Ludum Dare 31 — December 5th-8th, 2014 — Theme: Entire Game on One Screen

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Entertainment Software for Lonely Children

by folmerkelly - Compo Entry

ESFLC is basically me talking to myself as a kid when I used to play 2 player Pong by myself. Every time the player loses, a message is displayed; it's all things I wish I could tell my younger self.

The gameplay itself is your basic Pong except that the controls for P2 are inverted, so that if P1 goes down, P2 goes up and vice versa. I tried to simulate the frustrating difficulty of having to deal with two controllers at the same time, but for one player.

Arrow keys to navigate, space to do an action.


- There's a gameplay glitch where you can, in theory, get the ball kinda stuck on the wall and keep playing forever
- On the Mac build, score doesn't seem to show up

Downloads and Links




cbear_wallis says ...
Dec 8, 2014 @ 3:24am

I really love the ideas and themes presented here. As a single child I never did this, but, I identify with the same feelings. I really enjoyed this. Great work ^_^

apiotrw says ...
Dec 8, 2014 @ 11:49am

Good execution. I liked the creepy mood and audio.

Krisjet says ...
Dec 8, 2014 @ 12:27pm

This game feels meaningful. Great mood.

Dec 8, 2014 @ 12:50pm

This turned out pretty well. I can relate to some of the stuff the head says. Wish I could tell the same stuff to my kid self.

rubna says ...
Dec 8, 2014 @ 7:28pm

nice atmosphere :O i like how im super unsure about how to feel about having the game saying all these personal, judgy things to me. very realistic!

borgi says ...
Dec 8, 2014 @ 11:45pm

Interesting mood, I like the artsy aspect of it very much! Nice implementation!

MiniBobbo says ...
Dec 8, 2014 @ 11:48pm

I learned that I'm really bad at switching control schemes mid game.

I also wish that you could press space once to have all the text instantly appear. I wanted to read them, but didn't want to wait for them to scroll in.

Belvar says ...
Dec 8, 2014 @ 11:48pm

Haha, love the concept ! I guess I would have liked that kind of stuff as a kid :) Other games like that would have been nice though.

Pulsartronic says ...
Dec 8, 2014 @ 11:50pm

You need to know that the feeling I have once I played is some kind of smooth quietly... Very interesting sensation. You didn't go far with the innovation, but I like it ;)

cardanai says ...
Dec 8, 2014 @ 11:50pm

Liked the audio and the mood of the game, but pong is not very innovative.

Dec 8, 2014 @ 11:51pm

Neat little game. Interesting spin on pong. Not too sure what's with the messages at the end of each round XD I guess I kinda get it after reading the description. Still seems strange though. I like it!

bobismijnnaam says ...
Dec 8, 2014 @ 11:53pm

Wow, this game really brought on the feels in me. I guess the only complaint I have is that once the ball bugged out and got stuck in the wall, giving me an opportunity to get a high highscore. My brain short circuited and I failed, but I could've. Really love the atmosphere and messages of the game, also the mirrored pong mechanic is fun. Good job!

Dec 8, 2014 @ 11:58pm

Wow, this is a touching experience. I think more people can relate to this than you might have intended. I think we've all done this, and the atmosphere and style is so likeable that no matter what advice you would have written I would have just made it apply to me, even if it shouldn't.
The inverted controls is a great idea and makes the game interesting - somehow it doesn't feel like you're playing against yourself - but for me this one is all about the mood. My mind would just take turns switching between seeing me playing this game and seeing the imaginary child you doing it (in front of a giant computer, like the one in Dexter's Laboratory).
I hope you feel better than you seemed to do then <3

mrexcessive says ...
Dec 9, 2014 @ 9:53am

Hi there. Like the comments to the children after failures. Found the control of right bat difficult, some of the bounces were extreme too, but I guess that's the point! Good job. Liked the background music a lot.

hexagore says ...
Dec 9, 2014 @ 1:11pm

That's a good twist on a very very very ancient game! I love motivational notes after each session, the whole vibe and feel is spot on. Nice!

hectorhon says ...
Dec 9, 2014 @ 1:15pm

Playing games against oneself? I used to do the same with chess. But really, it's more fun with people out there :)

Nice playable game in such a short time, congrats!

Conk says ...
Dec 9, 2014 @ 1:16pm

Nice twist, playing pong in reverse is harder than I would've though. Audio is really good, mixed with those creepy reassuring faces, builds good mood (:

harley77 says ...
Dec 9, 2014 @ 1:24pm

I loved the idea. Playing pong with myself is surprisingly more challenging than I thought it would be.

MonoS says ...
Dec 9, 2014 @ 6:29pm

Really great game, a perfect mood imho.
Great graphic and audio, the gameplay is also interesting, but personally i'd swap the directon at every start

Dec 9, 2014 @ 7:09pm

Something really special about this! Lots of personality.

radmars says ...
Dec 9, 2014 @ 7:27pm

Playing this made me feel comforted and incredibly uneasy at the same time. The combination of the bizzare audio and the face made for an all around awesome experience. My only complaint is not to get repeats of the after game 'advice' until you've gone through them all. I liked that it felt as though it was building up to something though. Maybe its just reading too much into it, but it felt as though the 'advice' was getting more and more intimate as the game went on. I liked how you got to really feel like this mystery face was a real character rattling things off about 'itsself' in a creepy, sort of reassuring way. Awesome job, love this one. :D

Dec 9, 2014 @ 9:17pm

Very haunting and relatable. Well done. :D

pjchardt says ...
Dec 10, 2014 @ 7:00am

Very poignant and well executed :)

Dec 10, 2014 @ 8:52am

a beautiful piece

Dec 10, 2014 @ 7:39pm

Great vibe, love the visuals.

Robotic says ...
Dec 10, 2014 @ 9:31pm

5 stars on audio because minimalistic music is always great and this one is especially perfect :3

Mase says ...
Dec 10, 2014 @ 11:04pm

Interesting narrative idea.

The control scheme was a good approximation of attempting to use two controllers. I wonder what other games could be adapted to this sort of 1.5 player game style... though pong's simplicity is effective here.

ceosol says ...
Dec 12, 2014 @ 7:01pm

Very interesting. I get a very lonely feeling when playing this game. As far as a post-comp version, I do not think that a one player pong would be received incredibly well. However, the idea of a single player doing both sides of a two player game is great. Definitely apply this to a different type of game and I think it would make some interesting products.

spotco says ...
Dec 13, 2014 @ 5:29am

A glimpse into the mind of a lonely single child. The atmosphere is great and I like the transition animations.

I like how personal the game feels.

spotco says ...
Dec 13, 2014 @ 5:30am

A glimpse into the mind of a lonely single child. The creepy music creates a great atmosphere. The graphics are simple, but have personality to them. I like the transition animations.

I like how personal the game feels. Very interesting

Mechatodzilla says ...
Dec 13, 2014 @ 6:10am

Very clever idea and entertaining gameplay and presentation. Messages at the end wasted no time invoking feels.

Domicuc says ...
Dec 13, 2014 @ 9:50am

Nice game! I like the text massages after dying! Great job!

Btw. Check my game too, thank you!

pjimmy says ...
Dec 13, 2014 @ 11:32am

very bizarre and spooky, love the mood, well done

xWarZonex says ...
Dec 14, 2014 @ 2:59am

I cried when I played this

foolmoron says ...
Dec 14, 2014 @ 4:36am

This is REALLY awesome in a lot of ways. Visual style evokes retro game feel, but is still unique and interesting. Audio sets the tone perfectly. But the best part is the messages after you lose. I got bored of the pong game easily, but I still "played" and lost several times to see the messages. Very effective.

tmpxyz says ...
Dec 14, 2014 @ 3:53pm

the gameplay is simple, but you made a clear main point.

Dec 14, 2014 @ 6:04pm

Funny robot talking when you loose against yourself. :P
Good game btw.

Dec 16, 2014 @ 3:14am

This is a great idea, and well executed! The audio is exceptional, and the theme put across well.

I noticed one bug, where the description text would draw even after the game was started. I don't know if this is intentional or not. Altogether, though, this is an extremely well put together game!

Wertle says ...
Dec 29, 2014 @ 11:50pm

This game definitely got across the frustrating feeling of trying to operate both player's controls at once. It seemed like it should be simple, yet was surprisingly difficult to control both of the pong paddles. The sounds and graphics were simple, but added a lot to the old school vibe you had going for this game. I really enjoyed it. Nice job!

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