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

Event Links: [ MiniLD 50 | Warmup Weekend | Real World Gatherings | Ludum Deals | Wallpaper ]

Back to Browse Entries

New Dawn

by Penguincat - Jam Entry

'Welcome to New Dawn, humanity's refuge beneath a surface world decimated by nuclear winter. The ruling Party has kept its loyal Citizens alive throughout the centuries, but one morning something is amiss...'


You wake up shivering, as you have every morning since the heating went out in your building. Was it two weeks ago? Three? Seems like longer. Your stomach growls when you get up and stretch. Mark was still out when you went to sleep, but maybe he won the ration card drawing at work...

You turn to ask him how the night went, but your brother's bed is empty. His sheets are in the same crumpled pile as yesterday. The heater sits silently in a corner. Through the walls of your single-room unit, you can hear the neighbors arguing.

Your empty stomach twists. Could he have stayed at work all night? As you pull on your shoes, you try not to think about the fact that the shop hasn't been that busy for months, or about the latest curfew reforms.

He'll be there.

Won't he?


Click to move and interact, double-click to run. Made in Unity by:

Stefan: Coding, Art, Concept/Gameplay Design
Olivia: Writing, World/Level Design, Music


Post-LD Update: If the constant clicking is bugging you, check out the Post-LD update - you can now hold down the mouse button to move, and the player will pathfind around static obstacles. The player also moves a little faster so getting around is more convenient. Some dialogue has been tweaked to give the player a better idea of how to progress. The endgame no longer has randomized elements; it's more of a timing puzzle now. Various bugs with the interface have been fixed as well.


Downloads and Links




Katamori says ...
Apr 29, 2014 @ 7:23pm

I can't go on after getting the ID, but I love the concept. A bit underrated game.

donan says ...
Apr 29, 2014 @ 7:55pm

Couldnt finish the chase part but loved the game. Maybe the distances had to be shorter :)
Good work on the game :D

gsmartin says ...
Apr 29, 2014 @ 8:31pm

This game has some really solid things going for it such as the classic indie style, how open the game feels and the writing, but I am personally not a fan of the click to move choice. I think for 72 hours this game is pretty great.

Penguincat says ...
Apr 29, 2014 @ 9:04pm

Thanks for your comments!

@Katamori: Keep exploring and talking to NPCs. Once you have a better idea of what happened to Mark, you might find a use for that ID, but then again, you might not even need it...!

@donan: The chase can be tricky, there's a bit of randomization to their spawning so it might take a few tries, but there's also a bit of strategy and timing to it.

@gsmartin: We based it a lot on classic adventure games, so point-and-click was our first choice. Sadly in 72 hours we couldn't really afford to put in alternate control schemes, but we're glad you liked it otherwise!

Snicklodocus says ...
Apr 29, 2014 @ 11:14pm

I'm impressed you were able to make such a large area. The atmosphere and writing really stand out. I did have trouble with the chase as well. Besides that, maybe there was too much empty space, but all in all I enjoyed the game!

maloki says ...
Apr 29, 2014 @ 11:21pm

Walking/running felt a little tedious especially with the rows of houses and whatnot, but I guess it somewhat paints the picture of the world. Interacting with things felt a little wonky, but I was able to finish the game. The chase sequence caught me by surprise since I didn't expect it. :o

Nice work. :D

Apr 30, 2014 @ 1:01am

Great atmosphere created by the writing and back story. The end chase is a great exciting way to end an otherwise atmospheric game.
Thoroughly enjoyed playing through it!

For the chase scene, it's not difficult, you just need to run efficiently. Run in a straight line by only clicking once so that you run more efficiently. The goal is northeast. Hope that helps.

Penguincat says ...
Apr 30, 2014 @ 1:05am

Olivia here! I'm pretty new to level design, so LD's been a real learning experience. I was hoping we'd have time to make more of the buildings useful/interactable, but since we had to cut some content I should've shrunk the levels to compensate. Thanks for the feedback!

Dreii says ...
Apr 30, 2014 @ 4:30am

Wow this is really under rated, and very cool! :)

Nichii says ...
Apr 30, 2014 @ 12:15pm

Like the game, love the setting as well. The constant clicking makes my fingers numb for the walking, especially with the walking speed and running speed but it has a really interesting story XD. Good game

Simon@LD says ...
Apr 30, 2014 @ 2:18pm

The game did a great job of setting the mood! I think I got close to the end but a Protector caught me and I couldn't click the option to continue. The constant mouse clicking was rather tedious, would have been better if you could hold the mouse. Well done though :)

Penguincat says ...
Apr 30, 2014 @ 5:00pm

@Simon: I know, I did try to implement that but I ended up having a strange bug with it and I decided I couldn't afford to spend time on that so I left it alone. I agree it would have been much better, but there was so much other stuff to do in so little time.

MunkeeBacon says ...
Apr 30, 2014 @ 9:37pm

Nice job, like the artwork!

taocayo says ...
May 1, 2014 @ 6:09am

A good atmosphere and good pace on the story. Liked very much the take on the theme and the graphics. I also hat issues with the chase and would've preferred keyboard controls. Great submission!

Delca says ...
May 1, 2014 @ 10:30am

It was nice seeing a game with an actual stroy behind it, and the graphics were nice. But your audio track was really fitting your game; so why is it only rpeent in the beginning and in the building?
I could have enjoyed it much more if it has been controlled with the keyboard, constantly clicking to move the character was a bit annoying.

jomomomo says ...
May 1, 2014 @ 3:46pm

Good job of creating a mood, I couldn't get too far, but I'll keep at it.

Pinktreeleaf says ...
May 1, 2014 @ 6:34pm

pretty stuck. have the ID and went to the repair shop. even though. I love the atmosphere, and jealous of the dialog system you got running in unity. the character also is portrayed will.

Penguincat says ...
May 1, 2014 @ 11:42pm

@jomomomo - What part did you get stuck at?

@Pinktreeleaf - If you were able to get into that shop, the NPC inside can help you. Alternately, if you have the ID card, you can find another way to where you need to go, but both options require that you've found out what happened to Mark.

Penguincat says ...
May 2, 2014 @ 3:57am

@Pinktreeleaf - sorry, just realized which shop you meant! You should try talking to some of the NPCs by the front of the Muni building.

GmacktheGummy says ...
May 3, 2014 @ 2:48am

This is honestly one of the first times I've seen a game get a 4/5 and have the mood mostly carry the whole thing. I loved the point & click elements, and the theme was very well executed. The mood was very good, and I loved how the visuals worked with audio to make the theme feel that much more relevant. Excellent job.

noom says ...
May 3, 2014 @ 3:04am

This is really cool, the storytelling is impressive. I very much wanted to advance the plot but for the life of me couldn't figure out how...

Penguincat says ...
May 3, 2014 @ 5:53am

@GmacktheGunny: Thanks! We're really glad you enjoyed the game. It's great to hear that the mood came across well.

@noom: Without knowing where you're stuck, the best advice I can give is to try talking to everyone. If you let me know where you're at I can tell you a bit more :)

HybridMind says ...
May 3, 2014 @ 3:06pm

Was really enjoying the mood and the writing. Unfortunately I can't progress. I have the ID. I've talked to every single NPC multiple times. The muni door won't let me through w/o a reason, Cob won't help me, The kid that "watches me approach the checkpoint" won't do anything for me when I talk, the un-branded guard won't tell me anything after I ask him about my brother. Bug? No idea. Cool game, just bummed I spent so much time w/o being able to finish it.

Penguincat says ...
May 3, 2014 @ 7:48pm

@HybridMind: Did you try the door or talking to the kid after you'd talked to the un-branded Protector?

Penguincat says ...
May 3, 2014 @ 8:28pm

Fixed some audio bugs, everything should play correctly now

praporomsk says ...
May 4, 2014 @ 9:09am

Amazing game! Interesting concept and nice music!

HybridMind says ...
May 4, 2014 @ 3:50pm

@Penguincat: Yes, many times! I think it is a bug.

DrPrettyPatty says ...
May 4, 2014 @ 5:42pm

Nice entry! I got stuck after getting the ID card, I checked the comments and I thought I talked to everyone but never got a hint about where Mark was. The areas were a little too big, but that's understandable since you were planning on adding more content given more time :) Mood was great, story was interesting, and I'll play the post-compo version later on :D

Penguincat says ...
May 4, 2014 @ 8:13pm

@HybridMind: Sorry to hear that! We haven't been able to replicate a bug like that so far, but we really appreciate the info. The best advice we can give is to ask the unbranded Protector about Mark straightaway, and afterwards try finding a use for the ID card/talking to people without leaving the area.

@DrPrettyPatty: If you talked to Cob in the repair shop, he should've given you a hint about where to go. The building he mentions is in the northern area - someone near the big gate can tell you about Mark :)

bitserum says ...
May 4, 2014 @ 10:28pm

Love the writing, music and general feel of the game (reminds me slightly of classic fallout games and the like)
Would like to see it expanded into a fuller game with better polished controls and UI (retaining the retro style, it looks cool)

koe415 says ...
May 4, 2014 @ 10:40pm

I love that you guys were able to create a whole world for a jam and stuck to a certain oppressive atmosphere. Great story for being made within 72 hours. My only issue comes from the game's flow. Playing the LD29 version, I got stuck after picking up the ID. After checking a number of doors, I just assumed all of the doors were un-usable. I felt like I was wandering around aimlessly for a bit before finding the right door to progress. Think some type of hint/objective system would alleviate this a bit. But overall, great game!

ThingoStudios says ...
May 5, 2014 @ 9:56pm

Way too depressing to be fun. But the atmosphere was perfect.

GFM says ...
May 5, 2014 @ 10:34pm

Nice game! It's good enough for me to want to give it another try, going after a different ending... but the movement is kinda clunky. I see that you fixed the problem of constantly clicking, but the path finding still annoys me... I would get easily stuck at corners because the player goes straight to where I clicked, ignoring the geometry of the world.
Still, the idea was really nice, and you've gotta some great graphics and audio. :)

May 5, 2014 @ 11:20pm

the plot is AMAZING!! that ending level was the best

cageinabird says ...
May 6, 2014 @ 10:29am

First time round I encountered a bug while running to the elevator - I got caught but couldn't click the text option to restart the level. The fact that I got caught by lots of guards might have something to do with it.

Anyway, I really enjoyed the lo-fi charm, the attention to detail, and the fact that you can complete the game without going to places or talking to people. The pathfinding was frustrating and the world was possibly a bit too large. I think significant places, objects, and people in the world could be highlighted better in some way so you know it's not background stuff. Overall though, great job!

Penguincat says ...
May 6, 2014 @ 7:38pm

Thanks everyone, we're really glad you're all enjoying New Dawn!

We're aware of the bug where the choices sometimes can't be selected, haven't had too much time to track that one down. The lack of pathfinding was due to a lack of time, but we'll be adding that into a post-LD update soon. We've already made some post-LD improvements to make it easier to find the right NPCs to talk to but we'll be doing more of that. The world size was due to expecting to add more content than we ended up having time for, which will also be fixed some time post-LD.

Penguincat says ...
May 9, 2014 @ 1:38am

The choice bug mentioned in my last comment is now fixed in the Post-LD version. I've also added pathfinding around static obstacles for the player's movement. See the Post-LD section in the game's description above for details of what's different in that version.

Meedoc says ...
May 9, 2014 @ 10:08am

The mood is built in a really nice way! Even the slow movement becomes enjoyable after being annoying at first ^^

littleball says ...
May 9, 2014 @ 9:20pm

I think a little more direction, at least in the early part of the game would have been good. It's definitely got more potential in it. You should continue developing it.

Loneshark says ...
May 9, 2014 @ 9:47pm

I played through three times:

The first time I rescued Mark.

The second time I helped Mark up, ran away when he started asking questions, AND assassinated the dictator and got away with it (not sure if this was intended since Mark I found Mark waiting for me).

The third time I unlocked the door to Mark's room but went straight to assassinate the dictator. No Mark at the end.

Thank goodness it's 2014 and not 1984. And also not N.K. for that matter.

mrbungle says ...
May 9, 2014 @ 10:05pm

Love the moodiness of this game.

May 9, 2014 @ 10:27pm

Well this was awesome. Now that I've rated it, I'll play (and finish) the updated version. I dig the story too.

Penguincat says ...
May 9, 2014 @ 10:33pm

Thanks for the kind words everyone!

@Loneshark: Nice find, that was definitely not intentional! It's meant to be a strict choice. I've fixed it now in both versions.

May 11, 2014 @ 3:42pm

I finally finished it. This is one of my favorite games from the jam.

Striwx says ...
May 11, 2014 @ 8:04pm

Love the mood and the story ! Maybe The character is too slow and i found the P&C style not very handy (especially when you must run from the guards)

mystakin says ...
May 12, 2014 @ 4:19am

That was pretty rad. I really enjoyed the mood and writing. It was pretty easy to get lost, though. The final sequence was an interesting change of pace, but I would have been fine if the game was just an adventure game without any action sequences.

I did not play on the post-LD version.

Anoarith says ...
May 15, 2014 @ 9:29am

Totally awesome entry ! The atmosphere was here and I liked the fact that there was multiple path. I also need that music so much *_*

You must sign in to comment.

IMPORTANT NOTE: If you want to place in the final results, you NEED votes. The easiest way to get votes is by rating other games. Judging lasts for 3 weeks following the end of Ludum Dare. For best effect, rate 20 games as soon as possible. Rating more games is encouraged.


TEAMS: Teams entering the Jam should pick a single representative to submit your game, or create a team specific account you can share. We currently do not support Team Voting, but sharing an account and together playing and rating games is acceptable.

NOT LOGGED IN?: If you get a message about not being logged in, even though you are, it’s because your web browser cached the non-logged in page. You can fix this by either refreshing your cache or clearing your cache. CTRL+F5 in many browsers. Chrome is a bit more work. Press F12 to enable Developer Mode, then you can right click on the refresh button and select “Empty Cache and Hard Reload”. This option is unavailable if you are not in Developer Mode.

PORTS: Ports to other platforms can be done after the deadline. That said, the sooner you finish your port, the sooner people can play your game, improving your chances of placing in the final results. For best results, provide a Web version of your game, or a Windows version with no dependencies. Also be sure to rate about 20 games to improve your visibility.

MY GAME DOESN’T SHOW UP: If you can’t find your game, it’s usually because the URL to your downloads are missing ‘http://‘. Fix your URLs ( and you will show up.

MY GAME CRASHES, IS UNBEATABLE, OR I MADE A TYPO: We allow you to fix crash or win condition bugs after the deadline (in a sense, like “porting” to support more players). We also allow “typo” bugs. I.e. A true that should have been a false, a word that should have been a different word, very tiny changes that you would have caught if you had more sleep. We leave this open to interpretation, but generally speaking your game should be identical to the game you submitted. No new features, just things you messed up last minute. Typos.

[cache: storing page]