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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One Step Back

by Holofire - Jam Entry

One Step Back is a decision based room exploration game. Alex is stuck in a time loop, forced to enter the same room over and over again. The catch? The room changes ever time he enters it.

Each room has different decisions, puzzles, and hidden secrets to discover.

Inspired by The Stanley Parable, each room contains narration from 'the voice'. Will you follow his instructions, or rebel and discover your own path?

Developed by Bradley Sandford (Holofire) and George Smith (Mr Dinosaur) in 72 hours.

Dev Note: This game is unfinished but is being submitted as we plan on continuing development and shipping a full game after the holiday period. We are looking for any feedback regarding the general gameplay mechanics.

Even if you play this game for 30 seconds and comment 'this game is poopy', we still appreciate you trying it anyway :D


Downloads and Links




blinry says ...
Dec 13, 2016 @ 4:03pm

This came up when I searched for "stanley" – I knew someone would do this! :D It's unfortunate you didn't have time to finish it! If you indeed should finish it next year, you're welcome to notify me, I'd like to play the complete thing! :) I'm @blinry on Twitter, as well.

So, feedback! AMAZING graphics! :O Did you create all assets yourselves? How you display the room is amazing! On my first try, I went the stubborn route, (SPOILERS) only to be trapped :D On my second attempt, I played until the room with the five colored buttons, it seemed unsolvable because some buttons didn't come back up.

I absolutely love your attention to detail! Like, the clock displaying the real time, or the main character looking at the door after pushing the "useless" button :D To me, it didn't feel like entering the room in a time loop, like you write in the description, but like entering multiple different rooms!

I think the game would highly benefit from a real narrator, do that if you have the chance! Reading the text in the corner is a bit distracting. Also, of course I would like more branching points, where choices of the player make a real difference!

So, thanks for your work so far! I wish you a lot of motivation for completing the game! :)

Holofire says ...
Dec 13, 2016 @ 7:39pm

Cheers dude. Your feedback is really appreciated. All of the graphics were made from scratch by my talented friend George (@123gas321 on twitter).

AAGH Games says ...
Dec 14, 2016 @ 7:47am

Very nice! The visuals, as blinry said, are stunning, so congrats to your friend on that. The gameplay was straight forward and the puzzles self-explanatory, but it was fun to solve each room nonetheless. I ended up getting toasty by the fireplace, and it was worth it.

titomakanijr says ...
Dec 14, 2016 @ 9:12am

I agree with everyone else that the graphics look great. I like the overall look of the game and being a huge fan of The Stanley Parable I very much so look forward to seeing what you guys end up doing with a full release! I also have some feedback, and this is just from one guy so please take it with a grain of salt! The interaction animations were a little slow, when I had to open a box or press a button the seconds of him raising his arm to press it started adding up. Also I wonder what your thoughts on voice work is? In my opinion Stanley Parable and Beginner's Guide work so well because the VO. Anywho good job on the game and good luck with the project!

Jerodak says ...
Dec 14, 2016 @ 9:13am

I really enjoyed going through the blue door, I think the voice guy may have overreacted a bit though. The effects with the shadows and the look of the game in general was pretty cool. Since it's unfinished, I'm not sure what else to add that hasn't been said already.

Holofire says ...
Dec 14, 2016 @ 9:15am

We do plan on adding VO for the narrator for the full release. Thanks for the feedback guys!

KaiseanGames says ...
Dec 14, 2016 @ 9:18am

Too much like stanley. Even the narrator. However, it has much potential, just stray away from the Stanley story and you'll be fine. Visuals are great. I just noticed a small gap between chair and the floor (visible in detached shadow) in the Room 9 while you wait for the chair to enter the fireplace.

All in all, it's a really nice project.

Dec 14, 2016 @ 9:23am

Why does this hve only so few comments? This game is amazing! Stunning art, the character looks so funny. I liked the writing too. It does borrow a little from Stanley, but is its very own thing.
I liked the puzzles and the branching too. Like blinry, I would love to play the final thing, so it would be great if you'd let me know once you're done. Find me on twitter @freejsf.
Have fun finishing it.

Albert Viader says ...
Dec 14, 2016 @ 9:57am

I love the art of this game! and the mini puzzles and feelings are cool. Great job!

DOXM says ...
Dec 14, 2016 @ 7:28pm

The art style is amazing!

patrickgh3 says ...
Dec 14, 2016 @ 10:41pm

Nice art, the rooms felt cozy. Some neat concepts for gameplay but the boxes and number buttons felt too tedious. Good job!

pkenney says ...
Dec 15, 2016 @ 1:54pm

Wow great moody art, nicely done! I played a couple of paths, one ended at "goodbye" and the other I was in a room with some colored buttons that I couldn't get to open the door.

The mood of exploration and the snarky humor was also nice.

One thing that irked a little was the slow animation speed of pushing the buttons. The animation itself looked great but when I had to do a lot of experimental pushing it was tricky. I liked that you queued animations, for example searching boxes I was able to clickclickclick past a few (Yes I could improve my patience.....) . The problem hit me most when there were some roman numerals and I thought, perhaps I am meant to click this button 7 times? Except I couldn't queue multi-pushes of the same button, and I was waiting for the animations. This meant I was reluctant to perform additional experiments.

Anyway, didn't meant to dwell on one small nit - the game looked really nice! Somebody mentioned sound in another comment, but I heard only silence. I played the WebGL version in Chrome on Windows.

Greek85 says ...
Dec 16, 2016 @ 10:19am

oh! Nice! is also online? Can I find it on indiexpo? I'm making videos about the games of this Jam, but only about the games hosted also on indiexpo! Tell me if you will add it, so I can include it in my next video ;)

Split82 says ...
Dec 17, 2016 @ 9:45pm

That ending! :D Perfect. Very nice game. Great job.

Zettelkasten says ...
Dec 17, 2016 @ 10:14pm

Oh ho ho, what a sad end. The idea is well though out, and the existing levels are fun. I really encourage you to add more!
Graphic wise, the game is beautiful. The colors are well matched and create a very fitting mood. Even though the art style is a bit minimalist, the game does not lack details at all which make it great.
Keep developing the game!

Dege says ...
Dec 18, 2016 @ 1:06am

Very nice entry. The graphics are amazing, character animations are perfect. You should really build upon the idea, I'd love to play many many more levels.

Maple says ...
Dec 18, 2016 @ 6:24am

Nice entry. A+ to the graphics.

A little sad that there wasn't more than one ending. Also I think the game really lacked an atmosphere which I think you would've gotten from sfx/bgm. Footsteps, crackling fireplace, etc.

But yeah, overall, good work! See you in a future jam

tinyworlds says ...
Dec 18, 2016 @ 4:56pm

Cool game, love the idea of the narrator! Would have greatly benefitted from some narration or in general sound and music, to create a deeper atmosphere.

Dec 19, 2016 @ 12:45am

Cool. I played it twice and got very different paths, but with the same ending (not sure if there are other options).

Great work for 72 hours. I'd be interested to see where the "finished" version takes you.

Capitals says ...
Dec 19, 2016 @ 2:02pm

I really liked the game. I thought it looked pretty. I can also see the influences from other games - such as the Stanley parable. I will say I thought some of the animations were painfully slow, on the button and boxes rooms in particular. Overall well done and I'm looking forward to seeing more from it.

Gipzo says ...
Dec 20, 2016 @ 8:31pm

Feels like Portal and The Stanley Parable at the same time, pretty fun )
I liked visuals and character animation.
Will be looking to full game :)

Dia6lo says ...
Dec 21, 2016 @ 11:46am

Uhm, I haven't any sound in-game (Chrome 55, tried Web version). Great models, I'm truly amazed by the amount of work you've done in 72 hours. The gameplay was sort of good, but I haven't felt like I've played something special (maybe sound should've played it's part, but you know~). It was very tiring to press buttons, though :c

Holofire says ...
Dec 21, 2016 @ 12:28pm

Yeah, I did put some sound effects in the build, but for some reason they never made it in the release build. I am going to have to check why they never worked.

wowa_u says ...
Dec 24, 2016 @ 10:04am

Cool art stryle and overall vey nice entry! Just one thing, the text box in the left bottom corner is too far away from the game.

bluetengu says ...
Dec 25, 2016 @ 1:48pm

Impressed with how far you took this concept in such a short time! Looking forward to seeing where the game goes.

ValiaP says ...
Dec 27, 2016 @ 8:11am

Really amazing graphic that made from scratch in 48 hours. Nice one!

Shide says ...
Dec 30, 2016 @ 2:04pm

Awesome graphics. Pretty interesting gameplay. I’d also love to see more puzzles/levels.
Great work.

kato9 says ...
Jan 2, 2017 @ 4:33pm

Nice, surprisingly fleshed out w lots of animations and content. I think you did a decent job capturing the vibe of The Stanley Parable, but I think more humor and more extreme situations would help. But for a game jam this is really impressive!

Jan 8, 2017 @ 8:38pm

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

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