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

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by burgerdare - 48 Hour Compo Entry

Undermined is a game about comforting miners trapped after a cave in. As you spend time talking to and getting to know your miners, you will learn about the feelings they have under the surface, and help them overcome these feelings.

EDIT: I made a very minor update (consisting of a single line of additional code) that fixes the random number generator, which was previously outputting similar to identical numbers on each run.

Downloads and Links




FuzzyWuzzie says ...
Apr 28, 2014 @ 2:33am

Pretty neat, slow-paced game. There was a lot of reading to slog through, but the game made up for it in making me try to balance all the complexities!

Dreii says ...
Apr 28, 2014 @ 2:38am

Loved it, really good atmosphere! I lost the last guy on the last day left, was scared the whole way through.

Idkfawin32 says ...
Apr 28, 2014 @ 2:41am

Excellent job with pulling it all together!

Lacaranian says ...
Apr 28, 2014 @ 2:45am

Great work! Moody and difficult, as miners fall into madness and death.

JoeProgram says ...
Apr 28, 2014 @ 2:55am

Fantastic! The game is very well balanced - lost my last miner on the last turn. The rule about losing opportunities to open up to miners is brutal. Its refreshing to see someone tackle portrayal of social actions in games. A small suggestion: there's no reason the whole game couldn't be played with the mouse. Having the buttons instead of key presses would help teach the system, and make it portable to touch screens.

Apr 28, 2014 @ 8:23pm

Relaxing game. Challenging but fun game logic.

vogon101 says ...
Apr 28, 2014 @ 8:23pm

Great game. Loved the idea AND the implemenation

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

This was fantastic! Really good work!

ThingoStudios says ...
Apr 29, 2014 @ 3:40am

It's a very unique game, and I can't think of anything exactly like it. The closest comparison I can think of is Trauma Center, in particular, when you get out the ultrasound and look at your patient's leg and find five tumors that are all about to burst and you can't possibly treat them all. There's a great feeling of dread when you realize there's no possible way you can keep all these miners alive, and that some of them are just going to die.

Unfortunately, this is slightly negated by the fact that all the miners are adorably cartoony, even when dealing with Painful Hallucination and Extreme Loneliness.

It's still a really clever interpretation of the theme, both on and beneath the surface. You probably could have integrated the presentation better with the gameplay, though, which costs you a couple points in the rating.

cageinabird says ...
Apr 29, 2014 @ 9:17am

A very tough but compelling game! I couldn't get any out alive, and on one of the attempts I had 4 miners who disliked listening so a lot of points got wasted.

A few times I clicked the disliked action by mistake because the descriptions only differ in one word ("greatly"/"don't") - the line length/phrasing could vary to make it easier, but that's a minor nitpick.

burgerdare says ...
Apr 29, 2014 @ 12:39pm

@Cageinabird, that's a really good point about the appreciated/not appreciated methods of comfort. This was something I had noticed in my early play-testing as well, and I tried to remedy this by putting a small thumbs up/thumbs down icon before the text, but I suppose this turned out to be a bit less easy to see than I had noticed.
Do you have any suggestions on what might make it a bit more clear to players what is the preferred method as opposed to the disliked method?

Solifuge says ...
Apr 30, 2014 @ 9:35pm

Hi, this is Vector from the Victory Garden team! (posting under Solifuge's account)

This game was interesting... and also surprisingly difficult! I was kind of frustrated that I lost the ability to open up to miners as they died, but I guess it kind of makes sense... in order to keep the player character's sanity stable, you have to maintain the health of the crew.

I'd say that maybe it should be rebalanced a bit, but I think that keeping it hard and moody is the right way to go. Something you could do is perhaps adjust the graphics a little bit--this is great given the time you had to put it together, but the plain user interface along with the miners perched at the top of the screen seemed a bit bare-bones.

Really, really nice interpretation of the theme, and fun to play. Good work!

Newt_ says ...
Apr 30, 2014 @ 9:38pm

Very nice work! I personally felt it to be a bit repetitive, (maybe random events could happen that greatly influence people? Example: Rock collapse kills one miner, greatly lowers morale of the others?) but it was still a lot of fun to play. It looked and sounded really great, too!

sudorossy says ...
Apr 30, 2014 @ 10:42pm

I killed everyone :( 10/10

Apr 30, 2014 @ 10:46pm

Great job. Not my kind of game. Certainly unique in a good way though. I was a little confused by the controls initially though. I figured them out by round 10 (2 rounds in) though.

Ellian says ...
Apr 30, 2014 @ 11:29pm

Very good game. Very tense, all decisions really feels important, you struggle to get to the end with people alive...
And very, very innovative regarding the theme. Great work!

Brick says ...
Apr 30, 2014 @ 11:38pm

Very nice, I just wish there was some extra mechanic to speed up the pace. Maybe better graphics, too. Still a very fun game. :)

5T4MP5 says ...
Apr 30, 2014 @ 11:51pm

This was an interesting idea, and well executed. It has a Papers Please like tone, and I like the balance. It seemed like everything went to hell just as I was getting to the end. Well done!

Marcellus says ...
May 1, 2014 @ 6:00pm

Very nice game like i'd like to see more. The controls are a bit weird, well that's the only negative thing I have to say.

AugustSnow says ...
May 2, 2014 @ 10:48am

Great and balanced resource management game!

thaaks says ...
May 4, 2014 @ 2:04pm

Woah, what an experience! I found the game very depressing but it is a perfect fit for the theme and the game idea itself.
The graphics and sound are minimalistic but fit well again.
It takes a bit too long to get rescued imho.
But a good interpretation of the theme with a new, innovative game idea. Well done!

Regarding the source download: In GameMaker:Studio open the File menu and choose "Export Project". That will create a .gmz file that anyone can import into GameMaker:Studio. The .gmz file will contain all required resources of your game. Hope that helps.

gapgen says ...
May 6, 2014 @ 12:23pm

A nice idea!

TaoPhoenix says ...
May 8, 2014 @ 1:41pm

Often I wish these games had adjustable difficulty settings. I really liked the layout of this one, but it would have been more relaxing to play if you had real chances to save all five miners with mostly smart play. (When going through a whole bunch of LD games I'm not a fan of really hard games, and a lot of the devs keep remarking that their instinctive settings are too hard! I did finally manage to save a couple of miners but as mentioned elsewhere bad draws can really sink you!)

I also think there's a small problem with the random generator. I started keeping charts and in a few whole runs of closing the game and re-starting it, the "preferences" of who likes what consolation remained constant, and one of those runs almost forced bad draws!

Otherwise I really like the layout and I have been talking about it on! : )

alvivar says ...
May 10, 2014 @ 9:09am

Innovative, really interesting. My team died :( with 4 turns left :) The ambient sound does a good work.

I recommend to make the rounds faster, maybe 8, or configurable (easy, medium, hard, infinite).

Good work.

joe40001 says ...
May 14, 2014 @ 10:35am

I love this game, it is well balanced and well thought out. I wish I could partner with you on a mobile port of this game because it's perfect for touch devices. You definitely should port it to them it would just need slightly reworked graphics and probably once you know how each miner feels about each action that information is displayed above them or something. But this game gets a rare 5/5 on fun from me, I really liked how solid and robust it was. Great job!

TaoPhoenix says ...
Jun 19, 2014 @ 1:25pm

Hallo. Any news on a revised version? I don't know how to contact you. It's hard for me to visit you on these pages. My main hangout is over at . We were going to experiment with some of the game settings. I got a 4 miner win the other day but that's darn near the max possible.

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