April 26th-29th 2013 :: Theme: Minimalism

Ludum Dare 26 — April 26-29th, 2013
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by tankete - 48 Hour Compo Entry

Fill up your square but watch out. Going over empty squares will erase your hard work! (Press Any Key To Start)

Have fun with my first Ludum Dare entry!

The referenced time-lapse (above) of the complete development is based on 6,771 screenshots taken at 5 second intervals, which turns out to be 9.4 hours of total dev time.

Built with the LOVE framework. Available here for Windows, Mac OS X, and Linux: http://www.love2d.org/

I just added a "compiled" exe for Windows folks that should just work. It's my first time, so if that fails, you'll need LOVE installed. But in my testing, it appears to work :)

Thanks for playing and rating!!!

Downloads and Links




GreaseMonkey says ...
Apr 29, 2013 @ 8:15am

Best time: 36.1. YES \o/

This is my favourite entry so far.

It's a simple mechanic and yet it takes a while to nail how to actually fill that box. (I was gutted when I overflowed it the first time.)

I actually enjoyed playing this game for the 5 or so minutes I spent on it, and it's reasonably challenging. I guess it's like Snake in that sense (although it's definitely not the same game!).

I might as well just jump into the critiques.

Graphically, it's a bit of a mess. Making the squares easier to distinguish, plus choosing your colours more wisely, and MAYBE a bit of animation would help.

Soundwise, fairly solid, could do with some "yay you win" and "onoze ;_;" sounds when you win and lose respectively.

A critique that I haven't incorporated into your score: Having a "Press Space to start" message might help, I was a bit confused at first.

Overall, a solid game that I might remember to play in my spare time :)

GreaseMonkey says ...
Apr 29, 2013 @ 8:29am

"Here's a time-lapse of the complete development based on..." <-- Where IS the link for that?

tankete says ...
Apr 29, 2013 @ 8:53am

Thanks GreaseMonkey for the feedback!

As you'll see in the timelapse (now linked), the graphics were all over the place (including a bit of snake early on). In the end I settled for the current random color selection, but I struggled with the same feelings you mentioned throughout the development.

As for sound, I agree it needs a bit more at the end states.

Finally, when I let my 11 year old play, he stared at the intro and waited, then looked at me and said, "It's loading, right?". Point taken. Will add a message. :)

Thanks again!

Apr 29, 2013 @ 7:35pm

how do I open it? Complete noob here. Do I need something to open a .love?

tompudding says ...
Apr 29, 2013 @ 7:45pm

Really innovative idea, it's so annoying to lose some blocks through inattention!

tankete says ...
Apr 29, 2013 @ 8:00pm

@rainbladestudios Sorry. I'm new to it to. Not sure how to package it all as one executable. For now you'll need LOVE framework installed. Found here: http://www.love2d.org/

Apr 30, 2013 @ 12:32am

really enjoyed this one man..good solid entry :)

timtimtimtim says ...
Apr 30, 2013 @ 7:52am

kind of hard to see what i was doing, but fun game. good job

alts says ...
Apr 30, 2013 @ 7:52am

I like the central mechanic here. I think it can really be expanded upon to make something great. I don't understand why I can empty small block, but not large blocks. Am I missing something? Also, I wasn't able to quite grasp how squares would end up within my frame. I think that if they became bound to the frame as soon as they were enclosed, there would be an additional element of planning to make sure you filled up correctly. Anyway, good job.

Ryusui says ...
Apr 30, 2013 @ 7:58am

Neat little puzzler - my only gripe is that "empty" squares, believe it or not, don't quite seem to stand out as much as they should! I'll also have to look into Love2D - I've been wanting to learn Lua for some time now. :3

Maple says ...
Apr 30, 2013 @ 9:00am

Cool! I really liked the idea behind this, and think it could be refined into something really nice. At the moment though, I have to be an honest critique and say that I didn't like how it soon became a timing game where you had to make sure you hit the arrow key at the right time to be moving in-between the grid, to avoid insta-losing blocks as you pick them up. I think if that sole problem was fixed, despite the other trivial problems people were mentioning, this would be a great entry. There would be a way around it that stays true to what you have here, but I personally would have incorporated losing blocks into the goal, so then the goal instead would be something like "empty the screen as fast as possible". I would also have made it that you can't move between the grid, even in variations of the game where losing blocks isn't the goal.

I strongly encourage you to figure out how to compile your .love file into an .exe, etc. You will reach far more people that way.

Also, thanks for trying my game! To mend your brain, I'll say that you have to imagine the world as an actual 3D structure (or 3D array of air and solids) that loops in all directions, where you can only see the plane covering the depth of the cell that the black square is at, and WASD rotates that structure horizontally or vertically in increments of 90 degrees around the cell that the black square is in.

Apr 30, 2013 @ 11:42am

ive added an offline version of mine now man.. if u want to see if it works for you now.. im assuming u have java installed ya ? anyhoot i didnt know where else to post this.. delete it if you want.. your game is miles better than mine so dont worry if it doesnt work haha :)

tankete says ...
Apr 30, 2013 @ 3:07pm

@alts Your feedback is spot on. The first issue, large blocks not "emptying" was a bug that I ran out of time to fix. The second, selecting where to add a block to the player was something I wanted to get to, but again ran out of time. I hope to take all this great feedback and improve Skware. Thanks!

tankete says ...
Apr 30, 2013 @ 3:41pm

@Maple It took me a couple reads to get what you're saying. Perhaps there's a couple "modes". One is to fill up quickly. Another is to empty the screen by purposefully picking up then emptying. That about right?

With regards to staying "on grid" as opposed to "in-between", I initially allowed free movement but that didn't really work. I then moved to "on grid" but it was nearly impossible to see where the player actually was. He was, in effect, invisible. So I moved to a half-step. If I can figure out how to visibly separate the player from the board, I think you're right that putting him back "on-grid" might be best.

Finally, you're right. I need to figure out how to get an .exe going.

Thanks again for playing and for the feedback!

Maple says ...
Apr 30, 2013 @ 9:56pm

@tankete Something like that, yeah. I actually meant that I would make the entire goal of the game to purposefully pick up and empty the screen, since I didn't really like that staying alive was a matter of staying in-between the grid (after the black squares became too hard to avoid otherwise), but modes work too.

Perhaps if the pick-up squares stayed around longer, and the squares you were carrying were transparent or something, then it might stay a game of moving around black squares, as apposed to trying to be in-between the grid. Maybe there should also have been a few frames of invincibility when you pick up squares, so that you can't instantly lose them as you pick them up.

I think I've pretty much unloaded all my thoughts on your game now, lol. No problem/You're welcome.

Cryovat says ...
Apr 30, 2013 @ 11:20pm

Yikes, the difficulty curve ramps up quickly! It's easy to get addicted to this. Great work! :)

Btw, yay for LÖVE!

smilingrob says ...
May 1, 2013 @ 5:48am

the love file link is broken :(

tankete says ...
May 1, 2013 @ 5:52am

Whoops! I moved the file locally in dropbox and it disappeared. Fixed. Sorry about that!

smilingrob says ...
May 1, 2013 @ 6:31am

Very innovative design. Nice work.

SnoringFrog says ...
May 1, 2013 @ 7:19am

Interesting idea. Not exactly my favorite, but that's not at all due to the execution, just a preference. Simple concept, surprisingly difficult to do quickly.

DarkX2 says ...
May 1, 2013 @ 7:38am

Nice game, but I really had problems with filling my player. So many empoty boxes after a while.

kazukishida says ...
May 1, 2013 @ 8:47am

I can't play the game. :( It seems it's for 64 bit systems only? I'm on Windows 7 Ultimate, 32 bit. D:

tankete says ...
May 1, 2013 @ 9:22am

@kazukishida Unfortunately, my box is 64 bit. You can play it by downloading LOVE first from: http://love2d.org. Then just use my LOVE link for the game.

I'll investigate what it takes to make it work as a 32 bit exe. This is my first game so I'm new to all this :)

Dir3kt says ...
May 1, 2013 @ 12:24pm

Congrats for finding such an original idea! I really like how the mechanics for emptying and filling the square are tightly coupled. That's real minimalism!

Maybe would have been nice to have few levels with different square/shape size :)

tankete says ...
May 1, 2013 @ 4:06pm

@Dir3kt Thanks! I hope to be able to continue working a bit on Skware and having a few levels with different sizes is definitely in the plans. After all I spent WAY too much time autogenerating the playfield for any size square. Might as well put that to use :)

Xanjos says ...
May 1, 2013 @ 8:31pm

This is actually quite an addictive game. The empty squares add an extra element of strategy that makes it even more interesting. The only main problem however are how it's hard to see empty squares (I think they should be white instead of black). Also, if it's possible, any chance of porting this to the web via love2d webplayer?

tankete says ...
May 1, 2013 @ 8:54pm

@Xanjos Thanks! Never heard of the love2d webplayer. This is my first game ever and I just started LOVE a couple weeks ago. I'll investigate. It would be fun to make it more available.

Thanks for the feedback, the biggest complaint I myself have is related to the difference between the player, the board, and the empty squares.

loxo says ...
May 2, 2013 @ 6:39pm

Nice concept and implementation. It's quite fun to play. The black/empty fields could be marked more clearly, I think they are easily overlooked at the moment.

Bernhard says ...
May 2, 2013 @ 6:43pm

BEST TIME: 22.9 \o/
Hated it first, loved it in the end, awesome :D
BEST TIME: 14.9!! \o/

MuffinTrap says ...
May 2, 2013 @ 6:43pm

Simple idea and worked well, at least when I realised that I can dodge the black squares.

First I thought I have to collect same color.

The annoying thing was to catch a block and instantly lose one to the hole I just created. Maybe the empty squares should not appear instantly.

Are says ...
May 2, 2013 @ 6:44pm

12 seconds <3

tankete says ...
May 2, 2013 @ 6:58pm

@loxo Thanks. Many folks agree with you (myself included).

@Bernhard Glad it won you over. 14.9? Awesome!

@MuffinTrap Agreed. I think I'll tweak it so it's not so punishing.

@Are WOW! That makes me want to have add a "replay" feature :)

Topaz says ...
May 3, 2013 @ 2:14am

30.7 seconds, nice game.

May 3, 2013 @ 9:59am

Fits the theme well. Good job!

StMatn says ...
May 3, 2013 @ 10:03am

Nice game. It pecomes pretty hard, once too many black squares are on screen. Is it possible to bypass the black ones by "grinding" on the edge of the tiles?

Jiggawatt says ...
May 3, 2013 @ 11:12am

The mechanic is clever, but I don't understand the decision to allow the player to move in half-tiles. The experience suffers from programmer art and audio, I'd like to see this redone with higher production values.

tankete says ...
May 3, 2013 @ 5:02pm

@Jiggawatt I had it working on full-tiles, but unfortunately, it was nearly impossible to distinguish the player from the background as movement was in "lock-step" with the background. So I moved to half tiles. Given time (and better UI skills), I'd like to move it back to full-tile movement.

gmaker says ...
May 4, 2013 @ 5:12am

really fun! =) great job!

avidgamerNino says ...
May 4, 2013 @ 5:38am

this game was very cool. I wish there wasnt a timer on the boxes. I kept chasing them back and forth.

May 4, 2013 @ 8:17am

nice game .. good luck !

EggDestroyer says ...
May 4, 2013 @ 9:06am

It took me some time to figure out what's going on, probably due to the lack of clear feedbacks. Also, I find it a bit frustrating to insta-lose my cubes after picking them, or when a blink cube appears on my character then I take it and lose another one.

Apart from those points, I liked your game. It's interesting, challenging, well made and satisfying. Good job :)

tankete says ...
May 4, 2013 @ 9:30am

@EggDestroyer Agreed on both points. I'm planning on tweaking it so you don't lose the square you just picked up on the hole it created (unless you move off it first). I've also bumped into scenario #2, and plan to not allow the target/goal/blink to occur directly underneath the player.

Glad you liked it...and thanks for the feedback!

PsenFilip says ...
May 4, 2013 @ 12:27pm

It's a cool game but the chaotic colored cubes get in the way a lot. I have a hard time concentrating and avoiding certain colors.
The difficult ramp is also interesting. Good concept on there.

mikeware says ...
May 5, 2013 @ 6:57pm

It was hard to tell at first what you meant by an 'empty' square. Also, there's no way to recover once you start messing up as the empty squares don't get filled again by what they take.

I like the concept, but it's pretty tough right now to tell what exactly is going on. Plus, I feel like having two blinking boxes to go after to give you a choice about how you lay out your path would be helpful.

mikeware says ...
May 5, 2013 @ 6:58pm

Oh, also I encountered an issue where I would pick up a block and then it would be immediately emptied by the square I just picked it up from.

tankete says ...
May 5, 2013 @ 9:23pm

@mikeware Having a couple targets to choose from is a great idea! As for the immediate losing of what you picked up, that's a bug that I'm fixing. Thanks for playing and for the feedback!

HuvaaKoodia says ...
May 7, 2013 @ 7:49pm

Enough criticism has been leveled already so I'll just say Well done.

tankete says ...
May 8, 2013 @ 1:24am

@HuvaaKoodia I've got thick skin and a ton of criticism myself, so no worries. But thanks!

Rafael Sales says ...
May 8, 2013 @ 10:07pm

Great puzzle! Fantastic idea and fun experience. It's hard to understand in the beginning, but after is addictive. Congrats!

Beerman says ...
May 9, 2013 @ 10:01pm

I like the idea, but most of the time I just can't tell what's in the box and what's in the background waiting to be picked up. Lot of people seem to get it though, maybe my eyes are broken...

tankete says ...
May 9, 2013 @ 10:21pm

@Beerman No, you're not the only one. That's the biggest problem that I need to solve. Thanks for playing!

Spiridios says ...
May 19, 2013 @ 4:17am

Interesting puzzle mechanic. I agree with the other comments that there needs to be better differentiation between things. And since I like to dive in before reading directions, I had no clue why I was losing some squares, nor did I have a clue what my goal was.... But I did eventually win, so it's not like it's unplayable for stubborn people like me. =p

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