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

Ludum Dare 27 — August 23rd-26th, 2013
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In Vivo

by Empyrealhell - 48 Hour Compo Entry

In Vivo - "Within a living organism". Typically used to refer to laboratory testing on living beings. You are one such subject, and you yearn to break free, but there's a catch.

It's a jar, should run on anything with a JRE.

If you are having trouble, I put a walkthrough up on my site.

I have decided to make a post-comp version of this game, you can follow my progress on it at

Downloads and Links




raincole says ...
Aug 26, 2013 @ 4:49am

crashed on my Mac.
JavaVM WARNING: JAWT_GetAWT must be called after loading a JVM
_NSJVMLoadLibrary: NSAddLibrary failed for /libjawt.dylib
JavaVM FATAL: lookup of function JAWT_GetAWT failed. Exit
AL lib: ReleaseALC: 1 device not closed

Tork says ...
Aug 26, 2013 @ 4:53am

At the star I was not sure how to play it but once you start finding stuff it gets good

Empyrealhell says ...
Aug 26, 2013 @ 5:04am

From what I can see it's a known issue with libGDX and certain versions of the JRE on OS/X. I found a SO link that goes into details, but I don't think there's much I can do about that from my end, I'm sorry.

fferro234 says ...
Aug 26, 2013 @ 5:04am

I really like the concept. 10 seconds is just not quite enough time for each round. It kind of hurts the experience being so short. I feel like if the game was based on 30 seconds time limits it would be an amazing concept and game. Also the fade in/out from memory to awake is a little long when all I want to do is try from the awake state again. Great concept though. Also I was a little confused at first, some of the textures for things on the walls are really hard to see. It was just luck that got me the vial and the knife and pliers in the first room.

Empyrealhell says ...
Aug 26, 2013 @ 5:20am

I was ok with the 10 second time limit because of the memory periods. The idea being that you use that time to plan out your 10 seconds, and then make that dash. The third gene mod lets you hold shift to slow down the timer, so it does get better. Thanks for feedback.

jay griffin says ...
Aug 26, 2013 @ 5:42am

Cool concept, nicely executed. A bit on the tough side for me though.

bonsairobo says ...
Aug 26, 2013 @ 5:45am

Like others, I didn't really get what to do at first. The items are very small and hard to see. Also didn't know how to leave memory mode for a while. Still, a really cool concept.

Lustdante says ...
Aug 26, 2013 @ 6:15am

Great concept, but it became great only in concept due to non-intuitive puzzle. 10 seconds restriction forces you to focus on execution after figuring out what to do during memory mode. It's hard to figure out what tool is good for what, which made me stuck past ventilation. Otherwise, very compelling game with humorous writing when you touch the needle!

fullmontis says ...
Aug 26, 2013 @ 8:33am

I found it too confusing to be enjoyable. Maybe giving more hints during gameplay would make it simpler. Still, a solid entry.

rot13 says ...
Aug 26, 2013 @ 8:58am

Like others said, it's an interesting concept but 10 seconds is really too short for completing puzzles.

Idovoodoo says ...
Aug 26, 2013 @ 12:11pm

There are some great ideas in this prototype that you should consider developing further. Well done :)

doonay21 says ...
Aug 26, 2013 @ 12:13pm

Nice for eyes, smooth and polished. 10 seconds seems bit to less.

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

Was a nice game, but can definitely be a little overwhelming at first. 10 seconds can be pretty fast. D: Nice work, regardless.

wally2069 says ...
Aug 26, 2013 @ 10:29pm

The player mode switching mechanic was fun

Gus says ...
Aug 28, 2013 @ 7:10am

Amazing idea, but poorly executed
I find it too hard to progress, maybe i'm taking the wrong steps, but it could've been a little more intuitive
Also, itens are pretty hard to see

Tainted_Code says ...
Aug 28, 2013 @ 1:07pm

It's good once you understand it! :D

Diogo Muller says ...
Aug 29, 2013 @ 10:34pm

Very creative idea. In the end, some parts of the game are too hard because of the 10 seconds limitation, but since that was the theme...

rincewind_cz says ...
Aug 30, 2013 @ 9:21am

Great idea and theme interpretation

PAC says ...
Sep 1, 2013 @ 8:04am

Nice concept but hard.

phi says ...
Sep 1, 2013 @ 8:38am

Pretty much impossible to do anything without the walkthrough. And even if you know what you're supposed to do, it's hard as hell. And the 10 seconds limit gets very frustrating very fast. Besides that, it's an enjoyable game.

loxo says ...
Sep 1, 2013 @ 8:48am

An awesome concept! But the game is really hard, because there is no help and the time pressure. Maybe it would be better, if the player could keep the collected items. I'm on Mac OS X and tried it with Java 7 without luck, got the same error as raincole. But it's working with Java 6, apart from a flickering start screen.

EggDestroyer says ...
Sep 1, 2013 @ 9:21am

Overall an excellent entry I enjoyed a lot. The whold concept is great and perfectly uses the theme. I used the walkthrough after the 5th upgrade, as the last sequence feels a bit random. It's absolutely stunning you managed to do all this in only 48h.

Some stuff you could IMO improve :
* The fade transitions annoyed me to death. You should speed them up a bit.
* The beginning of the game is a bit obscure, some hints would be welcome, as well as highlighting the items you can pick up.
* Some passages are very narrow, making it very difficult to navigate through the ship. It creates an additional "platforming style" challenge as you have to be very precise in your positionning, which seems a bit out of the place here. I had trouble to reach the 3rd upgrade.
* The controls felt a bit random, especially the "shift" thingy : as it's made to be hold permanently, why do you even have to hold it ? Shouldn't you make the upgrade permanent ? Also, could it be possible to activate telekinetics just by hitting space instead of introducting Ctrl (which is quite inconvenient between "space" and "shift")

Sep 1, 2013 @ 1:37pm

Nice idea and very good use of the theme. However, even with the walkthrough it's really hard even to finish the first challenge.

Sep 8, 2013 @ 9:39am

This is pretty hard, mostly because 10 seconds is quite short. The slow fades are a bit frustrating too. I didn't manage to get very far, but I do get the feeling there's a lot more to explore.

The graphics are pretty good, and the fact that you can't really see what things are is essential to gameplay, because it forces you to get close enough to get a description.

I really love the concept; check out for something similar.

I'm going to run through it with the walkthrough now, because apart from the difficulty it's very good!

kraj0t says ...
Sep 8, 2013 @ 7:20pm

This game has brilliant puzzle progression and a good storyline to go with it. Also, it is an excellent interpretation of the theme. I enjoyed every minute of the playthrough :-)

However, it's true that I had to bear with the difficulty, and resort to the walkthrough a couple of times. Also, not the best entry in terms of graphics or audio... but who cares! Mr. Empyrealhall went for a good story, and you, sir, totally nailed it IMO!

Almax27 says ...
Sep 9, 2013 @ 5:01pm

Really cool game mechanics (I admint I had to look the walkthrought):)

Crowbeak says ...
Sep 10, 2013 @ 8:36am

Can't open it on my Mac, but unlike the first guy I got no error whatsoever.

nthird says ...
Sep 13, 2013 @ 6:08am

Really good concept and great use of the theme. I found the puzzle bits on the unintuitive side but interesting. I had to stop playing though because I simply could not hit the time limits well enough. I kept getting stuck momentarily on corners or slightly overshooting and after 5 or 6 tries with no success (even looking at the walkthrough to be sure I was doing it right) I gave up. A slightly smoother interface or longer time period would have been enough for me to finish it. Love the graphical style and gameplay though. Great concept for a puzzle game and interesting unfolding method to handle upgrades of a very unique sort.

SnoringFrog says ...
Sep 14, 2013 @ 3:34pm

This was much more difficult than I think it should have been, and as others have said the transitions got quite irking after a while. Despite that, it was still a pretty enjoyable game. Loved the comments about sharing the needles.

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