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

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by fisholith - Jam Entry

My first Ludum Dare, and 2nd Game jam ever. :D

Lucid is a simple platform game. It is very much in an alpha stage. :)

You take the role of Ceruleine, a little crow and sorceress of lucidity, who sneaks into the dreams of other creatures to gather shiny fragments of memories.

There is one NPC creature in the 48-hour build, and two in the 72-hour build. So it's on the short side at the moment. (Building a game in 48 hours is a learning experience.) :D

---- Controls ----

Arrows = Move / Aim shine dash.
Z = Interact (Enters a nearby creature's dream.)
X = Jump.
C = Shine-dash. (Darts instantly in the direction held.)
(WASD, and Gamepad also supported.)

M = Cycle music volumes.

Downloads and Links




Aug 25, 2014 @ 11:44am

Awesome art ! There's nowhere to go ? I got stuck while climbing at the beggining.

modbox says ...
Aug 25, 2014 @ 12:22pm

It looks good but i cant find dl

MrSylar59 says ...
Aug 27, 2014 @ 7:13am

Graph are cool but we can't climb because the character isn't jump high enough...

SteveSalmond says ...
Aug 27, 2014 @ 10:27am

Graphics look awesome (that's why I downloaded the game to rate it) but the game froze up on me shortly after starting to play. Tried a few times with no luck. Shame - looks lovely!

mechabit says ...
Sep 6, 2014 @ 10:43am

wow, nice graphics and movement and theme. A bit fiddly sometimes and the camera is a bit floaty. Love that dash

whalebot says ...
Sep 10, 2014 @ 2:15am

Other than my stupid brain hating when 'up' isn't the jump button, this game was fantastic. I may try again with a gamepad...

fisholith says ...
Sep 13, 2014 @ 8:17am

Hey, all, thanks for the feedback.

---- Alexandre Szybiak,
Thanks. :)
As for where to go, if you approach a sleeping creature you can press Z or L on the keyboard, or (B) or (Y) on a gamepad to enter their dream. I should have put the control info on an in-game page from the start. It is in the description area, but even I overlook the description section of most games, so my fault, sorry about that. The controls are explained in-game now. :)

---- modbox,
Thanks for letting me know.
On this page, follow one of the game links, "Windows | OS/X | Linux | Source"
On the GameJolt page, just below the row of screenshots should be the "Quick Play" link, and the download link. There is a possibility that you happened to go to the page during the one hour or so I had it offline to fix the Node-WebKit bug.

---- MrSylar59,
Thanks for the feedback. :)
To climb the first hill, use the dash ability, C or J on the keyboard, or (R-Trig) or (X) on a gamepad. If you're talking about the cliff side at the far right of the first level, you can't scale it in the waking world, you need to enter the puma's dream. Walk up to the puma and use Z or L on the keyboard, or (B) or (Y) on a gamepad to enter her dream.

---- SteveSalmond,
Thanks, for telling me about the lag/freeze problem, SteveSalmond. I think I may have fixed that issue. :)
That turns out to be a problem with Node-WebKit's threaded compositing feature. (The feature is good for webpages, but bad for games). Fortunately that feature can be disabled, and I have since released an update that includes a launcher which fixes that problem.

---- mechabit,
Glad you liked it. :)
The floaty camera may have been an issue with the Node-WebKit lag I mentioned above, and if so should now be fixed. Though it always was a little floaty. :)

---- whalebot
By weird coincidence, my first incarnation did have "up" as jump, it made some maneuvers a bit easier and others much harder. So, a bit of a trade off. After resisting it for a while, I finally tried a separate jump key and ultimately settled on that, once I got used to it. In future versions I'll add either rebindable keys or controls sets that include an "up to jump" layout. Thanks for the feedback, whalebot. :)

frogcheese says ...
Sep 13, 2014 @ 9:59am

The camera and the physics felt a bit floaty, leading me to drop off cliffs frustratingly often on the second dream level, but other than that this game is awesome. The graphical design is crazy detailed, stylish, well, beautiful even! Really digged the song too. You might have something on your hands here. :)

CoolIron says ...
Sep 13, 2014 @ 11:17am

Beautiful! The only thing that bothers me: bird constantly jumped, while my gamepad was plugged in.
Anyway, great job!

Sep 13, 2014 @ 1:49pm

So beautiful game!

Sascha says ...
Sep 13, 2014 @ 2:27pm

Impressive game, especially for such a short time! Loved the dreamy atmosphere, the characters, particle effects, background music, level design, and wow, the sound effect of the orb-collect is amazing! Only the controls are a bit irksome. The dash feels so heavy and violent in that floaty dream world. If the raven had maybe fluttered, or something else soft, that would have fit so much better, in my opinion. All in all it's a wonderful entry though! Congrats :)

Sep 13, 2014 @ 2:49pm

Hi, I've played your game again with the instructions, it was much better !

apiotrw says ...
Sep 13, 2014 @ 4:12pm

Really awesome. I really like the concept and the artstyle. The gameplay was also very solid. :)

romandtom says ...
Sep 13, 2014 @ 5:15pm

Realy liked the mood and the graphics.
didn't understand though the game itself..
I got stuck in a deep hole and didn't know what to do...

fisholith says ...
Sep 13, 2014 @ 5:16pm

---- frogcheese
Thanks, frog cheese. Yeah, I'm hoping to work on the camera once the voting is over, but I tend to agree, especially when you fall a long distance, the camera anticipates a little too far ahead of you at the moment. Glad you liked the graphical design side of things, and the music. I actually just uploaded the song to Sound Cloud. (I just set up an account there literally a few minutes ago) This is it I think I may need to do something special to make it downloadable, but I'm running on almost no sleep at this point, so I think I'll work that out later. :)

---- CoolIron
Hm, I may need to add in a feature that allows the player to toggle gamepad input. Thanks for letting me know. If you get a chance and it's convenient, could you let me know what model gamepad it is? Anyway, glad you liked it. :)

---- Schrodinger Games
Thanks, Schrodinger. For a second I was afraid to look at your comment, since I figured it might just be best to allow it to exist as a simultaneously positive and negative reply. Of course, I ultimately peaked, and it looks like the official word is that you liked it, which as far as I'm concerned is a superposition. :D
... sorry, couldn't help it :)
Thanks again.

---- Sascha
Thanks for the feedback. I have been experimenting with some different sounds for the dash. I can't change any content in this version till after LD, but I'm thinking of using a more delicate magic-y sound for it. I almost wonder if mixing something like a bow and arrow release with some metallic harmonics might fit it better.

Glad you liked the characters. For Ceruleine, the little bird, I ended up building a system that models her visual interest in things around her, so she'll look around at nearby objects, and her gaze will track them as she moves past them. She tends to focus most strongly on the faces of the other creatures and the orbs, but she'll look at flowers and things too if there's nothing especially significant around. For flowers that are taller than she is, she'll look up at them when she walks under them, provided she's focusing on them.
Anyway, Thanks for the suggestions. :)
Glad you liked it.

---- Alexandre Szybiak
Thanks, for trying it out again.
I'm glad it finally worked out. :D

---- apiotrw
Thanks, apiotrw.
Happy to hear you had fun with it. :)
There's a lot of stuff I want to add to it once LD ends. Moving elements in the environment, Hazards that can wake you up. Each type of creature was going to have different internal rules for certain aspects of their dreams. Connecting the dreams of different creatures was also something I wanted to incorporate as a means of solving puzzles in the waking world. I'll have to wait. :)

LTyrosine says ...
Sep 13, 2014 @ 7:47pm

This is a beautiful game with amazing atmosphere created from nice graphics and AWESOME music. Top!

Aglavra says ...
Sep 13, 2014 @ 8:27pm

It is wonderful game... I especially liked the movement system with dashing. The mood is perfectly created with graphics and music.

skiddings says ...
Sep 13, 2014 @ 8:50pm

Excellent graphics and audio, a cool idea and design. I did find it a little awkward to control and not clear what you are supposed to be doing.

klianc09 says ...
Sep 13, 2014 @ 8:52pm

Wow, this game is simply beautiful. Just amazing visuals and fluid gameplay.

Although the dash is pretty rad, it would have been cool if the bird jumped a tiny bit higher, so that jumping is more useful.

The web version crashed for me when I picked up an orb, but the desktop version ran just fine.

And you are talking about my game feeling professional? It is unbelievalbe that you made this within one weekend.

When I read your comment about the bird looking at stuff nearby, I thought that you were joking. I had to restart the game and try it out. AND THE BIRD REALLY LOOKS AT STUFF NEAR IT! That really is attention to detail. I like this game so much.

Will Edwards says ...
Sep 13, 2014 @ 9:20pm

+graphics +audio +mood +unfathomable ;)

Really glad you got a web version out in time :)

Found it really hard to control the dash, and took some figuring out. Couldn't work out how to get that right angle you show in the screenshots.

The graphics and the immersive audio work really really well together; its almost easy to not nice a rocket strapped to a blue bird :)

TautNerve says ...
Sep 13, 2014 @ 9:58pm

Great art and audio, lots of fun dashing around!
Very well built for 48 hours, great job!

Natrium729 says ...
Sep 13, 2014 @ 11:31pm

Hey, I'm a bird! Why can't I fly?... Joke aside, the graphics and the mood are pretty good (well, real good). The camera and the controls are another matter. And it's just a classic platformer game.
But I had a nice time playing the game. Good job!

Managore says ...
Sep 14, 2014 @ 2:10am

Wow. Just wow. I wish there was more, I really, really enjoyed this. Stunning graphics, great audio, and very fun movement!

I found moving up onto slightly higher blocks to be a little slippery, but that was a pretty minor issue.

ruerob says ...
Sep 14, 2014 @ 3:55am

Nice game. I really like the graphics but at the web player I can't collect the lights and at the windows download the crow jumps all the time. But except of these bugs it seems to be a really nice game.

fisholith says ...
Sep 14, 2014 @ 4:37am

Thanks for the feedback all. :D

---- LTyrosine
Thanks, LTyrosine.
Happy to hear you liked the music and atmosphere. I've only ever done one jam before this, and LD is so short I wasn't really sure if putting work into the atmosphere was going to pay off, or just eat time. Learning experience to be sure. :D

---- Aglavra
I'm glad you had fun with the dash mechanic.
I see you too have an owl in your avatar pic. :)
My owl is a little blocky, yes. My avatar owl is actually from my previous, and first, game jam. The GameBoy Jam #3. Everything in that jam had to be GameBoy resolution, and only 4 colors. Oh my gosh, people made so many cool games. Seriously humbling to see what some of the other developers did within those limitations. Definitely check out the entries for that jam if you get a chance. :D
... not to get off on a tangent.
Anyway, thanks for the comment.

---- skiddings
Thanks for the feedback. I wish I had more time to add some degree of in-game explanation of the story, simple as it was. Yeah, the controls can be kind of finicky. Thanks for sharing your thoughts on both the good and the awkward aspects of the game. It all helps. :D

---- klianc09
Thanks, klianc09. I think that's a good suggestion with respect to the jump height. I'd fiddled with the jump strength a little, and I'd planned for some jumping specific mechanics, but I didn't ultimately have time to set them up. For instance a double jump, which for a bird actually thematically kind of makes sense, as Ceruleine could flap her wings once for a second upward impulse.

Also there was a corner jumping system that actually is in the code, but essentially disabled. After I modified the collision geometry to make staying on tiny platforms easier (yes, it used to be even harder) it became much trickier to pull off the corner kick maneuver since it relied on a (literal) edge case in the physics. I wanted to tune it back to a viable mechanic, but there would have been no time left to test it, so I stuck with the dash as the main special movement system.

With the corner jump, the first hill could actually be scaled without using dash at all. Enough of the code is still in the game that it is still barely possible, but very (VERY) difficult as it wasn't refined to play well with the revised collision geometry.

I'm glad you like Ceruleine's visual interest system. :)
Her feet are actually also handled procedurally. They're not a looping walking animation, or an animation at all for that matter. This is probably easiest to see when she backpedals off a slope. Though, similarly to the above, I tuned the leg rig *before* revising the collision geometry, and it's a little more iffy now. The original system looked really natural, but the same loose physics that made her natural glidy-looking movement turned out to be terrible for actual precision platforming, so I had to reign it in a lot.

That's actually why the controls still feel a little slidy at times. I didn't have the heart to axe the feature entirely, even though chances are no one will even consciously notice her little birdy feet doing their procedural thing. Maybe not my best design decision. :)

Finally, yes, I could see your "Hello, Alien!" game being one of those awesome puzzle titles from the golden shareware era. I love the presentation of it. Reminds me of the old Apogee classics. :)

Sorry to ramble, thanks again for the comment klianc09. :)

---- Will Edwards
Thanks for the comment. Glad the web version worked for you. :)
It's possible that there's an issue with the dash in some browsers that I haven't come across yet.
The way I do the right angle dash is to hold "Up" and press "Dash", then make sure I release "Up" completely, then hold "Right" or "Left", and press "Dash" again. It took me quite a few tries to get it down. Technically you don't have to hold "Right" or "Left", as Ceruleine will dash horizontally in whatever direction she's facing if no direction is held down.

---- TautNerve
Thanks, TautNerve. Glad you had fun with the dash mechanic. :)
Just out of curiosity, were you using keyboard or gamepad?

---- Natrium729
No, that's a fair question. It may not be that easy to tell, but if you look closely, both of Ceruleine's wings actually have bandages around them.

Yeah, I think you're right about the controls, I managed to get them to be much tighter than they were when I started out (see my reply to klianc09 above), but even so, you're right, there's definitely room for further improvement. I think I played it enough to subconsciously get used to a lot of the quirks, so it became harder for me to feel them out. Glad you had fun with it though. :)

Thanks for the feedback.

---- Managore
Cool, glad you enjoyed it. :D
Good call with the slippery blocks. Part of me feels like I could fiddle with the physics, and part of me feels like maybe I should just not build levels that aggravate it. :)
I actually have continued work on the game I made for my previous game jam, and I hope to do the same for Lucid. So with luck there will be more at some point. :)

---- ruerob
Thanks, for the feedback, ruerob.
If you get a chance, can you let me know which browser and OS you're using? That "can't get pickups" bug is a new one for me.
As for the jumping issue on the desktop version, you may have a gamepad plugged in that is resting on one of its buttons. A friend of mine got exactly that issue, but righting/unplugging the gamepad seemed to fix it. I'm going to add in a "disable gamepad input" option eventually, since I know unplugging stuff from a computer is sometimes easier said than done, and some gamepads have to have their custom controls reprogrammed each time they're unplugged.

Thanks again, all.
Please feel free to let me know if I missed one of your comments or forgot to answer a question. :)
And, thanks again for all the feedback.

martim00 says ...
Sep 14, 2014 @ 5:32am

Nice game.

fisholith says ...
Sep 14, 2014 @ 7:18am

Thanks :)

Lokarunith says ...
Sep 14, 2014 @ 12:35pm

I wish I could rate highly the audio and mood because they were both really great, a shame the 48h build doesn't have any sound. I don't get it, why are you submitting your game as a 48h compo when you enhanced it so much in the last day??

Also, if you're going for the 48h compo, the 72 hour version is nothing more than a post-mortem, the web link should NOT direct the player to the 3 day version when you are going for the 2 day compo, it fools the player into thinking they're playing something made in 2 days when it was actually made in 3. Either change the web version to the 48h compo and make a new link for the post-mortem separately or change your game to a Jam Entry. In the last case I will rectify my rating in the mood and audio category which were greatly improved in the last day.

fisholith says ...
Sep 14, 2014 @ 4:35pm

Wow, Lokarunith, thanks for pointing this out. At first I couldn't figure out what you meant by the 72 version not being relevant. Now I know why the 48 and 72 options were radio buttons instead of checkboxes. I thought you could enter both in parallel as long as you provided the source code by the 48th hour to be eligible for the earlier 48-hour deadline, and abided by the stricter rule set. :/

That's why I have the 48-hour source available, and why I tried to keep the 48 and 72 versions clearly labeled and separated, but you're definitely right, the web version I just added launches instantly, so good call. I'm trying to get a hold of one of the LD organizers to see what if anything needs to happen. I may voluntarily withdraw entirely. I don't want an unfair advantage.

I contacted Mike Kasprzak (LD mod), and I'm waiting to hear back from him. In the interim, I disabled the web link here, and the HTML version of the game. I can't edit the contest category, but I plan to ask Mike about switching it to 72 if possible. If you have any further suggestions don't hesitate to let me know. This is my first LD, and I'm not in it for the ranking, I just wanted to be part of it. So thanks again for pointing this out, Lokarunith.

PoV says ...
Sep 15, 2014 @ 12:54am

Okay, moved from Compo to Jam. My apologies, this will break your score. Something we really need to fix. :(

fisholith says ...
Sep 15, 2014 @ 5:22am

Seriously, no need to apologize. It was my mess-up in the first place, and like I said, I'd feel bad about ranking above anyone who'd set their entry up correctly from the start, so I'm totally fine with not placing this time around. I'll know for next time. :)

Thanks again for helping me out, and getting back to me so fast. :D

igoramendola says ...
Sep 15, 2014 @ 7:49am

Finished... and WOW! It's an awesome entry. Excellent graphics, animations, sounds, music and gameplay. Really nice work :D

* I've downloaded the Window version (v13) and my antivirus (AVG) blocked the 'Lucid Launcher.exe' file ("trojan SHeur4.BZUM"). I played using the 'lucid.exe' file.

egor-idiot says ...
Sep 15, 2014 @ 9:26am

Nice art and mood. But I cant jump enough high.
Also nice particles %)

fisholith says ...
Sep 15, 2014 @ 3:09pm

---- igoramendola
Thanks igoramendola. Glad you liked it. :)

Thanks for letting me know about the AVG thing. Avira and MalwareBytes don't show anything for me, but just to be on the safe side, I'm swapping out the exe launcher with a plain bat file launcher. I suspect that it's a false positive, but I'm not taking any chances. Thanks again, for letting me know.

Some background on the launcher...
The purpose of the launcher is to invoke the command switches "--disable-threaded-compositing" and "--ignore-gpu-blacklist" when executing the lucid.exe file. The first switch prevents Node-Webkit from trying to run multiple threads, with one dedicated to compositing, as this causes lag and intermittent freezing in games. The second switch prevents Node-Webkit from disabling WebGL support on Windows XP and Vista, as launching the game without WebGL will result in a solid grey window.

The bat file that the exe was constructed from contains only the following line:

lucid.exe --disable-threaded-compositing --ignore-gpu-blacklist

You can copy that text into your own bat file to recreate it, if you want. It should solve exactly the same problems that the exe launcher does, only the command window will remain open. To prevent the command window from staying open, you can use the "start" command at the beginning of the line (i.e. "start lucid.exe ..."). The "start" command will return immediately, allowing the window to close.

fisholith says ...
Sep 15, 2014 @ 3:24pm

---- egor-idiot
Glad you like the atmosphere, egor. :)

I tend to agree that the current jump height is a little on the shallow side. I want to eventually add in a double jump feature, which will hopefully give your conventional motion a little more utility.

In fact, if you search this page for "---- klianc09" I explain a little more about the development history of the jumping physics, and how and why they are the way they are in the current version. Hint, time pressure and indecision played a role. :)

I've also been thinking about adding in a gliding mechanic. I'll have to see...

As for the particles. I love particle effects, so as a general rule, if a thing happens ... particles. Perhaps not the best approach, but the sparkle-iest approach? May-be ... may-be ...

Anyway, thanks again for your comment. :)

Lokarunith says ...
Sep 16, 2014 @ 12:13am

Hi again,
Sorry, I didn't want you to loose the score :(
I rectified my rating as I said I would. Hope to see you again on another LD.

fisholith says ...
Sep 16, 2014 @ 6:37am

Don't worry about it. :)
It was fun being a part of LD. Take care, and see you next time. :)

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