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

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The Westport Independent

by Double Zero One Zero - Jam Entry

This game was an interesting one for us. With a theme like "Beneath the surface", we wanted make a game that interpreted the theme from a more figurative perspective, rather than a literal one.

What we ended up with was a game about censoring, where you decide what will be available to the public, and what will stay beneath the surface.

Remember that it is a game jam game, so some of the balancing is a bit off, as there was very little time for testing.

We hope you enjoy our game!

Game made by:

Pontus Lunden
- Designer
- Artist
- Composer/Sound design

Kristian Brodal
- Programmer

Downloads and Links




Apr 28, 2014 @ 7:39pm

Sweet! Really a great game with fantastic atmosphere and an amazing idea!

Jod says ...
Apr 28, 2014 @ 7:49pm

Glory to Arstrotska! I mean- Long live the Loyalist Government!

Love what you guys have done with the look and feel. Simply fabulous. Both graphics, music and soundfx all work well together.

The only improvements I could think of were to make it a bit easier to drag improved (censored?) documents to the print or deny envelope. As well as getting a little bit more guidance in the beginning. Super well done, my favourite in the Mood category this year and a strong contender overall!

Apr 28, 2014 @ 8:20pm

Incredible game, really interesting and nonlinear mode of storytelling. I plan on spending a lot more time messing with this one.

DesignerNap says ...
Apr 28, 2014 @ 9:28pm

great humour and mood. really enjoyed this.

rejooh says ...
Apr 28, 2014 @ 9:35pm

Thanks for this great game!
I was initially captured by the graphics, scrolling through the ludum dare front page, and was looking forward to the completed game since. I really like the gameplay and finally (I guess) "won" the game after (actually) some tries. As Jod pointed out, the game really reminds one of Papers Please, especially when you find yourself in a position, in which you are able to decide if you want to support the government or the rebels/diverse people wanting to enter Arstrotska, while focusing on completely different aspects. The music adds a lot to the great atmosphere created by the graphics and texts, but I had some problems reading the really pixelated font and dragging the papers around.

Apart from these minor points, I love the game and would be incredible happy if you keep working on it post ld...

rejooh :)

Apr 29, 2014 @ 2:36am

Stunning use to setting and mood. It's clear that a lot of effort went into the text. You displayed a mastery over the medium. I would play this game for hours, granted extra content was released. Keep up the good work.

Maniulo says ...
Apr 29, 2014 @ 5:18am

Really great!

kristof says ...
Apr 29, 2014 @ 6:31am

Very polished looking and good game! I really like the idea of having to handle the paper on your desk in this direct manner. Apparently I would make for a good censor :-/ ... I should play it again helping the rebels so I can sleep again :D

GertJohnny says ...
Apr 29, 2014 @ 7:14am

If they had 6's I'd be handing a few of those out right now. After seeing the screenshots, I got my hopes up and you guys delivered.

Superb game, loved the style and the gameplay. Controls were a bit tough on the papers sometimes, but I worked out a system.

nonentheless says ...
Apr 29, 2014 @ 7:16am

Great music and mood, game reminds me of papers please, love it.

greysphere says ...
Apr 29, 2014 @ 7:23am

Really well done. Great tone and presentation. I appreciate the way the feedback for the decisions was deferred, made me pay particular attention to the text and really contributed to my enjoyment.

edibletoaster says ...
Apr 29, 2014 @ 8:14am

Fantastic game. Love the feel and the storytelling.

Crumpet says ...
Apr 29, 2014 @ 10:37am

I hate to be another person to draw Papers Please parallels, but hey, it's obvious you've drawn some inspiration from it.
Not that this is a bad thing. You've taken the effective parts of the formula, and put them into something different.
The aethethics are lovely, and the game plays nicely, save for awkward controls.
I found it a bit easy to be the oppressive man I wished to be, and it would have felt good to have a bit more of a challenge in that sense, but honestly I don't see any realistic way of addressing that without taking away from the game in other ways, and it works fine as it is.

An excellent game, well done

Yaru says ...
Apr 29, 2014 @ 10:39am

Fantastic. Just, fantastic.
You should make this a complete game. I'll buy it.

kyyrma says ...
Apr 29, 2014 @ 10:54am

This was really cool, and has a great atmosphere. Good interpretation of the theme as well. I love that these type of games are becoming more popular as of late.

BarkingCat says ...
Apr 29, 2014 @ 10:55am

One of my favourite games in the LD so far. Everything is orchestrated perfectly: the sounds, the music, the theme and the smoky noiresque atmosphere.

matt_j says ...
Apr 29, 2014 @ 1:43pm

Clever UI, cool art style.

Andrew Adams says ...
Apr 29, 2014 @ 2:05pm

Excellent game. Play this game or the loyalist government will get you, You rebel!

Apr 29, 2014 @ 2:06pm

Really polished presentation here. The graphics, the music, it all works and is very cohesive. Similar to Papers, Please of course, but it does do its own thing too. I'd love to see this expanded into a longer game with a bigger storyline.

JoeProgram says ...
Apr 29, 2014 @ 2:29pm

Really loved the game. It was a great take on the theme, and did a great job putting me in someone else's shoes. I would have loved if for at least part of the game I got more feedback on how my choices were making the numbers go up or down - only getting feedback after all the articles are submitted made it hard to distinguish which action caused what result. Also, it was hard to find the proper point to grab a paper from - being able to grab the title or having a little handle would have helped.

hissssssssss says ...
Apr 29, 2014 @ 2:32pm

So how many endings are there? I got two, by playing two completely different ways. Absolutely stunning. You should be proud.

Apr 29, 2014 @ 2:49pm

hissssssssss: There are a total of 4 endings.

eufrik says ...
Apr 29, 2014 @ 5:19pm

Interesting Game! reminded me of the game paper please.

runvs says ...
Apr 29, 2014 @ 7:37pm

Nice Game. I especially like the graphics and the background music. Remembers me of "papers please" (which is a good thing :D)

For me it became only after some ingame weeks clear what those numbers and bars on the right side mean.

JavadocMD says ...
Apr 30, 2014 @ 4:22am

Brilliant work. The similarities to Papers, Please are obvious, but there's definitely room in this space and this was well conceived.

Spierek says ...
Apr 30, 2014 @ 9:32am

Nice idea, even if it's a bit similar to Lucas Pope's "The Republia Times". I liked the ambiguity of some of the choices (will the government want me to censor stuff like "X will be checked if it's relevant"?).

One thing I'd fix was the way you pick up and close the documents, since it's very unintuitive (you have to grab the border? why not the headline?).

Apr 30, 2014 @ 10:40am

Spierek: We ment for the entire paper to be grabable, but the collision boxes of the text (including the headlines) was giving us problems, and we weren't able to fix it in time. As of right no you don't have to use the borders, it's just that that place usually is the only place with without any text.

Lyje says ...
Apr 30, 2014 @ 11:48am

Graphics and music are amazing! Obviously PP similarities as others have said - but I do like the censorship theme!

Jeffalisk says ...
Apr 30, 2014 @ 3:31pm

Very well done. As a newspaper journalist when I'm not making games, this really struck a chord with me.

My tendency, having run a newsdesk IRL, was to publish and be damned - except for the obvious government propaganda pieces, which went on the spike! So I ended up getting shut down but also sparking a popular uprising, which I thought was a fairly upbeat ending in the circumstances. I take it there were other endings if I'd chosen differently?

Kerdelos says ...
Apr 30, 2014 @ 3:44pm

Awesome game, great writing, nice graphics and good music, this is all I asked for ! The only thing I have to say is that it's sometimes ambiguous whether what we do will go in a direction or in the other.

Techblogogy says ...
Apr 30, 2014 @ 5:58pm

This game for some reason reminds me of papers please

terraco says ...
Apr 30, 2014 @ 10:58pm

Great work. Love the look you have in this!

alvarop says ...
May 1, 2014 @ 7:12am

I enjoyed how you included different aspects of the social life of the world you were trying to illustrate. I liked taking the role of the editor and being a good servant to my government. (p.s : fuck the rebels).

nddrylliog says ...
May 1, 2014 @ 11:54am

Great! (Also depressingly realist). Very much impressed.

Ithildin says ...
May 1, 2014 @ 12:27pm

Brilliant entry, one of the best I've seen so far.

Comparisons with both Papers, Please and The Republia Times are inevitable, but this doesn't change the fact that you've done a wonderful job. Music contributes immensely to the atmosphere, you could almost picture yourself in a black & white film taking place in the late thirties.

Just to nitpick a bit, I agree on some of the commenters saying dragging could be a bit easier. The first time I played I had some troubles with it -_-U

PapyGaragos says ...
May 1, 2014 @ 2:28pm

This reminds me a lot of 2 games by lucas pope : and paper please.

Nice execution and nice ambiance, but I wasn't always sure how I was gaining points with the rebels or raising the suspicion of the governement.

Simon@LD says ...
May 1, 2014 @ 2:52pm

Saw this on TimTips stream, really sweet music! Brilliant interpretation of the theme, love it!

May 1, 2014 @ 5:22pm

I'd tweak the controls as they can be a little unintuitive but this is a nice take on the Lucas Pope formula (similar to both Republia Times and Papers, Please) but I find this kind of game VERY compelling. Awesome music, and nice graphics too.

Split82 says ...
May 1, 2014 @ 8:25pm

Really innovative game with nice use of theme, great music and excellent mood.

May 1, 2014 @ 8:26pm

One of the best games I have played in this jam! Amazing Work!

cageinabird says ...
May 1, 2014 @ 8:43pm

Dear Double Zero One Zero,

#### #### ## ### ## ### #### ##### #### # #### ###### #### ##### ####. ## ## # #### ######## ## #### ### ###### ##### bloody ######. ## #### ## ## ## ### ## ###### #### ## ## # ###########, ### #### ####### ### brilliant!

conormn says ...
May 1, 2014 @ 8:46pm

Really great vibe and take on the theme. I also have kept the window going in the background for the great music.

Snoother says ...
May 1, 2014 @ 9:07pm

It's great to see a political game, especially one tackling the often-falsely-assumed right to freedom of expression. Obviously it's a dramatisation in an authoritarian country, but it nevertheless shows how easy bias can be employed, and how important important the press are as a check on power -- arguably the most important check on power.

jujule says ...
May 1, 2014 @ 10:17pm

Everything is good about this except, as others have mentioned, it is sometimes hard to pick up articles to put them in the envelopes.
Very solid entry for an excellent take on the theme.

flatgub says ...
May 2, 2014 @ 10:14am

Fantastic game, nice style, interesting concept!
i had a little trouble trying to figure out how to drag papers, but besides that absolutely amazing!

Caridorc says ...
May 2, 2014 @ 12:14pm

The font is very bad, I could hardly read what was written.ù
Innovation and humour are not that good, but very well overall.

lowcade says ...
May 2, 2014 @ 2:29pm

Gorgeous and fascinating!
But sometimes I could not read what was written ...
I realy love the graphics and the songs!!
Glory to Arstotzka!!

GrooveMan says ...
May 2, 2014 @ 4:26pm

Being a journalist, the idea of balancing what higher ups want with personal politics is a feeling I know all too well! Wonderful atmosphere and style. The font choice was initially a little murky to read, but I managed to adjust quickly.

Bekokstover says ...
May 2, 2014 @ 5:18pm

The atmosphere and graphics are amazing. Great choice of gameplay also. It of course reminds us a little of Papers, Please, but in a good way. The added mechanic of satisfying two groups is really interesting.

TeamFlare says ...
May 2, 2014 @ 5:47pm

Simply stunning :)

Intoxicatious says ...
May 2, 2014 @ 6:10pm

Amazing. Just like "Papers, Please". I didn't quite understand the two bars on the right side. I didn't know if I was doing a good or bad thing in the game. Loved it, though.

xdegtyarev says ...
May 2, 2014 @ 8:14pm

Neat and moody, nicely done! congtratulations, guys!

TobiasW says ...
May 3, 2014 @ 12:20am

Running text commentary:

First try - government side!
- Ingame tutorial actually as ingame text? Very cool. Took me a while to drop it back, though.
- The art and the music are absolutely wonderful, and the sound effects fit well.
- The dragging was kind of hard sometimes. Like: Where can I start to drag this? Oh, I have to click again now?
- Sometimes I didn't understand why one or the other meter went up, but I guess that's to be expected.
- Aw, I was dismantled anyway? I hoped that they'd like me so much that they'd let me stay. Okay, another try!

Second try - publish ALL THE THINGS without looking, just for the sake of it!
- Well, that went well for week one!
- Not as good for week two though...
- Pretty great in week three!
- As in week four! Status: Rebel meter nearly maxed out, suspicion meter a bit over half.
- Uuuh, week five was bad. Rebel maxed out, but suspicion nearly too.
- Week six: Oh, that went surprisingly well. Rebel plus, suspicion minus? I'll take it :D
- Hu. I "won". I didn't expect that to go so well.

Third try - let's see what happens if I lose.
- Hum. I am not sure I *was* terminated in the end or if it was only planned, but I still feel like a hero! Ha! :)

So, uh, apart from "winning" (yeah, I know that I can decide my affiliation myself, but doing good sounds more like winning to me) when just publishing all, this was a fantastic game! Great atmosphere, good writing and it was on a serious topic while still being fun. You guys did a great job there!

TobiasW says ...
May 3, 2014 @ 12:26am

Okay, reading the other comments:

Yeah, I wasn't sure how to just gain rebel score without suspicion score either. I mean, the rest are clear:
- Government-articles only: Nothing rises
- Rebel-articles only: Both rise, with the suspicion faster
...but how they are disconnected, I don't have any clue.

"Innovation and humour are not that good"
...haha. Yeah no innovation AT ALL. Just the same as all of those other newspaper censorship games, right? :D

tomvert says ...
May 3, 2014 @ 6:32am

Great mood, art style, music. The universe made me think of a pre-1984 universe where everything starts to fall apart. On a side note, some characters and texts were very hard to read. Anyway great job !

PaperBlurt says ...
May 3, 2014 @ 9:50am

fun game.
different game.
and a new kind of game.
don't know if I've seen news paper sims before.

you seem swedish too?

May 3, 2014 @ 3:49pm

great work!

Custard Games says ...
May 3, 2014 @ 3:51pm

Awesome game. Feels a lot like papers please, but to be honest, I think this has a better premise to deliver the same message.

HacksawUnit says ...
May 3, 2014 @ 5:02pm

I loved the multiple endings, and liked how the player had to be subtle when helping the rebels.

eemmbbeerr says ...
May 3, 2014 @ 5:02pm

A game that most developers can only wish they had made, it's amazing, magnificent, overwhelmingly marvelous!
I've ran out of superlatives!

2HitAdam says ...
May 3, 2014 @ 5:24pm

Loved it. Struck especially close to home as someone who's been marching the streets with thousands of other protestors and not seeing any coverage from major media outlets in the pocket of the government. You've taken a page (or a whole booklet) from Lucas Pope sure, but remixed it with charm and style, and I think you've done a great job.

Make A Game says ...
May 3, 2014 @ 6:40pm

Great entry, reminds me of Lucas Pope's Republia Times. All it was missing was the sound of someone smoking cigarettes like a chimney and the atmosphere would be complete.

May 3, 2014 @ 6:49pm

Different articles maybe. That'd be nice, so that it's different everytime

May 3, 2014 @ 6:49pm

But it's an amazing game just sayin... Favorite so far

petey123567 says ...
May 3, 2014 @ 6:54pm

Very polished! Very awesome!

MrShoestore says ...
May 3, 2014 @ 10:23pm

This is really something, great job!

May 4, 2014 @ 10:29am

Great work and impressive ambiance and music!

May 4, 2014 @ 12:08pm

Glory to..! Oh, well. Anyway, great game. The whole theme is very addictive.

lightsoda says ...
May 4, 2014 @ 7:45pm

Love the overall tone set by the graphics and music. I assume the goal was to get the white bar as high as possible, not super clear, IMO.

I think it would've been good if the head of the paper was draggable, with a lot of text there wasn't a lot of margin for dragging the paper sometimes.

soy_yuma says ...
May 4, 2014 @ 10:03pm

Good game! Although I was never sure what to do to please ones or the others.

DDRKirby(ISQ) says ...
May 4, 2014 @ 10:05pm

Nice job :) You already covered my feedback in your post-mortem, but yes, great job overall, very nicely capturing the Papers, Please aesthetic. The sound effects are really nice here, I know it's a small detail but really ties everything together :)

Mnemusyne says ...
May 4, 2014 @ 10:33pm

Good idea, good mood. Gameplay could use some work like knowing exactly what effect your censorship will have before handing it in.

VDOgamez says ...
May 5, 2014 @ 3:25am

This reminds me a lot of The Republia Times, in a good way. I do have a couple of criticisms, though. In a lot of cases, I have trouble telling whether statements are good for the government or good for the rebels. For example, if the government shot a bunch of rebels, is that going to be taken as "You're trying to get the public to feel like they're being oppressed" or "You're trying to show that the government can handle this threat"? I suppose that that is part of the gameplay, but it would be nice perhaps to have the style guide at the beginning describe exactly what the government wants from the player. Additionally, despite the game's largely storytelling focus, the endings all feel a little underwhelming. Maybe if they had a second page's worth of conclusion it might feel more like it means something. The art for this game is wonderful, and the music is also good.

ethankennerly says ...
May 5, 2014 @ 4:00am

All 5! Love the storytelling, atmosphere, Papers Please inspired dystopia. If you continue to develop this, I had to click or drag in a way that felt random to close a paper.

Afal says ...
May 5, 2014 @ 3:37pm

getting a cool "Papers, Please" vibe from this. Dragging the papers around was a little irritating since it took me ages to try and get it to drag it to either deny/accept

radmars says ...
May 7, 2014 @ 2:52am

Awesome concept! Only issues are the mouse dragging as some people have said and that the effects of censoring/not censoring seem kind of ambiguous. Would be nice to know per-paper instead of for the whole group.

May 8, 2014 @ 9:48pm

Super nice kind of game! I included it in part 15 of my Ludum Dare Compilation video series :)

mortus says ...
May 12, 2014 @ 10:29am

Great concept and style! Would be great if I could remove not only the whole paragraphs but independent words too (like 'there was a [s]small[/s] riot'. But that would be far too much work for 72 hours probably.

udo says ...
May 13, 2014 @ 3:18pm

Yeah, I made sure there isn't an uprising against the Loyalists anytime soon. Hail Hydra!

deepnight says ...
May 18, 2014 @ 8:39am

Superb *_*
The most original entry I've seen so far, and the one that fits the theme in the best way. Really excellent, and I loved the jazzy mood :)

Dietrich Epp says ...
May 18, 2014 @ 6:09pm

Absolutely lovely! Minor issue with the controls... it was too easy to accidentally drag a paper into the "deny" folder instead of reading it.

User_Newb says ...
Apr 29, 2015 @ 7:30pm

What version of unity web does this use? I have unity but the game won play.....

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