Ludum Dare 32 — April 17th-20th, 2015 — Theme: An Unconventional Weapon

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by MonoS - Jam Entry

A game where you try to understand a foreign language while having severe learning disabilities.
Also, monsters are trying to kill you using said language so you'd better learn it fast.

For Linux users: the game need at least a terminal with 80*60 character on screen, if your terminal don't open up with this resolution or don't accept ncurses resize_term or the escape symbol \033[8;60;80t i don't know what to do [if someone have a solution please tell me in the comment] and the game will glitch out [even more than it already is]

For Mac users: i don't have a mac for compiling it, the only prerequisites are ncurses and c++11, period.

Downloads and Links




Liam :D says ...
Apr 22, 2015 @ 1:15am

I <3 console and text based games :D They are just so refreshing :D

aiaf says ...
Apr 22, 2015 @ 6:08pm

simple and fun, like
Terminal resize need better handling.

StrayByte says ...
Apr 22, 2015 @ 6:41pm

Could have been much more clear. I come from a long and heavy background of MUD gaming and i was instantly excited about it. It's improveable. I loved the unidentified words. It just needed much more clear commands.

UrbanHelsing says ...
Apr 22, 2015 @ 6:42pm

Very interesting. Would like to have an easier begining so that I feel that I do something right.

Ithildin says ...
Apr 22, 2015 @ 9:59pm

The concept is brilliant, very original. I'd like to see it further developed, but I agree with the other comments about the clearer feedback or controls, even though I can see how the feeling of uncertainty is really fitting to the main idea, if that's intentional.

Great entry!

LukeZaz says ...
Apr 23, 2015 @ 12:34am

Very unique idea. It was a bit confusing at times, as sometimes I would take damage after it told me the monster did, but I still liked it.

MonoS says ...
Apr 23, 2015 @ 9:34am

I had the upload a new version, there was an "almost game breaking bug".

The on equip effect were not updated correctly, that's why on LukeZaz gameplay the word Ya made impossible to equip other words

TeamCalcium says ...
Apr 24, 2015 @ 8:58am

Interesting implementation of the concept!

phi says ...
Apr 24, 2015 @ 5:04pm

The mechanics seem very elaborate and complicated, I'm probably just too stupid to comprehend them. I like the console makeup and the layout of the interface. The concept is awesome, but I was too confused because I just always ran out of words and then died.

plokdev says ...
Apr 24, 2015 @ 7:43pm

This is easily the most innovative game I've played here. Good work. Reading the tutorial is an absolute must, though.

Apr 25, 2015 @ 8:55am

DOS-based goodness.

Apr 25, 2015 @ 9:26am

I'm not terribly accustomed to entirely text-based games, I've played a couple and I don't mind some of the older rogue-like games, but I generally lose interest somewhat quickly. I really really like the idea of stripping away graphics to focus purely on the logic content of the game though. This is a bit of a different beast from others, but it does remind me of both the good and bad bits of what I've played before.

It's got mystery and intrigue. It immediately sucks me in because I'm challenged to learn and come to understand these foreign words in order to survive. It's an amazing concept, really. This is your game at its best for me. Getting the initial three or so words, puzzling over what word I should choose to take with me next. "Rikala... that one killed me last round... it seemed powerful" I say, I'll learn more about it through using and hearing it I expect.

This is where things start to go downhill for me a bit. I go challenge another enemy, more words are available. I notice the three words I was expecting to learn more about have run out of uses, and now I have a new pile of obscure words to choose from. "But... I really wanted to learn those other ones first" I say. I take the new words and head out... again defeated quickly, and to discover that those words too have run out of uses... and now I've got an even larger list of obscure words to choose from. The words start to lose all meaning as I slowly figure out that I won't become attached to any of them really. I won't slowly learn individual words because the list will continue to grow and my word uses will run out shortly after gaining them.

This is also generally how I start to feel with other text based games. There is a point where there is so much content that feels randomly generated that everything starts to lose meaning to me. I'm already somewhat detached due to the graphical nature of the game, but I become more-so as I realize that the game will become a series of checking the stats of item A vs. B vs. C vs. D. Oh, I've got another one... A vs. B, C, D, E.... oh..... another one....

I understand that in the description it's supposed to emulate learning a new language with learning disabilities... but it also destroys my ability to become attached to the game in a meaningful way.

I would have vastly preferred having more pacing with introducing a single basic enemy at first that only has 1 or two words to use (and doesn't insta-kill me while I'm trying to learn how the game works). I want to touch on that briefly. Say... words restore or something. If the monsters kill me on their turn, I'm not really able to observe and think about the effects of the words I'm using on them. By that time I'm dead... with more words! Perhaps you wanted to really evoke the danger around every corner aspect, but I feel it only does a disservice to learning the world mechanics to their fullest.

And of course as I was going on before, introducing the words at a lower rate would have been much less overwhelming. I understand now that it's up to the game to keep track of the stats of the words as I throw my body at any monster I see until I can start to see stats... but that's honestly not how I wanted to play it. I wanted to memorize the words and their effects myself. To really learn them, and become comfortable with them... attached to them. And to learn to let go of my precious words and learn new ones when the challenges grow greater. None of that pacing was present for me, but I really... really wish it could have done that for me.

If you ever decide to update this and think I'd like to check it out again feel free to contact me and send stuff my way.

I'm on twitter at:
my email is:

eemmbbeerr says ...
Apr 25, 2015 @ 9:31am

Interesting idea, but I couldn't really understand. Every time I fight, I run out of words and the enemy still lives, after that, only it can kill me. Should I have collected more words? Anyway, it's strange that you have to die to collect them. I liked the console layout and controls though.

On Linux: Terminal doesn't show up automatically when you double-click the file, and the resizing command doesn't work. You can change the terminal size by hand and run the Speechless executable in Terminal.

sekaru says ...
Apr 25, 2015 @ 6:33pm

Really nice game and definitely a breath of fresh air thanks to the textbased format.

abcdef65g says ...
Apr 25, 2015 @ 7:04pm

This idea is great. The use of the terminal you put for the game is simply outstanding, I really really enjoyed your concept very much. It is exciting and at the same time chaotic, and in a good way.

The only flaw I feel is that it isn't too clear. I did read the manual and got to play relatively well, but still feel it could have maybe been clearer. But that is a smaller issue in one of the best ideas I have yet seen in a Jam.

norwalnate13 says ...
Apr 26, 2015 @ 3:06pm

Console based games are fun, but I couldn't figure out how to play even with the tutorial pictures. :(

elitegoliath says ...
Apr 26, 2015 @ 4:42pm

I love text based games! For a game made in such a small amount of time, I'd say this was pretty well made.

ZYXer says ...
Apr 26, 2015 @ 5:10pm

Quite unique idea with the words that you have to learn. It took me some time to understand the key bindings, but i guess that is part of the game's learning experience. :D Is the language procedurally generated?

To answer your question about my game:
Your first ship doesn't have enough upward acceleration. You can take a propeller, rotate it by pressing the R key and place it looking upwards.

kunzbe says ...
Apr 26, 2015 @ 9:54pm

The idea seemed really nice, but I was totally lost while trying to play your game. Nonetheless the basic idea has potential

Tatsu Studio says ...
Apr 28, 2015 @ 3:27am

Its fun and simple... i liked!

Langouste says ...
Apr 29, 2015 @ 4:44pm

Super Game! I love it ;) Thanks

bobismijnnaam says ...
Apr 29, 2015 @ 6:22pm

Not really my game, I couldn't really understand what was going on. The game looks really neat and oldschool, once you get to know it the interface is nice and the backstory-idea is very interesting. Guess if you're more invested in this genre it's pretty good!

joe40001 says ...
Apr 30, 2015 @ 1:46am

I like the approach, but for most audiences you have to make things much more clear before people can engage with it. You are kind of putting the proverbial kart before the horse in that you built a mechanic before ensuring anybody knew what was happening.

Still I appreciate people doing less traditional approaches to LD.

tmpxyz says ...
May 4, 2015 @ 1:46pm

unusual but quite hard.

Xanjos says ...
May 8, 2015 @ 1:19am

I like the idea of learning words from enemies for combat although the game itself can be quite confusing at moments (even after reading through the tutorial several times).

pstudio says ...
May 11, 2015 @ 5:27pm

Even with the tutorial I didn't get into it. Too bad. The concept seems interesting.

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