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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A Shot in the Dark

by thecatspajamas - Jam Entry

Theme -- Two Button Controls
Find your way, lit only by your magic crossbow bolts.
Click to move or shoot, right-click to change modes. Beware that the menu takes 2 seconds to load, and we don't know why...

By Popular demand, we now have a zip file download!

(Update 2)
Made file size smaller for faster downloads and faster start of game load time.

Paul Schwarzwalder
Phoenix Smith

Paul Schwarzwalder
Phoenix Smith

Art and Animation:
Lynne Startup

Level Design:
Jami Schwarzwalder
Phoenix Smith

Coldharvest I by Ethan Helfrich of Rest You Sleeping Giant (Free Music Archive)
Licensed under Creative Commons: By Attribution 3.0

Sound Effects:
Archery arrow release - AM (AudioMicro)
Licensed under Creative Commons: By Attribution 3.0

Footsteps by InspectorJ (
Licensed under Creative Commons: By Attribution 3.0

Ringing Ambient Background (YouTube Audio Library)
Licensed under Creative Commons: By Attribution 3.0

Water dripping in cave by lebcraftlp (
Licensed under Creative Commons: By Attribution 3.0

cave waterdrops by voltae(
Licensed under Creative Commons: By Attribution 3.0

Several other clips from YouTube Audio Library, free sound & AudioMicro

Downloads and Links




tweedle says ...
Dec 15, 2015 @ 4:56am

Nice mood and use of the two button control theme.

Dec 15, 2015 @ 5:20am

Sorry can't check it on my mac :(

Jebby says ...
Dec 15, 2015 @ 5:25am

I enjoyed the concept! The couple levels that I played were fun and puzzling.

Epicruins195 says ...
Dec 15, 2015 @ 5:48am

What I liked:
- Very effective visuals that tie in with game play.
- Combination of audio and visuals creates a nice mood.
- Innovative mechanics.
- Runs well.

Things that could be improved (IMO):
- Camera movement in first person is too loose.
- Ends abruptly.

Excellent work.

SSJMetroid says ...
Dec 15, 2015 @ 7:04am

An installer??? Man... no thnx :| (yep, I'm that kind of guy... but come on, it's a game jam, not a bloody commercial product)

Bloodyaugust says ...
Dec 15, 2015 @ 7:18am

Sorry, but I'm not going to run an installer for an LDJAM game. Please zip the game and distribute that way. :)

victorfisac says ...
Dec 15, 2015 @ 7:55am

You could improve the graphics...

Bogden says ...
Dec 15, 2015 @ 8:24am

Awesome game! Very innovative. Loved the atmosphere.

Hjalte500 says ...
Dec 15, 2015 @ 8:26am

I like the feeling and look that you were going for. It works but I wished you had used navmesh or something since I kept clicking somewhere and the character would take the direct route which resulted in jumping of the edge. Anyways pretty good puzzles, visuals and use of theme. So all in all pretty good.

Ildfuglen says ...
Dec 15, 2015 @ 11:45am

This is a very pleasing game aesthetically, the gameplay is simple yet it feels like there's some kind of meaning to it, which is a big plus in my book.

I feel the graphical style, albeit stylish and simplistic was a bit ruined by the gradual mixing of colours, the initial black white green was great (less so the green), but when purple, red and blue started being thrown in the mix that threw the style off a lot for me.

(Also the crosshair when you click is red, and the platforms you walk on are green, this is a bad design decision)

The game fits well to the theme, using right/left click to play, I've never played a game quite like this one, so for me it's innovative.

The mood is great, it really feels as if there's some kind of meaning to the game, and overall the game is solid.

Now onto issues I had with the game:

For me, right click wouldn't work most of the time, this was very frustrating for me. I would spam right click to bring my crossbow up, but it would only react 1/20 times.

I have ignored this bug for the sake of my review, under the premise and hope that you'll be implementing a fix for this.

Another issue is that if you're in the crossbow view and you open the ESC menu, you don't have a cursor, so you can't change your settings.

Also, you can get stuck in the level if you run across a gap, where you were supposed to fall down.

Thank you for a great entry and a great experience, I hope to see your games in the future as well, and I hope that you continue to develop and polish this game further, because I would play it. :)

redmassacre says ...
Dec 15, 2015 @ 12:17pm

My daughter really enjoyed this game
Five flash arrows from five)

Polith Games says ...
Dec 15, 2015 @ 6:27pm

Good job!

Dec 15, 2015 @ 8:01pm

Nice Game, really cool idea

rjhelms says ...
Dec 15, 2015 @ 9:32pm

Great entry. I really like the concept here and it's well executed. Good puzzle design.

I had a bit of jankiness with right-click detection, sometimes I had to press it a few times to switch modes. But nothing game-breaking.

MintArcade says ...
Dec 15, 2015 @ 11:54pm

Great fun. Graphic need some improvement, other than that, it's a cool game idea.

alvarop says ...
Dec 16, 2015 @ 4:39am

YES. The atmosphere in this game, as well as the mechanics were awesome. Besides some technical issues, I think this game has all its ideas in its right places.

A bit of polish, maybe some more levels and more clarity regarding some of the mechanics - the different "height" in levels isn't very clear atm - would make this a great game.

I loved it. One of my personal favorites so far!

MiggyGMan says ...
Dec 16, 2015 @ 5:01am

I really loved the graphics and the music in this!! Really well put together

LxStudio says ...
Dec 16, 2015 @ 7:37am

Very nice concept and style. Really enjoyed playing it.

candlesan says ...
Dec 16, 2015 @ 7:40am

Very moody - cool shot mechanic - lots of potential if this were fleshed out into a full game. Don't like that there's a delay on drawing the arrow, never really felt the need to shoot short range arrows and found myself waiting to draw the drawstring a lot.

kirbytails7 says ...
Dec 16, 2015 @ 9:51am

Nice! I'm not 100% on all of the mechanics (elevators? especially illuminated ones), but it's solid. I like the reflectivity of the surfaces so even if I miss, I still get information.

YinYin says ...
Dec 16, 2015 @ 10:30am

I really like this. The controls were a bit clunky, but I really like the character model/animation and concept.
It just needed to be a bit more snappy, faster swap between perspectives and a less agonizingly long and not immediately visible arrow charge (lerp it so the initial backwards movement is quick, but a full charge still takes some time!). Metroid Other M comes to mind as a good example of snappy perspective change like that (this could be great on a WiiU with the remote really).

You could also add more conventional wasd/analogue stick controls for movement in the future without the theme restrictions, but pointing where to go did work well enough.

The shadows being far off from her feet at some point were a bit weird (they seem to work right in the last level).

Sound or animation (even just a colour change) was really missing on the buttons.

Robber says ...
Dec 16, 2015 @ 6:00pm

Wow this game is great, so original. I like the graphical style very much, it could use little polish but you should stay true to this style, the mood is great and the scream is the icing on the game-cake..I think it could use a little more tension in the gameplay, perhaps less ammo, because when you die because you are out of ammo, the next time you replay the level you will know where to go, or maybe some tension because of a monster or something, like something is haunting you, the game could be more scary, but that's just some ideas. when you select the bow, you hear the sound of an arrow, i instantly felt i was losing an arrow, but it was just the sound..anyway really excellent job, enjoyed it alot!

Dec 16, 2015 @ 10:44pm

Really cool art style. I like the concept of switching views and lighting your path. It was a bit brutal to work through tho.

SiENcE says ...
Dec 16, 2015 @ 11:42pm

Carefully choosen colors. A white character is also a nice choice. Great overall design.

Only handling could be improved.

martincohen says ...
Dec 17, 2015 @ 4:07am

I liked the mechanics and the idea. I'd love to feel more in control of the crossbow, especially when setting the force to shoot. Maybe it'll be better to just use an angle and a ballistic curve (would be also more intuitive). Good job guys!

LukeZaz says ...
Dec 17, 2015 @ 5:28am

Very interesting and fun game! Loved the perspective you had when not aiming. Would've liked to be able to hold left mouse to keep moving, and might've preferred being able to shoot at a specific spot from the non-aiming view, but the game was still fantastic in almost all regards!

brainstorm says ...
Dec 17, 2015 @ 7:09pm

Awesome game! I loved it. Good use of the theme and amazing mood.


Dec 18, 2015 @ 4:28am

The FOV was way too wide for me and a little disorienting. The graphics were top notch. Really loved the style.

Kenneth Ng says ...
Dec 18, 2015 @ 5:03am

Mood was great. The sound volume was a too low. Very interesting mechanic of switching between 3rd person and 1st person. Good pace of teaching mechanics.

siege says ...
Dec 18, 2015 @ 5:21am

Interesting mechanic! Liked the idea, controls were solid!

the-arrival says ...
Dec 18, 2015 @ 12:16pm

Really neat Idea and execution! I love it

Dec 19, 2015 @ 3:49pm

Cool entry - quite original, atmospheric, enjoyable experience.

The only thing which seemed a little bit off was 1st person FOV - it seemed that the distance to objects in FPP mode was way higher than in TPP mode (ojbects in FPP seemed to be further away than in TPP).

batmanasb says ...
Dec 19, 2015 @ 8:40pm

The concept is innovative and the mood is great. Although I feel like the crossbow aim tries to pull down, which is a little annoying and makes it hard to aim. (Which might just be a WINE bug :P) Also, I think this game would work a lot better if it was in first person all the time, instead of switching to isometric. So you could move and shoot like in an FPS.

Tapehead says ...
Dec 19, 2015 @ 9:44pm

very cool idea, good chosen artstyle and it makes fun! the only thing that could be better is the fov of the fps view

Kuality Games says ...
Dec 19, 2015 @ 10:11pm

Nice game! Enjoyed playing it, I'll have to finish the rest of the levels once I'm done streaming. Needs a bit of polish.

Dec 20, 2015 @ 3:05am

This is a great concept. I loved mechanic. The puzzles could have been a bit tougher towards the end as they were a little predictable, but for 72 hours, I can't say too much bad about them. I hope you keep working on this and expand it to a full game. Great entry.

Null DIES says ...
Dec 24, 2015 @ 9:23pm

This is the first game I give 5 stars for innovation!
I love everything about it, just put some nice music and add more complicated levels and it'll be perfect :)
How can I follow up on what you guys are doing? Twitter maybe? :)

broknecho says ...
Dec 29, 2015 @ 5:56am

Really nice Atmosphere. Concept was solid. I think it could be a lot more with more than 2 buttons.

Great entry!

Jan 3, 2016 @ 4:05pm

Great mood and ambiance. :)
Nice mechanics, I liked how it evolve within the levels.
Nice work.

(Ps : I get some performances issues with the last level)

Omiya Games says ...
Jan 3, 2016 @ 5:53pm

Not a fan of the wonky camera in both perspectives, as well as the need to hold down the left-mouse button to shoot. I would have liked it better if it stayed in orthographic camera and the character would fire at the location you right-clicked on the level.

It's an interesting concept, to be fair, but I'm not a fan of the trial-and-error gameplay.

Molpe says ...
Jan 4, 2016 @ 10:59pm

This is awesome! And addictive! The graphics are beautiful!

I've made a let's play video if you want to check it out:

Mar 27, 2016 @ 11:39pm

Awesome concept, love the light effects! I included it in my Ludum Dare 34 compilation video series, if you’d like to check it out :)

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