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

Ludum Dare 27 — August 23rd-26th, 2013
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Save Them

by Jason - 48 Hour Compo Entry

My first game jam and I'm pretty happy with the result!

- Click on doors to open/close them
- Use the 1-4 number keys, or click on an inventory item to select it
- Click on the ship to play a move tile from your selected inventory
- Escape de-selects your inventory

Your job is to guide the crew of an about to expire space ship to the escape pods. My take on the 10 seconds theme was to use it as the underlying frame work. Every 10 seconds stuff happens. More crew wake up from stasis, the ship is going haywire, with doors opening and closing randomly, and you get random tiles you can use to help guide the crew. Tiles you place last 10 seconds.

I had wanted to have random rooms catching fire, and airlock doors randomly opening, but just ran out of time. Same for sound effects. I did manage to get one effect in there, oh well!

The game was done in Unity 3D with the Futile Framework which basically makes Unity a code centric platform like I am used to.

Gimp for graphics and cfxr for my single sound effect! :)

TexturePacker and GlyphDesigner for some of the routine stuff.

Everything was made from scratch. I feel like I spent half the time just doing artwork. I've never drawn an animation before, and this game has multiple!


Downloads and Links




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

Great ! I really like moving the crew by placing markers. I managed to save 11 members ^^. I find the random a bit too present, and i had very poor luck with markers directions. A "fullscreen" indication (flash, text ...) at every loop could improve reaction to randomness (like checking doors each loop)

Jason says ...
Aug 27, 2013 @ 3:20am

Thanks NuSan for the comments! My plan was to have a sound play every loop, like the sound of doors swooshing open and closed. Unfortunately, I had a hard time generating the sound I was looking for with cfxr and then ran out of time to get back to it. Some sort of flashing would have worked too.

KunoNoOni says ...
Aug 27, 2013 @ 4:02am

Very nice job for your first game! Very original idea :)

TomCooper3D says ...
Aug 27, 2013 @ 4:07am

so frantic really hard to juggle all the doors in a good way. good job!

dumasflo says ...
Aug 27, 2013 @ 1:51pm

Nice work for a first game, this kind of puzzles are not very original nonetheless ^^

Ithildin says ...
Aug 27, 2013 @ 2:43pm

9 members n_nU

Doors toggling automatically was an interesting touch, it made the game more compelling. Nice job!

udo says ...
Aug 27, 2013 @ 3:14pm

What a great concept. Graphically I wish the walls would be more prominent, though that may just be my colorblindness talking. Otherwise I really liked it.

Aug 27, 2013 @ 10:49pm

I would have liked the markers you placed to have been persistent, think it could be really fun with fewer randomised elements. Overall a great game for your first Ludum Dare

Jason says ...
Aug 27, 2013 @ 11:31pm

For anyone interested, I added a quick postmortem:

@SecondDimension - I felt the same way about the movement tiles. I made them last 10 seconds to match the theme, but now I'm thinking if I did 20-30 seconds on them, it would have been better.

Kragnir says ...
Aug 28, 2013 @ 12:14am

I think this game is too random, especially with how short the tiles last.

Diogo Muller says ...
Aug 28, 2013 @ 12:25am

Had some very funny moments. They don't make astronauts as they used to ;_;

davisan says ...
Aug 28, 2013 @ 1:30am

Nice concept! I think it would be funnier if the astronauts ran faster.

siat says ...
Aug 28, 2013 @ 3:23am

That was really fun. I never realized how frustrating random walk is. Thicker walls would be clearer visually, I think.

namrog84 says ...
Aug 29, 2013 @ 7:02am

Nice concept and original. Was a bit slow though
Good art and beat the game!

Amber says ...
Aug 29, 2013 @ 7:09am

Congratulations on your first jam! This was my first foray into game design too.

I definitely like your idea. I would have benefited from a sound effect when the doors changed state, as I tended to get focused on one side of the screen and completely miss the fact that the escape pod room had closed itself off. Do the movement tiles have a set spot in each room? I didn't seem to be able to place them where I wanted them. Eventually I stopped bothering and just had fun watching the astronauts wander around stupidly. :-)

Jason says ...
Aug 29, 2013 @ 1:49pm

@nanrog84 - I had thought of including "speed up" tiles you could play that would increase all the astronauts' speed for 10 seconds...but again something I ran out of time to do.

@Amber - Glad you liked the idea! By far, I think not having a sound play when the doors changed state was the feature I wish I had found time for the most. I should have just used any random sound :p As for the movement tiles, they should be placeable on any tile except in the escape pod room (doesn't make sense to put them in there) or along the top or bottom tiles where half the tile is taken up with the outer ship wall. I disabled those spots since the graphics didn't look right. One idea I had, was whenever you selected a movement tile to place, to super impose over the ship some sort of guide for where you couldn't place them. Like a red grid or something over invalid tiles.

apaneske says ...
Aug 29, 2013 @ 5:42pm

Mutiny! The crew didn't want to cooperate at all. But somehow some got saved. Like the setting and the graphics.

recursor says ...
Aug 30, 2013 @ 12:23am

Those little guys sure are hard to round up. I think the 10-second timer hurts this one a bit because it felt like just when I got my little directional symbols where I wanted them, they would disappear. I really like the idea for this game though. With a few tweaks and additions here and there this would be a pretty cool game to stick on an app store. Nice job.

Laguna says ...
Aug 30, 2013 @ 7:00am

This is a great idea using random walks for a game! I would have loved to hear some background music.

garygreen says ...
Aug 31, 2013 @ 9:40am

That was equal amounts of fun and frustration, which I'd say is a perfect combo for a good game. I enjoyed it. Nice graphics style too.

Sep 1, 2013 @ 7:47pm

Not bad, but a bit random. Those crew members are really good for nothing... :)

rincewind_cz says ...
Sep 3, 2013 @ 7:41pm

As others says, I find it too random either. Other than that it's actually fun :-)

grayhaze says ...
Sep 6, 2013 @ 5:05pm

Nice idea and very good for a first game. The random markers made it impossible to direct the workers more often than not, but they often wandered to the exit of their own accord! With a bit more polish and a little less randomness this could be fleshed out to a decent full game.

Sestren says ...
Sep 9, 2013 @ 11:20pm

Interesting take on a Chu Chu Rocket-style puzzler. Nice job!

X-0r says ...
Sep 9, 2013 @ 11:21pm

Resolution too high for my screen in windowed mode =/ Should support full-screen for that, I suppose...
I like the way of placing markers, but still, some of the astro guys failed to follow my directions. A bit less randomness would be good, I believe (perhaps only when hitting a wall?)
I don't get the point of using a 3d engine to build a 2d pixelart game, but oh well, it works and runs stable ^_^

Jason says ...
Sep 10, 2013 @ 1:23pm

@X-Or: yeah I really goofed on the resolution, but thats what these things are for, learning what does and doesn't work! I had a full screen feature but commented it out and forgot to put it back in. I wish now I had gone with 1024x768 instead of the random 1280x768. Oh well!

Unity actually now natively provides support for 2D (announced at the latest Unite Conference), so its no longer only a 3D game engine :) However, the real reason to use it was for its cross platform abilities. I have only ever worked with an iOS game engine, but I was able to jump into Unity and easily put together a game and release for the web (and every other platform out there). Had I just stuck with what I knew, I would have only been able to make an iOS game, and probably no one would have played it.

I've now ported Save Them to iOS as well, which was very simple with Unity right off the bat. I ended up creating a second image atlas for my graphics to match the iPad resolution (instead of just letting unity scale them), which then required some more tweaking. But initially, it just worked by telling unity to build for iOS. That simplicity is pretty huge when it comes to cross platform development.

And yeah, I agree there's too much randomness in the game. Working on some tweaks for that for a post compo iPad version I'm hoping to release.

Jason says ...
Sep 10, 2013 @ 1:26pm

@Senstren: I just had to look up what Chu Chu Rocket was. Interesting there is a game so similar! Looking over the wiki page, it looks like one of the things they did was make the movement of the characters predictable, which would help certainly help with the randomness. I've been playing with tweaks, just trying to find a good balance between too random and too easy!

GFM says ...
Sep 11, 2013 @ 2:40am

This game is really simple, but you have a nice concept there.

If expanded upon, this could become great. :)

Sep 16, 2013 @ 7:05pm

I like it! Though I found the auto toggle for doors to make things a little tough. I like the aesthetics too!

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