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

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by PapyPilgrim - 48 Hour Compo Entry

IMPORTANT : This game was designed to be played with the scroll wheel. If you are playing on a touchpad and don't have one, the "space" and "up" keys to do the same thing but I really think the experience won't be the same

Hello community!

This is my 8th participation in a row, and this time I decided to spice things a little and try a new tool : construct2. I like it. I had some pretty big time constraints this weekend and I was surprised by the amount of things I was able to do with it. If you happen to have an idea and a few hours to spare, this is a fantastic tool for prototyping.

I was lucky enough to be instantly inspired by the theme, which is nice. This time I decided NOT to do a puzzle game and tried to create a short narrative experience based on the theme. So as you guessed, I am running for the 'moody' category (and possibly 'audio' and 'theme' since I am at it).

As always I tried my best to make the experience enjoyable (and understandable) on the first playthrough. I am pretty happy with the result and hope you will enjoy this 2-3min session. If you do, please tell me. And if you don't, tell me also ! (plus, leaving a comment will ensure that I play YOUR game. A win/win trade right?)

Tools Used
Construct 2
Inkscape -
audacity - My old casio CTK-571

Made in 17 hours and submited saturday, with no intention to change it until the deadline.

If you like the graphics of this game, you can thank that guy >> I was able to do everything myself thanks to those tutorials.

And if you know where i got this idea from... well it was hard to resist :

Known problems
Scroll sensitivity. I timed everything using my own mouse and stamina, but the difficulty seems to vary a lot and some of you didn't experience what I was aiming for. So in case you missed it, here is what I wanted you to experience:

SPOILER ALERT! don't read this if you haven't played at least once

- As the boat sails away, you struggle to both keep afloat and call for help, but the boat doesn't seem to turn back.
- Once the boat is out of sight, you start to have trouble keeping your head out of the water. Some of you might give up at that point and just sink to the bottom
- Just as you reach your physical limit, the boat finally comes back, and with it a spark of hope
- Alas, you are just beneath the surface, unable to signal your location to the boat that came back for you. Salvation is just out of your reach.
- You finally loose what remains of your strengh and sink to the bottom of the sea. The screen slowly fades to black and the music stops.

This is what I wanted you to experience. From what I understand, some of you got the 2 other endings (which doesn't match the theme as well as I would like):
- You stay afloat for the entire 2 minutes, and the screen turns black without a sign from the boat : They just never came back for you.
- You were ready to give up when the boat finally came back, and you were able to reach the surface again : You were rescued.

I don't consider "I just let myself drown" to be a proper ending :)

Downloads and Links




Dagnarus says ...
Apr 27, 2014 @ 12:56pm

I love that one. The audio is fantastic, and the timing was perfect: the boat came back just as I was starting to get tired and was struggling to stay afloat. Was that intentional, or did I get lucky?

I have to admit I was expecting less from a game that was submitted this early : it feels more like a complete game than most of the entries submitted this far. Good job!

PapyGaragos says ...
Apr 27, 2014 @ 2:22pm

Hey, thanks for the kind words :)

It WAS intentional! I spent a lot of time trying to get the player just "beneath the surface" precisely when being there would be the most frustrating. I am glad you didn't see the ropes I pulled to achieve that (I based most of the timing on my own scrolling stamina though)

Of course this is something players won't experience if they just let themselves drown

Sannis says ...
Apr 27, 2014 @ 4:40pm

Thats nice, love the audio too.

erekiel says ...
Apr 27, 2014 @ 8:59pm

That feel when I drowned...

Great job ! A true gaming experience.

Jase says ...
Apr 28, 2014 @ 8:37am

Interesting game, if I understood the controls correctly, I had to scroll up and then left-click repeatedly to get the boat to come? I tried for a while but ultimately I failed. :(

oenvoyage says ...
Apr 28, 2014 @ 8:40am

Relaxing... but tiring on my mouse :=)

Lars Faust says ...
Apr 28, 2014 @ 8:44am

Is the boat supposed to come back and rescue you?

I am staying afloat the whole time and am clicking like mad, but the boat always drives away and the screen becomes black after a while.

I like the idea though, the manic scrollwheel-scrolling somehow fits the desperation of drowning.

John Drury says ...
Apr 28, 2014 @ 8:44am

Really captured the essence of struggle with your game mechanic. After a good 2 minutes I decided to float to the bottom. Awhile had past and the words "Don't give up" faded in so I decided to surface yet again, but it was quite the struggle again. I just gave up after and faded into the abyss. LOL

Overall was great!

oal says ...
Apr 28, 2014 @ 8:46am

A small but interesting game. Very melancholic. The sounds are great.

DavidErosa says ...
Apr 28, 2014 @ 8:47am

I couldn't make it :( After a while I started to sink and I couldn't stay afloat anymore... I'll try again anyway :)

clearlyspam23 says ...
Apr 28, 2014 @ 8:51am

easily the best mood and audio of an LD game ive ever seen

eldog says ...
Apr 28, 2014 @ 9:07am

Like that advert! But terrifying in a much more surreal way.

gikdew says ...
Apr 28, 2014 @ 11:44am

Nice! Great work!

Apr 28, 2014 @ 12:15pm

That was so sad. :(
And after reading the comments I am even sadder that I must have given up a bit earlier than I should have. :(
Regardless, excellent audio and a fantastic experience. Well done.

CustomPhase says ...
Apr 28, 2014 @ 12:17pm

I didnt quite got it. I was spinning the wheel like crazy, and nothing was happening - iwas staying on the surface, then i tried to drown, and again, nothing happened. Is there supposed to be some deep message in that? Cause i dont see one. The only thing i liked was music.

Apr 28, 2014 @ 12:19pm

Sweet audio man. I died, the screen went black, it was pretty sad. Poor guy... Great job!

b222ster says ...
Apr 28, 2014 @ 12:20pm

Good Job, it was harder than anticipated, and very enjoyable. The asset I liked the most was the call that would mute when you go underwater!

greatmars says ...
Apr 28, 2014 @ 2:24pm

Your Choice of scroll wheel is perfect for this game.

SethR says ...
Apr 28, 2014 @ 2:24pm

From reading the comments it appears I gave up too early. Now I'm haunted by what this game is really saying about me... Hmm

morcosan says ...
Apr 28, 2014 @ 2:25pm

well done :)

Hypnohustla says ...
Apr 28, 2014 @ 2:27pm

Nice mood! Using the scroll wheel was a great choice! And the ambient added a lot to the experience. :)

Reinkout says ...
Apr 28, 2014 @ 2:31pm

Great job with the intentional frustration. :) Thanks.

Techblogogy says ...
Apr 28, 2014 @ 3:19pm

This game is CRAZY (in good way)

Gins says ...
Apr 28, 2014 @ 3:35pm

I think I had exactly the experience you were going for.
Having the illusion I'd have a chance, feeling like my voice isn't audible at all, growing tired of the swimming, giving up, hoping to die quickly, but only sinking, knowing every effort is futile, waiting for a miracle. And it didn't happen :(
Great job!

sknoslo says ...
Apr 28, 2014 @ 3:37pm

It's hard to scroll and click at the same time, which is awesome because it would probably be hard to stay above the waves and yell for help in real life. I failed miserably lol. Nice work.

JALgames says ...
Apr 28, 2014 @ 3:39pm

Nice game! I especially like the audio. But as you said, it is definitvely hard to play on a laptop.

Elforama says ...
Apr 28, 2014 @ 3:55pm

I have a mouse wheel with inertia, so this was not tiring for me at all. I liked the idea you did with this, and the interesting controls.

Anny says ...
Apr 28, 2014 @ 5:00pm

Beautiful sound. I had never played a game like that with the scroll wheel, very interesting.

erekiel says ...
Apr 28, 2014 @ 5:00pm

huh, i just found that (in french) :
it looks exactly like your game...

SkyWolf says ...
Apr 28, 2014 @ 5:02pm

The inspiration from "sortieenmer" is clear, and i like the mood of it.

PapyGaragos says ...
Apr 28, 2014 @ 5:20pm

Thanks for the feedback everyone, I really appreciate it and I am glad so many of you seem to enjoy the experience

@CustomPhase : It's really easy to stay on the surface at first but it get much harder after ~1min (if you are not already tired by then). It's weird that nothing happened when you let yourself drown. I sync it to the music, so the timing may vary, but there again it doesn't take more than 1min under water before you drown.

@sknoslo : Haha yes that was exactly what I was aiming for with those controls, Glad you noticed it

@erekiel : yes exactly, when I saw the theme I knew I was going to do something like this. I linked it in the description, but it's at the bottom of a wall of text, I don't blame you for not noticing it ;)

Apr 28, 2014 @ 5:20pm

Neat ! Really relaxing atmosphere and the audio is amazing : Well done !

mrexcessive says ...
Apr 28, 2014 @ 5:53pm

Hey excellent... thanks for the game art and link to your inspiration also... Good job!

Logun says ...
Apr 28, 2014 @ 5:58pm

Audio is damn good, and the rythm between scrolling and calling is cool !

I tried hard to survive, but I Drowned :)

MSaul says ...
Apr 28, 2014 @ 6:15pm

This game is really exhausting after 3 tentatives I ... die. Well too hard for me, great game overall, and great graphics.

iJohnF says ...
Apr 28, 2014 @ 6:47pm

Great atmosphere, I died so many times though! Really interesting concept.

iJohnF says ...
Apr 28, 2014 @ 6:48pm

Great atmosphere, and strengths in innovating with an abstract concept.

Apr 28, 2014 @ 7:31pm

I got a great sense of the desperation of drowning. For such a simple game that's pretty impressive. Nice job. :)

Apr 28, 2014 @ 7:33pm

Using the fear of drowning is a really neat idea!

MaesK says ...
Apr 28, 2014 @ 7:44pm

My finger and mouse are tired now, but it was worth it, I saved him. You've done a good work in exposing frustration and losing hope, I was about to give up and abandon the surface when the message (and boat) appeared.

But I died horribly the first time without a mouse, just pressing up. It was impossible :( Nice game!

Wakka says ...
Apr 28, 2014 @ 8:33pm

Music is very athmosphereic. I didn't really find out what to do, just tried to stay above water but nothing happend, then I stopped pressing the buttons but then I drowned.

yetanother says ...
Apr 28, 2014 @ 8:55pm

I really like the controls. The sound are greats.

jtpup0 says ...
Apr 28, 2014 @ 8:57pm

emotional and cool, using a trackpad made it difficult to play though

Danman9914 says ...
Apr 28, 2014 @ 9:22pm

The music suits the game very well! The graphics are very well done. Unfortunately I ended up drowning though...and met a whale on the way!

Apr 28, 2014 @ 9:34pm

love the music.. and the audio filter effect ..good job :)

pawegio says ...
Apr 28, 2014 @ 9:37pm

Good job, I saw this idea somewhere. Nice idea.

Philo says ...
Apr 28, 2014 @ 10:03pm

really great experience. But I have the feeling, that I've heard the music somewhere ;-)

terraco says ...
Apr 28, 2014 @ 10:08pm

I saw this just before the jam. It's this game EXACTLY

TowelKing says ...
Apr 28, 2014 @ 10:08pm

Great game idea, I held on for as long as I could hoping that the ship would turn back, but I've never been a strong scroller.

ENDESGA says ...
Apr 28, 2014 @ 10:20pm

Audio is amazing, everything feels very polished and complete :)

conormn says ...
Apr 28, 2014 @ 10:27pm

Nicely executed, gave me a bit of anxiety :)

Sodaware says ...
Apr 28, 2014 @ 10:32pm

My poor scroll wheel...

Great concept and execution - a really innovative way of giving people the feeling of being tired from staying afloat.

shuanDang says ...
Apr 28, 2014 @ 10:53pm

Aww I sunk all the way down and couldn't get back up! Really enjoyed the music!

friken says ...
Apr 28, 2014 @ 10:56pm

very cool feel to this game, nice job.

mollymus says ...
Apr 28, 2014 @ 11:11pm

Never noticed how slow my scroll wheel is.. Had to change mouse:| kept going until I hit night time (? everytime faded to black atleast:p) but the boat never came :(

Apr 29, 2014 @ 12:34am

Great entry. I was quite sad though as I desperately called for help near the end and kept my head above water. Apparently the boat couldn't hear me. They left me and I drowned. After reading that I could have gotten them to save me, I was impressed by the multiple endings.

Nicely done!

benmcnelly says ...
Apr 29, 2014 @ 12:40am

But... but I don't want to die. I don't want to feel powerless and alone. WHY ALL THESE FEELS??!!!?

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

Wow, really powerful for such a short and simple 'game.' I really liked this one. I'd love to see much more of these quick little 'experience' type games. Really nice work!

leparlon says ...
Apr 29, 2014 @ 1:12am

Awesome experience, great job. My hand how hurts from scrolling, but it was worth it.

evilDan says ...
Apr 29, 2014 @ 1:26am

Sad - I tried a few times and died a few times. Now I've got carpal tunnel

eteeski says ...
Apr 29, 2014 @ 1:48am

oddly terrifying :/ haha interesting idea :) nice visuals. I like that there's a whale when you reach the bottom :) nice job :)

Apr 29, 2014 @ 2:03am

Best one I've played so far. Your mood was spot on. I felt pretty panicky within seconds. Great audio choice.

IAmSpencer says ...
Apr 29, 2014 @ 2:28am

I could never get the boat to come back, but the whole mood was still there for me. Just sadder than other peoples probably lol, good job :)

hampa says ...
Apr 29, 2014 @ 3:24am

faded away.. almost made it.
Great game with a good stay afloat mechanics.

Collan says ...
Apr 29, 2014 @ 3:47am

Absolutely beautiful. Everything about this is remarkable. Great job!

bugninja says ...
Apr 29, 2014 @ 4:59am

Very panic mixed with zen. How is that possible? I don't know, but you did it. Is it possible to win? I was scrolling, I was clicking, but I just ended up at the bottom because I was physically tired.

ActionRemix says ...
Apr 29, 2014 @ 5:29am

Funny parody of the source game.

NoorStudios says ...
Apr 29, 2014 @ 5:41am

Really cute! And I love the scroll idea

MarsBar says ...
Apr 29, 2014 @ 5:48am

It told me not to give up... but my fingers were getting tired. I don't have as much dexterity in those fingers as I used too....if you know what I mean XD

Tanner says ...
Apr 29, 2014 @ 6:06am

It looks pretty solid :)

Tuism says ...
Apr 29, 2014 @ 6:14am

Ah! I saw the sortie en mer thing earlier and thought that this was a lot like that. Well done, the game was very nicely put together, and has one of the best mood despite it being stickman. Very cool stuff!

Great music! Fits amazingly!

I drowned :/ So you *can* get rescued huh? Lemme do that again :P

Skywilly says ...
Apr 29, 2014 @ 6:24am

Terrible story o_o Gameplay is fine & smart !

pereubu says ...
Apr 29, 2014 @ 6:27am

great job !
Even if it's very minimalistic, the controls are a super cool idea :D

Pinktreeleaf says ...
Apr 29, 2014 @ 6:42am

reminds us all of our own mortality.

Diptoman says ...
Apr 29, 2014 @ 6:47am

Interesting take on the theme. Liked it.

xhunterko says ...
Apr 29, 2014 @ 6:58am

Wish I could have experienced more but the mouse kept thinking I wanted to auto scroll the web page so I kept drowning. I'm sure it's a neat experience, but I guess I'm not able to get it.

Apr 29, 2014 @ 7:48am

I like this game. Very similar to what I did with my entry (check it out) :) Well done for a short time period. I was sad when the boat faded.

eastes says ...
Apr 29, 2014 @ 8:51am

It went dark and the music stopped. Did I die?

eastes says ...
Apr 29, 2014 @ 8:52am

It went dark and the music stopped. Did I die? 5 stars for theme and mood!

neekobus says ...
Apr 29, 2014 @ 9:58am

Never see this boat coming back :(
Interesting moody concept.

But, IHMO :
- Deserve a better main character
- Don't really like the music, but really appreciate the underwater music effect
- Can't see the point while playing. Maybe you should make the boat appears when calling, or something.
- When I drown, the first feeling was good (background whale, music, ground). But I guess it's too long.

Want to see a more polished version of this !

Yaru says ...
Apr 29, 2014 @ 10:04am

Very very good! I have not seen too many games that use the mouse wheel as its core mechanic, but it gives a great result!
I think it's my favorite so far.

BarkingCat says ...
Apr 29, 2014 @ 11:10am

They didn't come back. 10/10

Apr 29, 2014 @ 11:22am

Not sure if I can be saved or not. Already clicked the ship countless time. It's time to abandon hope. :v

lief says ...
Apr 29, 2014 @ 12:24pm

woah nice game! i drownded tho, i didnt give up ... maybe my mouse wheel is too slow. a brief calibration at the start would probably help, getting the player to scroll up as fast as they can to get above water would be when you could adjust the sensitivity.

Muu? says ...
Apr 29, 2014 @ 1:29pm

You're causing a lot of hand aches here.
I tried a couple time but I kept drowning right at the start. :(

Audio was pure perfection!

Apr 29, 2014 @ 2:09pm

I'm really bad at this game. But it is quite nice. I like the music too

LukeZaz says ...
Apr 29, 2014 @ 2:39pm

Interesting game, but if there was supposed to be a part where the boat comes back, I didn't see it. Clicking didn't seem to do anything.

martinysa0311 says ...
Apr 29, 2014 @ 3:16pm

very nice game!!

PaperBlurt says ...
Apr 29, 2014 @ 4:08pm

The mood is eerie, I really feel as if it's me who struggles.
Something philosophical about it.

I like the whale in the background!

recursor says ...
Apr 29, 2014 @ 4:37pm

I kept accidentally clicking my mouse wheel button and having the game scroll up and down on me which made it hard to stay afloat. Perhaps if you added a different or alternate button for swim?

FrozenCow says ...
Apr 29, 2014 @ 4:54pm

So simple, yet interesting experience and controls and perfect match with the theme. Also, those clouds... simple, efficient and look great (i'll probably use that technique in the future if you don't mind!).

ioboi says ...
Apr 29, 2014 @ 5:10pm

I like the whole atmosphere of the game. The soundtrack is gorgeous and sounds even better underwater :)

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

Simple, but unforgiving. At least the music was pleasant. The unavoidable death - not so much.

BigGiantHead says ...
Apr 29, 2014 @ 7:07pm

Cool game for such a short time. It feels like a complete game, I just think that you should leave some space for possible growth in the future.

pixelpun says ...
Apr 29, 2014 @ 8:08pm

Interesting idea

drnick says ...
Apr 29, 2014 @ 8:25pm

My finger is numb now

littleball says ...
Apr 29, 2014 @ 8:37pm

I played the original, this is less haunting. Well done :)

kmakai says ...
Apr 29, 2014 @ 8:45pm

Interesting, this seems a lot like a stripped-down version of the FMV drowning simulator that was made recently.

PixelFeet says ...
Apr 29, 2014 @ 9:39pm

Great job. Seriously. You nailed it, particularly in terms of the mood and the audio.

Udell Games says ...
Apr 29, 2014 @ 9:46pm

I sank, but was pleasantly surprised with how pretty the whole experience was!

Apr 29, 2014 @ 10:36pm

Grats on the game! Good job on tackling an experience that is not typical for games.

MrShoestore says ...
Apr 30, 2014 @ 1:41am

after reading the comments i wish i continued playing a bit more. when i noticed the similarity to Sortie en mer, i though maybe there was not win state. just i shouldn't give up so easily. hey! i learned a lesson!

pancakecity says ...
Apr 30, 2014 @ 3:15am

I did not expect it to be so emotionally moving!

noom says ...
Apr 30, 2014 @ 6:05am

It's ok, I wanted those feels anyway.
*wipes a tear away quickly*
I found this terribly depressing, it's a very well made game and I'm honestly moved after playing it, well done.

Foofur says ...
Apr 30, 2014 @ 6:22am

Made me think of the swimming lessons I had when I was young. I HATED swimming. Especially water treading. Anyhow, this game was more fun. Liked the music

Raiyumi says ...
Apr 30, 2014 @ 7:55am

I love the sound and concept! I didn't finish it as the boat kept going back and forth. Maybe I need to click with a certain rhythm or moderately?

Anyways, nice game. ;)

Apr 30, 2014 @ 9:46am

The concept is just really great and what a gaming experience! My fingers are hurting now but I survived... :)

randoman says ...
Apr 30, 2014 @ 10:13am

Nice sound and atmosphere, but I didn't understood what I was supposed to do to get to the boat.

shadow64 says ...
Apr 30, 2014 @ 10:28am

I think you need to include that it was VERY directly inspired by another game at the TOP of your description. I feel like this game is getting a lot of votes based on it being original/innovative so that information is too important to be at the bottom of your self-described "wall of text." I'm sorry.

eLLectron says ...
Apr 30, 2014 @ 3:14pm

Good idea! The story is really sad :'(
It fits the theme perfectly.

zkenshin says ...
May 1, 2014 @ 2:01am

Really enjoyed the audio work and accompanying mood it created. :)

May 1, 2014 @ 11:33am

This game has a nice mood, for some reason i could get the boat to get closer :(

TheGreenTie says ...
May 1, 2014 @ 2:15pm

Oh man... I was really trying to get out, calling for help but then staying on the surface was becomming difficult. After seeing that the boat was getting away, I gave up and let myself drown. Then I saw that "Don't give up!", I got my hopes up of... maybe I could save myself, y'know...? But it was way too hard so inevitably I got to the bottom and drowned.
Pretty good story, and well told. Top 5 for sure!

May 1, 2014 @ 2:35pm

Hm didn't really feel like clicking was helping, lacking some feedback D: Everything felt so futile haha. Not sure if that was the idea. Scrolling was an interesting mechanic though! Didn't see a game yet that involved scrolling to stay alive haha. Pretty cool! I liked the setting also and also when you go underwater the music dims out.

TheGreenTie says ...
May 1, 2014 @ 2:42pm

Well... That was... IMMERSIVE!

Split82 says ...
May 1, 2014 @ 3:14pm

Very interesting! I tried to die in the bottom of the sea and I couldn't :)

May 1, 2014 @ 3:35pm

I just want my boat back!

flavio says ...
May 1, 2014 @ 3:47pm

Great mood ! And amazing use of the wheel and audio
Nice one !

May 1, 2014 @ 5:32pm

I think I may have just developed RSI! This could be marketed as an exercise game for index fingers :-) I really like the music and it's innovative in both its use of the theme as well as the mechanic itself

May 1, 2014 @ 5:53pm

Well done! It was very sad and the music was perfect. I was able to keep alive using the keyboard, mouse and arrow so I was a little disappointed when it blacked out and I was still on the surface and the boat still did't come back.

gre says ...
May 1, 2014 @ 6:23pm

Nice mood and audio, also nice graphics.

That reminds me a bit

Pixelulsar says ...
May 1, 2014 @ 7:48pm

Cool game, It was a really good used of the mouse wheel, I've never scrolled so hard before!

hyouko says ...
May 2, 2014 @ 12:21am

Extremely clever and novel use of simple hardware that almost everyone has. Good job!

Cambrian_Man says ...
May 2, 2014 @ 3:04am

Very clever use of the controls and the music fits perfectly.

rincewind_cz says ...
May 2, 2014 @ 9:45am

Really original experience! I also liked the audio.. all in all, good work for 17 hours :)

Also I really enjoyed that 'video' you used as inspiration, thanks for sharing!

01101101 says ...
May 2, 2014 @ 12:41pm

After reading the description I get what you were aiming for, pretty cool idea! I didn't really get that experience though, so being able to stay afloat and click continuously just to see the screen turn black was a bit frustrating ^^ But apparently the game worked as intended for most people, so good job!

garygreen says ...
May 2, 2014 @ 8:20pm

Simple, effective and the audio really worked. So sad too.

May 3, 2014 @ 3:14am

I couldn't scroll the wheel any faster if my life depended on it, (and I guess it did) but I enjoyed the experience and the sound was oodly comforting as I slowly went down. Nice, unique game.

GamerTaters says ...
May 3, 2014 @ 8:42am

Nice entry. Great mood.

cageinabird says ...
May 3, 2014 @ 10:04am

The controls were well thought out, and really conveyed the feeling of struggling to keep afloat (and least for me), although I did get odd looks from my family while playing. :)

TeamFlare says ...
May 3, 2014 @ 1:34pm

Good mood :)

ThingoStudios says ...
May 3, 2014 @ 4:25pm

On the one hand, it is a pretty faithful reconstruction of Sortie en Mer done within 48 hours. On the other hand... if I want to play Sortie en Mer, I'll play Sortie en Mer, not a faithful reconstruction of Sortie en Mer done within 48 hours.

That being said, the music in this game is incredible. I just wish the game was less derivative.

XenosNS says ...
May 3, 2014 @ 8:02pm

Lovely music.

May 3, 2014 @ 8:15pm

Interesting game, amazing music, but I didnt have a mouse wheel and drowned. I included it in part 11 of my Ludum Dare compilation video if you'd like to check it out :)

Cake&Code says ...
May 3, 2014 @ 9:33pm

Wow, that is pretty incredible, it was a really awesome idea to use the scroll wheel to try and keep a body afloat :)

spotco says ...
May 4, 2014 @ 8:31am

Enjoyable, similar in setting to another that I played ( but much less dark!

GarethIW says ...
May 4, 2014 @ 9:16am

I don't know if this was "fun", but it was definitely an interesting experience and take on theme. I drowned the first time, and the next time I cheated a little - I have a mouse that lets you disengage the clickyness on the wheel and scrolls freely for ages ;) That time I got the stay afloat/fade to black ending o/

JaJ says ...
May 4, 2014 @ 12:46pm

Nice concept, but there should be a visual sign when calling for help, it felt like I was doing nothing when clicking.

ghostmaple says ...
May 4, 2014 @ 4:41pm

Liked the "help" calls being tied to the music playing at the time. (Wish more people cued things in like that.) That subtle click sound when your head goes below the surface caught me by surprise and was a nice touch.

May 4, 2014 @ 8:24pm

Very weird game. I gave up and sank to bottom :(

hbocao says ...
May 4, 2014 @ 9:37pm

Beautiful! Awesome job! I felt so desperate trying to survive but I got tired and got thinking "PLEAAAASE! COME BACK!!! PLEASE!". WHY THEY DIDN'T CAME BACK? Then I played again, because I thought that if I could endure enough, they would come back. I'm glad they did came back! But I was more tired than before and drowned again :(

I loved this entry. Thank you.

ZQMony says ...
May 4, 2014 @ 9:46pm

I like the original control scheme.

Fasox says ...
May 5, 2014 @ 7:45pm

exhausting game :P
have you take some inspiration from here ( ?

DesignerNap says ...
May 5, 2014 @ 8:54pm

I was abandoned!!! but nice game :)

Afal says ...
May 5, 2014 @ 10:24pm

Nice music :)

TobiasW says ...
May 6, 2014 @ 12:15am

This was amazing. I love what you did there with the controls - clicking with the finger you'd need to stay afloat, and not only does the mouse wheel scrolling relate to swimming up, it's something you ACTUALLY get tired of in a short timeframe. Often people do that with button mashing games which are just about speed (because people can mash buttons so fast) and I get annoyed of it extremely quickly - but not here, I actually struggled, but sank before the boat game back. Great mood and relationship between player and avatar with such simple means.

May 7, 2014 @ 12:08am

Nice audio, and the tones when calling out to the boat were a nice touch. I started to get a bit bored but then it faded to dark, so I figured you were actually preparing me to stay afloat in the dark for a while with no visual feedback. But alas.... after a while, clicking no longer yielded an audible result. I was abandoned :(

Garris says ...
May 7, 2014 @ 4:20am

You really blew it out of the water in theme and mood. I didn't really find this "fun" in a typical game sense, but it was a very impactful experience, and I'm glad I played it. The frantic mouse wheel scrolling and clicking really makes you feel the desperation of the player character's situation.

bitserum says ...
May 8, 2014 @ 6:46am

This was an awesome experience and the cries for help created a great, emotional soundtrack together with the music.

Unfortunately I got the ending with nothing happening after two minutes, and I felt really sad for a moment. Here I was swimming frantically (I actually had to take my mouse in both hands :D) and no matter how hard I tried I was doomed, they left me, I'm going to die, and everything faded to black.
I love it though, helplessness and struggling were well transferred to me as a player.

The only thing weak about it is the graphics, but not so much as to hurt the game at all.

javierecf says ...
May 8, 2014 @ 7:49am

There is so few LD entries that try something new or try communicate something about ourselves more than digging for gold or shooting bad guys with lasers. This is not only interesting is also true about itself. its short, it has good mood and is not pretending to be something more than a what it is. I'm glad to see this kind of ideas made into a game.

Gabriel says ...
May 8, 2014 @ 2:05pm

Wow, that was INTENSE! :O

On my first shot I managed to stay afloat but the boat never came back and the screen got black (which I felt as the sun going down and, with it, any realistic hope of rescue). I kept swiming and pressing the call for help button (although the screaming sound ceased) for a good 2-3 minutes after the screen was black, even though I honestly didn't believe anything would happen. Still, I kept trying and struggling for a while - I just wouldn't let go!

Then I felt it was the end. A quite sad one, in fact! Then I read through the rest of your description (the one flagged as spoiler) and tried again. I managed to see the intended ending - man, DESPAIR! Seeing the boat and being unable to call for help! It is horrible! The stamina simulation was great - I understand that turning the mouse wheel becomes less and less effective with time, right? Anyway, I slowly faded to black. It was quite depressive - which is probably why the game left such a strong mark!

Finally, I tried to get the "good" ending a few times, but once I let myself sink a bit in order to trigger the return of the boat, I can't seem to stay afloat anymore, no matter how hard I try (I nearly destroyed my mouse in the process! hahaha). I didn't manage to see the good ending, but trying to go for it and being unable too only reinforced the impression left by the intended ending. Man. I literally held my breath here. What the hell! Good job!

Overall, I'm rating this game really high, as it displays what I personally like the most in the strongest compo entries: a visceral experience that I will remember for some time, and that was built with few elements (all of which necessary, though).

Top rating in innovation, theme and mood! The theme is the very reason for the game to exist, and it is integrated in the very mechanics. I don't think it can get any better than that. Considering my genuine effort to not drown even on my first attempt (the one where I kept swimming and crying for help for like 3 minutes after having no audiovisual feedback) and then my successive failures at getting the good ending, I must say I was hooked. This is an indication of superb mood for me.

My only constructive criticism goes on the sound department. I really liked the music and sound implementation overall (the extra layer of instrument that gets muted underwater, specially, and the inability to call for help underwater which also contributes to the sense of despair), but I think the ambient music is quite relaxing, which kinda generates a cognitive dissonance for me. I think it would work better if, as stamina started decreasing and you spent more and more time underwater, the music changed to some heavy, fast percussions instead of something relaxing. Maybe some good old microphone recorded heavy breathing when above water would also increase the sense of despair, specially because it would be muted when underwater.

Anyway, all in all an stellar performance! I think that, unfortunately, a big part of this community will only favor traditional games that are fun in a traditional manner (the very bias you discussed in your post about consistent rating), so I'm guessing some people will just go like "ah, I didn't have fun, I'm actually feeling bad, so I'll give it 1 star", which might drag you down a bit in terms of score. Well, not for me. I wish that seeing bold entries like this was more common nowadays. Top ratings here, buddy, congratulations!

May 8, 2014 @ 6:43pm

I liked your game, graphics are nice and the sound is very good, especially when concidering you only used your old Casio... :)
I'll try to rate it by the rules you posted, which means you can only get a 2 for theme :

[2] A take on the theme that is not original (under water, under earth), or the theme is only mentionned at the begining/end of the game

Hey just kidding, in my book that was a pretty nice interpretation of the theme... :)
Hey just kidding

May 8, 2014 @ 6:44pm

^^ No I'm not kidding twice, the last one slipped in there by accident. Just kidding about rating theme a 2...! ;)

Pitoum says ...
May 10, 2014 @ 7:52am

I decided to let me drown :\ I wasn't sure the click worked. This feedbacks (audi I get it after that) is not so much clear. Nice concept anyway, even if I didn't managed to survive :) that's part of the game!

Managore says ...
May 10, 2014 @ 11:07am

This has a really innovative way to tell a story. It was fantastic how you made the controls imitate the panicked and helpless feeling of drowning.

JoshOS says ...
May 10, 2014 @ 10:46pm

Interesting game, I couldn't make it :(

I really liked the different finals.

elefantopia says ...
May 11, 2014 @ 12:13am

Really great audio, and clean graphics. You're right, playing with the scroll wheel is a better experience than "up" and space bar.

udo says ...
May 12, 2014 @ 8:56pm

My index finger now hurts. Well done :)

Myyyvothrr says ...
May 14, 2014 @ 1:37pm

Nice work, really liked the music!

aelita1992 says ...
May 15, 2014 @ 10:03am

A lot of scrolling :D And the music was nice, really liked it.

Make A Game says ...
May 15, 2014 @ 11:08pm

A mouse with auto scroll would really come in handy here. :D

2HitAdam says ...
May 16, 2014 @ 4:11pm

I love that I actually had to physically fight the scroll wheel to stay up, that's really good design. The feeling when I realised the boat wasn't coming back and just let go... man, nice work.

jsmars says ...
May 16, 2014 @ 6:11pm

Really nice entry on mood and innovation! Never thought I'd play a game about drowning. Looked so simple but delivered really nice!

omaha says ...
May 17, 2014 @ 3:27pm

This was nicely put together.

Dietrich Epp says ...
May 17, 2014 @ 4:59pm

Wow, what a great game!

wademcgillis says ...
May 17, 2014 @ 10:04pm

Fun little game. I could never scroll fast enough to get saved.

DannyG59 says ...
May 18, 2014 @ 10:50am

Sorry, real lack of innovation when you just made this ...

but with bad graphics :/ Interesting I read here that there may be alternate endings.

jorgemoag says ...
May 19, 2014 @ 12:56am

very distressing!

May 19, 2014 @ 9:43am

Tiring, but rewarding.

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