Ludum Dare 37 — December 9th-11th, 2016 — Theme: One Room

Well, Mike ran in to problems getting working properly with about 12 hours left in the Compo, so this is the backup plan.

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by Devastus - Jam Entry

The gates have been breached. All that is left is the King and his Throne.

This is a semi-casual "Arena Battle" - game with upgrades. Beat all 50 waves to win!

Strength -> enhances your damage output.
Endurance -> gives more health.
Dexterity -> raises your speed, lowers the enemy's. Helps with dodge too.
Unlock Combo -> unlock higher-tier combos with more moves.

I highly recommend you to unlock a combo or two first, and upgrade Dexterity. These will help you immensely to survive more waves.

Press corresponding arrow keys shown on the screen to perform attacking and dodging.

Press Space (as in Start) to change screens when prompted.

Arrow keys to navigate and Enter to add stats in the Upgrade menu.

Niko Finsk - Graphics
Jani Syrjänen - Programming, Sounds & Music

Feedback and bug reports are more than welcome! Thank you for playing!

19.12.2016 - Fixed the ending crashing and burning to the ground. Thanks for the heads up zenmumbler!

14.12.2016 - Fixed the multiple Spacebar presses - bug that destroyed everything. Also, enemy attack timing had some issues. From now on, their attacks happen in consistent intervals that is determined by your speed difference, which is how it was supposed to work.

13.12.2016 - Changed the resolution to get rid of those pesky scrollbars that happen with the embed IFrame.

Downloads and Links




hadesfury says ...
Dec 13, 2016 @ 2:38am

fun game ... is it possible to block enemy attack?

Devastus says ...
Dec 13, 2016 @ 2:46am

Yeah, you'll dodge the incoming attack if you press the arrow button that comes up during it!
It surely could have used better indicators, but time ran out.

Pixeye says ...
Dec 13, 2016 @ 4:28am

I like this game mechanics although it will be great to give more feedback to player when he press the buttons. ( Highlighting button to press, making some animations when you are wrong ) - and give a little bit more time for decisions

lonesurvivor says ...
Dec 13, 2016 @ 12:56pm

Nice game! I really like the graphics and the music. Gameplay feels a bit laggy: sometimes when an indicator shows up and I press the key it feels like it is registered too late. But maybe my reflexes are jsut getting bad xD

Kevin_B says ...
Dec 13, 2016 @ 12:59pm

The title is fantastic!
The gammeplay is pretty cool, but sometimes too speed.
Cool game anyway.
Fantastic graphics, very very good sound.

W.GASABF says ...
Dec 13, 2016 @ 1:04pm

Like the audio & graphics ! A button highlightment would have been great in case of succesful or failed action.

No mouse control ? :p

Anyway, good job !

mipo says ...
Dec 13, 2016 @ 1:39pm

Very polished game, it was a lot of fun (: my only complaints is that dodging is super hard and that you can’t rebind the keys. It is really hard to have a finger on all 4 arrow keys so one finger is covering 2 keys and is almost always too slow. The art and music go really well together and are really high quality.

Devastus says ...
Dec 13, 2016 @ 2:03pm

Thank you all for the constructive feedback!
A lot of very valid points mentioned. We'll most likely be working on this outside of Ludum Dare to make it a full-fledged web browser game, so I'll have to take key re-binding, button highlighting and rebalancing into account, amongst other things. There was a lot of ideas and features (skills, actual combos, different enemy types etc.) I really wanted to include in this but simply wasn't fast enough :P

DeathBySnail says ...
Dec 13, 2016 @ 4:50pm

Really fun, simple yet engaging. Love the audio and aesthetic. As i'm basically staring at the spot where the buttons appear, it would maybe be cool to add something which lets me watch the animations rather than the buttons (different sounds for incoming swipe directions?).

chriiis88 says ...
Dec 13, 2016 @ 8:35pm

This could be really cool but is actually way too hard. The only chance to dodge is by randomly guessing the arrow key that is gonna be shown and pressing it before the key appears on the screen...

Dec 13, 2016 @ 8:45pm

Loved attack animation and the quick time event mechanic overall.
Great work!

automatonvx says ...
Dec 13, 2016 @ 8:50pm

really good graphics and music, it seemed less laggy in full screen than windowed, also maybe better to have the arrows closer to the action so you can more easily see both at the same time.

Marta Viader says ...
Dec 13, 2016 @ 9:01pm

Cool! The possibility of upgrading is a great adding to the game.

Sun-Wukong says ...
Dec 13, 2016 @ 10:10pm

Graphics and sound are very nice, but it seems to be impossible to block enemy attack.

Dec 13, 2016 @ 10:56pm

Really fun! Challenging, yet super simple to play. Great entry!

Uliana Galich says ...
Dec 13, 2016 @ 10:57pm

Then add movement to fatalities,
a scene from the movie "Leon" in slot machines)))

bplane2 says ...
Dec 13, 2016 @ 11:00pm

Very solid, It took me a bit to understand the timing for the attacks, but once I did the game really took off.

Excellent polish for such a short amount of time from what I noticed. The upgrade system was a nice little addition as well.

Haddy22 says ...
Dec 13, 2016 @ 11:55pm

Very fun- Music fits perfectly - love the mood / environment / setting of the game. Upgrades keep you playing longer. Art style is rad, love the animations too. Very solid entry- one of my favs :) nice work!

djfariel says ...
Dec 14, 2016 @ 6:08am

Really solid, simple game. Great artwork, good sound effects and music.

I somehow broke it, I hadn't realized ENTER would put in stats and instead hit space.

I found that pressing space again, resets the 'fade out', so I tapped the space key and quickly bought some stats.

The game then pit me up against some knight who did like a 100-hit combo and crashed.

SeaDads says ...
Dec 14, 2016 @ 6:27am

Man the core loop is simple but so addictive! The sort of game I love to play on my phone while on the train. The audio and art is great, loved the death anim and sound in particular. If there's a way of having the arrows displayed around the characters that'd mean you wouldn't have to keep looking away from the nice art!

alfadur says ...
Dec 14, 2016 @ 9:03pm

Great graphics and sound, for some reason the title text especially stands out. The gameplay feels quite smooth, though as SeaDads said, it would be nice to have the indicators somewhere in the middle. I found I couldn't track what's happening on the screen very well with peripheral vision, while focusing on the arrows.

srakowski says ...
Dec 15, 2016 @ 1:02am

Love the audio and graphics. I think it would take a lot of practice to be quite good. Its very difficult to block incoming attacks. All and all a great game. Well done!

VeryBadBunny says ...
Dec 15, 2016 @ 1:11am

It took me a while to get it right at first, but after 15 minutes I understood how it worked. I did not spend ...
Great controls and concept very well applied. Congratulations!

p1x3lruckus says ...
Dec 15, 2016 @ 1:28pm

Wow, this is by far my favourite game so far! I played this for like 3/4 of an hour, well done!

bigbuggames says ...
Dec 15, 2016 @ 1:28pm

Nice job! I love the graphics and the soundFX. For me it was really hard to dodge the enemy attacks at first (I died a lot until I've got the hang of it). You could scale down the difficulty of the first waves a little bit or allow the player to select the difficulty. Keep up the good work!

NidzaKornjaca says ...
Dec 15, 2016 @ 1:32pm

Truly a great game, very addicting. Sound is good, graphics are fitting and its really fun to play. Good job

stefenism says ...
Dec 15, 2016 @ 9:48pm

Simple and to the point. If this game wasn't as good as it is I MIGHT feel embarassed about how much time I spent playing it.

zenmumbler says ...
Dec 16, 2016 @ 4:48pm

Great sounds and music that fit the game well. I'm fascinated by the process that has me hit a completely arbitrary and wrong arrow key when defending much more then when attacking. Maybe it is the zoom effect when they approach that triggers some sort of panic? I miss defence about 80% of the time vs 10% for attacks. Great feel, good entry.

While I'm here, thanks for looking Callisto earlier, hope I can persuade you to have another look now that I've fixed the graphical issues it had earlier. Thanks!

zenmumbler says ...
Dec 16, 2016 @ 5:18pm

So… I beat wave 50, finishing the game and then was presented with… an exception message. Not really the payoff I was waiting for but I had fun nonetheless :)

Sean says ...
Dec 16, 2016 @ 10:26pm

This is definitely one of my favourites gameplay-wise. The sprites are well-done (especially the snazzy title animation in the intro), the audio does a nice job of complementing the feel, and the game had me playing for a lot longer than I would have expected.

-I think would be a lot more interesting if instead of simply having a UI overlay, the directions you need to press were actually worked into the animations taking place. I found that I rarely did anything except look at the one spot on the screen that displayed the next arrow to press.
-Checkpoints: making it to wave 48 and then dying doesn't make me excited for having almost won, it makes me incredibly frustrated and annoyed that I'm going to have to do all the early fights again, except even easier this time. Giving the player the ability to restart from 10, 20, etc would reduce a lot of the tedium, while also giving them some intermediary goals to work towards (starting at 0 and being told you have to get 50 is a bit daunting!)
-The theme feels a little forced; it kind of seems like you were hoping for "upgrade" and then went with it anyway, haha!
-It seemed like RNG was a bit too important. The only thing that determined (for me) whether I could beat a late-wave enemy was if I lucked into a long combo instead of a measly one or two hits on my turn.
-There 2 different fullscreen buttons (one on Ludum Dare's site and one in the Unity webgl export). You should probably try to set it up so that you only need one.

Overall, it's a great entry!

hexachrome says ...
Dec 18, 2016 @ 6:20pm

Nice game! It's a little hard to dodge but it's really cool though. Well done!

Devastus says ...
Dec 19, 2016 @ 12:58pm

Thanks so much for all the feedback people! I'm legitimately awed by the fact that you guys actually like it, and hope to continue working on the Post-LD version and make it ten times better!

@Zenmumbler: Oh haha, I kinda expected something like that would happen, I was making an ending like 20 min before submission hour was over. I should probably fix that :P

@Sean: Some very good points there. The upgrades were actually more of an afterthought since I was thinking that this needs more content than what it had without, but it might have steered the mood a bit towards me trying to jam in some other themes :P Also yeah, the game really does show it's flaws the further you go since I spent my overall time wrong and didn't really have much playtesting in the end.

sP0CkEr2 says ...
Dec 19, 2016 @ 9:08pm

this was really a fantastic game. my only problem was that defending was too difficult. there should be more time between key and attack. awesome game.

Palmish says ...
Dec 19, 2016 @ 9:39pm


Hard to find anything to criticize. The music is great, but it doesn't loop perfectly. The prompts should change color rather than go away when attacking. In the current version they are removed and the remaining prompts move which makes it a bit trickier to play.

Would have been nice to have a combo counter (counting successful hits/blocks).

The progression system was a great addition. I would not have played the game half as much without it.

Overall, fantastic entry

dobnarr says ...
Dec 19, 2016 @ 10:39pm

Very compelling, really fun, nice art, neat progression. Addictive despite its simplicity. Like others, I thought defending was way too hard and didn't give enough feedback as to whether you were doing it right, especially in comparison with attacking, where you had a lot of time to pick the right key. Also, above level 15 or so, you can get these "super" guys who have double or triple the HP of the regular progression. That was really frustrating, especially after level 35 or so when a guy will pop up with 600+ hp, and attack you seven times to kill you after you've been otherwise doing well. That part was super-frustrating. Music, sound, and graphics were all impressive, and I did play for a long time. Very nice work.

Nexus64 says ...
Dec 19, 2016 @ 11:09pm

Incredible for a game made in three days!
My only complaint is that maybe it has a very hard start.

Dec 21, 2016 @ 8:44pm

Nice graphics, fun game! I included it in my compilation video series of the Ludum Dare 37 games, if you’d like to take a look. :)

indrkl says ...
Dec 22, 2016 @ 7:58am

Extremely addicting, too bad there wasn't some more content in between. Anyways yeah, I played it for too long :)

tommarx69 says ...
Dec 23, 2016 @ 4:55pm

Graphics are awesome !
I find (maybe that's because I'm bad :)) the time we have to press the ley is a bit short.
Very good game.

DDRKirby(ISQ) says ...
Dec 23, 2016 @ 5:56pm

Pretty nice! This is actually way more addicting than it "should" be for some reason =P

This was great for LD and despite being a relatively simple concept is really fun to play. The upgrades, despite being a late addition into the game, really add to the "just one more time" feeling, which is great.

Some food for thought:
- I thought timing windows were just fine, including dodging. Other people just need to git gud. ;) I did have a number of runs end at the darned level 21 guy though.
- I'd echo previous comments about randomization -- be careful about what elements you randomize as it can create "feel-bad" moments when players don't get a long combo string.
- A lot of the other issues mentioned by others stem from a lack of clear feedback for the game actions -- for instance it can sometimes be difficult to differentiate between pressing the wrong key vs you ran out of time. More feedback, even in the form of simple text, would solve a lot of these complaints.
- For longer combo sequences it probably makes sense to have the arrow key sequence stay in place rather than scrolling, and have the keys be crossed off or otherwise highlighted. This is much easier to read through quickly.
- On a related note, it's probably more satisfying for combos if you have the sword slashes happen in time with the player keypresses, even if you have to interrupt/speed up animations in order to do it. The tactile satisfaction from hitting keys and immediately hearing/seeing the slashes is lost if you have inputs queued up as you do now.
- In terms of progression, consider having multiple shorter game segments vs a single long one (or as mentioned previously, use checkpoints).
- The audio was pretty well-done in general, but I did feel like the sfx stuck out a bit, both in terms of balance (much louder than the music) and maybe in terms of blending in. But that's a minor nitpick, it was really mostly fine.

Great job overall! :D

Frenchie says ...
Dec 24, 2016 @ 6:43am

This game was a ton of fun to play and definitely one of the top entries of this Ludum Dare!

Some feedback: I feel like the presentation of the quicktime keys could have used a bit more love. It's the core gameplay element of your game and right now there's some major problems with them. 1) It's really hard to tell which direction I'm supposed to be pressing. The icons all look really similar and it takes me a long time to figure out which one is which. An easy way to fix this would be to have a different color icon for each direction. Other people are complaining that there's not enough time but with a small change like this I bet you could shorten the player's response time quite a bit. 2) You've got this gorgeous pixel art and I'm stuck staring at the plain old bricks at the bottom of the screen. It would have been nice if the icons displayed closer to the action - i.e. right above the two guys when they're fighting. 3) I would often press the wrong key first in sequences. I know the current key you need to press is always in the same position, but you could go further to make it more apparent. I'd suggest a small border around the current key to press to draw more attention to it.

Anyways, really nice job! Congrats on such a fantastic entry for your first LD!

pmarincak says ...
Dec 25, 2016 @ 12:21am

This was a really fun game. I spent a lot of time with it. :)

I really liked the simplicity and the difficulty curve. It was a lot more based on your skill, and if you used the upgrades there was an instant obvious change that you had basically leveled up.

I did have some difficulties with the game though. It was extremely hard for me to dodge any enemies, and it seemed like the amount of time I was given to attack vs. dodge was not equal. I'm not sure how much the dexterity went into that.

When you have the upgrade portion of the screens, seeing the letter "e" does not make me think to press the enter key. I pressed the space bar and "e" at some point thinking that was the confirm key.

I also immediately started to play the game using WASD instead of the arrow keys. This is probably because I never use the arrow keys. An option would be great.

There was also frame rate issues around wave 18 or so, usually when I got to execute a combo greater than 4.

Great Job \o/

radmars says ...
Dec 26, 2016 @ 9:18pm

Awesome! The concept is cool and the execution is really solid - great graphics and music. Gameplay gets a bit stale after a while but is still surprisingly fun and addictive.

As others have said, the defense timing felt a bit inconsistent - sometimes it wasn't clear whether I ran out of time or what, the default time to defend seems pretty short. An indicator of time remaining might help here. To be clear, I didn't think it was too too difficult, it just seems like it needs more feedback. I couldn't tell if dex upgraded that time; if so, personally I'm not crazy about upgrades that make the direct gameplay mechanics strictly easier but YMMV. Timing-wise, I would love if the attacks were directly linked to your input too, felt a little disconnected as-is.

Another small frustration was that it was unsatisfying to kill an enemy in the middle of a combo - it would be awesome if I could continue the combo and get bonus overkill essence or something like that :D

Some more polish would go a long way here and make this game really great - despite the issues it was still a lot of fun and clearly has a ton of potential. Awesome work!

SamuelSousa says ...
Dec 29, 2016 @ 7:04pm

That was fun even though most of the time I fail to dodge enemy attacks.

Cool sounds and nice pixel art.
Fun to play it could be a little easier in the begginning.

Dec 30, 2016 @ 10:21pm

Stellar entry. Aesthetics are just amazing and delivers a unique and stylish atmosphere, music is spot on, I loved the pixel art animations and VFX for blood and when the player dies, even if the game seems super simple at first, it gets really addictive and challenging in a good way.

kato9 says ...
Dec 31, 2016 @ 7:35pm

Dang, really cool - seems very polished and great artwork. I personally needed more time to be able to react to the dodge commands though, made the game a bit too hard for me.

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