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

Ludum Dare 27 — August 23rd-26th, 2013
[ Results: Top 100 Compo, Jam | Top 25 Categories | View My Entry ]
[ View All 2213 Games (Compo Only, Jam Only) | Warmup ]

IMPORTANT NOTE: If you want to place in the final results, you NEED votes. The easiest way to get votes is by rating other games. Judging lasts for 3 weeks following the end of Ludum Dare. For best effect, rate 20 games as soon as possible. Rating more games is encouraged.


Back to Browse Entries

Sort It Out

by vanderZwan - 48 Hour Compo Entry

As I was busy attending a wedding and seeing friends and family this weekend, this turned into a 12 hour compo for me. Still proud of the results :).

Offline version is best version (fastest and full-screen) - the "web" version is an oldschool Java Applet. You've been warned!

Be sure to read the instructions, because you immediately dive into the game as it starts up. Unless of course you like the challenge of figuring out what happen on your own ;).

Screencast of near-final version, with explanation:
(or click the screenshot for an animated gif of the game in action)

=== Sort It Out ===

A minimalist puzzle game.

Your mission: to unscramble the bits within ten seconds!

Divide the mixed up string into one string of black and one string of white bits. Yes, that implies these bits be racist and demand segregation. It is terrible, but who are we to judge?

You can't drag the bits directly, you must use mouse/touch gestures to move them.

Swipe Left/Right to move between the left end of the top string of bits, and the right side of the bottom string of bits. Swipe up/down to move between the left sides.

Try to sort as many bits as you can without lifting your finger (releasing your mouse button) - you only have a limited set of gestures and when you run out it's game over!

When you fail to sort within ten seconds, your scramble counter goes up by one, and is deducted from your spare gestures.

When you succeed to sort within ten seconds, you get (number of solved sets * spare gestures) added to your score, and three more spare gestures. So the fewer gestures you need to solve, the higher the score gets.

For every set of bits you (fail to) sort, one extra bit is added to the new set. It starts easy with just three, but it gets hard really fast!

Suggested personal challenges: high score, sorting as many bits as possible, longest non-stop gesture.

Made with Processing 2.08, the gesture code is a simplified version based on earlier non-game related work (but I announced I wanted to design a game around that input method).

Downloads and Links




raincole says ...
Aug 26, 2013 @ 3:56am

It's, well, really confusing.

namrog84 says ...
Aug 26, 2013 @ 4:00am

I have no idea what I am doing, sometimes I am just randomly dragging away from the bits and I am getting scores, them going away?

Just watched the video, makes soooo much more sense now!

Quite a neat concept and love the graphic style.

vanderZwan says ...
Aug 26, 2013 @ 10:39am

Yeah, sorry guys. Watch the video for a clearer explanation. Next time, when I hopefully have more time, I'll make an in-game tutorial.

vanderZwan says ...
Aug 26, 2013 @ 10:52am

Just edited the description, hopefully it's easier to follow now.

@raincole: your avatar is oddly fitting for your comment :D

Zuige says ...
Aug 26, 2013 @ 11:36am

Brilliant! A bit of a steep learning curve but seems like you can get there! This one i'm keeping. You should totally port this to use the Leap motion controller!

Spotline says ...
Aug 26, 2013 @ 11:37am

Cool concept, technically impressive, but still a bit too confusing ^^"

vanderZwan says ...
Aug 26, 2013 @ 12:01pm

@Zuige: funny you should mention that, the original gesture code was an experiment for the Leap Motion! :D Since I already have some code ready I could easily add LM controls I think (but didn't think of it nor had time yesterday). Will upload it once the voting window is over (as to not break the compo rules).

@Spotline: Thank you for the compliment! I admit that it takes a while to get into the "zen" of it. It helps if you ignore the scoring and how many spare gestures you have at first, and just focus on gestures and sorting.

@everyone who bothers to comment: the feedback is greatly appreciated! I'll be sure you give your games a try once I can listen to the audio (in the train right now, don't want to bother the other passengers).

Aug 26, 2013 @ 12:48pm

Wonderfully abstract and quite interesting. Understanding what is happening becomes part of the challenge, but even once you know, using that knowledge is still not trivial.

My strategy is basically: go down if the leftmost bit is black, to the right if it's white; then when all bits are sorted, swipe up all the way and win. Got me to around 6000 points. But your video shows that more sophisticated approaches are possible. I wonder what it would be like without the time pressure, when you really have to minimize the number of moves.

The difficulty is a bit random, depending on how sorted the bits are to begin with. Perhaps worth considering some measure of "sortedness", e.g. number of transitions between black and white, and keep that roughly proportional to the number of bits somehow.

I like the simplicity of the graphics and sound, and the bits really seem to have a life of their own. Perhaps the screen layout could have been better, especially on fullscreen.

nikneym says ...
Aug 27, 2013 @ 2:32pm

Interesting game.

justi says ...
Aug 27, 2013 @ 2:54pm

Nice effects, but im not know what I do ;] sometimes a time countdown below zero.

panurge says ...
Aug 27, 2013 @ 3:16pm

I really like this. My initial impression was that it was overly confusing but I'm so glad that I stuck with it (and watched the video) because when I did get the hang of the controls I found it to be a really enjoyable and rewarding experience. An excellent, innovative mechanic!

Aug 27, 2013 @ 5:38pm

Same as Frozen Fractal here, except the colours are driving me a bit bonkers, combined with my severe sleep deprivation. Without the timer this game would be better I think, but you've got to stick to the theme after all.

Dew says ...
Aug 28, 2013 @ 10:57am

Background burnt my eyes gut i loved how mouse work in this game!

DesignerNap says ...
Aug 28, 2013 @ 5:48pm

A little too tricky to be fun but appreciate what you were going for. Good work

vanderZwan says ...
Aug 29, 2013 @ 10:37am

@Dew/Dining Philosopher: sorry, I like bright intense colours. Must be the African heritage ;). But I'm working on a "Super Sort It Out!" with more gameplay modes, proper tutorial and the option to change colours.

DesignerNap: Sorry it's not your kind of game, thanks for taking the time to try it! For some, like Zuige, panurge, Dew and me, mastering the frustrating interface is part of the fun, but I can easily see why it's not for everyone.

DDRKirby(ISQ) says ...
Sep 1, 2013 @ 9:35pm

This was actually surprisingly fun after getting the hang of it ^^;

Wertle says ...
Sep 10, 2013 @ 3:04am

Potential for an interesting interface here, though I must admit that I mostly flailed and hoped for the best :) One note, when I solved each one they went away so quickly that I didn't have time to register that I'd actually solved it - it took me awhile to figure out that's what was happening.

Andresh says ...
Sep 15, 2013 @ 2:00am

Loved it! But keeping the movements stick to a grid was not very intuitive, I was trying to get a firm control to move 1 bit and kept moving a bunch.

You must sign in to comment.

TEAMS: Teams entering the Jam should pick a single representative to submit your game, or create a team specific account you can share. We currently do not support Team Voting, but sharing an account and together playing and rating games is acceptable.

NOT LOGGED IN?: If you get a message about not being logged in, even though you are, it’s because your web browser cached the non-logged in page. You can fix this by either refreshing your cache or clearing your cache. CTRL+F5 in many browsers. Chrome is a bit more work. Press F12 to enable Developer Mode, then you can right click on the refresh button and select “Empty Cache and Hard Reload”. This option is unavailable if you are not in Developer Mode.

PORTS: Ports to other platforms can be done after the deadline. That said, the sooner you finish your port, the sooner people can play your game, improving your chances of placing in the final results. For best results, provide a Web version of your game, or a Windows version with no dependencies. Also be sure to rate about 20 games to improve your visibility.

MY GAME DOESN’T SHOW UP: If you can’t find your game, it’s usually because the URL to your downloads are missing ‘http://‘. Fix your URLs ( and you will show up.

MY GAME CRASHES, IS UNBEATABLE, OR I MADE A TYPO: We allow you to fix crash or win condition bugs after the deadline (in a sense, like “porting” to support more players). We also allow “typo” bugs. I.e. A true that should have been a false, a word that should have been a different word, very tiny changes that you would have caught if you had more sleep. We leave this open to interpretation, but generally speaking your game should be identical to the game you submitted. No new features, just things you messed up last minute. Typos.

[cache: storing page]