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.

Back to Browse Entries

52-Card Pickup 2000

by KJB of IBwWG - Jam Entry

My first real jam (not counting a miniLD)! This game pays homage to (my probably rusty memory of) a parody found in the infamous studio chatter of one of the You Don't Know Jack series. I am not affiliated with the makers of that game in any way.

UPDATE: I found the clip I based this all on! Try at the 1:12:47 mark.

The instructions are found on-screen. You have until the music runs out (just over 3 minutes) to find all the cards.


You can, if you want, say aloud things like this while playing:

- "Whoa! There are cards all *over* the place!"
- "There's a five of hearts underneath this table! I'm gonna pick it up."
- "There's a jack of clubs on the sofa! I'm gonna pick it up."

C.f. the Video Games section of


Made with Godot 2.1.1, which I downloaded yesterday morning. I had never tried Godot before. It's not perfect (let me know if you find something that is!) but there are a lot of things that are quite easy to accomplish with it, e.g. sound.

As a base, I started with the demo at .

I also used Bfxr, Audacity, and ImageMagick.

The following assets I found on the internet during the compo. They each have a licence that, as I understand it, can be used in a non-commercial game:

- Music:
- Sofa: Yurii Burdukh
- Table: Gela Motskobili
- Floor:
- Wallpaper: public domain

...aaaand, I had misread the rules, and didn't realize that this disqualifies me from the compo. Shoot. And now it's Monday so it's a bit late to try making my own stuff. Well, JAM it is! But the code was done in 48 hours (except the quick mouse inversion fix)...



1.0.1: mouse inversion is now optional, and off by default

1.0.2: arrow keys also work, as a fix for non-QWERTY keymaps


I still can't make a blog post on for some reason, so, here's my debrief :)

The 3D-ness of it was both made easier and harder than I anticipated by Godot. The majority of the ~20 hours or so were spent on procedurally generating the cards and having them be clickable, since a few key pieces for that turned out to be bugs in Godot, and figuring out the appropriate workarounds with its sparse documentation and my very rusty 3D math took a lot of research and, in the end, slow experimentation. (Again due to another bug in Godot, nearly every time I hit save & reload, it would give an error saving...sure slowed down the cycle!)

I expected some amount of this with an unfamiliar engine and scripting language, but it did take longer to get the core mechanic down, leaving not very much time and energy for polish and additional features.

One idea I had had was that the cards would fall, and then the furniture, and there would be an additional mechanic you would have to discover: ducking and jumping at the same time while touching furniture would overturn the furniture. Then you could trash the place. It would've been more fun, I think. However, not having done this is a bit more in keeping with the parody, keeping it laughably basic.

IIRC part of the parody was that you could play multiplayer online. If I had had the mechanic down in just one day, I think I would've taken the second day to attempt this aspect (which would also have been a first-time endeavour for me.)

Godot is pretty good, but if you're looking for help with 3D, the proportion of Godot users who can help you is apparently a small minority, judging by the lack of response I got on a question I posted on their Q&A site, but also according to the few people hanging out in the Discord chat, quote:

kjb - Yesterday at 8:26 PM
anyone got a quick sec to help with resizing 3d textures added in the editor?
my floor looks bananas, I just want the texture to look smaller and repeat. repeat's already turned on, but resizing my texture file does nothing (except make it blurry), changing UV values in the editor does nothing.

chef - Yesterday at 9:26 PM
guess no one had a quick sec...

Karroffel - Yesterday at 9:27 PM
Only few people know about 3D stuff

chef - Yesterday at 9:27 PM
dont worry, i'll be one of those people soon

blank_ - Yesterday at 9:36 PM
one year later...

---- (end quote)

That said, for such a relatively new product, Godot was quite nice to work with in many ways, and I'm impressed with the ability to export to Win/Mac/Linux in both 32 and 64 bit all from a single OS. It comes at the expense of a 12 MB runtime being packaged with your game, but that's not too bad, considering its capabilities. I was also impressed with the HTML5 output, even though it was not quite what I needed to be able to release the game that way. In particular, the mouse would not capture, so aiming with the mouse was not a very smooth experience.

Downloads and Links




JD557 says ...
Dec 11, 2016 @ 9:20pm

Is it just me or the mouse Y is inverted?

You should try to fix that while there's still time :)

Miotis says ...
Dec 11, 2016 @ 9:53pm

Don't really care for the mouse inversion, but pretty fun. I just cannot seem to find that last card!

Falkreon says ...
Dec 11, 2016 @ 10:38pm

Didn't like the inverted mouse either. Props for getting a 3d game done in time though!

MidBossu says ...
Dec 11, 2016 @ 11:51pm

Mouse inversion hurt to play, but I enjoyed the card-lifting mechanics

KJB of IBwWG says ...
Dec 12, 2016 @ 5:10am

Thanks for your comments! For some reason I personally hate playing FPSes without mouse inversion, hence...but I'm sorry it soured the experience for all of you! Do you think it's a "bug" enough to change after the deadline now, or is it a more of a feature?

Anyway I'm glad you had fun @Miotis and thanks for the props @Falkreon, it was a bit unexpectedly a grueling weekend so I appreciate that!

KJB of IBwWG says ...
Dec 12, 2016 @ 6:04am

@JD557 OK fixed :)

Tuism says ...
Dec 12, 2016 @ 9:43am

I loled at the idea, but it's not very fun, just like the game IRL I guess, so there's an artistic side to this :)

The miss sound is a bit annoying, especially considering how often it happens. There should be a counter that shows progress. The distance of your "reach" seems a bit short, it feels annoying rather than challenging. Speaking of challenging, it would be nice to have some kind of non-rote form of challenge during the activity. Perhaps you pick the cards up and throw them, or something.

A for effort :)

KJB of IBwWG says ...
Dec 12, 2016 @ 9:50am

Thanks for your comments Tuism, indeed that was the intent, and glad I got a laugh out of someone :)

Yes, a counter would have made sense. You do get one if you quit early, but that's not the same. The reach I made that way so that you did have to crouch if one landed under the table. Throwing the cards would have been fun too, good idea :)

Mattmatt says ...
Dec 12, 2016 @ 10:39am

Considering this is your first LD jam it's pretty good :) You could definitely improve the gameplay though.

Mattmatt says ...
Dec 12, 2016 @ 10:41am

Considering this is your first LD jam it's pretty good :) You could definitely improve the gameplay though.

- Idea: Flying cards ?

slimabob says ...
Dec 12, 2016 @ 10:54am

Haha great idea for a game. I caught myself flailing the mouse around clicking rapidly multiple times. It would be cool to see a difficulty mode added to the game that makes the cards move faster / spin more rapidly!

x1212 says ...
Dec 12, 2016 @ 11:37am

Somehow it feels like the random(?) positions of the cards are a little to random and you can hardly see them sometimes, but it still works somehow.
At least it looks like you got all the games most important mechanics to work reliably. When I created my entry, I spent most of my time struggling with godot's 3D physics and it wasn't even my first game in godot in 3D ...

Avocadosan says ...
Dec 12, 2016 @ 3:40pm

Is kinda crazy to use godot for the first time for a LD lmao! Its true what you said about godot 3D user base. I have been using Godot almost for a year and i have never touched the 3D part of it.

I really liked the game, it was fun and different! Sometimes i couldnt find the last card XD

Steven Miller says ...
Dec 12, 2016 @ 8:15pm

Great job, 52-card pickup is one of my favorite card games.

xesenix says ...
Dec 12, 2016 @ 10:14pm

Good work for first time user. You have place for improvement for example those cards could have legs or fly around.

KJB of IBwWG says ...
Dec 13, 2016 @ 9:39am

Thanks for your comments, everyone. I appreciate the Godot-3D-specific ones...if I did anything interesting hopefully there's something of use to you in the source (I didn't retract it even though I disqualified from the compo by accident.)

Anti says ...
Dec 13, 2016 @ 11:50am

Was also a little bit annoyed by the inverted mouse Y. Though like other have said before, props for making a complete 3d game and using an engine that you have never used before. I also used Godot and know that it was not very easy at all in the beginning so really cool that you could use it directly to make a 3D game.

KJB of IBwWG says ...
Dec 13, 2016 @ 3:14pm

Did you try the latest, @Anti? The default is now non-inverted (mouse forward = up), but if you press the "I" key it will toggle it. Thanks for the props :)

bradur says ...
Dec 13, 2016 @ 4:33pm

The music was quite good, which held my interest. Couldn't find the last card, even thought I had at least a minute to look for it. It was fun before that happened :). Good one.

aemiliu5 says ...
Dec 14, 2016 @ 2:53pm

nice little game! you should a more progressive piece of music, to raise the thrill!

aemiliu5 says ...
Dec 14, 2016 @ 2:54pm

nice little game! you should put a more progressive piece of music, to raise the thrill!

KJB of IBwWG says ...
Dec 14, 2016 @ 6:28pm

@bradur you're the third to say that about the last card. I admire all of your perseverance! I guess a feature that highlights the uncollected cards somehow would be in order :)

@aemiliu5 Hah! Thanks, but I was intentionally going for something a bit elevator muzak-y to fit the parody. I wish there was a clip around somewhere of the original ad from You Don't Know Jack to add a bit of context, it was really hilarious...

KJB of IBwWG says ...
Dec 15, 2016 @ 7:50am

@aemiliu5 and @Tuism if you read this check out at the 1:12:47 mark to know what I had in mind. :)

Palarus says ...
Dec 15, 2016 @ 11:37am

As tedious as the real life 52 Card Pickup, realism on spot.

Interesting concept and good joke submission, but just like in real life, 52 Card Pickup is more like a punishment than a game.

Good job, nevertheless!

KJB of IBwWG says ...
Dec 15, 2016 @ 1:31pm

Thanks @Palarus =)

Mr.Chippy says ...
Dec 15, 2016 @ 3:52pm

This is one of the most exciting thrilling games I have ever played! Picking up each card was an exciting adventure! Good job. :) One of the cards was inside the couch for some reason but besides that It was really fun.

KJB of IBwWG says ...
Dec 15, 2016 @ 4:05pm

@Mr.Chippy thanks, I know, isn't it totally rad and leave you wishing I'd implemented multiplayer? No? Too far? OK anyway thanks I'm glad you had fun and thanks also for reporting about the card in the couch. I'd tried to adjust the physics so that wasn't possible, but I guess it still sometimes is! Good to know...

TeamBALD says ...
Dec 17, 2016 @ 8:31pm

Interesting idea, basing a game of YDKJ skit :). Unfortunately I had a problem with the game, it kept on having massive issues with slowdown with the movement and mouse look. It mostly seemed to happen when I was looking sideways, and it would happily let me turn towards the ceiling. I'm not sure what's going on with that, but it doesn't look like anyone else commenting had that issue?

I didn't realise there was a time limit until I re-read the description. An on-screen indicator of some sort would really help here, whether it's a timer or a slowly shrinking bar. As others have said, a counter would also help.

Not a bad jam, hope to try more of your games in the future :).

KJB of IBwWG says ...
Dec 19, 2016 @ 3:19pm

Thanks @TeamBALD, I had the idea a while ago and was hoping a fitting theme would come up so I could do it some time and learn Godot in the process. Anyway, if you read this would you post your system specs? I considered my machine fairly low-end for gaming, and it performed OK; on a 32-bit old netbook with 1 GB RAM running Linux, I experienced similar slowdown issues to what you described, but that's true of just about any game on that box--even the 2D cutscenes in Defender's Quest, for example, are pretty sluggish on that one. I think it's to do with the playing cards being in frame, hence the ceiling being a smoother spot to look at.

Thanks for the suggestions & encouragement =) If you want to follow me on Twitter @wastheWordGame I'll post there about any new games I make.

aaaleee says ...
Dec 27, 2016 @ 10:16am

Tried it on OS/X. Not knowing which card I was supposed to pick up was interesting at first, but quickly became a frustrating experience. Are there rules to pick up the cards? It seemed kind of random, maybe if there's a specific order a Text indicator of which one to look for next would help.
Anyways, good job on making a 3d game for your first LD!

KJB of IBwWG says ...
Dec 27, 2016 @ 2:50pm

@aaaleee thanks for playing, glad to hear it worked on OS/X and thanks for your compliments. To clarify, this game (and the classic IRL version) has one simple rule: pick up *all* the cards. That's why it's a joke to make a virtual version of it, the IRL version is already a joke, and so was the skit in You Don't Know Jack. :)

edve98 says ...
Dec 28, 2016 @ 6:52pm

For first jam and first time using Godot it's not bad, but gameplay is really lacking something.

JK5000 says ...
Dec 31, 2016 @ 9:13am

The game is okay, but it is a bit too simple. But welcome to your first real LD.

You must sign in to comment.

[cache: storing page]