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

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Drill18: The Mars Project

by quill18 - 48 Hour Compo Entry

Drill18: The Mars Project
You'll really dig this game!

Goal: Run a profitable mining operation and dig your way to Mars' diamond core (this is a real thing, right?)

Controls: Arrows/WASD to move the screen, mouse to dig tiles, place rooms.

- "Infinite" map size (though lack of optimization limits things in practice)
- AI workers with needs that must be met, or you face complaints from the powerful Union of Martian Miners
- 7 different types of buildable rooms
- 4 different careers: Builders (who dig and repair rooms), Drillers (who extract ore), Refiners (who improve your ore-to-money exchange rate), and Scientists (who increase the work & movement speed of all workers)
- 3 difficulty options (although the game is balanced to be pretty easy, to facilitate reviewing for Ludum Dare)
- Cat-based sound effects
- Really awesome big-number rollovers if you opt to continue playing well past winning.


Created with: Unity 3d, Photoshop, Audacity, and

The Post-Mortem post:

Big huge thanks to the thousands of people who came to watch my livestream, and an extra special thanks to all of my subscribers who help to support the channel. I'm sorry I turned you into workers in my hellish mine.

-- quill18 -- Game Commentaries/Reviews -- Unity 3d Tutorials

Downloads and Links




arturo182 says ...
Apr 28, 2014 @ 12:42am

I watched this game being created during this weekend, quite impressive. It has potential to be continued/tweaked/released after the compo.

liqwidice says ...
Apr 28, 2014 @ 12:43am

10/10 would nominate for a VGX.

deathseeker says ...
Apr 28, 2014 @ 12:45am

10/10 would play again

Muffinhat says ...
Apr 28, 2014 @ 12:46am

Jeez. Lot of depth (pun intended) put into this game in 48 hours. Awesome game.

Depod2 says ...
Apr 28, 2014 @ 1:02am

10/10. This game has the potential to be spectacular if built upon after Ludum Dare 29 is over.

Apr 28, 2014 @ 1:08am

Great game, especially in 48 hours. 10/10. And a nice name too.

RaveRapture says ...
Apr 28, 2014 @ 1:59am

I enjoyed playing both the final compo and all of the sometime hilariously bug filled builds leading to it. 10/10!

Apr 28, 2014 @ 2:13am

Really nice game! There's always this little touch of quill humor, the graphics are great and I had great fun playing it. Watched you create it from start to finish while also creating my game. By the way, if you have some time, could you check it out? Here's the link to my entry :

Sim00n says ...
Apr 28, 2014 @ 3:13am

It's a really nice creation. I hope you continue working on it. There's still a lot of potential here. I kinda reminds me of Prison Architect. GG.

harko12 says ...
Apr 28, 2014 @ 3:18am

I was watching you build this while I was working on mine. I am shamed. This is a great job for all the more time that it took. I hope to at some point get good enough at this stuff that I can turn out something of that quality in that timeframe.

Kino333 says ...
Apr 28, 2014 @ 3:41am

Way too addicting! I liked it.
Give it some polish and some refinement, maybe add more things to it, and you'd have a pretty great game on your hands.

nxT says ...
Apr 28, 2014 @ 3:47am

This is really fun, and an impressive feat of programming for only 48 hours.

SuperMsp10 says ...
Apr 28, 2014 @ 3:58am

whoo lots of fun

ZQMony says ...
Apr 28, 2014 @ 4:03am

Lots of content. I can see myself playing this in the future.

microapple says ...
Apr 28, 2014 @ 4:05am

Watched the stream of this games creation. Love the theme / implied background story. Gameplay is quite enjoyable. Mechanics are all solid. Polished for a 48hr game!

xevozfighter says ...
Apr 28, 2014 @ 4:53am

I enjoyed the game, but eventually found a point where it didn't seem I had to do anything anymore. My workers had everything they needed and I was making millions of credits every time the shuttle came in. This was fun though. Are you going to add on to it when the competition is over?

mathias234 says ...
Apr 28, 2014 @ 6:08am

Good Game

Apr 28, 2014 @ 6:24am

how do i vote

Slader16 says ...
Apr 28, 2014 @ 6:44am

BEST GAME OF LD29!!! Can you upload a Windows build so I can play forever? (Yes, forever 0_0)

Artylo says ...
Apr 28, 2014 @ 7:34am

The concept is really nice. Animations and art are amazing. Gameplay is solid. The AI can be strange at times, but it works fairly good.
Overall, I think this is a very well made compo game and you'll probably get a really good score for it. Best of luck, Quill.

SkyWolf says ...
Apr 28, 2014 @ 8:15am

As always "the Quillzord" amazes with his capability to deliver FAST. Amazing.

DeadM8 says ...
Apr 28, 2014 @ 10:50am

An AMAZING game! Very good game, and the fact it was made in only 48 hours - amazing! 10/10

Karmalis says ...
Apr 28, 2014 @ 12:40pm

Very nice work. I've been watching your streams and progress since your first time on Ludum dare. You have made and still are making a huge progress. Congrats.

Apr 28, 2014 @ 12:57pm

Amazing game really fun would love to see a full version.
One massive problem I have with it is the fact I got
one trillion,
one hundred fifty-five billion,
four hundred sixty-nine million,
Dollars in a short period of time. For 48 hours it's amazing but needs to be balanced XD
I would love to see this game on a kickstarter

Apr 28, 2014 @ 1:14pm

I have watched stream and you sir did a very good job! GREAT GAME!

NuvlearGames says ...
Apr 28, 2014 @ 1:21pm

Well done, espically since he took a relaxed approach to the game by using a relaxed schedule

Jed T. says ...
Apr 28, 2014 @ 2:02pm

What an incredible game made in 48 hrs! There is a major bug though where I can just click the drill downwards as long as I like.

Ping78 says ...
Apr 28, 2014 @ 2:10pm

I watched a bit of the livestream(while making my own game), but playing this game was more fun than I expected.

Dramentiaras says ...
Apr 28, 2014 @ 2:47pm

Great game! Enjoyable to play overall!

Anti says ...
Apr 28, 2014 @ 2:48pm

Very good game for 48 hours! Needs some extra work but for 48 hours this is amazing. Very addicting!

Apr 28, 2014 @ 2:55pm

Watched the steam and tried some of the builds. Solid game and would play more 10/10

Hypnohustla says ...
Apr 28, 2014 @ 3:13pm

Really impressive for 48 hours! It was fun to watch the workers work. Reminds me of an ant colony. :) Really great game.

Kep says ...
Apr 28, 2014 @ 4:16pm

Very impressive complexity for a weekend game, and it's fun. Well done!
I expanded to fast my first time playing. This time will be better...

Kep says ...
Apr 28, 2014 @ 4:55pm

Ok, I think I can stop now...
I now have 26 floors. 0.0

PapyGaragos says ...
Apr 28, 2014 @ 6:05pm

Those small details and animations everywhere are what makes you love games where you inevitably have to wait a little : it's so satisfying to watch everyone being busy; and it drives you to build even more.

Great entry, bookmarked.

recursor says ...
Apr 28, 2014 @ 6:37pm

I enjoyed this and my riches when I hit the diamond playing in hard mode. There is surprisingly a lot of stuff in here for a 48h game. You should turn this into a full experience with more yummy upgrades, play balancing, etc.

Strandmullen says ...
Apr 28, 2014 @ 6:38pm

Great work put into this. Even though the game doesn't take a long time to finish, it's a lot of fun getting there. Also, I reached level 37!

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

At first I thought "Wow, the cost for drilling further down increases exponentially.. I will never finish this game". But then my economy snowballed and I reached the diamond core with over 800 million credits left. Very interesting game. Well done!

Keyguyperson says ...
Apr 28, 2014 @ 7:56pm

10/10, the ability to continue playing after the goal is really nice to have in this kind of game, and all of it in 48 hours! This game is great already, and still has a lot of potential!

Aske says ...
Apr 28, 2014 @ 8:14pm

I gave it an extra star for the awesome MIDI soundtrack :D

Apr 28, 2014 @ 10:35pm

Didn't watch the stream had no clue what it was about, playing it now though, its awesome. The gameplay flows very nicely and is very well done. The music is very quiet though. Still, great job!

ryebread761 says ...
Apr 28, 2014 @ 11:23pm

Great game. I really enjoyed playing it. Fun to see the workers go so fast!

eteeski says ...
Apr 28, 2014 @ 11:44pm

Wow, this was really great :) Very impressive for 48 hours! it's a lot of fun :) The UI could use a bit of work, but it works once you understand it. Still, very very good for 48 hours :)

Bevilacqua says ...
Apr 29, 2014 @ 1:39am

This blows most of the other games out of the park. I watched this get made... paint me impressed.

IAmSpencer says ...
Apr 29, 2014 @ 1:43am

Really fun and easy to pick up. Would like to be able to drag to select places for digging, but it is addicting non the less. Well done :)

KunoNoOni says ...
Apr 29, 2014 @ 1:45am

At this point in the game (its still running while I type this) I'm at 66 trillon. This is such a fun game. I watched your feed a little after I finished my game. You really should continue development of this game after the compo is over. You have something really special here!

lightsoda says ...
Apr 29, 2014 @ 5:46am

That was fun, a nice assortment of rooms and jobs to work with. The only nitpick I have at this time is that I placed rooms where I didn't intend to a couple of times.

Very nice work!

Apr 29, 2014 @ 5:54am

GJ 10/10 Quil awesome game but a little to easy

tiffi_gaming says ...
Apr 29, 2014 @ 7:10am

Impressive, maybe too easy

RikardKarlsen says ...
Apr 29, 2014 @ 10:28am

Now I want to play SImTower...

adamwoolridge says ...
Apr 29, 2014 @ 10:43am

Pretty in-depth for the timeframe, nice job!

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

Ehy! Professional level here!

marccspro says ...
Apr 29, 2014 @ 4:41pm

Really nice game us usual ;) Well play

tomvert says ...
Apr 29, 2014 @ 6:24pm

Oh my god the addiction, if I continue to play this game I will not be able to play any other !!! Anyway good job on making such an addictive game, you could win money :)

xerohuang says ...
Apr 29, 2014 @ 6:53pm

Great game!

dusho says ...
Apr 29, 2014 @ 6:58pm

amazing, if I wouldn't see your stream doing it, I wouldn't believe you made it in 48h, impressive job
improvement ideas I had was just maybe tool tips for room buttons, use right mouse button for panning + mouse wheel zooming (controls)
also game is too easy even on hard, there should be miners limits for kitchen/entertainment rooms, also some dust plagues that kill your workers

Apr 29, 2014 @ 10:17pm

Amazing how much you were able to accomplish in the time frame. I love me a sim game, this is great.

Noah Ratcliff says ...
Apr 29, 2014 @ 11:19pm

Great game! Lots of content for 48 hours. Nice job!

kristof says ...
Apr 30, 2014 @ 5:50am

Very cool entry. I watched your stream a few times when I needed a break from my own game. Nice to see that it turned into such a polished game!

Morco says ...
Apr 30, 2014 @ 10:59am

in just 48 hours

SK16Games says ...
Apr 30, 2014 @ 1:04pm

Hahaha, very interesting game, and really fun to play :D would like to see more things to buy ;)

javifugitivo says ...
Apr 30, 2014 @ 5:29pm

Impressive is the word. I really love the mechanic and the style of the game, very very complete. Congratz!

zkenshin says ...
Apr 30, 2014 @ 5:49pm

Fantastically fun. Great entry, would love to see it expanded upon. :)

dcolgan says ...
Apr 30, 2014 @ 7:09pm

I finished with several hundred trillion dollars. Woo! Awesome game for a weekend!

Dreii says ...
Apr 30, 2014 @ 7:53pm

Wow! this was the first game I played after I was done rating it, its really well done fantastic! on a side note Im subscribed to you on youtube so thanks for helping me learn unity! :D

CoderMusgrove says ...
Apr 30, 2014 @ 10:26pm

Complete 5 stars. I've been playing it for god knows how long.

oxysoft says ...
May 1, 2014 @ 12:09am

Interesting game, I could definitely see it having some success outside of ludum dare

dkkarate says ...
May 1, 2014 @ 1:12am

ending up with $1,000,000,000,000 LOL!

TeamInCharge says ...
May 1, 2014 @ 6:04am

You made me very happy! I feel like playing SimTower all over again :D Thank you also for showing abundant-music... it is very sweet. First superaddictive game on this compo! :D thx

Tifu says ...
May 1, 2014 @ 12:19pm

This is so awesome. Would be nice if it showed how much a drill extension would cost before you click it, and if the different workers wore different coloured hats or something so you know who is running around.
Things do escalate a little quickly, could be more challenging with rooms costing more money to build in deeper levels, or drill rooms running out of ore to mine and having to be moved around, but this is really awesome for the 48 hours :O

Cash says ...
May 1, 2014 @ 1:05pm

I can't find anything wrong with this game. I think this might be one of the best entries in the competition

Ken Ichi says ...
May 1, 2014 @ 3:06pm

Awesome Game!

May 1, 2014 @ 4:00pm

Fantastic game!

Muciojad says ...
May 1, 2014 @ 4:08pm

Piece of a very solid work, congratulations for do it in 48h ;]

Dominator_101 says ...
May 1, 2014 @ 5:30pm

Holy crap, nice!

It was awesome watching my workers zip around at like mach1 because of all the science labs I had.

May 1, 2014 @ 5:37pm

Nice game! A surprising amount of depth (no pun intended) for an LD game. Pretty fun stuff. I feel like the music didn't quite fit in with the game, but otherwise great!

BrothersT says ...
May 1, 2014 @ 6:31pm

Fantastic game. Really love games where you can create your oown little microcosm. and definitely impressive for the time limit. Graphics were purely functional which I also liked. no time wasted :)

May 1, 2014 @ 11:16pm

Solid 5 stars all the way down. I can't help but like any game that allows me to make 260 trillion dollars.

Rock48 says ...
May 2, 2014 @ 2:57am

Great game, I've spent a lot of time on my fort:

Though I can't figure out why my framerate is beginning to drop, can anybody figure it out?

Oye Beto says ...
May 2, 2014 @ 3:20am

I won, it was fun :)

There's too much stuff going on, at first I didn't know what I was doing and I never understood the right down window information. There was a guy sleeping there but it said 0/1.

Wertle says ...
May 2, 2014 @ 5:00am

This had really great pacing ramp-up. I loved how at the end everyone was frantically scurrying around. It felt great! Nice work :)

PixelFeet says ...
May 2, 2014 @ 3:00pm

For a game you made in less than 48 hours, this is simply brilliant.

TobiasW says ...
May 2, 2014 @ 11:44pm

Since this game seemed cool and I wanted to provide a running commentary (which is hard to do in text with only one monitor, haha) I decided to record myself playing your game! I'm not used to do that, hence the crappy commentary, but maybe you'll still enjoy watching somebody play your game. (I also accidentally didn't record system audio, which is why you can't hear your music/sfx. Grr.)

I don't sound very passionate when I'm concentrating, but I really liked your game! It feels extremely polished. The graphics are a bit on the simple side, but work well and are still pleasent to look at. The music is fantasic, as are the sound effects! And multiple difficulty levels are really perfect for the LD.

You did a great job there, and all that in 48 hours! :D

microwerx says ...
May 3, 2014 @ 12:27am

Super duper! It sucked me in...

Garris says ...
May 3, 2014 @ 12:48am

I found the music very catchy : D That's in addition to how well put together the rest of the game was. I'll be coming back to play this more.

runvs says ...
May 3, 2014 @ 12:30pm

Hi there,
Nice game you finished. Two points you could improve: The music does not fit to the setting very well (it would be better for theme park or something like that). Also there is the balancing that needs to be adjusted.

Lee1121 says ...
May 3, 2014 @ 12:34pm

I had a good time playing this game :)

May 3, 2014 @ 12:38pm

Amazing! It's like a non-shit version of Tiny Tower.

ArDi says ...
May 3, 2014 @ 7:43pm

Amazing game, Quill. Now playing and can't stop. 10/10

paps says ...
May 3, 2014 @ 9:09pm

Full star for me. One word amazing

Gunn3rboi says ...
May 4, 2014 @ 2:11am

great concept and really fun strategy game.

sP0CkEr2 says ...
May 4, 2014 @ 4:32am

how about that - an almost perfect score - awesome job

rfgpfeiffer says ...
May 4, 2014 @ 3:58pm

There is no Data folder in the linux zip! This should be easy to fix.

rfgpfeiffer says ...
May 4, 2014 @ 4:30pm

I copied the data folder from the windows version and took the mono.dll from from another unity game. That worked.

The game is tense in the beginning, but after I got over $200000, everything compounded really fast and I quickly got to $5 billion.

If you make a post-compo version, please fix the capacity of the bunk beds. It always showed 0/0.

MrBlade says ...
May 4, 2014 @ 5:31pm

Rats. There is an end. This is in my top three games I have ever played for a Ludum Dare. It is one of the most fun, compelling, and all around well done. The art is good, the sound and music are great, the mechanics just work. In a way, this sort reminds me of Cookie Clicker or something, where you are just always upgrading to get more cookies so you can upgrade to get more cookies so you can upgrade to get more cookies so y- Well, you get it. But it works in this case! Even my biggest gripe with this game is very small. The workers are kind of stupid and slow. Big whoop. I love the building a colony sort of thing and watching them all run around. Very very very good job. (The humor in the beginning is some of the best LD plot I have ever read. Into the sun.) If you polished this game and put it up for sale, I would buy it.

HybridMind says ...
May 5, 2014 @ 12:39am

Pretty cool! I managed to reach the diamond core! Sim games are always fun. The joy of watching your little crew run around performing tasks. The little theme song was catchy too.

Clavus says ...
May 5, 2014 @ 6:52pm

Quite amazing for just 48 hours! Very addictive, even when my funds exceeded the global GDP of mankind :P

GreatBigJerk says ...
May 5, 2014 @ 10:06pm

Fantastic! Amazing accomplishment for a 48 hour game. Please do continue development into a full game.

sandeep_toor says ...
May 6, 2014 @ 5:25am

Great game Quill!, I had a lot of fun playing it, this has great potential, love the idea and concept

joe40001 says ...
May 8, 2014 @ 9:20pm

So, uh, quill18, I kinda loved your game:

Though you should know it gets laggy when you keep playing long after you've won. :P

There is nothing I would change about the game, sure if you had a big team where somebody could do slick art and a tiny bit better sound that would be better, but who cares the game is so fun, it looks and sounds pretty dang good. And it's crazy crazy fun. Well done!

NightShadow0 says ...
May 9, 2014 @ 4:54pm

This is really fun, reminded me of the drilling bits in XCOM, would love to see an expanded version. A zoom out feature would be very useful too. Impressive work!

May 9, 2014 @ 11:13pm

WOW impressive game :D its very VERY FUN!! :D GREAT WORK :D you should keep making this game :D

soy_yuma says ...
May 11, 2014 @ 6:13pm

I found it very enjoyable! Specially when the mine started to give me 10k per each of my 10M ore chunks. I was hoping to overflow the counter, but that never happened. Good game!

NathanBrower says ...
May 14, 2014 @ 4:13am

Great game, really. I played through this twice. Solid AI, pretty solid graphics, solid audio.

I let it do it's thing for a couple hours and came back to literally over 1,700,000,000,000,000 credits. While this is cool, I think it's also a problem. Once you have the basics set up, you can afk until you have enough money to win the game. Also, the moods of the workers never really came into play as soon as I built one cafe and one bar, so I think that perhaps there should be a limit to how many workers a room can accommodate. And lastly, it would have been really nice to see the workers in different outfits based on their profession.

But all in all, well done. :)

Josisen says ...
May 14, 2014 @ 3:24pm

10/10 very good indeed! Loved it, and played it for hours!
It has a very big potential for re-development the game could last a little longer - but overall it doesn't matter!
- This is the best game created on 48 hours!

lolisamurai says ...
May 30, 2014 @ 2:23am

Simple yet addicting concept. Had me hooked for a good hour, this could become the new cookie clicker.
I actually kept playing until the framerate dropped so low because of all the tiles that I could barely scroll. Managed to dig down to nearly level 50

Rustam says ...
Jun 8, 2017 @ 7:59am

From IBA Games: A ROCK STORY A story where music decides everything. This book is one of the older classics, its language and humor make it an easy, can't-put-it-down read.

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