Ludum Dare 29 — April 25th-28th Weekend — Theme: Beneath the Surface

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The Sea Has No Claim

by dukope - 48 Hour Compo Entry


One plane with 45 passengers onboard. Lost in 648^2 km of ocean. Find it.


This is a more complicated game than I expected and it feels pretty unfinished as a result. Briefly: use your resources to find the location of the wreck(s), then drop a sub on the spot to rescue/recover.

- No sound
- Uses some (heavily modified) public domain images
- Confusing to me as I play now after working on it for 24hrs straight
- Likely full of bugs


Please do not use this version for voting!

- +6 hours more work
- Adds (public domain) sound effects
- Adds (previously composed) music
- Has some extra polish and tuning
- Fixes several bugs

Downloads and Links




burgerdare says ...
Apr 28, 2014 @ 2:09am

neat idea. The mechanics escalate in a really satisfying way. The aesthetic is superb as well, has a real Papers Please kind of vibe to it.

ezolotko says ...
Apr 28, 2014 @ 12:19pm

Unbelievable how much is done in 48h

Gins says ...
Apr 28, 2014 @ 8:16pm

Looked for dukope's entry, was not disappointed.

JigxorAndy says ...
Apr 29, 2014 @ 12:12am

Stunning. Really made me think about how difficult it can be to search the sea, and how big the sea really is!

CharlieLove says ...
Apr 29, 2014 @ 12:24am

I love how that in your games even winning can sometimes be a bit disheartening. Super fun and challenging with enough content here to play for hours if you wanted to. I'd love to see a more expanded game like this over larger bodies of water/land.

Apr 29, 2014 @ 12:35am

The game was very innovative. I had a lot of fun playing it, but getting a hang of the mechanics was hard. Nice interpretation of the theme. Amazing graphics, similar to the Papers, please style.

The Steve "unit" made me laugh, which gave it that rating for humor.

stigmawall says ...
Apr 29, 2014 @ 12:58am

Great idea, awesome graphics, and using HaxeFlixel. Good game.

ashdnazg says ...
Apr 29, 2014 @ 12:59am

You have made a very interesting entry!
The main mechanic is quite original and cool, although in the first or second levels, it seems to rely too much on luck.

Everything I wanted to give as points for improvement, was fixed in the post compo version, so I suppose you already know :)

Well done!

Flux says ...
Apr 29, 2014 @ 1:05am

Amazing work Lucas! The graphics were actually really well made, the iconography was very easy to read, and the interface well designed.

lekochen says ...
Apr 29, 2014 @ 1:23am

This is awesome. Again, you take a real world subject and perfectly put it into a game.

Secret_Tunnel says ...
Apr 29, 2014 @ 1:36am

Pretty fun! I love the visuals, but really wish there were some nice sound effects in there.

I had a lot of fun playing it, but I think it could be streamlined a bit by taking the player to the next level immediately after beating the previous one, and doing away with the resource allocation at the beginning entirely-- the fun part was doing the calculations to pinpoint where they were on screen, and it felt like I spent half my time playing not doing that!

So yeah, strip away some unnecessary stuff, and the game could be really really awesome.

dukope says ...
Apr 29, 2014 @ 1:55am

Thanks guys!

@Secret_Tunnel: Yeah, I really regret not getting sfx in the compo version. It's the first thing I added post-compo. Also, I think you're mostly right about the resource management. Removing that would've saved me a bunch of time that could've been spent on a story to tie everything together. That would've been the right choice for a jam game, but I think a fully realized version of this needs the player choice and limitations of resource management.

Apr 29, 2014 @ 2:49am

Lucas, this game is fucking badass. It took me a while to figure it out (about 7-8 fails). Once you do, the mechanics are gold and it's a super fun puzzle game. Very very well done, even on the compo version. I played about 5 levels.

noethis says ...
Apr 29, 2014 @ 2:52am

Wow, this was really great (played post-comp)! Took a few tries on the first level before I realized what the sonars were telling me, but then went on to play all the rest of the levels.

Magdev says ...
Apr 29, 2014 @ 3:59am

Very nice work, a good take on the theme and nice color choices. One of the first games I've seen so far to use "underwater" in the context of the theme and actually be relevant. By that I mean that game would not make sense in a different setting - the core mechanics are bound to the theme. really enjoyed it :)

illugion says ...
Apr 29, 2014 @ 4:35am

Really great mechanic, so original i don't even know how you come up with these kinds of games haha

DMinsky says ...
Apr 29, 2014 @ 7:24am

Awsome theme coverage and good mechanic!

Apr 29, 2014 @ 2:05pm

Really lovely. The colour scheme and general aesthetic is extremely nice. I'd have loved just some white noise in the background even, but the game itself was very enjoyable.

It seems I can press spacebar to reset the level? I don't know if that was intentional but I found it useful anyway...

Gaming_Ray says ...
Apr 29, 2014 @ 2:05pm

Took me a while to figure out how things worked. Once I did though, was a interesting game.

Beavl says ...
Apr 29, 2014 @ 4:34pm

Great game, Lucas. Really interesting take on the theme. Make you think about search optimization and stuff (not SEO, but SEA... sorry, awful pun there). Congrats on this entry!

NightShadow0 says ...
Apr 29, 2014 @ 5:07pm

Really nice mechanics! I'm impressed with how much content you managed to make. The submersible feels a bit pixel-perfect though, especially on the first two levels if you fail to triangulate with the buoys just right.

allurious says ...
Apr 29, 2014 @ 5:08pm

Takes sensitive subject material and makes it into a game that's food for thought.

rpgwhitelock says ...
Apr 29, 2014 @ 5:30pm

Much potential in this. Bit confusing at the moment and it took me a while to find my first wreck, but it is a satisfying process! Like the visual aesthetic and audio design, not so keen on music which feels a little incongruous.

rpgwhitelock says ...
Apr 29, 2014 @ 5:32pm

Oh, I tried both versions out too :) So the audio/music comments relate to the post-comp ver.

Mclogenog says ...
Apr 29, 2014 @ 5:45pm

Like other folks said here, it took me a while to figure out what the buoy does, but once I got it, it was fun and challenging, and it scales nicely when attempting to rescue multiple wrecks. A little more polish and a little more clarity at the start and this could be a really great game.

dukope says ...
Apr 29, 2014 @ 6:38pm

I appreciate all the comments, thanks!

I made one small change to the post-compo version that hopefully makes the initial play a little less confusing. It now shows the sample target on the loadout screen so it's somewhat more clear what/how each tool is detecting. This ends up helping to explain the buoy(s) and especially the path analysis tool.

We'll see if it works out...

ApoorvaJ says ...
Apr 29, 2014 @ 7:29pm

Conveys the sense of hopelessness quite well. A powerful experience.

Apr 29, 2014 @ 7:37pm

Very good concept, I played for quite sometime.. And also haxeflixel I see :D Great game man.

Ragzouken says ...
Apr 29, 2014 @ 8:53pm

lovely style

Natman says ...
Apr 29, 2014 @ 9:32pm

Yeah, this is really impressive. There's quite a few gameplay features considering your time frame. I played the post-compo version which had very polished interface, wonderful sounds & aesthetic, just a very polished experience.

I'd say the biggest problem is the first stage of playing, where little direction is given. It took me about 3 plays where I did it absolutely wrong before I realized I needed to deploy the sonic buoys 1 by 1 in order to pinpoint the wreck. After that, the mechanics flowed nicely and I was able to learn the rest. It just took a while to figure out the basis of the gameplay.

Vandash says ...
Apr 29, 2014 @ 10:14pm

Really nice idea. Took a while for it to click, but once it did, it's a nice puzzler

rylgh says ...
Apr 29, 2014 @ 10:17pm

wonderful interface and style

allinlabs says ...
Apr 30, 2014 @ 12:00am

Great aesthetic and choice of color, the allocation interface is just great. The game start very simple, but there is a lot of new equipments for each new rescue, which add a lot of flavor to the game as it get harder. I'm not sure there's a lot of replayability to it, as the game allow the player to choose a lot of resources, so I usually take a little of everything and there's no crucial choice to make here.
Still, a great entry and a very enjoyable game!

whilefun says ...
Apr 30, 2014 @ 1:47am

At first I was not having a good time, but then I figured out how to work the loadout elements. Geeked out pretty hard once I got to use the other more advanced gear. So good! Great art style, too :) *high five* Time to play the post-compo version :D

javierecf says ...
Apr 30, 2014 @ 2:54am

One of the most interesting experiences i had in the past days, this need to have castaways that you found previous or during mission, and they give you some details or clues, they may not remind very well (civilians), and some may be in coma, so they are not useful. The GPS scan gave some clues, but it was too short, can really think of any GPS scan that you can only use once.

Also this need storms, enviromental hazards. Really interesting game. I dont really know how the movement of the ships is calibrated, but the use of some items should affect them, like using the Path analysis, that should give ships some sort of path or at least a general area for the looking, or maybe just in the order of use. Like if you use some resources before they can affect in some way to the ones you use after. The graphics are nice, and the music is catchy and someway kind of goes with the mood, (happy music).

conormn says ...
Apr 30, 2014 @ 3:29am

Incredibly well done, I really enjoyed the experience. It did give me a bit of anxiety because I have to fly tomorrow. Thanks for making it tho :)

Apr 30, 2014 @ 11:35am

Great mechanics. Enjoyed this game a lot

JoeProgram says ...
Apr 30, 2014 @ 2:11pm

Very cool concept and interpretation of the theme. I had difficulty playing it - it seems in the first level if I did't get all 3 buoys within range of the wreck, I would just lose. I would have loved to be able to move resources around, or control the submarine so I still had a chance of winning.

ccglp says ...
Apr 30, 2014 @ 5:12pm

Love so much the graphic style of this, and the idea is pretty funny too

mrspeaker says ...
Apr 30, 2014 @ 5:51pm

I can't help it - I judged this on the post-comp version with sound. I couldn't not 5+ things - my favourite entry by far this LD. Fucking great!

Lol... annnd, just googled you. Makes perfect sense now.

Apr 30, 2014 @ 8:45pm

I loved this game. it was just a bit harder at the start and easier towards the end. I love steve (As a character :P )

xdegtyarev says ...
Apr 30, 2014 @ 11:43pm

Great idea and implementation.

MrShoestore says ...
May 1, 2014 @ 12:35am

Very good, innovative, clever and thought out. really enjoyed it

May 1, 2014 @ 2:56am

A powerful experience.

Like others have said, it took me a bit before realizing exactly how the sonar buoys worked but once I did it was smooth sailing (har).

This is also the only game I've played that I thought deserved 5 stars for graphics. I love the limited pallet, the gritty dithering, and the clear iconography.

Unique and confidently designed. Great job.

01010111 says ...
May 1, 2014 @ 7:11am

So excellent! Steve let everyone drown though.

May 1, 2014 @ 10:49am

Great entry, really different. Liked the style and concept but just had issues at first figuring out how everything worked.

PapyGaragos says ...
May 1, 2014 @ 1:02pm

Good aesthetic and intersting idea. The gameplay feels a bit too random for my taste

Snoother says ...
May 1, 2014 @ 9:18pm

Love the title and graphics style. Aesthetically I think it's spot on; gameplay-wise, I must admit -- and obviously you confessed this -- I found it a bit confusing. Maybe this is a contradiction, but I would have liked greater clarity and an expansion (weather conditions were suggested, which seem like a good idea). But I did enjoy playing through it, and I always like it when a game developer adopts a concept influenced news or politics. (I hope I'm guessing right that this derives from the latest South Korean airline disaster.)

May 1, 2014 @ 9:30pm

Obviously the theme is rather serious and it's interesting that you are tackling this within the frame of a game jam. I felt the initial loadout screen to be rather annoying and it distracted more from the idea than it added imho. A simple selection without the necessary diablo-esque inventory management could have been sufficient.
The gameplay about imperferct information is really interesting. Sounds would have helped tremendously to increate the mood. Also, the compo version is lacking feedback in some areas; for example in the tiny mission without any ships it would have been interesting to see what radius the submarine actually has.
Despite all the complaints this is one of the most daring and creative entries I have played to far.

May 2, 2014 @ 1:37am

Great concept and style.
But the soundtrack (on the post-compo version) goes on the oposite way of the game's mood IMO...

Wertle says ...
May 2, 2014 @ 4:26am

This one was tough! I think because I don't have the intuition for how the pings were working so it took me awhile to grasp how I should be pinpointing this. Definitely made things feel pretty futile :)

tenpn says ...
May 2, 2014 @ 7:20am

I liked the idea (although searching for plane survivors seems a bit too soon personally) but the difficulty is literally hit-or-miss - if you happen to place things wrong you watch the timer of people die.

Diptoman says ...
May 2, 2014 @ 9:59am

That mechanic was simple and effective. The fitting of resources into the give space worked nicely too. The variety of resources available made it great. Impressive entry.

sink_t says ...
May 2, 2014 @ 2:15pm

One of the most fun entries I must say, as has been the case with all your games I've played. Obviously the compo version suffers severely from the lack of sound, but the idea is very sound and well-executed.

The post-mortem version is simply a 5-star production. The only thing that spoils it is that it crashes when a wreck is found (I have flash player 13).

dukope says ...
May 2, 2014 @ 6:23pm

@sink_t: Thanks for the heads up. I added a saved level-complete indicator in post-compo version that was causing a crash on some browsers. It should be fixed now.

stvr says ...
May 2, 2014 @ 6:43pm

A great entry, of course! Really morbid, and there's a lot of variety in the tools at your disposal. Would have loved sound, but its exclusion is understandable.

May 2, 2014 @ 8:36pm

Didnt understand anything at the beginning but after a while I got it! Innovative mechanics and the game is really fun to play, really challenging to but in a good way!

May 2, 2014 @ 9:48pm

Interesting game. I like the lo-fi colour themes, they are quite a unique look. The concept is pretty clever. I do feel like a lot of it is based around luck though.

TobiasW says ...
May 2, 2014 @ 9:57pm

It's quite cool - and not at all confusing. I had no problems at all, as the descriptions and sample screens were extremely helpful.

I'm doubly excited by the game play. Years ago, I made a prototype similar to your Sonic Buoys ( I intended to make a game out of it, but it just didn't click for me - and now I see a game with a similar core idea and it actually works and is fun! And that makes me very happy :D

I haven't played the post-compo version, but there were a few things that bugged me:
- The equipment placement minigame seemed a bit superfluous and disconnected from the main gameplay - and I always had to do it again when I restart.
- Even when I placed everything, I still had to wait for time to run out if I didn't find all the wrecks.
- For the bigger maps, the allowed error is so tiny - but I can't zoom in to be more accurate.

Apart from those, I quite enjoyed the experience and the ever expanding inventory. Great job!

shane1090 says ...
May 2, 2014 @ 11:23pm

Nice use of the theme in the mechanics - enjoyed playing this!

Pitzik4 says ...
May 2, 2014 @ 11:55pm

This is very complete and a very good concept! It's also very easy, though. There's a simple and foolproof formula for every level, but in each one it's unique, which makes it very interesting and fun anyway.

ninjacharlie says ...
May 3, 2014 @ 12:14am

My favorite strategy game. Good job :)

Venturelli says ...
May 3, 2014 @ 1:46am

Interesting idea, but perhaps too ambitious for 48h? Nice style, though

mortus says ...
May 3, 2014 @ 6:56am

Great entry! I love such puzzles, really simple and refreshing to the genre at the same time. Lack of resources is the game's most significant drawback and its greatest merit. It adds randomness which I don't quite like but it makes the game hard and, so, so much fun! Equipping your search team is the great feature too, I can already see how it could be expanded with upgradeable cargo ships etc.

PaperBlurt says ...
May 3, 2014 @ 9:44am

I like the mood, I must say.
The graphics do a lot, very Game Boy meets like Atari or something.

The slow gameplay works well with the overall premise.

Rad Star says ...
May 3, 2014 @ 12:50pm

Cool idea! Liked the old school graphics and feel.

dector says ...
May 3, 2014 @ 2:07pm

Awesome graphics! Nice implementation! Tutorial will improve awesomeness I think. Great!

May 3, 2014 @ 3:09pm

Very cool idea. Very topical. I like how you interpreted the theme.

Lars Faust says ...
May 4, 2014 @ 1:10pm

Amazing entry.

May 4, 2014 @ 6:55pm

Wasn't able to rescue nobody :/ Thought I'll never say this but this game might need a tutorial.

Cake&Code says ...
May 4, 2014 @ 9:25pm

That was very tough and definitely gives me a new perspective on just how impossibly difficult it is to locate anything in the ocean. Especially something as relatively small as a plane in a massively huge body of water.

Very well planned out game! :)

joe40001 says ...
May 5, 2014 @ 8:59am

I'm judging the compo version which really isn't that bad, just a little unforgiving (which I think is a bug). Great game, very inventive, graphically looks good, plays good.

Once I got my strategy down I could get through every level without losing anybody, even in the post-compo version it doesn't say anything special for that, which I hoped for. Just a quick thumbs up from Steve or something.

Very good game, you maybe should have just submitted the one with 6+ more hours work to the jam, because you did a great job fixing the little issues with the original.

soy_yuma says ...
May 5, 2014 @ 6:03pm

Neat game! I think its quite original and you get hook easily :-) Good job!

Toby Pinder says ...
May 5, 2014 @ 6:50pm

Very interesting mechanics. Loved the art style.

ActionRemix says ...
May 5, 2014 @ 7:52pm

Wow! I understood it immediately. How did you get so many types of rescue units working in 48 hours?

Bekokstover says ...
May 6, 2014 @ 7:54am

Wow, that advanced loadout... managed to clear 12 of 20, but it's tough. What a downer. Super graphics, brilliant mechanics.

Zerkruemler says ...
May 6, 2014 @ 5:24pm

Very good idea and implementation. I played through all levels and even got all on the last level. Nice mechanics and solid implementation. Good work

GarethIW says ...
May 6, 2014 @ 6:50pm

Very topical, and extremely well executed.

JavadocMD says ...
May 7, 2014 @ 12:23am

Fantastic concept. Very meaningful subject matter and well executed game play. I love the "load out" screen as well. It's a simple game but it really adds to the feel of limited resources. Some basic audio would have made this a five-star entry for me.

lightsoda says ...
May 8, 2014 @ 4:18am

Very cool, glad I didn't miss out on this. The mechanics are great, shame there's no sound.

whalebot says ...
May 8, 2014 @ 7:40pm

This is awesome. Well done.

pikkpoiss says ...
May 10, 2014 @ 6:27am

I saw the premise for this right after the compo was over and it came up a few times in random conversations afterward, mostly in the "I can't believe I didn't even consider a lost plane premise given all the news" and also "games should be made to help people empathize with social issues" kinds of conversations. Thank you for making a deep game which doesn't just sensationalize a recent news story but rather helps convey the frustration and anxiety of those searching for a lost plane.

It also works "as just a game" too - the gameplay was immersive enough that I really felt like I wanted to master it, and in later levels when I was homing in on a wreck and finally got it, there was palatable joy in rescuing folks. Really nice work.

Bruno Massa says ...
May 10, 2014 @ 5:29pm

Lucas, nice entry man. The visuals are simple but effective, the gameplay works.

(I played the compo edition) audio would help compose the tension.

CarbonCoder says ...
May 14, 2014 @ 2:41am

Fantastic game! I really like the music and the overall mood.

ChuiGum says ...
May 14, 2014 @ 6:41am

Love the graphics, nice innovation

udo says ...
May 14, 2014 @ 7:21am

Nicely done! This also illustrates it's a good thing I didn't become a member of the coast guard... what with those people dying on my watch and all.

kirbytails7 says ...
May 15, 2014 @ 3:13am

Very solid! I love the style, and the idea is really cool.

mechabit says ...
May 15, 2014 @ 11:20am

Excellent game

deepnight says ...
May 18, 2014 @ 8:37am

Very solid entry with very good art :) Well done!

Jason Lay says ...
May 19, 2014 @ 12:30am

This is an awesome game. Different, yet timely!

ErikU says ...
May 19, 2014 @ 11:57pm

Excellent entry. Really fun mechanic when you've gotten the hang of it. I found GPS + line search to be particularly effective. Art style complements the whole package. Well done.

pansapiens says ...
May 20, 2014 @ 12:23am

I found this quite tough, but I quite enjoyed trying. I like the aesthetic of the graphics, and the overall premise with a sort of 'advanced battleships' mechanic is great. A little more guidance on how to read the sonar would be nice (tutorial level maybe :/ ?). Also, I would have liked to be able to see the submarine range as I was placing it. Now to play the post-compo version :)

May 20, 2014 @ 3:50am

I like this, one of my favorites of the competition. I am normally a proponent of avoiding sheer randomness in gameplay as much as possible. However this game seems very aware that ultimately each round is a roll of the dice, and makes it fun anyway.

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