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

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Snowman Soul Slaughter

by MurmuringDepths - Jam Entry

A quick game (278kb) about a knight trying to stop hordes of snowpeople breaking into Santa's Castle and ruining christmas, like they would have ruined Ludum Dare.

​Left Mouse / Left Control: Attack
Right Mouse / Left Alt: Shield (double click to Parry)
WASD / Arrow Keys: Move around
SpaceBar / Up Arrow: Jump
Left Shift: Sprint
Escape: Unlock mouse cursor

Parry is really more like a guard break.
Parries can be cancelled and have a cooldown of 1 second. Cooldown isn't activated until you hear the sound of a successful parry.
They can be a bit hard and require patient timing, but the effect is a large knock-back and allows crits on hit enemies.
You can't run and block at the same time, only walk.


> You can attack WHILE blocking, hold down the shield key to block.
> Blocking stops you from being attacked in the direction you are blocking.
> You can attack in different directions (added in response to attack feedback), by pressing the up or down keys while attacking.
> There is a hidden level up counter, when you level up some green light is emitted. This also heals you for 10hp over 2 seconds (added to make it a bit easier). Every time you level up, the max enemy count increases so more enemies can appear and spawn faster.
> Use parry to knock back snowmen, especially if the horde is too much for you to move around!
> If you get pushed off screen, you still have a chance to make it back! Keep fighting! Eventually you get pushed off completely and die.


Spent about 24 hours making it over the weekend. Obviously much content was cut, the castle was intended to be entered and while some of it is in game, it never was fixed up. Also there were meant to be more weapons and enemies which could fight back, did not get around to finishing the other sprite assets.
So instead just fight as long as you can.

There was a little help thanks to someone who wanted to make the snowpeople sprites.

Downloads and Links




hissssssssss says ...
Dec 9, 2014 @ 12:31pm

Kind of a silly game. I couldn't find much of a use for parrying, but maybe I just suck?

Chaoseed says ...
Dec 9, 2014 @ 12:36pm

Kind of fun, though silly! I like the fact that it uses physics, to the point where you can walk on a horde of snowmen. However, the controls feel a little...bad. It's very hard to deal with a bunch of snowmen at once if they build up, because you're running away, but you have to turn to attack them, but that will get you hit...Also, you can only stab at one height, which sometimes is not the height you need. By the way, if the character glows green, does that mean anything? I couldn't figure it out...

Taldius says ...
Dec 9, 2014 @ 12:39pm

Fun game, however some more feedbacks would have been nice to better understand what happen.

naufr4g0 says ...
Dec 9, 2014 @ 12:42pm

The graphics are good, but the game is a bit non-sense and sprites tend to get stuck one each other.
Player shouldn't be able to get out the screen.

Dec 9, 2014 @ 9:41pm

@hissssssssss Parrying has knock back which is useful if too many start pushing you out of the level (and to your death), deliberately made the force large because it was amusing.

@Chaoseed Yeah the controls need more work for sure, in what way does it feel bad? Added a sort of fix allow you to press up or down while attack to attack in other directions, and anywhere your spearhead goes it does damage so you can attack all around you. Parrying creates a small circle around your shield which can also reach various heights to damage others. The glowing green was added as a sign of health recovering when you level up periodically, should have made this more clear with maybe a notification.

@naufr4g0 Why shouldn't they be able to get out of the screen? They do die if they go too far, thought that if you didn't die straight away it would be more forgiving. Originally there were meant to be more levels you could journey to and the world would rotate as you transitioned.

Dec 9, 2014 @ 9:42pm

@Taldius What kind of feedback are you referring to, visual or notifications?

Thommy says ...
Dec 9, 2014 @ 11:39pm

That spear-poking while hiding behind the shield reminds me of Dark Souls. Great job!

Dec 10, 2014 @ 3:12am

Had some weird physics interactions: floating snowmen, and getting stuck on their bodies. I don't know if this was intentional, but it made it kinda hard to play. When I had a bit of a streak going it was fun to block and jab.

Dec 10, 2014 @ 4:58am

@Thommy thanks!

@DefectiveMelon sometimes the colliders get stuck on platforms, the colliders for them are fine I think its just the dodgy way I made them move towards the player means they can walk into the platform and get stuck.
When they die they are still collidable, and have physics so they can fall over, and then after 1.5 seconds it gets disabled. So if it gets disabled midfall sometimes they float.

I might give a go at disabling their physics interactions between each other, and the player, and see how it goes. (..sometime later..) Well I started messing around with it but it made the game perform poorly when lots of enemies started appearing on screen. If too many enemies are on top of one another (drawn on top of each other), fps just starts tanking. This happens faster if I make them more easily to pass in front of each other and they all gather in one spot (like under the platform the player is on).

I could probably do a better solution but it would involve changing the game a lot more than it currently is.

Red Sigma says ...
Dec 10, 2014 @ 6:21am


Pastry says ...
Dec 10, 2014 @ 9:18am

Hey fellow dev! Dat mood and atmosphere 10/10

Empyrealhell says ...
Dec 11, 2014 @ 7:25am

There were a number of issues with the combat. Why would I ever want to not be blocking? It seems like it would have made more sense to just be blocking all the time, and change the block button to parry (instead of having to double click). The inability to attack and move backwards made it difficult to deal with being chased, and seemed like an arbitrary limitation (maybe make block lock the direction you're facing). Jumping was almost never worth it, since the enemies would get under you, and you would lose health quickly while you stood on them. Overall, the combat felt clunky, and since it was the only mechanic, it really needed to be polished up more to be fun. That said, the graphics look good, and the sound did a good job matching the mood of a futile fight to the death. If you had finished all the stuff you wanted to, I could see this being a lot more fun, but right now it's too unrefined to be fun as an endless fighter.

Dec 12, 2014 @ 10:25pm

@Empyrealhell Thanks for the feedback!
I wanted there to be a choice between moving evasively, or protecting yourself, but clearly the small environment hasn't been designed well to facilitate anything other than constantly blocking and attacking (especially being stuck on one screen).
I like the idea of blocking locking the direction faced, would not be hard to implement at all.
Definitely needs more work, maybe later I will make a more polished prototype.

01rafael says ...
Dec 14, 2014 @ 12:52am

The snowmans pull me of the screen! ))

Dec 15, 2014 @ 6:50am

@ 01rafael That was intended, unless the player is to die immediately after being pushed off the screen but that would be too hard on the player

Ult says ...
Dec 15, 2014 @ 5:14pm

Game freezes up sometimes (no pun intended), and the snowman AI could use some work, but overall it's okay.

EquipeJAM says ...
Dec 28, 2014 @ 2:12pm

nice work ^^

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