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

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The Art of the Rope

by Aun - Competition Entry

You are a student and your teacher ask you to solve some rope linking problems for his future flying machine. As you advance in your studies, the problems become harder and new kind of ropes appear.

This is a puzzle game in which you have to understand what are the rules assigned to each rope. A second goal is to use as little ropes as possible. The score is printed for each level at the top right hand corner and at the end of the game, you have the total number of ropes used. Share it in the comments :)

Good Luck :)

If you enjoy the game, you can also create your own puzzles (only with the exe version). To do so, you have to create a text file. A puzzle is represented on a single line (you can have multiple line in a single file). You have 10 numbers for the ropes followed by 10 numbers for the pulleys (0 there is no pulley, 1 there is a pulley). For the ropes, here is the encoding :

0 = no rope

1 = black rope

2 = blue rope

3 = green rope

4 = orange rope

5 = red rope

Example :

0 1 2 1 4 1 5 0 0 0 0 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0

Then, once you have your puzzle file, from the main menu, press P to go to the customized puzzle mode. Choose your text file and enjoy ;)

You can share your challenges in the comments for more fun :D

Tools used:

Game Maker




Change Log 07/09/2016
- correct double click on web version.
- level selection
- undo button
- print the number of move for every level
- autosave functionality

(This update is mainly for the double click bug, other updates are bonus)

Downloads and Links


Pusty says ...
Aug 28, 2016 @ 11:30pm

that was fun! liked the mechanics

CMLSC says ...
Aug 28, 2016 @ 11:31pm

It's an interesting idea, but I got stuck pretty fast. XD
I like the art. :D

vmunhoz says ...
Aug 29, 2016 @ 2:16am

really cool man, I like how you blend the theme and managed to introduce the story behind the puzzle. I just found it hard to understand what was happening. Nothing that a animation for the ropes can't solve! Nice work!

lordvorath says ...
Aug 29, 2016 @ 9:17am

Nice idea, very difficult. It's been said already but a simple animationa would improve thid dramatically. also nice idea for the story.

rynti says ...
Aug 29, 2016 @ 9:35am

Fun idea, took me a while to figure out though (Not sure if more explanation would've been better or this kind of figure-it-out-on-your-own is actually more fun and rewarding though)

g_o says ...
Aug 29, 2016 @ 9:57am

I guess I'm kinda dumb but it took me a little while to figure out what's happening...
But I guess dummy-support is a game design choice haha

Aug 29, 2016 @ 10:53am

First five minutes I didn't see the end of the ropes because it was't scrolled till there, after that it's a good puzzle game with a funny premise.

Ilseroth says ...
Aug 29, 2016 @ 1:05pm

While the mechanics are a bit obtuse at first, eventually it makes sense and I like it. Should have a "par" cut on the screen, to set a goal.

onyon says ...
Aug 29, 2016 @ 4:31pm

Nice mechanics! Solid entry, I liked it :D

Amine Tcherak says ...
Aug 29, 2016 @ 10:05pm

Very Nice i love your Game Good Works )=

samu says ...
Aug 29, 2016 @ 10:56pm

Enjoyed playing the game. The puzzles were very satisfying when I knew why I solved them. Some of the puzzles I felt were solved too easily. I would click twice and suddenly I had won. Some smoother wave of transitioning is needed to help under standing what has happened.

Also I got to a level that was blue orange green and I could not work it out at all. I basically tried every combination of clicks, I sill end up with three orange ropes.

Aun says ...
Aug 30, 2016 @ 8:40am

Thank you for your feedbacks. The game is hard on purpose. I wanted to make a puzzle game in which you have to understand the game.
@samu I need to improve the way the ropes are explained. Having longer sequences may help. All the puzzles have a solution. For the blue, orange, green, I think the solution is o b b g g (you take the ropes from the middle outside).
So no one saw the end of the game? :D

Aug 30, 2016 @ 11:55am

Interesting puzzle game. Mechanics are simple, introduced slowly, and you have to experience with how things interact. I just wish there was an undo button, instead of a start-from-scratch button :P Nicely done!

kingpirux says ...
Aug 30, 2016 @ 1:47pm

i couldn't pass lvl 2 :P sorry, im testing many games so my patience is not good, i think this have a nice concept but the lack of information makes it just a random click until you found wich is the right rope..

Aun says ...
Aug 30, 2016 @ 2:36pm

@kingpirux This is a game in which you need to think :) It is strange you have problems in the second level, it is quite obvious. However, as I did the game, it may only be obvious for me. Can you explain what you did not get ? It is also hard to evaluate the concept with only 1 level complete. For the lack of information, I know there could be some improvements, but not in the first level, the rule is simple enough (you click you cut and it connects to the bottom part :) )

kingpirux says ...
Aug 30, 2016 @ 4:35pm

well maybe i didn't get the game, but i just did what the game asked me to: i cut the rope. So in 2nd lvl i cut a rope and all of them goes up... any rope i cut, they go up and that's it. i cant finish the game, MAYBE there was a bug, but i tryed many times starting with all the different ropes but i get the same result.

Aun says ...
Aug 30, 2016 @ 5:19pm

@kingpirux well, you can cut more than one rope, the first level is here to show you that ropes can be cut. I thought it was obvious, maybe not.

kingpirux says ...
Aug 30, 2016 @ 6:32pm

@aun i know, but i cut all of them and nothing is changing... here this is what i get doesn't matter how i start or what rope i cut, all of them are the same.¿what i'm missing?

Aun says ...
Aug 30, 2016 @ 8:23pm

@kingpirux you need to have the ropes remaining match with the pulleys at the bottom. So in this case, you need to cut one rope every two ropes. I will make this more clear the next time :)

Allthebees says ...
Aug 30, 2016 @ 10:41pm

I got just past the one with only one green and one blue rope, and I gotta say this makes zero sense to me. I get some of the mechanics, but most of it is going over my head as to why ropes interact with each other the way they do...

Aug 30, 2016 @ 11:32pm

Wow that was an interesting puzzle game, very well done.

scriptorum says ...
Aug 31, 2016 @ 4:01am

Wow, lots of levels, I got through a dozen or so. Love the art style. The puzzles were effective but also ... weird! It feels like you're solving them blind, feeling your way around until some things seem familiar. Some mechanics were easy to pick up, like the level goals. Some took work, like which direction will these same-color ropes merge, and dammit I keep forgetting that rule breaks on an edge rope. Others were head scratchers, like when a green and a blue merge they ... uh ... they ... my head hurts. :) You made something unique here.

Sabina Lis says ...
Aug 31, 2016 @ 1:45pm

I liked a lot the art and the idea, i'm not sure i fully understood it yet, but it is a nice puzzle and it seems to work well. Maybe it is confusing to cut a rope wich extends instead of shorten, i dont know. When you spend some time on it you sort of get it, thanks and contagrats!!

Gipzo says ...
Sep 1, 2016 @ 7:33pm

Interesting puzzle, took me a while to understand it.

tphx says ...
Sep 2, 2016 @ 5:43am

Interesting concept. Very good game. I was really confused because the rope moves up away from the pullies. I was stuck on the second level for a bit until I figured that out. Once I got used to that and had everything figured out it was really fun.

theCrancher says ...
Sep 2, 2016 @ 7:30pm

Hey, that was fun, weird, confusing, and great, all at the same time, good job!

gonutz says ...
Sep 4, 2016 @ 10:10am

I find that I solve puzzles purely by luck and trying out a couple of different sequences rather than thinking it through. The mechanics are not obvious to me even after 15 levels.

The graphics don't support the user in understanding the mechanics.

g12345 says ...
Sep 6, 2016 @ 9:24pm

I guess the biggest problem with this game is that the game in the "Web" link is not completable, and it is an older version.

The one in will work, however.

But by the time I finished the puzzles I ended up finding them boring and tedious instead. This game is probably better if you have a save function, or have half the amount of levels as it is now. (The latter half of the red rope puzzles are just sleep-inducing.)

I like the idea, like the graphics, like the music, but the level design broke all of that...

Aun says ...
Sep 6, 2016 @ 11:52pm

@g12345 I continued after the end of the compo to add some new functionalities but as it is not fair for others, I just put the new game on my website and not on the direct access.

For the level design, I quickly did a lot of levels before the end trying to use all the ropes. It was mostly random for some of them. So, I agree it is a bit boring once you understand the rules. I would have work on it.

I am happy someone actually finished the game and thank you for your feedback :)

g12345 says ...
Sep 7, 2016 @ 12:27pm

@Aun: I appreciate the thought of not putting a post-compo version on the main page. But this being a puzzle game, it's not fun letting people with the impression that the compo version is finishable.

Because I thought that version is finishable and I've tried that specific puzzle for some time before proving that that level is indeed unfinishable.

In fact, the rules specifically says the following:

"Certain Bug Fixes are allowed. You can’t add new features, but if something broke or didn’t work correctly as you were finishing up, you can fix this after the deadline. You are asked to highlight the changes you make in your submission (a short change log). You probably wont get a 2nd chance with some players, but at least it wont be a problem for future players."

I'd say, the least you could do is to tell players that this current version is not finishable. And not let players in the dark by not mentioning it. You can, of course, fix it instead, and put up a changelog for those game-breaking bugs.

Aun says ...
Sep 7, 2016 @ 1:15pm

@g12345 I have just tried the web version and it seems to have a bug which sometimes double click on the rope. I did most of my tests on the windows exe that's why I did not noticed that before. Otherwise, it is finishable (windows version, I changed no levels between the two versions). Thank you very much for pointing that out and I am sorry you got stuck. I will change the version.

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