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

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the vole beneath

by mcapraro - Jam Entry

there is a vole.

he lives beneath the soil.


for a walnut.

I am super excited to be part of my second ludum dare! i was hoping to be ready for the compo but it wasn't in the cards this month. i did manage to get something together, even if its just one level!

i hope to expand this if time permits...

it's silly but i hope you like it!

UPDATE: wow! thanks for all the awesome comments and critiques, it's really helpful and encouraging and proves what a great community LD has. Some questions that have come up:

1. i had really hoped to make more levels, so it is a really short game :) i do have ideas for obstacles, powerups, etc and hope to get there with a released game.

2. the leaf was meant as a bonus/secondary goal. so as you bump the ground to get the walnut into the hole, you could get the walnut to bump into and collect the leaf (there would be a leaf counter) and some levels would have more leaves to get. at the end of each level, that would give you additional points.

3. @local minimum: great idea about bumping the ground to release the walnut! i will definitely add that in a release version of this game

Downloads and Links




Milktoast says ...
Apr 29, 2014 @ 12:36am

Very nice vole animation! Hurry up and make more levels!!

ENDESGA says ...
Apr 29, 2014 @ 4:03am

This is such a cute game :'D
I love it :) Please build on it more, because I wanna play more! :D

Empyrealhell says ...
Apr 30, 2014 @ 3:07am

I like your interpretation of the theme. Instead of simply being beneath the surface, you made being beneath the surface a gameplay element. Also, your graphics are top notch.

Joseph Miller says ...
Apr 30, 2014 @ 3:08am

I got that walnut so good. So good.

The animations are delightful and the palette is very pleasant.

jotson says ...
Apr 30, 2014 @ 3:13am

Love the vole. Really nice animation. Could be fun with more levels.

jedeen says ...
Apr 30, 2014 @ 3:39am

This could definitely be a very fun puzzle game. Nice job!

zillix says ...
Apr 30, 2014 @ 3:56am

this is absolutely adorable. great work!

ElStevo says ...
Apr 30, 2014 @ 3:57am

Great idea ! I would have love to have more levels ! super cute vole !

ninjascript says ...
Apr 30, 2014 @ 4:15am

Best vole animation I've ever seen. I would play more levels of this in a heartbeat.

alect says ...
Apr 30, 2014 @ 4:15am

I enjoyed this one a lot. fun and cute.

Reinkout says ...
Apr 30, 2014 @ 4:17am

This was really great surprise! Im thinking it has a little bug, when you make the bumpy ground right on the beginning and then press go, the walnut rolls into the hole every time. :)

myachin says ...
Apr 30, 2014 @ 4:17am

great! make a post-compo version with more levels!

Apr 30, 2014 @ 5:03am

This was good. I love your spin on the theme, one of the best I've seen yet!

Apr 30, 2014 @ 5:09am

more levels please! =DDD

SzRaPnEL says ...
Apr 30, 2014 @ 6:15am

Nice! Want to play more levels!!!

mimic says ...
Apr 30, 2014 @ 6:18am

Very funny, this is a great Vole sim!

eastes says ...
Apr 30, 2014 @ 6:31am

One of my favourites. Well done.

rylgh says ...
Apr 30, 2014 @ 6:52am

wowwww this is great. one of the strongest takes on the theme i've seen WHILE having an interesting mechanic WHILE having wonderful art

micdoodle8 says ...
Apr 30, 2014 @ 7:05am

Wow, great job. Very innovative in mechanics and your take on the theme. Nice animation on the vole as well.

daandruff says ...
Apr 30, 2014 @ 7:06am

Great game, just need more levels! Awesome animations and graphics!

Apr 30, 2014 @ 7:16am

i really liked it! nice feel, art and music (- : hope to see more of it soon (- :

cageinabird says ...
Apr 30, 2014 @ 7:28am

Looks lovely. Only suggestion I'd make is to be able to start and restart levels with the keyboard.

Chinchilla says ...
Apr 30, 2014 @ 7:35am


Really nice presentation and sound though

Gins says ...
Apr 30, 2014 @ 7:36am

Quite a cool idea!
It seems to only have a single level, right?
It is also a bit hard to get the bumps to be smooth enough for the nut to roll over, but I enjoyed solving that little challenge. Well done :)

copain says ...
Apr 30, 2014 @ 7:50am

good idea, good animation,we would have liked play more...

lukepilgrim says ...
Apr 30, 2014 @ 9:13am

great game! a bit easy, but the idea is cool and it was fun. needed 3 tries.

Apr 30, 2014 @ 9:50am

Shame you couldn't get more done, it definitely has great potential. What you did get done was very fun.

Spotline says ...
Apr 30, 2014 @ 11:37am

Really great concept :D (and very good realization) i'm looking forward to see more with it.I wish the sound and music loops were longer too.

kill0u says ...
Apr 30, 2014 @ 2:20pm

Hmm.. does not work on flash 11.2?

mcapraro says ...
Apr 30, 2014 @ 11:47pm

@kill0u sorry, i guess not. it might require 13.

rujo says ...
May 1, 2014 @ 1:47am

smooth and cool design on this game, i liked it!

Dreii says ...
May 2, 2014 @ 5:40am

Nice! this looks really cool so far, definitely expand on it!

oranebeast says ...
May 2, 2014 @ 6:19am

A great concept to be expanded on

Jed T. says ...
May 2, 2014 @ 7:08am

Absolutely love it. Animation is slick. Physics is amazing, I love your theme rendition! Only complaint I have is that the game is too short and too easy. But good job overall!

neekobus says ...
May 2, 2014 @ 8:24am

Great animation, good interpretation of theme. Nice mecanics.

But I don't understand the rule :/
Do I have to take the leaf then get the nut in the hole ? or do I need to avoid the hole ? Because there is nothing written when I get the nut in the hole, and I can't manage to avoid the hole when I take the leaf...

About control : you should add a key (enter?) to release the nut.
Good work, want to see more !

local minimum says ...
May 2, 2014 @ 10:05am

I'm on to you -- you like animals! I remember your bowerbirds from last time.

This vole has much better play-feel and nice animations going. I really liked the way the ground got bent. It did take me a little while to actually figure out the way the game worked, but while at it I discovered some minor things you could adjust:

First off, the leaf -- I'm not understanding it's purpose, and it get a bit weird that I can knock ground so it comes below the surface yet still I can't catch it.

Second, if I knock the surface (btw I want a thud-sound for that) in the very left end of the knock-able area I can make ground discontinuous, so you probably want to extend the flex-region at least one step outside the knock-able region.

Then, instead of the "go!" button, (because it is annoying to have a to switch between keyboard and mouse, make a special knock-area under the nut that will just dislodge it.

When the nut is rolling, there's a loose condition when nut doesn't reach/pass the hole which lacks logic for game to detect it (zero speed nut).

The win seems to be lacking as well.

Hope you enjoyed the comments, I sure enjoyed the game! And yeah, you and your son should put links in your descriptions to each other!

Sparrow says ...
May 2, 2014 @ 12:33pm

Astonishing, even thought it's only one level it is a very good game mechanic. Sweet graphics and silly is good! Also good job for being an awesome dad! <3

mcapraro says ...
May 2, 2014 @ 2:23pm

thanks so much for all the awesome feedback everyone!

conormn says ...
May 2, 2014 @ 2:23pm

Super great idea you have here! No doubt it would do really well expanded.

lowcade says ...
May 2, 2014 @ 4:57pm

More levels!
Good game, and good use of theme.

May 3, 2014 @ 7:49am

Excellent art and animation. It was fun to play. LOVED the mechanic or moving the dirt around. Is there just the one level? Great effort. Make more levels and add some more elements. I think you the potential for a real nice puzzle game here.

soulrot says ...
May 3, 2014 @ 1:59pm

Others have said it before, but this could make a fun game if it were to be expanded!

Rick Hoppmann says ...
May 3, 2014 @ 9:30pm

Couldn't run it in Firefox 26 :/

randoman says ...
May 4, 2014 @ 3:05pm

Nice concept, art, everything! If you go on and really do include more levels/power ups it will be awesome.

Rodaja says ...
May 4, 2014 @ 9:56pm

I didn't get the leaf to be a secondary objective, as getting the walnut itself seemed too easy. I played it a couple of times, once thinking it had changed as I'd pressed space once unnoticed so there was an unwanted ramp. New levels could include some of those so it'd be harder.

Also, having the possibility to repeat an attempt without having to make the ramp all anew would be nice. If only you'd not get the three stars (it does feel like a game that would work with the three stars kind of level system).

Snoother says ...
May 5, 2014 @ 11:22am

Definitely an innovative mechanical concept and a clever take on the theme. At times, the controls were a bit clunky and imprecise. But the graphics are really nice; same goes for the music. Yes, as you say, it definitely needs to be expanded on, and I look forward to seeing what you do with it.

belva1234 says ...
May 6, 2014 @ 9:02pm

Love this game 5 start on everthinghs

illugion says ...
May 9, 2014 @ 3:06am

Looks really awesome! That animation and the colors you used are sweet :D ( it was really fun to make a hole on the left side, get up there and get the walnut, even tho it was a bug hahaha ) are u gonna make more of this ? Would be great to play on mobile too !

ZYXer says ...
May 10, 2014 @ 6:38pm

Great game concept. I hope you get around to finishing it!

Managore says ...
May 11, 2014 @ 1:38am

Absolutely adorable! I wish there more levels to play around with, but great work nonetheless.

JoshOS says ...
May 11, 2014 @ 10:56am

Very nice game!. Graphics are cool and I love the vole animation. Maybe you could add some sound effects but keeping them low so you don't break the ambientation.

I think it could be a great mobile game. Good job.

vilya says ...
May 12, 2014 @ 8:34pm

The animation is good and the background music is too, but that rolling noise for the walnut got annoying really quickly!

It took me a while to realise that I could still bump the ground after the walnut had been released - I assumed once you pressed go you just had to wait and see. That might just be me being dumb (wouldn't be the first time!) but maybe that's worth mentioning somewhere?

zeh says ...
May 12, 2014 @ 8:59pm

Great entry, and awesome idea! Lots of potential here.

Nanolotl says ...
May 16, 2014 @ 8:46am

Really good job with the vole animation.

IAmSpencer says ...
May 19, 2014 @ 9:09pm

nice clean graphics and great concept, would like to see more!

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