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

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by Steven Miller - Competition Entry

Created by Steven Miller for Ludum Dare #36: Ancient Technology

----- To skip a level, press shift while holding Q and enter -----

‚ÄčIt is the 18th century. Embark on an adventure to overthrow the corrupt monarch with only your trusty blunderbuss. Tolerate horrible accuracy and long reload times as you fight your way to King Perfidious.


Riveting dialogue

20 levels of action and excitement

Smoke effects

Boss fights

4 enemy types

----Operator Update----
Play by downloading Blunderbuss Operator from the page.
Warning! Spoilers for the first game.

An update featuring new and modified levels, new dialogue, and even more excitement, all made in a little over 2 hours!

Downloads and Links


videogreg93 says ...
Aug 29, 2016 @ 2:06am

Damn do my fingers hurt after this... Great game though! Love the reloading, gameplay feels solid, graphics are cool!

Pix3M says ...
Aug 29, 2016 @ 5:03am

Pretty interesting to see early firearms used in a game like this. After the second boss, my fingers definitely need a break

Capt Nemo says ...
Aug 29, 2016 @ 5:34am

The novelty of the reloading mechanic wears off pretty fast for me, i liked it at first but after 5 minutes i started to hate it. I like the art, and the 'Game Feel' but after typing so much today my hand already hurts to much to actually plays this lol. Good Job!

Aug 29, 2016 @ 6:16am

I really like this game. The graphics are really great - I especially like the smoke effect. I also thought that the dialogue was basically the best dialog I'd seen in a game in a while - especially with how random the ending was. It also has the unique quality of being literally painfully realistic.

quentinus60 says ...
Aug 29, 2016 @ 6:41am

I really ike the design and the gun animation.
the reloading concept is interresting as well but I think the reloading time is a little too long. Or maybe you should have 2 bullets. OVerall it's a good game! Well done.

nanimono says ...
Aug 29, 2016 @ 8:29am

I came here for smoke effects.

Aug 29, 2016 @ 8:40am

A very good game. The dialog is great. I like the smoke effect that difficults the vision just like that weapons do it in real life. The reload mechanic is fun and interesting at first and it destroys your hand very quickly and becomes a little dumb, but is very realistic. A good game overall. Great work

Tygrak says ...
Aug 29, 2016 @ 8:42am

I love the way the gun feels so much, the graphics, the smoke effects, but it is so tiring to reload. Maybe reloading should be automatic but still slow to keep the slow gameplay? I have finished the 2nd boss and really enjoyed it, but I couldnt continue due to the reloading.

Steven Miller says ...
Aug 29, 2016 @ 8:50am

@Tygrak I was actually thinking about adding a mode that does that. I use a laptop, so my keyboard is much easier to reload with, but trying it on a normal keyboard, it is more difficult. Since there aren't ratings anyway, I may add it in (though I'm pretty busy this upcoming week).

Sun-Wukong says ...
Aug 29, 2016 @ 8:54am

Nice! But feels very tedious to reload.

lordvorath says ...
Aug 29, 2016 @ 8:57am

Cool graphics and UI. I like that it's not overwhelmingly difficult, i died a couple of time to finish it. In the later levels it gets a bit difficult to understand what is cover and what is background, despite the outline. Overall very cool game and idea (personally i would have shortened the reloading by one cycle)

studdert249 says ...
Aug 29, 2016 @ 9:33am

I had a few issues with the running of this title on both of the downloads supplied

- The menu items were detecting mouse over much higher than their position
- The character would randomly stop accepting input, outside of following the mouse cursor
- After these freezes, the character would run in a random direction until another input was registered
- Possibly unrelated - For some reason my desktop background was removed each time I quit the game, just thought it was interesting...

From what I got to play of the game I enjoyed it, especially the opening dialogue sequence and the smoke effect. The central mechanic seems quite interesting and would like to explore it more if I can get the game to work.

Bentou says ...
Aug 29, 2016 @ 1:26pm

Really funny plot. Nice idea with reloading mechanics, but I would consider allowing player to choose from which button he wants to start (but not the axis itself). I like when with good positioning you can make your gun a weapon of mass destruction and smoke effect covering half the screen is pure gold. I hope you would develop it further, would be even better with some weapon upgrades or temporary pickups.

KingEthaniel says ...
Aug 31, 2016 @ 5:01am

I really wish I'd thought of this. Seriously, a really, REALLY great idea for a mechanic, and it fits the theme so well. I played it for a good fifteen minutes, and thoroughly enjoyed all of it. The dialogue si really funny as well.

Diptoman says ...
Aug 31, 2016 @ 7:27am

Really cool idea for the mechanic (and the first time I'm hearing Blunderbuss since Screencheat). The visuals are polished. I feel the reload time was a tad bit slow to properly enjoy, but great and fitting entry otherwise!

Aug 31, 2016 @ 6:51pm

Im waiting to get my hands on a Windows to play this. Looks amazing!

Kazik_210 says ...
Aug 31, 2016 @ 8:39pm

I like your graphic :D Good idea for reloading for me!

ninja00283 says ...
Aug 31, 2016 @ 9:54pm

So the art is great.
The movement is good.
The reloading is a funny idea.
But it is all the same every level!
So it feels as a chore to get the story.
so more variation is my feed back.

Allthebees says ...
Aug 31, 2016 @ 10:58pm

Pretty funny, and you definitely captured the feeling of a blunderbuss but I couldnt reach the end as my hand was hurting to much.

Sep 1, 2016 @ 2:31am

This game was really great. It's a novel idea, and it works really well. I loved walking around trying to dodge everyone's bullets as I frantically tried to reload. I also like the little quick time event thing I have to do to reload; it did a much better job of making me feel like I'm frantically trying to reload than just holding down a button and watching a bar fill up, so good job on including that. Lots of great enemy variety too as the game progresses, and I love how you included bosses. The story was also really funny. I am a bit disappointed that there wasn't a cut scene to wrap up the story after the final boss though. The visuals were also very well done, although I wonder whether a opaque white outline would have been better than the translucent one you use. Anyway, I had a really fun time playing through this excellent entry.

NikSorvari says ...
Sep 1, 2016 @ 6:28am

Solid game feel and nice graphics. Characters move a bit fast for how small the view is but that's just part of the design probably

Dedioso says ...
Sep 1, 2016 @ 4:46pm

Really great game. The reloading mechanic gets a bit annoying after some time (like other people in the commentary section already said) but i love the humor in your textboxes. And I like the graphics. I really felt like a story and got more content then i expected. Really well done!

cottontrek says ...
Sep 1, 2016 @ 9:51pm

This is really good! The art style is quite cute and the whole reloading mechanic is pretty funny. I guess the only minor gripe I have would be that the smoke makes it at times hard to see whether an enemy was hit or not (maybe there could be more audio feedback for an enemy death?), but it honestly felt in line with the whole - super old and janky gun theme.

gassasin says ...
Sep 1, 2016 @ 10:26pm

Realy cool game maybe u colud like something like upgrades for ur wepon like faster reloding :)

Ryusui says ...
Sep 2, 2016 @ 12:49am

I really like the overall concept and premise. I do have a few gripes, though. There's some levels where it feels like you have way too much thrown at you at once - it's a struggle to keep your weapon loaded and deal with everything else. Maybe there should be some kind of "scratch damage" weapon, like a bayonet, good for killing enemies that are almost dead but not much else? Also, I really wish the particle effects wouldn't obscure the button prompts. Finally, I wish the game had an actual boss theme. ^_^;

Dietrich Epp says ...
Sep 2, 2016 @ 12:59am

This game was just fantastic, I loved it! A bit brutal on the old digits, reloading the gun that many times. Also wished that there was an indication when you downed the last enemy in a level, so you didn't waste time reloading only to walk to the exit.

9.ar7k says ...
Sep 2, 2016 @ 1:09am

cute concept haha. there should be more multiplayer games like this.

Alphish says ...
Sep 2, 2016 @ 5:14pm

I greatly appreciate the story (maybe except for 4th wall breaking parts; the story is humourous enough without it, anyway) and the general idea behind this game, and the intro actually establishes the reason why reloading in this game is so slow.

I've got to agree with others, though, that after a while the hand hurts because of all that reloading (it's 24 key presses, after all); maybe making it automatic when the character stands idly, with an animation visualising the reloading process, would work better in the long run. And speaking of the load run, I think the game could use a few less levels and/or more variety in them (gotta admit, though, the graphics were pretty varied). Also, the music was pretty tiring as I progressed further, and it's mainly the amusing story that kept me going. ^^'

Still, it *is* quite a fantastic entry, especially for such a timeframe! Great job, here!

CliffracerX says ...
Sep 2, 2016 @ 5:39pm

Made it all the way through with under ten deaths; that last level's a doozy!

Fun idea, though! Watching as my reload speed slowly got better with practice was quite cool; due to the player-controlled nature reloading, as you get more skilled, you can reload faster, and that's really cool for a shooter.

I'd play an extended version of this!

AWOL says ...
Sep 2, 2016 @ 8:45pm

Great Job! I couldn't stop playing. The Dialog was funny. It was my style of game Great work. Keep it up!

dreamlogician says ...
Sep 3, 2016 @ 4:16am

A cool idea combined with some hilarious writing. Nice work!

Omiya Games says ...
Sep 3, 2016 @ 4:21am

Very fun indeed! Felt like I was playing Gears of War, with all the hiding and precision shooting. Would have liked to make the AI manipulation a little easier than it is implemented right now. A lot of the enemies felt like they were moving randomly, and aggro-ed regardless of where you were.

A little more variety would have helped. As an example, different walls, hiding spots, and enemies would have made the experience longer and more enjoyable.

Great job!

xesenix says ...
Sep 7, 2016 @ 1:33am

Solid game very good pixel art easy to learn and control almost flawless. This story was also very funny and music wasnt distracting and worked well with game speed.
One thing i could suggest counter for enemies left because i lost some time for reloading where there were no more enemies left. I felt it was a little bit boring on beginning because it was to easy the difficulty felt satisfying after second boss.

I would vote this game for best game play of this ludumdare.

Steven Miller says ...
Sep 10, 2016 @ 4:53am

@Bentou @CliffracerX I'm sure this isn't what you wanted in an extended version, but I made Blunderbuss Operator over the last few hours, and it is now available for download on the page.

Steven Miller says ...
Sep 10, 2016 @ 5:58am

@SuperPokeunicorn Blunderbuss Operator (available through the link) has new dialogue and a scene after the final boss. The game is much shorter and a lot of the levels have been modified (and a few are completely new), but you can use the level skip in the description if you want to skip over some of the old stuff and get to the dialogue.

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