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

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by Pickens Inc. - Jam Entry

EDIT: Fixed several game-breaking "typos". Reduced file size from 25MB to 15MB.

Developed by Polyrogue
Art by SmartWilliam

I apologise for the lack of in-game instructions. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯
WASD to move (Press S to drop from a platform)
Hold Left Click to charge fire spear.
Release when fully charged to throw towards mouse cursor.
Taking damage will deplete your Light. Run out of Light and you die.
Pressing E next to the blue torch at the end of every wave replenishes your Light.

To clarify, this game has infinite waves. Every six waves, however, instead of pressing E at the torch, the door will open, and pressing E will end the game and you get your final score.

If you simply wait, your Light is replenished automatically, the door closes, and the game continues to increase in difficulty for another six waves.

If you die, you lose all your score!

Oh! And I should mention that music is a Royalty Free track by TeknoAxe.

Please let me know what you think, and what your final score and wave was! Thanks for playing!

Downloads and Links


Technicolour says ...
Aug 30, 2016 @ 8:57am


Geared Games says ...
Aug 30, 2016 @ 6:46pm

The game looks really good! Sound effects and music fit the atmosphere perfectly. Gameplay was fun and very well done, not too difficult while still being challenging!

Don't have a lot of negative things to say really. A well executed game!

Pikas96 says ...
Aug 30, 2016 @ 7:01pm

Apart from a couple of face-spawning enemies, I really liked to play it. Gameplay is solid, music and "light is life" mechanic grants tension and the objective is clear. Great game!
PS: 15600

Pickens Inc. says ...
Aug 30, 2016 @ 9:16pm

@Geared Games Thank you! It means a lot to us.

@Pikas96 Thanks for the praise! I spent ages trying to iron out that bug, but didn't manage to sort it, haha.

Iseeicy says ...
Aug 30, 2016 @ 11:41pm

Sound effects and visuals are very satisfying! My only gripe is that it feels a bit hard to jump up platforms. I feel like you should go through them from below instead of it kind-of forcing you back down.

2011petia says ...
Aug 30, 2016 @ 11:57pm

The game its really nice !! the pixel retro visual was the best !!

DaGamesta says ...
Aug 31, 2016 @ 12:16am

Nice game with nice visuals. A bit simple, but fun nonetheless.

Pickens Inc. says ...
Aug 31, 2016 @ 12:18am

@Iseeicy OH WOW. It's supposed to do that, and I totally forgot to uncomment that code. Fixed! Thanks!

@2011petia Thank you! I'm sure Technicolour is flattered.

Pickens Inc. says ...
Aug 31, 2016 @ 12:21am

@DaGamesta, Thank you. You've no idea what code keeps this game in check haha. It has all the mechanics for an exploration game about hunting down torches to light in a dungeon, we just ran out of time to make the dungeon!

Xinelu says ...
Aug 31, 2016 @ 1:56am

I like the overall, i only suggest to improve the character graphic ! :) nice work

ciaodavinci says ...
Aug 31, 2016 @ 3:09am

I really enjoyed playing this, my final score was 18600. I wish it got harder. Would be fun to be swarmed with ghosts in end :)

NikSorvari says ...
Aug 31, 2016 @ 3:59am

Great game feel, graphics, and sound. The difficulty has a bit slow of an increase. You said you were gonna make it an entire dungeon, that sounds great.

JoJoX says ...
Aug 31, 2016 @ 6:19am

17500 ! The game is cool. Missing harder waves at the end. The platforms might be more visible.

juaxix says ...
Aug 31, 2016 @ 9:43am

Interesting concept, reminds me of TowerFall but with a different concept :)

Pickens Inc. says ...
Aug 31, 2016 @ 10:28am

@Xinelu Thanks!
@ciaodavinci @NikSorvari @JoJox thank you! You guys should know that the game doesn't end at wave six. If you wait till your the door closes and resets instead of pressing E, your Light refills automatically and wave 7 begins, even harder. Continues like this till either you cash in (every six waves) or you die!

@juaxix thank you! I love Towerfall, so it's a flattering comparison.

kyyninen says ...
Aug 31, 2016 @ 3:31pm

Victory with 17400! I liked the visual style and special effects. Was bit too easy, you can camp near the blue torch and almost never have to change your position.

Pickens Inc. says ...
Aug 31, 2016 @ 4:40pm

@kyyninen thanks! However! Did you bail out at the first opportunity? I myself have never made it past wave 13, and the first opportunity to leave with your points is Wave six!

Trust me, wave 7 onwards is haaard.

Vaiaphraim says ...
Aug 31, 2016 @ 7:05pm

22k :)

I think it would be cool, if you could jump down from the platforms, right now it's hard to align the enemies for a multi-kill. Maybe that's part of the difficulty, but I think moving across the way in a smart way should be rewarded, too.

It's a cool idea to combine your attacks with your own health, by the way - it ensures that you do your best to make every shot count :)

Well done!

Pickens Inc. says ...
Aug 31, 2016 @ 7:11pm

@Vaiaphraim D'oh! Forgot to mention that's possible, albeit being slightly tempermental. You can press "S" to drop. Thank you for the praise!

Aug 31, 2016 @ 8:21pm

Sound design and visuals are pretty good. The particle effects in particular were well done. I like how there is a little pulse effect whenever I fully charged my spear so it was really clear when I could thrown it. The gameplay was alright. My main complaint is that the difficulty didn't ramp up fast enough. I could just sort of stand by the blue torch and fire away without having to worry about getting hit or do any platforming. I like the idea of giving people the option to keep going or quit while they're ahead between every few waves, but, since quitting and refilling your torch between waves is both done using E, I had to either quit or run out of light and die at the very beginning of the next wave. You say that your light is supposed to replenish automatically when you have the option to quit, but that simply didn't happen for me, even after trying multiple times. I'm not sure if I'm missing something here or what. Anyway, it was a pretty solid game. Good work!

Pickens Inc. says ...
Aug 31, 2016 @ 8:59pm

@SuperPikeunicorn Thank you very much for your detailed feedback. You're right. For some reason, I forgot to test for this bug. Sometimes, and I still don't entirely know why, it simply didn't work, haha. Thanks again!

SkullPixel says ...
Aug 31, 2016 @ 9:56pm

Hey Taha!
This game is really cool. I really did like the visual style, and the victory music was great. It'd be kinda cool if the blue lantern stayed there until you refilled, and then went away directly after, but otherwise, I have no complaints. :D

Pickens Inc. says ...
Aug 31, 2016 @ 10:31pm

@SkullPixel Thank you! I totally need to check out your entry! Sorry again for the mix up. We gotta collab next LD!

monkeybit29 says ...
Aug 31, 2016 @ 10:57pm

really awesome game! I had fun with it, I just kinda wish I had a little more time to touch the blue flame to save the points, other than that, solid!

Ghen says ...
Sep 1, 2016 @ 12:28am

i LOVE the graphics in this game, pixelated style yet smooth, the lighting really help bring the atmosfer of the game
soundtrack and sfx match really well with the game

the control very responsive, but also very weird, WASD control for platforming really hard, it'll nice if you also bind it into arrow keys

jump using W instead of space (especially with WASD control) very...very awkward, i can't find any comfortable postition to do jumping and other things

but overall very solid game, my problem only on the control >.<

Pickens Inc. says ...
Sep 1, 2016 @ 12:44am

@Ghen perhaps you don't use a keyboard I'm familiar with? WASD is an industry standard control scheme :) but thank you very much for playing!

Technicolour says ...
Sep 1, 2016 @ 8:12am

Wow all these amazing comments, Thank you so much everyone! And yes @Xinelu my thoguhts exactly after playign the finished game myself the character sprite felt like it was lacking,when we decide to improve this game i will likely redo is sprite. But thanks everyone else for the amazing comment about the art, it was my first entry and am very happy with how it went!

Ghen says ...
Sep 1, 2016 @ 8:22am

@Pickens Inc. standart for other games indeed, but for platforming i usually use arrow keys, more comfortable personally

probably nitpicking really, since you put W as jump, thus why use WASD very awkward in this case, if the jump on "space" i probably have no probelm :D

Pickens Inc. says ...
Sep 1, 2016 @ 9:23am

@Ghen fair enough haha, but I'm sure it would also be awkward to move with the arrow keys yet aim with the mouse ;) thanks for playing!

PanicTheFirst says ...
Sep 1, 2016 @ 2:33pm

Good job on this one. Looks really good and feels pretty polished. :)

Pickens Inc. says ...
Sep 1, 2016 @ 3:58pm

@PanicTheFirst thank you! I appreciate it, and I'm sure Technicolour does too.

Drury says ...
Sep 2, 2016 @ 6:43pm


My only complaint is that you don't immediately jump off of a platform when you hit it holding down the jump button, same goes for dropping down off of them. Would be more fun if I didn't have to spam the button.

Other than that, the game is really cool, one of my favorites. I like the lighting and general artstyle, reminds me of Starbound.

Pickens Inc. says ...
Sep 2, 2016 @ 7:05pm

@Drury thanks! Yeah I know, the bug is the fruit of lack of time, after the fact :P

Thanks for the praise, glad you enjoyed it!

Sep 3, 2016 @ 7:25pm

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

Madsj says ...
Sep 4, 2016 @ 11:45pm

The graphics and light looks good and it's very satisfying to shoot something. However not much is going on (especially in the beginning) and you get that small time window to replenish the light at the top, so I just try to stay at the top - usually spamming E when it's time. Therefore it's a strange decision to have the opportunity to end the game by pressing E after Wave 6. I also don't understand why the weapon has to be a slow weapon because as a result the enemies have to be slow too. I think it would be interesting if there were different kinds of enemies and different weapons so you would have to use the right weapon for the right situation, and it would encourage moving around more. Maybe there could also be a shop between each wave?

Pickens Inc. says ...
Sep 5, 2016 @ 12:47am

@Madsj thanks for the reply.

Unfortunately the game wasn't meant to be a wave-based survival, but a relatively tense-yet-slowish exploration game, so the mechanics you see are there for that reason.

The slow weapon is there for the same reason as why it takes a second to fire up your whip in the original Castlevania - it makes you think your shots through even more - spamming isn't an option that way :)

But yes, I should probably accelerate the wave progression.

Sep 10, 2016 @ 3:30am

I enjoyed this game overall, the visuals were very pretty and the game mechanics were generally fun. The music was good. The feedback for the loss of health was a bit ambiguous and a bit punitive, since it made it much harder to play when I lost visibility. I did like the approach to scoring, I haven't come across a game that took away your score when you died before.

dollarone says ...
Sep 18, 2016 @ 9:28pm

Beautiful little game! Love the darkness and the gun mechanic is pretty cool. A bit slow to get hard and I keep pressing E to exit when I didn't want to.

In terms of gameplay, there's not much reason for me to move around. Maybe introduce some monsters/events that forces you to move?

Overall nice game. Enjoyed it.

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