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

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R. Lastey, archaeologist

by Aurel Bílý - Jam Entry

=== R. Lastey, archaeologist ===
A renowned archaeologist (and nothing else) inherits a family estate with an ancient temple.
Explore, decipher, solve puzzles, play games, discover the secret of the Lastey estate!

= Controls =

= Notes =
- the journal has hints, if you are absolutely stuck

Downloads and Links


Aug 29, 2016 @ 11:50am

Wow, how did you managed to make this game for 48 hours? ) So much content in there.

Aurel Bílý says ...
Aug 29, 2016 @ 6:16pm

@facelesstheone Thanks :) But wait until tonight, still working on the Jam version!

Devark says ...
Aug 30, 2016 @ 1:29am

Love the design and artwork, this is a charming little game!

Crashtester says ...
Aug 30, 2016 @ 1:37am

Nice game. Love the artwork.

fenwick says ...
Aug 30, 2016 @ 2:08am

Excellent style on this one, and the whole game has a very good mood to it. I can't get past level 4 though :(, kinda feeling stupid.

monchang says ...
Aug 30, 2016 @ 2:21am

Amazing art and style. In terms of game play, some things could have been tweaked. I think the dusting minigame is quite tedious mostly because you had to click each single time (I really wanted to drag the sweeper across the screen).

MatoMiku says ...
Aug 30, 2016 @ 3:24am

I love the idea and art of this game! It's a lot of fun too c:

toadheart says ...
Aug 30, 2016 @ 7:30am

Great art, great game! The chess puzzles are surprisingly deep, but the difficulty curve from the first to the second may be a little steep. The second one had be captivated trying to solve it for 10 minutes though, great job!

Vaiaphraim says ...
Aug 31, 2016 @ 10:29am

R. Lastey provides a lot of different minigames with variable difficulty. The artwork was great(!), the music loop and the 8-bit style fits the aesthetics really well, but gets a bit annoying over time, due to the constant high pitch bleeps.

The puzzles to the end are getting easier over time, but the second light-chess challenge felt like the hardest of the game.

Light-chess in general was rather hard (it took me a while to figure out that the light ray was actually interrupted by the pieces standing there)

The vines were okay, I guess, the undusting process was a bit tedious (especially, if you didn't undust enough, and had to switch back and forth between magnifying glass and the brush)

The spider invaders were a fun change, but could need a bit of polishing - like reducing the fire rate of the "fortunately knife" (lucky knife?). The level was unexpected and made me smile, but sadly didn't really provide any challenge whatsoever.

The sequencer was a cool idea, but I didn't really recognize the melody (even if the reveal at the end made me to go back and double check... it *could* have been a great laugh for sure!)

If I pick a favorite, it's definitely the deciphering challenge. From a design perspective, the idea of "putting everything together" was really great, but I didn't really notice any progress from finding pictograms or letters.

Great job on the variations of puzzled, great job on the art! I'd really enjoy a bit more polishing of the seperate challenges, rather than having a lot of them, but still, it's a jam entry with more content than most others - well done!

Aurel Bílý says ...
Aug 31, 2016 @ 5:27pm

@Devark, @Crashtester, @MatoMiku Thanks :)

@fenwick, @toadheart Sorry :v To be fair, there was a very steep difference between the difficulty of the first lightchess and the second one. It was either music or more puzzles, and I chose music for once.

@monchang I can see your point. With an actual mouse I sort of enjoyed the dusting, and the effect seemed pretty enough, so I didn't tweak it much. I realise now that it's probably impractical for trackpad users. And anyway, the original concept was quite different – with the dusting and reading being 'casual', as in, everyone will finish it sooner or later, but with a rating system based on how accurate and fast you were. Sort of like Cooking mama, I think? (never actually played it :D)

@Vaiaphraim Good points, of course. With this game, being unrated and jam and all, I didn't go for seriousness and coherence and all that (obviously), so there's plenty of silly ideas mixed with an assortment of vaguely puzzle-ish minigames (I really enjoyed Myst and similar, which is why I'd like to make this sorta genre as well). The original idea was actually humans in the far future exploring distant alien worlds, where they discover *ancient* alien *technology*, so you have to decipher it and solve puzzles, and then the plot twist is a rickroll as an alien prank. I realised it would work just as well with an actual ancient temple, but then never got around to properly composing the melody (did it very terribly by ear), even though the music sheets were easily available. I decided to put the vine-relief spiders to make it less tedious, because too many vines. I think hotkeys for the three tools could have helped. As for the feeling of 'putting everything together' I think it could have worked better if the challenge was available at any level, but discovering new letters and pictograms would show you your progress after you finish a level.

Anyway, thank you all for your comments and feedback! Happy to return the favor.

wooltech says ...
Aug 31, 2016 @ 7:50pm

Fun game, the music and graphics great too. The second Light Chess puzzle is tough!

g12345 says ...
Aug 31, 2016 @ 11:10pm

I just finished this game full of mini puzzles/games. So much content in there!

I'm not sure what to say... The sum of the mini parts are definintely better than each of them alone.

I've finished it, and it was fun. Also, never had guess the song, but that's fine.

MiniBobbo says ...
Sep 1, 2016 @ 5:22am

I agree with others that there is an incredible amount of content here! The seconds light chess was difficult, and maybe it was just me, but I didn't really have a good way to approach it. I just moved pieces around sort of randomly until I had a good base and then worked from there.

I also loved the humor. Pointing out the ridiculousness of the situation was a neat touch and not overdone, so I think it worked great!

Drury says ...
Sep 1, 2016 @ 12:27pm

I got completely immersed in this, love the retro artstyle with the limited palette and dithering and such.

To break it down:

Innovation: Some of the puzzles I've never seen before, so I guess I'd rate this highly

Fun: I liked the game a lot, but was I having fun? Well, not primarily a fan of puzzle games, so... It was so-so for me.

Theme: Glyphs are ancient technology in a way, but... Probably not the highest amount of points here.

Graphics: As I said, the game is gorgeous.

Audio: Not mindblowing, but pretty good and fitting nonetheless. Lots of points.

Humor: Spider invaders and final pictogram soluion got a chuckle out of me, but that ending... Kámo, nie. To nie.

Mood: The highpoint of the game. Full amount of points.

LoneSpelunker says ...
Sep 1, 2016 @ 11:53pm

Fun little diversion. I liked the variety of the puzzles and activities, and the art style was pretty charming. Good job.

sftrabbit says ...
Sep 4, 2016 @ 11:31pm

Awesome game! I'll start with negatives:

- The vine puzzles, dusting, and spider invaders felt a bit like filler! There wasn't really any challenge to them.
- The dusting was quite tedious! And I didn't know which letters I was missing, so I would dust, check the letters, the next level button wouldn't show up, so I'd get back to dusting everything, repeat... Felt a bit like pixel hunting!
- While I quite enjoy sliding puzzles, the one in this game could have done with some innovation! Was just a normal 3x3 sliding puzzle. Still, I enjoyed doing it as much as I would any other!

Now the positives!

- Lightchess - is this an original mechanic? It's *awesome*. I agree with others that the second one was very difficult, but I got to the solution through deduction and reasoning, which was really neat. Took me a while to realise the controls (I keep trying to click and drag the pieces), but honestly I think I was just being dumb. Honestly though, could have made a whole game out of that.
- Loved figuring out the alphabet and the interface for that was really nice. When the message became apparent, I laughed out loud! So obvious...
- Despite some of the other puzzles not being as good, I still like that you put a mix of things together. The map screen was really nice and it was interesting seeing what each dot was going to have in store.
- The graphics were great. Love the minimal colour palette and the way you used it. I especially like the map drawing and the little dude.
- The music was also great. Was great that there were multiple tracks for different parts of the game. I keep telling myself I'll spend more time on music next Ludum Dare, but never get around to it (music for my game was made in 10 minutes right at the end). Next time!

Great work! Enjoyed it throughly!

axoona says ...
Sep 5, 2016 @ 8:30am

so much content. Congrats! nice thing to have varied the puzzles. I think what I liked the most the last deciphering puzlle.
On the other hand I didn't really enjoy the undusting and vines (I think the game wouln't lose anything if you would have skipped these out). but overall great game, espacially on such a small notice!

juxipolo says ...
Sep 5, 2016 @ 8:09pm

Wow, that was really impressive. The look is great and the music is amazing.
Brushing off the symbols was a little tedious, but added to the atmosphere. More annoying was capturing the symbols - it would have been really nice to get a confirmation that the symbol was previously captured. I wasn't sure if I needed to brush more off, or if it was already captured.
The light puzzle was very interesting, but it took a while to really understand the mechanics. Even when I did it was much easier to guess and check than to try to reason out the second solution. An intermediate light puzzle would have been helpful.
Found one bug - if you back out to the map from the last music puzzle the end game newspaper pops up.

DDRKirby(ISQ) says ...
Sep 5, 2016 @ 8:19pm

Innovation: That light puzzle was amazing! You honestly could have made a whole game around just that concept alone ;) I was a bit sad that there were only two, really.
Fun: Despite some of the challenges being pretty simple it was actually pretty fun to go through! Reminded me a lot of Professor Layton, actually. I'd echo the other comments on the dusting being tedious with a trackpad (don't have my mouse on my at the moment) but can see how it would be totally fine with a mouse or touchpad.
Theme: Very nice job here! You found a pretty great way to execute the theme concept.
Graphics: The art style worked out really well; I can't find anything about the graphics to complain about actually. Good job!
Audio: I actually think the music was perhaps the weakest part of this entry (I guess in part because everything else was great). It was fine, but a little repetitive/boring after a while, so you may want to try and push even further with this aspect for next time (maybe using a tool other than photoshop ;P).
Humor: The end gave me a little kick and laugh, for sure. The game title brought it all together :)
Mood: Very nice here too.
Overall: Great job on everything overall! This is a fantastic entry for LD. :)

Congratulations on your successful LD! I'd really appreciate it if you could leave me some feedback for my game as well. You can find it at:

Aurel Bílý says ...
Sep 6, 2016 @ 3:44pm

@wooltech, @LoneSpelunker, @Drury Thanks!

@g12345 I know, I should have re-done the melody for the last melody puzzle!

@MiniBobbo Thanks, I mentioned the problem with making levels for that puzzle in my post-mortem. ;)

@sftrabbit Yeah, I like to put lots of little minigames in a game … But usually I am less successful than this :D

@axoona I know, I did consider removing the vines, … The problem was, I had already spent too much time on that minigame, didn't want to just discard all that work. With the spider invaders I removed some of the tediousness of the vines. If I had time, I would probably have a different minigame in each level. Pipes, mazes, puzzles, preferably all related to vines graphically or thematically.

@juxipolo True. I noticed, and tried to add cues for the player – like the little sliding thing in the bottom left of the screen saying 'x new letters!' or the sound effect playing for each new letter … But, highlighting the unknown ones would probably have been best, and the most obvious, too.

@DDRKirby(ISQ) I didn't know Professor Layton, might have to check it out someday. I definitely need to try harder with audio next time. It was more of an afterthought during the extra Jam day. Even so, it was the longest I spent on making music so far! And I'm actually working on a DAW (that's a big word) that should hopefully be finished by LD 37 :)

Thank you everyone for your feedback!

Petzi says ...
Sep 6, 2016 @ 11:33pm

Very nice and polished! What can I say? It's really pretty and well executed. It's also fairly easy, which is good because you don't get stuck, but some things are just boring, like the dusting (why can't you hold the mouse down? :< )and the vine cutting.

It's also kind of a mish-mash of already existing puzzles. But it's fun!

prygskok says ...
Sep 7, 2016 @ 2:28pm

Good Job. Lightchess is awesome.

iczubak says ...
Sep 9, 2016 @ 9:00pm

Awesome work. Just a comment. Lightchess already exists in Android (see

csanyk says ...
Sep 11, 2016 @ 6:46am

I couldn't figure out Level 1 even with the hints. I brushed dust for like 10 minutes, and was able to find 2 letters... then couldn't figure out what else to do next. It looks like there's a lot of depth to the game, but the puzzle isn't presented in a way that I found clear enough to be able to figure out how to solve.

amras0000 says ...
Sep 20, 2016 @ 12:00am

The game as a whole is very pretty, with a very nice aesthetic and mood. The graphics are stunning as always.

Most of the time I'd criticize a ld game for feature creep, the overambition generally causing no part of the game to actually work well. You're the first case I've seen of a LD game trying to do a dozen different things and still doing them to a playable level. Each component of the game functions to a greater or lesser extent.

And as much as I can criticize each puzzle for being a bit easy, repetitive, or a touch tedious, the game as a whole holds together really well. Again a first for what I've seen of these sorts of Ludum Dare entries.

I liked light chess. And to an extent I'd have liked a stronger emphasis on that minigame. It's not something I'd seen before and it could probably hold an entire LD game on its own. feels really weird trying to criticize this game. It does have a lot of problems that arise during gameplay, like the dusting requiring far too much clicking and the vines being just a bit too simple and giving you the solution if you misclick. But the length and structure of it all makes those problems almost irrelevant in hindsight. The brushing may not have been the most engaging way of going about things, but it did get my focus on the characters I'd be using in the later puzzle, and made that one a lot more enjoyable for the extra context. And because of the variety in the puzzles I never got bored or tired of the brushing. It was over in time to keep me playing.

You've basically done everything that I'd have condemned and avoided, and managed to make it into a very capable, engaging title. I'm a bit stunned. Great work.

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