Ludum Dare 30 — August 22nd-25th, 2014 — Theme: Connected Worlds

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John and the Arbitrary Gem Hunt

by SteveSalmond - 48 Hour Compo Entry

A peaceful puzzle game where you travel between planets by climbing magical giant beanstalks! Oh yeah, and you have to pick up some gems along the way... :)

- WSAD/Arrow keys to move
- Space to jump
- LMB/Fire to plant a bean (make sure you're looking at the ground!)
- ENTER to toggle fullscreen mode.


- Unity 3d (game engine)
- Blender (3d modelling, texturing)
- Photoshop (2d elements)
- GarageBand (music)
- Audacity (sound effects)
- Google (for figuring out weird Unity problems!)

Downloads and Links




eatsleepindie says ...
Aug 25, 2014 @ 7:21am

Absolutely beautiful game. I am a big fan of puzzle games like this that encourage exploration. Art is amazing and I really enjoy the beanstalk mechanic.

Lars Faust says ...
Aug 25, 2014 @ 9:02am

This is brilliant! Hahaha.
I love the narration. I love the music, really catchy. Top notch.

I love the gravity. Works so well, especially on the beanstalks, where you can just circle around them.
Really well crafted, extremely moody and calm. Great entry.

Druid says ...
Aug 25, 2014 @ 10:43am

Omg, beautifull game!

FeYbraNt says ...
Aug 25, 2014 @ 11:16am

Waoh, you have to be an amazing 3D artist to have done something like this. Beautiful game, shut up and take my money.

sP0CkEr2 says ...
Aug 25, 2014 @ 2:55pm! Fantastic game.

43iscoding says ...
Aug 25, 2014 @ 4:06pm

Mood, graphics, this game is my favorite so far.

graebor says ...
Aug 25, 2014 @ 7:24pm

Awesome! The movement when you are on a beanstalk is a bit jittery but the visuals are super charming. Great work! :)

Ryusui says ...
Aug 26, 2014 @ 9:09am

Short but easily one of the most complete and unique Ludum Dare experiences I've ever had. 10/10; would love to see this expanded into something not so "arbitrary." XD

Seriously, this is a beautiful game, and I think it easily sells on its aesthetics and atmosphere more than its tongue-in-cheek narration.

kostka says ...
Aug 26, 2014 @ 9:17am

Great game,awesome graphic, fun idea! I catch myself playing in this a little bit to long for today :]

About movement, I felt a little ice skating during walking, which make walking on beanstalk difficult.

spotco says ...
Aug 26, 2014 @ 9:49am

nice voice acting and wittiness. Loved the "between worlds" beanstalk mechanic. So fun

Aug 26, 2014 @ 10:05am

Incredible game. THe mood, art, sound, creativity, is fantastic. It's amazing to look up and see a gem on a planet and go for it. If this game doesn't place top 10 then people are broken :) My only tweak suggestion is that I'd likely make the beanstalk leaves with no collision so you could pass through them :) Loved the narration too. TOP MARKS.

SteveSalmond says ...
Aug 26, 2014 @ 11:11am

Wow, thanks George! You're totally right about the beanstalk leaves, I wish I had made them noclip now... :)

Conk says ...
Aug 26, 2014 @ 11:22am

Awesome, great physics and really good use of the theme!

OnlySlightly says ...
Aug 27, 2014 @ 12:24am

Lovely visuals. Very polished and very fun planting bean stalks from planet to planet. Great job!

OxyOxspring says ...
Aug 27, 2014 @ 5:26pm

Absolutely bloody brilliant!

MechanicMoon says ...
Aug 27, 2014 @ 5:30pm

The game is beautiful, very good design and storytelling is great

TD5 says ...
Aug 28, 2014 @ 8:58am

I really enjoyed this game. The beanstalks are really cool and I loved how gravity worked around them. The graphics were also nicely done. Overall, you have created an excellent experience in 48 hours. Thank you!

PaperBlurt says ...
Aug 28, 2014 @ 9:17am

Nice going in just 48 hours.
The title is so good.

Linusson says ...
Aug 28, 2014 @ 7:26pm

This game is absolutely amazing! I love it! :D

The only thing I missed was an Invert Y mouse setting. :)

This game is well done in so many ways. I love the mood and everything. A nice little masterpiece I must say! :)

SteveSalmond says ...
Aug 28, 2014 @ 8:57pm

Sorry about the lack of Invert Y, I'm one of those annoying people that assumes there's only one correct way to use a mouse for fps. My bad! I'll figure out how to do that with Unity's input manager next time around.

Hypnohustla says ...
Aug 29, 2014 @ 6:49am

Beautiful. I was genuinely amazed when I first walked among a beanstalk to another planet. One of the best I've played in this LD :)

nonetheless says ...
Aug 29, 2014 @ 8:02am

Amazing execution and nice idea, love it :) Really incredible job!

Reyn says ...
Aug 29, 2014 @ 8:49am

Excellent mechanic. You have something unique here.

SteveSalmond says ...
Aug 29, 2014 @ 8:59am

Thanks guys, it makes me really happy to hear you had fun playing it!

egos says ...
Aug 29, 2014 @ 9:21am

really impressive

TeamEagle says ...
Aug 29, 2014 @ 10:09am

Looks great, had a hard time with the controls though.

Nicely done :)

Aug 29, 2014 @ 10:50am

This game remembered me about Ratchet and Clank in some strange way, btw really good game.

Ditto says ...
Aug 29, 2014 @ 11:27am

Wow! Best thing I've played yet! Pretty graphics, great mood, some good audio and a really interesting mechanic!
The physics are VERY wonky, but it all makes sense one you start climbing those beanstalks! I love how you can look up into the sky to jump higher! ^^
Unfortunatly I got stuck in a beanstalk after I got 4 diamonds, but I can excuse that, given that the game is made in 48h, VERY impressive!

TheExGenesis says ...
Aug 29, 2014 @ 11:49am

Brilliant, very impressive for 48 hours

dickpoelen says ...
Aug 29, 2014 @ 12:05pm

Really nice!

CptDustmite says ...
Aug 29, 2014 @ 12:15pm

Nice idea! Graphics are well done. The controls are a bit tricky while you're on the bean stalks because you can hit the leaf colliders and so on.

tmpxyz says ...
Aug 29, 2014 @ 12:17pm

great one

liquidminduk says ...
Aug 29, 2014 @ 12:38pm

Really well made entry!
Great visuals, great music and great gameplay!

You took the theme quite literally witch is actually pretty cool.
I think you could make a fully fledged puzzle game out of this! Imagine no mans sky visuals paired with your mechanic, each world having a different style

Very impressed!

SaintHeiser says ...
Aug 29, 2014 @ 1:08pm

Well made!
Like the game idea with connections by plants. But now looking tooo wet and unfinished. And kinda boring, I think.

Guennor says ...
Aug 29, 2014 @ 1:27pm

It's hard to see good 3D games in ludum dare. We mostly only see pixel art everywhere.
Congratulations, the game is amazing!

xRubbermaid says ...
Aug 29, 2014 @ 1:32pm

I...I really can't think of a single flaw with this. Truly exceptional.

Aug 29, 2014 @ 1:41pm

Stunning. I loved the sound queues for the gems; I thought that was pretty cool. Arbitrary gem hunt is truly arbitrary, though, and the controls felt off (especially on the beanstalks). Everything else was very very VERY well done!

Simon says ...
Aug 29, 2014 @ 2:00pm

Once or two I had to actually jump from the beanstalk into the void to reach the next planet: best gaming moment of the year. Great job!

jukimv1986 says ...
Aug 29, 2014 @ 2:11pm

Lovely game! It plays smoothly and it is rather intuitive. Graphics and audio complement each other well. And a very imaginative take on the concept too. One of the best I have seen so far.

Aug 29, 2014 @ 2:13pm

Really nice game! I felt a bit dizzy at some points but apart from that this is a game with a lot of potential. The voice acting was funny (in a good way). For some reason it remembered me of the movie Charlie and the chocolate factory.

mrjohnson22 says ...
Aug 29, 2014 @ 4:27pm

Wow, that was really something! Playing with an open-world concept like this is a lot of fun, and it was pulled off very well (climbing beanstalks is easy, planets' gravity pulls you in from a decent range, etc). And even though there was no real goal/challenge other than "explore", planet-jumping is satisfying enough to be the game's main draw. The silly dialogue was a nice touch too, and made me want to keep playing. My only complaint is that beanstalk leaves acts as walls and can screw up a climb, but it feels as though the stalks have their own gravity so you don't end up falling. Nice work!

Aug 29, 2014 @ 5:14pm

Really beautiful game. Love the colours and feel. Using beanstalks to connect the worlds is a lovely device.

glbs says ...
Aug 30, 2014 @ 12:18am

I'm quite amazed at what you've done in such a little time.

Your game is atmospheric and very immersive, to navigate between planets with beans is interesting, gives a feeling of liberty and much more, you did it pretty well : the controls and changes in gravity are fluid and intuitive.

This has a feel of the game Mirrormoon yet in completely different set up and atmosphere, but also involves sky observation to get to the gems. The sounds and dreamy feeling is lovely, congratulations!

SteveSalmond says ...
Aug 30, 2014 @ 5:03am

Thanks glbs :D I only wish I'd had enough time to get some other lifeforms and/or puzzles on the planets.

Also, thanks for putting me on to Mirrormoon - that looks like a really cool game!

rogueNoodle says ...
Aug 30, 2014 @ 12:44pm

Everything about this game is incredible. The narration, the use of theme, visuals, sound... wow. The first time you climb a beanstalk to another planet just feels perfect.

0x0961h says ...
Aug 31, 2014 @ 8:07am

Graphics are awesome. Got some weird camera behaviour, but anyway, it was pretty fun exploration game. Good job. :)

alpha_rat says ...
Aug 31, 2014 @ 2:55pm

Great atmosphere !
I really love the graphics

goerp says ...
Aug 31, 2014 @ 3:25pm

Well, you're post was really attracting my attention. The game plays very well. Just running around and running up the stalks is fun.
Graphics look great the music is moody and voice acting good as well.
So all in all great (maybe more of a goal, but for a Ludum Dare good enough, I don't want the game to take hours (like my game :) )).

Sep 1, 2014 @ 2:18pm

NIce game, i too find the leaves collision annoying but it's not a big problem. The atmosphere is really good and so is th sound.

twintrite says ...
Sep 1, 2014 @ 9:42pm

Strong visuals and mood! Too bad there is no bigger purpose behind the gem hunt and I didn't even have to explore every planet to finish the game. The speaker audio was a little too quiet but I liked the fable narration :)

Sep 2, 2014 @ 6:58am

Super idea and incredible execution. The art is beautiful and has its own personality. Really loved the magic bean planting mechanic to go to an other planet, really innovative!

RetroEpic says ...
Sep 2, 2014 @ 4:05pm

Really beautiful mood and visuals, well done! I thought it could've been more fun by having some kind of enemy or obstacle to watch out for, and the climbing and physics felt a bit off. All the same, I'd love to play this some more in a more complete version. Nice one!

ratking says ...
Sep 3, 2014 @ 2:25pm

Wow, very cool entry. Beautiful!

Sunflower says ...
Sep 3, 2014 @ 6:32pm

All that from scratch within 48 hours?
Wow, just wow. O.o"
How am I supposed to compete with that? D:

(for some reason I particularly like the audio, but bean mechanics are pretty neat, too, and the planets are very climatic as well; also, looking at the world from perspective of beanstalk planted on it turned out to be quite effective when searching for shiny things)

Linus123xbb says ...
Sep 4, 2014 @ 3:13pm

Amazing game, I can't believe the value of these games and how cool they are considering they were made in 48 hours! This is one of those games that inspires me to join Ludum Dare.

SteveSalmond says ...
Sep 4, 2014 @ 9:07pm

Thanks Linus! You should totally give LD a try, it's a really cool feeling when the 48 or 72 hours wraps up and you have some crazy creation sitting there in front of you. Let me know if you do decide to have a go at the next one... :D

LTyrosine says ...
Sep 5, 2014 @ 2:18am

This is one of the best games of LD30. Just amazing.

t4u says ...
Sep 5, 2014 @ 1:30pm

I love the bean idea as a twist on the classic tale but I feel lost on the planet. It would be nice to have arrow which points you to your objective as walking without purpose is not fun.

I really liked graphic. It was one of that few moments while looking at submission I got "Oh! so pretty" feeling.

SteveSalmond says ...
Sep 5, 2014 @ 8:15pm

@Linus123xbb Sorry, I should have realized that of course you must be a LD participant already. Just played and rated your game - nice sprite work with the main dude! :)

nesis says ...
Sep 7, 2014 @ 11:47am

Nice game, well-rounded for 48 hours! I liked the mix of narration and the character talking to himself. The way gravity worked was fun to play with, and I found myself trying to outrun each beanstalk's growth so I could tumble down to the next planet, landing perfectly on a gem or bean. Nice touch putting faces on some planets too, I didn't notice until starting a second playthrough.

Also, a small (but kinda fun) bug: acceleration for movement is applied relative to camera's direction, so looking down and holding backwards can cause you to float directly up. The same goes for looking up and holding forwards. Perhaps this could be fixed by projecting camera-relative directions onto the plane of the polygon the player is currently "attached" to, then re-normalizing them? You could do this with OrthoNormalize(planeNormal,camForward,camRight), I think.

SteveSalmond says ...
Sep 7, 2014 @ 7:49pm

Oh yeah, good call! I did notice the bug on my last playthrough, but was too frazzled to do much about it at the time and decided it was a feature.. ;) I'll see if I can fix it up using your suggested technique in the post-compo version. Cheers!

Sep 12, 2014 @ 11:58am

Interesting idea, I was very confused about what I had to do though X).

sephyka says ...
Sep 12, 2014 @ 4:22pm

Wowowo, very very poetic and immersive game. I'm in love with it. I found the 5 gems. The playability is great, such an amazing gravity!

tbam says ...
Sep 12, 2014 @ 7:19pm

Really, really beautiful. Sound, music, art, everything was awesomely done.

klianc09 says ...
Sep 12, 2014 @ 7:22pm

Fascinating game, great atmosphere. Controls were a bit wonky at times, but since there is no time limit, it's okay to float around through space. Narration was nice, although it seemed a bit quiet compared to the other soundeffects/music.

I ended up getting stuck between four bean stalks, because I had so many beans.

MerlijnVH says ...
Sep 12, 2014 @ 8:48pm

Very beautiful game! I loved the style and polish that went into it already. The environment rocks and the music accompanies it well. My character didn't seem to walk straight sometimes and walking on the beanstalks was a bit tricky, but great work otherwise!

SteveSalmond says ...
Sep 12, 2014 @ 9:01pm

Thanks very much guys! Appreciate the feedback about the controls - I've tried to tweak them a bit in my post-compo version, but not sure how successful that was. Sorry for any nausea induced... :)

SteveSalmond says ...
Sep 12, 2014 @ 9:04pm

PS: klianc09, thanks for pointing out the narration volume - was wondering if it was too quiet. Think I made it that way because I was a bit embarrassed using my own voice.. ;)

Lokarunith says ...
Sep 12, 2014 @ 9:56pm

The experience is very rewarding. Loved the mood of te game.

IamAcoconut says ...
Sep 12, 2014 @ 10:23pm

My favourite game so far! Great job!

ncannasse says ...
Sep 13, 2014 @ 12:50pm

Nice, but feels a bit too empty

Magewalkr says ...
Sep 13, 2014 @ 2:52pm

ahahaha the ending though, gave me a chuckle well done :D the 3d art is veryy good and the game does fit the title great entry

mrexcessive says ...
Sep 13, 2014 @ 4:07pm

Hi there. Lovely game. Really enjoyed running around - managed to complete with about 9 beans spare. Nice generous mechanics (no plummeting of edge of beanstalk to infinite void...) Really like the shape edge and other shaders. Great job!

Rage Paint says ...
Sep 13, 2014 @ 9:39pm

Wow, very polished, loved the art and how you could just easily float between the planet, bean stalk and then the next planet. Great work!

SteveSalmond says ...
Sep 13, 2014 @ 9:45pm

Thanks guys! @ncannasse - I wish I had managed to fill the world up with more cool stuff for you.. ;) Was planning for more of a puzzle game, where you get something from one planet, take it to another planet and unlock something, and so on. Maybe a giant or two to run away from! Currently trying to get enough motivation to implement all that in a post-compo version. Cheers!

glenaskey says ...
Sep 15, 2014 @ 10:26am

This was great. Voice acting too, phwoar

Yword says ...
Sep 15, 2014 @ 1:47pm

Really cool implementation and innovative idea! I think maybe it will be better to have a compass or map to indicate the location of the gems. Well done!

sandbaydev says ...
Sep 15, 2014 @ 5:59pm

Rated 5 stars on everything, so I guess that says a lot.

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