Ludum Dare 35 — April 15th-18th, 2016 — Theme: Shapeshift

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The Mining of Life

by StaNov - Jam Entry

TLDR: Everything you need to know is explained in the game. Just play it :)

In our game you become a dead coal miner's ghost who can shapeshift into items he finds. Your goal is to get to the surface and tell everybody about the meaning of life.

Controls: Arrow keys or WASD for movement, Space for jumping and Enter for shapeshifting.


David Broček - story, dialogs, graphics
Pája Grochal - level-design, music, graphics
Standa Novák - team-lead, programming, sound effects
Maka Grochalová, Anita Jadrná - catering, playtesting
Koton the Cat - mood supervisor, focus-losing element

You can watch a part of our initial brainstorming (in Czech) here:

My webpage:
David's webpage:

My Ludum profile with my previous Ludum games:

Downloads and Links




xclementx says ...
Apr 18, 2016 @ 9:16pm

It's a compo right ? Not a jam ? :) Very good !

StaNov says ...
Apr 18, 2016 @ 9:39pm

@xclementx: Thanks :) No, it's Jam. There were three of us making this, see the description.

howardcs says ...
Apr 19, 2016 @ 3:58am

Very clever. Love it.

aemiliu5 says ...
Apr 19, 2016 @ 9:47am

nice little game! i really liked the contribution of Kotton the cat! :P

fafastudio says ...
Apr 19, 2016 @ 1:38pm

Very pleasant to play :) i enjoyed it a lot, easy and touching.

Noro says ...
Apr 19, 2016 @ 7:29pm

Very good game, simple and nice to play. I also like the audio a lot too.

Adipson says ...
Apr 20, 2016 @ 6:04am

nice job

Apr 20, 2016 @ 6:16am

Cool mechanic, fun gameplay, funny ending, good art. Movement speed on chars is a little slow. Puzzles are pretty easy. Overall very nice.

Imperial Unit says ...
Apr 20, 2016 @ 6:21am

An enjoyable game to play. The music and art style contributed very nicely to the mood. The shapeshifting mechanic also allowed for some nice puzzles.

glaze_96 says ...
Apr 20, 2016 @ 1:37pm

I love the ending. Haha!
Great title!

Awesome mechanic. Could have had a little harder levels though, my only complaint =)

Paskal007r says ...
Apr 20, 2016 @ 1:41pm

Just amazing. I fucking loved it. Humorous, good puzzle, very communicative, builds its own atmosphere good. Bravo sirs!

Apr 21, 2016 @ 6:19am

Wow! My favorite entry so far, great work! I wish I had some form of constructive criticism, but I don't -- just a fantastic execution on the given them. Keep it up!

Vantaug says ...
Apr 22, 2016 @ 11:36am

Very fun, I've played a lot of games with bit tune music, but they've pretty much all been annoying and almost given me a headache, this one did not though :D Nice moonwalking graphics. Cool puzzles. Good stuff.

fin_nolimit says ...
Apr 22, 2016 @ 8:38pm

WOW!!!!! This is my first JAM... ever and the one thing I've noticed is all the best games offer some type of fun tutorial at the beginning (my game needs it but I did not think to offer that). YOUR GAME has it and it fits the game perfectly!!! I really think you have a shot at being in the top 10!! Fantastic game!!!

Apr 24, 2016 @ 10:22am

I didn't play through it much since I got the gist pretty quick, but I'll probably come back to this later to find out what the meaning of life is.

However this was more possession than shapeshifting.

Played very briefly @ 2:35:07 :

StaNov says ...
Apr 24, 2016 @ 10:36am

@QuestionableQuality: Hi, thanks for playing. The game is supposed to be played in 16:9. That's why you didn't see the texts. But it's my fault. I should have delete the unsupported resolutions from the list.

amras0000 says ...
Apr 25, 2016 @ 1:26pm

Core mechanics are decent enough, nothing new but playable.
Main complaint is with the audio design. The sound effect of shapeshifting is screechy, loud, and very unpleasant. My personal rule of thumb is not to use timbres with few overtones where I can avoid it, but if you have to aim for the old speaker vibe at least don't use such a high pitch.

The writing's passable, not particularly engaging and got in the way of the puzzles more often than not. I think a lot of the jokes didn't have the proper setup, or the proper timing. The punchline is just delivered far too early.

The physics doesn't feel very polished, on many occasions I was able to jump off vertical walls or pixel-width ledges, the mass of the objects is a bit unpredictable (I wasn't expecting not to be able to move as a box with another box on me), but the system works well enough to finish the game.

The graphics could've used a hell of a lot more contrast. I could see what was going on well enough, but the game really didn't catch my eye. Flat squares with no normal mapping and a greyscale noise filter thrown on them don't make for particularly tasty eye-candy. I'd have liked to see some stalactites, some gemstones, anything. And the light attached to the player doesn't have the effect you're going for if you don't provide a background to light up or normal maps to make the lighting realistic. Crazybump's free and takes a couple seconds to operate. Use it people.

SantiHisteria says ...
Apr 28, 2016 @ 1:46pm

I think it is one of my favorites tested games. I love the idea and the "story". May the controls could be improved. Great work!!

SantiHisteria says ...
Apr 28, 2016 @ 1:52pm

Ha ha ha, awesome final of the game!! :D

Rock Eaters says ...
May 1, 2016 @ 7:50am

cool game, love you title ;)

mkghoster says ...
May 1, 2016 @ 6:35pm

Really nice entry, cool story & mechanics!

Brightstar says ...
May 4, 2016 @ 3:26am

Funny game.

Omiya Games says ...
May 4, 2016 @ 3:31am

The cat is amazing. Thought it was pretty funny, too.

I think the puzzles were a little simple. I think it could have used a little more complexity and different item stacking combinations for more potential. I also think some text could be shortened, such as the "Hey, there's a block over there!" *whole block of text explaining how to possess a block* At this point, I already have a clue to possess the block, so the latter text felt really unnecessary.

May 7, 2016 @ 8:35pm

Great game. I especially liked the shapeshifting into whatever you can find :)
Graphics are ok. Sound is a bit annoying after some time, softer sounds while shifting would be appreciated.
The ending is hilarious xD
Overall a very fun experience 4/5

PaulJs says ...
May 7, 2016 @ 9:10pm

Some weird physics but the game is really nice !

Tselmek says ...
May 8, 2016 @ 9:31am

Nice game, the story is quirky and well done, good job on the dialogues. I wish there were more levels to explore the mechanics but fair enough for a jam entry.

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