Ludum Dare 36 — August 26th-29th, 2016 — Theme: Ancient Technology

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Ancient Technologies

by csanyk - Jam Entry

Assemble the ancient technology in order to unlock its secrets.


In the room, use the mouse to click on things.

Once the ancient technology is assembled, use a gamepad or arrow keys + space to play the game.

[Note for HTML5 players: There seems to be a glitch (at least in Chrome, not sure other browsers) where certain clickable objects in the room intermittently don't work because mouse events are being doubled for some reason. This does not appear to be an issue in the Windows builds, so for the best experience I recommend trying Windows if possible. If HTML5 is your only option, refreshing the page may help. I will try to release an updated build in the near future that gives a keyboard shortcut as a workaround.]


Programmed in GameMaker: Studio by csanyk

Audio was ripped from the Atari 2600 games Adventure, Asteroids, and Superman using Stella + Audacity by csanyk.


Living room background created in by csanyk.

Cute Girlfriend did the TV set and the cartridge using Adobe Illustrator; I converted the drawings to sprites using Illustrator, Paint.NET, and the GameMaker Sprite Editor.

Atari 2600 console graphic by AloneAgainstPixesl ripped from

Atari 2600 joystick graphic by DareDevilDillon of the defunct

Woodgrain from the title was the product of a Google Image Search.


To hook up the Atari 2600, it has to be plugged in, the tv has to be turned on, the cartridge has to be in the slot, and console has to be turned on. To be able to play the game, you need to plug in the joystick.

[post-submission improvements & fixes]

- Game's challenge level resets to 0 when game resets, inits, or kills.

- Asteroid max_speed nerfed (slightly).

- TV screen now all-black when game is on.

- TV Type switch now functional (this was a feature I dropped to make submission deadline, then added back in last minute). Now you can flip between playing in color and B&W!

- The flashing color text on the Title Screen now flashes in authentic Atari 2600 NTSC colors only!
Death animation

- Respawn bug -- it's supposed to wait until there's open space around the center so you spawn a little more safely. Instead, it was doing the opposite! Fixed!

-A few logical checks were added to prevent things that shouldn't be possible, like audio playing when the TV is off, etc.


- Fixed a memory leak caused by spawning an object without checking to see if it already exists, once per step, while the game is turned on but in game_over state.

[planned post-jam updates]

-working difficulty switches

-working game select switch

Downloads and Links


pogo575 says ...
Aug 29, 2016 @ 3:47am

Made me smile. A wonderful tribute. Any chance of adding more artifacts to the technology ? Man of pac perhaps?

rjhelms says ...
Aug 29, 2016 @ 4:20am

Well this takes me back - good fun. I'm impressed wit h the faithfulness of the Asteroids clone.

LoneSpelunker says ...
Aug 29, 2016 @ 4:40am

Got 8925. Not bad. Really recreated the feel of the 2600 rather well.

SamuelSousa says ...
Aug 29, 2016 @ 10:03am

Reached 4850! the feel very ancient... Not because of the Atari (which is nice). Because You have to plug in a the console and turn it on... That's like so... Ancient :)

brainybeard says ...
Aug 29, 2016 @ 11:36am

Ha yep this is how I remember it! Really nice job

csanyk says ...
Aug 29, 2016 @ 2:44pm

@pogo575: Thank you! I'd love to add more games to the room, but managing it all gets really complicated quickly. Just thinking about it makes my head swim. But yes, it's possible to implement other simulated games, probably would be best to do some refactoring first.

@SamuelSousa, you should try again -- you'll get an extra life at 5000 points! :-)

SamuelSousa says ...
Aug 29, 2016 @ 5:27pm

@csanyk I remember playing this in the arcade in "laundry stores".

csanyk says ...
Aug 30, 2016 @ 12:18am

Uploaded a bugfix version ahead of the Jam deadline, which includes a working TV Type switch, and tweaks a few things to further refine the play experience. There's now a death animation in the game, and some bugfixes in the console plug/unplug behavior.

cjames says ...
Aug 30, 2016 @ 2:07am

In-ter-estingg. Cool arcade style gameplay. Love the retro feel

Aug 30, 2016 @ 2:33am

Really cool :)

Now I want to play Ataray, but I'd rather play Dare. (stupid rhyme is stupid)

I found that it slowed down after I left the game open, so there may be a memory leak of some sort.

csanyk says ...
Aug 30, 2016 @ 2:46am

@TerraCottaFrog Thanks for confirming... I suspected so after playing the HTML5 version for a few minutes. It seems to go away if you hit "R" (to restart the room). I'm not sure where the problem might be, but I'll keep trying to find it.

csanyk says ...
Aug 30, 2016 @ 3:28am

@TerraCottaFrog latest build fixes the memory leak. Thanks again:)

Aug 30, 2016 @ 3:51am

@csanyk No problem. I'll give it another play when I can :)

mooncalf says ...
Aug 31, 2016 @ 2:53am

Great entry. I was secretly hoping to have to figure out how to change it to channel 3. I would love to see more puzzles to get the game on.

gonutz says ...
Aug 31, 2016 @ 6:12am

This is awesome!

csanyk says ...
Aug 31, 2016 @ 10:28am

@mooncalf Channel 3/4 was a feature I had wanted to include, but had to drop due to time... perhaps in a post-deadline build, it'll become a reality:)

Aug 31, 2016 @ 1:35pm

Great idea and realisation!

I think it was difficult to start the main game for all the youngsters out there :-)

As Atari-fanboy (go home Amiga! ;) ) from the very beginning, I really appreciate your entry - all those memories... So I'm a bit picky and miss a working b/w-button. And why are there 6 buttons instead of 4?

Anyway, really a nice game!

Aug 31, 2016 @ 1:40pm

Ok my fault, there was a version with 6 buttons. now I even learned something from your game - amazing! ;-)

mennchen22 says ...
Aug 31, 2016 @ 4:32pm

Nice concept with the start setup. :) Liked it !

Aug 31, 2016 @ 7:32pm

Awesome game, i love the idea!!

Danae123 says ...
Aug 31, 2016 @ 9:25pm

Ah good old times. Thanks for making me feel ancient :D

bentglasstube says ...
Sep 1, 2016 @ 3:38am

Amazing concept and the asteroids game is pretty fun too.

brookzerker says ...
Sep 1, 2016 @ 4:54am

I loved the graphics, it felt very authentic and I was able to play using Chrome on my Mac with no problem.

The only bug that I found was that the music continued after I unplugged the power from the game while it was on. Other than that it played really well. Great job!

thomz12 says ...
Sep 1, 2016 @ 7:17am

Very creative startup! I liked the astroids game too! Great job!

csanyk says ...
Sep 1, 2016 @ 11:35am

@brookzerker thanks for the bug report... I thought I had taken care of that one already. I'll re-check.

csanyk says ...
Sep 1, 2016 @ 2:15pm

Unplug doesn't kill game bug fixed in

Sep 1, 2016 @ 2:56pm

Haha, it's pretty funny ) I bet not every child can make this system work nowadays )

csanyk says ...
Sep 1, 2016 @ 6:05pm

@facelesstheone that was the idea. i wanted to recreate that experience so future generations could see how we did it back in ancient times.

Smiley says ...
Sep 1, 2016 @ 8:47pm

nice recreation of Asteriods. I hated that game as a kid on the C64 and I remember why now ;) nicely done :)

GamerJenn says ...
Sep 2, 2016 @ 1:41am

Very cool game! I played the HTML5 version and didn't have any issues connecting the parts but I wasn't able to control the Asteroids game when it started.

Sep 2, 2016 @ 10:40am

You don't know how many memories this game has brought to me. Thanks for this game, and the other "game" that started asteroids :D.

The only thing that bugged me was on the console: guessing the purpose of the buttons was hard...

csanyk says ...
Sep 2, 2016 @ 9:25pm

@GamerJenn did you plug in the joystick?

A.W. Apps says ...
Sep 3, 2016 @ 12:08am

This is a pretty good spin on theme. Not only is it Asteroids but, you also have to set everything thing up like you were physical there.

Roland M says ...
Sep 4, 2016 @ 12:31am

Nice work mate! I like the fact that you can interact with the console! ;]

wilsk says ...
Sep 4, 2016 @ 8:03am

Nice work... playing a game where you have to plug in a game console to play a game..."game game simulator"?

rodobodolfo says ...
Sep 6, 2016 @ 2:51am

Ahh the memories... Thanks man.

Peringo says ...
Sep 11, 2016 @ 11:24am

Nice game I love it how you have to plug in the controller and start the TV so you can start playing the real game! I also liked the music it kind of remembered me of the game Pony Island :D Good job!

pyokoanarogue says ...
Sep 12, 2016 @ 3:21pm

Really nice game. immersive, simple and overall awesome.

BMacIntosh says ...
Sep 12, 2016 @ 4:18pm

I like this interpretation of ancient :P. Solid asteroids game, and the sequence at the beginning is fun and clean. I think it gave me infinite lives instead of 1 life when I hit 5000 (though it only displayed 9, I stopped losing any) (HTML5 version).

csanyk says ...
Sep 12, 2016 @ 6:39pm

@BMacIntosh thanks for the bug report... I've seen that behavior as well, but haven't looked into it yet as I've been travelling on vacation and generally busy. Enjoy the free infinite lives! :)

Quicklyer says ...
Sep 13, 2016 @ 4:26am

Love how you designed the full experience. As someone who never owned an Atari it was pretty neat to push the buttons to see what happens.

Very authentic feel to the game itself too, and right on with the theme. Really great job all around.

jeremyfa says ...
Sep 13, 2016 @ 11:45am

Good idea!

It really reminds me of setting up these very old game consoles :). That means the experience is working!

I honestly think the most interesting part of the game is this "set up" part. In my opinion you could go much further with this idea, like "level 1: set up an atari console", then "level 2: set up an old nintendo but you need to plug it with an adapter to make it work with your grand mother TV", it gets harder and more complex at each level etc...

ajayajayaj says ...
Sep 13, 2016 @ 12:49pm

Really cool!

MHaton says ...
Sep 15, 2016 @ 9:27am

Neat :D The setup is more interesting than the game itself (obviously, that's the point), it's conceptually awesome and I like your interpretation of the theme

Peni6 says ...
Sep 15, 2016 @ 9:08pm

Short but very sweet, obviously the game itself isn't yours, but something about plugging it all in was good fun

quadtree says ...
Sep 17, 2016 @ 11:54pm

Interesting concept, nice retro feel.

I did encounter one odd thing though, halfway through the game all sound was replaced with a high-pitch whistle. Even "unplugging" the console had no effect. I'm not sure if it's a bug or if it was some kind of fire alarm easter egg.

csanyk says ...
Sep 18, 2016 @ 12:47am

@quadtree, I've seen some audio glitches, particularly in html5 builds. I think it's a problem with the engine or the platform it's running on top of, not something that I can fix, unfortunately.

joe40001 says ...
Sep 18, 2016 @ 11:12pm

Clever take on the theme. I like what you did. For some reason it was very slow for me (the game itself) but most others didn't have this problem so I assume it's my computer. Not much to say aside from that it was a cool idea executed well. Good job!

Score: (because I like scores)
Overall 4/5
Innovation 4/5
Fun 3/5
Theme 4/5
Graphics 4/5
Audio 3/5
Humor 4/5
Mood 4/5

csanyk says ...
Sep 18, 2016 @ 11:39pm

Thanks to everyone who played and rated my game!

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