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 Cellar

by Phil Strahl - Compo Entry

The Cellar is a little Lovecraft-inspired game. You play as Howard who wants to open the portal to the Other Realm in this odd cellar. But to open the door, Howard must first solve a riddle and activate the correct levers.

The room holds various symbols of different deities. Luckily, Howard is a scholar of the occult so upon examining them multiple times, he'll interpret the symbols for you.

Please play with the sound turned on, ideally with headphones :)

As always, I wanted to do more with it, but still somehow made it.

WASD or Arrow Keys to move,
E or SPACE to interact.

Tip: Hold the interaction-key to speed up the text.

EDIT +60 minutes after submission hour: Fixed a game breaking bug & some typos.

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Watch the Post Mortem documentary

If you want a guided tour of the source code, why not check out this thorough code review I recorded, explaining my code and what it does:

Downloads and Links




Dec 14, 2016 @ 1:38am

The mood is so good. Amazing graphics and audio. You really nailed the lovecraft feel. I wish the ending was more rewarding.

srakowski says ...
Dec 14, 2016 @ 1:41am

Awesome game! It took me a while to get the clue, subtle on one of them. Epic win when I finally figured it out. Music built up the suspense. Mood was stellar. Well done!

Piscythe says ...
Dec 14, 2016 @ 1:43am

Very atmospheric. Thematically, I like it. I had some issues with the text bubble though.

xbcw says ...
Dec 14, 2016 @ 1:44am

Thematic and creepy, I wish the ending had some more old god terror.

Phil Strahl says ...
Dec 14, 2016 @ 2:48am

Thanks for your feedback! Yeah, the ending was quite rushed. And kudos for figuring out the solution!

Jimbly says ...
Dec 14, 2016 @ 5:13am

Pretty good! Found the clues a little simplistic, but I enjoyed reading about each deity. Mood was great. Sometimes got stuck with a lot of text going by (I think the text was still displaying from something else, so I kept clicking Space hoping to read what I was standing on, and it queued up 10 of them or something... happened at the end too, I read the passage instructions another 3 times before the game said Thanks for playing).

Phil Strahl says ...
Dec 14, 2016 @ 5:20am

@Jimbly: Yeah, the text gets queued in the player instance, but you could just hold down Space or E to speed up the display. I know, it's clumsy, but I might work on it to not have the text disappear behind some levers, for example.

Avon says ...
Dec 14, 2016 @ 5:40am

Very atmospheric game, with the dark art and creepy music.

Had fun reading all the descriptions and solving the puzzle.

TheFudster says ...
Dec 14, 2016 @ 6:01am

Looks and sounds really great! I couldn't be bothered with opening the door, it was a bit too cryptic for my tastes. Great entry though!

fishbrain says ...
Dec 14, 2016 @ 6:18am

I escaped!-- awesome little mini LucasArts adventure. Nice graphics, sound and mood. Good work! (Yeah had some issues with a backlog of text from holding spacebar.)

pyokoanarogue says ...
Dec 14, 2016 @ 10:34pm

nailed the writing the music and the graphics ! Asset creation,management and conveying atmosphere like a boss!

iamkraya says ...
Dec 15, 2016 @ 6:21am

This was a great little experience the art style and sound design created an immersive atmosphere! It fits the theme really well too ^-^ I didn't have any of the text buffering issue the others were talking about but I assume that's what you fixed after submission.

Definitely deserves a high rating! :D

iamkraya says ...
Dec 15, 2016 @ 6:22am

This was a great little experience the art style and sound design created an immersive atmosphere! It fits the theme really well too ^-^ I didn't have any of the text buffering issue the others were talking about but I assume that's what you fixed after submission.

Definitely deserves a high rating! :D

- Hannah Crawford (from youtube)

calzep says ...
Dec 16, 2016 @ 12:04am

Not really my type of game I guess, I got really bored really quick. I wasn't involved in the mystery and I had no idea what I needed to accomplish besides reading things and flipping switches. I guess there was an order to flip them or something but I wasn't really interested.

Not to say it's horrible, other people who like those genres seemed like they had a good time. The mood you were trying to accomplish was perfect with the music and sound you used and the dark atmosphere.

NoobDude29 says ...
Dec 16, 2016 @ 10:06am

This made me think, i love the theme, the music, the graphics is are moody, i would want to play a full story of this, though i found a little bug, the Eternal and the one next to him, the text gets obscured by the lever.

Phil Strahl says ...
Dec 17, 2016 @ 3:08am

@Hannah: Thanks for playing, glad you enjoyed it. After playing your game, I realized we had something pretty similar and yet completely different. :)

@Calzep: No worries. You do you and that's fine :) I'm happy to know that you liked the atmosphere nevertheless.

@NoobDdue29: Oh thank you! Maybe I work on it and expand it a little, maybe add more story and different kinds of puzzles and even some sort of enemies to it. And the lever rendering on top of the text, well, I noticed it too but there was no time to fix, as long as it didn't crash the game ;)

Dec 17, 2016 @ 8:03pm

Nice mood and graphics. At first I just flipped all the switches, then I took it seriously and wrote down some notes, and then it was easy to solve.

Shivur says ...
Dec 20, 2016 @ 8:12pm

Good mood.

nick.bota says ...
Dec 20, 2016 @ 8:59pm

Amazing game! The idea, the story, the graphics, the audio and the mechanics all help create a terrific Lovecraft-ian experience, the ending was a bit anticlimactic but it's definitely understandable given the limited time you had. All things considered this is definitely one of my favorite compo games of this LD!

Cody Hansen says ...
Dec 21, 2016 @ 3:48pm

Wow, the mood is oozing off this game. I loved the look and feel.
There was a little trouble with the dialogue repeating, but that is it.
The puzzle was very "Silent Hill" and that's a definite thumbs up for me.

automatonvx says ...
Jan 2, 2017 @ 1:41am

Very atmospheric, the audio works really well as part of that and sounds good, the ending was indeed a bit anticlimatic :P, but i guess you ran out of time. A couple of humour points for the symbol of the feline wrath. Enjoyed your documentaries on your other entries, hope to see one on this one too. Good entry

jlcarruda says ...
Jan 3, 2017 @ 5:22am

I really enjoyed the mood and audio on the game. It fits in harmony with the atmosphere of the game.

Some things, that could be added in a post-compo version, are a more rewarding ending and probably some visual feedback, to build up better the mood of psychologic horror and suspense (some shadows on the edge of the camera, strange sounds, etc).

It has a good potential to be a full game, tho! Nice entry ^^

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