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

Back to Browse Entries


by darthbox1 - Jam Entry

Explore a mansion as you investigate the disappearance of the owner, collecting ancient and bizarre artifacts that unleash swarms of alien enemies. You can hide from them by holding W, and A and D are left and right. Holding down while on stairs will enable you to fall through them. When you have picked up a gun, shoot by holding shift and clicking the left mouse button while aiming with the mouse. Walking towards a door and pressing space will open it, providing you have a key. Keys will open any door but are consumed.
Survive, and bring all the artifacts to the eldritch Device in the basement and see what the future has in store...will you find out what happened to the owner, or follow him to his fate?

This game has numerous flaws, for example, i should've used Spriter rather than animating with paint and Game Maker's inbuilt sprite system. There are no particle effects as i'd planned due to time running out, and sound effects are functional. I went for something weird and alien as a theme...i suggest not listening at full volume as it may be loud. I also didn't manage to get the scrolling backgrounds for the main level! hope you like purple :P

I am still relatively happy, and with a couple more sessions, it could even be pretty good...keep in mind this is my very first time finishing a game from scratch, and my first LD, so i hope you enjoy it for what it is!
Constructive criticism and suggestions are welcome, and i hope you all had fun!

Edit: just added the crucial info that you have to click the left mouse button while holding shift to shoot, and aim at the enemies. Sorry about that!

Edit: Also, rather than clicking the medicine pack in the inventory to recover, you can also hit H if you're carrying one. I will add a shortcut key for the ammo loading as well. To be nice, i made it so you can only pick up ammo clips and medicine packs if your inventory slot is empty, so you don't waste them by walking over them

Change log:
Fixed a bug with the inventory that caused a crash

Downloads and Links


Damdoshi says ...
Aug 31, 2016 @ 12:29pm

Well. It is nice, we can play, there is challenge, there is space to explore and enemies. Graphics are the minimum, but they are enough to enjoy the game.

Let bullets going throught stairs would make it a little more easier.
I do not know if it is normal, but I was hit by a monster one time and almost all my live went away. So, the second time, I was dead.

darthbox1 says ...
Aug 31, 2016 @ 1:50pm

Hi Damdoshi, thanks for trying out the game and taking time to comment! I am glad you enjoyed it :)
Yes...the graphics will be improved as i continue to work on this. One of many things i hope to improve!
Bullets going through stairs, that is a good suggestion. I didn't catch that when testing, so i forgot about the possibility.
As to enemy damage, apart from tweaking their damage, hp and speed, i ran out of time to do more interesting yes, you must've run into the 3rd enemy type which does 4 blood vials of damage!(which you can find first, as i made it so you could get the artifacts in any order, so i may tweak that too...the hardest enemies coming first is a little mean). i will also probably make it so you can get new vials, somewhat Zelda style, so those hits are less bothersome in future encounters (i want to add more levels to round this out, the mansion being the hub).
I am going to try your submission out asap.

Mottafier says ...
Sep 2, 2016 @ 10:42pm

So, I collected some blue thing, and then the game crashed... I don't think that was the end though, was it? Also, I like how you can open any door as long as you have a key, and no matter which doors you open you will always be able to get more keys to progress :P (At least I think that's how it works)

darthbox1 says ...
Sep 3, 2016 @ 5:08am

Hmm I will have to try to replicate that and see if I can fix it, sorry about that.

Ebriosus says ...
Sep 5, 2016 @ 2:50am

I like exploration puzzle games like this. This game reminds me of Chip's Challenge for some reason.

I do have to say, the controls and the explanations of it need some work. The WASD scheme controls I could easily figure out, but everything else was pretty cryptic. I had to press the R key to show a note that tells me what I've already figured out. The note doesn't tell me other important and basic controls though, like once I have a key, I have to be walking against the door before pressing Space to unlock and open it; or I have to hold down Shift to pull out the gun and use the left mouse button to fire it. There's also weird glitches, such as randomly getting teleported into a nearby wall or the floor.

If you ever decide to polish up the game in the future, I think the explanation of the controls - and maybe even revamping it - would be an awesome place to start.

Everything else about the game, like the atmosphere and the monsters, I really liked. Keep it up!

darthbox1 says ...
Sep 5, 2016 @ 8:33am

Thanks for the excellent comments and suggestions, and I'm glad you enjoyed it despite cryptic controls! The R key was part of a hint + story system i was indeed hoping to include via picked up diary pages but didn't have time. I included all the instructions in the description here, but really wish I'd had time to put them into the game at the start. I'll take your suggestions on board, that's definitely priority. I'm hoping to put a little time in this week to sort out the issues and make it a bit nicer.
Glad you liked the atmosphere and monsters and stuff :D

I'm sorry mate, i wasn't able to replicate your there any more detail you can give me, ie any other things in your inventory, any actions performed at the time, version of Windows etc?

yoel1234 says ...
Sep 5, 2016 @ 2:46pm

seemd awsome bu got this error:
action number 1
of Mouse Event for Glob Left Button
for object obj_inventory:

Variable obj_inventory.obj_player(100034, -2147483648) not set before reading it.
at gml_Object_obj_inventory_Mouse_50

maybe try to make flash or html5 games?
ill try to replay it.

yoel1234 says ...
Sep 5, 2016 @ 2:53pm

played again,i liked the enemy art,got the same error and game crushed, i didnt like the keys and dead ends.
also couldnt figure out how to shot.
felt lovecraftian.

also the stairs mechanic, ther must be a way to do it better.maybe press up to go on the stairs?

darthbox1 says ...
Sep 5, 2016 @ 3:14pm

Hey @Yoel, sorry about the error, what action did you perform before that happened? I will have a dig.
there will be fewer empty dead ends when i revisit this, as there are more items i want to put in. I did sort of intend it to be a little hard to find everything...when i am testing i often have to backtrack myself least it isn't a huge level! with some background art, this may be easier to navigate...
Lovecraftian feel definitely intended, glad you noticed it.
Stairs mechanic...definitely something i'd like to improve.
Thanks for your comments and suggestions! I'll download your game and comment as well.

darthbox1 says ...
Sep 5, 2016 @ 3:16pm'd help to actually tag your ACTUAL user name: @yoel1234
Sorry haha
i missed your point on shooting: i did put a longwinded thing in the description. Hold shift, and then aim with the mouse and shoot with the left mouse button.

darthbox1 says ...
Sep 7, 2016 @ 8:21am

@yoel1234 i believe i have sorted out the issue you found.

yoel1234 says ...
Sep 7, 2016 @ 9:01am

it happend when i clicked the inventory, i think its a game maker bug, you shod use a normal scripting languge with oop.

about shooting i tried it didnt work sorry.

Lovecraft ruls!

you dont need to donload my game its an online game:

yoel1234 says ...
Sep 7, 2016 @ 9:01am


darthbox1 says ...
Sep 7, 2016 @ 10:51am

@yoel1234 nah it was my own error, i misnamed a variable. fixed and i re-deployed it.
shooting is strange. if you have found the gun, hold shift and click where you want to shoot with the mouse, it works ok for me?

i like GMS, but it's likely my next LD submission will be using a different method, as i like to keep things fresh, and will be learning things in University that i can hopefully apply next time.

darthbox1 says ...
Sep 7, 2016 @ 10:51am

I'm a big Lovecraft fan myself :)
And I have tried your game and was awesome!

Sep 7, 2016 @ 9:04pm

The horror mood is awesome. It's really good for a first LD game, but next time, just add also the arrows as a controls for europeans who don't have a QWERTY layout.

yoel1234 says ...
Sep 7, 2016 @ 10:09pm


yoel1234 says ...
Sep 7, 2016 @ 10:10pm

oh the logo dang thats a fine logo, reminds me of black thorn and other old commercial games.

darthbox1 says ...
Sep 7, 2016 @ 10:32pm

@Matthieu Muller
Thanks so much for the comments. That is an excellent idea...I will do that next time.

Thanks! It wasn't a conscious thing for the logo but actually blackthorn was a huge favourite of mine, and I did borrow the hiding mechanic from that game lol

Capt Nemo says ...
Sep 8, 2016 @ 12:37am

Cool concept. I really like the enemies, especially the green dudes, they were spookin me.

aside from the enemies, the visuals are obviously lacking, but thats fine(im a programmer)

I really like that you have to stand still to shoot, and that bullets stun enemies. Im not sure, because the game crashed when i got the third relic, but i think there is a lack of ammo. There is no jump so less ammo might be a problem.

the stair mechanic is kinda cool in of itself, controlling where you land and timing stairclimbing to avoid baddies is fun.

the biggest problem i have is the lack of showing the player how to play. I ended up just pressing random buttons to figure it out (and that might be good because it adds to the spook) "HOW DO I SHOOT AAAAAH"

Overall, im spooked. Good spooking!

nihilaleph says ...
Sep 8, 2016 @ 1:25am

Great mood! Enemies designs are nice~ The walking cycle was a bit weird though, and when I shot behind me the character would stay in the same position, but details...
I had no problems with crash, but I did hear some Windows sound when getting a medpack xp

Anyway great job!

nihilaleph says ...
Sep 8, 2016 @ 1:28am

PS: Congratz for you first LD and welcome!!~

darthbox1 says ...
Sep 8, 2016 @ 7:57am

@Capt Nemo
Thanks for your comments and I'm glad you enjoyed it! i do plan on adding more/better graphics and mechanics soon.
Which colour relic did you get? Someone else had a crash after the blue one. I actually did once as well, but i wasn't able to track down the cause.
I was thinking survival horror, so the ammo may be a bit on the sparse side.
Glad the stairs worked for you well...i also found a cool side effect of how they work is enemies occasionally dropping towards you lol, that can be a bit surprising!

As for showing the player how to play...that is priority for the next iteration. I have a system in mind, but not quite figured it out yet. if you randomly hit R, you would have seen the embryonic form lol.

Glad you enjoyed the spooking :D Am hoping in the next week or two to revisit and make this a better experience. I will play your game asap and comment there too.

Thanks for the comments! The walking cycle will be made better as soon as I can. I tried animating with paint and GMS' built in sprite editor. That works for some things, but for others you need actual skill or something like Spriter or I guess Spine.

LOL, yes, shooting behind...I must change that XD

Funny about the Windows sound...I thought I fixed that on the version I just pushed out. Will need to make sure I uploaded the right version.

I will play your game asap and comment!

Thanks for the welcome and congrats, I had so much fun...I will definitely do this again!

joe40001 says ...
Sep 19, 2016 @ 9:48am

I played the game to completion. Fun little game, audio was a bit annoying exploring was kinda fun though, and some of the art assets were good. Overall good job, the game played as intended. :)

Score: (because I like scores)
Overall 3/5
Innovation 2/5
Fun 2/5
Theme 3/5
Graphics 3/5
Audio 2/5
Humor 0/5
Mood 3/5

darthbox1 says ...
Sep 26, 2016 @ 9:12am

Thanks for the kind words! Sorry i didn't get a chance due to being rather busy to play your game, but i did download it.
I fully intend on taking people's helpful suggestions into account and polishing up my little game and adding some stuff to it to make it better, so if anyone is interested, they might be able to find a better version on here if i am able to update again.

You must sign in to comment.

Mini Submission FAQ

TEAMS: Teams entering the Jam should pick a single representative to submit your game, or create a team specific account you can share. We currently do not support Team Voting, but sharing an account and together playing and rating games is acceptable.

CAN I ENTER BOTH EVENTS?: You should pick 1 event, whichever you think it’ll do better in. If the idea is strong, and everything plays well enough, you can go Compo. If you’re a perfectionist, and would prefer people to play a more polished game, do the Jam. Many solo participants enter the Jam.

If you made 2 games, unfortunately, the website doesn’t support multiple submissions per user. To submit your 2nd game, you will have to make a 2nd account. Only do this if you made 2 games. Alternatively, if one game is better than the other, then consider just entering the better game.

CAN I KEEP WORKING UNTIL THE DEADLINE?: Yes! Immediately after the 48 or 72 hours, we do something called Submission Hour. As the name suggests, it’s an extra hour for you to package, upload, and submit your games. If there were catastrophic issues trying submitting your game, or you misunderstood how submissions work, that’s okay. It happens. We’re flexible. If you need advice, check with the folks on IRC. If you need an admin, get in touch.

CAN I KEEP WORKING ON MY GAME?: Oh definitely! You should! But for the sake of judging, keep the Compo or Jam version around. You can include a link to the Post-Compo/Post-Jam version of your game on your games page, but sure your main links are the original version.

PORTS: Ports to other platforms can be done after the deadline. That said, the sooner you finish your port, the sooner people can play your game, improving your chances of placing in the final results. For best results, provide a Web version of your game, or a Windows version with no dependencies. Also be sure to rate at least 20 games to improve your visibility (Coolness).

MY GAME CRASHES, IS UNBEATABLE, OR I MADE A TYPO: We allow you to fix crashes, win condition, or tiny bugs after the deadline. In a sense, this is like “porting” to support more players. We leave this open to interpretation, but generally speaking your game should be identical to the game you submitted. No new features, just fixing mistakes you should have caught had you been better rested.

MY GAME DOESN’T SHOW UP: If you can’t find your game, it’s usually because the URL to your downloads are missing ‘http://‘. Fix your URLs ( and you will show up. Alternatively, if you just posted it, wait a minute. The cache may not have refreshed yet.

NOT LOGGED IN?: If you get a message about not being logged in, even though you are, it’s because your web browser cached the non-logged in page. You can fix this by either refreshing your cache or clearing your cache. CTRL+F5 in many browsers. Chrome is a bit more work. Press F12 to enable Developer Mode, then you can right click on the refresh button and select “Empty Cache and Hard Reload”. This option is unavailable if you are not in Developer Mode.

[cache: storing page]