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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The Recursive Dollhouse

by Omiya Games - Jam Entry

​A very strange game about a very strange dollhouse. A surreal first-person puzzle game created in 72-hours for Ludum Dare 37.

This game is funded through Patreon. Many thanks to the following:
* Adam R. Vierra
* Joshua Jennings
* XanderHD
* Tommy Pedersen
* Jacob Clark
* David Lin

Made in Tech Valley Game Space!


Change Log:

v1.0.1 - Updated the Credits with full names and more information. Fixed the code-entering problem where hitting ESC will bring up the pause menu, then return the player to key entering mode without a cursor visible.

v1.0.2 - Added WebGL build. The only changes in these are: incompatible image effects are removed, and a significant effort has been made to support better cursor locking and release.

Downloads and Links




Mennalus says ...
Dec 13, 2016 @ 4:22am

Lots of fun, very creative game and puzzles. I ran into a bug when putting a code into the door, I hit escape to try to get out of the code entering thing, and then my cursor disappeared after i exited the options menu. The music was a bit too high pitched for me sometimes.

Steven Miller says ...
Dec 13, 2016 @ 8:49am

Definitely the coolest mechanic I've seen so far. I had a lot fun with this, and I especially loved the third chapter. I do wish the puzzles were a bit more difficult, but the mechanics were interesting enough to keep the game entertaining throughout.

Beardo Games says ...
Dec 14, 2016 @ 2:59am

Psychedelic take on the theme!

Dec 14, 2016 @ 3:11am

This is the most mind blowing, innovative mechanic ive seen so far. It works flawlessly and it well utilized. I ran into the door code cursor bug, but i was able to just tab out and get my cursor back. Great game!

mao says ...
Dec 14, 2016 @ 3:33am

The game mechanic was _really_ cool. I thought the puzzles were a little weird, though, since they didn't have very definite rules. The keys and levers open the respective doors, but you can only place keys inside specific houses, and the code doors seem to use whichever code you found last.

Dec 14, 2016 @ 7:24am

Very very creative use of the theme that technically keeps you in one room the entire time. Also enjoyed that it wasn't too hard to keep track of where you were/needed to go.

Dege says ...
Dec 14, 2016 @ 5:28pm

The best game I've played since now.
The game mechanics are really simple, and are introduced gradually, the puzzle design is really smart, not too linear and not too difficult. The graphic style isn't distracting.
Almost perfect game!!

Tilemapping says ...
Dec 15, 2016 @ 12:48am

Nice mechanic

limered says ...
Dec 15, 2016 @ 5:35pm

Really nice design. Puzzles were exactly the right difficulty for me. I knew always what i was doing. Very creative take on the theme.
The changing music was a nice touch.
One of the best games in this LD.

Dec 16, 2016 @ 2:11am

Wow! One of the best LD games I've ever seen. Such a cool concept. Those transitions are flawless.

stefenism says ...
Dec 16, 2016 @ 10:09pm

I felt a little manic playing this but it was pretty amazing. It ran a little slow on my work computer but I think I'll try to play it again at home. Great Idea and Great Execution. Well done!

dydx says ...
Dec 17, 2016 @ 8:16am

What an awesome game. It has a really cool game mechanic + the right kind of puzzles that explore everything you can do with it.

Dejvo says ...
Dec 17, 2016 @ 8:53am

Really good idea!

leondryaso says ...
Dec 17, 2016 @ 10:20am

The mechanic is just awesome! :D

Holofire says ...
Dec 17, 2016 @ 11:33am

This game is awesome. I love it!
The audio seemed a little glaring at first launching up, but once it started changing pitch through the rooms, I came to like it, really helps with the immersion!
Though graphically its not amazing, the choice of colours are nice, just enough to hint towards theme of the game. I also really like the subtlety in the backgrounds when you enter the rooms, being able to see the previous room out the windows. Was that created using a sky-box image generated from the previous room or a scaled up version of the room?
A lot of fun to be had with this concept, transitioning between the rooms felt a little clunky and after a while the rooms did feel quite repetitive, but overall great mechanics.
Nice tutorials for the mechanics, though the puzzles didn't seem to encourage much exploration, may be due to the small room space not sure. The puzzles also felt fairly linear. Barely had to think about the numbers because often times I got given exactly what I needed when I needed it. I like the nested puzzles though. I imagine it being quite easy to get lost as there's no real indication as to what room you're in and they all look the same, something to encourage the player to look around may help with bearings.

Overall, loved playing this, reminds me a little of the game we made for LD.

-Comment on behalf of MrDinosaur. (

Split82 says ...
Dec 17, 2016 @ 11:39am

Great gameplay mechanic. Awesome job :)

Gipzo says ...
Dec 17, 2016 @ 11:48am

Great game and cool mechanics :)

Avant-Marde says ...
Dec 17, 2016 @ 1:16pm

Fantastic! Another big favourite right here.

The only thing that really concerns me is, well, the theme. I guess technically all the houses are in the same room since they're inside of each other, but mechanically it really does turn out to be a lot of rooms for the player to visit. I'm a bit conflicted there.

The main mechanic of course is really cool! I only wish the player would've snapped automatically to land into the room after jumping close enough, kind of like how one enters Big Boo's Haunt in Super Mario 64?

Would love to hear something about the technical details! Did you really just put models of increasingly smaller scale into each other, or is there some clever unloading mechanism going on?

The music was nice, but I have to say the main instrument was a bit... shouty. Kind of harsh. So I had to turn the volume down. But the composition was good! Nice sound effects too.

Got a little bit tedious in the third segment where I felt I was mostly just following a linear thread through the houses, but the first two segments were a lot of fun. Did the last segment perhaps suffer a bit from the deadline?

You introduced new mechanics/concepts in a very good way by having the player simply do the thing to have something happen immediately, without having to think at all, just to be able to understand how it works, before you moved on to actually doing something interesting with each new mechanic.

Loved the idea of having to read the numbers off of the keys after shrinking down! And a nice touch, of course, that the number cannot actually be read before the key scales up, with only some blurry glyphs to be seen on the small model.

Scanning quickly through the comments, I take it you're already aware of the game-breaking bug with the interface to entering codes. Fortunately I only just about got it, but managed to pass since the buttons I needed were just slightly in frame, and after that I knew to be careful before I entered each new code.

Excellent work!

recursor says ...
Dec 17, 2016 @ 2:47pm

This was fun and a great re-use of game assets. It's a very clever puzzle game that I hope you will add more elements to. Great use of the theme.

DiscoFish says ...
Dec 17, 2016 @ 2:49pm

Fantastic game!

JoeProgram says ...
Dec 17, 2016 @ 4:48pm

Lovely entry! Putting the key inside the house was such a great way to build on your mechanic - my favorite part of the game. I'd love to play a post-jam version that built even more on the great stuff you've done here!

erikiene says ...
Dec 17, 2016 @ 5:25pm

Awesome game, wanted to play it from the first day of the jam when you guys put a blog entry in the ludum page of a gif. Also awesome of you to include the source.

neon says ...
Dec 18, 2016 @ 2:09pm

Now that was a constant mind bender. The recursion mechanic is awesome, the effect is cool, and the puzzles that come with it are some mind bendy stuff. It wasn't really hard, but it was very.. brain-straining? It felt like a puzzle game alright, even if the puzzles didn't take very long to solve.

The game feels very polished, from the menu to the options to the tutorial parts. Just overall a very good puzzle game.

PowerSpark says ...
Dec 19, 2016 @ 12:00am

Super creative puzzles, awesome entry :D

davisan says ...
Dec 19, 2016 @ 12:43am

Nice puzzles and level progression!

BoltKey says ...
Dec 19, 2016 @ 4:55pm

Wow, great game all the way. The best one I played out of the 50 probably. Great sounds, good graphics, superb usage of the theme. And just the right difficulty too. I would not be surprised to see this game at the top of several categories.

MrTroy says ...
Dec 20, 2016 @ 7:22am

That was a lot of fun. I started to get frustrated with the puzzles, but once I relaxed they were quite simple. I love the concept and mechanic and all for this game. :D

Almax27 says ...
Dec 20, 2016 @ 1:39pm

Awesome mechanics, although I found the gameplay to get tedious quickly, this is quite the accomplishment in 72 hours!

Music was cute at first but had to turn it off after a few mins lol, was driving me insane

Gamepopper says ...
Dec 20, 2016 @ 1:50pm

Fun concept, the puzzles are really clever. Music is a bit grating but but the idea is clever and it feels like each level changed the game slightly to find something new.

ChatPion says ...
Dec 20, 2016 @ 10:57pm

Interesting mechanic !

Tkachov says ...
Dec 21, 2016 @ 7:33am

Not bad, though quite repetative. I mean, that's the point for game to always look similar, but there are only three different types of tasks: find a code, find a key, find a switch. Yet that's fine for 72 hours.

Frenchie says ...
Dec 24, 2016 @ 7:37am

The mechanics are really interesting and jumping from house to house is quite well done! My biggest complaint is that it felt too long. Once the novelty wears off there's a very small variety of puzzles and it starts to get repetitive.

stadoblech says ...
Dec 24, 2016 @ 8:32am

Holy! This is VERY interesting entry! But i feel very confused and lost... i finished game but i guess this kind of games is not for me since i have very weak orientation sense :( Anyway: im rating this high! Its quite fun and original and really well made!

NegInfinity says ...
Dec 24, 2016 @ 1:21pm

Really liked the music, and UI is nicely designed. Core mechanic is interesting. However, 3d fonts being displayed in the game could use higher resolution, on FullHD display they're very blurry. Ambient Occlusion effect feels too strong. I think visuals could be improved.

I think the mood of the scene could be improved isf if there was geometric clutter in the room, and if those jumping balls had some sort of "circus ball" texture on them. That would fit music well. Some highly tiled crispy texture with geometric patterns (kinda like kid's room wallpaper) inside the houses could work as well.

The core mechanic is interesting, and it probably ate the most development time.

mirta000 says ...
Dec 27, 2016 @ 4:04am

loved it! The music, the graphics, the mechanics! It's so trippy and so unique!

Geckoo1337 says ...
Dec 27, 2016 @ 5:44am

Clever puzzle game with a strange mood - I like it. I had fun playing it ++

JK5000 says ...
Dec 28, 2016 @ 3:37pm

A very fun, but also a bit confusing puzzle game.

Dec 29, 2016 @ 4:08am

Really interesting puzzle design. There were a couple of moments where i'd be looking at something in a new way that were incredibly interesting.

automatonvx says ...
Dec 29, 2016 @ 1:41pm

Cool take on the theme, personally found it a little bit repetitive for the gameplay, keys/doors/keys/doors/keycodes/doors/keys/doors, but 3d puzzlers are not really my thing. The music was well done, but started to drive me crazy pretty quickly.
Overall great job though

edve98 says ...
Dec 29, 2016 @ 6:43pm

Really nice mechanic! It's a shame that I got stuck on the second code door in chapter 2 :c

Omiya Games says ...
Dec 30, 2016 @ 2:56am

edve98: Did you try to drop the key into the dollhouse in Ch. 2, 2nd code door? You can jump into a dollhouse while it holds a key, too.

Dec 30, 2016 @ 9:25am

Best mechanic I've seen so far. The only real problem I encountered was that sometimes when entering codes, I was too close to the keypad, and I couldn't move backwards to enter the full code. It was possible to escape by pushing 'Escape' and then 'Resume,' but it was rather frustrating for such a simple UI mechanic.

Otherwise, very nice game - I especially liked the way that the music volume varied. The music itself was very fitting.

tellus says ...
Dec 31, 2016 @ 6:38pm

I really enjoyed this game. It's fairly easy to pick up the game and what's going on (it helps that the instructions are literally written on the walls). I particularly liked the use of the theme! It was a fun twist on one room.

The puzzles were fun and made good use of the game's central mechanic.

Jumping into the smaller room was a little finicky. I would jump on the side or walls of the smaller room. I would either have to fumble into the room or jump off and try again.

Jan 6, 2017 @ 3:55pm

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

Ampera says ...
Jan 16, 2017 @ 9:19pm


Feb 7, 2017 @ 7:30pm

Pssst - you have been featured on Ludum Dare to Believe! Check it out here:

May 4, 2017 @ 11:30pm

I also included this game in an article of my favorites!

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