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

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by Solifuge - Compo Entry

A game about surviving in an Ice Age. You and your children travel to escape The Cold, though it's always close behind. Gather food and resources while you journey to reach warmer lands. Protect your children until they're old enough to help you hunt and gather. Build fire and tools to help you survive, and stave off The Cold.

Left and Right change move speed and gathering behavior.

Nomads slump forward when Hungry, Tired, or Ill. Build a fire, or try resting for a while. Moving faster tires Nomads out quicker, so pace yourself! Wait to stock up on Food before moving quickly. Also, save up Hide and Bone to craft into Backpacks and Spears, to help your Nomads hunt and forage.

Downloads and Links




vicious_br says ...
Dec 14, 2015 @ 10:23am

So far the best game. Good job!

Jstank says ...
Dec 14, 2015 @ 11:24am

Yep this is a keeper!

vegapomme27 says ...
Dec 14, 2015 @ 1:45pm

Amazing work, Solifuge. I love the style and the mood of the game. Even if gameplay is not very clear at first, it is indeed an interesting piece.

NightShadow0 says ...
Dec 14, 2015 @ 7:45pm

This is an interesting idea, but the systems were really obtuse for me. I figured out exhaustion eventually, but not before my three teammates died, and still have no idea how hunger works. Also didn't figure out how crafting works, and/or how to get rid of the inventory clutter. It also feels frustrating to have no idea if the gathering/hunting is working until an item arbitrarily appears.
With all of that said, i did survive long enough to reach warmer lands and enjoyed the overall concept, especially for a compo entry. Nice work!

DesignerNap says ...
Dec 14, 2015 @ 9:28pm

This is amazing. Something about it hooked me. Really like this a lot. Great work!

gmatsura says ...
Dec 15, 2015 @ 2:03am

Looks great, plays well... it was a little hard for me to understand at first, but after a while I got the hang of it and enjoyed it.

hitchh1k3r says ...
Dec 15, 2015 @ 3:49am

I has trouble figuring out what did what, and couldn't really remember the instructions in the splash screen during the game. I assume part of the challenge is intended to be figuring out how to play though (what items do what). The graphics were very nice, and the hollow ambient noise added to the overall atmosphere very well. One criticism: the icons are hard to read. Without knowing the entire set of items, I could not really tell what was what. Nicely done!

Chubb1337 says ...
Dec 15, 2015 @ 8:57am

This game is a gem! I really loved playing it, I even found myself cheering for them to keep going! And whenever they were hungry, I'd stop and burn all the wood and tarp, so they the could stayed away.

Nice game, loved the atmosphere you created!

GFM says ...
Dec 15, 2015 @ 10:13am

Great entry!

I really liked the game's aesthetics. It's so simple, but so effective!

However, I felt the game to be somewhat too random... Even though I could gather resources, I wasn't able to actively use any but fuel and food. The game we do great with an 5th option "craft". If you can only build when resting, it isn't clear at all... =/

Still, the idea is really interesting. Well done! :)

It took me some 6 tries, but I was able to reach warmer lands. :)

monetai says ...
Dec 17, 2015 @ 9:27am

damn that was cool, and beautifull, but it's hard

publicidadeba says ...
Dec 17, 2015 @ 10:13am

This game thought me to never hiker while snowing. Amazing job Solifuge, very emotional game you have in hands.

fafastudio says ...
Dec 17, 2015 @ 10:31am

Very nice game but this is so hardcore x) really hard to end this ! nice job very inspiring :)

RhysD says ...
Dec 17, 2015 @ 10:43am

Nice game, reminded me of Oregon Trail. Was a bit frustrating when no one ever collected anything, then ended up dying, seemed a bit random. Apart from that the art, mood and audio was great!

pjimmy says ...
Dec 17, 2015 @ 3:01pm

awesome, this is one of my favorites! very simple but engaging, cool and creative, well done :D

tazdij says ...
Dec 18, 2015 @ 7:51am

really great job.

nelskj says ...
Dec 18, 2015 @ 7:57am

That was a nice game I enjoyed and I make them all survive!

Pilly says ...
Dec 20, 2015 @ 6:19pm

Wonderful game. Control over what happens is minimal, which left me with nothing to do but wait and hope for some luck. I think that perfectly embodies what a survival game should be.

I liked the character silhouettes, lack of dialogue, etc. - it allowed me to make the story my own. Sound effects were exactly what they needed to be. In the end, 3 of us survived. Thanks for making this, and for the experience.

14Hertz says ...
Dec 22, 2015 @ 10:33am

This game is honestly spectacular. Beautiful graphics, flawless atmosphere, and depth that is belied by the simplicity of the controls. Well done.

luke says ...
Dec 28, 2015 @ 11:34pm

I really love this, my favorite game in this jam, amazing <3

kmakai says ...
Dec 30, 2015 @ 4:31pm

Awesome! I made it all the way through. This was really a clever and creative entry, good job capturing the theme in such a unique way. I agree with some of the comments that mention that randomness can sometimes mess you up, but it seems like that is intentional to a degree -- you can't count on food, so you have to play it cautious or risk starving. There may be some tweaking that could be done for balance, but I like the base premise of that and I'm okay with it being random.

I would maybe like a slightly better indication or explanation of the crafting mechanic and when it will be possible during the game.

Overall I really enjoyed playing this, it's one of my favorites so far!

kmakai says ...
Dec 30, 2015 @ 4:43pm

Forgot to add: You have two *.pdb files in your zip that are rather large, when I remove them and re-compress locally your zip file is only ~12Mb vs. the ~46 it was originally. Just thought I'd let you know!

Solifuge says ...
Dec 30, 2015 @ 8:39pm

Thanks to all of you for the kind words so far. I'm glad you enjoyed it! The unpredictable randomness was intended design, but resource generation might've benefited from a regular generation time.

Also, sorry for any confusion about the crafting; I talked about it some in the post-mortem, but if I'd had more time I'd have liked to have a more fleshed-out UI that explained items found or actions that are done in each movement state. Same goes for some indicator that the fire was about to burn out too. Feedback in general is the #1 area for improvement IMO.

@kmakai: Oops, compiled the project as a debug build, and never noticed I left those there. That's embarrassing! I took those files out of the zip; I don't think that's against the contest rules, but if so I still have the original copy!

Jakob37 says ...
Dec 31, 2015 @ 3:54pm

I liked this entry a lot. Really solid idea, and I look forward to trying out your post-mortem version at a later point. The atmosphere was great, and it worked out very well as a two-button strategy game.

Two thoughts about possible improvement:
- As many have mentioned, the controls and purposes were sometimes somewhat hard to understand. The introduction screen was good - I would have liked to be able to show that later during the game (for example: to see the crafting components). I got the hang of resting and eating, but didn't fully understand the crafting until after restart.
- My inventory got filled up with bones and another un-edible component which blocked me from gathering wood and food. This led to that I lost two members before reaching the end, which was a bit unsatisfying.

To some it up: Slightly confusing to grasp, but easily one of my favorites this Ludum Dare. Looking forward to future versions!

bering says ...
Jan 2, 2016 @ 1:59pm

What a great game! The sounds and graphics set up a dreadful mood and the slow pace makes you think about their situation.

I'd like the delays during the start screen to be removed though, for a quicker start (because I die so much LOL).

Very clever controls, too!

Thanks for this kick ass game!

local minimum says ...
Jan 2, 2016 @ 4:19pm

Very strong entry. I really didn't fully grasp how I was to play to resolve the troubles that faced the characters, but I enjoyed it never the less. Great graphics and sounds.

graebor says ...
Jan 2, 2016 @ 5:33pm

I managed to reach warmer lands :)

It's a cool mechanic, my only gripe is that my inventory would fill up so randomly I would get into situations where I had a bunch of bones I couldn't do anything with yet which would block me from stockpiling as much food as I would have liked to. With more time spent on the crafting system I'm sure you could resolve this slight frustration. Overall it's a really neat little game. I enjoyed the fact that when people slumped over I didn't really know whether they were tired or hungry or both, in a way it really made me feel like I was taking care of them, trying to figure out what was wrong. Also really like the simple way you used the bar to show the cold. Very nice result!

xdigdoug says ...
Jan 4, 2016 @ 12:18am

Very good game. Some of the systems were a little difficult, like being unable to throw away stuff you didn't need. I think I finished with 5 bones, I just wasn't getting enough hides to make backpacks! Other than that a solid game.

Tapehead says ...
Jan 4, 2016 @ 8:42pm

great concept and the use of theme!! good job!!! :)

UncleChris says ...
Jan 4, 2016 @ 10:11pm

VERY good game - loved playing. Even with dying alot - I still enjoyed it. The audio really helped make the cold, barren ambiance really there. Thanks!

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