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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Zen Jen

by fluidvolt - Compo Entry

Jen wants to be zen! Help her clear her mind. There is an ending to this game, trust me.

Disclaimer 1: I know nothing about Zen.

Disclaimer 2: Is this related to growing? Yes, somehow! Right.

Made with the LOVE framework, aka love2d. First time using it, and it was great. :)

Downloads and Links




onilink_ says ...
Dec 14, 2015 @ 8:38pm

Love the ambiance, very nice experience :)

Lancey says ...
Dec 14, 2015 @ 9:16pm

Great game overall! Loved the audio and graphics, but the Jen sequences were a bit jarring.

wannadie says ...
Dec 14, 2015 @ 9:38pm

Found myself calm and relaxed after the eighth or maybe tenth attempt. Definitely will play it again later. Thanks!

Describe controls somewhere (at least tell about arrow keys). Trying to press Z only is a bit confusing.

ciobeni says ...
Dec 14, 2015 @ 10:07pm

I absolutely LÖVEd this game! Great work! Only thing is that the Jen parts felt a little out of place sometimes.

sergicollado says ...
Dec 15, 2015 @ 12:14am

Great work, simple and atmospheric .. thanks for this game!

Garris says ...
Dec 15, 2015 @ 12:17am

Jen graphics were cute, and the zen sequences were mesmerizing. A little bit more guidance at the beginning would have been nice, but I got it figured out.

bearcabin says ...
Dec 15, 2015 @ 12:57am

super good, impressed with how you represented meditation with gameplay

josefnpat says ...
Dec 15, 2015 @ 2:04am

Nice game here; I was hoping for an alice in wonderland thing in the walking area.

Solid job!

SgtBursk says ...
Dec 15, 2015 @ 4:42am

Loved it! Made me think. Thank you for the experience.

DomNomNom says ...
Dec 15, 2015 @ 5:29am

I loved the little touches of "I'm not really hungry" and the end.
The gameplay is a bit simplistic but the narrative-through-gameplay makes up for it.

Troma says ...
Dec 15, 2015 @ 5:30am

Malware found

fluidvolt says ...
Dec 15, 2015 @ 5:39am

@Troma: what? It's just a love file with the dlls to run it in windows! It's definitely a false alarm, but if you'd feel more comfortable, grab love from and run the .love file instead. That's just a zip file. Sorry if it scared ya!

Binary Gambit says ...
Dec 15, 2015 @ 8:38am

Very nice! Stop trying to be zen and just be zen!

TCP786 says ...
Dec 15, 2015 @ 10:43am

This is really excellent. Definitely one of my favorite entries.

forer says ...
Dec 15, 2015 @ 10:44am

I loved how this game pulled you in and got your focus, and broke focus in exactly the way it wanted.

I loved the first time when it gets too much and you start to get distracted from playing pressing the button in the entire way that the distractions are piling up in the first place.

I didn't however feel the theme (either growth or two button controls) if it's personal growth then I didn't see that in the gameplay, and if it's two button controls that works until you need to stretch or get food or whatever in the standing segments and so you'd need to press more than two buttons for that.

Fun little game but really good atmosphere and feel.

Dec 15, 2015 @ 10:50am

Nice work. Would agree with the comments about the Jen sequence, not sure what part that has to play.

the-arrival says ...
Dec 15, 2015 @ 7:46pm

Not much of a game, but certainly some piece of art! I totally dig you take on meditation. reading the distractions actually distracts. and focussing on catching pixels is calming. i could have need this DURING the jam a few times :)

Dec 15, 2015 @ 11:58pm

This game was pretty zen. Nice audio and atmosphere. I liked the little Jen segments, I think the game would have been less memorable without them. And the theme is in there, it's just not obvious which is fine.

fiddenmar says ...
Dec 16, 2015 @ 12:30pm

Nice atmosphere, thank you for the game.

pkenney says ...
Dec 17, 2015 @ 3:02am

Didn't manage to get to the ending but I did meditate several times and I felt myself get better! The atmospheric soundscape and graphics were a real strong point, they made a compelling mood.

Regarding the controls I had some trouble understanding when I could quickly re-press to expand the square again, and when I would have a cooldown. So I wasn't sure how to plan when I saw multiple waves coming. At first I thought I always had the cooldown and some of the patterns were just impossible... but by the end I knew I could often press z rapidly if I was on target.

Still I never got through a meditation without missing at least a couple of those really fast sets.

It was a nice relaxing atmosphere though, and I liked that the patterns were pretty well mixed up.

martincohen says ...
Dec 17, 2015 @ 4:05am

Zen all the way, like it. The Jen part feels a bit off, and I tried hard to hit all them white boxes, but wasn't successful :( Will try again later, though!

Didi says ...
Dec 17, 2015 @ 4:25am

good narrative for a 'depression' game

PotatoGrader says ...
Dec 17, 2015 @ 7:14am

That was the first meditation simualtor I ever played. And as a meditation simulator, this game awesome. It feel like I'm really trying not to think about anythink, but I can't keep away every thought. But with practice I can do better.

oz2mura says ...
Dec 17, 2015 @ 7:38am

I loved how the game play and audio set the mood for a very zen experience. I'd like to think this is how meditation is like, trying to catch those distracting thoughts. Also figuring out how to capture as many white dots as possible was pretty fun.

Astro Cat says ...
Dec 17, 2015 @ 10:24am

It's cool idea, realy. And nice too!

mitya1234 says ...
Dec 17, 2015 @ 12:13pm

The music is awesome, this is this type of rythm games whick i like vey much. Great work with keys!

Tuism says ...
Dec 17, 2015 @ 1:12pm

So... a meditation JRPG?

The music is very good, calm and soothing. The gameplay part is part confusing part relaxing... It's hard to tell at all when I'm allowed to press the button, and in the beginning the assumption was to press on all dots. Then, how do I know what the "hit area" is that would pick up the dots? Without those information the player kinda just hit randomly to hope to catch as much as possible.

You could argue that meditation is not a precise activity, but this is a game :)

nassi says ...
Dec 17, 2015 @ 10:06pm

Last exam of the year coming up tomorrow, seems like I picked a good entry to relax/procrastinate with! Liked the atmosphere, although the switch from zen to Jen was perhaps too sudden. I don't know if that was just because I was meditating badly.

Ryusui says ...
Dec 18, 2015 @ 6:01am

Beautifully put together. And an awesome first effort in Love2D - much prettier than my own. XD

Rocketship says ...
Dec 18, 2015 @ 3:59pm

I feel I went to some sort of a meditative state while playing the meditation sequences! Well done with those. Also the abrupt ending to them is great how it wakes the player up too from that "zen-like" state. It does well in what it aims to do, good job!

fullmontis says ...
Dec 18, 2015 @ 5:40pm

I really like the mood you created with the game. The meditation sequences are well done and meaningful, using the mechanics in an interesting way. Very soothing and relaxing game.

EvanEGibbs says ...
Dec 19, 2015 @ 2:59am

That was so nice. The ambiance was absolutely superb, the feeling I got playing this was just so cool. I really loved it. Something about the way you'd hit the dots, and the sounds, just so cool. I liked how the words would appear, but you shouldn't focus on them, a cool 'proxy' for meditation, but it kind of became meditative in itself.

When taken out of that scene and stretching, it was an interesting contrast. I loved that there was no direction at the beginning, and very little context. It lets us bring ourselves into it.

Awesome job. ^^

LittleThor says ...
Dec 21, 2015 @ 11:59am

Perfect work on the mood!
I'm not sure what is the point of all this medidation, but whatever, I feel relaxed myself.
Good work! :)

scorched says ...
Dec 22, 2015 @ 8:41pm

Haha, good idea! I really like the atmosphere here! Keep it up!

euske says ...
Dec 26, 2015 @ 7:17am

I wanted to drink the tea D:

Acuity says ...
Dec 31, 2015 @ 6:41pm

Interesting experience, but I couldn't figure out how to get the multiple streams of 3 square blocks that travel really fast.

I liked your art style!

NirabazGAMES says ...
Jan 4, 2016 @ 10:53pm

Awesome little game!

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