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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by smealum - Compo Entry


by smea
ludum dare 34 compo entry

NOTE : selecting the tutorial will force you to play through about 6 "easy" levels after the tutorial before getting to "full" ones. After playing the tutorial, feel free to press ENTER multiple times to skip ahead to harder and more feature-complete levels. You can also press ENTER on the title screen to access those directly instead !

NOTE 2 : the binary has been updated to support all sorts of resolutions. Sorry that the earlier version's resolution was so high, I have a high DPI screen. Note that the aspect ratio is forced to 4/3, so if you resize weirdly you'll get bars of emptiness on the sides.


qBen is an action platformer I made for the ludum dare 34 compo.
The theme I picked was "Two button controls", and so the main game is controlled using only buttons R and T.

The game's core mechanics are explained in game. At the title screen, press space to play through the tutorial levels.
If you wish to play real levels directly, please press Enter instead.

Levels are randomly generated and are all solvable. That being said, the game can be challenging !
In order to deal with this, feel free to press SPACE at any time to restart the current level, or ENTER to skip to the next level.

qBen was made without the use of any premade game engines such as Unity or Unreal; it was written from scratch using OpenGL for rendering, GLFW for windowing and FMOD for audio.

Have fun !


I'd like to thank everyone who tuned into my 33 consecutive hours long marathon livestreamed game development session on Twitch. (plus Friday night's warmup 7 hour stream !)
Your constant encouragements and entertainment (and terrible jokes) helped me make this game happen.

Downloads and Links




TeechnoTurf says ...
Dec 14, 2015 @ 2:50am

Great game! Played for Hours XD

Coldsteak says ...
Dec 14, 2015 @ 3:28am

Once you understand the controls and mechanics, it's very fun!

Sim00n says ...
Dec 14, 2015 @ 3:33am

It would be nice to have some kind of explanation screen before the game begins and some kind of indication of when the cube will try to make a move.
I like the idea and the graphics - colors that are not overwhelming but give it a nice accent.
Good job!

mackthehobbit says ...
Dec 14, 2015 @ 6:03am

I watched the stream for a while, unfortunately I can't seem to run this properly. Nothing renders in either the tutorial or the game, except for the background (I can hear the music and sound effects fine too)

william341 says ...
Dec 14, 2015 @ 2:57pm

Game seems pretty edgy to me @Smealum

mungry says ...
Dec 14, 2015 @ 5:36pm

Game is fun! It was great watching you develop this game and then being able to finally play it! This is definitely a game that would play quite well on a certain portable console... ;)

antonuklein says ...
Dec 14, 2015 @ 11:18pm

"Meet Ben. Ben is a strong independent cube who don't need no player." "GAME OVER"

Controls are really confusing, but this is extremely innovative as a concept.

Calciumtrice says ...
Dec 14, 2015 @ 11:37pm

Very nicely implemented aesthetic, quite mesmerizing. :)

Did you base the window size on the resolution of the current monitors/display, by the way? My game window was too tall for a single monitor and I wonder if that's cause I have my two monitors aligned top to bottom? Maybe something to watch out for if so.

Anyway, pleasant stuff!

Reggianito says ...
Dec 14, 2015 @ 11:50pm

"Ben is a strong independent cube who don't need no player"
Best quote ludum 2015

Even though I played trough the tutorial, the game wasn't really clear to me. I think some better highlighting of the selected cube(s) would help a lot.

Janacek says ...
Dec 15, 2015 @ 12:26am

Great game man, good job !

Ben Allen says ...
Dec 15, 2015 @ 12:27am

Can hardly tell what's being highlighted which makes the game difficult to play. The tutorial helps, but I think it could use some work. Visuals are great though! When the first tutorial level played itself I was really impressed. I think a video of you playing would be very beneficial. The background sound is lovely too, wish I could enjoy the game more :S

paradxil says ...
Dec 15, 2015 @ 12:30am

All of the blocks displayed black when I tried to play. Also the tutorial text was cut off on the top of the screen.

srakowski says ...
Dec 15, 2015 @ 12:55am

It was very difficult to see which set of cubes were highlighted. I appreciated the tutorial though, helped alot. Very cool visuals and idea :)

Reccy says ...
Dec 15, 2015 @ 2:40am

Really cool idea! The game was fun too, but after a while I just started pressing R and T randomly until I could continue. Nice music, fun gameplay and a really neat concept! :)

smealum says ...
Dec 15, 2015 @ 3:11am

i have added a tutorial video ! hopefully it will help clear up the confusion.

@paradxil : this sounds like your hardware is not supported unfortunately. i hope you won't judge the game based on that experience. can i ask what graphics card and driver version you're using ?

Llop1s says ...
Dec 15, 2015 @ 1:02pm

Hi Smea! If I press Enter whenever in the game it shows me Success it's a Bug?

Nice job!

roninfight says ...
Dec 15, 2015 @ 1:58pm

It is freaking hard :o

Very interesting concept, nice art (I like the simplicity of it) and relaxing tune, but my god is this game hard. I wasn't able to complete the tutorial, even after watching the tuto video.

The concept is simple in theory, but thinking in 3D, rotating one too much and having to come back full circle, projecting where the other cubes will be and the path of Ben, superposing cubes to change their color. Wow.

That's already hard enough without a timer, but the 3-tries mechanic makes it even harder.

Otherwise, good game, I liked it. Well done!

pjimmy says ...
Dec 15, 2015 @ 11:26pm

I saw the stream, and I was very expectant to try your game! the concept is very original, you get 5 stars for innovation. However, sometimes it was visually confusing, couldn't see what cubes were selected or what colors, which doesn't favor the fun aspect. Still one of the best :)

TheMeorch says ...
Dec 20, 2015 @ 7:04pm

Very cool idea and slick presentation. I agree with others who have said that it's not clear enough which blocks are what color. I'd highly recommend fully texturing the blocks to differentiate them, instead of a thin outline. Also, with the fixed camera, it can be difficult to tell where a block is in space -- if you keep working on this and add a movable camera, I think that would help a lot. Great job so far, I hope you continue this!

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