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

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Franz Kafka's A Hunger Artist

by monika - 48 Hour Compo Entry



There are a few buttons to click on, but most of the game is controlled by hovering your mouse - hover over characters to see their stats, or hover over the action buttons to perform those actions.

Volume can be controlled by - and +.

I didn't get saves working, and if you manage to keep the Impresario happy, the game takes about 20 minutes to play. If you want to end your game earlier, you can do it by making the Impresario concerned. Some ways to do that include resting too much, trying to sing or meditate when you have no energy, or simply never doing anything.

Some people have asked me about the Kafka short story it's based on.

Story text:

Recorded version:

Wikipedia page:

Downloads and Links




micdoodle8 says ...
Apr 28, 2014 @ 6:59am

Nice, I like the pixel art and the music. I can't say I understand how this relates to the theme though.

LewisW says ...
Apr 28, 2014 @ 7:20am

Nice graphics and interesting setting. Game is a bit bare bones though. Unless new mechanics get introduced later (I only got to day 12) there isn't really much gameplay.

monika says ...
Apr 28, 2014 @ 7:23am

:) My idea going in was that it's based on a Kafka short story. The story, like all of Kafka's work, is deep and dark and full of metaphors and stuff. This game is just the surface of that. (It's a little backwards, I know. I should have taken a shallow story and made a deep game.)

CustomPhase says ...
Apr 28, 2014 @ 7:40am

This game has some potential, but at current state its pretty shallow. I liked graphs at the end of the day though. And yeah, wheres the connection with the theme?

Reinkout says ...
Apr 28, 2014 @ 7:47am

I like the characters, nice when theres not too much details on them. :)

Apr 28, 2014 @ 3:40pm

Great concept for this theme with perfect mood ! Top notch pixel art ! Congratulations !

kmakai says ...
Apr 28, 2014 @ 4:35pm

I got about 18 days in, I think most of the "events" disappear too quickly for me to read them the first time, but they didn't have a very big impact on things, at least where I was in the progression.

Apr 28, 2014 @ 4:44pm

quite bizarre. which i like! at first i wasn't sure what was going on. if the main character was animated, or at least had a different image for each activity it would be more clear. really like the concept.

sprawl says ...
Apr 28, 2014 @ 5:31pm

Its a interesting concept, but not very fleshed out. There's a lot of waiting because of that.

However, i liked the graphics a lot. Nice job.

Apr 28, 2014 @ 5:35pm

Great graphics and good innovation. I lack a bit of a challange though.

Maek says ...
Apr 28, 2014 @ 5:36pm

Interesting concept! But it's boring ,because you don't have to do much. Grphics are good.

Apr 28, 2014 @ 7:23pm

These characters look amazing!

Apr 28, 2014 @ 9:17pm

it's nice but lack some challenge. I now do want to read the novel though.

monika says ...
Apr 28, 2014 @ 9:39pm

@Anna, here you go.

terraco says ...
Apr 28, 2014 @ 11:56pm

Not really sure what it's about

Apr 29, 2014 @ 2:06am

I liked the art, but I wasn't sure how I was controlling the game, if at all. I liked seeing all the people come and go.

rnlf says ...
Apr 29, 2014 @ 6:20pm

I really like Kafka. So disturbing. I haven't read this one yet, will probably do it soon, but then in German :-)

Sweet pixel art!

ioboi says ...
Apr 29, 2014 @ 8:16pm

I love Kafka and of course this game :D

Apr 29, 2014 @ 8:34pm

NOO idea what i was supposed to be doing haha.. but i liked the pixel art :)

badlydrawnrod says ...
Apr 29, 2014 @ 8:48pm

I enjoyed that and made it all the way through.

I love the pixel art and characters as they really set a mood. Any time I made money the Impresario would spend it on a fantastic advertising campaign at which point I just wanted to smack him, but I was too busy resting or not sneaking food.

GrooveMan says ...
May 3, 2014 @ 7:33am

I like the ambitious approach to the theme, but from what I understand, a lot of what A Hunger Artist tells is as much the artist's reaction the the crowds as the crowds themselves. But since the game character doesn't emote, and there's not much information to put ourselves in the artist's place (beyond watching how tired and thin he gets), I finished the 40 days somewhat passionless.

Which may even be the point, I suppose.

monika says ...
May 3, 2014 @ 9:00am

@Groove :) Working on it for a full-featured version. Thanks!

May 4, 2014 @ 8:37pm

You need to put some feedback on those buttons cause I don't know if my actions have had any impact on the course of the game...

rincewind_cz says ...
May 17, 2014 @ 5:32pm

Pretty different than most of other games. I actually didn't read this particular short story yet so I'm unsure how to rate in the Theme category. Game itself definitely needs some polish - like now the controls are very confusing, some text are unreadable when that day-window pop ups and so on.. But it has some really weird and unique mood -- so if you are working on some expanded version I just hope I'll be able to play it ;)

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