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

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Quiet Life

by VDZ - Compo Entry

(Updated on December 18th, 2014 (version 4); for the original version, see the second and third links. For just playing for fun, the new version is STRONGLY recommended due to many, many improvements being made.)


The world is calm and peaceful. There are no enemies around,
nothing around you poses a threat to your life...and you're
starving to death, rapidly.

Starting from nothing, try to build and craft to maintain a
(somewhat resembling) stable food supply to survive for as
long as possible. Then try to do the same as winter takes
away most of your options of getting food. And if you somehow
manage to survive even that, every new year will make you get
hungry faster. How long can you survive?

(Note: Everything except the sound and base rules* (sorry, ran
out of time) is fully moddable; you can replace all graphics,
rewrite all item and tile scripts and even add your own (and
change the map generation script to spawn them).)
* UPDATE: In the post-LD version these are now moddable as well.

This game is Windows-only.

Controls: (different in post-LD version: see the readme)

Numpad - Move (8-directional)
Z - Use held item or interact with object under you
X - Pick up item from ground/swap held item with ground/drop held item

(Alternatively, movement can be done with arrow keys or WASD, with Home/End/PgUp/PgDown for diagonals. Enter and space can be used instead of Z and X.)

F or Alt-Enter - Toggle fullscreen mode
Escape - Quit the game

The sound is kind of bad and there's no music; both problems are remedied in the post-LD version.

Some tips:

- Interact with a tree trunk to get 'Branch'. Combine it with 'Stone' to
get the 'Stone Axe', a very important item. Many interactions will work
like this.

- There are three ways to get food: Fishing, planting crops and butchering
sheep. Sheep can be killed with any tool except for the Stone Axe. To
craft a fishing net, you need a Crafting Table and something to craft it

- Many items, among which all kinds of food, decay if left on the ground.
They will not decay when held, and in fact the decay timer is reset when
you pick up the item.

- It's possible to craft wooden floors (and walls). Stuff left on wooden
floors decays four times as slowly as it would normally decay.

- Don't kill the sheep immediately. After some time, the sheep will
reproduce (somehow, despite no other sheep being in the area). If there
are no sheep left, no new ones will be born!

- Fire destroys everything except raw food items, which will be roasted.
Roasted items will be destroyed by fire, though!

This game is public domain. Feel free to do whatever you want with it.

Downloads and Links




VDZ says ...
Dec 8, 2014 @ 3:21am

For those interested, here's a chart with all items you can gather and craft in the game:

bnmkt says ...
Dec 10, 2014 @ 2:15am

only 2days for that ? wow... Good job

Dec 10, 2014 @ 2:31am

Great game! I love this survival setting. The chart list will definitely help, because I'm not very creative for crafting.

Dec 10, 2014 @ 2:50am

Hey, congrats on makign a ludum dare game! Some advice here...
- Be less verbose in your game description. Try to stick to a short description.
- In the tips section your are mentioning many very things that confuse me as a new player.
- When I use an axe next to a tree (or any object next to anything) if there is only one thing it can be used on then don't require the user to manually select the direction.
- Ultimately you need to streamline your player's controls, try to put yourself in a new player's shoes.
- After dying once from starvation I am starting to figure out what to do.
- I think having the relevant info on the right inst helping because I keep having to look over.
- Make Holding and Under You items more prominent. Like bottom middle of screen
- I am starving and trying to kill a sheep with an axe to make food and it won't let me.
- I would kill a sheep or light something on fire if I knew how, but I can't seem to figure it out.
- I bashed a sheep's brains out with a stone from desperate starvation, but can't seem to eat it and died.
- I managed to make a wooden wall before starving for a 4th time.
- I made a shovel. Made clay, I keep making kilns while starving.
- After way too much time I was able to chop up sheep meat with an axe to recover a tiny fraction of hunger. I will take that as a small victory.

triplefox says ...
Dec 10, 2014 @ 2:55am

I had a lot of fun with this. I liked the deliberate minimalism it had where usually survival games of this type need to overdose on features.

Kitch says ...
Dec 10, 2014 @ 5:03am

Gonna have to give this one some time, but good job. Lots of complexity here :)

EquipeJAM says ...
Dec 10, 2014 @ 8:22pm

Good Work ^^

the31 says ...
Dec 11, 2014 @ 7:55am

Huh. I like the idea of reducing the ways that you can interact with objects to the point where you don't need any explanation to discover new combinations, but I wasn't able to figure out how to make anything other than the axe! I really liked the concept, just wish the tips went a tiny bit further.

joppiesaus says ...
Dec 11, 2014 @ 3:51pm

Wow! You did this in 48 hours?! That's awesome! Many features for such a small time. I've had fun playing this. So many recipes... It's awesome!
I lost myself at: "Under you: Dead sheep"
Excellent game!

Alex Rose says ...
Dec 11, 2014 @ 8:17pm

This is intense. I'm always consistently impressed at how much you manage to implement. There's an amazing amount of complexity here.

BtheDestroyer says ...
Dec 12, 2014 @ 9:51pm

Can't play this on my laptop cause no num-pad... WASD would have worked perfectly fine...

VDZ says ...
Dec 12, 2014 @ 10:03pm

BtheDestroyer; the game is actually playable with arrow keys or WASD, as pointed out in the description. Numpad is just the recommended controls because diagonal movement is more intuitive with numpad.

Soron says ...
Dec 12, 2014 @ 11:39pm

Pretty nifty and ambitious. It does get kinda monotonous after you get a stable food supply, though - but, I suppose that's just a limitation of the 2 day time limit.

Some of the sounds were a bit confusing, though - given that there aren't any animations, and there's a BIG set of tiles to assess every turn, I didn't always know what some of the beeps were for.

Also, I had a bit of a sheepaggedon by late winter... maybe put a cap on the number of sheep that can exist at any given point?

VDZ says ...
Dec 13, 2014 @ 2:08am

Fully agreed on all points, that's why in the post-LD version (as of version 3) they're all fixed (balancing makes sure you keep struggling to survive, complete sound overhaul, sheep eat grass and die if they can't eat).

exoddinary says ...
Dec 13, 2014 @ 9:41am

Good job! I think u need to make a short tutorial, coz i didnt really understood how to play the game. I only played the JUDGE version tho.

Tifu says ...
Dec 15, 2014 @ 3:13pm

After several tries, I lasted 1133 turns - cause of death: too many sheep blocking the way to my tomato patch resulting in starvation :P I'll have to try out the post-LD version later, was having fun, even though I couldn't figure out how to make most of the possible items. I couldn't even figure out how to get the fire working. Though I enjoy the mystery and exploration on that front.
I managed to survive through the winter on tomatoes. Are the tomatoes supposed to be an option here? The game description implied my food options would be reduced, so I assumed the plants would stop growing but they kept producing food for me all winter.

VDZ says ...
Dec 15, 2014 @ 5:30pm

That is indeed a bug, though one I was aware of and didn't bother fixing as it doesn't really matter much balance-wise (with the explosive sheep growth you could also just eat sheep all winter, that'll also delay the inevitable sheep apocalypse). Death by sheep is indeed inevitable in the compo version; such are the limits of compo playtesting.

In the post-compo version, sheep will starve if there are too many in a certain area, while completed crops will wither if you don't harvest them in winter (and non-completed crops just won't grow until summer). On the other hand, the post-compo version does allow you to permanently store cooked food and tomatoes.

Shackhal says ...
Dec 15, 2014 @ 10:44pm

Damn, I died again.

The concept is used but it works here. I like the crafting system, even if it take me some time to learn it.

It could be great to improve the graphics assets and add some music, right? Also, increasing the map, more environments, adding dangerous creatures and more crafting options could be awesome.

Overall, I like it :)

Dec 16, 2014 @ 1:49pm

Well done, such a minimalistic yet kind of deep survival game surely is a cool concept. I know this is hardly possible within 48 hours, but generally some directions for the player, i.e. a small tutorial-ish introduction of what things to combine to get the basic tools, would be great. Also using the arrow keys for controls would be much more comfortable for the player (well, for me at least) - you could simply add a small delay of 50-100ms when a key is pressed and then check the other keys as well to allow for diagonal movement without having the player need to press two keys at the exact same moment. The current controls resulted in me playing with arrowkeys anyway, despite making it harder, as this is just the way I'm used to control game characters and using the numpad just felt weird.

I think the game's strongest point is the general idea behind the mechanics and how motivating it is/can be. Finding out all the tools and figure out ways to survive really is quite appealing and rewarding.
Well, it's rather obvious that the visuals could need some work - simple item icons are OK, but gras/sand/water make it almost painful to look at for longer periods of time (but then again, my game has a similar, if not worse problem :D). Even just replacing the black background of each tile with an appropriate color makes quite a difference.
Either way, I even went as far as downloading and playing the post-LD version and am rather proud of growing and eating my first tomato, so there's that!

Odefus says ...
Dec 17, 2014 @ 6:19am

Judging by the previous comments you already know what the bugs and gamebreaking design flaws are and have probably fixed them in the post compo version so I will not be talking about those.

I had fun learning the game as an iterative process driven by the joy of discovery. I feel a game like this should not necessarily have even the most basic tutorial because the fun lies the discovery process. As I came to find; as soon as I had figured out how to survive the winter and live til the sheepocalypse stagnation set in and it wasn't that fun anymore. This is where "more stuff" comes in, but asking for more from a compo entry would be ludicrous and its not the the point. What you have here works and is fun to figure out.

The amount of stuff you've managed to implement in a compo entry is impressive to say the least. Great work!

Zayron says ...
Dec 18, 2014 @ 3:46pm

Good job and in 48 hours! I did not live very long but it was fun. :)

BRUL says ...
Dec 27, 2014 @ 7:26pm

FIRE: take a Branch from a Trunk, then another, and combine!

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