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 NuclearCellar - Jam Entry

Enter into a mysterious icy world on the brink of its end. Solve puzzles and unravel the story of men and stars.


Mouse + Left mouse Button - Walk
Right mouse button - Interact
Left mouse button - Puzzle controls

Any feedback welcomed, we will try to reply to all your comments.

Regarding last few comments about not finding puzzles (campfires):
Tip: You can find them by following little star shown in the beginning, although they are procedural so exact location may vary :) Looking left/right periodically should work.

Downloads and Links




anotak says ...
Dec 15, 2015 @ 2:18am

- The graphics are interesting and very technically impressive.
- Cool sounds
- The size of the world seems impressive for a LD game

- I couldn't figure out what to do, maybe I'm just dumb, sorry.
- The mouse controls don't work well in windowed mode because you can click outside the window easily on accident.
- The field of view and viewbob made me uncomfortable, gave me motion sickness after a few minutes.
- I had framerate issues, even though my machine can run AAA games from 2015 at 60fps.

flakoflak says ...
Dec 15, 2015 @ 2:21am

couldn't find the puzzles, walked and walked .. nice sound effects when changing from snow to water.

Dec 15, 2015 @ 2:22am

The first thing I noticed was that I love the sound you make when you walk XD
It also looks great!

I did not get the puzzles, I was never into constellations :(

NuclearCellar says ...
Dec 15, 2015 @ 2:38am

Hello, I added some additional info for finding puzzles. Hope it helps.

Dec 15, 2015 @ 2:55am

Very atmospheric game, you seek your next fire to warm up like a moth seeks a flame while listening to your own footsteps in the snow and the wind (not high enough for my taste, but everything is subjective). The puzzle-solving element are for the most part quick and fun. Sometimes you can't find the next fireplace and die slowly with frost in your eyes.
It's not my type of game but i can still enjoy it for its atmosphere.

As for constructive comment : The randomized aspect of the game can sometimes be annoying when looking for the next fireplace, if you're not careful enough i guess (i was not a few times apparently!). You will then look for that star for too long you will miss the fireplace.

Praise the star!

NuclearCellar says ...
Dec 15, 2015 @ 7:53am

@anotak No idea why is the performance so bad. Funnily enough on one of our PC we had problem running from inside of Unity. Note to ourself headbob can be annoying.

@flakoflak Thanks, hopefully updated description will help future players.

@AntiMatterTape Sorry to hear that you are not a star type :) Thanks for nice words.

@GwakamoleStudio Cheers for honesty. We will have to be more clear about the goals next time.

Dec 15, 2015 @ 9:22am

Enjoyed the game! Nice sounds and graphics. Not any clear direction on where to go; unsure if this was intentional or not.

ashdnazg says ...
Dec 15, 2015 @ 10:45am

I really liked your artistic style, together with the writing it created a very interesting atmosphere.

Music (even very silent) could add to this a lot!
I've found the walking sound kinda obnoxious :S

Good job!

jsmars says ...
Dec 15, 2015 @ 10:48am

Really nice game and mood! Really got a winter feel!

NuclearCellar says ...
Dec 15, 2015 @ 11:09am

@emmavanderbrug We weren't very clear about following the star, sorry about that. We have released a fix to spawn fires closer.

NuclearCellar says ...
Dec 15, 2015 @ 11:10am

@ashdnazg Thank you and we will make an note for next time about music.

NuclearCellar says ...
Dec 15, 2015 @ 11:10am

@jsmars We are glad to hear that!

bodsey says ...
Dec 15, 2015 @ 11:41am

For some reason I'm in love with games in the snow. It's beautiful.

Dec 15, 2015 @ 12:32pm

Love the mood of the world. Audio is simple but of great quality and adds a lot to the experience. At first I got lost, but I finally got the whole fire / stars mechanics. The game seems to freeze (haha, icy world, freeze, you get it?) after the flame symbol... Maybe it's intended? Anyways, I really liked the experience, but I'm not sure I achieved the end of the story.

bloomingbuds says ...
Dec 15, 2015 @ 12:41pm

I found this game awesome. Very beautiful idea and environment, I love the steps sounds. and the idea of using the star as a guide was pretty cool. Didn´t manage to complete the bonfire puzzle though :(

NuclearCellar says ...
Dec 15, 2015 @ 1:47pm

@bodsey We like them too :)

NuclearCellar says ...
Dec 15, 2015 @ 1:52pm

@Oneiric Worlds Ha ha and thank you. The flame symbol is the last puzzle so you might have reached the end.

NuclearCellar says ...
Dec 15, 2015 @ 1:54pm

@bloomingbuds Rest assured we had troubles with that one as well and we designed it! :)

AzureAspect says ...
Dec 15, 2015 @ 4:21pm

Very good mood and atmosphere. The fire and walking sounds were very good. I managed to get to the part where you need to do the fire looking puzzle. However I couldnt figure it out :/

greeboCherry says ...
Dec 15, 2015 @ 4:32pm

Great game, even thought it nearly burned down my laptop. Althought some sort of advice would be usefull for puzzles, i literally solved the first puzzle i found by a complete accident.

PanKamil says ...
Dec 15, 2015 @ 4:35pm

Atmosphere in this one is amazing :D. The gameplay structure reminds me of a snowy version of Ethan Carter. Anyway, I had difficulties figuring out how to solve the puzzles in the beginning.

Dec 15, 2015 @ 6:47pm

Don't think that this game lays good on the theme, but I don't deny that the game is marvelous. Story is very interesting. Puzzles were very tricky, but in a good way. Can't wait to see your next projects! You are awesome!

Simonaiso says ...
Dec 15, 2015 @ 8:15pm

nice world you created here. I got the idea of the puzzles ( I think) but the stars are all of the same size, so discerning any constellations was too difficult. Good work though, the idea is brilliant!

Stuntddude says ...
Dec 15, 2015 @ 10:55pm

I only got a to play a few minutes before my computer flaked out on me (nothing to do with the game), but I liked what I got to see. I really like the atmosphere that you built with audio and visuals. Trekking from fire to fire, chasing the north star (it's the north star, right? I'm not good with astronomy), was immersive and evoked a real sense of wonder, which is something not many jam games achieve. Figuring out how to connect up the constellations was a surprisingly fun puzzle mechanic that I haven't seen before.

I really only have three complaints: firstly, that it wasn't immediately obvious what direction I was supposed to go. I didn't realize the first time around that the opening dialog wasn't just flavor text. Secondly, the lack of an in-game menu to free my cursor and exit feels like a form of user-trapping. And third, your game runs like a pile of bricks. Maybe that's just Unity being Unity, but there's gotta be something to do about that.

kirbytails7 says ...
Dec 16, 2015 @ 6:47am

Very nice atmosphere! I feel like the placement of the fires could be better so that I won't wander off aimlessly somewhere.

NuclearCellar says ...
Dec 16, 2015 @ 8:59am

@AzureAspect @PanKamil @Simonaiso @kirbytails7 Thanks guys

@greeboCherry Accidents are good :)

@M a r o o v a n Two buttons controls and story about growing star, we are happy about our theme fit ;)

@Stuntddude Thank you for the positive review. As for you feedback: We will try to be more clear about the initial direction next time. You are right about user trapping. It is something you don't quite realize as a developer. Unfortunately there wasn't any time to fix the performance.

kirbytails7 says ...
Dec 16, 2015 @ 10:48pm

Oh, also, I had trouble with clicking out of the game when playing it windowed. FYI.

Dreyan says ...
Dec 17, 2015 @ 11:04pm

Loved the core puzzle mechanic - unsure about what was going on in the narrative but I had fun anyway!

Joror says ...
Dec 17, 2015 @ 11:27pm

Great feel to the game, and the puzzles fit with your narrative well!
But after two puzzles, I really did not feel challenged enough anymore. Some diversity/more difficulty in the puzzles would be a good addition.

Stuntddude says ...
Dec 20, 2015 @ 6:11am

A bit late for me to be pointing this out this time around, but it might help in future jams: the Ludum Dare rule allow you to continue optimizing the game (or fixing bugs) and updating the download link after the submission deadline, as long as you don't otherwise change the gameplay.

Jan 6, 2016 @ 5:11pm

Beautiful game! I included it in my Ludum Dare 34 compilation video series, if you’d like to check it out :)

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