Ludum Dare 33 — August 21st-24th, 2015 — Theme: You are the Monster

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by Sypanite - Compo Entry

You are a disembodied spirit capable of possessing people. You can possess anyone you can see, regardless of whether or not you can reach them. You can possess / dispossess at will and are able to hop directly between bodies.

Your town (in life) is rife with crime and corruption. After you came off worse during a mugging-gone-wrong, you decided to do something about it.

In spirit form, you can move freely. You cannot interact with the environment. Movement drains your ectoplasm (bottom left of the screen), which depletes rapidly and regenerates slowly. Where possible, use your possession ability to traverse the level, either by walking or by jumping between bodies.

In corporeal form, when possessing a body, you are bound to the conventional laws of physics. You can interact with the environment. You will be suspected and occasionally questioned by nearby criminals – you must answer in character, or your borrowed body will be killed. You can tell what the possessed person is like by their personality categories (bottom right of the screen - bottom three are unused, time constraints).

- Objective -
Rid the level of criminals and reach the graveyard within the two minute time limit.

- Controls -
WASD / Arrows - Move
LMB - Possess / dispossess a body
R - Restart the level
E / CTRL - Use nearby objects (in corporeal form)
Space - Jump (in corporeal form)

There are three levels – the final one was rather rushed (sorry!). There's no menu (priorities).

The game is Java-powered. Assuming Java is installed, it should run on Windows, OS/X, and Linux.

This is my first Ludum Dare submission, woohoo! Third time's the charm.

Downloads and Links




TwixtorTitan says ...
Aug 24, 2015 @ 11:00am

Fun concept and well done on creating a java game! But it plays a bit to slow.

Aug 24, 2015 @ 12:47pm

Interesting idea, but the platforming is way too floaty with no air control, and I think the ecoplasm idea just hamstrings you unnecessarily.

The possession mechanic has a lot of potential though.

dancingmad says ...
Aug 25, 2015 @ 2:20pm

Very fun game I liked the concept a lot! I has to restart a few times before understanding that it's better to move when using a body.

A little more effort on the controls would have improved the gameplay a lot! Also, try to write a more concise description :p

All in all, it's a good entry :)

Sypanite says ...
Aug 25, 2015 @ 5:36pm

Thanks guys!

Yeah, sorry about that - I had a real nightmare with the movement/physics. What you see in the final game is in fact the *best* I managed to get it - it's definitely something I'm going to play around with.

Haha, apologies dancingmad - I'll write up a 'TL,DR' / condensed version.

TFR says ...
Aug 25, 2015 @ 7:51pm

The game is nice and well done, but the screen size is too big for my laptop (1366x768), so I could not see my ectoplasm meter and could not move too far. Maybe a smaller screen with a 16:9 aspect ratio would be better.

kaype says ...
Aug 25, 2015 @ 7:52pm

The happy-ish music gives the game a really playful mood, which combines well with the kinda dark-ish atmosphere.

The game crashes for me if I click on any of the icons in the bottom right.

The concept is great. I feel like the textures have a bit too much noise on them but other than that it's a great entry.

Caspila says ...
Aug 25, 2015 @ 7:57pm

This was interesting little concept. I wish everything went faster though. I'm not a fan of the music.
I'd like to see this game more polished.
Really liked the way you tackled the theme, good job!

Sypanite says ...
Aug 25, 2015 @ 9:42pm

Your comments mean a lot, thank you!

@TFR - Yes, apologies - I tried the game on my laptop (same resolution) and had that problem too, but that was just after the compo ended, so I didn't have time to do anything about it. It's definitely something I'll bear in mind next time!

@Caspila - The music was generated by "Fake Music Generator" and implemented with about half an hour left until submission - I was not too picky, haha! As for the speed, I feel exactly the same - I messed around with it for quite a bit, I just couldn't get it right.

@Kaype - Thanks! Noise was my method of keeping a constant theme to the artwork and hiding my awful art skills! :) I saw that crash yesterday - it's nothing too game-breaking, I don't want to modify the game for minor issues (it feels like cheating to me, even though it's explicity stated that it's allowed).


I said in the changelog that I wouldn't patch again, but earlier I realised that the download included two 'resources' folders (the one it uses is in the JAR). I have removed the external, pointless one; it has been replaced with the 'data' folder (stores level data). I can't load this inside the JAR using the current code.
I've also quickly patched the bug where the world does not render properly for a frame or two when a possessed entity dies (I was missing a condition, sleepiness for the win).
I won't alter it again, not unless someone discovers some horrific game-breaking bug of pain, death, and misery.

I'm already looking forward to LD34!

wischutz says ...
Aug 25, 2015 @ 11:40pm

Great work and good job with the little army of angry hillbillies!!!

Romaing says ...
Aug 26, 2015 @ 11:58am

Good idea, it's fun to control anyone in the level. The gameplay is a bit slow and rigid however, but it's good work!

gilborn says ...
Aug 26, 2015 @ 12:48pm

Very cool concept!

McFood says ...
Aug 26, 2015 @ 1:23pm

Interesting idea, and well executed.
You build a lot with little time, with a conversation system, all this art, sound. And interesting game mechanics.

This was fun, great job!

Sypanite says ...
Aug 26, 2015 @ 3:58pm

Thank you!

The conversation system did not turn out as well as I'd hoped due to time constraints, but I guess that's how it is. :)

reiknight says ...
Aug 27, 2015 @ 10:13am

:( I'm always without ectoplasm. Funny concept :P

Mantlair says ...
Aug 28, 2015 @ 10:49pm

Very neat idea. I wish jumps were better. Good job!

Aug 31, 2015 @ 12:47pm

Good entry! It's fun to control and the graphics and music work well with the mood.

Sep 1, 2015 @ 11:37am

The controls were a little off I felt but once you got used to them it didn't really matter. The whole setting was well done and the idea was brilliant. I bit more time for polishing would be awesome as I'd love to see this game get developed more. Over all great stuff!

Biruts says ...
Sep 1, 2015 @ 4:36pm

Very nice project guys, i really love it, please check our game too and if you liked it give us a vote. Look for Road to hell and enjoy.

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