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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Sphere Co.™

by kaype - Jam Entry

I honestly didn't think I would actually complete this...
Just as a disclaimer, I wasn't able to use the theme this time around. Mostly for technical reasons.

Click the screenshots if you want a better view of the game. The site kinda compressed them a little bit.


Sphere Co.™ is a game where you're part of a research center with your supervisor, Violet. However, the workers at the facility have gotten a bit too 'experimental' with altering lifeforms, thus creating enemies which have invaded the research center. Your goal in this game is to get rid of them so the center can return to functioning normally. To do this, you use a gun which expands your strength upon attack (when it's low). Whenever you die, you're sent right back to the beginning of the game (didn't have enough time to implement checkpoints).

W/A/S/D to move around.
C to advance dialogue.
SPACE to shoot.

Requires Java 7 or above.
Hope you enjoy!


SphereCo v1.1
- Fixed Linux bug where the config loader crashes the game.
- Fixed entities always rendering on top of the player.
- Fixed NTSC shader which didn't make it into the original.

You can still run the original if you wish, just note that it'll be really buggy.

Downloads and Links




Cruzer_AU says ...
Dec 15, 2015 @ 8:42am

Download Link Doesn't Work.

mard says ...
Dec 15, 2015 @ 1:27pm

Link gives a 404

marod says ...
Dec 15, 2015 @ 3:35pm

Link is broken

jim3wg says ...
Dec 15, 2015 @ 4:45pm

404 for download

kaype says ...
Dec 15, 2015 @ 5:21pm

Fixed! Will add some more screenshots here in a moment.

blha303 says ...
Dec 15, 2015 @ 6:13pm

Sweet game, 8.5/10 for enjoyable gameplay and decent level design.

nopogo says ...
Dec 15, 2015 @ 7:27pm

I like the art style and story aspect of the game. The game would benefit a lot if you added sound to it. Other then that fun game

kaype says ...
Dec 15, 2015 @ 8:14pm

There is sound. Are you not getting audio?

nopogo says ...
Dec 15, 2015 @ 8:23pm

The not getting audio was a fault on my part. This game has great audio even, it sets the mood perfectly!

kaype says ...
Dec 15, 2015 @ 8:24pm

Ah, okay, thanks!

ahmeni says ...
Dec 15, 2015 @ 9:42pm

Awesome work! The jar has an issue launching on OSX that can be fixed by editing data/display.config and taking out the trademark from the title.

WebFreak001 says ...
Dec 15, 2015 @ 9:44pm

I can't run it (Linux)


Tue Dec 15 22:43:34 CET 2015 INFO:Loading Display Configuration...
Exception in thread "main" java.lang.NumberFormatException: null
at java.lang.Integer.parseInt(
at java.lang.Integer.valueOf(
at co.kaype.ld34.Main.main(

kaype says ...
Dec 15, 2015 @ 10:02pm

Did you make sure to extract the zip before running, and to include the data/ & res/ folders with the game?

I'm not near a Linux machine at the moment, so there might be a few bugs for that platform. I can test it on my laptop later when I have time.

the31 says ...
Dec 16, 2015 @ 5:59am

Nice atmosphere and graphics. I liked the ambient audio/music, and the art style worked well. I do think the sound effects were a bit basic to match the overall audio, but it was ok. Story matched too.

The gameplay didn't seem very new, unfortunately. I felt like I had two choices: do loops with the movement keys and time hitting space when I'm aiming at the enemy, or mash spacebar, hoping to hit the timing right. I managed to beat it using those two strategies, going for dodging loops when my health got low.

The theme also didn't feel very well integrated. Not sure if I missed some connections, but the "gun grows your health" mechanic is somewhat "standard" in games now, named lifesteal or health drain or something like that. Now that I mention that, though, I notice you've opted out of theme rating. Fair enough. :)

That all said, the basics are there for a directional shooter. Good luck on the post-compo work!

TaoPhoenix says ...
Dec 16, 2015 @ 7:36am

I think the game is a bit better than the pics might suggest.

The difficulty seems doable for anyone with shooter experience - I'm terrible at those and I got to near the end. It's a short game.

I didn't see many outright bugs - it was just awkward trying to snipe at the robots. So the "gain health as you shoot" is actually an interesting mechanic, so I ended up discovering you can "stand on top of the robots" and your health comes out as a tie, so you save that if lucky for the last round and it could be tight but feels winnable.

In the chat we went over it could have used with a couple of level saves, and a fast option to skip all the dialog, but a pleasant little game!

Modoc73 says ...
Dec 16, 2015 @ 8:53am

Nice art style.

MaulUdder says ...
Dec 16, 2015 @ 11:34am

Enjoyable game! Played it all the way through. Best for me was the mood.
OS X fix didn't work for me, although it gets further that way (actually see some Java thing bouncing in the dock, withouth the config fix it never does that). I tried with JRE7, update 79.

intchanter says ...
Dec 16, 2015 @ 10:04pm

Doesn't run for me:

$ java -jar SphereCo.jar
Wed Dec 16 14:58:31 MST 2015 INFO:Loading Display Configuration...
Exception in thread "main" java.lang.NumberFormatException: null
at java.lang.Integer.parseInt(
at java.lang.Integer.valueOf(
at co.kaype.ld34.Main.main(

$ java -version
java version "1.8.0_66"
Java(TM) SE Runtime Environment (build 1.8.0_66-b17)
Java HotSpot(TM) 64-Bit Server VM (build 25.66-b17, mixed mode)

I'm running Ubuntu 15.10.

mikoĊ‚ak says ...
Dec 16, 2015 @ 10:04pm

I can confirm I got the same problem as WebFreak001 on Linux. Looks like a display ID issue. I also have a multi-monitor setup, maybe that's the reason?

kaype says ...
Dec 16, 2015 @ 10:58pm

I'm working on a build that fixes this problem.

mockthebear says ...
Dec 17, 2015 @ 1:44pm

Good graphics. I loved everything in the game but one thing.
The enemys have lots of health, its a small game and i think its just an balance setting. In my opinion the enemys could take 3~4 shots and die. But 4.8/5 c:

kaype says ...
Dec 17, 2015 @ 4:07pm

Just a reminder that I've fixed the Linux issue. Have fun everybody!

publicidadeba says ...
Dec 18, 2015 @ 1:18pm

Very moody and cool level design :D

PanKamil says ...
Dec 18, 2015 @ 1:52pm

Good graphics and great atmosphere. The aiming is super annoying, though.

DrTeaSpoon says ...
Dec 18, 2015 @ 3:14pm

The gun play was not very fun. (smashing button or doing loops.)
Liked the graphics style and music.

Weeping Rupee says ...
Dec 18, 2015 @ 5:36pm

This game has a great mood going for it- ominous. I just wish there was more to it! I was expecting a wholly novel part of the game to start there when I pressed X to 'return to real life' but the game just ended I was kinda disappointed.

I think you could have also gotten away with including a theme judging if you would have made your max health increase rather than just having the gun heal you.

overall though nice job!

Farelle says ...
Dec 18, 2015 @ 6:58pm

The way fighting works was not very fun, would have liked to be able to do some sort of side sweep so my aiming direction wouldn't change

rnlf says ...
Dec 19, 2015 @ 12:04pm

I really enjoyed the look of this game. The sprites and shaders fit very well together. There seems to be a nice story behind it, but sadly it's SO hard, that I cannot make it past the first room with robots, they just fire way too fast for me to run in, shoot and return before getting hit.

You said you wanted to make a new version with strafing, drop me a link on IRC when you upload it and I'll give it a second try.

arzi says ...
Dec 19, 2015 @ 1:46pm

I really like the art style.

Jwatt says ...
Dec 20, 2015 @ 4:46pm

This is such a Java game. There's something about the controls that gives them that shared feeling of unresponsiveness. Similarly to how Unity games are bound together by floaty physics and the mouse swooshing all over the place.

Combat is pretty tedious due to enemies being so static. I'd say you should rethink this with more of a Binding of Isaac control scheme in mind, which would let you could go wild with enemy logic. The lack of autoshoot and the slightly too slow movement are more annoyances that could be easily fixed. Unless they're a requirement in Java(TM)(R)(C).

All my cheekiness aside, it's moody for sure. I wouldn't call this a 1-star entry at all, the story and ambience are the meat that kept me playing. Maybe speed up the dialogue boxes a bit and lose the "use your gun to shoot" type lines.

utgarda says ...
Dec 20, 2015 @ 9:55pm

Nice work with NPC speeches and level design, great audio!

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