm

For me the waiting gets unbearable it ruins the game.

lazyeels says ...
Aug 28, 2013 @ 11:04am

Hi, it seems that both links are broken, dropbox reports:

"Nothing Here - The file you're looking for has been deleted or moved."

Delca says ...
Aug 28, 2013 @ 11:20am

Whoops, I thought Dropbox linked it to the file, so that moving it to another folder in my Dropbox would work. Links are now working, sorry for the trouble.

Marcellus says ...
Aug 28, 2013 @ 11:37am

I love this game, I share every thoughts that has been said in comments.

A suicide key should be implemented to make this game a bit easier, sometime timing perfectly your death above the "lava" can be frustrating.

Or maybe just leaving a tile ON the lava could be great gameplay improvment.

One sure thing, I gave you a nice rating :)

haxpor says ...
Aug 28, 2013 @ 12:02pm

Music is good :) I guess I've played the bug version as for a yellow one I can't get through.

Aug 28, 2013 @ 12:10pm

Cute platformer, really nice graphic and love the audio !

Delca says ...
Aug 28, 2013 @ 12:29pm

Thanks all for your thoughts, I appreciate it!
Remember that the non-bugged version allows you to skip a level by pressing N and L together.

lazyeels says ...
Aug 28, 2013 @ 3:20pm

Nice, I see you had zero problems with platformers and collision detection! ;-)

It's really polished and I like your choice of palette - feels airy!

Delca says ...
Aug 28, 2013 @ 7:04pm

@lazyeels : thanks! But there is actually some issues left with collisions ; you just had enough luck to avoid them all.

mklee says ...
Aug 29, 2013 @ 6:40am

Good game! The graphics and audio are simple, but effective for the type of game this is. Thanks for including some debug controls like level skip, that was really useful for a few levels where the Tiler built a tile in the wrong area.

The only thing I would add is a death button so it would make things go a little faster plus allow you to be more precise with some characters. Overall good job!

jprogman says ...
Aug 29, 2013 @ 6:51am

At levels where I need to create blocks, I get too impatient to wait every 10 seconds for the yellow character to die and become a block. The yellow character should also become a block when it touches lava, since the character "did" die.

This is a nice quirky platforumer that has some good potential with some wrinkles needed to iron.

namrog84 says ...
Aug 29, 2013 @ 6:51am

like the concept. The waiting was the worst on the tiler. I wish I could have ended his life early with a shortcut kill command or something?

Liked the graphics though!

REIN1 says ...
Aug 29, 2013 @ 12:13pm

Great game~Can I break the brick body?

Diptoman says ...
Aug 31, 2013 @ 5:30pm

I love the gameplay! The work on the tiles is awesome! I'd have liked it if the sprites of the characters were a bit bigger though. Tiler is a great mechanic! :)
But the tile mechanic takes 10 seconds to place each tile, so if there are a lot of tiles to be places, it become very time consuming. Maybe you should add a button to skip the 10 seconds prematurely.
Anyways, good job on the game. Its pretty fun!

Delca says ...
Aug 31, 2013 @ 6:48pm

@Diptoman : thanks! Making the sprites small in comparison of the tiles was intended, as you control toys (also, I am no pixel artist, so fewer pixels to draw is a good thing).
And as I said to some other people, I will (and already have ; I mean, it was literally a two-line edit) implement a suicide button. When replaying through the whole thing, it made a lot more sense than when coding. Maybe I should have centered my playtesting on the game's feel, and not just on collisions with the world...

Sh1rogane says ...
Aug 31, 2013 @ 8:51pm

Fun game, like the mecanics but it gets a bit slow when you have to wait 10 seconds each death

Kurisu says ...
Sep 1, 2013 @ 5:12pm

The graphics and sound and idea fit well together and left a good impression. The jump control felt unresponsive, maybe it is how you check the key-states. The tiler was a bit annoying because you had to time the jump precisely. Also I managed to create a solid tile on the spawning portal when the tiler dead just before hitting lava. Fourth level seemed like a lot of work and waiting.

I liked the novel idea and the execution was good with a good learning curve.

Arrow-x says ...
Sep 1, 2013 @ 5:56pm

nice game and love the art simple and pretty

Mlle Eole says ...
Sep 2, 2013 @ 1:47am

Okay, i loooooove the idea, the mood, the art and everything!
But i'm such a bad player here, i can't stand the waiting time.
Not really fond of the "jump" feeling with the controls too.
Perhaps, a little lack of inertia?

So i think i would keep the game in my games file, if only there were a suicide button. :D

Mlle Eole says ...
Sep 2, 2013 @ 1:50am

(And i secretly hope an enhanced advanced complete version! <3)

naufr4g0 says ...
Sep 3, 2013 @ 11:36pm

Really like game mechanics and graphics (except for the main sprite that is IMO a bit too small).
Moreover using a lot of Tilers to complete a level is a bit boring. :/ I think game needs a suicide button. :)

laaph says ...
Sep 4, 2013 @ 6:25am

Very nice. I got stuck on level 2. :( The controls are a bit difficult; I would hit jump, and then hit forward, but he would forward and then jump. Went through all sorts of contortions to get the effects I was looking for; gave up.

Delca says ...
Sep 4, 2013 @ 7:42pm

Thanks for taking the time to play it!
@laaph : Pressing N and L together skips to the next level. Do not be ashamed to use it, I did not put it back just because I wanted to. Besides, I agree that controls are still imperfect ; I will try to fix it as much as I can after the end of voting.

ghRibacki says ...
Sep 6, 2013 @ 2:29am

Very nice mechanics! The toy that turns into a block when dying was a bit annoying to use, though, since I had to wait the 10 seconds for him to die.
Lovely graphics! =D

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