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

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Words and Wide Spaces

by Move127 - Competition Entry

Words and Wide Spaces is a game about deciphering an alien language. As you travel across the galaxy following the directions of some long gone alien, you will learn its language and a bit of its story.

As usual, I went with a project that is too ambitious for a 48 hour jam. I wanted to make more content so that it would be easier to learn the language. As it is, it may be very hard to get through.

Click on the tiles at the bottom and then click on the brown openings to place the tiles. Click on the tiles that are already in the brown openings to remove them.

Hints (Don't read if you want the full experience):
It may not be clear from the in game hint, but you will have to do some math in base 12.

Downloads and Links


KevKevOnFire says ...
Aug 29, 2016 @ 3:32am

I really really wanted to like this, but it was easier to solve the first puzzle than it was to understand what it meant. Maybe I'm just dumb, but I got almost immediately lost :/ Maybe someone smarter than me will get through more of it and be able to critique the rest.

quentinus60 says ...
Aug 29, 2016 @ 3:34am

I don't really understand what you have to do :/

KevKevOnFire says ...
Aug 29, 2016 @ 3:42am

Ok, I figured out part of the trick, and I was actually REALLY enjoying it. Puzzle three bugged out on me and the tiles starting moving in weird ways, but I was enjoying myself until then. Maybe a less abstract way of easing people into the number system would reduce the barrier of the first puzzle.

NinjaNic says ...
Aug 29, 2016 @ 3:43am

You might want to fix the web version, or upgrade it to the HTML5 version because Chrome and most likely some other browsers cannot run it anymore.

Aug 29, 2016 @ 3:44am

Finished the first puzzle but no idea what other coordinates to use...

KevKevOnFire says ...
Aug 29, 2016 @ 3:44am

SPOILERS: The symbols shown above the first puzzle are the numbers 0 - 11. The box is addition, the H is subtraction. Hopefully that's enough to get you going.

Xinelu says ...
Aug 29, 2016 @ 3:50am

Kinda hard, but good work :D !!

Aug 29, 2016 @ 3:59am

Great concept. Traveling between worlds. Trying to understand their language with puzzles to unlock their secrets. Unfortunately the puzzles are just way too hard and it's difficult to see what you get from them (some reward maybe?).

alexv says ...
Aug 29, 2016 @ 8:52am

Still using the old Unity UI system. You're a rebel, I like you.
The H looks like the digits 2 and 3 sticked together, which was confusing when I was figuring out the first puzzle.
You really need to some hints/tutorials, but fuck it, it's 48 hours

onyon says ...
Aug 29, 2016 @ 12:23pm

Cool game! Love the pixels and the puzzles! Space vibe is also nice.

RhythmLynx says ...
Aug 29, 2016 @ 2:38pm

Super interesting idea! As others have said, the puzzles are super hard at first but I really like the loop of solving a puzzle to get coordinates for the next one. I don't think you'll get away with using the unity web player for much longer though :P

cortica says ...
Aug 29, 2016 @ 5:52pm

Good concept and the puzzles are interesting

Bogden says ...
Aug 29, 2016 @ 7:51pm

Awesome idea, has a great FEZ vibe to it. Slap these kinds of puzzles on a more intricate navigation system, and you've got a really great game going.

Biggest gripe is that the very start of the game is very confusing. If you just start the game and hit "Go", you basically can't do anything else. It should probably start you off on the first planet or something.

Bogden says ...
Aug 29, 2016 @ 8:04pm


Anyone manage to get past this puzzle on the 3rd world?
I'm really confused by the 3rd example, which seems to indicate that it's not exactly base-12. 8+1A in base 12 should be 26, but the answer seems to be 27. Also there's not enough "1" runes to complete the puzzle if it was just base-12.

Move127 says ...
Aug 29, 2016 @ 9:05pm

You are right, I am fixing them now. It should be 26, and for the final of the three questions I put in the answer in decimal instead of base 12. That one should be fixed. Thanks for noticing the problem.

Bogden says ...
Aug 29, 2016 @ 9:50pm

@Move127 If that's the case then I think there might be an error in the coordinates given after the 3rd planet too. Might want to double check them, since I wasn't able to locate the next after solving the 3rd planet.

Amine Tcherak says ...
Aug 29, 2016 @ 10:08pm

Very Nice i love your Game Good Works )=

blinry says ...
Aug 29, 2016 @ 10:12pm

When staring the game, I first clicked "Go" (as it was the first button), which was obviously not a good idea. Spaaaace! Getting bored of space! ;-)

Well, on the second try, I landed, but did not understand anything. I thought the square symbols were 0 digits. After looking at the description, the first planet was easy. On the second one (with the 4 sockets), the left and right tile got stuck, and no combination of the remaining two worked. Am I doing something wrong? Would like to learn more about the alien culture!

The learning curve of this game seems very high, could use some more explanations or a slower puzzle progression. Was frustrating that the coordinates were displayed *after* the number scale was gone, so I had to do the whole planet again. Nice, fitting music! :)

thegunmaster says ...
Sep 1, 2016 @ 9:43pm

Wow man, This game is great. It took me a while to get going, needed some hints from the comments. But once I understood that they were numbers I was able to finish the puzzles slowly, quite cool that you didn't use decimal but a 12 digit system

thegunmaster says ...
Sep 1, 2016 @ 10:07pm

I am happy that I added an any base to any base option when making my binary to decimal converter on my calculator, first time that turned out to be usefull XD
But man, I understood the numeric stuff, but the language got me confused, I finished the game nonetheless. BUt I would love to see a explenation of everything at some point.

phi says ...
Sep 4, 2016 @ 3:18pm

Took me a bit to get my brain going, but after the first couple of puzzles, the solutions were always obvious. Nicely done, with the least amount of explanation necessary. I just had the idea that you could "show" the hints graphically instead of having them as comments from a mysterious source... E.g. you could show that they have 12 fingers etc.

I didn't write down the words, so I couldn't figure out what it said in the end...

Overall, great job! :)

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