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

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Greed for Gems

by mortus - 48 Hour Compo Entry

Single player or Hotseat for 2 players!


Try the post-compo version! It has underground shops and you can see the map by pressing Space.

Controls remapping

I've added a version with controls remapper as a POST-COMPO version. Please try it if you don't have specific keys available. NO OTHER CHANGES HAVE BEEN MADE.


Collect gems for money, buy torches and ladders at the surface. Your goal is to collect all Megagems in the world!

If you're stuck - press R - it kills both players instantly.


You can play in 2 players mode. In that mode first player can only build torches and second player can only build ladders.

You should not part, when one player leaves the screen, his controls are blocked until second player follows him.

If one player is dead you can go back to the surface to fetch him.

Downloads and Links




Apr 28, 2014 @ 7:30am

Neat! Love the visuals

Kimba says ...
Apr 28, 2014 @ 10:02am

Nice graphics

indigofiz says ...
Apr 28, 2014 @ 10:08am

The visuals are really good. Completely lost on what the goal of the game is about though, but the game mechanics are solid.

rincewind_cz says ...
Apr 28, 2014 @ 10:11am

Really nice and polished graphics and gameplay! Wow. I died a lot first.. I definitely have to try this in coop mode. Good job!

gikdew says ...
Apr 28, 2014 @ 10:45am

Omg,I'm having a lighting-orgasm, you know, the visuals are awesome, you did a great work!

Apr 28, 2014 @ 11:06am

Impressive graphics and great work on the animations!
I couldn't do much since my keyboard doesnt have a page down key but I enjoyed wandering those dark caves!

mortus says ...
Apr 28, 2014 @ 12:42pm

Thanks for the feedback! I've added possibility to remap controls. I guess it could qualify as a 'porting' change, but to be safe please consider it a post-compo version for voting purposes.

Doubstract says ...
Apr 28, 2014 @ 1:36pm

Amazing, i cant believe you did this in 48 hours O_O

Split82 says ...
Apr 28, 2014 @ 1:55pm

Excelent graphics.

Apr 28, 2014 @ 4:08pm

Thanks for the updated remapped controls! Now I was able to enjoy it fully and rated it better :)

Zyper says ...
Apr 28, 2014 @ 4:38pm

Thank you for two players mode!
Also very nice graphics. :)

Gins says ...
Apr 28, 2014 @ 4:58pm

Impressive graphics :)
I couldn't really get into it (darkness in an exploration game isn't really my thing), but I have a feeling that many will like this.

Roman Kornev says ...
Apr 28, 2014 @ 5:25pm

Love the artstyle and audio. Very polished.
Didn't get the economy thing though. The game punishes you for dying so you have to try to safely go back. But then you waste all of your ladders and won't have money to buy more stuff. You should get the ability to craft ladders/torches and receive more money from gems.
The gems are sometimes hard to get and pressing the button to collect them is annoying sometimes. Bats could die in 1 hit as well.
Other than that - Good job.

mortus says ...
Apr 28, 2014 @ 6:03pm

Yeah, crafting and better object placement / gem collection features were two highest priorities when I finished and happened to be just across the time limit. Ladders are cheap though, so you don't spend that much on returning back (1 red gem buys you 10 ladders).

Thank your for your feedback everyone!

pawegio says ...
Apr 28, 2014 @ 9:03pm

Perfect design!

rnlf says ...
Apr 29, 2014 @ 8:47am

Really cool lighting and visuals in general. Really hard game. I liked it a lot though, I just seem to suck at it :-(

Hypnohustla says ...
Apr 29, 2014 @ 9:12am

Great graphics. The sounds were great, it made the miner feel really creepy. :D Great job for 48 hours!

udvaritibor says ...
Apr 29, 2014 @ 10:41am

It's really really pretty. I love it.

martinysa0311 says ...
Apr 29, 2014 @ 10:41am

the underground ambience I like so much

greysphere says ...
Apr 29, 2014 @ 10:45am

Gorgeous aesthetic! Collection was a little difficult for me, maybe simply passing over a gem could auto collect?

eufrik says ...
Apr 29, 2014 @ 11:26am

Nice graphics and controls are good. :)

flavio says ...
Apr 29, 2014 @ 11:33am

Woooooow ! I just love it, I am addicted ! I should go and rate other games but this one is way to cool. Amazing job. Bravo.

Note : I had to use the post compo to change the controls.

Apr 29, 2014 @ 3:12pm

Excellent graphics and nice lighting system. Could have done with some music.

The gameplay was completely ruined by the fact that you had to press a button to collect the gems. I was not able to pick up the megagems when I got to them, no matter how much I tried, and it left me frustrated (maybe that would even classify as a win condition bug?). Such a shame, since the rest of the game was shaping up to be a lot of fun! Good job all in all.

Thorig says ...
Apr 29, 2014 @ 3:38pm

Fun game and the visuals are great.

mortus says ...
Apr 29, 2014 @ 4:35pm

Ah, I believe the problem with Megagems is that you can haul only one at a time and must return it to the surface before taking another one. It is intentional but I wouldn't have done it that way again of course. For some reason (must be fatigue) it didn't struck me right when I did that feature that it's a bad thing. Especially seeing how Megagems spawn in clusters mostly (they always spawn in 15th room from surface) and you're forced to make few similar runs just to collect one cluster.

I greatly appreciate your feedback! Thank you all! In fact I'm pretty serious about expanding this prototype, shifting the mechanics a bit and making it to a full game eventually.

NoorStudios says ...
Apr 29, 2014 @ 9:00pm

Fun game once I figured out how to play, good job! You should defiantly take this beyond the competition.

KunoNoOni says ...
Apr 30, 2014 @ 3:14am

Can't say enough about the visuals. good gameplay too!

Dreii says ...
Apr 30, 2014 @ 3:59am

The graphics and sound are great but WHAT DO I DO, WHERE TO I GO?

zkenshin says ...
Apr 30, 2014 @ 8:34pm

Nice and clean art style. Good job!

jorgemoag says ...
May 1, 2014 @ 12:30am

It is a very immersive experience. The lights are awesome

TobiasW says ...
May 1, 2014 @ 1:25am

The good parts first! The art is lovely (the beard flying when the dwarf jumps is just adorable). The lighting is awesome and the GUI looks good too. The sfx works really and fit the character. The random generation (I assume it is randomly generated?) produces really interesting results. And the gameplay is pretty solid and would probably be fun, but...

...the economy and the feedback loops are so punishing. Please correct me if I'm wrong, I've got the impression that when you die:
- You lose half of your equipment
- You lose half of your money
- All gems collected are still gone

So when you die, you have less resources and less resources are available in the world, which will make you more likely to die and less likely to succeed - a pretty negative feedback loop. Considering that you need ladders to reach most gems, it's really really easy for a beginner (like myself) to get into a situation where you can't do anything anymore and you have to restart the whole game to get a new map. This might not have been a problem if the game wasn't so slow at the same time.

The controls could've been easier too. Instead of having:
- One button switching what do build
- One button build, buy, collect
- One button attack

...this would've been much easier (less doing the wrong thing by accident, less keystrokes in total):
- One button building latters
- One button building torches
- One button attack, buy
- Gems are automatically collected

I'm sorry if my criticism sounds harsh! I don't blame you, it's super easy to lose track of difficulty in such a short timeframe. I fell for a similar trap with my game and you did a lot more there than me in 48 hours. But since I've read that you wanted to do expand this prototype, I thought it would be only fair if I tell you my unfiltered thoughts about it :)

mortus says ...
May 1, 2014 @ 11:12am

Thank you very much for a detailed feedback!
I've made a few mistakes on the economy part, that's true. But as you probably know, it's hard to balance a game difficulty when you've played it yourself from the beginning of its development, especially early game difficulty. You need play testers for that, and that's something you don't have time for during LD usually.

I was aware, of course, of the situation where you could end up being unable to do anything but restart the whole game. I didn't have the time to fix it the right way and since it NEVER happened to me, not even once, during my test plays, I figured that it's something I can ignore for now. Guess I was wrong.

Concerning the controls. Initial plan was to have more buildable items instead of just ladders and torches, so switcher-button was necessary. And even with 3 more or less equally often used buttons (attack, build ladder, build torch) I believe it's sometimes easy to be confused and press wrong buttons sometimes. I will think about it for a bigger game, of course.

I really appreciate your constructive criticism, thanks! :D

@everyone else:
Thanks for the feedback! I will play, rate and comment all your games in a few days!

Ken Ichi says ...
May 1, 2014 @ 8:42pm

Great game =]

BadgerPriest says ...
May 3, 2014 @ 11:39am

The visuals are amazing, but I can't figure out how to get money and not run out of ladders.

petey123567 says ...
May 4, 2014 @ 7:36am

Awesome awesome awesome art and mood. Sometimes became lost when the screen changed, because the in-doors are often in shadow :\

Candyhandy says ...
May 5, 2014 @ 5:36pm

Amazingly polished game. I'm stupefied with what you did in 48 hours.

woodenrabbit says ...
May 7, 2014 @ 9:53pm

The game was really fun! I wish had a buddy to play to play with me because I'm sure it would have been great. Its impressive how much you got done in 48 hours.

The exploring was fun and the graphics looked great. And I didn't feel any repetition in the room layouts, I'm assuming it was procedurally generated.

Well done!

conormn says ...
May 7, 2014 @ 11:30pm

Love the style and two player mechanics. Really great work!!

jsmars says ...
May 8, 2014 @ 6:10am

Really nice entry! Good graphics sounds and overall quality of the game! A bit difficult in resources when you die.

rojo says ...
May 9, 2014 @ 5:00pm

Fun concept. The game looked really nice. The background music was really quiet, though. Also the single player controls weren't terribly well laid out.

bwpdsigns says ...
May 9, 2014 @ 5:07pm

Love the graphics, got stuck a lot, but the game looks great.

ndebruyn says ...
May 9, 2014 @ 6:17pm

Very very very nice.

csanyk says ...
May 10, 2014 @ 5:36am

This was really cool. I played as 1P, and could only carry torches OR ladders... so I had to keep dying and returning with what I needed. This seemed like a design flaw until I realized that probably in a 2P game you could cooperate and get around a good bit better. I think there should be a way for the 1P version to allow you to carry both torches and ladders.

mortus says ...
May 10, 2014 @ 6:59am

Glad you liked it. You can select what to build by pressing Page Down key (remappable in post-compo), so you can build anything in 1 player mode and change the current instrument easily. Sorry that you've missed that.

@everyone else:
Thanks for the feedback! I will play, rate and comment all your games in a few days!

csanyk says ...
May 10, 2014 @ 3:38pm

Thanks for the tip... I still think that the controls are very awkward. A better scheme for me would be to have a Torch button and a Ladder button. Switching with Pg Dn is not very intuitive, and depending on where that key is on your keyboard can be pretty awkward. (Of course remapping can help that...) I find that I try to collect gems and instead use a torch or a ladder too often.

Also, how am I supposed to deal with bats? They hurt me, but I can't run away or dodge them easily, and I can't find a way to kill them.

Teesquared says ...
May 10, 2014 @ 5:40pm

Interesting idea. Cool lighting trick ... really adds to the mood. I thought it was difficult with a high frustration element. Random level generator could use some work.

mortus says ...
May 10, 2014 @ 8:24pm

I agree that controls are awkward, I have a instrument switch button because more instruments were planned initially and 1 player controls are strange because I planned for 2 players from the beginning and didn't make different controls for the first player in 1p and 2p mode under the stress of compo.

You can attack bats with > button (default), that's another strange and far-from-perfect key choice I've made.

Thank you for the feedback. Could you please elaborate on what exactly you didn't like about the level generator? I'm working on extended version right now and I've improved it a little, but principles didn't change too much. I would like to know in what direction people think I should be moving. Thanks.

gre says ...
May 12, 2014 @ 5:50pm

Nice exploration and very cool graphics and sound.

JonathanG says ...
May 13, 2014 @ 7:59am

This looks very nice, and has a lot to it. I didn't realise until I read the comments that I could collect the red gems and buy things with them. Also I had a few problems with jumping, sometimes I would jump sideways but lose all momentum and just fall straight down, and sometimes when I landed it would just keep running in the same direction unless I interrupted by placing a torch.

TeamFlare says ...
May 18, 2014 @ 6:52pm

very nice Game!

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