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

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Artifact of the Ancients

by Omiya Games - Jam Entry

Join the archaeologist, Sam, on one heck of a ride as he searches for a mythical lost treasure with his faithful companion, Lucy. You'll flip as you experience the world from different perspectives and Sam's life goes topsy-turvy the further he goes down the rabbit hole.

Created by Omiya Games and Apostrophe ( Character, portal, crate, and spike art by SpaceJase.

This game is funded through Patreon. Many thanks to the following:

Adam R. Vierra
Joshua Jennings
Tommy Pedersen
Jacob Clark

Dev Log:
v0.1 - initial release.
v0.2 - WebGL release. Fixing spelling errors, too.

Downloads and Links


steph88 says ...
Aug 30, 2016 @ 6:17am

Hi, nice game and congratulations ! We're realizing a video with several games of the Ludum Dare #36. We made the same thing at the previous jam.

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.

paruthidotexe says ...
Aug 31, 2016 @ 1:45am

Classic game, i would say full score. with good level design, music, character art.
my suggestions : bg image doesn't fit at all, character walk sfx is some times irritates(may be i tried only in webgl)
Now i am following the game in itch, hope to see more..

Jelinib says ...
Aug 31, 2016 @ 7:26am

Lucy told me to "hurry back," but I told her, "No! I'm continuing this way instead like a rebel." And the very next moment, I somehow jumped into a pit of spikes, hahaha!

Gosh, I am pretty dense! It actually took me until level 5 (the one with the movable ramp) to realize what I was actually doing with the boxes, LOL! Before that, I was all like, "Ooh a box! I wanna push it!" And things would just be magically accessible after pushing them all the way to the walls, but I never stopped to think why. Or I'm sleepy. (Excuses.... :P)

Although looking at it again, I realize now that there were actually faint images of the crates for where they were positioned in the alternate universe. I totally didn't notice them on my first go! Maybe changing the wall colors around the crates, swapping in a line-art version of the crate, or having a less textured background would help the alt-crates stand out better and be more obvious to dumbos like me, hehe!

It might also be nice to have some kind of graphic indicating where the otherwise invisible talk points for Lucy are! I had run past some of these on accident, only noticing something when an "S" over my head appeared and disappeared quickly. I feel like I might be missing out on more entertaining dialog!

Super impressed by the clever mechanics here! Blew my mind--or turned my world upside-down, rather! You're great at thinking outside the boxes! Love Sam's character design too!

Solid stuff. Awesome job. Never stop making games! :)

Aug 31, 2016 @ 8:20am

I love the flipping mechanic. It opens so much room for interesting puzzles and you made good use of it, especially with the spikes. Nice reference of today's cloud usage!

Anudin says ...
Aug 31, 2016 @ 9:20am

*bzzt* Hey. Geat game you made there. *bzzt*
Music is good, visuals seem polished (although i would recommend some sort of antialiasing). I think the background doesn't fit the game too well, maybe a peace of checkered paper would be cooler! And the flipping effect... One of the first unusual mechanics i've seen here that is well implemented.

Kramchay Dig says ...
Aug 31, 2016 @ 10:01am

Awesome game, puzzle gets in my head love it!

Damdoshi says ...
Aug 31, 2016 @ 10:05am

It takes a little time before realizing the flipping does not flip the gravity for the box... :p After that time, well, it is easier.

The concept is nice. You can certainly stretch it to a bigger game. The graphics are simple, but enough to play.
With a music that developped, having better graphics would really increase the game mood. The character itself is nice, but the environment deserve more.

It is a nice game, a good work.

TomBuston says ...
Aug 31, 2016 @ 11:36am

Fun mechanic :) I had trouble understanding how the crates work, then I saw the faint image of the alternate crate, but it's not very visible with this background. The dialogs are great ! Adds a lot the game feels :)

Redream says ...
Aug 31, 2016 @ 11:39am

Really impressive portal mechanic! I love how the boxes become part of the world when you flip over. Music was very nice, and I agree with others that the environment/graphics could be worked on a little.

John Bujalski says ...
Sep 1, 2016 @ 9:02pm

I don't have anything new to say, other than that I got stuck on the ramp level for a while because I didn't realize that moving up a ramp made me jump higher!

Great game though, the portal mechanic is really cool!

Sep 2, 2016 @ 11:27am

Great game, even if the controls are a bit hard to grasp (not enough friction perhaps? ). I also must confess that, like Jelinib, I only understand lately that crates would alter the level design :D.

Sep 2, 2016 @ 10:09pm

That was a delightfull way of joying with the parallels! The idea of the boxes being almost parallel things just killed it! It would really be nice to have more levels, but in the time we had, I dont know if you had some code already written, btw with the time we had it was quite a serene and no stress, wisely, development I presume.

Steven Miller says ...
Sep 3, 2016 @ 6:18am

The mechanics and the way the boxes interact with the other dimension are extremely clever. The story was also very well done, and I quite liked the surprise at the end. The only issue I could find was that if you started pushing or pulling a crate when facing away from it, you would continue to face the wrong direction and appear to be pulling nothing, but this obviously had no effect on the actual gameplay and probably wouldn't have even happened more than once if I hadn't been trying to reproduce it to see what had caused it. Amazing game!

Skosnowich says ...
Sep 3, 2016 @ 8:36am

Took me a while to realize what the boxes are doing. Very nice concept indeed, also I liked the little story going on in the background. The size of the levels was well chosen for this kind of game.
When pushing boxes I sometimes had to jump over them and then pull them instead of just pushing them onward.. that was because of these little gaps between the boxes and the floor, felt kinda strange. But alltogether the controls worked really well.

Little note: it seems that the level select screen isn't working (atleast in the WebGL version).

AinoraZ says ...
Sep 3, 2016 @ 10:15pm

Dang, this game was very well made and has a lot of room for very interesting puzzles. I found the story a little lacking and childish, but the gameplay itself was very cool! Was a bit hard to understand what boxes did at first though.

Diptoman says ...
Sep 3, 2016 @ 10:15pm

Finding out what the boxes were doing was a bit frustrating at first (since the first 2/3 levels can be crossed without even understanding that properly), but eventually got it. Very cool idea otherwise, leaving aside a few collision detection and speed problems here and there. Anotehr thing that kept bothering me (very minor) was the view movement when you switch - I'm assuming the switching done is not "true switching" per se, but the player moves up/down to a similarly spaced level somewhere else in the room? (Because of which I can see the spikes moving with me, and that broke immersion for some reason.) Very cool game otehrwise though, with some great puzzles!

ReboundGames says ...
Sep 3, 2016 @ 11:54pm

The art is quite well done, as is the music. I found the gameplay confusing, mainly because I didn't really get how the crates worked until very late in the game. There's a series of games called SHIFT that has a similar mechanic, and honestly I like their implementation better. I also didn't really care for the story, because it seemed a little too "in your face". I wish it was longer, but that's true of most LD games, and it really just means you did a good job with the puzzle mechanic.

Kizler says ...
Sep 4, 2016 @ 5:33am

Unfortunately by the time I got the hang of the game it was over. I really liked the flipped portal mechanic as well as the manipulating the other side by moving the crates.

axoona says ...
Sep 4, 2016 @ 9:52pm

very polished entry, nice game mechanics and puzzle difficulty.
just a small remark: since the game controllers are keyboard only, I think that it would have been more ergonomic to be able to use keyboard always for skipping dialogs (sometimes it workek but sometimes I needed to click with mouse)

sP0CkEr2 says ...
Sep 5, 2016 @ 1:58am

Really like the concept using the warps. Nice job with the puzzles.

Sep 6, 2016 @ 9:14pm

Really neat game! I included it in my compilation video series of Ludum Dare 36, if you’d like to take a look :)

GFM says ...
Sep 11, 2016 @ 8:47pm

Although the mechanic is interesting, there were a few issues with the level design/implementation...

On the first level with boxes (level 3), the player can easily solve the puzzle simply by trying to advance. After falling into the pit, it's natural to push the box onto the wall (solving the puzzle by accident). The fact that the box's image on the other image is hardly visible only adds to the confusion.
At least, the following level forces the player to understand the mechanic. However, there's no indication of what's going on, and the flipping animation ends up hiding the level transformation and causing (again) confusion.

Then, on level 5, the player is forced to abuse a bug caused by Unity's physics in order to progress. There's no explanation of why the character jumps higher on slopes, nor any indication whatsoever. This is quite different from exploits like Super Smash Bros. Melee's wave dash ( and Towerfall's hyper jump (, which became part of the metagame (and weren't enforced by the developers).
For reference, the bug can even be reproduced on flat ground, by pressing two jump keys (e.g., spacebar and up) on two following frames. This is way easier to be done by stepping the game execution on the editor.

I apologize if the comment came out harsh, but I hope that you find these remarks helpful. :)

Omiya Games says ...
Sep 13, 2016 @ 7:19pm

To all: really enjoying the comments! Thanks for all the praises and criticism.

Heh, looks like the block mechanic was not introduced and/or presented very well. Makes sense: despite the fact that it was pitched as the main gimmick of the game, due to its complexity, it was implemented late in development, after a few levels were already finished. Hopefully we'll do a lot better next LDJAM.

Xoko14 says ...
Sep 17, 2016 @ 2:23pm

Short but good. Ther text boxes animation is good.

Peni6 says ...
Sep 17, 2016 @ 2:44pm

Well executed concept, nice music and character art. Found the background art to be lacking, also the text transition flip thing was irritating, and there was a bit too much text in general.

Sep 18, 2016 @ 2:12pm

Well made game. The character graphics are really nice, the background and level art could be better. What I didn't like is the amount of textboxes but overall it was a good game. Congrats!

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