Ludum Dare 34 — December 11th-14th, 2015 — Theme Tied: Two Button Controls, Growing

NOTE: Because of the Theme tie, we allowed everyone to pick either Theme. Using both was optional. To keep things simple, there will still only be one Theme category. Every category in Ludum Dare voting is an opinion, so you’re welcome to rate them as you see fit. But we encourage you to be fair in your scores to people that chose only one Theme, and not both.

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Snowman Builder Extreme

by zenmumbler - Jam Entry

"The best European low-budget PSX game of 1996" — The Virtual Herald

What would have happened if a very small group on a budget in 1996 cranked out a quick PSX title on such a small timescale and without artists but with the internet and browser capabilities of 2015? (but without things like Unity because true programmers write everything themselves, forever)

Snowman Builder Extreme

A game where the premise is that the best way to make a snowman is to kick it down a slope littered with snowman adornments and let fate handle the rest.
You can help fate a bit by pressing the LEFT and RIGHT ARROW KEYS to steer the snowball around a bit, but
it moves forward by itself.

Be sure to enable SOUND! It features a free Ska-ish song by good old Kevin MacLeod. Why Ska? The 90s! That's why. The whole experience of this game is an homage to 90s 3D games.

It even works on some mobile devices, where you can tilt the device to steer, but it's rather hard and I only tried it on an iPhone 5S.

There are 16 titles to be gained by picking up certain numbers of certain adornments and/or being really fast. Be sure to collect 'em all!

Seriously though. The game lasts 1 minute exactly by design. You have 1 minute. It is awesome.


A reasonable 3D chip is likely required, not because the scene is that complex but because WebGL. If you have any trouble, let me know. The game engine is a custom one made by myself over the last couple of months. Tested on Mac Safari, Chrome and Firefox and on iOS 9 Safari.

This game uses a lot of external assets so voting for Graphics or Audio is disabled. For a full listing and links click on the "asset sources and acknowledgements" link on top of the game page.

Downloads and Links




zenmumbler says ...
Dec 15, 2015 @ 2:45am

Just an FYI: there is no loading indicator and especially on mobile it may take some time to load. Total game size is just under 4MB.

yesandgames says ...
Dec 15, 2015 @ 2:53am

Dig it, nice and easy, the titles are a hilarious touch.

pedrorossa says ...
Dec 15, 2015 @ 3:16am

Simple and fun game.
It makes me try to do better every match.
I believe we need more visual feedback.
Sound can also have greater importance.
: D

triello says ...
Dec 15, 2015 @ 3:11pm

LOL! Very fun game!

Thanks for the feedback on Parallax, man! We will try to improve the game since is possible.

peterthehe says ...
Dec 15, 2015 @ 3:59pm

Brilliant game. My snowman came out looking very very strange XD

ohmmus says ...
Dec 15, 2015 @ 4:05pm

Alas, I am just an average snowman builder.

Fun game. I really liked the detail of the snow sounds when I'm colliding with the ground. Good job!!

skysthelimit says ...
Dec 15, 2015 @ 4:13pm

I think i made Dr Frankenstein's snowman... Thats good, right?

I had 2 goes of this which is more than I give most game jams games, so thumbs up from me.

jomomomo says ...
Dec 15, 2015 @ 5:09pm

LOL that's pretty funny. Four top hats and three carrots make for a very amusing snowman head. Would be cool if at the end you displayed the snowman's head on a body?

zenmumbler says ...
Dec 15, 2015 @ 10:40pm

For those playing at home, there are 16 titles to be had, only one of which I think is impossible :) For those true gamers, try going for Expert rating which requires a minimum of 16 items and reaching the end of the track.

Proof that it is possible:

sergicollado says ...
Dec 16, 2015 @ 12:01am

It's a nice game

ssshepherd says ...
Dec 16, 2015 @ 12:15am

So this was fun. I played it multiple times. Then I read your description and turned on the music. Good job, much more complete than what we were able to do on ours :-) the art was nice. The controls were a little "floaty" maybe. But maybe that's what made it fun.

teamross says ...
Dec 16, 2015 @ 12:27am

hodge podge!
Simple, clean and fun game! ^^

phi6 says ...
Dec 16, 2015 @ 12:27am

Also known as 'How hard is it to roll downhill while wearing four hats'

Dec 16, 2015 @ 4:09pm

Simple, fun game. Found it enjoyable. Especially enjoyed the titles. I also liked how you managed to incorporate both themes into this game. Nice work.

Dec 16, 2015 @ 7:32pm

aaaaaawwesooome :D

Taldius says ...
Dec 16, 2015 @ 8:54pm

This game was funny.
I love the idea of trying building a snowman in this conditions, even if it's look totally random at the end.
Good job.

tribrain says ...
Dec 16, 2015 @ 9:46pm

Great theme application, nice graphics, good game mechanics overall.

Only one observation: when you strat to play it's hard to recognize the "buttons" of the snowman on the track, try making them bigger.

excellent work!

Crosstales says ...
Dec 16, 2015 @ 9:46pm

I played it way too many times - freaking Snowman! :-)
It's a funny idea, well done!

danidre14 says ...
Dec 17, 2015 @ 5:39pm

Really nice game, fun to play and roll around collecting objects, while growing larger all the while! Could never make it to that snowey wall at the end though, only so close. Nice entry! xD It fits my criteria, it's super fun, theme is top notch, it's funny how the items rolled into the ground and back out, like they're passing through, and I feel pretty great! I guess that's 5! ;D

Response for my game: Yup, no comic this time, sorry, but I used a new language and my first time at it too, so I did not get time to implement one. Also the idea never crossed my mind, but I assure you I will try to get in a comic in my next game! :D

zenmumbler says ...
Dec 17, 2015 @ 10:03pm

I uploaded a video showing how to get the _much vaunted_ Expert rating. Please enjoy:

Boberro says ...
Dec 18, 2015 @ 2:44pm

It is extreme. It is awesome.

Snowball moves in strange way, but it doesn't matter, bacause game is great.

AzureAspect says ...
Dec 19, 2015 @ 11:38am

Tried it two times, got pack-rat and light weight titles :)
The ball was starting to look very wierd in the end (9 hats anyone?)
Nicely done :)

Auroz says ...
Dec 19, 2015 @ 11:40am

Fun katamari-like idea. It didn't really feel like the ball's position affected the position of the things that were rolled up.

TomenLuca says ...
Dec 19, 2015 @ 1:19pm

Simple and fun! Had a blast trying to find out some of the titles at the end.

Dry Tree says ...
Dec 20, 2015 @ 12:28am

Nice game! I've never seen snowballs that are that bouncy, or that spin backwards when rolling forwards for that matter :p

loxo says ...
Dec 20, 2015 @ 10:05am

Good game concept and fun to play. Would be great to have additional snowballs to actually build a snowman and maybe some obstacles.

SayRafon says ...
Dec 20, 2015 @ 3:03pm

Really good game, loved it ! :D

local minimum says ...
Dec 20, 2015 @ 5:02pm

That was fun. I was trying to only collect hats but it was really hard. In general it was very hard to actually collect stuff too, so it might increase the fun if the collision-boxes of the pick-ups are a bit larger. Entertaining entry.

Xanjos says ...
Dec 21, 2015 @ 5:09pm

Pretty simple but fun entry plus the titles you get at the end were rather humorous.

OwT says ...
Dec 21, 2015 @ 6:04pm

I've played similar games here, but this one is the most controllable so far. The speed is just right, the buttons are reacting fast enough. A good game with a fun theme. The titles in the end are a nice, finishing touch :)

mard says ...
Dec 22, 2015 @ 4:30pm

Very nice! Reminds me a bit of Katamari Damacy. The game is easy to control, and it feels smooth and pretty polished. The graphics are pretty ugly, but it just adds to the charm of the game :D

mxjones says ...
Dec 22, 2015 @ 9:47pm

This was awesome. Got Ratpack on my first run and thoroughly enjoyed it! On my second run I aggressively launched after a carrot and flew straight threw the wall! This only added to the fun though, great job!

zenmumbler says ...
Dec 22, 2015 @ 9:51pm

There is no wall.

DarkGrisen says ...
Dec 23, 2015 @ 11:27am

Fun game! I love snow :D

Sir Magic says ...
Dec 23, 2015 @ 11:43am

I like the idea but there needs to be more time and more things to collect (scarves maybe?)

Raius says ...
Dec 23, 2015 @ 12:40pm

Love it, katamari damacy style mechanic of picking things up and keeping them on the player works really well.

If I had one criticism it'd probably just be that the sound that plays when you press start could be a little bit quieter but that's it.

Keep it up man :)

zenmumbler says ...
Dec 23, 2015 @ 2:20pm

Sir Magic: Ooh, scarves. I never even considered those.

Raius: Yes, the sound is pretty intense, it's there as a nod to the Japanese SNES / PS1 games that played a more or less random sound when you hit start on their static title screens. Anyway.

Beavl says ...
Dec 23, 2015 @ 2:21pm

Katamari Snowman is a nice premise. Congrats on your entry!

monosolar says ...
Dec 23, 2015 @ 2:23pm

Cute and fun! Tnx

JoseArias says ...
Dec 23, 2015 @ 3:18pm

Nice Game. After some tries I got Hoarder

adsilcott says ...
Dec 23, 2015 @ 3:55pm

Top score for humor-- hilarious!

Ithildin says ...
Dec 23, 2015 @ 4:17pm

The idea is simple, effective and very fun. Controls feel polished, which helps a lot with the feeling.

Great entry!

Dec 23, 2015 @ 4:54pm

Winter mood, even if there is no snow in my garden xD funny game!

gladers says ...
Dec 24, 2015 @ 12:36pm

A really fun game, I played it through several times to see how many hats and carrots I could get haha! Also congrats on getting a webgl version running!

crucknuk says ...
Dec 24, 2015 @ 7:46pm

Nice entry! But where are the scarves? :p

MercuryXGames says ...
Dec 29, 2015 @ 4:42pm

This game was so fun. Never had so much fun building a snowman

BlackBulletIV says ...
Jan 1, 2016 @ 1:45am

I probably found the snowman with five top hats more amusing than I should. Well done, nice game.

Efuvex says ...
Jan 1, 2016 @ 2:23am

Hi there, you recently rated our game "Hypernova", and it has come to our attention that we were doing some messing around with it making a multiplayer alpha version - and we accidentally replaced the final ludum dare build... if you could take the time to just check back on it again, the web version is fixed and you can play the full game as it was when released at the end of ludum dare. Sorry for the inconvenience!

beetracks says ...
Jan 2, 2016 @ 12:18pm

Good graphics, good music and good idea attaching the assets as you get it. Fun to play. Nice work!

eskivor says ...
Jan 2, 2016 @ 6:44pm

so much noses on my snowman :D

Krafty says ...
Jan 3, 2016 @ 12:05am

Pretty interesting game =P

banana4life says ...
Jan 3, 2016 @ 4:17pm

Fun to play

Nega Drive says ...
Jan 3, 2016 @ 6:33pm

Fun game! Nice to see some Katamari style action going on in the 'growing' theme. The titles at the end are great. The control felt a bit too heavy, I kept wishing the snowball was a bit more responsive. But fun stuff overall.

g12345 says ...
Jan 4, 2016 @ 7:48pm

This was much more fun than I first thought. Or perhaps this is a bit more guilty pleasure.

Incredibly fun game.

NirabazGAMES says ...
Jan 4, 2016 @ 10:43pm

3d graphic is good!
Nice idea.

zenmumbler says ...
Jan 4, 2016 @ 10:45pm

g12345: yes, this game really grows on you.

Jan 5, 2016 @ 12:40am

An interesting twist with the growing and it really fits the title. It was great to see there is phisics in this game, even if it is a little off. For the first time I missed to collect some better items for my snowman. On my second run I got 18 items and it was enough for a "Packrat" title. The music is funny and goes to the theme.

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