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

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Time Grabber

by MrMordem - Jam Entry

You start each level in a primitive state with 2 weapons: a sword and a crossbow.
The goal of each level is to navigate the room and figure out how to reach the mini boss, kill him to get his keycard, and use it to unlock the exit door.

You repeat the process each time you begin a new level, until you reach the final boss.
Basic drones are not hostile towards the player. However, they will hurt you if you touch them, and you can also destroy them with your weapons.
You will find item crates in the levels: they may contain a health pickup, a stability points pickup, or a coffee powerup.

Stability bar and its mechanics: a full stability bar lets you use your futuristic armor, and replaces your basic sword and crossbow with the Tachyon blade and blaster, which deal more damage to enemies and bosses. However, when this gear is equipped, your stability points will deplete over time, as the curse prevents you from maintaining such technology for too long in the same timeframe.

The levels themselves are also quite dangerous, as various hazards may be present on the floor, such as lasers or security turrets.

(Note : all features may not be present during the LD build)

Controls (for now) :

Use QZSD (use Alt+Shift to switch Keyboard type if you are on a QWERTY)
to move the character in al directions

press space to shoot with the crossbow

(Updated ! ! !) 13/09/2016 :

New build available !

Changelog 0.4 :

Now displays the end screen and credit screen upon game's completion (at least this LD build) we'll still try to improve stuff here and there but this build should give you a better idea of what we intended to make with this entry :)

help us find if any glitches remain

Downloads and Links


Sep 3, 2016 @ 9:21pm

I was super confused at first, and I found an issue. I walked down to the middle of the map on the first level and walked right, then I couldn't walk anywhere else. The key input was working (I could fire my weapon) but I couldn't move anymore. Please fix, I would love to play :D everything else looks good!

MrMordem says ...
Sep 3, 2016 @ 9:30pm

@AnaglyphCoding : thanks for the feedback, the devs are on it, we managed to track down a few of the issues with the movement and shooting. we'll put up a build when most of the problems mentioned in the description are fixed, we'll update the changelog and put a link to the patched build

also movement wise, "alt shifting" to change the keyboard type could help, we'll try to patch it for a qwerty by default, sorry we thought about that a bit too late unfortunately because we have azerty keyboards ^^'

glad you liked the other aspects of what you tried though :)

aucguy says ...
Sep 4, 2016 @ 2:54am

After the title screen the screen went blue. Upon pressing enter either the screen turned black or the character kept on dying without me doing anything.

MrMordem says ...
Sep 4, 2016 @ 9:33am

@aucguy : i'll have the devs on that, the patched version should normally not have any blue screens at all, but the black screen you get afterwords is weird :/

the blue screens are here because the actual version has a glitch where the title screen doesn't seem to load properly, but when you skip it with enter, the game should load a map. Do you get it every time you run the game or is it a random thing ?

frix360 says ...
Sep 4, 2016 @ 10:00am

It looks like a fun game, but after dying I get that blue screen and not even Enter helps :(. Also my controls were not WASD and i thought that was weird (it was QDSZ. Intended?). I also think it need some instruction on controls.

MrMordem says ...
Sep 4, 2016 @ 10:26am

@frix360 : thanks for the feedback :) the blue screens you get are a glitch not yet patched where the different screens (title, and game over) don't load properly and upon death the game doesn't seem to always restart when you press enter, i'll check with the devs to see if they can fix this.

The QDSZ setup was semi intentional, in fact it's adumb mistake we made, we wanted to go for a WASD setup, and then after submitting we forgot that we have an AZERTY keyboard setup...

which is not the case for most people out there ^^' so this will be fixed in the next patch with hopefully a system that supports both types of controls.

as for the instructions i'll edit the description to have more info on that and scrap the part talking about curently glitched features.

thenanox says ...
Sep 4, 2016 @ 11:59am

i want's able to play because of the controls. also in the beggining if you dont push enter, game won't start :(

MrMordem says ...
Sep 4, 2016 @ 12:06pm

@thenanox : yeah, we're trying to fix this, the thing is there were supposed to be some title screen instead of the blue screen that's why poeple can't guess to push enter, sorry about that :/

but the devs are still at it to fix things, the control issue is being checked as well, untill we release the patch you can try "alt+shift" to switch your keyboard type so the game can be played with the WASD settings properly :)

thanks for the feedback, i'll try to update anytime i get a new build ready.

DaanVanYperen says ...
Sep 4, 2016 @ 12:19pm

Blue screened. Like the logo! ;)

MrMordem says ...
Sep 4, 2016 @ 1:49pm

@DaanVanYperen : Glad you liked it :)

I should get some news on the dev side to hopefully get the fixed build soon enough

(team account here so it's not necesserelly a dev speaking)

as soon as this is up i'll edit the changelog in the description and everything :)

tonynogo says ...
Sep 4, 2016 @ 2:27pm

I tried to launch the exe but it seems that the game doesn't work on my PC. Sorry, the game looks good!

MrMordem says ...
Sep 4, 2016 @ 4:11pm

@tonynogo : Strange, did you get a particular error at launch ?

also knowing which Os you tried it on could help figure things out, but its normally supposed to run on any windows version so that's a bit strange :/

also the game might not launch because you don't have OpenAL installed →

AWOL says ...
Sep 4, 2016 @ 5:19pm

The game looks great! I tried to play but it wont open.. I'm using Windows 10

mato26 says ...
Sep 4, 2016 @ 9:40pm

Unfortunatelly I couldn't get past the bluescreen (the one after Caffeinated Psychics). When I pressed enter it just stopped working. Not sure if it helps but I am using Windows 7 :D I hope you'll be able to repair that, cause screenshots looks cool :) Good luck

burjandedy says ...
Sep 4, 2016 @ 10:13pm

Nice graphics and sounds. The "blue screen of death" makes me sad, cause i can't beat the game, but rather then this it's a good idea. Can't wait to see the fixes. :)

MrMordem says ...
Sep 5, 2016 @ 9:05am

@all : first of all, thanks for your feedback and sorry for the late reply ^^'

@AWOL : the version available should at least run, so that's weird, maybe try installing OpenAL to fix untill we get a newer version available,

or if you're on windows 10 this might be because of the difference in the OS ? (team account so graphics guy speaking here ^^') i'll check with one of the devs who's running on windows 10 to see if he has issues on launch

@mato26 : the bluescreen is a glitched out titlescreen that doesn't display, so the game should start upon pressing enter, and it should normally run on windows 7 since i am on 7 too,

maybe it's the OpenAl thing ? if it still doesn't work afterwards i'll try to see if we can upload the updated version soon (sorry it takes so long to come btw :s)thanks for your support :)

@burjandeny : glad to see people would like to try the game despite all the issues and sorry for the time it takes to relase a patch ^^' we're trying our best to fix this game to a decent state.

did your bluescreen occur after being able to try a level or is it the same that what other people had, bluescreen unskippable after the logo ? Or even not being able to launch the game at all ?

stefvanschie says ...
Sep 5, 2016 @ 2:10pm

The graphics were good (from what I've seen), but I got a couple of issues. The blank screens were extremely confusing; I had to read the known issues for me to know what to do. When the game started and I was trying to work out how I'd have to play the game, I died. And when I died it stayed on the empty screen and enter didn't help.

Dietrich Epp says ...
Sep 5, 2016 @ 3:23pm

Yeah, I die right away on the first level, and there are a lot of blank screens.

Just a couple notes for distributing games: You don't need the *.vshost.exe or *.vshost.exe.manifest files for sure, these are just used for debugging and don't serve any purpose on our computers. You also don't need the *.pdb file, which is also for debugging, but you might feel like including it if you want to get better stack traces when the program crashes. The *.xml files are also unnecessary, they contain developer documentation.

Insality says ...
Sep 5, 2016 @ 4:16pm

Hey there! seems you already know about blue screens and something like windows10 problems

First two times i got happy to play a little in your game and got died (and got blue screen! doh!)
and after all, after every launch got crashed.

Love your screens and wish you fix all of this bugs to make us happy with your game! (Screens seems very very nice!)

Hero7785 says ...
Sep 5, 2016 @ 4:17pm


Linus123xbb says ...
Sep 5, 2016 @ 5:18pm

Well I died pretty much instantly and couldn't start it again :p The graphics very nice however and the music was awesome. I'd like to play this game some other time maybe if you could fix the bugs.

MrMordem says ...
Sep 5, 2016 @ 10:40pm

@All : Thanks for the various tips and feedback guys, the new patched up version is available (sorry it took quite a while)

there shouldn't be any blank screens this time around, try not to press enter too fast between screens as the devs pointed it could crash the game (will try to fix in a next update)some issues apparently remain but we'll try and take a look at them later.

Keep the feedback coming with the update to see what remains and thank you all for your patience, and for showing interest in our entry despite the many issues :)

Sep 7, 2016 @ 9:16pm

Nice overall game. I'm amazed by the amount of content made in such a small time. Note that I've played the patched version, but I could walk past the entry in a level:


Sep 7, 2016 @ 9:16pm

Oh and BTW, it's cool to see another game made with MonoGame. This framework deserves more love!

MrMordem says ...
Sep 7, 2016 @ 10:07pm

@Mathieu Muller : Thanks, we always try our best to make a good game during LDs so glad you liked it that much ^^

the patched took a bit of time to come out and we might update it whenever we can,

your screen from the LD sumbission release is a bit weird though, the level is supposed to have ennemies, did you take the screen after killing the ennemies or did you have an empty map on the start ?

also the door on the 3rd level isn't functionnal yet, we still have a glitch regarding win conditions, so even the current patch is like that, the next update should fix this however.

And regarding Monogame, we've been using it in some LD when we could make a project in C# but we don't use it everytime depending on the project and the available people from our team on each given LD, but yeah it's definitively a good framework :)

Capt Nemo says ...
Sep 7, 2016 @ 11:11pm

I like the feel of the character, its very simplistic but it feels good after a few minutes. The ammount of enemies is also good. I only got to the 3rd level because of a bug, but there are a few suggestions i have. make the walls block shots. Its kind of weird to be able to hide behind walls essentially invincible while shooting stuff. the other thing is that the ho is not super readable, and it took me a while to figure out that the blue laser beams hurt me. Adding something like a blood effect, screenshake or a different animation for getting hurt would clarify things a lot. Otherwize cool retro-ie game! I would definately play this more if i could move on from level 3!

nihilaleph says ...
Sep 8, 2016 @ 2:12am

Really liked the sprites! Though the tiles felt a bit mismatched with the rest... I couldn't find out how to attack with the sword, but the crossbow was just fine, specially because it goes through the walls xp The hit boxes felt a bit weird too, but maybe that was just me.
Couldn't get the Tachyon upgrade though, I think I just got HP pickups, but not sure... I got stuck in level three as already reported, but I could play more of this~^^ Nice job!

MrMordem says ...
Sep 8, 2016 @ 10:17pm

@Capt Nemo : Yep, the crossbow is a tiny bit OP at the moment ^^' but we're working on it and we'll try to release another patch whenever we can fixing these issues.

As for the HUD we'll revamp it completely cause itfills a bit too much of the screen and is very unclear, we'll also try to add more feedback on hits, and correct the bug with level 3 and the win condition not present, glad you liked it despite the flaws though :)

@nihilaleph : As i said yep the crossbow is a bit op (and will hopefully be fixed), also we did our best trying to make everything with a matching style but, there's always room for improvements :)

The hitbox shouldn't cause problems, but if you could specify what you felt was odd we could try to check this out and patch it if necessary ?

As for the various pickups weapons and Tachyion variants they are currently non functional in this build, you can only use the crossbow and there is currently no win condition ^^'

Glad to see people enjoy the game even in the current state :)

@All : Thanks for your feedback guys we really apreciate it, we'll try to add another update whenever we figure out how to fix some of the current problems ^^

Strike says ...
Sep 9, 2016 @ 10:39am

I tried both version. First one cannot start, I have the blue screen issue. Second version just says "press enter to start". Pressing enter directly goes to first level. I don't see the main menu screen like on your screenshots. I'm lacking the "how to" section mostly to fully understand the game. In the description you talk about 2 weapons but I don't know how to switch. I also didn't know what crates were supposed to look like and it took me lots of time to figure it out by luck. I can read that the goal is to find a mini boss and defeat him to get his card in order to open the door. I don't see any special enemy, and sometimes I can just go through the door and be lost out of the screen (Details at the end). Sometimes doing so still brings me into the next level but at a very random position. As you already now, 3rd level cannot be completed.

I believe the arrows shouldn't be going through walls. This makes the level a bit meaningless as it it possible to clear all enemies without really exploring. Also I'm not sure why my character entirely disappears for one frame every time I shoot. I thought at first that meant that I was taking damage from some enemy or trap, it made me very confused. I see some special floor tiles where lasers turn on when stepping on them. But sometimes some normal tiles right beside magically turn into a laser tile. I'm not sure if this is supposed to be a hidden trap or a bug.

I can honestly see that you made a lot of efforts to build a very good game. Good graphics, good music, good concept, good level design. Unfortunately it feels very wasted because the basic mechanics of the game are really unstable.

You are also very active and fix issues based on the comments. This is really good. I wish I could play a robust version of this game. If you release a new version soon, please tag me in the comments so I can come back and play it again.

Here are the steps to get the door bug :
- in first level, go down to the second room
- move along the top wall to the right until you hit the wall
- press down right direction all the way until you cross the door
From there you can either slowly move back and forth to trigger the door from inside of it (then you spawn in the next level inside the wall) or from outside of it (then you are not visible on the next level) Once your are outside of level 2, immeditatly keep pressing up and left, and you'll go through the level 2 end level door. You can again trigger the door from the other side and start level 3 outside of the screen.

Demo here :

MrMordem says ...
Sep 10, 2016 @ 9:18am

@Strike : Thanks for the useful feedback, to clear a bit things up regarding some of the issues on the patched build 0.2, The menu system we made during LD doesn't seem to work and causes an empty screen, so we made a work around for patches, that's why it's quite different and only has the "press enter" prompt displayed on the background.

The other weapon and Tachyon version of the character and minibosses are currently not available, and the character flickering when firing is an animation glitch where the shoot anim doesn't play properly or at all (we still don't know why and are trying to fix it)but he's not supposed to completely dissapear so this might be a glitch we haven't found :/

The trap tile thing where some magically appear out of nowhere is not intended, it's a known issue we're still trying to fix, same goes for the crossbow bolt going through walls and ennemies, which is indeed a bit OP :p

Glad you liked some aspects despite all that was glitchy ^^
we always put quite some efforts in our games, we just always have issues during LDs which makes our games less complete than what we wanted them to be upon submission, but we want people to experience what we wanted to make originally so we try to patch things up as much as we can before (hopefully) making full games ot of the entries we think could work out :)

PS : Bit of a late reply sorry, but as of posting this,

the new build 0.3 available

joe40001 says ...
Sep 19, 2016 @ 8:50am

I was able to get to the end really quickly. The graphics and music are decent though. Good effort but I think it needs more of a twist to stand out.

Score: (because I like scores)
Overall 2/5
Innovation 1/5
Fun 2/5
Theme 3/5
Graphics 3/5
Audio 2/5
Humor 0/5
Mood 2/5

MrMordem says ...
Sep 19, 2016 @ 10:16am

@joe40001 : Thanks, the game is indeed a little bit short, even the patched versions, since we had a bit of trouble to get some of our planned features to work :/

but we made functionnal as many as we could every update, the rest will probably be worked on for some post LD version.

As for the twist, it might not be much but, our twist on the actual top down gameplay were the "futuristic" upgrades you could use and had to manage as they were temporary, but because we had some issues, they are non functionnal even to the latest uploaded patch but we'll try to get them working when we can ^^

Also thanks for the score, it gives us a bit more detail on what works and what doesn't :)

xesenix says ...
Sep 19, 2016 @ 10:05pm

Unfortunately i couldn't check your "Windows (Patched LD 0.4)" entry in response to your comment on my game because Avast detected Win32:Evo-get [Susp] and when i tried to run original ludumdare entry it shown only some intro screen and after that i saw only blue screen at least not blue screen of death :P

MrMordem says ...
Sep 20, 2016 @ 12:56pm

@xesenix : Sorry for the late reply, the anti virus thing with the game must be because of the error logs system we have (it generates an LD36 folder in the "MyDocuments" directory with a .txt file) we have the same issue when testing every internal build we made to fix bugs.

We'll probably have to fix the rest for post LD now,

thanks anyway for your feedback and for taking time to test out our entry, always apreciated, :)

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