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

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Forty Two

by Diptoman - Jam Entry

Forty Two is a puzzle game about uncovering the secrets of everything ancient, alien and technological. Control multiple particles to power up each pyramid's particle accelerator-powered technology and find out what's beneath! Each pyramid unlocks a new mechanic.

CONTROLS (in case it's not obvious):
Left Click to do/place things
Right Click to remove things

BASIC GAMEPLAY (this is all visually explained in-game when each mechanic is introduced, but in case you want to read more stuff):
> Goal of the game is to get a particle to the corresponding end point of each level, with no stray particles.
> Particles of the same color bounce off against each other.
> Particles of different colors neutralize each other and form a block other particles can bounce off against.
> Portals teleport particles to the other portals.
> Splitters split a particle into two, with directions shown.
> Shifters shift the color of a particle.

Made for Ludum Dare 36 (#LDJAM) by a team of 3:
Diptoman Mukherjee (Programming, design)
Pranjal Bisht (Art, design)
Joel Montpetit (Audio)

Downloads and Links


Cody Hansen says ...
Aug 30, 2016 @ 5:11am

It's way too late for me to be thinking this hard.
This is such an intricate puzzle game for such a short development time. And to have so many levels! Incredible.
I, very frustratingly, enjoyed this.

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.

owndbyu says ...
Aug 30, 2016 @ 7:06am

Nice submission! Love the graphics and the intricate puzzles, very nice job for 3 days work! :) Maybe some sort of introduction screen with hints on what you are about to uncover would have helped it tie in more with the theme.

But all round great puzzle game with refined mechanics, a very nice submission!

SMASH BASH says ...
Aug 30, 2016 @ 7:33am

Cool puzzle, seems to have nice amount of content for just 3 days. Liked the music, reminded me of some old games.
P.S. Simply pressing stop in web-build also gave me a crash on level 3 i think.

bigoss73 says ...
Aug 30, 2016 @ 7:41am

Nice entry, even though I'm not very good at it :P Gives your brain a good workout. 42/10

stefvanschie says ...
Aug 30, 2016 @ 7:41am

The game looks really nice and the music is amazing. The levels were a bit tough though. Also the Web version sometimes stopped responding (that could also be the website of course).

Diptoman says ...
Aug 30, 2016 @ 9:24am

@SMASH BASH and @stefvanschie: It was a game breaking bug just in the HTML5 version. Has been fixed and updated since then, thanks for pointing out!

And thanks everyone for playing! :D

VitasaMode says ...
Aug 30, 2016 @ 10:26am

Hi Diptoman,

Nice interface, graphics, and music choice. I loved the vibe while playing. I think the scaling of difficulty could be more spaced out to get familiar with how the sphere moves and interact with one another. Overall really sweet game!

Lojchin says ...
Aug 30, 2016 @ 10:35am

Nice Game!

tonynogo says ...
Aug 30, 2016 @ 10:38am

The game is hard but very cool!
The design is nice. Great job!

kmitz says ...
Aug 30, 2016 @ 10:41am

Interesting game, though it become very complex quite fast ! I'm feeling like i have to test things without a clear idea of what's going on, and then correct one thing at a time, knowing that they are several solutions for one puzzle.

MrBrenan says ...
Aug 30, 2016 @ 10:49am

nice game, the music is good, graphically it's coherent. Puzzle are chalenging enouth and even without explanation on what we need to do it's intuitive. I haven't gone really far in the game, but I keep it under my hand to finish it later. Great job. :)

Aug 30, 2016 @ 11:26am

Very polished experience! Great music and smooth gameplay. The puzzles themselves often lent themselves to guesswork for me, but then again I've never been good at these kinds of games. A few text bits as to the objective of the game might've made the introduction a bit smoother, but it holds up completely without.

Amine Tcherak says ...
Aug 30, 2016 @ 11:28am

Very Nice i love your Game Good Works )=

Narkhos says ...
Aug 30, 2016 @ 11:30am

Nice puzzle game with clever mechanics. The music is good but too repetitive. I didn't finish it yet but I will :)
Even without instructions, it's nice to discover the rules by yourself.
Great job !

Mimus says ...
Aug 30, 2016 @ 11:32am

Nice game, music is nice, graphics are good for a puzzle game !

teamBallShui says ...
Aug 30, 2016 @ 11:35am

I have to say I'm pretty impressed. The level selection screen and music are both very well done. Same goes for the game itself, very polished and challenging. Good job guys.

Darenn says ...
Aug 30, 2016 @ 11:38am

The game is really hard, I had trouble to get through the third level, I don't understand correctly all the mechanics, even if they are written,
Add to this the fact that it is difficult to remember them all and that the game needs the player to be concentrated..
However, there is a good music, the interface is very User-Friendly, you fit perfectly in the theme.
You seem to have worked a lot on the game, so continue like this, very good job ! Keep creating games !

Hammers says ...
Aug 30, 2016 @ 11:49am

Nice work :) Impressive to get so many puzzles with so many mechanics done in such a short time.

The only things I would add are perhaps a little bit more narrative fluff to better tie it to the theme (though to be honest I can take of leave that :P) and maybe some hints as to what each of the tiles do (maybe even just by giving each puzzle a title that is a hint in itself?)

Anyway great job :)

Avon says ...
Aug 30, 2016 @ 12:07pm

Very interesting puzzle game, the puzzles are hard and fun.

Nice graphics and music as well.

Would have been nice if the blocks you had placed stood out more visually, sometimes I forgot which I had placed down, so I had to spam click many tiles to check if I could remove them.

raspofabs says ...
Aug 30, 2016 @ 12:08pm

There's a lot going on here. Maybe too much too quickly. With some reduction in size, and some polish, this would probably do quite well as a mobile game. Good work.

Bricabrac says ...
Aug 30, 2016 @ 12:21pm

Nice puzzles! They're too challenging for my drained mind, but I really appreciated the concept ^^

suimisu says ...
Aug 30, 2016 @ 2:44pm

It kept me going for a while, really addictive puzzle game, great job. I found it easy to understand since you can just press play to see the effects of the different pieces (teleport only working when the ball can keep the direction). A theme or story around the puzzle and you're good to go.

What you could improve:
- visual indicator which pieces are fixed and which are my own pieces (removable)
- clearing piece selection (back to cursor only) if you right-click in empty space
- picking up removable puzzle-pieces to place them at a new position
- background-music was too repetitive for me
- theming (replacing the black background with neat visuals like an old temple door, pyramid room, rune stone)

Bugs I found:
- Pyramid 2 Level 3, one of the red balls jumped between the maze and the black background instead of following the route

9.ar7k says ...
Aug 30, 2016 @ 5:21pm

Cool puzzles. I like the mood of the game.

Steven Miller says ...
Aug 30, 2016 @ 8:03pm

Good puzzle game. I made it to level 12 before getting stuck. The mechanics are fairly intuitive and the puzzles are fun. At first, it seemed like mostly trial and error, but around level 6, I started to understand the mechanics more fully and plan out the solutions. I do think the game would benefit from a bigger distinction between what is there when the level begins and what you have placed. Overall, great work!

Diptoman says ...
Aug 30, 2016 @ 11:52pm

Thanks everyone!

@Darenn: By writing I'm assuming you mean the text I wrote in the game description. That may actually confused you more, because there's not exactly many mechanics to remember in the 3rd level. :p Most of these mechanics are introduced gradually. Thank you for playing though!

@Hammers: I really wanted to do that (like each puzzle a name as a hint/narrative) but didn't get time. We needed to have exactly 16 levels for the level selection screen and ending to work, and that took up time. :V Thanks for playing!

@suimisu: Thanks for the detailed feedback and kind words! About the teleport, it works always, just seems like that - because logically, if a particle teleports and hits a dead end, it bounces back in the opposite direction and teleports back to the original teleporter - giving the effect that it never teleported in teh first place. :S Your screen brightness may be a bit low however, because the background isn't black or static (there are things moving in the background, but it's very light to avoid distracting). Same with the visual indicator of pieces (and I agree, it could have been a much better indicator, but it's there).

Lojchin says ...
Aug 31, 2016 @ 11:07am

Very interesting game! Good graphic and idea.

RafaSKB says ...
Aug 31, 2016 @ 6:56pm

Interesting puzzle, I had fun with it. Although besides the music, I don't see how it fits the theme. Fun nonetheless :)

Kizler says ...
Aug 31, 2016 @ 11:17pm

Found the game fun... got stuck very early in the game(embarrassingly early so I don't wanna say which level) Are there 42 levels or should I sit down and just play all the way through and find out for myself?

Neonable says ...
Sep 1, 2016 @ 1:08am

This is the kind of puzzle solving game we need more of! Just when you think everything is too easy and you can simply place pieces without too much intellectual involvement, the game reminds you that you have to plan ahead properly. Nicely executed, fits with the theme, well-balanced, and provides the proper usage options such as restart and move speed. Congratulations on delivering a complete puzzle experience!

monkeybit29 says ...
Sep 1, 2016 @ 2:56am

Really good puzzle game, feels really well thought out! nice job

Alphish says ...
Sep 1, 2016 @ 3:50pm

"Thanks for playing that long."

Huh, this one felt pretty chaotic, yet with some effort, trial and error and some conventions in place I eventually managed to complete all levels. The mechanics were pretty well done, though sometimes the balls were getting stuck against each other, ending up in some weird loop or something (still, these were literally corner cases). ^^'

I'm not sure if I would be up to 42 puzzles like that, with all that chaos and trial and error (since I can't quite simulate in my head the entirety of the orbs movement), but for what it's worth, it's a pretty fine puzzle.

I think it's needless to say the audiovisuals were impressive as usual? (though the background felt a bit dark, and for a while I thought it's actually plain black)

suimisu says ...
Sep 1, 2016 @ 3:57pm

@Diptoman yeah that was my second thought with the teleporting. I will try it again with more brightness:)

Sep 1, 2016 @ 7:16pm

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

Ryusui says ...
Sep 1, 2016 @ 9:54pm

Not so much a difficulty curve here as a difficulty cliff. XD Still, very polished - I just wish it was possible to remove a block without redoing the entire grid.

Diptoman says ...
Sep 2, 2016 @ 3:01am

Thanks guys!

@Kizler: There aren't 42 levels, just 16. The reasoning behind that naming is in the ending. :P

@Neonable: Thank you! ^.^ I added the move speed option because I found it incredibly helpful when testing. :D

@Alphish: "... the audiovisuals were impressive AS USUAL" *looks up profile* Oh, Alice. :P I honestly didn't expect people to be completing the game specifically during jam speed-runs. But yeah, if we hypothetically had 42 puzzles and the time to implement them, I'd assume we'd have actually planned out levels instead of levels born out of sleep deprivation. :D

@Ryusui: You can. Right click on a placed tile to delete it. ^^"

@Jupiter_Hadley: Great stuff, as usual. :D

Omiya Games says ...
Sep 3, 2016 @ 12:03am

I liked it a lot. Could use a hint system or preview of where the particles would go. But I had fun playing it.

Steven Miller says ...
Sep 4, 2016 @ 7:13am

I decided to revisit this game to see if I could at least beat level 12 and see the last mechanic in-game. I'm glad I went back, and I have now completed all 16 levels. I liked the ending, and being able to adjust the speed was a huge help. I do think that there should be some sort of system to allow for skipping levels (maybe only require 2/4 levels to be beaten to unlock the next chapter) just so that more people could make it to the end. Puzzle games are a bit harder to balance, especially when intruding new mechanics regularly (as I learned from miniLD 67 and 69), and I have found it beneficial to give players some leeway, as each player finds different puzzles challenging.

xesenix says ...
Sep 4, 2016 @ 9:02pm

Very solid game not much to be able to suggest only thing i did noticed is that selecting tiles is not responsive i sometimes takes me 2-3 clicks to switch to other tile and and it has some delay. Music is ok graphics look nice.

DDRKirby(ISQ) says ...
Sep 5, 2016 @ 4:13pm

Innovation: Yes! A nice puzzle game variant that really kept things interesting even until the end.
Fun: This was quite fun overall! Some of the specific level designs could probably use some work so that the levels are a little bit shall I say, "elegant"? A handful of levels required less pieces than were given as well. Puzzle design is super hard to do in a short timeframe though, so I won't fault you guys too hard for this. :) Also, having the playback speed modifier button was super helpful for the later levels!
Theme: A bit of a stretch, but the theming and music and everything made it clear what you guys were going for, at least!
Graphics: Simple but effective! My main gripe was that you should probably make a visual distinction between pieces that are player-placed and pieces that are fixed and part of the level, so that it's obvious which is which.
Audio: The background music was a little repetitive but not too distracting IMO. I feel like some additional sounds would have been nice, such as when a particle reaches a goal, or when two particles neutralize each other.
Humor: N/A
Mood: Pretty nice job with mood, actually, for a puzzle game. The menu page was actually very well done.
Overall: Great job with everything! I think this is my favorite entry that I've played so far this time around. Congratulations on designing a successful puzzle game in such a short timeframe, which is no small feat! And that last level was just the perfect amount of mind-boggling to top it all off. :) There are some faults but I'm pretty sure from reading your post-mortem that they were conscious tradeoffs to fit everything within the timeframe.

One other super minor tidbit of advice -- you might want to have a hint or skip level system for LD. For an actual game I don't think it's necessary at all, but LD raters often don't want to spend 10 minutes getting past a particular puzzle that has them stumped, so it's nice to give them a way to bypass it, specifically for the purposes of LD rating.

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

Diptoman says ...
Sep 6, 2016 @ 2:26am

Thanks guys!

@Steven Miller: I've made a few puzzle games for jams and somehow it never occured to me to have a Skip button. That is a great suggestion, thanks! :D Glad you liked the game!

@DDRKirby(ISQ): Well, considering most of these levels were created at night in a sleep-deprived state, some of them being "not elegant" would be a very nice way to put it actually. We needed 16 levels to make the ending work, so *had* to make them (would have happily spent that time polishing other things otherwise - like the visual distinction you talked about)! Glad you had fun with the rest though!

We actually had SFX for different things happening in the game, but they usually happened so fast that it became a lot of noises overlapping and we decided to not use them. Maybe using them for more important events would have worked (like particles neutralizing each other).

The skipping mechanic, I will definitely be implementing the next time I do a puzzle game for a jam. =]

Thanks for the detailed comment!

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