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

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by pkenney - Compo Entry

Post-Comp Success Note:

This game had raw potential, but based on the feedback below you can see it was VERY confusing to many players, and frankly the tutorial is totally overbearing in this version. The controls are also too sloppy with the inertia.

After the compo I resolved to clear up the confusion *AND* completely eliminate the tutorial. I challenged myself to explain this very unusual game with no tutorial and just one screen with a few words of instruction. The rest I resolved would be "self-discoverable."

I went through several rounds iterating on this, removing rules and changing the way information is displayed to bring cause and effect together, and then forcing friends and strangers alike to play while I watched.

I also removed inertia and retooled the player's movement a bit. The player now has much tighter controls which allows the game to get even MORE insane, if you can believe it.

After numerous iterations I had it down. I posted the refined game to GameJolt, where it got noticed by the editor and featured for a weekend, drawing over three thousand players. It also got a small write-up on RockPaperShotgun.

Then a player - a stranger to me - SOLVED the game by posting a youtube video of himself scoring an unbelievable streak of ONE HUNDRED, demonstrating he could go infinite. As you see in the comments below, I had always believed this was theoretically possible, but to have the internet just reach out and solve my game was an amazing feeling. Sadly, this video has been taken down. :(

None of this would have been possible without Ludum Dare providing the reason to start and finish a game, and the honest thoughtful feedback from all of the players which really helped me to see where the problems lay.

I have included a link to the GameJolt version below, that's the one you want to play if you're coming to this game now.



What the...?!

In this strange game, your goal is very simple: turn the world as fast as you can.

But watch out! With each turn, crates drop from the ceiling and hatch nasty enemies that you'll need to deal with.

How fast can you handle?? Earn a score badge from 1 to 10 for each rotation based on the time you took to rotate. But if you get hit, you'll score a nasty ZERO, so don't go so fast you lose control of the game.



Once you have these odd rules down, it becomes easy to get safe rotations. Then you can start working on your badge streaks shown in the bottom right as (current / best).

Green Streak counts how many 5-or-better badges you get in a row. Gold Streak counts how many 10s in a row you get.

I have posted my high scores: green streak 55, gold streak 19.

I think this game stands up under pretty extreme play, and is right on the edge of theoretically solvable. But it unfortunately confuses a lot of players in the initial moments. Get over that hump and I think you can find the fun!

Hope you enjoy.

(Warning: I think the sound is a bit high, despite name of game you might need to turn it down a bit before playing. My bad.)

Downloads and Links




ben_pxlplz says ...
Dec 8, 2014 @ 4:33am

Interesting idea. I think a clearer win and lose condition may help this game a little. I like the concept though, and think you've got something cool here.

BluMist says ...
Dec 8, 2014 @ 8:48am

Wooped those red guys, yeah go me. That was fun and satisfying. Should've turned my sound down first though.

onilink_ says ...
Dec 8, 2014 @ 10:43am

Very cool game, but the inertia for the player's physics is a very bad idea.

Dec 8, 2014 @ 9:10pm

I love it ! The tutorial is perfect. Good job.

barryrowe says ...
Dec 9, 2014 @ 4:08am

This is great. It's very similar to an idea our team had, but decided against. To be more specific, this is a BETTER version of a game we thought about building. Great job. Even when you are getting a bad score it still feels fun and compelling to play. The rules are a little confusing with all the stats being shown.

SoulGame says ...
Dec 9, 2014 @ 4:40am

At start, game seems to be promising and chellenging. Maybe too much elements arrived in game and i lost my way into. Parsimony in game elements distribution could help balancing that game in a really good way because for now, some elements are here but i don't understand why.

FatKarate says ...
Dec 9, 2014 @ 4:41am

nice job mang

SirRicecake says ...
Dec 9, 2014 @ 5:01am

Didn't understand the goal at first. But the concept is interesting!

ruthiepee says ...
Dec 9, 2014 @ 2:43pm

Great concept, never really seen anything like it. I got 8 green points! Overall I think your game has really great balance for a Ludum Dare game, something that's hard to do. It's very addictive.

brokenbeach says ...
Dec 9, 2014 @ 2:44pm

I dont know what just happened but I had fun.

Dec 9, 2014 @ 2:53pm

Good start on a cool puzzle platformer. There's something cool to rotating the box and then jumping up the wall instead of going down to the floor that would be really need to develop more on.

Xanjos says ...
Dec 9, 2014 @ 6:04pm

No idea on what the lose condition is(or if there ever was one) but this is one of those games where once you fully understand the mechanics, it becomes more interesting and fun to play. Pretty addictive entry and a great take on the theme.

raincole says ...
Dec 9, 2014 @ 7:11pm

Fun game with cool 8bit art style. It's definite worth to be expanded.

Dec 9, 2014 @ 9:36pm

I'm sure I saw early development of this on the blog. It turned out awesome! My only suggestion would be to be able to use space to jump, really not a fan of W or UP as jump keys, but maybe that's just me.

rjhelms says ...
Dec 10, 2014 @ 12:16am

Was a little confusing at first, but once I got the hang of things I had some good fun.

The sound, art, and controls really capture the feel of an 8-bit arcade game.

TheMeorch says ...
Dec 10, 2014 @ 5:24am

That feeling when you're trying to avoid an enemy and end up rotating the entire room and spawning more enemies. So good, haha!

It's great that dying doesn't really slow you down, it just messes with your score -- so new players can take it easy and not get set back, while more advanced players can try to play optimally.

I do wish I had more control of my character while in the air. The inertia is a little high.

Really fun stuff!

NicePenguins says ...
Dec 11, 2014 @ 1:24am

Fun, but a little messy. Good sound design, maybe it need some music.
Cool entry

Justin Mullin says ...
Dec 11, 2014 @ 3:29am

This is very very cool! I had some problems with motion sickness (makes a lot of games rough for me), but stuck with it anyway, and you definitely have something here. I'm very much enjoying going for green streaks (my best is 39 so far), but I'm struggling to see how to control a run going for gold streaks. I got to eight just spinning one direction and trying to avoid red guys, but eventually they just pile up and it's too much to rely on that strategy. Any tips?

pkenney says ...
Dec 11, 2014 @ 5:20am

@Justin Mullin, thanks so much for your comment! I'm very glad to hear someone took it to that depth. 39 green is excellent, and it means you have the skills to make a real gold run. Spinning it up to 8 is fun, but there is a way to control it.

Here are my tips:

Green play is primarily about turning it, noting where the clear will fall, and jumping to meet it.

Gold play requires you to reverse this order. You have to turn first, and then aftergrab... if able. Move on either way.

You have to come off every turn with the next turn in mind, or else decide instantly at whim.

But I think the game is solveable like a puzzle.

There are only three situations: near drop, mid drop, and far drop. And in gold play there are only two moves: short jump and long jump. Whenever you come off a trigger, you're going to one of those two.

Play for aftergrabs that keep the place clean. So you only make jumps that land you adjacent to the clear. That means you're only ever making one of these four plays:

Short jump, near drop
Short jump, mid drop
Long jump, mid drop
Long jump, far drop

Each one of them has a different aftergrab, but that's all of them.

I brought the game to a full stop and practiced these grabs one gold at a time. Stop, plan, execute, stop. Then I'd chain two.

And I developed a strategy.

I work the corner with short jumps. Any near or mid into another near or mid, I play short like this all day, rocking the corner back and forth. When a long comes, hopefully I saw it coming and made the jump, or else I miss the moment where you can jump long, and I have to play the short jump on a far drop and pollute.

The aftergrab on short-mid also gives me trouble. You jump up to get it and often you lose the gold during hang time. You walk up to get it, you miss it a lot. I'm sure there's a repeatable success in there but I haven't cornered it yet.

For hang time, did you notice the down key? If you hold down, you fall much faster, and that can give you more leeway to jump.

Good luck, if you give it a try I'd love to hear how you do. I'm sure it's possible to beat my record of 12!

LukeZaz says ...
Dec 11, 2014 @ 5:55am

Was fun to play, although it was hard to figure out how to kill the enemies.

mrexcessive says ...
Dec 11, 2014 @ 2:17pm

Hi there. Found it hard to cope with the rotation, probably get ill playing for any length of time... Like the idea though, maybe on a mobile device would just turn the entire device and pick up on that. Sounds and visuals work well together. Good job!

Dec 13, 2014 @ 7:53pm

The rotation makes it feel so EXTREME! I like it! I think the rules presentation was a little overwhelming, but I got the hang of it pretty quick once I was playing the actual game.

Dec 13, 2014 @ 9:52pm

rotation effect is so cool

Wilson says ...
Dec 13, 2014 @ 9:52pm

Cool game, nice idea. Tricky to get the hang of as you say in the description :)

Valeour says ...
Dec 13, 2014 @ 9:55pm

Not quiet sure was going on, kept missing the tutorial! The idea seems nice, and I can imagine it being fun over time. :)

lase says ...
Dec 13, 2014 @ 9:56pm

It seems like there is a good idea here, but I had a lot of trouble grasping what was going on. It seemed like you could walk into all the enemies with no penalty (regarding death anyway). Anyway, you seem to have a solid idea on your hands, but it could possibly use some streamlining.

mrhill says ...
Dec 13, 2014 @ 9:58pm

funny game, love the jump, wehoooo

Havi says ...
Dec 13, 2014 @ 10:03pm

Very cool game. I really like the 8-bit sounds. Good job! :D

RonnyEGT says ...
Dec 13, 2014 @ 11:04pm

I must say this game is well polished and it entertains me a lot :D Now I see what you meant with your "retry" system, although I was a bit confused at first on whether I actually had some health or lost many times xD

lukepilgrim says ...
Dec 14, 2014 @ 9:49pm

super cool game idea! It's a bit unclear in the beginning what to do - but when you find out it's a lot of fun

krighxz says ...
Dec 14, 2014 @ 11:19pm

Really nice entry! Great mechanic, (I'm also a sucker for well executed fast-paced games), and nice touch with the varying audio feedback. I think the game really needs a way of losing, if not to make the game more fun, then at least to make it more addictive :)

Pulsartronic says ...
Dec 14, 2014 @ 11:21pm

Fun and interesting way to resolve you had in mind. Cool and solid entry. I want it more levels!!

ramoncb says ...
Dec 15, 2014 @ 12:39am

A little confusing at the beginning but once you understand how it works, the game become quite addicting! Truly unique! Good job! =)

(and sorry my bad english ^^')

peterkirk says ...
Dec 15, 2014 @ 2:21am

I liked the idea, but it took a while to get what I was meant to be doing.

Budaniel says ...
Dec 15, 2014 @ 6:42am

Nice old-school arcade look and feel. I didn't see much in the way of an end goal, however, so I eventually just stopped playing.

freaknarf says ...
Dec 15, 2014 @ 9:55am

Good! very weird and innovative concept :) It tooks a few minutes to adapt... your brain gets hurted by VVVVVV too ? Great gameplay!

tonypai says ...
Dec 15, 2014 @ 11:15am

Although I don't really get it, but this is still a nice innovative concept. :D

I step on enemy all the time... :'(

apiotrw says ...
Dec 15, 2014 @ 11:47am

A very good game. Very fluid controls, a good artstyle and unusual mechanic.

Rother Games says ...
Dec 15, 2014 @ 4:35pm

I love your game. Nice game concept, but it was hard to understand at first. I like also that you take your time to answer questions about your game and write comments at other games. You played my game yesterday and you found a hard bug in my game. Thank you for that!
If you want to you can play the new bugfixed Version:

kirbytails7 says ...
Dec 16, 2014 @ 6:46am

Cool idea. I think the volume of enemies interrupts the flow of jumping around, especially with having to move so quickly to get a gold streak going.

Ryusui says ...
Dec 16, 2014 @ 9:01am

Addictive! If I hadn't torn myself away from it I might've been going for hours. XD

Dec 16, 2014 @ 4:53pm

This was a really good idea. Super hard though! My high scores were 4 and 4!!

Really liked it though, pretty innovative!

Dracir says ...
Dec 17, 2014 @ 2:31am

I got it :) Nice it's fun ! :) But is there a win condition o_O ?
I can see different enemy and stuffs do to and i would be great ^^

zompi says ...
Dec 20, 2014 @ 10:13pm

Woah, that was trippy. Could be more competitive, red guys don't do harm enough so the game never ends... Or maybe I didn't manage to the end ^^"
The idea is neat and is worth the polish. Good job :)

CScribes says ...
Dec 22, 2014 @ 9:05pm

Fun and weird little game. I wasn't too sure how to... win? But, the instructions and general mood were excellent.

sP0CkEr2 says ...
Dec 26, 2014 @ 4:59pm

really fun game - and kind of addictive - adding to my favorites

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