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

Ludum Dare 27 — August 23rd-26th, 2013
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Lost in the Darkness

by TobiasW - 48 Hour Compo Entry

Your three friends are scattered in this nightmarish world, turned into creatures of darkness.

Find the fairies. I heard they are tiny and yellow. I don't know where to find them: You'll have to look around.

Lead the fairies to your friends! The music volume will guide you to them.

This world is in constant change. Be ready. And don't stay in the darkness for too long...

You'll only need WASD or the left stick of a gamepad (Windows release supports vibration too!).

That's everything you need to know - if you feel like exploring, don't read on.


Some guidance for the less adventurous:
- Your light shield holds for 4 seconds.
- The little critters are harmless in itself, but they will slow you down.
- Touch a fairy and it'll follow you.
- Touch one of your turned friends when you have a fairy to help him.
- The music is louder when a friend is near.


Used fonts:

Used base code:


Win Condition Bugfix Update 2013-08-30:
The mechanism that guides the players to their friends is a hot&cold music volume mechanic. I forgot to normalize the ingame music volume levels - so the music contained some louder parts which probably lead some players astray. I'm sorry for everyone affected! With the blessing of the fine folks at the IRC channel, I've updated the source/builds with a normalized mp3 file.

Downloads and Links




Aug 26, 2013 @ 3:48am

Solid adventurer! I like the dark/light switch :)

Aug 26, 2013 @ 10:31am

Nice game! I like the difficulty of the game

Bekokstover says ...
Aug 26, 2013 @ 12:13pm

It's cool! I finished it. Good effort with the sound effects, and it's challenging. I would have made this even more abstract, without magic/fairies, just shapes and colors.

BerdiNerdi says ...
Aug 26, 2013 @ 1:18pm

Really love this concept actually! Very fun and quite different. The audible concept is very interesting too. I also like the details you put in game over, when the player avatar becomes a creature of the night ;) I did get to complete the game :)

dmastergames says ...
Aug 26, 2013 @ 1:52pm

Good Game Well done love that the idea behind it

Aug 26, 2013 @ 1:53pm

I loved your game! The idea i genuenly original and fun and the execution is on the high level.

Zelun says ...
Aug 26, 2013 @ 2:00pm

Pretty innovative but repetitive(:

Did you make a random map generator or something like this? (If yes, what was your technique?)

Ghostik says ...
Aug 26, 2013 @ 4:20pm

Really good idea! I like how you are "zombified" after death :D.

Bjeaurn says ...
Aug 26, 2013 @ 8:00pm

I loved this game. One of my favorites so far. The music is astounding! Only downfall for me was that I had to read your description instead of the game introducing me to some of the mechanics. Loved it nonetheless!

Bjeaurn says ...
Aug 26, 2013 @ 8:01pm

I loved this game. One of my favorites so far. The music is astounding! Only downfall for me was that I had to read your description instead of the game introducing me to some of the mechanics. Loved it nonetheless!
Do you have Twitter or something?

RobotParking says ...
Aug 26, 2013 @ 9:57pm

Very solid bit of game design.

Zuige says ...
Aug 26, 2013 @ 10:22pm

Nice idea! Quite simple gameplay. Solid experience.

DanHayesGamer says ...
Aug 26, 2013 @ 10:22pm

5/5. I really liked this one :)

andwhatnot says ...
Aug 26, 2013 @ 10:26pm

My friends! I cannot get to my friend. Damn red-eyed demons ;)
Cute and fun game.

Brassawiking says ...
Aug 26, 2013 @ 10:30pm

No idea how I am supposed to know where a fairy is. Cool effects both visual and audio wise. You could push the mood even further I think. Nice work!

12323op says ...
Aug 26, 2013 @ 10:31pm

Loved the game. I think the whole idea is great!

Meep says ...
Aug 26, 2013 @ 10:35pm

Very neat concept; I liked the dark/light switching and overall idea. Great job!

juaxix says ...
Aug 27, 2013 @ 9:45am

Very magical :)
I used the 360 gamepad with Win7-64b.

I like the flocking using those easings

senseidav says ...
Aug 27, 2013 @ 12:56pm

This one remind me to some masterpiece games, like Eternal Darkness or Ico.. Games about light and shadow.

One good thing: the 10 sec. changing concept.
One bad: it looks like has no end:

My score in light balls:

MegaMasterX says ...
Aug 27, 2013 @ 3:58pm

The music mechanic was epic. The difficulty isn't too harsh, and the flow of gameplay is smooth as butter. VERY nice entry!

ratalaika says ...
Aug 27, 2013 @ 6:54pm

good job

Diogo Muller says ...
Aug 27, 2013 @ 9:42pm

The Light/Shadow mechanic is really interessing, and the audio really helps to set the mood. Great game. :)

jay griffin says ...
Aug 28, 2013 @ 1:46am

Some really clever stuff going on with the mechanics here, I enjoyed that a lot. A great game that deserves to do well.

TammiLion says ...
Aug 28, 2013 @ 6:38am

The 'Game Over' text gives me the chills... aaah! I couldn't find any of my friends :( Found 2 fairies on two gameplays. What do the look like? Liked your game ^^

TobiasW says ...
Aug 28, 2013 @ 2:02pm

Thanks for all the comments! I appreciate it :D

Thanks! And: Really? It might be just me, but I think the eyes and the little plot there is (which needs the fairies and magic) give it a bit of charm that I'd miss otherwise. Abstract it would've been too dry for me.

Thanks! And yeah, it's a bit repetitive, but well, also pretty short. I had other enemies planned that would've come in later, but then I ran out of time.

The map generator is mostly just:
- If a tile is visible, create all neighboring tiles if they aren't already there.
- With a certain chance it's a white tile.
- Every set of 80 light tiles contains exactly one fairy.
- Every created dark tile contains 1 (or later 2) Scurries (the black critters)
- One of dark tiles in the outer rim of the starting tiles contains one of your friends.
- As soon as your friend is found, a new one is created on the current outer rim within a certain maximal distance.

I might write more about it in a post-mortem, but that's it in essence.

Thanks a lot! Which mechanics did you need the description for? I tried to put most of it in the starting screen and thought that the remainder might just as well be explored - so I'm interested in what I've missed there!

I don't have a twitter, no; I use Facebook for communication. I have a blog/YouTube for new games though!

Thanks for the praise! And sorry - the fairies said they were too shy for me to implement any searching mechanism. They said they wanted to be found via exploration. If you keep walking in one direction, you are sure to find one though; there are enough for everyone.

There's isn't any flocking actually: They just like the tile they are currently on, and switch position every 1.5 to 2 seconds. And if they find out they are on a light tile, they search the nearest dark one. It does LOOK like flocking though, and I'm glad you like it :)

Thanks! It DOES have an end though - remember, you're here to find your friends, not just collect fairies. Find a fairy and lead it to the place where the music is the loudest. Look out for somebody who looks like you when you're game over - and touch him. Congratulations, then you've saved your first of three friends!

Well - your friends went game over before you, so that's how they look like! The music gets louder the nearer you get to one. (And I'm glad the Game Over text has the intended effect, haha. It even gives ME the chills :D)

caranha says ...
Aug 28, 2013 @ 3:01pm

Awesome game! I really liked it, even though it was a bit too hard for me - I didn't manage to save even one friend! I guess I suck at "hot/cold" games :-(

But I really like your choice of music and sound effects: the little guys are terribly creepy! And the bad ending is great :-)

Thanks for the game, and I hope you enjoy my video review:

TobiasW says ...
Aug 28, 2013 @ 3:52pm

Caranha! You're video review is AWESOME, and I didn't "enjoy" it, I LOVE it! This is a really cool way to review a game and it was immensely satisfying to watch. Thanks a lot!

For the music, I used by the way - the same generator I suggested to you in my comment.

I am really unsure about how to make the direction clearer without giving it away. It's still about searching, and I wanted the player to "feel" that he's getting nearer to a friend - I thought music would be the best medium for it. I'm sorry that it didn't work out for you! Do you have an idea how I could do it?

What you might want to try though: Walk only in one axis. Walk left, see if it's getting louder or quieter. If it's louder, continue for a bit, otherwise turn around. Then do the same with up and down. Once you've got a the general direction, start walking there. Repeat as necessary.

ddionisio says ...
Aug 30, 2013 @ 12:46am

Wow, that gameover is really mystique and melancholic, I love it! Awesome mechanic with the light and dark switch. I like how the shadows spew out of you as you enter the light regions. The music is great too!

I'm having a hard time following the musical cue when finding friends. Finding the fairies with the knocking sound is fine though.

fullmontis says ...
Aug 31, 2013 @ 3:25pm

This is quite an amazing game! Really enjoyed it.

berkano says ...
Aug 31, 2013 @ 3:26pm

Wow, what an atmospheric game, even though the graphics are quite simple, the creatures in the darkness feel genuinely creepy. Really love the music. One of the best entries I've played this LD.

Xaychru04 says ...
Aug 31, 2013 @ 3:27pm

Cool concept, but I found the character way too slow...

DanHayesGamer says ...
Aug 31, 2013 @ 9:05pm

Hey Tobias, thanks for the comment on LEGACY! It means alot. Yeah I am going to make progression and things a little clearer in the full version, after seeing all the feedback I reckon It might be nice to make a proper version. :) I really liked lost in the darkness, gave it 5/5, nice original idea. :)

Almax27 says ...
Aug 31, 2013 @ 10:37pm

I like how you join the darkness when you lose :)

Dry Tree says ...
Aug 31, 2013 @ 10:51pm

At first I thought I just had to collect the fairies, but once I got the hang of it this was really enjoyable - great game :)

darkshadow says ...
Aug 31, 2013 @ 11:21pm

Brilliant concept. I love the bug like scurrying of the demon eyed soot monsters.

Crazi456 says ...
Sep 1, 2013 @ 12:18am

Very neat little game. Nice use of the theme, good work!

Antidote says ...
Sep 1, 2013 @ 1:10am

Found about 6 fairies but couldn't find any friends ;_; I guess I'm really bad at hot & cold.

zatyka says ...
Sep 1, 2013 @ 2:45am

Unique idea. Nice use of music as well. Simple, but very enjoyable.

Teejay5 says ...
Sep 1, 2013 @ 3:16am

Awesome game, excellent use of the theme!

loxo says ...
Sep 1, 2013 @ 2:08pm

I like the atmosphere the game creates and it's fun to play! Music and sound effects are great and the simple graphics are nice too. After a few tries I managed to help 2 friends and the third one was in reach. I noticed, that the font was different right after loading the game, it changed after I died the first time.

Dir3kt says ...
Sep 1, 2013 @ 5:53pm

Cute and very good mechanic (that goes very well with the theme).

DreamTeam says ...
Sep 1, 2013 @ 6:21pm

Awesome idea! Your interpretation of the theme and your unique swapping light/dark mechanic is really refreshing. The audio is well done, too. I just wish the visuals were on par with the rest of the game. Would like to see a more graphically advanced post-compo version! Great work!

Jellycakes says ...
Sep 1, 2013 @ 6:24pm

Really nice, with some more updated graphics and some more sound effects it could become pretty damn awesome. The concept was great although the enemies did make things difficult by crossing their own boundaries sometimes. Overall though good job.

ChrisGaudino says ...
Sep 1, 2013 @ 9:43pm

Really enjoyed this! Cool idea and the difficulty was well balanced.

Sep 1, 2013 @ 10:01pm

Good game, the main problem I have is that sometimes it's not quite clear when the game considers me to be in a 'dark' area. The only times I died was when I was near an edge, waiting for the lights to flip when I suddenly died because appearantly I was standing on the darkness without realizing it.

bitserum says ...
Sep 1, 2013 @ 10:16pm

I like the idea and audio, could be expanded to something really cool as it's really short now.

Ailin says ...
Sep 1, 2013 @ 10:27pm

Great job on the auto-generated world. Game difficulty would be a nice feature to implement to have more challenge (think the game is a bit easy).
Some ambiant sounds (or very discret music) would benefit to the game in my opinion.
Great job.

hbocao says ...
Sep 1, 2013 @ 11:06pm

I loved the idea! The alternating map was very cool. I caught my self strategizing my movements. :D Awesome use of sound too! Great entry!

davisan says ...
Sep 2, 2013 @ 12:01am

Nice game and loved the music!

porglezomp says ...
Sep 2, 2013 @ 1:01am

I remember seeing a progress post for this sometime during the compo. It's very nice!
Art wise, I think it would be more ominous looking if the eyes were just eyes, and would simply blink back into being in the darkness instead of running away in the light and looking small and helpless.

drkrunk says ...
Sep 2, 2013 @ 1:56am

Solid. Loved the music, mechanics, and concept.

ghRibacki says ...
Sep 2, 2013 @ 2:00am

At first I was kind of confused as to what my friends were, so I was just wandering away trying to find the source of the music.. haha! The light/dark switch thing every 10 seconds is amazing and the slowdown effect while being touched by the critters is very annoying (which is the point I think, so it's a good thing (not for my completionist nervs, though)!).

Amazing game! =D

Ray_Mickelino says ...
Sep 2, 2013 @ 2:09am

I really like your take on the theme. I was a bit confused for a while about what my friends were. I found all 3 fairies, then ended up wandering around for 5 minutes. Good job though.

BNeutral says ...
Sep 2, 2013 @ 2:32am

Quite nice! It took me a bit to realize the friend I was looking for was in the dark.

Sep 2, 2013 @ 3:23am

Sweet gameplay I love it :)

DaggerHog says ...
Sep 2, 2013 @ 9:04am

Pretty well done. I liked the light/dark switching going on.

panurge says ...
Sep 2, 2013 @ 10:56am

Great idea! The simple visuals work well to create a mood (I especially loved the little eyes peering at you from the darkness) and the hot/cold audio mechanic is excellent. Everything in this game just meshes together really nicely to create a very satisfying experience. Good work!

klianc09 says ...
Sep 2, 2013 @ 11:32am

I wanted to play this game since I saw the gifs in your progress updates, and it really didn't disappoint. The hot/cold mechanic with the music was a nice touch. And I like how you can only see the red eyes of the critters in the darkness.

Zerot says ...
Sep 2, 2013 @ 11:32am

Very nice game. I really love the music in it.

Sep 2, 2013 @ 12:03pm

Nice mechanic, there is pressure but opportunity to plan ahead at the same time.

TheMaster99 says ...
Sep 2, 2013 @ 12:17pm

Pretty awesome adventurer you've got here. Quite unique mechanic, and executed very well. Was very pleasing, both visually and audibly. Good work!

Colapsydo says ...
Sep 2, 2013 @ 1:04pm

The use of the music as a gameplay element is just excellent.
I really like the little runes circling around when the fairies save the friends.

aquilicoco says ...
Sep 2, 2013 @ 1:35pm

Good job! excellent use of the theme.

Sascha says ...
Sep 2, 2013 @ 1:46pm

Great game and concept! Loved the creepy little creatures, and the light/dark switch effect. The mechanics are solid and make for an interesting gameplay! I sometimes died with half of my character already in the light, which felt a bit unfair.

All in all, a great entry!

Sep 2, 2013 @ 4:50pm

A sweet story of friendship. I found the experience nail-biting, as it took me several tries to complete. More than once, I was so happy to have saved a pal that I found myself deep in darkness without enough time to escape.

Although subtle, I especially like the sound of the little critters latching on to you.

In an expanded version, I would love to see varied environments to explore, and perhaps some details about who these characters are. Are the creatures in the darkness more fallen friends?

Nice work!

KunoNoOni says ...
Sep 2, 2013 @ 5:06pm

I liked the Black/White and the Hot/Cold mechanics. They really make the game shine. Great job!

DuFF says ...
Sep 3, 2013 @ 1:03am

Great little game here. The mechanics are solid. Loved the music and use of volume to indicate proximity to your friend. It took me a few tries to figure out who my friends were and what exactly I needed to do -- might suggest making their eyes a different color? But maybe they intentionally blend in to fit with your story. This is a quality entry for sure, good work.

mortus says ...
Sep 3, 2013 @ 5:43pm

I liked the game very much. Great gameplay mechanics combined with dense atmosphere and a very finished look (despite simple graphics). I especially liked the game over screen, nice touch!

Sep 4, 2013 @ 12:35am

Really fun, cool game. Found it very hard though. I featured it in my video compilation series of LD27 games, if you would like to check it out :)

GaTechGrad says ...
Sep 4, 2013 @ 3:33am

I liked the light/dark swapping mechanic, and the critter movements felt realistic. The only issue I had was that I collected about 5 or 6 faries, but could never find any "friends". However, I was able to watch the video to see what happened when you cure a friend.

Sep 4, 2013 @ 10:32pm

That was incredible lots of fun and very different.

ratking says ...
Sep 8, 2013 @ 11:08am

I really, really loved the game. Great job! Although I was suspicious because of the graphic style first (sorry, asshole grahic artist attitude). I get goosebumbs when I see the game over screen and how he turns into a critter @-@
Nothing more to say. Cool concept! :D

Jedi says ...
Sep 16, 2013 @ 9:30pm

I love how you combined such simple game mechanics as "Don't step on the lava" and "Hot/Cold" so masterfully!

Jiggawatt says ...
Sep 17, 2013 @ 12:52am

There's something strangely moody about this. A lot of it has got to do with the pressure in the gameplay, and the audio too. Having to protect the friends somehow would add more difficulty/variety to an otherwise immediately accessible game.

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