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

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The Pond

by ToOB - Jam Entry

"A brother and sister are separated when the sister gets dragged into a mysterious pond. The brother jumps in to save her and finds a strange world beneath the surface filled with tentacled horrors. Can he find his sister before the tentacles find him?"

"The Pond" is a simple game where you have to avoid obstacles by jumping over or sliding under them. If you hit too many obstacles the tentacles will catch you.

The game was made in 40 hours during the Sony Hackathon event in Lund, Sweden by a team of four people: 1 programmer, 1 composer and 2 wild artists.

Downloads and Links




Apr 28, 2014 @ 9:26pm

Looks very cool but I'm on osx right now.. but I will play later! :)

jomacel says ...
Apr 28, 2014 @ 9:26pm

Love the art style and the music! Nice job guys!

jancsiba5 says ...
Apr 28, 2014 @ 9:28pm

Very good game! Realy loved it :D

Katamori says ...
Apr 28, 2014 @ 9:30pm

Beautiful graphics.

Belingo says ...
Apr 28, 2014 @ 9:32pm

Nice game, I love the music, is amazing.

Custard Games says ...
Apr 28, 2014 @ 9:34pm

Awesome. I didn't get very far. The endless running, something chasing you, and hitting obstacles slowing you down is very similar to my entry. The background art is amazing. Almost looks hand painted but with a pixelish spin on it.

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

I liked it, even though I'm useless in this type of games... Grats!

okkolobr says ...
Apr 28, 2014 @ 9:55pm

Arts (both graphic and sound) are beautiful !

gikdew says ...
Apr 28, 2014 @ 11:16pm

Nice little game, are you thinking on porting it to Android/Iphone devices??

Apr 29, 2014 @ 12:40am

Awesome game bro. The art is amazing, and it the game as a sweet eerie atmosphere.

Gamepopper says ...
Apr 29, 2014 @ 12:42am

Great music and animation. Rather fun auto-runner.

Apr 29, 2014 @ 12:48am

Nice Art work and music :D i never used the slidding thing on anything :S but Great work :D

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

onf of the best games i've played so far! the music and art go very well together and the plot fits the theme as well :)

Tamik says ...
Apr 29, 2014 @ 1:09am

I really liked the presentation. some of the hitboxes on the objects could have been more forgiving. like the log. Also I was confused as to what the things chasing you were.

Brodenino says ...
Apr 29, 2014 @ 9:03am

The game is a bit difficult, and I wonder, is there any way to win if you would keep on running:p? Nevertheless, the graphics are wonderful, and the music fits great!

Jonochrome says ...
Apr 29, 2014 @ 10:36am

Aaaaa... I don't like to be negative, but the hitboxes feel awful to me, and I hate that the breadstick-tentacles constantly get closer to you even if you're not running into anything. I don't think it adds to the tension, it just makes the consequence of failed jumps less clear, and it didn't feel like it was my fault when I suddenly got caught after having run flawlessly for a long stretch of the road. The artwork is pretty and interesting, although it's not obvious at first glance which objects you're supposed to slide underneath when you start having to use the slide. I thought I could jump over or on top of the logs in Level 2 the same way that I could walk through trees or jump over logs in Level 1, but instead, it slowed me down. The graphics would have benefited from better distinction between things you can and can't collide with, and things that do or don't hurt your character. I also feel like it should be possible to control the length of a slide, since a lot of the problems I had from Level 2 were caused by the protagonist automatically getting back up and hitting his head on the very end of a log even when I thought I'd timed it perfectly. Sorry. I hope my input seems constructive.

donan says ...
Apr 29, 2014 @ 1:57pm

Outstanding art. Really awesome.

mikhog says ...
Apr 29, 2014 @ 2:03pm

So THOSE were the tentacles all the commotion was about! :)

Hyoga-3D says ...
Apr 29, 2014 @ 2:08pm

Graphics and soundtrack were very nice, congrats!

Robinerd says ...
Apr 29, 2014 @ 2:34pm

Stunning graphics and great awesome gives a really nice feeling! I like the "backstory" kind of that old Jules Vernes novel. Btw, how did it go for you at the sony hackathon? I had to leave before the results, but I really think you deserve a scoring position for this! Great work indeed :D I'm the guy who made that wave physics game.

Apr 30, 2014 @ 11:28am

Nice art and sound. Obstacles are a bit frustrating, however.

hbocao says ...
May 1, 2014 @ 12:45am

I don't think that the collision boxes were all that bad. Was it hard to get through? Yes, but no that much once you learned how to. Too bad I'm not a fan of "endless runners" 'cause the graphics and sound is simple amazing. :)

PIXEL^3 says ...
May 1, 2014 @ 4:40am

I have to agree with Jonochrome. The hit boxes could use some tightening and the obstacles could be made more clear. Also the tentacles should only move forward when you are hit. But these are all things that shouldn't be too hard to fix so good job. Really liked the art though.


ToOB says ...
May 2, 2014 @ 10:44am

Thank you all for the amazing feedback and comments! It's absolutely thrilling to see the responses!

To some of the questions,
(@gikdew) 1. Are we thinking about releasing the game on a android/iPhone device? To this day we don't have any plans to port the game to that platform... yet. If there might be a big interest in playing the game on those devices, we might consider it.

(@Brodenino) 2. Is there any way to win if you keep on running? Not to spare you any spoilers but, yes! There is a endgame. If you win there is also an opportunity to explore a 'hidden' level. See if you can find it? :D And we agree, the game is tough. There is a significant stagger of difficulty between the first and the second level, this we agree is something that needs to be tweaked to not let the player get overwhelmed by the sudden degree of difficulty and try to keep moving to the next level. The tweaking will be, as most of our feedback and responses tells us, about both adjusting the hitboxes to better fit the objects and letting the objects stand out more from the background. This will hopefully result in a better experience during playing the game.

Thank you yet again for the awesome feedback! And we would love to hear more from you!

trueyomic says ...
May 2, 2014 @ 3:16pm

Neat artstyle and music. The tentacles looked a little like breadsticks to me though. The hit boxes of some of the objects seemed a bit unfair (particularly all of the ones you slide under) because you had to be practically 99% accurate or you'd hit your head at the last moment anyways. Still a fun game to the end.

May 3, 2014 @ 2:05am

I had a problem figuring out when to jump sometimes - obstacles like the fallen log are in perspective and i can't really distinguish the "hit box".

Nonetheless, cool music, cool style. Good entry!

VictoryGarden says ...
May 3, 2014 @ 8:13pm

Excellent work with the art style, the music, and the atmosphere! I don't usually like auto-runners very much, but I felt motivated to finish this one.

I agree with your other critiques that the tentacles should not get closer to you if you are doing well; similarly, I did have trouble with a lot of the hitboxes, not being sure where to jump, and the like. There were other times when I would pass multiple obstacles and only THEN get caught, so that there really seemed to be no relationship between how I played and whether or not I was trapped. The tentacles moving up weren't just a visual effect; they also meant that I could have already lost the game without knowing it, which is inappropriate for this genre.

Finally, I have some qualms about the end of the game. It's unfair to the player to have such a sudden, substantive change in the controls (much higher jump and much longer slide) without any warning, or apparent reason for it. I agree that it's nice to change things up a little and that having different-sized stuff to jump over was fun, but it seemed really unfair, and I felt like I had to relearn the game. Then, when I got to finding my little sister, the "the end" screen made her disappear... this also seemed unfair ._. If you're going to have reaching a quest object be the end of the game, then it makes sense to see that object on the ending screen, right?

And, it seemed strange that the tentacles would suddenly stop at the final obstacle. Why couldn't all the other obstacles stop the tentacles? From a narrative perspective, it just doesn't make sense.

I really enjoyed this game, though. It was harrowing to play, and all of the animations on the main character were cute and helped with characterization. I liked his tangly legs!

Thanks for the game, and good luck with the post-compo version!

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