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

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Test Beneath the Surface

by Lancelot Gao - 48 Hour Compo Entry

Move: A/D
Jump: Space

In this game I tried to implement a weird game experience: you'll play a single-player game, but it feels like there are other players playing together with you - like a multi-player game.

There are 6 playable characters in this game. Every character has his own attributes(moving speed, jump height...) and attack style. You'll control 1 of them and try to defeat the others. The fun part is: all of the characters are controlled by yourself - both the player and the enemies. Can you win the fight? Can you discover the truth behind it?


If you've completed the game, but cannot understand the logic or story behind the cut-scenes. It's not your fault. I failed to tell the story beneath the surface of game very well. Below is the detail description about the story/logic behind the scene.

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This game is inspired by dissociative identity disorder. It tried to show the "fight" inside the brain of a patient with split personalities.

The 1st scene is a talk between you and doctor - before discharging from hospital, you need to complete a test to prove that there is only 1 personality in your body.

On the surface, it's a simple conversation test. But beneath the surface, you are also doing another brutal test at the same time in your brain ...

You need to control 1 character(personality) to kill the others. If he is killed, a new character will be spawned -- in the real world, that means you have changed to another personality...

You need to show that there is only 1 personality in your body during the test. So the ultimate goal of game inside is killing the others without any death - after that, you will be discharged in the real world.

Downloads and Links




TheGameFather says ...
Apr 28, 2014 @ 4:46am

The game has very nice graphics and effects, which is my favourate. The controls are feels good, simple and yet challenging, though the the actions of the characters can be more solid, as it's an action game, sort of. However, I still can't get the idea behind the game after playing for 3 times... Maybe more explicit would be better :)

NTR says ...
Apr 28, 2014 @ 6:54am

Interesting concept.

okkolobr says ...
Apr 28, 2014 @ 4:35pm

Nicely done. Hard to play but really worth it. Congrats !

Tuism says ...
Apr 28, 2014 @ 4:36pm

Wow! I love many things about this, great graphics, a twisty tale (I like the simplicity and the strength of it but obviously a little tenuous), interesting concept... It's all SUPER impressive for a 48 hour game!

The only thing that bugged me was the constant knocking. Is it supposed to be footsteps, or someone (you?) banging your head? I thought another window was open with another sound going, but it wasn't. What is it??

CupcakeMedia says ...
Apr 28, 2014 @ 4:49pm

Interesting concept and for the time it took to create it is very solid. In the context of LD it's a pretty good game, and overall, the concept carries the slightly dodgy mechanics. With more polish this could become a REALLY interesting game.

Celt says ...
Apr 28, 2014 @ 5:01pm

This is really good on a technical level...

littleball says ...
Apr 28, 2014 @ 5:07pm

Well done, fun to play.

DragonXVI says ...
Apr 28, 2014 @ 6:04pm

1:18! Gorgeous presentation, interesting take on the theme too. Gets pretty difficult but never felt unfair.

REIN1 says ...
Apr 28, 2014 @ 6:40pm

Cool again!

Zathalos says ...
Apr 29, 2014 @ 1:02am

FINALLY! It took me like 20 times to finally get 1 personality. Took me 50 seconds with the mage. Very interesting gameplay and concept. I liked it a lot. The only gripe I have is the lack of music and the weird ticks. Awesome job though.

sugarbyte says ...
Apr 29, 2014 @ 2:12am

Cute graphics, gameplay is very fun! As you note, you don't see much connection to the theme/story.

asotelo94 says ...
Apr 29, 2014 @ 2:57am

I would like to be the one controlling the hits. Liked the enemy movement mechanic. Awesome job!

TsFreddie says ...
Apr 29, 2014 @ 3:20am


TsFreddie says ...
Apr 29, 2014 @ 3:25am

Okay, I got garbled here. Interesting game, saw it on weibo so come and vote. XD

TyrusPeace says ...
Apr 29, 2014 @ 3:32am

I like the gameplay concept; it seemed as though my movements affected all enemies somehow, but I couldn't figure out exactly how for every enemy type. Perhaps introducing them more gradually would help, but it's understandable that there's only one stage in this :).

Nice work, and a cool graphical style. Impressive work for 48 hours!

Wuhao says ...
Apr 29, 2014 @ 4:08am

well done again

muramasa says ...
Apr 29, 2014 @ 4:38am

Not entirely my cup of tea, because I get frustrated by self-controlled attacks. But, you got me.

I didn't realized that I was controlling the other characters at the same time.

I really like the concept. Those pesky characters still manage to beat my main personality, and I've tried it like 20 times. DARN! But I love the aesthetic, which I find pretty fitting, I don't know why. It's a surreal game.

DarkMeatGames says ...
Apr 29, 2014 @ 8:57pm

Really really nice work. Very clever concept/mechanics, and well executed. It's interesting, when you take attack away from the player, it becomes all about positioning. Really cool stuff, keep it up!

samooJAM says ...
Apr 29, 2014 @ 10:00pm

I tried to understand the game but I didn't. A bit confusing but fun anyways. I love your art style.

rylgh says ...
Apr 30, 2014 @ 8:09am

very interesting game! i actually thought there was AI for a bit, very cool how you had them respond differently to give that effect

MunkeeBacon says ...
Apr 30, 2014 @ 11:43pm

Wow! Very nice playing and looking game, well done!

pandamicro says ...
May 1, 2014 @ 10:22am

Well done ! I like the visual effects ! May it will be even better if we can control attacks and be able to shay away from attacks. But I didn't understand the relationship with the theme

Striwx says ...
May 10, 2014 @ 12:28pm

Love the idea !

loxo says ...
May 19, 2014 @ 4:24pm

Interesting, unique and mind bending concept. Great use of the theme. I like the graphics and audio too. Overall awesome!

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