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

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by MemoryLeek - Jam Entry

This is a "simultaneous" turn based game where you and the AI move all at once as soon as you press a key. Note that you need to release the key between each turn.

You start out as a cube, your objective is to reach the flag on each level with one cube without being killed by worms. To do this you have a few different abilities, these are triggered by standing on special (colored) ground. You can clone your cubes so that you may control multiple cubes at once (and sacrifice them if necessary).

The cloning pads are located at certain places in the maps, these are connected to an output pad by a wire along the wall. The nearby arrows indicate source (up) and destination (down). Note that your enemies can clone themselves as well.

The different abilities are:
- Green makes you grow to three times your original size, you can now safely roll over and kill worms without dying.
- Orange will attach a bomb to the cube that will detonate after 5 turns and kill everything in range.
- Blue will freeze the cube in place for 4 turns, all your other non-frozen cubes will still move normally.
- Red will remove any ability you currently have.
- Brown does nothing, it does not give nor take anything, it's just ground.

Keyboard controls, two buttons:
A - All your cubes roll left
D - All your cubes roll right

There's five levels in the game, I wish we had time for more but it's pretty tricky to make good levels for this. After you finish all 5 maps the game will loop at the last one, there's no score or victory screen.

The game is fixed at 1280x720 so we didn't have to bother with scaling making the pixel art look bad. I hope this works for all of you.

The Windows version comes with all the .dll-files you should need.
The Linux build however requires that you have SFML 2.3 installed on your system, as well as fairly recent versions of some other common libs (it was built on Arch Linux), if you can't run it for whatever reason, please tell us in the comments and we'll make a new build on an older Debian or something and bundle the .so-files.

It's licensed under GPLv2 so feel free to check out the source on GitHub.

Downloads and Links




BubsyPoochies says ...
Dec 15, 2015 @ 5:54pm

This is a very interesting game! It feels like a strategic version of locoroco, not platforming oriented but more puzzle solving. The mechanics have a lot of potential to create very complex puzzle based levels, would love to see more of this in the future. The only downside is the difficulty curve: it can be a bit too hard to understand in the beginning (lots of different platform types introduced at once), took us a while to get through the first puzzle. Nevertheless, it's a pretty awesome and very original game. Congratulations!!!

Chubb1337 says ...
Dec 15, 2015 @ 6:33pm

I can't get past the first puzzle, I get some sort of time bomb and a clone. The one with the bomb explodes, the other one unfreezes, but then the game crashes. (Windows 8.1, 64x)

MemoryLeek says ...
Dec 15, 2015 @ 6:39pm

@Chubb1337: Thank you for the report. Are you able to reproduce the crash?

jofra says ...
Dec 15, 2015 @ 7:00pm

Very cool puzzle mechanics

Dec 15, 2015 @ 7:39pm

Im getting crashes all the time on windows 8 64-bit. Memory leak?

Big Cow says ...
Dec 15, 2015 @ 7:50pm

Hey hey! Fun little game simple but challenging. I also couldn't solve the first puzzle!

MemoryLeek says ...
Dec 15, 2015 @ 7:56pm

@DinnerInTheDark: Thank you for the report. There is one memory leak that I know of, and that is proceeding to the next level, which won't free resources from the previous one. But it's a matter of 13MB per level and shouldn't be a source of the crashes. We will investigate it.

bradur says ...
Dec 15, 2015 @ 8:20pm

The game is a little hard to understand at first, but it's a solid puzzle game once you get the hang of it. The graphics are crisp and the shadows are a nice touch. The sound & music are pleasant. Good work!

pcmaster says ...
Dec 15, 2015 @ 8:44pm

I, too, could not figure out how to go past the first level. Furthermore, after restarting a level, I always missed the background (Win7 x64). On each application restart it's OK again. I'll give it one more try (and think hard!), I like the graphics, nicely done, congratz :)

MemoryLeek says ...
Dec 15, 2015 @ 8:47pm

We were finally able to reproduce the crash and we've patched it and uploaded new binaries. So you who have experienced crashes, please download the new version and try it again. Thanks.

utgarda says ...
Dec 15, 2015 @ 8:47pm

Screenshots look real nice, I totally want to play it. Unfortunately, crashes on start every time.

[etsvigun@Jotunheim kubble]$ uname -a
Linux Jotunheim 3.18.24-1-MANJARO #1 SMP PREEMPT Tue Nov 3 21:34:29 UTC 2015 x86_64 GNU/Linux

[etsvigun@Jotunheim kubble]$ pacman -Q sfml
sfml 2.3.2-2

[etsvigun@Jotunheim kubble]$ ./kubble
*** Error in `./kubble': free(): invalid pointer: 0x00000000013a6fb8 ***
======= Backtrace: =========

UrbanHelsing says ...
Dec 15, 2015 @ 9:02pm

Pretty decent little puzzle game. Last level was really tricky but I beat it at last. Thought it was a bit annoying having to wait everytime the snakes fell down.

MemoryLeek says ...
Dec 15, 2015 @ 9:12pm

@utgarda: Thank you for your interest! Your problem might be due to the new GCC 5 ABI, I am not sure if that is synced to Manjaro yet. We will try to create a static build on Debian stable as hopefully that will allow more people to play the game :)

Cyranh says ...
Dec 15, 2015 @ 9:15pm

Great game! Good concept. Interesting and hard to solve puzzle. And overal fun gameplay. And I like the way those snake thingies look.

utgarda says ...
Dec 16, 2015 @ 1:59pm

Nice audio and nice minimalistic graphics, but goals are really obscure, in the first puzzle the flag isn't seen from the beginning. Needs more tutorial levels with gradual complexity increasing.

MemoryLeek says ...
Dec 16, 2015 @ 2:32pm

@utgarda: Very fair criticism. This is a common problem in most of our games, they are too hard and not easily accessible. We will work on improving this for our next games.

DeathBySnail says ...
Dec 16, 2015 @ 7:35pm

Interesting concept, however my puny brain is not up to the task of solving the first stage! :)

Darkflint says ...
Dec 16, 2015 @ 10:20pm

Nice idea, interesting. But somehow i couldnt restart the game after exiting it once?

MemoryLeek says ...
Dec 17, 2015 @ 6:24am

@Darkflint: That's a new one. We don't save any kind of state, so I don't see any reason why it would not start again.

tantumgames says ...
Dec 17, 2015 @ 4:12pm

Cool platformer with a good idea, I liked it

OberynMartell says ...
Dec 18, 2015 @ 3:33am

I liked the mechanics of this game. But I could not figure out what todo. =/

Switchiers says ...
Dec 18, 2015 @ 10:41am

An amazing game! It could be cool to add a tutorial just to understand the basics and the goal of the game.

MemoryLeek says ...
Dec 18, 2015 @ 11:50am

@Switchiers: This will surely be added to a post LD version of the game. Thank you for your feedback! :)

razveck says ...
Dec 18, 2015 @ 3:47pm

Very interesting mechanics, the levels were varied and fun. Lots of room to improve and explore new concepts and level design within these mechanics.

Brandondyer64 says ...
Dec 18, 2015 @ 9:39pm

e$ ./kubble
./kubble: error while loading shared libraries: cannot open shared object file: No such file or directory

MemoryLeek says ...
Dec 18, 2015 @ 9:45pm

@Brandondyer64: As the description states, the Linux build requires SFML 2.3 to be installed :)

mukult says ...
Dec 18, 2015 @ 10:02pm OSX or a web build...cant play it!! :|

MemoryLeek says ...
Dec 18, 2015 @ 10:13pm

@mukult: Sorry for that. The game is created in C++ with SFML, so making a web version of it is not very straightfoward. The game will build on OSX, but we don't have access to any OSX machine to build on.

Trizek35 says ...
Dec 18, 2015 @ 10:20pm

Controls are a bit clumsy (sometimes not rolling when I press the keys). But the puzzle ideas are great (especially the one growing your cube making it invincible etc). Maybe you introduced to many mechanics in the first level, which made some people lost. Btw, amazing work starting from scratch with SFML/C++, you even wrote shaders !

MemoryLeek says ...
Dec 18, 2015 @ 10:24pm

@Trizek35: Thank you for the kind words!
I believe your problem with the "clumsy controls" is due to the round not being over. The hourglass at the top of the screen will be showing when a round is still in progress, and you have to wait for it to disappear before you can make your next move :)

Hot Box Games says ...
Dec 18, 2015 @ 10:47pm

Interesting and challenging game! The music wasn't fun to listen to though, it hurt my ears after a few minutes.

Dec 19, 2015 @ 12:26am

The game kept breaking:

This made some of the levels really sad - I beat the third level without ever knowing what it really looked like.

The first level took a long time to beat. I think the second one was actually easier. I beat the third one, as I said, without knowing what the heck I was doing.

The graphics (when they work) and the music are really cool. The gameplay is also pretty cool - I like freeze-time platformers. This one is also unique because you can have multiple guys at once.

MemoryLeek says ...
Dec 19, 2015 @ 12:30am

@TheMonsterFromTheDeep: That's very interesting, you are the first to report that problem. I have no idea what could be causing it, unfortunately.
And yeah, in hindsight we should've reordered the levels.

Nega Drive says ...
Dec 19, 2015 @ 7:04pm

Cool idea! I don't think I've ever seen a turn-based puzzle platformer. You've crammed a lot of mechanics for a game with only two buttons, by using the environment to give different abilities, which is interesting to me. Cute graphics and a nice soundtrack too.

eric777 says ...
Dec 19, 2015 @ 11:00pm

I could not solve first puzzle. BUT - wow, the game looked brilliant, really stands out with it's clean look. Concept is great. Audio was also really good.

I understood the mechanic, and was able to get through blowing up worms on the platform above the goal, but I could not ever figure out how to successfully drop from the left side of that platform to the flag. Probably me not being super great at puzzle games.

Absolutely well done!

ElliotFiske says ...
Dec 19, 2015 @ 11:08pm

Great puzzle game! It'd definitely be better to not have the first one require you to make that leap of faith, but after that all the puzzles were well-designed and interesting.

Also would be good to have a win screen instead of looping you back to the same level :P

mattlevonian says ...
Dec 19, 2015 @ 11:24pm

Great game, the only nitpick I have is that waiting for all the actions to resolve during a turn took a little longer than it should have, so waiting after each key press got a little annoying.

KriBoNiTa says ...
Dec 20, 2015 @ 12:02am

very cool game, simple and elegant, a bit hard to understand well

hyperscope says ...
Dec 20, 2015 @ 1:44am

It would be nice if the turns remaining for the abilities was shown on screen. Also there were times when not all cubes were visible on screen. Very elegant visuals, lighting elements added a another level of polish to the game. Background music fit very nicely with the overall theme of the game. I also appreciate that the music more or less didn't get annoyingly repetitive. Although puzzle games are typical not my genre of choice I didn't mind playing.

rjhelms says ...
Dec 21, 2015 @ 4:05am

This is really cool! A good challenge, but I had a lot of fun with it.

I agree with hyperscope that showing a countdown for timed abilities would be really helpful - especially on the last level, I found myself having to keep count in my head in order to manage the solution.

Good entry!

MemoryLeek says ...
Dec 21, 2015 @ 5:58am

@hyperscope @rjhelms: Agreed, a countdown would've been helpful :) This is one of the things I hope to add in a post LD version of the game.

piper82 says ...
Dec 21, 2015 @ 5:09pm

looks very nice but unfortunately for me it would not run. nothing happens when started.

MemoryLeek says ...
Dec 21, 2015 @ 6:28pm

@piper82: What OS are you using?

piper82 says ...
Dec 22, 2015 @ 1:17pm

W7 x64 SP1

MemoryLeek says ...
Dec 22, 2015 @ 1:32pm

@piper82: Okay, and nothing happens? No error messages? The window does not even appear?

Finn Stokes says ...
Dec 24, 2015 @ 10:49pm

Really nice game. I like the use of environmental mechanics, leading to a two button game that does not feel clunky.

A couple of suggestions for minor improvements, similar to what others have already said:
- The difficulty curve could do with some work
- The camera should probably take all of the cubes into account, as there were a couple of times that I couldn't see some of my cubes (such as at the end of level 3).
- I feel like the freeze icon should disappear a turn earlier (right after your last frozen turn) so you know the cube is about to move. Currently it seems to show whether your cube was frozen in the previous turn, whereas I think showing if it will be frozen for the next turn is more useful (might be fixed by the addition of countdowns).
- Perhaps an indication of the range of the bomb would be useful.

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