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 Frenchie - Compo Entry

Be a baller as you roll down the hill and grow! Win the game by becoming the biggest thing on the slopes! Featuring procedural terrain generation and low-poly art!

How to play:
- Left/Right arrow keys to move
- Rolling over snow makes you grow
- Rolling over rocks, crystals, and trees that are smaller than you will absorb them and make you grow faster
- Rolling into rocks, crystals, and trees that are bigger than you causes you to shrink

How to win:
- Become bigger than anything else you encounter!

Full screen recommended! Right click -> "Go fullscreen"

- Added a "Distance" score for when you win. Try to win in as little distance as possible!
- Increased the volume

I wrote up a tutorial on how I did the terrain generation (just the ground, not the objects). You can read it here if you're interested:

Downloads and Links




Tensoplast01 says ...
Dec 14, 2015 @ 7:58am

No challenge, but so fun :3 Like the concept. It's just a shame that we can't grow (or i failed?). But the fact that we kick off the trees or rocks is sooooooo funny

Frenchie says ...
Dec 14, 2015 @ 5:18pm

You failed :P Hitting things that are bigger than you makes you shrink! I just made it so you couldn't lose so that everyone gets a chance to enjoy it :)

StabAlarash says ...
Dec 14, 2015 @ 7:01pm

Eh nice game too, feels like katamari on ice ^^

wilsk says ...
Dec 14, 2015 @ 7:32pm

Nice little zen-like game. Initially I tried to avoid the obstacles, then when I realised you could stick them to you... ooooo!

I did like the way the terrain formed up in front of you as you rolled downhill, although it was sometimes a bit too obvious when it seemed like the seams in the ground closed just as you rolled over them.


sydan says ...
Dec 14, 2015 @ 9:29pm

My girlfriend and I played this game and we both loved it! At first we didn't know if the ball was growing but once we got the hang of it we really enjoyed the mechanic! Congrats on the great game!

Frenchie says ...
Dec 15, 2015 @ 5:18am

Although I've never owned a Katamari game, it was clearly an inspiration in my design ^^

I tried to vary the rate of the terrain coming up so that it wouldn't look so robotic. I guess the lower bound is too slow!

Glad you guys enjoyed it!

dustyroom says ...
Dec 15, 2015 @ 7:51am

I could play this forever.

Epicruins195 says ...
Dec 15, 2015 @ 8:04am

Fun little experience. Seems very difficult to lose, but maybe that was intended. The procedural generation is nice; I especially like the way the terrain pops up in front of you, although when you get big it becomes pretty obvious. Low poly art is good too. Nice work!

ajopart says ...
Dec 15, 2015 @ 8:05am

Great game. Fun, simple and neat. I had almost gave up before seeing the first rock stick to the ball and then everything made sense.

piper82 says ...
Dec 15, 2015 @ 8:14am

very good and fun. sometimes when you start you only get big rocks and when you grow you get fields of pebbles.

Frenchie says ...
Dec 15, 2015 @ 8:16am

Sorry the game ends :P Also, I think Unity would likely crash if you played long enough. I had to start the player way off the center of the world because otherwise the shaders would flicker after a while

My last two LD games were impossibly difficult, so I thought I should make games people could actually enjoy :)

Glad you rolled over something smaller! I'm guessing you wouldn't be the first one to miss that!

Frenchie says ...
Dec 15, 2015 @ 8:17am

It's all random! You either get fields of something for a little while or just total randomness. If I had had more time I would have tried to be a little smarter about how I generated the obstacles. But... 48 hours... xD

Dec 15, 2015 @ 7:48pm

pretty fun! I really loved the look of it too, nice and simple, and clean

zebi24 says ...
Dec 15, 2015 @ 8:27pm

It's so nice livin' life of a baller.
Great game!

Starspell says ...
Dec 16, 2015 @ 4:52am

That was really sweet. I love the graphical style and just how fun it is. Needs a bit more sound support and better performance optimization but overall very nice.

My thoughts during play:

"Awww yeah! Getting pretty big now. I can take down anything! ... What's that? A forest of giant trees that I'm not quite large enough to absorb but too large to avoid!? NoooooooOOOoooooooOooo!"

micky says ...
Dec 16, 2015 @ 5:00am

nice game, i like the models :), sometimes couldn't see with all the snow coming up when hitting trees and what not but overall a fun game

Frenchie says ...
Dec 16, 2015 @ 5:20am

What kind of performance problems were you having? This should run fine on just about any computer

Andrew Deem says ...
Dec 16, 2015 @ 5:34am

Okay, this is stupidly fun. Good work. :) And nice use of both themes. I played another snowballer game this LD already, but this is the superior one.

Dec 16, 2015 @ 5:49am

loved this game. my only wish would be that the game scale more to my ball's size. in the early game i felt it almost impossible to get going, but in the late game i basically couldnt be stopped. really great game though! gotta love those low-poly graphics.

Quadnozzle says ...
Dec 16, 2015 @ 5:57am

Fun game, but no way to lose plus being forced to roll through several forests kills the challenge. Really enjoy the procedural generation though. Would be really neat if play could continue forever. Nice entry.

blohod says ...
Dec 16, 2015 @ 6:06am

It took me 4735m, I am really bad, first load after looking at how to play I fell through the ground on start. Also there is a really annoying size where you are too big to avoid trees and too small to eat them.

Dec 16, 2015 @ 6:07am

Nice game, but why can't I grow as a snowball...sad

Bogden says ...
Dec 16, 2015 @ 6:26am

Loved Katamari Damacy, and I love this!

Oye Beto says ...
Dec 16, 2015 @ 7:04am

A WebGL or Windows version would've been cool.

mukult says ...
Dec 16, 2015 @ 7:26am

Somebody else made a similar snowball game ....
I like yours and his entry too!!
Your game kinda has more satisfaction though... :P Loved it!! Nice work!

lordsavage says ...
Dec 16, 2015 @ 7:39am

Great game, only pity was the total loss of visibility when i ran into a few trees one after the other (without being big enough to eat them)..

Collision detection, terrain gen, and the camera perspective were all great!. A very polished entry.

ryan.poitras says ...
Dec 16, 2015 @ 8:12am

Very nice, good use of both themes. Very impressive work in such a short time frame. Much better than I did :P

Some constructive criticism: I felt that the difficulty was a bit backwards. It "snowballs" quite a lot haha. Beginning almost everything stops you and it takes a little while to be big enough to start picking things up, then once you've collected a few it becomes WAY too easy and you can almost let go of the controls.

Dec 16, 2015 @ 9:09am

Really fun! like others said its basically katamari + skiing

Erlend Aakre says ...
Dec 16, 2015 @ 10:21am

Awesome graphics and controls, love that you've put up the source code, nice way of making the level.

Did have some issues with not colliding with the top of the mountain unless moving the ball a lot right after the game starts.

Modoc73 says ...
Dec 16, 2015 @ 10:28am

Wasn't loading for me. Wanted to play this one.

jackyjjc says ...
Dec 16, 2015 @ 10:32am

Very nicely executed game. The visual is simple but great, it is just very fun too keep rolling up all the things. Well done! I know the terrains are randomly generated but it would be nice if they can be less random (sometimes you just run into a thick forest and lost everything, it is kind of frustrating at that point.)

Janacek says ...
Dec 16, 2015 @ 1:11pm

Cool game ! Just the random generation that made me enter a long tree part too big for me :p

VladRusu says ...
Dec 16, 2015 @ 3:27pm

It's fun to play even though I didn't get it at first :)) really cool design!

Frenchie says ...
Dec 16, 2015 @ 5:09pm

Thanks for all the feedback everyone! I'm going to do a little bit of work to make a post-compo edition with harder modes and various improvements! :D

Dec 16, 2015 @ 6:41pm

I've balled it twice! Very nice interpretation of the theme, very cool level generation, overall, very cool :)

xWarZonex says ...
Dec 16, 2015 @ 6:56pm

Best game I've played so far! So much fun and very complete! I loved it! 5/5

Dec 16, 2015 @ 7:24pm

Good game, but your procedural generation could use some tweaking. Sometimes I am surrounded by bigger trees and at other times I am surrounded by tiny rocks. It made one section too easy and the next too hard. But I did enjoy the game overall. Nice work!

scottthoo says ...
Dec 17, 2015 @ 3:18am

Enjoyed the game, nice work !

Dec 17, 2015 @ 4:18am

SUPER similar to mine ;(. If we mixed my controls and your world it would be an interesting game ;).

VitasaMode says ...
Dec 17, 2015 @ 4:48am

Cool Katamri clown. it took a while for my snowball to grow but when it, oh boy I got excited. there were a couple of glitches where the snowball would clip through the ground but when I restarted the game it worked fine. Overall good job.

Rfdshir says ...
Dec 17, 2015 @ 10:51am

Yeah, good game. Despite of strange level generation, very positive impression.

Tuism says ...
Dec 17, 2015 @ 12:56pm

Another take on the eat and grow and can't eat smaller things theme - the problem here is that it's REALLY difficult to tell what counts as smaller and what counts as bigger. That's very important information.

The camera doesn't always work and often I'm stuck pretty much going blind with no idea what's going on. And lag.

Solid game and looks great, the terrain generation is ace :)

KayZ says ...
Dec 18, 2015 @ 4:44pm

I really liked the way the objects popped up and I was sad when the game ended :(. Got to play again!

Farelle says ...
Dec 18, 2015 @ 4:59pm

haha it's fun that everything that was slowing you down in the beginning is later just assimilated ;D

Farelle says ...
Dec 18, 2015 @ 4:59pm

argh, forgot to rate something*submits*

Sir Magic says ...
Dec 19, 2015 @ 12:15pm

Nice game in general, loved building up everything on my snowball.

wdebowicz says ...
Dec 19, 2015 @ 6:59pm

That was Fun and enjoyable! Btw while full-screen I get error "Could not switch to request monitor resolution"

dcRfj15 says ...
Dec 20, 2015 @ 9:09pm

Great job! It was really fun to crush everything and become a very large snowball.

I really wish that the level kept generating after I beat the game because I really wanted to become bigger and bigger XD. Overall very innovative, and great use of the theme!

piper82 says ...
Dec 22, 2015 @ 1:27pm

@Frenchie its a superb effort however. i always fail to praise the good points when they are too obvious. i saw your progress post before the comp ended and i thought to myself wow this is cool. and it is. superb game in such a short time. i merely mentioned my only tiny gripe instead of praising the good points. i really loved the mechanics and visual style.

michidk says ...
Dec 24, 2015 @ 1:40am

Very fun game! Your post about terrain generation is very helpfull, thanks!

mahalis says ...
Dec 25, 2015 @ 3:51am

Fun! Felt almost peaceful, despite the whole barreling-down-a-mountain thing. Nice art style, and good work on the terrain generation - the way bits of it visibly rose up in front of me gave it a cool, kind of dreamlike style. Well done.

justinooncx says ...
Dec 29, 2015 @ 8:27am

May not be the most original ideas, but it's definitely one of the more well-polished ones. Fun, and not too challenging!

Stals says ...
Dec 29, 2015 @ 9:49am

At first, I thought that I just should avoid obstacles and increase in size by rolling on the snow, but then I accidentally picked up the rock - and the real game began. Excellent game, great job!

zenmumbler says ...
Dec 31, 2015 @ 9:50am

It gives me a strange feeling when the world floats up in front of me. Nice implementation of the snow roller sub-theme (mine is in that category too) and sort of a serene way to play. Soothing.

Jan 2, 2016 @ 1:14am

Very calming game, with the snow and the generally soft sounds - you should add more objects , such as skiers and a yeti - but don't overdo it.

I got too big to avoid trees and that limited my growth, I went through a forest before getting back to open slopes - are you using perlin noise or something like that?

Great work.

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