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

Ludum Dare 27 — August 23rd-26th, 2013
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Tiny Arena

by Dooleus - 48 Hour Compo Entry

NEW 2013-08-29 - Added Android version.

A mash-up of Zelda and Super Crate Box, Tiny Arena pits the player against endless streams of monsters with an arsenal of 6 different weapons, which are selected randomly every 10 seconds. There are also powerups which increase movement speed and grant invincibility for 10 seconds at a time.

Art assets made with ASEPRITE.

Music made with REASON 4.0 and the TGSF21X soundfont library.

Sound effects made with BFXR.


Source .gmz is included in the .zip

Extract .zip and run the .exe file, or play the HTML5 version via the link.

Use WSAD or the ARROW KEYS to move.
Press SPACE to attack.
Press ESC to quit.
Press M to toggle the music.


In the web version, the wizard's magic sound stacks with each instance of the magic ball onscreen. This is not supposed to be the case, and doesn't happen in the Windows .exe

Sometimes when the shuriken is first activated, you have to move before it will throw in the right direction. I forgot to copy some revised code from the other ranged weapons to this one... my bad. :(

Another bug I just found is that if you grab the boots powerup twice before the first one has worn off, your movement speed is permanently doubled. Also, the shield and boots timer on the UI are overlapping... I'll find a way to remedy this in a future version.

Based on the feedback I've gotten, I will probably release this on Kongregate and Gamejolt with slightly increased movement speed and some new level layouts (randomly placed pits perhaps?)

Thanks to everyone who plays and leaves feedback! I really appreciate it! This is my first time participating in a game dev compo, and I'm having a great time checking out all the stuff that everyone's put up.


Downloads and Links




CogentInvalid says ...
Aug 26, 2013 @ 3:27am

Very tense, I like how quickly the gameplay changes. It gets a little claustrophobic at times, though, especially with how slowly you move.

TheBlueRage says ...
Aug 26, 2013 @ 3:29am

I gave this my best ratings yet! So much fun... I'm glad you made this haha. My only complaint is that bombs are too difficult to use. Otherwise, this is fantastic! :)

ranf says ...
Aug 26, 2013 @ 3:43am

I found the movement a little slow but I had fun beating up zombies and skeletons with those weapons.

kevinAlbs says ...
Aug 26, 2013 @ 4:14am

Great job, this was fun to play. Moving felt a little awkward, but I think it was mostly because of not being able to move while attacking. But overall nice game!

Dooleus says ...
Aug 26, 2013 @ 4:25am

The movement being limited by your attacking is what helps to balance the weapons, so that the more powerful/useful weapons (like magic and the bow) are a little bit riskier to use.

The bombs are definitely tricky, but pretty powerful if placed correctly, as they can potentially deal three damage to a nearby enemy. I may rebalance things slightly by making the enemy's invulnerability period shorter, making the bomb do more hits, while increasing the magic speed to prevent it from doing multiple hits (it goes through enemies which already seems powerful enough to me)

Mclogenog says ...
Aug 26, 2013 @ 4:51am

Scored 5020! This is nice. I agree with some of the other comments that it feels too slow, and a little too crowded, though. Mainly, I think it would help if the pits weren't in the corners (so that I can kite the baddies), and if some of the enemies didn't take so many hits (or if the weapons were all more powerful). Right now, two zombies and a wizard is really tough because the amount of safe space is reduced to almost nothing. It would also be nice if the weapons weren't repeats of what you just had.

gravyhands says ...
Aug 26, 2013 @ 5:15am

I really enjoyed it. I liked that the weapon randomization gave it more of a 'try to stay alive' feel (like an arena) more than a 'headshot 360 no-scope' feel.

OldPeculier says ...
Aug 26, 2013 @ 5:19am

It really is amazing to have put something like this together in 48 hours. There's a ton here! And it's fun!

sanojian says ...
Aug 26, 2013 @ 5:49am

Web version did not run in Firefox for me. Chrome worked. I really like the retro sounds and music. Movement was a little bit clunky. Nice variety of weapons and items. Great job!

Dooleus says ...
Aug 26, 2013 @ 6:01am

I thought about making multiple arenas a la Super Crate Box, some of which may have helped with the cramped feeling, but ultimately didn't get around to it. Perhaps in a future version.


It definitely helps having done a top-down Zelda-like game in Game Maker before! I've also made several arena-style survival maps for HL2 in the past, from which this draws some influence.

Here's a breakdown of my weekend from start to finish:

I came up with the concept at like 12AM Friday night and got out of bed to work on the basic framework for a couple hours, but a crash took out my first hour or so of work. Frustrated, I restarted and got back up to where I was, then put together all of the art before I went to bed at like 2:45. The next morning (after waking up at 9AM because my GF was going to work) I knocked out most of the sound effects in a short time (I really love working with BFXR), added in some extra mechanics like the pits, and touched up the UI.

Last night, my '80s cover band had a gig, so I had to leave for setup and soundcheck at 1:30 and didn't get home til about 5:30, at which point I had about another hour to work on the game - I threw together the battle music and the title screen music during that time. I got home after the gig at around 2 and I was completely wiped out so nothing else was worked on then.

Today, I fixed up the UI some more, refined some of the sprite depth code and tweaked the weapon balance a little bit to make running out of ammo pretty difficult to do. I also put together a death music theme which I'm pretty happy with. I added in the powerups in the last couple hours or so of the compo before I submitted and went out to gorge myself at a Chinese buffet. :)

Thanks to everyone for playing and leaving me feedback! It's definitely a pleasure to hear that people enjoy my work.

magicdweedoo says ...
Aug 26, 2013 @ 7:41am

that was fun

rezoner says ...
Aug 26, 2013 @ 9:09am

It screams - Shadow Warrior

Lizzip says ...
Aug 26, 2013 @ 11:55am

Oof that got a bit hectic. Really nice all round

proc says ...
Aug 26, 2013 @ 5:30pm

Enjoyable. I was rubbish with the sword and I'm no match for a wizard enemy. Oh and bomb dropping got me killed a bunch. Still, good fun.

dekart says ...
Aug 26, 2013 @ 5:34pm

Very challenging gameplay, i like it. The music is great too!

Dooleus says ...
Aug 26, 2013 @ 6:19pm

At one point I made the sword able to kill the wizard's attacks, but that made the sword feel super OP to me. I'll probably reduce the cooldown from the bombs, too, as they seem a little skewed on the risk/reward ratio. Thanks for your feedback!

Thanks! Glad you enjoyed it! You can check out some more of my music at if you'd like.

rylgh says ...
Aug 26, 2013 @ 7:41pm

Fun game! I liked how all the weapons were balanced differently. Some thoughts:
- agree with kevin that not being able to move while attacking was painful. i can see how it's useful for balancing/differentiating but it doesn't feel good. didn't really enjoy using the bombs or magic, everything else felt more fun.
- large player hitbox + large enemy magic bullets + high rate of fire for enemy bullets + small arena = often impossible to avoid
- nice death animations!

jay griffin says ...
Aug 26, 2013 @ 10:37pm

Really fun game with a nice amount of variety to it, feels a lot more finished than most of the entries I've played. Great stuff!

scriptorum says ...
Aug 27, 2013 @ 12:30pm

3300. Nice music, very Doomy, I felt some John Carmack hanging over me. I loved the shurikens and the bows, great feel to them. Hated the bombs! Bombs hurt. Bad bombs. Really hated the bombs when angry otto comes out and bounces at me. Overall a good, complete game!

Cthulhu says ...
Aug 27, 2013 @ 4:50pm

Web version is not working for me, I am stuck to the start screen, space is not working.

Cthulhu says ...
Aug 27, 2013 @ 4:53pm

Ahah I loved it. So much fun! The music was great and I also liked the different weapons. The graphics / animations looked great.

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


lcass says ...
Aug 27, 2013 @ 5:30pm

This was written in html 5. YOU SIR, ARE A GOD!

iiechapman says ...
Aug 27, 2013 @ 5:33pm

One of the most fun games I have played so far, the music is great! Love the sprites animation ESPECIALLY when they die!

Dooleus says ...
Aug 27, 2013 @ 5:46pm


Don't give me credit for that, I used Game Maker Studio, so all I had to do was click HTML5 from a drop-down menu :)

Everyone else:
Thanks! I'm super happy so many people are enjoying it! I'm sorry the bombs are so crappy. :) I'm brainstorming ideas to make them suck less.

Teruem says ...
Aug 27, 2013 @ 6:40pm

Actually a lot of fun! The movement was slower than I liked, but that seemed to add to the challenge!

NachoDA says ...
Aug 27, 2013 @ 7:41pm

Very nice retro style and good enemies. Well done!

Andrew says ...
Aug 27, 2013 @ 11:46pm

Delightfully retro with pretty fun weapons. A selection of various arenas would have been nice.

fgielow says ...
Aug 28, 2013 @ 1:04am

I liked the rhythm when there are several monsters in the screen! only thing that bothered me was that you always 'lock' to attack, in the sense that you stop moving and for a reasonable amount of time. But that is personal taste I guess, I expected it to be a little faster! Nice touch though

siat says ...
Aug 28, 2013 @ 2:44am

I liked it, particularly the Legend of Zelda references. It could use more consistent enemy spawning behavior, though, especially in the early game.

Anachron says ...
Aug 28, 2013 @ 5:44am

Nice arena game and good selection of weapons

MatrixBai says ...
Aug 28, 2013 @ 10:54am

Very funny, enjoy it.

Diptoman says ...
Aug 28, 2013 @ 10:56am

Loved the game. We had initially thought of trying something like this, but went for something else entirely in the end.
Glad to see it being done, and so well at that. My favorite weapon would be the bow. :D

Great job on this! Really enjoyed it!

aglushakov says ...
Aug 28, 2013 @ 2:05pm

Nice game!

It very fun and chalenge to play. Good job!

flarb says ...
Aug 28, 2013 @ 11:36pm

Like them music and graphics--seems like you can hang the game by mashing keys a bit. (Well at least get the character stuck)

KevinWorkman says ...
Aug 30, 2013 @ 4:59pm

Nice work, reminded me of Smash TV. I agree with what other people have said about the difficulty (especially the guy with the green orbs). But great job for 48 hours.

Aug 31, 2013 @ 5:12am

Good job. Loved the music and the quick and varying gameplay. What this game had was fun. I was never bored. New weapons and bad guys all the time. Would work on it more and improve the art/animations.

supermaximo93 says ...
Aug 31, 2013 @ 2:31pm

Nice work! Fun although I felt the movement was a bit slow. The animation and music were good. I also liked how you could pick up your arrows and shurikens, it was a lifesaver sometimes!

Per says ...
Aug 31, 2013 @ 6:09pm

Nice theme implementation!
The game was fun and the music was really good.

Ariake81 says ...
Sep 5, 2013 @ 8:00pm

no luck running it in firefox, but chrome was fine. Its certainly well made, very complete in design and bug free. but it did'nt grab me like some of the more innovative entries did.

shard123 says ...
Sep 9, 2013 @ 10:17pm

Really addicting and unique! Loved how you used the theme!

Sep 12, 2013 @ 1:26pm

Fun little arena game, thanks!

JaJ says ...
Sep 16, 2013 @ 6:03pm

Nice concept. I'd balance the weapons out a bit more. For example the bomb was inferior to the other weapons in almost every regard, it would be nice if they each have their strength.

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