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

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Ghost Bird

by torcado - Compo Entry

Ghost Bird!!

Play as a ghost birdy in this strange world that shifts around you.. What will you find?

Arrow keys
X (when available)


Thanks a lot everyone! Had a lot of fun making this, hope you all enjoy it! and good luck!

I recommend using Firefox if you're playing in the page embed, for some reason it isn't pixel crisp in Chrome, at least on my end.
OR just play on one of the web versions! (or download the source)

I've uploaded a post-compo version. this one makes the slopes a lot easier to deal with, and also lets you jump and flap with the 'Z' key!

The post-compo version has been updated again. this version cuts down load times and reduces lag significantly. It also fixes come collision bugs and one of the textboxes gives a bit more information.

Downloads and Links




CarlosPidox says ...
Apr 18, 2016 @ 2:38am

Amazing graphics and a fantastic idea! Congrats.

nickavv says ...
Apr 18, 2016 @ 2:41am

I LOVE the graphics. The shapeshifting world effect is very cool, and makes for some tricky platforming segments. I would have loved some music and sound effects but time constraints will be time constraints. Great job

heybudgames says ...
Apr 18, 2016 @ 2:41am

Really cool prism effect

vini60 says ...
Apr 18, 2016 @ 2:43am

Lacks audio, but the idea is great. Nice little atmosphere.

rupazero says ...
Apr 18, 2016 @ 2:46am

This is fab, great job! The art style is fantastic, there are so many interesting things happening graphically that are used to very good effect. The green outdoors space feels light and welcoming and, because the tiles have this fluidity to them in that area, free in a way that really motivated me to find a way up and out of the dungeon. This works extremely well in combination with the weightiness of the flightless bird, who became an increasingly sympathetic character the more I played. Really great work here.

SkullPixel says ...
Apr 18, 2016 @ 2:49am

Really cool graphics, albeit the headache. Either way it's a great idea, and is sure to hit the leaderboards in some category. :D

sez says ...
Apr 18, 2016 @ 2:51am

Very cool effect! I would have love a stand alone download as it felt a bit sluggish to play (could be my browser). Well done!

torcado says ...
Apr 18, 2016 @ 3:11am

WOW thanks for all the amazing comments!! Im so glad you all like it!
@sez the standalone download is in the source! You could also try a different browser

ORECROS says ...
Apr 18, 2016 @ 4:33am

Superb graphics. The shapeshifting effect makes my head hurt a bit, but makes the platforming more engaging? I feel like a different shader that accomplishes the same thing without being hard on the eyes would be really cool

also yes that was loss

torcado says ...
Apr 18, 2016 @ 4:55am

@ORECROS thanks for the feedback! I can see the headache issue, if i work on this in the future ill definitely address that!
and great I cant escape this meme hell

stephenhaney says ...
Apr 18, 2016 @ 5:26am

Awesome visual style! Really love it. I also found the effect a bit nauseating at first but it looks so cool and eventually I got over it. It's begging for some awesome sound to complete the package! Great job.

Madball says ...
Apr 18, 2016 @ 1:06pm

I had no idea what am I doing for the entire game. I can understand that I need these flight and dash abilities, but what about switches? Powerups help me overcome obstacles that I couldn't go through before, but switches help me overcome... walls, I guess? It would be way better if you showed an inaccessible path first, and then said that a switch had opened it. Now it's just "Something changed outside" - "Oh great I have no idea what used to be outside anyway but OK I'll go there"

Other than that and slopes eating my jumps, it's an absolutely beautiful game that's very atmospheric even without the music.

Robber says ...
Apr 18, 2016 @ 2:19pm

graphics are really great, the little birdy is such a cool character, i want to save it from these dungeons, unfortunately i got stuck on I think the fifth screen

Hempuli says ...
Apr 18, 2016 @ 8:15pm

Extremely pretty! Also I love metroidvaniaish platformers so this was perfect for me, despite the slight collision bugs here and there. Great work!

Apr 19, 2016 @ 12:38am

I don't like castlevania birds.. but this is a metroidvania bird so it's all good. That visual effect is indeed very cool.. not sure if I like it :P. All in all I enjoyed the game! Nice entry!

Wisedawn says ...
Apr 19, 2016 @ 2:19am

Dazzling graphics and really fun gameplay!

thristhart says ...
Apr 19, 2016 @ 3:36am

I really love the way you contrasted above ground vs under ground w/ the prism colors. Pretty! I found the actual platforming a bit too challenging for my tastes, but I still played through and beat it.

torcado says ...
Apr 19, 2016 @ 4:40am

@thristhart thanks a lot for playing!
glad you all like it

pirate_shell says ...
Apr 19, 2016 @ 8:54am

The graphics style I think really added to the game. I enjoyed it and I also liked how it played a role in the mechanics as well, making some relatively simple platforming a lot trickier. Music or sound would have been nice, but I don't think they are mandatory. It was quite a loose interpretation of the theme, however, but I can't really fault what is otherwise a supereb entry on that.

Ayawaska says ...
Apr 19, 2016 @ 12:48pm

Great mood and visual effect!
Flying is quite hard to master. ;)
FYI Encountered some lag when moving.

aCoupleGames says ...
Apr 19, 2016 @ 10:12pm

Graphics are neat, control are super good. You could have used the "shapeshifting effect" to make game more difficult instead of just placing more spikes. Besides the difficult, I loved the game.

dusho says ...
Apr 20, 2016 @ 6:15am

ah.. I hate spikes
nice gfx

EpiFouloux says ...
Apr 20, 2016 @ 10:18am

really nice ! congrats !

IHateATMFees says ...
Apr 21, 2016 @ 1:51am

the graphic is cool, although i feel a little dizzy after playing! great death animation.

Avant-Marde says ...
Apr 21, 2016 @ 11:21am

Nice game! Second favourite so far, I think.

Horribly difficult! I commented on the last game I rated, Chrysalide (play it!), that it felt a bit like Flem (a game one of our team participants worked on, but which I didn't have anything to do with, so I'm OK with mentioning it!). Required some terrifying precision sometimes, and not least a lot of patience after failing so many times.

I was thinking I had to get to the shapeshifting before feeling entitled to rate the game, since I couldn't give it a fair theme voting otherwise. So I kept marching on, failing countless times, in search of the upgrade that would finally let me shapeshift. But I suddenly reached the end of the game.

Didn't realise until I read the comment that your take on the theme was having the world, rather than the character, shapeshift! I can't believe it! How did I not think consciously about that even tho I was well aware of it, since it was what allowed me to progress? Really shows how biased I've gotten so far, expecting it to always be the character shapeshifting.

So that was just a cognitive mistake on my behalf, and of course you followed the theme well. Good thing I saw this before rating. c':

While the fog of war / filter effect on the game is technically interesting and a great feat to have pulled off, I cannot honestly say that I actually enjoyed it artistically nor mechanically. It was kind of annoying. Minor nitpick.

Was there supposed to be any audio? I didn't hear a thing. I see you recommended FF, so maybe that was it, tho the pixels appeared crisp in Chrome for me. However, since I see now that you have disabled the audio category, I guess you really did have no sound. Too bad, but I can see how it allowed you to focus more on the rest. It amazes me how much content you managed to cram in there in so little time.

Great game! Made you feel happy about yourself once you finally cleared that hellishly difficult section. I just hope it didn't make too many players give up too early.

I'm also personally not physically very good at button mashing fast, which is why I always lose in some minigames in Pokémon Stadium (N64) and can't win the races in Banjo-Tooie, so the flappy birding was a bit difficult for me at first, but obviously I finished the game, so yay!

PixlWalkr says ...
Apr 21, 2016 @ 11:35am

Cool game with nice graphics and effect!

mitkus says ...
Apr 21, 2016 @ 2:31pm

I love everything about this, but especially the atmosphere.

torcado says ...
Apr 21, 2016 @ 5:11pm

@Avant-Marde thank you for such a long comment! Yes, the shapeshifting is based on the world not the character, both in the visuals and with terrain changing to allow you to access more locations.
I'm glad you beat it, even though you found it 'horribly difficult' haha. I hope its not as difficult to others
And thanks for the info on Chrome with the pixels, i never tested on a different computer so i didn't know if it was just on my end.

Thanks everyone else for the very nice comments!

jordgubben says ...
Apr 21, 2016 @ 5:33pm

The mosaic graphic effect is unique, but I especially like the bird. Sound would have done a lot for this game.

mrStrings says ...
Apr 21, 2016 @ 7:14pm

Hey! Loved your game, and the fact that you were able to develop a Metroidvania-style game with a lot of personality and style for this LD.

I find the filter a good idea, even though it sometimes feels is a little bit forced to fit the shapeshifting theme. Limiting your field of view is an interesting aspect because it makes the world bigger and more mysterious.

The controls are mostly tight, probably the best platformer physics I have seem so far. However, the slope eating the jumps thing someone mentioned is real, and you should really improve this by adding some degree of tolerance to fit player's reactions.
And since you created a REALLY difficult game, it's REALLY important to have this aspects handled pretty consistently to avoid frustrations.

But seriously, congratulations for your game.

Oh, and just in case you are interested, our entry is in my teammate's account: you can play WolfBit here:

torcado says ...
Apr 21, 2016 @ 7:34pm

@mrStrings thank you! yes i actually fixed the slopes tolerance 2 days after the compo, i just never uploaded that version. ill probably do that now because i dont see a reason not to (it'll be a different link, dont worry)
And i played and rated wolfbit before this comment. cool game

Apr 21, 2016 @ 8:41pm

I really love the camera effect, and the dropped feathers when you die

LOSTALLOY says ...
Apr 22, 2016 @ 5:31am

As Avant-Marde, I was going to quickly judge as it not being completely theme-related, until I saw other comments. Maybe it's because I've already played too much. Having said that, I really like the take on the theme, albeit I didn't manage to get to the end because I couldn't get past some spikes.
It will be awesome with some sounds/music!

StMatn says ...
Apr 22, 2016 @ 6:25pm

Nice game.
Tbh idk if I like the graphics... I think the art is beautiful, but the effects with the tiling makes it hard to predict, where to land. Please don't take this to serious, because it's a question of personal taste, but from a programmers perspective it looks a bit like a messed up tiling algorithm. After rereading the description I corrected my ratings upward, but at first glance I was a bit confused.
The gameplay is really nice! Some spots are hard to pass, but I like that. Also I like, that you get more abilities as you progress :)
Nice work!

torcado says ...
Apr 22, 2016 @ 9:24pm

@StMatn thanks for the feedback! That was part of the reason why i made the 'sight radius' bigger outside, because those areas tend to be bigger and need more foresight. it also fit aesthetically

Peperbol says ...
Apr 23, 2016 @ 4:05pm

<3 graphics

pjimmy says ...
Apr 23, 2016 @ 5:39pm

Awesome visuals, cool game

mukult says ...
Apr 23, 2016 @ 6:43pm

Nice art style! should have had some kind of music though...felt a little disconnected because of that.

fin_nolimit says ...
Apr 23, 2016 @ 10:25pm

The art in this game is brilliant!! Fantastic job!! The death sprites made me laugh though... poor bird!!!

Larzan says ...
Apr 23, 2016 @ 10:32pm

Nice game, i love the 'feathers falling' effect when you fail :)

CoderJoe says ...
Apr 23, 2016 @ 11:10pm

Nice use of shaders (Im assuming thats what does the effects). Great graphics. Bit laggy though.

AnaGF says ...
Apr 23, 2016 @ 11:17pm

Graphics are amazing. Game was a bit hard (or maybe I am too noob) but I was trying again and again just to see what was next. Nice one.

puppetmaster says ...
Apr 23, 2016 @ 11:24pm

Cool dead effect :-)
Audio would help a lot to make it even a more greater game!
Keep up the good work!

Gamepopper says ...
Apr 23, 2016 @ 11:47pm

That visual effect on the level looks really amazing, makes the game really stand out!

studdert249 says ...
Apr 24, 2016 @ 12:03am

Nice little platformer, especially liked the triangle effect and the little death animation.

torcado says ...
Apr 24, 2016 @ 12:12am

thanks everyone!
@CoderJoe its actually not a shader, but an array of sprites! If you're experiencing lag try the post-compo version if you werent.

tgrehawi says ...
Apr 24, 2016 @ 12:21am

I love the vision effect! Great little game

Apr 24, 2016 @ 12:31am

That prism shifting effect is really nicely done. Liked the way it helped set the mood and distinguish the game. Also liked the overall design and just wish there had been some music or sound but always hard to get everything done in such a short amount of time.

ChuiGum says ...
Apr 24, 2016 @ 12:39am

Loved that triangle vision effect! Great game too, although it got pretty hard after unlocking the flight. Well done! :)

SHLFStudios says ...
Apr 24, 2016 @ 12:49am

Couldn't get myself to play to deep into the game because i died a lot with spikes and the load times are loooong. But i had no idea you can make something that cool looking using Stencyl

Beavl says ...
Apr 24, 2016 @ 12:50am

Animations are really well done. The metroidvania elements are well integrated in the pace of the game. AMAZING entry. Congrats!

SHLFStudios says ...
Apr 24, 2016 @ 12:50am

Couldn't get myself to play to deep into the game because i died a lot with spikes and the load times are loooong. But i had no idea you can make something that cool looking using Stencyl

Beavl says ...
Apr 24, 2016 @ 12:51am

Animations are really well done. The metroidvania elements are well integrated in the pace of the game. AMAZING entry. Congrats!

Khaoz_Fang says ...
Apr 24, 2016 @ 4:16am

Nice game. I like the presentation of lighting, it is really special.

PowerSpark says ...
Apr 24, 2016 @ 4:54am

Great design in this, reminds me of cave story !

aeveis says ...
Apr 24, 2016 @ 5:02am

Liked the fx triangle-vignetting thing! also cute bird!

I think it was pretty good, just some platform-y thing that could be polished.
-making it more clear you can only dash once after you jump. Maybe some feedback (some cooldown particles or something, maybe dust clearing after a dash, so you know there's at least a delay).
-The flapping was a bit tedious to keep tapping, maybe if I could just hold it (I guess more like gliding?). you could also extend it so gliding is one thing and flapping is another thing.

It could also be cool to see the world changing, but I did like how the vignetting made it more mysterious.

torcado says ...
Apr 24, 2016 @ 6:15am

@aeveis oooh these are really good ideas!! ill keep these in mind when i continue the project later on. And yeah i can see how the flapping would be tedious, i may concider letting players hold the button. as for seeing the world change, i originally planned for that but it would be very difficult to make, and also probably impossible if the change happened in a different level.

Hectigo says ...
Apr 24, 2016 @ 6:31am

A solid entry, and the filter on the graphics is neat, but the game could use more polish. Just toning down the difficulty a tiny bit would make the game more enjoyable, like slightly increasing jump height and decreasing spike height. And if you make a hard game with retries, make sure that the delay between retries is minimal, not having to wait does wonders for keeping frustration in check.

Apr 24, 2016 @ 7:21am

a bit hard, but sooo beautiful! props

Crowbeak says ...
Apr 24, 2016 @ 8:11am

This isn't the first LD game I've seen in which the environment is what gets shape shifted, but it's sure the first I've seen where it's shifting shape constantly.

Apr 24, 2016 @ 9:00am

Nice game. I especially loved the unique graphics you used. Great entry overall!

Slothmachine says ...
Apr 24, 2016 @ 10:38am

Fantastic glitchy visual effect.

FistBumpGames says ...
Apr 24, 2016 @ 7:48pm

The look and feel of this is amazing! It feels so polished and well thought out, I am really impressed! I can't even solve the green hole stuff :S

Greetings, Bruz

Llucile says ...
Apr 25, 2016 @ 12:01am

This entry is really great ! One of the ones I loved the most so far. I absolutely like the way you managed to make the world shapeshift and turn it into a game mechanic !
Really good job :)

Freank says ...
Apr 25, 2016 @ 10:22am

Hi, nice game ! We're realizing a video with several games of the Ludum Dare #35.
Can you add your game on ? (it's free)
So we can include also your game in the video ;)
p.s. write #LDJAM in the game's description
p.p.s. this is the twitter game XD

CaptainPilot says ...
Apr 25, 2016 @ 1:36pm

Looks great but really picky platforming controls. Got frustrated after hitting the spikes one too many times. Give me a version that doesn't require pixel perfect jumps please

torcado says ...
Apr 25, 2016 @ 3:55pm

@CaptainPilot hm I'd like to know which places you are referring to. The tightest "jump" is probably 5 pixels at least, and that's just dashing through some spikes, not even a jump. The closest actual jump is not even around spikes, it's the first jump on the floating grass areas at the top right of the world.
But if you didn't, try the post-compo version which makes slopes easier to deal with

kaovhmf says ...
Apr 26, 2016 @ 5:47am

The game looks great! The lack of music is sadning but I get that one can't be omnipotent lol. Though the shader effect is what makes your game unique, it kinda makes it a lot more dificult to play and can bring some headaches eventualy.
The high dificulty and the quite long death animation makes the experience a bit frustrating but not more then the moments that you just dont know what to do.

scorched says ...
Apr 29, 2016 @ 10:45pm

That is funny! The death animation :D
Repeatedly pressing the Up key is too hardcore, I'd prefer holding it.

Nolocality says ...
Apr 30, 2016 @ 5:12pm

Sweet kaleidoscope effect there, also that's quite the test of dexterity after you get the ability to flap...always interesting to rewire your brain so you can flap with your middle finger while directing to the right with your ring finger.

torcado says ...
Apr 30, 2016 @ 5:48pm

@Nolocality yeah, right? I think its really interesting, trying to be able to rhythmically press one button while trying to navigate with 2 other buttons using the same hand. I think about that a lot and relate it to those launchpad players who can play separate parts of songs of the same hand and keep in beat.
But yeah i do realize that is very difficult to do for a lot of people so I'll probably look for a better solution in the future

starpixie says ...
May 1, 2016 @ 2:34am

Really pretty. Nice style.

Yword says ...
May 1, 2016 @ 10:49am

Very cool graphics and the level design is great too! Well done!

batmagus says ...
May 1, 2016 @ 12:12pm

Really interesting and unique visual effect. I like the non-linear level layout, also for some reason pushing the buttons made it feel a bit more like unlocking doors than reshaping the environment.

My only complaints are that it was a bit annoying that I had to press the up key repeatedly to hover instead of just holding it down, and the death animations were a bit slow for something with such a high level of difficulty. Overall, great work!

pixelpotions says ...
May 6, 2016 @ 2:57pm

Awesome game and graphics, though the graphical effect was a bit disorienting at times. Wish there was some music. Nonetheless amazing entry!

Yumeito says ...
May 6, 2016 @ 9:04pm

Nice little game :)

MestreRothWP says ...
May 6, 2016 @ 11:26pm

Great graphic effect! The game felt too punitive to me, with long sections needing to be replayed. Really like it, but didn't play after the "something changed outside". Congrats for the game!

thiagoaw says ...
May 7, 2016 @ 3:11pm

Congrats! good game and nice graphic effects :D

managore says ...
May 9, 2016 @ 3:46pm

This is such a beautiful effect, and it's fantastic seeing fun metroidvanias made for Ludum Dare! I'm glad to see the post-compo build fixes the load times, too!

NightShadow0 says ...
May 9, 2016 @ 4:12pm

The world effect is supper trippy, it does make it tough to spot the spikes sometimes but it looks really cool. I wish there was audio, would've helped the atmosphere immensely. Nice work!

torcado says ...
May 9, 2016 @ 4:30pm

@managore thank you very much! I'm glad you liked it!

May 10, 2016 @ 6:11am

The halo of fading graphics was an interesting touch. Think my main hangup was the way to control the glide. It might be easier if you just jump then hold the up arrow.

But otherwise I really liked the concept. It even got showcased in one of my LD35 videos.

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