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

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Learning to Dance

by WetDesertRock - Jam Entry

Learning to Dance is an art-game which leads you through a story written in a series of notes.

Due to the nature of its conception as well as my goals at the time, this game may be considered by some as not a game. Whatever you think is okay with me, just be aware that the nature of this game means there is little to no actual gameplay.
So when you play, rate, and especially comment, please take it for what it is, not what is typical of a LudumDare entry.

I highly recommend playing with headphones on, using fullscreen (press 'f' to toggle fullscreen), and with 13 minutes dedicated to it, as once it starts going you can't stop it.

All music, graphics, programming, everything (except for the font) made by me in the 72 hours. In fact, the second track of music was all recorded live.

Don't worry if you don't feel like you get a lot of control, really controlling the dance is almost secondary to the rest of the piece. It is a lot easier to see how you control the dance during the second movement.
Tap Left: Dance
Tap Right: Dance

(If you are at a loss for what to say, just tell me what your favorite part was, and what your favorite song was)

Downloads and Links




jcwelgemoed says ...
Dec 15, 2015 @ 7:40am

Loved the mood, music and story. It might not be a game in the technical sense, but it is an experience. Great work

ashdnazg says ...
Dec 15, 2015 @ 9:34am

I enjoyed the music very much and the writing was wonderful!

It was a bit difficult at times knowing when a new line appears, or reading them in weird angles, but other than that the narrative was clear!

rnlf says ...
Dec 15, 2015 @ 9:22pm

Wow! It's not a game, it's art! Not that were two separate things, but wow, couldn't stop watching it.

The writing is great and still the music could have told the story without the writing.

I'm really impressed! It was worth the extra work you put in to submit it to the jam rather than the compo.

I'm not sure, what the leaves are representing, except maybe "growth" itself?

Will have to think about it a bit more.

Great job!

kaype says ...
Dec 15, 2015 @ 9:58pm

Nice font choice! If anybody else is wondering, it's 'Raleway'

Yeah I honestly don't know what to say about this. It was interesting but in all honesty I think you tried really hard to go into an artsy direction. Or maybe I'm just not getting it?

It was damn impressive though, I can't imagine what the code for this must've been like.

WetDesertRock says ...
Dec 15, 2015 @ 10:08pm

Yeah, the font is from The League of Movable Type, who produce some pretty interesting fonts, Raleway being a nice clean font. Although the commas and periods are a bit ambiguous.

The leaves do represent the growth. The choice to model the spites after branches and leaves was a pretty simple one made without much regard, the choice to make the "Player" (the solo dancer during Mvt. 2) grow more leaves was an intentional one with more thought behind it.

Yeah, for this LD I wanted to make sure I built something that I wanted to, and not let things stress me out into making a game I didn't enjoy making (like the last LD). So, the way it went made it more artsy and less gamey.

Tijn says ...
Dec 15, 2015 @ 11:23pm

This was such a moving experience. I feel it was very personal for you, even if the story wasn't exactly as it happened in real life. I kept on thinking about it for a while after I finished it, it's just so nice. And to think I actually hate dancing, hahaha.

It looks great, but where the game really shines is the combination of the music and the writing. Quality stuff man, congrats!

That waltz is still stuck in my head.

TimBeaudet says ...
Dec 16, 2015 @ 1:01am

It is indeed a great experience, and did feel quite personal, I was wondering the same as Tijn. A few of them were hard to catch when they appeared, but I think that was helped keep eyes darting around.

TaoPhoenix says ...
Dec 16, 2015 @ 1:47am

Yeah, pretty good stuff.

There's a couple of big font comments per "act" that don't move, so that might help a little to stay anchored and it's holistic, so if you miss a fragment it's not like a game where you lose your character-life.

Karai17 says ...
Dec 16, 2015 @ 10:55pm

Wow, colour me impressed. I really liked how the story played out and how the audio and visuals helped set the mood. Great job!

VersatileBox says ...
Dec 18, 2015 @ 2:27am

I don't want to win this jam anymore. Give these guys the million dollars.

ascam says ...
Dec 18, 2015 @ 7:48pm

The mood and music was just brilliant

voxel says ...
Dec 19, 2015 @ 12:55am

Blah blah blah at all these 'not a game' comments. I loved this. It is 100% a game. It is more captivating, fun and involving that 99.99% of other games. I think I had an emotion somewhere in there.

There were a few moments where I felt things were dragging a little and could have been improved with additional text, but it was always worth the wait. Fantastic entry, ignore the inevitable '2deep4me' comments

euske says ...
Dec 20, 2015 @ 1:40am

It wasn't immediately clear to me who is writing to whom, as it looked a bit like a diary or monologue at first (besides, nobody uses snail mail nowadays for this kind of things, do they?). I was happy to see the phrase that I was expecting to see at the end. Nice presentation, and the last time was very memorable (which will probably stay in my head for a while). And for the sake of clarity, I still can't dance. This is important.

Note: the window didn't expand in the fullscreen mode (could be intentional).

euske says ...
Dec 20, 2015 @ 1:42am

s/last time/last tune/

randomhuman says ...
Dec 20, 2015 @ 8:31pm

Good story well told.

Dec 22, 2015 @ 6:30pm

A very unique entry with a great story, nice graphics and really nice audio. Great job!

publicidadeba says ...
Dec 23, 2015 @ 3:06am

The most poetic game of LDJAM. Thank you!

jeroenwimmers says ...
Dec 24, 2015 @ 12:07am

woh, really nice combination of text and sound. just a really good atmosphere. I was a bit frustrated with having so little control at the start, but it's alright in the end

Dec 24, 2015 @ 2:02am

Fellow story writer, good job on your piece. You took a unique approach to growth.

Dec 27, 2015 @ 8:34am

really set the mood and story well with that musical background piece. I really enjoyed this, however the most game like part about it was trying to spot the new lines as they appeared :D

Dec 29, 2015 @ 6:01am

Music was nice to listen to. fav is probably the 3rd song cause it's funner. then the 1st song cause it's fun. The guy just kept getting bigger. Who are all those other things... mooooooooody.

g12345 says ...
Dec 31, 2015 @ 9:29pm

An moody take of the themes, with a story probably about growth, and something that used 2 keys.

I understand you've made something that you wanted to make, that's an achievement in itself. Many people lack the ability to do just that, and would rather make things that they think other people like instead of their own.

Perhaps that's why I found it very hard to identify with the main character in the story. Me and that person have almost nothing in common.

It's hard to detect when a new piece of text arrive, because there's a lot of camouflage, and sometimes it takes a while before the next sentence appear.

It's very hard for me to judge something that I can't relate to, but I don't think that actually matter. The important thing is that it's something you've actually wanted to make, and that you believe you've finished it in 72 hours.

And it's very "moody", which I like.

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