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

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Enduring Atlas

by dickpoelen - 48 Hour Compo Entry


Enduring Atlas is a 2 player game between Darkness and Light. Players take turns connecting lines between the worlds to reach their perspective goals: Darkness tries to let the planets collide while Light tries to lighten Atlas' burden. Each players' progress is indicated in percentages at the top of the screen.

Each turn a player gets to draw one line between the top and bottom row of nodes. Darkness goes from a dark node to a light node, and Light goes the other way around. Every line connected to a node increases that node's strength for the player. Multiple connected lines to a single node expand that nodes strength exponentially.

Lines can be drawn straight or diagonally. If a newly drawn line intersects with any lines of the opposing player then there is a 50% chance that the opponents line will be destroyed.

After each turn the strength of all dark nodes is added up, as is the strength of all the light nodes. These forces are pitted against each other and the planets are either pulled in closer together or they move further apart. The first player to reach a 100% wins.


Enduring Atlas deals with connected worlds that are also opposing worlds. Besides the two external worlds - the ones Atlas stands on and the one he has to carry - it also deals with two conflicted and connected worlds within. Darkness and light.

The darkness and light theme is also present in the audiovisual part of the game. The graphics consist of harsh shadows and clashing colors. The cursor is Atlas' own hand controlling both sides. The scattered piano tones in the background music are all "neutral" tones, while actions by the dark player add minor tones, and actions by the light player add major tones.

Downloads and Links




ForrestS49 says ...
Aug 25, 2014 @ 3:24am

Best game in the world.

Aug 25, 2014 @ 4:02am

That was godly, figuratively and literally.

EMAK says ...
Aug 25, 2014 @ 11:04am

very good concept

JetL33t says ...
Aug 25, 2014 @ 11:17am

That is actually pretty well done! Just unfair that the dark side has gravity as ally :P

Love the music, it fits it totally.

hectormorlet says ...
Aug 25, 2014 @ 11:28am

Cool game with an awesome art style. The music is strange, but calming. Cool idea, having a philosophical approach to the them.

Pinqu says ...
Aug 25, 2014 @ 11:47am

5* for audio and graphics. Very well done, nice concept :)

Agecaf says ...
Aug 25, 2014 @ 12:10pm

Interesting take on the theme... Nice grapahics and audio too.

Lars-Kristian says ...
Aug 25, 2014 @ 2:51pm

Nice game I really loved it and great music. The rule set is a bit unclear, but that's ok. :D

Berail says ...
Aug 25, 2014 @ 3:17pm

Nice simple gmae :) I had fun playing it :D

hypp says ...
Aug 25, 2014 @ 5:22pm

Nice game and graphics. I liked the concept.

alpha_rat says ...
Aug 25, 2014 @ 5:43pm

Excellent idea and awesome graphics ! This is one of my favourites so far.

MrTedders says ...
Aug 25, 2014 @ 6:19pm

Nice concept. Amazing art and audio. Great work man!

BuffaloPhil says ...
Aug 25, 2014 @ 8:57pm

Nice work! Great game

ehtd says ...
Aug 25, 2014 @ 9:57pm

Very nice, too bad it lacks AI to play against computer

dickpoelen says ...
Aug 26, 2014 @ 9:35am

Thanks everyone!
@ehtd yeah, AI was planned, but you know... time :)

panurge says ...
Aug 26, 2014 @ 10:02am

Great concept, excellent use of theme and a very strong mood. I really like this.

Aug 26, 2014 @ 10:25am

That was super interesting. Great concept and art.

Appocket says ...
Aug 26, 2014 @ 1:22pm

Nice art and game mechanics, but it became slower to the end may some memory problems? I'm using Safari Version 8.0 (10600.1.8)

Frump says ...
Aug 26, 2014 @ 5:54pm

Kind of like a way advanced Tic Tac Toe. I like it.

dickpoelen says ...
Aug 26, 2014 @ 6:00pm

@Frump haha, yes! That's a great way to describe it :)
@Appocket haven't had that happen to me yet. Was it a really long game maybe? Can't think of what could tax the memory to bad

Aug 26, 2014 @ 6:57pm

My Atlas was crushed hard. Fun time!

TowelKing says ...
Aug 26, 2014 @ 6:57pm

I love the feel of the game and the way you interpreted the theme.

Aug 26, 2014 @ 6:57pm

My Atlas was crushed hard. Fun time!

kyyrma says ...
Aug 26, 2014 @ 6:58pm

Really cool visually, very moody. Good choice of music as well. The actual game was not that intriguing to me, but that's likely because I had no one but myself to test it with.

capsizedmoose says ...
Aug 26, 2014 @ 7:00pm

Nice idéa! it's always interesting how such an easy concept could become such a fun game :D

graphics are spot on too! ;D

Hypnohustla says ...
Aug 26, 2014 @ 8:11pm

Love the graphics. Makes me feel GODLY! :) So top points for mood.

Aug 26, 2014 @ 8:23pm

Creative entry, the game has very nice visuals and audio, excellent mood.

kebabskal says ...
Aug 26, 2014 @ 8:45pm

Played it solo, and had sort of a hard time understanding what things did ad why. Visuals are nice and the overall execution was good :)

dancingmad says ...
Aug 26, 2014 @ 8:58pm

I quite enjoyed playing it with a friend, but i couldn't find good strategies to win, it seems the better way is always to cross the most lines. Music, graphics and mood is very good.

TautNerve says ...
Aug 26, 2014 @ 9:10pm

phenomenal visual design and overall aesthetic!
I like it when people do original stuff like this with
the theme, very creative.
Feels very solid all around, great job.

Aug 26, 2014 @ 9:37pm

What a nice game :O

teoacosta says ...
Aug 26, 2014 @ 9:38pm

Really awesome

Cryovat says ...
Aug 26, 2014 @ 9:40pm

The rules are a bit too dense for me, but it's a very refreshing and different concept. The art and music is amazing and it's a very original take on the theme, I'm in awe. :)

(Rated this based on AtomicVikings' stream since I didn't have anyone around to try it with)

AtomicVikings says ...
Aug 26, 2014 @ 9:41pm

Awesome game! great visuals. I also really liked how the audio reacts to the player's actions. :D very well done

Aug 26, 2014 @ 9:45pm

Fantastic gameplay, visuals, music, and game in general! :D

Aug 26, 2014 @ 10:29pm

Wow, those graphics and audios are perfect. I really enjoyed the innovation and your concept, even if the rules were kind of hard to understand.

Really nice entry !

GrooveMan says ...
Aug 26, 2014 @ 10:30pm

The game runs a little weirdly for me - the Web version lags a lot and the Windows download will crash and reload after you make a move.

Still, even in the laggy web version, the game's beautiful to look at and listen too. The neon-on-black, the organ dirge, and the classically-rendered Atlus Dong are all perfect.

igoramendola says ...
Aug 26, 2014 @ 10:43pm

This game has an interesting concept and it's more complex than it looks at first glance. Intelligence and strategy are important to win. Also, nice graphics and pretty good music ;)

Oxeren says ...
Aug 27, 2014 @ 9:55am

Very cool game! Nice visuals and music create great atmosphere. Unfortunately I didn't have anyone around to play with.
Also for some reason the game worked a bit slow.

psychomonster says ...
Aug 27, 2014 @ 11:15am

Nice use of the theme. Really creative and stylish. Needed a little bit to understand the mechanics, but then there was this "aha" moment. Nice ambient music... good mood, good job man

Lokarunith says ...
Aug 27, 2014 @ 3:22pm

I didn't find the gameplay that much engaging, but the aesthetics make it really worth playing.

Aug 27, 2014 @ 7:55pm

Nice art stlye! It's a bit weird trying it one person alone. A single player mode with some A.I. would be awesome.

MerlijnVH says ...
Aug 27, 2014 @ 10:49pm

Very beautiful and original game! I liked the game mechanic, too.

simplesmiler says ...
Aug 28, 2014 @ 10:32am

Very interesting take on the theme. Concept is great and executed very well. One of the best entries I've seen.

Patacorow says ...
Aug 28, 2014 @ 11:05am

Love it! I love the piano stingers and the mood is spot on. Well done!

ponk says ...
Aug 28, 2014 @ 11:30am

Super awesome!
Great game!
I love the drawings and the animations

arzi says ...
Aug 28, 2014 @ 12:44pm

The only thing missing is an AI. Good work!

esayitch says ...
Aug 28, 2014 @ 4:17pm

Pretty cool 2-player game,I liked the concept :) Visuals were pretty solid. Music was good but not very appropriate is it? You have Atlas struggling to stand and then this calm soothing sound in the background xD Give us something intense and worrisome!

Liked the entry :)

Aug 28, 2014 @ 7:35pm

A in game system that shows how it work would be nice.

Xanjos says ...
Aug 28, 2014 @ 8:48pm

I'll agree with everyone else here and say that this really needs a Player vs AI mode (as it was slightly awkward to play by myself) but this was a very fun game to play. I loved the graphics and audio and the main gameplay concept matched the theme pretty well.

IAmSpencer says ...
Aug 28, 2014 @ 11:24pm

that was pretty interesting and fun, nice little competitive game. Music and graphics were very well done, great job :)

xrm0 says ...
Aug 29, 2014 @ 10:33am

Awesome art. I like the game mechanic.
Can the light player win?

Otrora Games says ...
Aug 29, 2014 @ 5:04pm

This is very nice. Cool take on the theme

Posva says ...
Aug 29, 2014 @ 5:48pm

Good job with teh graphics and the audio! The game concept is funny, a bit hard to understand by yourself thought :P

DustyStylus says ...
Aug 29, 2014 @ 5:58pm

Very good concept. Really liked the music and mood, and the 2-tone art is really effective. Well done!

Rage Paint says ...
Aug 29, 2014 @ 9:27pm

It was cool to see the man holding up the world getting crushed, or successfully getting the darkness all the way over his head.

Aug 30, 2014 @ 1:43am

Nice graphics. I included it in part 12 of my Ludum Dare 30 Compilation video series, if you’d like to check it out :)

Scott Baker says ...
Aug 30, 2014 @ 2:38am

great concept. Good use of the theme.

Aug 30, 2014 @ 9:32am

The aesthetics is just remarkable, in a totally unique way and even playing by myself I had fun with it! Great job as always!

PapyGaragos says ...
Aug 30, 2014 @ 12:10pm

Great concept, and nicely done.

I feel the 50% rule feels really unfair, but on the other end it is REALLY hard for the light world to win without it. Maybe a different rule to cut the beams could balance it in a better way.

good job, many stars for that one

rogueNoodle says ...
Aug 30, 2014 @ 1:08pm

Very unique concept and perfectly executed! Some versus AI would be nice, but I realize that's a little unrealistic for a jam ;)

5T4MP5 says ...
Aug 30, 2014 @ 2:16pm

Great look and sounds. Really interesting concept, and a great turn on the theme.

Sunflower says ...
Aug 30, 2014 @ 3:29pm

Very solid entry, though rules were very unclear to me. Normally I'd add that this game lacked AI, but I had enough trouble trying to figure out how to make the Light side win (eventually I did ^^).

noffle says ...
Aug 30, 2014 @ 5:36pm

I didn't have anyone else to play this with, but I still found it to be an immersive experience. The music is very fitting, and Atlas' animations are fantastically fluid and and expressive: you do a really great job of theming the art, music, and gameplay together cohesively. It seemed like the Dark had an easier time making progress; I was finding that most Light lines I drew worsened my position, regardless of the light/dark combinations I chose. Overall, very well executed.

jukimv1986 says ...
Aug 31, 2014 @ 6:27pm

Great take on the theme! It was a nice 2 player game and the way to play makes you think strategically, even if the outcomes are limited. Nice graphics and audio. Great job!

Aug 31, 2014 @ 7:26pm

Fantastic atmosphere, the drawn style, calm gameplay and meditative music go very well together. The mechanic does seem broken to me though: since darkness has the first move, it can keep stacking in the left column, abusing the exponential increase in force. As far as I could see, there is no way for light to break this or catch up in any way.

Best regards from a fellow Dutch team! (See Connecting LD30 to the Real World by Will Edwards)

MechanicMoon says ...
Sep 2, 2014 @ 3:06am

Reminds me the punishment of Sisyphus. Great concept

sephyka says ...
Sep 2, 2014 @ 3:42pm

Very interesting entry. Damned, the Darkness side always won when I played. :D

Snicklodocus says ...
Sep 4, 2014 @ 9:27pm

Great mood here. The gameplay is not bad either. It took us a while to figure out how to play, but it's actually quite strategic. The web version is very slow but it worked fine on the desktop. Good job.

vividhelix says ...
Sep 7, 2014 @ 4:14am

I played solo but the mechanic is very interesting. The theme connection is fantastic, great job!

snooze82 says ...
Sep 7, 2014 @ 9:12am

nice one :) I like the style.

Artamus says ...
Sep 7, 2014 @ 3:54pm

Nice game, congrats!

sP0CkEr2 says ...
Sep 9, 2014 @ 4:14am

That was different. I a good way. Interesting idea for the theme. And a far out game mechanic. Nice work.

Sep 10, 2014 @ 4:02pm

psssst... you are in today's episode of Ludum Dare to Believe! Check it out at -

miotatsu says ...
Sep 11, 2014 @ 10:24am

One of the best entries I've seen. I'm in love with this game!

miotatsu says ...
Sep 11, 2014 @ 11:29am

@Dining Philosopher I agree that Dark's first move seems to be best spent on (1, 1), however, Light can then reply (1, 5), and the tables are turned. The best response I found for Dark was (5, 2). (Notation being start node to end node, numbered 1-5 from left to right). I'd love to see someone do a deeper analysis of both the game mechanics (I'm not sure how the percentages are calculated for example) and optimal strategy.

dickpoelen says ...
Sep 12, 2014 @ 11:08am

@miotatsu wow, you got into it! Cool :)
It's indeed a pretty bit advantage to have the first move, that's why crossed lines only have a 50% chance to get destroyed. With 100% is was near inpossible to come back if you were behind.

Points are calculated like this: every connection to a node is worth 5 point + a bonus of number-of-connected-lines-to-a-node to the power of 3 per node. Then the points of light and dark are compared to each other end you end up with, for example, +10 for dark.

Ditto says ...
Sep 12, 2014 @ 3:40pm

This is really cool. A bit hard to take in maybe, I played 2 games before reading the rules and I had no idea what I was doing, even after reading the rules some of the mechanics was still a bit blurry(especially the "intersections cut lines" thing) but it plays very well and it seems to bring some interesting tactical choices when playing versus a friend I think?
Good stuff! Oh also of course, I have to mention how pretty the graphics are, love the subtle effect from the shadow world. The music made me VERY impressed with how well the different notes fit in with the mellow background music! You did a daaaamn good job here! :D

apiotrw says ...
Sep 13, 2014 @ 3:28pm

Really nice game

TobiasW says ...
Sep 15, 2014 @ 4:21am

Strong mood, great (if somewhat heavy and depressing, but hey, that fits!) music/sfx and the art fits well too! I'm a bit partial about the gameplay: There is a first-move advantage even if there would be stacking OR tearing inside, and you have both. Is that a statement about the power of darkness? :P

Apart from that, I'm not sure what the optimal strategy is - it isn't as clear cut as I thought it would be, but I'm pretty sure it's related to stacking a single node. Not sure how to get constantly the best tearing though?

Currently I'm considering 5-1 to be the best first black move: It stacks and tears light connections - 75% chance for at least one, 25% chance for a second one. I don't see how light is coming back from that. Sure, light can go 5-1 too and possibly do the same, but even if at best case (dark teared nothing, light teared all) it's only darkness 46%, light 54% - and darkness has the next move. Note that that's the best move with a 12.5% chance, and ALL other cases are bad for light.

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