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

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The Tree

by Calciumtrice - 48 Hour Compo Entry


Hello! This is my second Ludum Dare entry. For my first I made a Twine game so wanted to create a more traditional game this time. I did all design, development and artwork as per compo rules.

The Tree is an action game where you play as a warrior who must fight three guardians. By defeating one, you gain their power which can be used to better battle the others. The order in which you choose to take on the guardians will affect the difficulty and strategies you can use.

The Tree's theme of connected worlds is based on the idea of the world tree which connects different realms. In the game, you travel to the areas of the three guardians via rainbow bridge.

My aims for the game were:

+ Fun combat and abilities
+ Unique bosses
+ Pretty pixel art

Things I didn't manage:

- No sound: I was working right up to the deadline and had no time for sound effects or music
- No menus: The game has no start menu screen or win screen - everything just takes place in game
- Full scope: Originally, I had planned five bosses instead of three with a possible final boss fight at the root of the world tree which would have required all gained abilities to defeat
- One of the areas has unpolished art as time was running out and it had to be hurried and made a lot quicker than the others
- The ghost dash ability allows you to teleport into non-walkable parts of the map, although it checks to make sure you aren't going to move outside of the map bounds

How I developed:

* Programming: Uses the HaxeFlixel framework, made in FlashDevelop, runs in Flash
* Art: Drawn in Manga Studio 5 using a Wacom Cintiq
* Buds: Made alongside my brother, "Pinion" (who made his own compo entry, "Starlight Cowboy") and his wife and my partner, "Team Sloth Fox" (who made a jam entry, "Heart Earth")


The game is controlled with the arrow keys for movement and the A, S, Z and X keys (these keys are shown beside their matching ability on the HUD).

Thanks for reading and playing! I can also be found at and @calciumtrice on twitter.

Downloads and Links




greysphere says ...
Aug 25, 2014 @ 3:41am

This is great! I really enjoyed the boss fights. They must have taken a lot of work to make them so unique. I was totally jonesing for a final battle w/ all my abilities!

vividhelix says ...
Aug 25, 2014 @ 3:59am

Sweet little game, lovely art. This was fun!

WesleyJohnson says ...
Aug 25, 2014 @ 4:41am

I really enjoyed the art, mechanic and gameplay. As greysphere said, I wanted a final battle as well! I couldn't figure out how to use the stomp ability though. I tried pressing "s" but nothing happened Anyway, cool game.

DrCicero says ...
Aug 25, 2014 @ 4:42am

No sound -> use a cool tool like for example , very easy, 5 sec

No menu -> who needs a menu

Full scope -> who needs 5 bosses? But a final boss would have empowered the player by feeling that he won the game. As you didn't had the time, maybe you could have made one of current bosses the final boss. (only two normal ones and one final one), just because it feels better.

I kind of missed the theme :( (yes there were worlds, and they were 'connected', but ... that was not emphasised by the game, so you felt that 'connected worlds' was not the real concept behind the game.)
Maybe that could have been adressed by 'teleporting' to another world? Don't know.

AdamHarte says ...
Aug 25, 2014 @ 4:46am

Very nice! love your pixel art. Just a pitty there was no real ending (as far as I could see), but I think this has scope to keep working on it. I would definitely pick up the full version ;)

Calciumtrice says ...
Aug 25, 2014 @ 5:02am

WesleyJohnson, the ability you get from the earth boss is actually a healing power. It'll only do anything if you're not already on full health which you would have been as you receive a full heal up on beating a boss.

ClutchNachos says ...
Aug 25, 2014 @ 5:25am

Great battles, perfect amount of challenging

pjchardt says ...
Aug 25, 2014 @ 6:17am

Nice game! Wish there was a final battle with all of the abilities, and I really missed music and sound, but each boss had their own strategy and each ability was unique :)

Roknsk says ...
Aug 25, 2014 @ 7:08am

Enjoyable game. Reminded me for some reason bosses from megaman.

ClownAround says ...
Aug 25, 2014 @ 7:29am

Very good. I really like the art and style. Would have loved to see the other bosses you wanted to add it. Overall it was great.

Tanner says ...
Aug 25, 2014 @ 7:30am

Interesting game, nice pixel art.

panurge says ...
Aug 25, 2014 @ 1:22pm

Great mechanics and lovely art style. With a bit of story, some sound and a final battle this would make an excellent full game. Very enjoyable!

skullum says ...
Aug 25, 2014 @ 2:58pm

Very enjoyable game, but a little anticlimactic

Aug 25, 2014 @ 4:22pm

Ohh, neat. I get a giant diablo-vibe from this :)

01010111 says ...
Aug 25, 2014 @ 5:27pm

I loved all the powerups! This would make a really fun game if you expanded on it :D

Belvar says ...
Aug 25, 2014 @ 5:36pm

Great graphics and smooth gameplay. It would be better with some sounds but I can totally relate to the lack of time :)

Laralyn says ...
Aug 25, 2014 @ 6:12pm

Good work! It's a fun game and especially impressive given the time limits!

Aug 25, 2014 @ 6:27pm

I got a lot of use out of one skill in particular, and I liked the way each boss had a different attack pattern. The skill I got at the end was the most fun though! Also, great graphics.

DragonXVI says ...
Aug 25, 2014 @ 7:06pm

Nifty little game, if a bit short. The fire power is a bit OP :p Obliterated the other guardians with it.

kyyrma says ...
Aug 25, 2014 @ 7:28pm

Really good art for the short timeframe½ I kept running into a bug where my character would be stuck walking into a certain direction. At first I though that was because of loss of focus, but the game seems to be built to handle that (with the large play icon appearing when focus is lost).

As mentioned by others, sound can usually be handled fairly quickly. Look into sfxr and its multitude of offspring for sound effects, absolute-music, fakemusicgenerator, autotracker etc. for music.

stephenhaney says ...
Aug 25, 2014 @ 7:56pm

Absolutely terrific. I'd love to play a longer version (not something I've said after most of the games I've tried). Let me know if you ever make a continuation: @sdothaney on twitter. The difficulty was almost too high at first, but after I beat down the magma beast I was able to use his power to take down the others. Great job!

Aug 26, 2014 @ 12:15am

Loved the visual style. Found the initial boss fight to be a little boring since it was so easy to dodge his attacks, but it was a great game for 48 hours. Absolutely love the art.

Fanttum says ...
Aug 26, 2014 @ 12:55am

Great game and loads of fun. I was left wanting more, and too bad there wasn't any music. Loved the mega man style of taking the bosses abilities.

KunoNoOni says ...
Aug 26, 2014 @ 1:19am

Wow, we kinda had the same idea for our games :) You've done a really nice job with it. I would love to see you develop it further. Add sound and perhaps some music to it.

mactinite says ...
Aug 26, 2014 @ 6:14am

I really liked all the power-ups I received fighting the bosses, though it would have been cool to at least have the ability to go back in and stomp on all the bosses again with my new found powers.

syawqy says ...
Aug 26, 2014 @ 11:47am

you can make this better, I hope you will continue developing this game

nikki93 says ...
Aug 26, 2014 @ 10:37pm

The art is just awesome. Any tutorials etc. you know of on doing this kind of art style? It's like pixelly but smooth in a way.

jomomomo says ...
Aug 27, 2014 @ 1:10am

Nice job... pretty hard. I couldn't get past the first boss...

LeafThief says ...
Aug 27, 2014 @ 4:37am

Well done to set yourself goals. I think you did a great job at fulfilling your goals! The gameplay was good. If you're looking to improve game feel my advice would be to improve and elaborate on player animations.
Same goes for bosses, who could e.g. have another attack.

But still, impressive for 48hours and even more so because you were able to finish all your personal goals!
I'm curious what you'll come up with in the future :)

Calciumtrice says ...
Aug 27, 2014 @ 7:35am

For anyone interested, I'd actually just finished up a game I was able to spend a bunch more time on the day before Ludum Dare started:

stvr says ...
Aug 27, 2014 @ 12:08pm

Really great style, love the art and the bosses. Powerups are a lot of fun!

Aug 27, 2014 @ 6:00pm

This is really cool. Great work. Especially on the art.

PapyGaragos says ...
Aug 27, 2014 @ 7:22pm

I didn't understand what the S ability was supposed to do. Maybe it was just a lack of feedback

IAmSpencer says ...
Aug 28, 2014 @ 4:26am

damn this was pretty cool! The art was really nice, and the monsters were pretty unique and interesting. Great job! :)

PaperBlurt says ...
Aug 28, 2014 @ 9:36am

Graphics and mood are beyond good.
Real nice adventure!

Aug 28, 2014 @ 10:16pm

That was really cool. Well done!

jimmypaulin says ...
Sep 14, 2014 @ 6:36pm

Unique gameplay and a heck of a lot to cram in 48h, I enjoyed this engrossing little title. I thought the artwork was excellent, particularly the fire boss who was properly nasty. I would have loved sound - your other effects e.g. screen shake were spot on but some simple sounds would have added loads

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