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

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by Calahagus - 48 Hour Compo Entry

Depth is the product of me realizing how bad my first idea was turning out, 5 hours in. Fail fast, they say, right?

Depth is a claustrophobic, frantic game about trying to make to towards the surface, from underwater, and thereby not drown. There are 3 main gameplay aspect to keep mind of: your oxygen levels, your panic level, and the action keys.

Oxygen slowly depletes. Collecting bubbles will refill you oxygen meter, and also give a sense of which way up is.

The panic meter is always rising, and if it's too high you won't be able to do anything before you calm down. You have to mash the spacebar to keep yourself from panicking.

The action keys determine what you'll do. You can either spin left, spin right, or swim forward. You do this my selecting the action with the key on the right, and hitting space, as long as your panic is down low enough.

Random current and debris, and of course drowning, are all dangers to escaping from beneath the surface, and surviving. Good luck, and please enjoy the game!

Developed in Unity (

Art made in Photoshop (

Sound effects made with sfxr (

Ambient music made with Otomata (

Code, art, and sound by Calahan Janik-Jones, April 25-27, 2014

Downloads and Links




jugglerrob says ...
Apr 28, 2014 @ 2:47am

I can't seem to get any of the controls to work. Nice music and art though

minism says ...
Apr 28, 2014 @ 2:56am

Looks cool but I can't seem to execute any of the actions. I didn't quite understand the instructions either though so maybe I'm doing something wrong.

Calahagus says ...
Apr 28, 2014 @ 3:05am

@jugglerrob and minism, if your panic is in the red you aren't able to. You need to mash on space to get it down.

Lolninjacatz says ...
Apr 28, 2014 @ 3:33am

Great artwork and background music. The intro screen is what got me interested. The concept fits with the theme and is pretty unique. However, the game itself is too difficult to play. The mashing is interesting, but to keep mashing is a little too difficult and its hard to get feedback for the movement of the character and where to progress. Great job though!

sknoslo says ...
Apr 28, 2014 @ 3:40am

Interesting concept and I really liked the art. Really hard though, and I couldn't seem to try again, without restarting the game.

shuanDang says ...
Apr 28, 2014 @ 7:37pm

Wow, tough game. I'm impressed by the set and the lighting, but the controls are difficult and dont' help me win the game

Jacksendary says ...
Apr 29, 2014 @ 1:38am

Kinda confusing at first but somewhat cool then you get past the confusion

pinion says ...
Apr 29, 2014 @ 7:08pm

Cool idea I like how panic is reflected in the changing controls and not knowing which way is up.

I didn't get very far at all though as it was very difficult.

sandbaydev says ...
Apr 29, 2014 @ 7:10pm

I like the idea but I don't get how to play this. I tried 3-4 times, re-read instructions but still no luck... I didn't understand the benefit of for example spinning to some direction :|

Anyhow, liked gfx, liked the concept.

NoorStudios says ...
Apr 29, 2014 @ 7:11pm

Nice concept, but too difficult for me. I had a hard enough time hammering space so I couldn't really figure out the other controls because all my focus was on the panic.. But then again I guess that is a very good interpretation of what panic is like in real life... music is simple and cool.

copain says ...
Apr 29, 2014 @ 7:11pm

too hard, keys change too fast for me.
but nice look.

grayhaze says ...
Apr 29, 2014 @ 7:11pm

I managed to keep my panic level down, but the controls changed too fast for me to ever do anything. Maybe that's the point?

NoorStudios says ...
Apr 29, 2014 @ 7:11pm

Nice concept, but too difficult for me. I had a hard enough time hammering space so I couldn't really figure out the other controls because all my focus was on the panic.. But then again I guess that is a very good interpretation of what panic is like in real life... music is simple and cool.

Miltage says ...
Apr 29, 2014 @ 8:05pm

I like the idea, but found it impossible to play. Even with smashing space bar, the buttons change too frequently to make any progress.

Crooksister says ...
Apr 30, 2014 @ 1:47pm

Didn't work, but great aesthetic.

Apr 30, 2014 @ 8:48pm

hard! very hard! did not managed to survive and i don't know if the "feedback" is not as good or he really did nothing when i pressed the buttons.

I tried a similar concept once at the global game jam "heartbeat" where you had to talk to girls while keeping cool (e.g. pressing space) or your dialog options would turn to into stupid ones (- ;

May 10, 2014 @ 8:13am

Graphics and audio were nice, but like others, I had difficulty with the controls, so I was never really sure of the goal, or made it very far :( Changing remappings on keys generally leads to more player frustration and confusion than anything else.

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