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

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by Sim00n - 48 Hour Compo Entry

Hello there stranger. The goal of this game is to build a nest for the group of Ants given to you. Collect sticks and dirt to build your nest in the provided area on top the spawn cave. Remember to breed your ants using the queen. If you don't have enough food, your ants will die. When a big enough nest is built the game will end.
I couldn't get an Applet to work (damn you java!). I'll try to add it soon. Meanwhile enjoy the game in a .jar format! :)

Please don't reserve any criticism. This is my first entry and I want feedback.

A quick website thrown together for this project:

I'll post the time elapse, links to the whole 48 recorded on my twitch channel, other ideas me and my chat came up with, etc.

Good luck too all my fellow creators.

Downloads and Links




ix says ...
Apr 28, 2014 @ 3:07am

I'd like to play this but the file host seems super shady and serves me "Anterrarium.rar.exe" :(

DrPrettyPatty says ...
Apr 28, 2014 @ 3:12am

Pretty sweet! The controls take a lot of getting used to, but it brings back fond memories of SimAnt!

Lacaranian says ...
Apr 28, 2014 @ 3:14am

Download was a bit finnicky, but eh. Cool game! Couldn't figure out how the mating worked, but I built up a nice little nest. Ain't nobody gonna mess with my ants.

Sim00n says ...
Apr 28, 2014 @ 3:15am

No there should be no exe in there? It's a rar file and inside you've got a .jar and a res folder with assets. Make sure you open it with winrar or 7zip, extract both the jar file and the folder. If it doesn't work you can open up the cmd console, "cd" into the folder and run "java -jar game.jar". That should work 99% of the time.

Sim00n says ...
Apr 28, 2014 @ 3:16am

@Lacaranina the ants have to be almost on top of one another. (The queen and another ant). It's best done close to a wall. You hit "5" and then "LMB". I'll release a patch tomorrow to fix that proximity bug.

Sim00n says ...
Apr 28, 2014 @ 3:25am

I fixed the link so it points to my server instead of Speedyshare. I can see where the confusion with exe came from. You hit an add on speedyshare's website. Sorry.

Apr 28, 2014 @ 3:27am

Crashes before any window comes up on OSX 10.9, latest version of JRE 7.

awanegenebayo says ...
Apr 28, 2014 @ 3:51am

I have the following error message from the JVM : "Could not find the main class: net.lsrp.ld29.Game. Program will exit"

manabreak says ...
Apr 28, 2014 @ 3:55am

As with awanegenebayo, I get the error "Could not find the main class: net.lsrp.ld29.Game. Program will exit."... :(

telaviv says ...
Apr 28, 2014 @ 3:55am

This is broken on linux ->

Sim00n says ...
Apr 28, 2014 @ 4:02am

I've tested it with couple of people on Windows and everything works fine. Are you extracting /res/ folder along with the .jar?

Rahazan says ...
Apr 28, 2014 @ 4:23am Look at that sexy dome nest in 20 minutes!

Really fun game, incredibly complex for a 48hr game.
Probably the longest I have played a LD game for!

Nition says ...
Apr 28, 2014 @ 4:34am

A lot attempted here for 48hrs. Understandably, some of it seems a little buggy - digging for instance seems a bit weird with when it decides to work and when it doesn't. My dirt resource (?) also seems to go up whether or not the dirt block was actually used up. Nice ambitious idea though - something in the vein of Sim Ant.

Sim00n says ...
Apr 28, 2014 @ 4:49am

Thank you guys soo much! I've never heard of Sim Ant before someone mentioned it in my chat during the last couple of hours. I know the game is a little buggy but those can (and will) be fixed. I think it has a potential to become something more.
Also it's my first ever submission and I'm only 19 - a lot of learning and work ahead of me :)

Cirrial says ...
Apr 29, 2014 @ 9:49pm

Controls a bit too clunky for my liking unfortunately, trying to select ants would rapidly select and deselect large groups. Also, not sure why the buttons couldn't be clickable as well as used by number hotkeys? It'd be great if the ants had a bit more autonomy, basically, such as giving them orders rather than directly controlling all of them. I speak from experience when I say I realise that this isn't perhaps doable in the time constraints, but I like the idea behind this game a lot.

Jacksendary says ...
Apr 30, 2014 @ 2:59am

Kinda buggy but over all a cool idea

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

The controls didn't seem to work for me. Sometimes I could dig, sometimes I couldn't. At no point was I able to get it to actually place any blocks. I tried with the build tool selected, with workers selected or not, lmb just never did anything. I did dig myself into a hole though, so there's that.

Sim00n says ...
Apr 30, 2014 @ 3:20am

@Cirrial You're right but in the time that I had it was hard to find the right balance. I know it's also buggy but it was a really ambitious project for my skill level.
@Empyrealhell You need the builder ants (orange) to place blocks. You also need dirt and stick in your inventory.

KirbiKaka says ...
Apr 30, 2014 @ 3:29am

I like the premise, and the game seems like it would be a lot more fun if you had just a bit more time to work on it!

That said, the controls are indeed a bother. You can't click on the buttons and also selecting ants is a little wonky since you have to deselect your current ant before selecting another one (if you don't want to control both of them at once). Since each ant has its own role, maybe it would have been simpler to just have a button to select the ant's action? (digging for dig ants, building for build ants, etc.) I had to refer back to the help screen often, just to remember how to select things or how to move the screen because there were so many different controls.

I enjoyed the tile-based platforming. I especially like how smooth running up stairs feels! I had a lot of fun with the game by taking one digging ant and just going on adventures :D!

Snicklodocus says ...
Apr 30, 2014 @ 3:42am

Extremely ambitious game. It's rough but once I figured out the controls, I had a good time. The ants are very picky about digging and I never understood the mating mechanics. This game could be a lot of fun, I hope you continue working on it!

Sim00n says ...
Apr 30, 2014 @ 3:47am

@Snicklodocus Thanks! For mating you need to have a queen ant and another ant very close to each other, pick option #5 and left click. Make sure that the ants are almost on top of each other though.

paps says ...
Apr 30, 2014 @ 4:18am

cool game, but the controls were hard to get use to.

João Kucera says ...
Apr 30, 2014 @ 4:51am

Nice game!

GlowingSnail says ...
Apr 30, 2014 @ 4:58am

I would love to play. Sadly, this is what my keyboard looks like:

SlamBlasta says ...
Apr 30, 2014 @ 5:34am

A really interesting concept. It had a few bugs though.

Wakka says ...
Apr 30, 2014 @ 11:41pm

java -jar Anterrarium.rar
Invalid or corrupt jarfile Anterrarium.rar

sudorossy says ...
Apr 30, 2014 @ 11:42pm

The UI is a bit clunky, but the graphics and sound are nice!

Sim00n says ...
May 1, 2014 @ 12:11am

@GlowingSnail I'm sorry to hear that. I should have thought of AZERTY people but in the time constraint that we've had there's just no way I would be able to create a menu.

@Wakka You need to extract the files into a separate folder and than run "java -jar game.jar".

Dreii says ...
May 1, 2014 @ 2:10am

Ahh I miss simant :) nice job, couldnt figure out some of the controls or they wherent working, not sure but nice game!

vladimirdlc says ...
May 1, 2014 @ 2:54am

I loved the ambition of the game, it's quite something, but it lacks feedback to the user(more indications on UI instead of a help page) and progression, as there are several input action/processing with parallel results; albeit, after some frustation and learning, I got to enjoy it a bit.
For being your first entry and also been done in compo mode, I thougth this was quite an amazing achievement, great job.

DrStahlbart says ...
May 1, 2014 @ 9:37pm

Nice concept of controlling the ants, but the camera movement should be changed (E.g. move with r.mouselick down). There are interesting spots to discover, like your "hi :)". :)

blockbot says ...
May 1, 2014 @ 9:39pm

Ambitious game, really nicely done.

Fritzendugan says ...
May 1, 2014 @ 9:53pm

Never use age as a measure of expected success ;)

That said, this is a pretty ambitious game for anyone to attempt on their own in 48 hours. However, I think you did pretty well with the time you had.

Like others, I had issues with the digging mechanic. Seemed off-by-one a lot, yet not at other times. I also couldn't get mating to work, even when they're on top of each other. Maybe I'm doing something wrong, but the controls aren't exactly intuitive.

I didn't really hear much sound or music, something ambient while underground would've been cool. Little digging sounds. Stuff like that. I liked the pixel art.

A couple of suggestions/ideas/things I noticed:

I'd like to switch actions with the mouse-wheel, cycle through them. I'd like to press a key and zoom way out to the whole map, like the image you have posted in the screen shots, then click on an area to zoom over to there (shift+awsd just isn't fast enough when I'm trying to micro-manage).

Also, a key I could press to deselect everything I currently have selected. It was also really hard to pick out individual ants sometimes. When I click and drag, a unit selection box would've been nicer than just instantly selecting/deselecting units that I mouse-down on.

I'd like to see this play more like a traditional RTS. What I mean is, issue commands to my ants like "you ants: dig over to here. You soldier ants, attack anything in your way to here. Queen, keep mating with the ants in your vicinity." etc. and not have to click and manually control each ant. Hell, if you wanted to get really creative and out there, you could even do something where the only thing the player can really do is draw pheremones all over the place that influence the behavior of the ants, but have no direct control over them. I think that would be really cool.

In summary, very ambitious game for 48 hours, and I don't think you quite achieved what you were going for. Nonetheless, it was still entertaining and an interesting concept. I see no reason that you couldn't continue work on this game and experiment with it. Best case scenario you make a really cool game that people enjoy playing, worst case scenario you learn a ton about game design. Win-win :)

Delca says ...
May 3, 2014 @ 2:06pm

A excellent game with a very good gameplay. Digging/placing blocks sometimes did not work, but overall the experience was very good. I did not win the game, though I even played with negative time remaining :S
The only downsides were the camera movement, which kept moving the ants while moving the camera, and the selection tool, which made it uneasy to deselect multiple ants.
Good job!

May 3, 2014 @ 3:46pm

I like the premise, but the controls and even the general goal aren't very evident (even with the help file). I like the idea of the game, but found it confusing. I really liked your ambient audio.

klianc09 says ...
May 3, 2014 @ 5:46pm

As others said: ambitious but lacks the polish needed to play properly because of the 48h timeframe.
The controls being the biggest problem, especially the scrolling. Selecting and deselecting ants was very confusing at first, I sometimes wished there was a "deselect all" option. And the digging and building not always affected the block I was hovering over.

I also don't quite understand why I would need to breed more ants, since I can only focus on one anyway. Either make it possible to give ants commands, or focus more on the "little ant goes on adventure to salvage resources for its nest" part, because that was also really fun.

Lafie says ...
May 3, 2014 @ 7:45pm

Quite a comprehensive little game for 48 hours. I had a lot of fun selecting all ants simultaneously and moving them all as one. That resulted in some fun ant hive behavior.
Unfortunately, I got all my builder ants stuck in the nest blocks, and breeding didn't create new ones, woops.
If the finicky controls are resolved, this has some real potential.

Sim00n says ...
May 4, 2014 @ 12:08pm

@Lafie You can actually use your worker ants to dig others out if that happenes.

Loneshark says ...
May 6, 2014 @ 2:12am

1. Deselect All Button
2. Stop ants from moving while camera scrolling
3. Please continue to work on this game!
4. Hi :)

(14 minutes)

Loneshark says ...
May 6, 2014 @ 2:13am

1. Deselect All Button
2. Stop ants from moving while camera scrolling
3. Please continue to work on this game!
4. Hi :)

(14 minutes...what the heck was that yellow stuff? Toxic waste?!)

May 15, 2014 @ 5:36pm

Quite buggy controls, but a nice idea. It seems like the game suffered from being too big in scope. I'll second much of the good feedback that you've already gotten.

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