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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Hello Darkness

by jcmonkey - Compo Entry

This game is a dungeon puzzler with two button controls.

The basic goal of the game is to find the switch, then the exit to the next level.

There are currently 10 levels

This is my first ludum dare, and im excited that i finished a game
that looks pretty good.

Everything that i did here was done by me from scratch.

Sorry, though i tried to get the game to work with WebGL, it just did not
work right. I had to use WebPlayer.

you can acces the game from my webpage,
Hope this isnt a issue for some. :/

Twitter: @JCMonkeyD3
GameEngine: Unity
Language: c#
Art: Inkscape, gimp
Music: LMMS
Sounds: BFXR

Edit Post #LDJAM:

Thank you to all of you for the great feedback.

So feedback summed up:

1) Music was horrible to most, it was too short, and didnt really fit the theme
2) Some didnt like the mines mechanic, in a new release i will change that
3) Some didnt like the loud sound effects. ill make them better, and quieter
4) Some didnt like the long levels. yeah i can make the long ones shorter
5) Some wanted notifications when spikes went up. yeah i can do that.
6) Some wanted more to the game. yeah i will add more stuff to do
7) Most mobs can be avoided. yes this was an oversight, will be changed.
8) Some wanted the walk to move to be at the feet. yes i agree, it will be changed.
9) Most wanted more mobs in the game. yeah i agree, i will put more.
10) Most wanted the mobs to do more. yes i agree, i will make this happen.

Again i really appreciate the feedback. No hard feelings for any feedback, all feedback is welcome. I wont be able to get better or grow as a game maker with out great honesty.


Jamie C aka jcmonkey

EDIT: I have completed a post compo release of the game. please play the first one that was made during the competition. Then go ahead and try the second one and let me know what you think. :D

Downloads and Links




mukult says ...
Dec 14, 2015 @ 3:19am

I would have liked if the player would have died on his own mine too..

But nice game! Music was kinda intense. :)

Kortuga says ...
Dec 14, 2015 @ 3:25am

Nice! I appreciate the hell out of your sound effects.

eerongal says ...
Dec 14, 2015 @ 3:30am

If enemies were more dangerous and gave chase, this would almost work as a little horror/puzzle game! Nice work!

illblew says ...
Dec 14, 2015 @ 3:32am

Nice tunes!

Saymon says ...
Dec 14, 2015 @ 3:32am

cool game !

Move127 says ...
Dec 14, 2015 @ 3:34am

Nicely put together game. The music and sounds were kind of annoying.

liquidmedia says ...
Dec 14, 2015 @ 3:34am

Nice game

FireSlash says ...
Dec 14, 2015 @ 3:36am

Using mines to kill monsters that pace in one direction forces unnecessary waiting at times.

It would have also been nice if the spikes signaled their time to activation, as you again can only wait for them to pop to find out when they'll be up next.

Areas felt a bit unnecessarily large, but it fits with the mood of the game.

TsFreddie says ...
Dec 14, 2015 @ 3:38am

How mouse movement count towards a single button is an opinion differing from people to people. Other than that, it's still a pretty fun game.

IAmSpencer says ...
Dec 14, 2015 @ 3:46am

Nice little game there, the lighting was a pretty cool effect! Hearing the slimes "squishing" around in the dark really set the mood haha, nice job :)

bazz_boyy says ...
Dec 14, 2015 @ 3:47am

Nice game!

MestreRothWP says ...
Dec 14, 2015 @ 3:56am

Great mood.

candlesan says ...
Dec 14, 2015 @ 4:01am

Elements of a good game here! Just needs some pacing adjustments and an audio pass

_benhumphries says ...
Dec 14, 2015 @ 4:09am

Nice game! I like the lighting effect. It makes the game feel a little bit scary. The only two bad things I found about this game were that sometimes I would die to an enemy when I seemingly didn't touch it, and that the music was a little loud and became repetitive quickly. Good job!

cxsquared says ...
Dec 14, 2015 @ 4:15am

This is a nice take on the theme and a dungeon crawler. I really liked the art of it. It would be cool to see more features added.

jcmonkey says ...
Dec 14, 2015 @ 5:02am

thanks for all the comments, i really appreciate all the feedback. :D

karlipoppins says ...
Dec 14, 2015 @ 5:05am

I had a hard time with the music, I thought that the loop was too short for a puzzle game. Other than that, the game is really awesome. Simple puzzles added with the stress of darkness and monsters make a great combo. Cheers!

trueboolean says ...
Dec 14, 2015 @ 6:31am

Music was a bit repetitive, but still alright.

Dec 14, 2015 @ 6:31am

Very interesting game except for the music. Having to wait for the enemies to step on the mine is also pretty irritating

mackthehobbit says ...
Dec 14, 2015 @ 10:41am

Simple but effective puzzle type of game. The music was nice and dungeon-y, although it got repetitive. The shadow effect made it feel a bit spooky: good job!

Zeezgames says ...
Dec 14, 2015 @ 11:37am

This is a nice game, i liked the idea but if im honest iturned the sound off due to the music being played (would of been nice giving user option to turn sound on/off)

love the whole darkness only seeing a range of light and the enemy is great :)

well done :)

BuffaloPhil says ...
Dec 14, 2015 @ 3:11pm old friend, I've come to talk with you again. Nice work!

Gins says ...
Dec 14, 2015 @ 3:44pm

Nice game with cool music, it just feels like either the movement is too slow, or the levels too big.

nunesbarbosa says ...
Dec 14, 2015 @ 4:25pm

Repetitive music, long maps for small chores like hitting a button.

Todnut says ...
Dec 14, 2015 @ 5:55pm

Neat. I would have had the mouse click send the player to stand on that spot on the ground instead of putting his chest there. Some way to walk faster might be interesting too.

graceavery says ...
Dec 14, 2015 @ 6:32pm

Controls work pretty well, nice and simple visuals, could use some adjustments (music, player dies on own mines), but overall is true to the theme and pretty creative. Nice mood, as well! :)

bradur says ...
Dec 14, 2015 @ 10:10pm

The sounds & music will haunt my dreams, as will the red blob.
Otherwise a not-so-bad looking game with solid gameplay.

tanjent says ...
Dec 14, 2015 @ 10:17pm

A lot of good comments above, so won't rephrase em! I think you can skip the ":" in the hud controls so they look less cluttered, also a little minimap that reveals the places you been at could help a bit with the backtracking. Otherwise, good work and the WebPlayer worked fine for me!

MHaton says ...
Dec 14, 2015 @ 11:05pm

Very atmospheric, I was actually getting slightly creeped out right up until I saw the adorable happy slimes :)

Peekotus says ...
Dec 14, 2015 @ 11:13pm

Cool music!

nlbi21 says ...
Dec 14, 2015 @ 11:14pm

i like it <3

brainybeard says ...
Dec 14, 2015 @ 11:14pm

Hey man, really awesome game! Love the look and feel of it, those bad guys are cute but at the same time ridiculusly creepy and terrifying! The level progression was good too! I think the music would need some work in the future as the 6 second loop gets annoying very quickly, and maybe a few extra sound effects would be good too! Nice job overall :D

teamross says ...
Dec 14, 2015 @ 11:48pm

The music track was awesome, but a little too short, and the loop was a bit forced. Nice work on your first Ludum!

SoulBound says ...
Dec 14, 2015 @ 11:54pm

I love the graphics. I found a bug where if you are not moving on the spikes when they come up, you don't die. I liked the sound effects but not so much the music. The gameplay was fun and I really liked how things disappear into the darkness.

zamotany says ...
Dec 15, 2015 @ 12:03am

Really good game, I enjoyed it!

krashja says ...
Dec 15, 2015 @ 12:07am

Nice levels, Music is weird! :P

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

Cool game, especially for your first one.
The music here is your biggest enemy, the levels were short but felt longer because of how short the BGM was.

I never thought smiling slimes could be scary before!

Dec 15, 2015 @ 12:38am

Very good for your first LD.

Decentsauce says ...
Dec 15, 2015 @ 12:41am

Personally didn't like the music at all. Rest was pretty good! :)

XbooperxdX says ...
Dec 15, 2015 @ 12:50am

Music and sounds were meh, but game overall was pretty good. Player was a little slow to me, but not really a problem. Well done.

Dec 15, 2015 @ 1:09am

Cool concept. I would suggest making it so that you can get hit by enemies twice. Well done either way, however.

Dec 15, 2015 @ 1:11am

Pretty good game, like the character art. Got a bit tedious in the later levels and your game uses 3 buttons not 2!

justinooncx says ...
Dec 15, 2015 @ 1:12am

Rather tedious game, since it's mostly trial and error with little challenge.

Funske says ...
Dec 15, 2015 @ 1:25am

I liked the game controls were nice. Difficult but not a bad difficulty it was fun. Music was a little short so it got irritating, but that's fine. Good game!

Dyn says ...
Dec 15, 2015 @ 1:35am

Very good

Micah Goodhue says ...
Dec 15, 2015 @ 1:50am

Kinda fun. Got really repetitive for me after the first 5 levels. Also, no offense, but the music sucks. Overall 4/5

NuclearCellar says ...
Dec 15, 2015 @ 2:24am

Fine little game. Although i had to turn off sound after a while, main theme is looped in 2 seconds :)

Krafty says ...
Dec 15, 2015 @ 2:30am

nice game! i liked the atmosphere, although it was a little bit repetitive.

Baecun says ...
Dec 15, 2015 @ 2:47am

Enjoyed it a lot, but as it was said before the music was a bit too repetitive. As for having to wait for the monsters to step on the mines, I actually think that's a good thing, it makes you more in the mood of being in a scary place and having to rely on unconventional methods. Well done.
BTW the web version doesn't work on chrome

Dec 15, 2015 @ 3:38am

Nice artwork. I totally found a secret passage way!

CaptainRed_ says ...
Dec 15, 2015 @ 4:06am

cool game, pretty fun

Dreyan says ...
Dec 15, 2015 @ 5:52am

Enemies reminded me of Kool-Aid man. OOOHH YEAH!!! Well done, puzzle game. Well done.

Dec 15, 2015 @ 6:25am

Good work m8 :D

Shrub says ...
Dec 15, 2015 @ 7:14am

Nice game!. Btw you can get past the monsters by dragging up to the roof and half your body is in the roof and u dont get hit by the monsters

aplomb says ...
Dec 15, 2015 @ 7:32am

Cool claustrophobic experience. Nice sprites. I'd love to see more enemies and enemy behaviors.

LukeZaz says ...
Dec 15, 2015 @ 8:21am

Good basic little game, however a bit tedious, as waiting for monsters was annoying, spikes were unpredictable, movement was slow and my mines didn't refill on death, making it impossible to finish some levels if I accidentally wasted too many.

SpecialChef says ...
Dec 15, 2015 @ 8:26am

Fun, but a bit frustrating. Executed 2 button controls well. No growing? Just a tad fast and slightly smarter AI would have done wonders. The SFX were great ;p

I enjoyed it

Pete_H says ...
Dec 15, 2015 @ 10:25am

Has a very well balanced difficulty curve, difficult to do in such a short time! This helped draw me in. Fun mechanics. Audio was a bit harsh.

x92rwzb says ...
Dec 15, 2015 @ 12:23pm

+ Nice graphics and audio/music.
+ Intense.
+ Fun.

- Player doesn't get hurt by his mines.
- Levels feel almost identical.

BubsyPoochies says ...
Dec 15, 2015 @ 4:09pm

I have to say that even though I thought I would not get scared with the graphics and music of the game, the first time I heard the sound of an enemy I have t o admit I was kind of nervous... ^^

greeboCherry says ...
Dec 15, 2015 @ 4:38pm

Nice game, but the sounds and music are really annoying (at least for me). I think it would've been a better idea to use throwing weapon instead of mines. Still, quite good for your first game.

Osaft says ...
Dec 15, 2015 @ 4:43pm

Like eerongal said the enemies could be a little bit more aggressiv but the game is well done.

Tasgardyen says ...
Dec 15, 2015 @ 4:53pm

I think is missing something. I need more danger

Polith Games says ...
Dec 15, 2015 @ 5:54pm

I enjoyed the audio, congrats

Dec 15, 2015 @ 6:40pm

Good use of the two-button-controls!
The animations could use more frames per seconds, but I guess this is because of time shortage. The character moves nice, though!

exhidor says ...
Dec 15, 2015 @ 8:18pm

great job !

Mekuri says ...
Dec 15, 2015 @ 9:20pm

Loved the sounds effects! For a first Ludum Dare, you did pretty well, good job :-)

Dec 15, 2015 @ 11:33pm

Fun game. Really cool feeling walking around in the darkness :p
Nice entry!

KunoNoOni says ...
Dec 16, 2015 @ 3:24am

As a first games this was a really well put together game.

I wanted to comment on the summed up feed back.

1) Music was horrible to most, it was too short, and didnt really fit the theme
I do agree that it didn't fit the theme of the dungeon crawl but it wasn't horrible

2) Some didnt like the mines mechanic, in a new release i will change that
I thought the mine mechanic was really original. I also liked the fact that you only has a limited number of them.

3) Some didnt like the loud sound effects. ill make them better, and quieter
The sound effects were a little loud but they really fit the thing making the sound.

4) Some didnt like the long levels. yeah i can make the long ones shorter
There was really only one long level (level 8) in the game and it wasn't that bad. Then again I'm old school and used to mapping out a level ;)

5) Some wanted notifications when spikes went up. yeah i can do that.
I really don't get this one. there was a sound when they came up.

6) Some wanted more to the game. yeah i will add more stuff to do
For what it was it wasn't bad. Yeah perhaps some different types of traps and different types of monsters would have spiced it up a bit. But you can always do that for Hello Darkness 2 :D

7) Most mobs can be avoided. yes this was an oversight, will be changed.
I noticed I was able to avoid some of the monsters, but there are never more monsters than mines so I just killed them. besides this isn't a bug its a feature!

8) Some wanted the walk to move to be at the feet. yes i agree, it will be changed.
I have no comment on this. I didn't really notice.

9) Most wanted more mobs in the game. yeah i agree, i will put more.
see #6

10) Most wanted the mobs to do more. yes i agree, i will make this happen.
see #6

The best thing I liked about the game was the torch glow and the limited vision. These really added to the game.

nodens says ...
Dec 16, 2015 @ 3:58am

Really liked the atmosphere for this game. Good fun all around, well done :D

OnlySlightly says ...
Dec 16, 2015 @ 3:59am

Great job. I liked how well the lack of light setup the mood and worked as a mechanic. I also liked how the light wasn't just a defined circle, the light being emitted was kind of grungy which made it feel more authentic. You actually did a pretty good job making things creepy and once you reduced the light I actually got spooked by one of the spike traps. Thank you!

Dec 16, 2015 @ 6:14am

I am not a fan of using mines to kill monsters...this is a good jam game.

Dec 16, 2015 @ 12:55pm

Nice game!
To me it does feel a bit slow. I personally would have liked it if the character moved a bit faster or if the corridors were a bit shorter :)
Also, if I'm moving using only the mouse, why can't I place mines using the mouse as well? An extra option for placing mines (using e.g. right click) would have been cool. It's still a great game though! :)

goodbadokay says ...
Dec 16, 2015 @ 6:32pm

Nice, but a bit hard to control character on laptop :)

Sir Magic says ...
Dec 16, 2015 @ 8:26pm

Nice game, I like the art style but couldn't hear the music

Volatile Dove says ...
Dec 16, 2015 @ 9:07pm

Nice, I must admit a bit boring after a while though. Maybe would be better with faster movement and a timer, or smaller areas.

Dec 16, 2015 @ 10:37pm

Congrats on your first Ludum Dare! Give yourself a pat on the back.

The concept certainly has some potential, and I for one think that it was clever of you to approach the theme by controlling the character with the mouse. It is one button, after all!

As of now, it's a little repetitive. I think that stealth elements could be a fantastic addition to this game and liven up the atmosphere, especially since you don't seem to go after action gameplay.
Furthermore, as many have pointed out, the music need some working on, and sound effects could also be more consistently designed (why a "realistic" death scream, when you could have opted for something retro, as for the rest of the sounds?). That is obviously just an opinion. On a more technical side, you might want to consider lowering the trap's sound, which is way too loud.

Good job on getting this done, and I look forward to see your future Ludum Dare entries!

micky says ...
Dec 16, 2015 @ 11:01pm

fun game :) i like the graphics and music, great work !

publicidadeba says ...
Dec 17, 2015 @ 12:47am

I think the player should be able to activate his own mine, the lighting system is cool :)

martincohen says ...
Dec 17, 2015 @ 4:11am

Some good level design right there. Congrats to you first LD! And keep it up, theres a talent in you! (Plus, just make it difficult on the game design level and not on game reset punishment when you die). <3

Patomkin says ...
Dec 17, 2015 @ 2:19pm

A nice idea. Yeah, the character is too slow and the levels are too large (and there's a lot of other stuff), but with some work this could become much-much better. Congrats on your first LD :)

fullmontis says ...
Dec 17, 2015 @ 8:50pm

I like the concept, and it is well implemented. The controls are responsive and the tutorial has the right progression. I enjoyed it. I found the music a little annoying to be honest.

Dec 18, 2015 @ 2:22am

Good variety in levels ranging from Bomberman style defeat the enemies to full blown mazes. Wish there was a little more in the music loop and sounds effects though.

Kenneth Ng says ...
Dec 18, 2015 @ 6:34am

Loved the sound effects!

Warboys says ...
Dec 18, 2015 @ 2:36pm

Dude, keep your principles! I just read the summed up feedback and while I agree with the audio being pretty bad, you don't have to compromise EVERYTHING. I got up to level 7 and nothing felt too long, the spikes didn't need a notification (although running into them AFTER they've popped up shouldn't kill you), avoiding mobs is also perfectly cool. The mine mechanic wasn't very well developed, but there's nothing wrong with it in essence, you just need a more complete system of mob AI and behaviours so that you can create some tricky puzzles or challenging gameplay with the mines.

Grats on your first LD, keep it up!

Hot Box Games says ...
Dec 19, 2015 @ 12:32am

Nice level design!

Weeping Rupee says ...
Dec 19, 2015 @ 4:36am

This was a nice attempt and had one of the better non-text tutorials I've seen in LD. Additionally this game has lives and I was surprised to realize I havent seen that yet in LD34.

The thing about it is I think you have too many mechanics here shoved into one game-- I wish it was more distilled. Theres darkness, a timer, lives, mines, buttons to press to open doors which is all fine but I feel like they didnt reinforce a central theme.

Also, dunno if I was missing something but there really needed to be aggro on the slimes and a chase code because if i run out of mines and a blob is pathing thru my only path I have no way to get past him because my mines didnt refill when I died.

spotco says ...
Dec 19, 2015 @ 8:00am

Mechanics didn't feel like they "jived" into a cohesive game. Was this supposed to be an action game, timing/collectathon platformer or horror game?

ElliotFiske says ...
Dec 19, 2015 @ 8:35am

Good game! Great atmosphere, and cool mechanic with throwing your boomerang light-source. Killing enemies is pretty satisfying, although the mines tend to kill YOU way easier :P

Keep making games!

zenmumbler says ...
Dec 19, 2015 @ 10:56am

Agree mostly with the comments, but:

Instead of just lowering the volume of the sound effects, it would be better to make the sounds have a source and play them at a volume respective to how close the character is to the sound (distance attenuation).

For post-compo version, I feel that giving the player a boomerang is like giving the character from Amnesia a shotgun, it greatly reduces the tension of the game and monsters are now just cannon fodder that get in the way temporarily. The mines were slow but now that the monsters follow you you don't have wait for their walk-cycle to repeat anymore to continue.

Also, W + mouse aiming was very confusing to me as I instinctively starting pushing ASD as well to move relatively and they didn't do anything, causing me to be killed.

Finally, unless you are getting quarters from people per play, best to just omit "lives" entirely, esp. for a compo game where people are unlikely to restart.

And remember that just blindly following tips from testers like us will not yield a better game, as people often come up with a quick suggestion for what they think could improve something, but that doesn't mean it fits in the whole picture. :)

Nice entry, keep it up.

Muel says ...
Dec 19, 2015 @ 12:28pm

Like other people said, music was not that good.
What I did, actually, was mute the game tab and then play listening to this:
Fits perfectly hahahaha!

I managed to reach level 10 =)

Dec 19, 2015 @ 3:18pm

The music was a little repetative, but it was very playable, I got bored after a few levels though - the enemies are a bit easy to kill as their paths are predictable - you just have to leave a mine in their way. I have a soft spot for dungeon crawlers, the torch is a nice touch.

LeReveur says ...
Dec 20, 2015 @ 2:50am

Lot a of levels for a LD, funny sounds for the monsters and simple gameplay. Good job for a first time. :)

WizByte_Games says ...
Dec 20, 2015 @ 7:14pm

The game is fun, but the music is kind of annoying.

Dry Tree says ...
Dec 23, 2015 @ 9:54pm

Good work. I would have liked the mobs to chase the player once they spot him - several times I dropped a mine in (what I thought was) a mob's path just for it to get very close but then turn back. Maybe allow the player to pick up and re-deploy unexploded mines?

jstan says ...
Dec 24, 2015 @ 4:00am

Love the gameplay

Bastienre4 says ...
Dec 26, 2015 @ 11:13pm

Super sweet game especially for a compo! the sound effects are pretty good, too, nice job overall :)

Gunzil says ...
Dec 27, 2015 @ 7:57pm

Simple dungeon crawler in which you kill slimes to go down levels for reasons unknown.

Not a fan of how little you can see. I found having a very small viewable radius around the character to be unnecessary. If you wanted to denote darkness you could have the lit portion be 90% of the screen so there's still a small amount of darkness around the edges.

The visuals are a little rough and the music loops too quickly but overall a nice first entry.

PowerSpark says ...
Dec 31, 2015 @ 7:35pm

Not too bad! The lighting twist was a great addition, it kept me playing until the end.

rodobodolfo says ...
Jan 2, 2016 @ 4:57pm

I like it, I personally think the loud sound effects and the "disturbing" music fits perfectly and create more tension .good job!

ceosol says ...
Jan 2, 2016 @ 11:24pm

The lighting was the main part of the game, however you had it centered around the torch instead of around the player's feet. If you think about this a 2.5D or even top-down, the lighting was being cast to the player's left hand side but not his right.

I everything else about the game. The lighting irked me a little :)

emmes says ...
Jan 4, 2016 @ 8:42pm

Great mood, sound creates a lot of tension!
It would be nice if the sound helped you understand your suroundings, e.g. monster sounds would get louder if they approach you.

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