Ludum Dare 32 — April 17th-20th, 2015 — Theme: An Unconventional Weapon

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A Knife Made Of Whispers

by Managore - Compo Entry



> Left/Right .................................... Move
> Up/Down ..................................... Climb
> Z or W or Y .................................. Jump
> X ................................................. Slash
> C ................................ Pick Up or Throw
> Esc or Backspace ............ Menu and Quit
> Alt + Enter ................. Toggle Fullscreen

Xbox Controller:

> Left Stick ..................... Move and Climb
> A ................................................. Jump
> X ................................................. Slash
> B ................................ Pick Up or Throw
> Start ............................. Menu and Quit

Controller highly recommended!


Please note:

> If you are getting an error when you start the game, please go here:
> If you come across any other errors or bugs please let me know either in the comments or on twitter so I can fix them as soon as possible!
> The game saves your progress so you can come back to it later.
> You don't have to beat every level! There are always three unbeaten levels to choose from.
> A checkered pattern around the level button means you beat the level, but took damage. A solid line around the level button means you mastered it! For a challenge, try to master all 23 levels.

Read on if you get stuck:

> You can only attack when you're close enough to the lantern, but you can pick up and move the lantern closer.
> Some enemies have lines above their heads. Each line corresponds to extra health. In most levels you have extra health, too.
> Doors only open when you've collected enough. You can check your progress in the top right corner of the screen.
> There are many ways to beat most levels. If you're having trouble, try to do things a bit differently!
> Here's the full story text:


This is Ludum Dare entry number five for me! It's nice to slowly build up a collection of games.

A Knife Made Of Whispers was made using Gamemaker:Studio, with jfxr for sound effects and FL Studio for the music. The game uses a shader I wrote during the 48 hours for the grainy diffuse effect, the colour separation effect and the light radius around the lantern.

I had a lot of fun making this game and I hope you have as much fun playing it!

By Daniel Linssen (@managore)

Downloads and Links




Horsed says ...
Apr 20, 2015 @ 2:10am

How can I select a level from the menu?

Managore says ...
Apr 20, 2015 @ 2:17am

@Horsed: Press Z/W/Y on a keyboard or A on a controller.

tppr2046 says ...
Apr 20, 2015 @ 2:20am

Really fun!! It's really an unconventional weapon!
Very inspiring!

oranebeast says ...
Apr 20, 2015 @ 3:41am

I alwmost couldn't put it down. It handled well and there was plenty innovation. The great level design help aid the fun and it was all bound together with mood. Good Job.

resty says ...
Apr 20, 2015 @ 4:12am

Nice game, very fun and addictive and hard. I have spent so such time on it...

SteveSalmond says ...
Apr 20, 2015 @ 6:30am

Man, you are great at level design. I love how economical everything is - feels like nothing in the game is without a purpose. Controls feel sweet with a controller, really intuitive. Top notch.

Horsed says ...
Apr 20, 2015 @ 7:08am

Perfect look and feel for me. The game's audio and graphics create an excellent mood. Keyboard controls are a bit difficult.
I like it a lot.

PachowStudios says ...
Apr 20, 2015 @ 8:13am

Damn you know your shaders! I have to give you mad props and respect for the graphical polish you put into your entries! :)

Madball says ...
Apr 20, 2015 @ 9:15am

At first I had a plenty of complaints about lack of tutorial or at least saying about controls in-game, throwing controls being too sensitive, player retaining his direction for a little bit after you change his movement, which makes you unable to go left, quickly turn around and attack right, etc., but as I played, these things felt so tiny comparing to all the awesome stuff in the game. So, great job, it's a fully finished game, with nothing spoiling the experience.
Oh, I remember you from the previous LD. I like this entry more.
Mastered every level.

fullmontis says ...
Apr 20, 2015 @ 10:58am

Excellent game, my only complaint would be about the controls that don't feel really "thight", not that they are bad but I felt that to put the player in the position I wanted it was harder than expected.

Other than that, I really love the game, especially the mechanics and the mood.

hexagore says ...
Apr 20, 2015 @ 11:10am

I actually enjoyed the process of figuring out how this game worked, what the lantern was and how it all worked. Gorgeously atmospheric (I love that shader btw) and obviously a solid, absorbing platform game. I can't believe how much you can get done in 48 hours.

DragonXVI says ...
Apr 20, 2015 @ 11:34am

Interesting mechanic, reminds me a little of that game where anything in darkness is incorporeal. Lovingly presented and plenty to play through as always, just wish the attack reached a bit further :p Walked into those blobs many times trying to hit 'em!

Nanolotl says ...
Apr 20, 2015 @ 11:45am

The lantern mechanic was pretty neat and the graphical style and effects were good. The throwing and jumping physics felt quite awkward though.
Well done.

23 says ...
Apr 20, 2015 @ 12:44pm

Lovely mood and graphics, though too hard for me - the keyboard controls in particular were really rough. I switched to a controller but still had a lot of trouble with landing jumps correctly.

Pierrec says ...
Apr 20, 2015 @ 12:54pm

Very good, but also very hard. I got stuck around level 7 (Which is bad, I know, but I'm not very good at platformers) I enjoyed it a lot though, and was impressed by the pretty level selection screen.
It reminds me another game I played during a previous LD, but I can't remember its name for the moment :(

Apr 20, 2015 @ 1:25pm

Great mood and a very interesting mechanic. The controls feel a bit strange (even with gamepad) or it's just my lack of platformer skills :D Anyway, great entry and superb shading!

local minimum says ...
Apr 20, 2015 @ 2:41pm

Really cool game, somehow though my mind could not cope with learning what button for slash and what for jump and so on. Probably makes much sense if you have a controller and has played a lot of games like that. I wonder if it would be possible to reduce it to only two given that you can't jump with the light-thing. The first levels worked really smoothly, which says a lot since it introduced a quite unconventional mechanic.

SaintHeiser says ...
Apr 20, 2015 @ 4:54pm

Very good game as usual! Amount of content is very impressing! Still beat about 10 levels. Return to this game later! Promise!

rnlf says ...
Apr 20, 2015 @ 6:46pm

Another masterpiece. Not quite as innovative as Hopslide and not as polished and perfectly acurately controllable as Birdsong, but still one of the best games around.

With a few flaws ironed out (controls are very hard, even with an xbox controller) and more levels I would even pay money for this!

The controls are difficult with the auto-grab-on to walls and the quite fast horizontal acceleration, but that's about all I can complain about and that's just du say something besides "great game", which it surely is!

PTSnoop says ...
Apr 20, 2015 @ 7:54pm

Very atmospheric, and good gameplay. Although the two do come into conflict occasionally - considering that this lantern contains/represents the [SPOILER] of your [SPOILER SPOILER], you do spend a lot of time flinging it across the landscape...

Ludipe says ...
Apr 20, 2015 @ 9:58pm

I just completed the whole game, it's as polished as usual :D

It was pretty original and extremely well-crafted. Throwing the "ball" felt pretty good, though repeating some parts after dying was very frustrating.

Finally, the narrative was the cherry on the top ^^

Apr 20, 2015 @ 10:05pm

This is the second game of yours I've played, and just like that one the level design is quite variable and excellent. Nice work.

Joris says ...
Apr 21, 2015 @ 12:55am

Really great game as per usual.

ianh says ...
Apr 21, 2015 @ 1:28am

Really clever game! Very hard though T_T

Snicklodocus says ...
Apr 21, 2015 @ 1:37am

Very good game. Excellent level design, art and sound! Your graphic design always inspires me.

I enjoyed figuring out how things worked. Keyboard controls are difficult to use, and button prompts might have been nice, but I wonder if they would take away from the discovery.

Only other critique is I feel use of theme was a little weak. Overall though, another wonderful entry!

Armanky says ...
Apr 21, 2015 @ 3:29am

Whoa, this is pretty trippy! The shaders look great as always. I feel like you pick up a ton of momentum in the air and it makes some of the precision jumping kind of frustrating, but other than that it's very inspiring.

Bsevers18 says ...
Apr 21, 2015 @ 4:42am

Fantastic, great aesthetic. Fun mechanics, draws you in with the moody story. super fun

Ossi says ...
Apr 21, 2015 @ 5:25am

You always make some pretty amazing stuff! I love the atmosphere, graphics and the music. It was a bit frustrating to make some of those jumps because at the end of the jump it feels like there's some minor acceleration. You managed to fit in a lot of levels too, it's really impressive. Fantastic work!

KedumeBits says ...
Apr 21, 2015 @ 6:11am

I like the game. It reminds me to Closure. Great graphics effects too.

sch00f says ...
Apr 21, 2015 @ 7:51am

One of the best & most polished games i've seen from this LD.
Great work!

Apr 21, 2015 @ 8:17am

/golfclap. This is awesome. Carrying the light around and making it shrink when I attack is clever. The level design is really good and progression is fun and steady. Very well done.

Hamsternator says ...
Apr 21, 2015 @ 12:18pm

Very well made =)
It took me a little time to understand that I needed to collect the floaty dot thingies to open the doors, but that's about the only flaw I could find in the presentation or in the game overall.

Enjoyed this a lot =D

Simon says ...
Apr 21, 2015 @ 1:10pm

Such a great mood. Well done.

Apr 21, 2015 @ 1:35pm

Another great polished entry. The level design was really well done and the differences and pacing in levels kept me playing on for just one more level. Graphics and audio also worked well in setting the mood with the text.

23 says ...
Apr 21, 2015 @ 1:59pm

Oh, I forgot to mention before, but thank you so much for including the level skip mechanic. It wasn't enough to get me through but it let me see and understand a lot more of the game than I would have otherwise.

Tommislav says ...
Apr 21, 2015 @ 3:13pm

The graphics look amazing.
I struggled a bit with the keyboard controls, constantly mixing them up. I guess it works much better with controller if you have one. Or maybe it's just me. Anyway, great entry!

Crowbeak says ...
Apr 21, 2015 @ 3:14pm

I like that the weapon is unconventional in terms of how it can be used rather than its shape/form/type. That grainy shader is really sweet, too.

madameberry says ...
Apr 21, 2015 @ 3:53pm

The lantern didn't really feel like a weapon. Maybe I didn't get far enough? I'm bad at this...

Apr 21, 2015 @ 4:17pm

Very good. I like how much you need to figure out and how much the game 'shows' you, like in the level with the tall tower. The level designs are amazing and the mood is really absorbing. Great game!

recursor says ...
Apr 21, 2015 @ 6:22pm

Lovely game. My only criticism would be that the controls felt confusing/sluggish (loose?) at times. When you drop the clock and jump around, it can get a bit frustrating to get the little guy to stop where you want him to. The minimal colors and pixel sprites made for a great mood and look to the game. Well done!

Anti says ...
Apr 21, 2015 @ 7:44pm

Amazing game once again! Really enjoyed it. The feel you get in this game is just amazing! Keep up the good work!

sputnik says ...
Apr 21, 2015 @ 8:10pm

The physic is a little bit hard to control. The concept is really neat!

Ellian says ...
Apr 21, 2015 @ 10:48pm

I'm always waiting for your games during Ludum Dare. Awesome stuff as usual. <3

The controls are a bit wonky (mostly during attacks) but it's soooo good.

Managore says ...
Apr 21, 2015 @ 10:58pm

Thank you everyone for the comments, I really appreciate them!

Sorry for those of you that are finding the controls awkward, especially on keyboard. Maybe I should have combined attacking, picking up and throwing into one button but I wanted the player to have more control over the character. I intentionally made the character a little slippery so you had to use a bit of momentum to get around although I might have overshot my mark! I'll make a gameplay video today for anyone who had too much trouble with the controls but wants to see the rest of the game.

Okay, onto specific comments!

@Pachow: Thanks! I'll try to do a writeup on the shader, in case that's interesting to anyone.

@fullmontis: Definitely agree with you on this! If I had more time I would have tried to tweak the levels so this issue never stood in the way.

@DragonXVI, KedumeBits: I haven't seen Closure before but it looks great! I can totally see the similarities in graphical style and the light/dark mechanics. Thanks for mentioning it!

@localminimum: I'm not sure what you mean; it is possible to jump while holding the lantern, although it isn't possible to attack, and I think that's the direction I should have gone.

@rnlf: Thank you very much! I wouldn't mind spending more time on this, adding a bunch more content as well as ironing out the controls.

@PTSnoop: I'm going to use to reply to this since it's full of spoilers. Svefgyl, V'z gnxvat n thrff gung lbhe pbzzrag fnlf "pbafvqrevat gung guvf ynagrea pbagnvaf/ercerfragf gur fbhy bs lbhe qrnq ybire" be fbzrguvat gb gung rssrpg. V'z abg fher ubj sne lbh tbg, ohg nf gur fgbel hasbyqf lbh svaq bhg gung vg'f npghnyyl gur punenpgre'f bja fbhy juvpu vf va gur ynagrea, abg gurve ybiref, naq tvira ubj riragf hasbyqrq V qba'g guvax gurl ner cnegvphyneyl raguenyyrq ol gurve fbhy orvat xrcg nyvir sberire.

@Snicklodocus: Yeah I found the theme particularly tricky to work with this time! I didn't want to make an ordinary game with a meatloaf instead of a sword, or anything like that, so I tried to think of unusual ways a weapon could operate.

@madameberry: The lantern itself isn't a weapon, but it's the source of your knife. My take on the theme was a weapon that only existed in a small space around a point, and I tried to emphasize this in the narrative but it was tough to get across!

Anikki says ...
Apr 22, 2015 @ 12:11am

Love it. As always.

ChuiGum says ...
Apr 22, 2015 @ 2:20am

Awesome entry, once again. Great graphics too. I love the whole lantern concept, very original and really cool. Nice, but sad, little story too. Awesome job!

Jellyhard says ...
Apr 22, 2015 @ 3:36am

Very interesting mechanics and an overall cool experience.
The visuals are really nice, although they kinda gave me a bit of a headache (but that's just me having overly sensitive eyes I guess).
Love your stuff man!

Apr 22, 2015 @ 8:27am

Such a solid entry, :D great game :D

Draknek says ...
Apr 22, 2015 @ 11:00am

This looks great but it's unfortunately really tedious to play :(

Too unforgiving for me.

flwns says ...
Apr 22, 2015 @ 11:23am

It's Good!

GhostBomb says ...
Apr 22, 2015 @ 11:52am

Really fantastic as always, but the movement is extremely sensitive.

Atmosphere was top notch and gameplay the level design was great. I kind of think it should be shorter, but I beat the game so...

Xaychru says ...
Apr 22, 2015 @ 4:42pm

Amazingly polished game as always, the controls are almost perfect, I just found the character's movement a bit too sensitive. Really nice atmosphere on overall, I enjoyed it a lot!

StrayByte says ...
Apr 22, 2015 @ 9:24pm

Really great game but i don't see how it fits with the theme. It's a knife by your statement. Even if it's powered by soul lantern it remains a knife. Awesome graphics, feel and overall mechanics. Really polished.

MonoS says ...
Apr 22, 2015 @ 9:25pm

WOW Managore, i don't know how but you can make very masterpiece in literally no time [and not little masterpiece].

Sadly i don't like platformers so i didn't finished the game [for now], i really don't like tight platforming and i hope you'll forgive me for that :(

Apr 22, 2015 @ 10:20pm

Awesome. Very polished.

Apr 23, 2015 @ 6:07am

Very professionally-made game, could easily stand on its own as a self-contained flash game on any site. Controls took a bit to get used to, but became intuitive after a little figuring out. Still impressed that this only took a couple of days to make!

jhell says ...
Apr 23, 2015 @ 9:04am

Hi, very cool entry, perfect execution, everything fits into a complete whole, I'm impressed. The only gripe I have is with the lateral controls, I think the character moves a little too fast by default, making it hard to be precise. Some puzzles towards the end also tend to become a little frustrating. I liked the writing.

Congratulations overall :)

phi6 says ...
Apr 23, 2015 @ 12:32pm

Amazing, you did it again! Everything about this game is perfection and I applaud your collect of fantastic LD entries. By the way, your last entry, Bird Song really inspired me and as a result made a Metroidvania game myself for this LD. Hope you have the time to check it out!

Apr 23, 2015 @ 1:49pm

Nice aesthetics

kabutakogames says ...
Apr 23, 2015 @ 2:50pm

Great graphics and mood! The light and throwing works really well together

Yword says ...
Apr 23, 2015 @ 3:33pm

Very interesting gameplay and unique graphics style! The level design and overall mood is very good too! Well done!

Apr 23, 2015 @ 3:41pm

Cool another GameMaker entry! I love this. It looks lovely and I really like the mechanic. Awesome job.

Also, fantastic name for the game (should I really be scoring extra for that?)

Apr 23, 2015 @ 7:23pm

I really like the atmosphere you built with the music, the minimalist graphics and the animation effects between blak and white. A bit too difficult when you don't have a controller though XD.

Zak says ...
Apr 23, 2015 @ 7:31pm

I loved the graphics and the general atmosphere. However, the joystick controls did not really fit for this, and it got pretty frustrating. But as always, good stuff :)

Arche-san says ...
Apr 23, 2015 @ 8:22pm

Impressive lot of content for the amount of time. Controls with gamepad are really good. The attack collider is small and sometimes you need to move back and find the perfect position to kill the enemies. Otherwise this is excellent work. :D

Kitch says ...
Apr 24, 2015 @ 12:39am

Really nice entry, a lot of fun... Nice atmosphere and really good animations and music.

ekun says ...
Apr 24, 2015 @ 1:39am

The music does a great job at adding to the dark and mysterious ambiance, and the graphics and effects were quite pretty.

My main complaint is that the controls took a super long time to get accustomed to. I felt like I accelerated too fast, which led to a lot of frustrating deaths where I'd run off ledges or into enemies I was attacking. I'd find myself wanting to move with the same friction as when I was carrying the lantern, but the switching between movement mechanics when holding it versus not holding it threw me off. I tried using a joystick controller at first, but as the acceleration is all-or-nothing I found that the stick hurt more then helped movement. I'm not a huge fan of level-based platformers like Super Meat Boy (blasphemy I know), so it might just be me here.

There was a ton of content, much more than I expected in a Ludum Dare game. The levels had varied and interesting challenges; I especially enjoyed the sections where I had to ascend a small corridor while dodging enemies or projectiles.

I liked the mysterious snippets of text, but by the end of the game I couldn't quite piece together what exactly the story was. Some kind of ending cinematic or even textbox would've helped to tie the story together as well as reward the player for finishing the game.

Although this isn't my kind of game, I did enjoy it! Near the end of the game once I got used to the controls, it was fun to zip around the level throwing the lantern to go fast. I could easily see this game being well-suited to speed runs.

Super polished game, well done!

andrewkennedy says ...
Apr 24, 2015 @ 2:04am

Always look forward to seeing what you're going to do! The visual style was pretty neat (I liked the fading as you got further away from the relic. Like others have mentioned, I wasn't a huge fan of the ZXC controls.

Apr 24, 2015 @ 3:43am

Every game he makes this guy

SonnyBone says ...
Apr 24, 2015 @ 3:48am

I'm going to start off with the negatives which I don't like to do but I'm going to get it out of the way.

This game felt too long.

But is that a bad thing? I played it twice and I can't decide why I feel that way. On one hand, more content is good for a game like this, right? More levels, more puzzles, etc. You introduced new ideas (while still using the same mechanics) over time to keep things fresh, and a few levels really stood out to me. The one where you have to follow the ascending orb, break blocks to the left and right, and kill enemies quickly while wall jumping up to stay in the light range... that was awesome. But moments like that were padded out by levels that felt repetitive. If you had just one or two extra mechanics that you could reveal along the way, it would help to break up that feeling. So the solution for me would either be a more streamlined experience with less levels as a whole, or the same amount of levels but with a few extra tricks up your proverbial sleeve.

Does that make it a bad game? Most definitely NOT. The game is great. It's not incredibly innovative or unique, but it controls well. It's consistent. It's challenging without being frustrating. It's a satisfying experience.

Your diffuse shader is awesome. The way it all dynamically shifts the safe playing area ... it really pulls you into the orb that much more. After a while you really start to feel like you NEED it to survive, even though it's just a little pixelated ball. The story that wraps around the whole experience has that same feeling. You did a good job of weaving the player's reality with the narrative. There are lots of parallels going on, and it's interesting to think about.

I also have to thank you for providing controller support, because I always have my controller in hand when playing LD games. If the game doesn't support it, I set up key bindings with XPadder or something similar. The platforming was tight, and I didn't have too much of an issue aside from the ball not going where I wanted it to go. I eventually learned how to control it.

I also like how you don't have to kill EVERYTHING. Most levels have multiple solutions, and this prevented me from getting stuck on more than one occasion. I was having trouble with one enemy so I said, SCREW IT, and went another way. There's some good level design going on here, too. You seem to have a real skill in that department.

As always I look forward to your awesome games, and this was no exception. Keep it up, man!

alvivar says ...
Apr 24, 2015 @ 9:07am

I do admire a lot your work <3

PaperBlurt says ...
Apr 24, 2015 @ 9:15am

The mood is really eerie and the unique style really helps.
I'm always impressed with what some manage to pull off in 48 hours.
The short little text snippets really add to the atmosphere...

Feel somewhat sad now due to the game.

Raiyumi says ...
Apr 24, 2015 @ 9:15am

Really fun game, solid controls, and I love that lighting effect!

hexdie says ...
Apr 24, 2015 @ 4:54pm

I thought I had left a comment on this one, but apparently I didn't.

I really enjoyed this game! The graphics are great, with the simplistic sprites combined with neat shaders. The gameplay was also very enjoyable. I was surprised with how many combinations of buttons you can hit to throw in specific directions and jump at different lengths. Some of the levels definitely had sort of a puzzle platformer feel, where I didn't know exactly what I had to do to progress. It was very rewarding though when I ended up figuring out what to do. Awesome work!

NightShadow0 says ...
Apr 24, 2015 @ 5:33pm

I found the controls too floaty for precision jumping and the short length of the sword, but the light mechanic is really clever. Impressive amount of content, too. Loved it!

BIZM says ...
Apr 24, 2015 @ 5:40pm

Beautiful game, story and atmosphere. Has a Limbo/Braid feel to it. Everything is very polished and well done. We had a hard time using the keyboard controls but after we switched to controller it was a lot smoother. Awesome job!

Drauthius says ...
Apr 24, 2015 @ 9:16pm

Wow! Great game. Very challenging. :)

01010111 says ...
Apr 24, 2015 @ 10:07pm

I have two complaints about this game

1) The gameplay didn't quite fit the mood imo. The 'story' of the game was very very somber, but the gameplay felt goofy and fun! I'm not sure how you could have made the gameplay fit the current story, but I feel like without the story (and the music accompanying the story) you could have made a slick B-Ball adventure platformer.

2) The controls felt very floaty. I was playing on gamepad and I was constantly falling into pools and missing my mark. hitboxes felt very unforgiving (I had to remind myself that the weapon was a knife and not a longsword).

HOWEVER, I loved the concept, and totally loved tossing the lantern around like a ball. The audio was very well made, but the music fit the story better than it did the gameplay.

Amazing work as usual, always super psyched to play your games ;D

Tselmek says ...
Apr 25, 2015 @ 8:44am

Gorgeous graphics and nice gameplay idea yet the controls are very slidy and it takes a lot of time to figure out what to do.

fleegle2000 says ...
Apr 25, 2015 @ 8:00pm

Another excellent entry! Moody, solid mechanics, nice combination of modern shaders and retro graphics/audio. Love your work - keep knocking them out of the park.

KhaoTom says ...
Apr 25, 2015 @ 8:07pm

I can't seem to get the throwing right, so probably can't finish the game before breaking controller. It was fun while it lasted though. Good work.

TheMeorch says ...
Apr 25, 2015 @ 8:47pm

Absolutely incredible graphics, plus great audio and overall mood. The core mechanic is very unique. I had some trouble with the throwing controls on keyboard (I couldn't get my controller to work unfortunately). Also climbing up from a ledge could be smoother by just having the player climb up if they keep holding up. Those are minor nitpicks for such a polished and content-rich game made in such a short time. Fantastic work!

DeltaF1 says ...
Apr 26, 2015 @ 9:04pm

This was very well done. The mechanic was solid and easy to grasp, the level design was awesome, and the graphics complemented the mood perfectly.

HolyBlackCat says ...
Apr 26, 2015 @ 9:06pm

Just amazing.

Awpteamoose says ...
Apr 26, 2015 @ 9:23pm

Wow, 5/5, as well as all your previous LD entries.

Dege says ...
Apr 26, 2015 @ 9:36pm

Another art-style masterpiece from Daniel Linssen. You can't get how much I love that RGB-shifted black and white, wow!!!

The only flaw, this time there is one, are controls. Jumps are too "strong", the player gain speed too easily.

One of potential winners for me! Congrats!

seankimdesign says ...
Apr 27, 2015 @ 6:23am

Beautiful game! Razor sharp innovation as always.

Ditto says ...
Apr 27, 2015 @ 5:49pm

Alright, I'll be frank, I really don't like this game.

Let's begin with some good stuff. The overall aesthetics, with how the art style, music, the "writings on the walls" and the story ties together is completely masterful. Everything down to the level select screen feels lovingly thought of in a way that not many can do in the short time span. Kudos!

Okay here goes.

I hate how you walk slower when you carry the lantern. It took me ages to feel like I had some sort of control over my jumps and stuff. I blame this a bit on the constant shift in how the character controls. You run so very fast when not carrying that even the slightest misstep means death.

The orb bouncing feels REALLY good, but when I'm supposed to get it to land on a teeeney tiny platform and it just bounced away into a puddle of water it made me want to punch something.

The FUCKING water.

The attack is so puny! I feel like the combat is so secondary to this games design that making it this difficult to hit an enemy feels unnecessary. Especially since you also have to stand in the light to attack..

Alright, I think that's it. I want to emphasize that the only reason I bitch like this is because it's a REALLY fucking cool game. It just has a bunch of, what I think is, little hiccups.. I admire you Daniel, like the fanboyiest fanboy, and you made something I don't LOVE, so I'm butthurt as fuck. Sorry.

Ditto says ...
Apr 27, 2015 @ 5:52pm

I just wrote that and forgot to vote. So I'm gonna chime in once again and say: LOL WHAT A blomster RIPOFF HAHAHA!


phi6 says ...
Apr 27, 2015 @ 11:40pm

Hey, I liked this entry so much I included the game as part of my Top 10 Platformers of Ludum Dare 32:

norwalnate13 says ...
Apr 28, 2015 @ 1:07am

Purdy.... That is all I have to say.

myachin says ...
Apr 28, 2015 @ 6:25am


deepnight says ...
Apr 28, 2015 @ 11:57am

A very good puzzle game with interesting mechanics! Reminded me a lot of Closure. The controls are a bit too "fast", and they don't fit really well with the puzzle gameplay, imo.

Jwatt says ...
Apr 28, 2015 @ 3:47pm

As a multiple LD winner and a cool dude, I'm really expecting you to up your ante constantly.

So I'm honestly disappointed to see you do just another stock platformer with a shader. There's a few puzzles alright, but they're fairly straightforward, with floaty controls that don't match the gameplay style. And it just has to be the standard issue "playing with light and darkness" concept.

For someone's first entry, this would be a solid, fairly polished game - not a standout, but solid. For someone like friggin' Managore, I get the impression you didn't truly challenge yourself this time.

Soft 3 stars. You can do better, man.

Marcus316 says ...
Apr 28, 2015 @ 10:50pm

Great fun! I did find some of it a bit frustrating, but not enough to give up.

figuring out the lantern lift in a later level wasn't as intuitive as it could be, but I did eventually figure it out. (I tried to jump on the lantern lift a couple times.)

Maybe an earlier level could have started with the lantern in a similar lift as a hint for that later level.

That's a minor thing, though. Excellent game!

jcmoyer says ...
Apr 28, 2015 @ 11:27pm

Neat game. The concept is nice, it has an engaging story, and there's a lot of content. I think it took me around an hour to beat it. I only have two problems with the game:

1. There is noticeable input lag. You can feel it on levels where you do a lot of directional tossing, like level 23 when you toss up+right, sometimes it doesn't register from the time you press the keys to the time you toss the lantern and it ends up falling to the bottom of the level. Input lag caused a lot of frustration and I'd often die for reasons outside of my control.

2. The physics feel kind of bad. Level 14 is especially hard because you end up jumping into the first slime across the water pit and you can't really control your momentum after jumping. In the end I opted to just leave the lantern in the middle of the level and skip enemies (I assume the intended way was to bring the lantern to the end of the level, but it's almost impossible). Another thing is that sometimes your character won't turn around when you tap the opposite direction key. I'm not sure if this is because of input lag or because your facing is based on velocity or something, but it cost me quite a few lives.

These two problems combined with the fact that you're expected to do nearly pixel-perfect actions really hurt the game's playability. There are a lot of instances where you have to inch up to an enemy to kill it just so you don't overstep due to inertia. If you don't, you'll end up running into the enemy, flinch, and become unable to attack. Typically this ends up with you stunlocked on top of an enemy and you just die.

Overall, it's a pretty impressive compo entry despite the flaws. Grats on finishing such a long game in 48 hours.

Managore says ...
Apr 30, 2015 @ 4:18am

Wow, so many comments!! Thank you for all the kind words/criticism/suggestions, it's really great to read all of it.

@StrayByte: Fair enough! I didn't want to make a game that took conventional weapon mechanics and swapped the gun out for a puppy launcher or swapped the sword for a meatloaf, but instead I wanted to take a normal weapon and limit its use in some unconventional way, so I tried to think of a way to reinvent melee fighting and came up with the idea that you had to stay close to some sort of energy source.

@MonoS: No worries, thanks for playing!

@phi6: I've added it to my list to check out, I'll leave a comment when I do. And thank you so much for adding me to your list!! It's an honour to be among such nice games :)

@ekun: Thank you for the detailed reply. I guess I've always been a bit inspired by Super Meat Boy, sometimes to my detriment, haha! If you're interested in the full story text, there's a link to it in the game description up the top.

@SonnyBone: I wish I had had more time to tweak the levels, I think I would have scrapped a couple of the middle levels, or at least made them a lot more interesting. Unfortunately there were a lot of ideas I didn't get time to implement. Which is exactly what you suggest, and so I agree completely!

@01010111: I need to work on more somber gameplay for sure. Though, like you, I'm not sure what to do to get there.

@Ditto: Sorry to hear you didn't like it! You're totally right about the controls, I wish I had been able to improve them. I made the attack small on purpose because I wanted the player to have to use some precision to attack, but, like the controls, maybe I overshot the mark. Oh and say hi to blomster for me!

@Jwatt: Thanks for the detailed comment! Instead of trying to build a game around one interesting mechanic like I've done in the past, this time I tried to throw in as much content and mechanics as I could. I guess it didn't stick together as well as I'd hoped it would.

@Marcus316: I tried to hint at it with the horizontal lift in the second level, but your suggestion of a vertical lift early on is a better way to introduce the idea.

@jcmoyer: I'm not sure what's causing input lag on your system but I don't have any on my system so it might be some sort of bug? It may be worth pointing out that you only throw when you let go of C, not when you press it originally.

TijmenTio says ...
Apr 30, 2015 @ 12:08pm

Alright, I finally managed to finish all of the levels. Holy shit there are a lot of levels. But tbh I feel like you would've been better off with less, better levels. The first 10-ish levels are all somewhat the same and the story kept me playing. After that the game finally gets harder, but eventually hits you in the nuts with it. Damn duude that last level was so freakishly hard. Now this shouldn't be a bad thing per se, but the somehow I wasn't blaming myself for my failures. The controls are kind of quirky because you accelerate fast horizontally but your gravity is really slow. Plus the friction is way different while holding the ball so you suddendly can't anticipate your jumps anymore. The thing I disliked the most was the ball throwing dynamics. Half of the time I was throwing it in a different direction than I was trying to. So that really felt like it was the games fault instead of my own.
Other thing I'd like to say is that I didn't really connected with the character. That may sound stupid, but what I mean to say is that in games it's really nice to feel intrinsically motivated to achieve a certain goal. But I never really had a purpose in the game other then trying to get to another super hard level, throwing the ball in the pit all the time. The "thingies" you have to gather had no meaning to me and so I wasn't motivated emotionally to gather them. The ball was just a tool to me and the ultimate goal was unclear to me. Where am I going? Why am I going there wherever "there" is.
I had trouble using Z/X/C to do stuff and I wonder if you could've made the controls more intuitive.
Okay thus far for the bad stuff, I hope I'm not being to harsh, because I still really like your stuff a lot.
I like that in a lot of levels there are more "thingies" you need to gather than the needed amount. This gives the player a meaningful choice to make of which route to take, to assess the situation and explore more as opposed to just linearly follow a level's design.
As always you have stunning innovative visuals everywhere. I must say I'm not too fond of the black/white low res art-style, but the gausian blur at the edges of the light and the light effect itself make up for it.

Took me a long time to write this, gonna stop now, I hope I was able to give some decent feedback. I love your stuff, keep it up!

Apr 30, 2015 @ 3:07pm

A bit frustrating in places due to the controls and tiny range of the knife, but as a whole package it was really well put together. Excellent mood and feel to everything, great work

Mouch says ...
May 2, 2015 @ 10:53am

Cool game mechanic. Keyboard controls are odd though. It would be way easier, if slash and grab/throw would be the same key (you can't hold the orb and slash at the same time anyway). For me the jump sound was mildly annoying. (Maybe turn it's volume down?)

Os_Reboot says ...
May 4, 2015 @ 4:54am

This is the 200th game I've rated. There are a lot of things in this entry in particular that I have not seen in any other. The level design is decent, the combat and movement exceeded my expectations. The shader effects blew my mind. This game truly deserves the 5/5.

Alex Rose says ...
May 5, 2015 @ 2:42pm

So, the soundtrack's great and the SFX. The game is beautiful. I love the image effects - the chromatic abberation etc. looks awesome.

I also really like the level design.

Okay, so.. constructive feedback I think think of for the feedback loop:

I played on keyboard. I wasn't such a fan of the controls. I found that if I attempted to move a little I'd move more than I'd expect pretty often or not decelerate to where I want to. That's something I'd improve at as a player over time I guess, and it's something that would be absolutely fine in a platformer, but in a game where I have very little health and I have to get extremely close to things and hit them, it can be really frustrating.

The implementation of the orb and the puzzles around it were great. I'm not a personal fan of games where you carry and throw stuff, especially when you have digital controls and can't aim. I spent the vast majority of the game walking back to pick up my orb and throwing it again because the trajectory wasn't off. There were a couple of times when I would've ragequitted if it wasn't you whose game I was playing, carrying the orb carefully up a giant stairacse and then bam, it flies away and falls off the bottom of the screen, after tonnes of careful progress. I wouldn't mind, but it doesn't feel like my fault as a player.

Also, dropping the orb was fiddly. I would like if I could just slash my weapon to drop the orb and hit simultaneously, so in quick situations where I'm in combat I can quickly react.

I know WASD+mouse restricts gamepad use, but I think if the orb was mouse controlled, or you could use the right gamepad stick to aim it, this would've been a much better experience.

Oh also, one level it felt like the best way of completing it was to throw the orb in the water, jump in the water, pick up the orb and get out? When I have 2 hp having to use 1 hp to get out of the room when there are enemies feels mean. And when I can't hit an enemy that's above me standing on a platform because it's on the top left of me, but when I jump I still take damage.. just little things like that, I feel like giving the player more leeway so they get frustrated at their own lack of skill rather than the game would be nice.

However, these are minor gripes for a game which overall is fantastic as usual. Polished as fuck, beautiful, the text is interesting and moving, the level design is great as I said and the core mechanic is very cool and great with the theme. I especially like how the light diameter decreases when you slash, and all the image effects. Nice one.

May 5, 2015 @ 3:59pm

Pssst! You are featured in todays Ludum Dare to Believe! Check it out! -

Embalaje says ...
May 6, 2015 @ 9:34am

Genius!Top level design, mood, graphics, sound, and story.

Skiddings says ...
May 7, 2015 @ 10:50pm

Very atmospheric

crazya02 says ...
May 8, 2015 @ 1:42am

This is my favorite LD32 game so far! The mechanics were interesting, the visuals and audio were brilliant done, the story was simple yet engaging, the mood was masterful, and the gameplay was addictive... I tend to be pretty stingy with ratings, but have decided to rate a game with a 5 in all categories for the first time.

Atmospherium says ...
May 9, 2015 @ 5:37am

Mood and visuals are top-notch. I like how the gameplay is completely centered on the light source in ways that make you feel invested in protecting it. The story elements all feel like they build toward the "protection" theme as well. I haven't been able to make my way all the way through, but I'm looking forward to seeing how things unfold.

Gameplay was awesome when it worked, but felt very frustrating at times. I had much better luck with a controller than with the keyboard, but I still felt like I never really had complete control. Acceleration felt inconsistent (as did the orb-throwing) and the wall stickiness felt intrusive on occasion. I got to level 11 and had to give up, but I'm planning to come back later and work my way through the rest of the levels.

That being said, I did really enjoy the time I spent playing. There's some really cool mechanics and some challenging gameplay. The first time I threw the light, jumped a gap, and caught it again on the other side to keep it from flying off the screen felt incredibly empowering. I think that the game does so many things right and has the potential to be something AMAZING, which is why the negatives feel that much more jarring. On the whole, this is an incredibly polished, incredibly full LD entry. Great work!

thaaks says ...
May 9, 2015 @ 3:57pm

Okay, seems like you created a little gem again!
Give us noobs a chance, please ;-)
Wonderful entry, I liked everything and played it with a constant smile on my face! Great idea with the light, nice sounds and background music and I love your minimal graphic style! Hats off, Sir!

runvs says ...
May 9, 2015 @ 5:42pm

Very nice game.

Very precise controls but sometimes I had problems picking up items in a ditch because my character was clinging to the walls.

Very nice graphics and sound, they really set the mood!

vandriver says ...
May 10, 2015 @ 1:31am

So, this game is probably a bit beyond my tolerance level for frustration. The physics were way too floaty for a puzzle platformer, throwing the light was a bit too imprecise, and the weapon itself was so tiny. None of these would have been too grating except that failure often meant restarting a long level sequence. Maybe I'm not a hardcore platformer kind of guy. If it weren't for the ability to skip levels occasionally(which was a fantastic addition, by the way), I might never have been able to finish the game.

It's really, really rare to say this for a Ludum Dare game, but: this game might have been a bit too long.

The level where you're waiting for it to come to you while dodging bullets was not only an exception to my complaints, but probably my favorite level overall. It started out with that slow roll and I was already getting mad about it, but as it played out I couldn't help but enjoy the simplicity of it. I love levels that play nothing like their predecessors.

I realize I'm complaining a bunch, but I enjoyed playing most of the levels. The longer ones could have been split up into smaller separate levels and might not have complained about anything! Failing a bunch of times on the long levels colored my view of the game, I think.

The art is inspiring, it's ridiculously simple but sets a fantastic mood. The shaders are impressive as hell, as always.

foolmoron says ...
May 10, 2015 @ 8:16pm

The graphics are INCREDIBLE. That inversion shader with the lamp is so simple yet so effective, and the grainy darkness adds to the claustrophobia and fear in the game, which makes the gameplay connection with the lamp that much stronger. But I think by far the best decision you made is to add color to the edge of the lamp shader. That bold use of color in an otherwise black and white style is super striking, and it makes the chromatic aberration that's used everywhere feel a lot more subtle than it actually is. A really unique and interesting look despite using such overused techniques (b/w & chromatic aberration).

Audio was all very clean and appropriate for the atmosphere/story. Although I wish the atmosphere/story was more original - there are too many 2D platformers where text pops up and tells a sad story. There's a lot more interesting stories that can be told in this format I think!

The gameplay itself was eh. The controls were awkward for me. Having 3 buttons seemed excessive. I understand why you had to separate all the buttons (can't have jump be up, because then you can't climb up a wall and jump off it; can't have attack be the same as picking up and throwing because then you can't attack when near the lamp) but I feel like instead of adding extra buttons to satisfy all these mechanics, you should've just cut down the mechanics. Especially since the combat seems pretty extraneous and not very fun. The slash isn't very satisfying, and while a "knife of whispers" is a cool concept, it's just still a regular old knife.

Actually, the platforming seems kinda extraneous as well. There weren't many interesting puzzles or exploration of mechanics (which you are usually brilliant at). Instead all the challenge felt like fighting the controls more than anything. The horizontal movement is really fast, but there's like no vertical velocity at all. To climb vertically you have to glue to a wall and climb, which is like a slow and boring version of Meat Boy. Moving with the lamp is even worse, which makes sense, but isn't fun. Moving the lamp in general was my least favorite thing about the game. Throwing it makes it go crazy and it's so imprecise, which sucks when the levels demand some level of precision. In particular, the levels always have you throwing the lamp upwards, but there's so many holes that it can slide into to fall back down, which is super frustrating. I admit that I rage quit at level 10 because I was just spending my entire time failing to throw the lamp up, so maybe there's better stuff later.

Overall I am floored by the visual style of the game, but disappointed by the gameplay and level design compared to your previous brilliantly designed games.

duck says ...
May 10, 2015 @ 9:32pm

Really atmospheric, the graphics and sound are simple but work perfectly. I found it was fine with the keyboard, got to about level 10 so far, will continue with a pad :)

hissssssssss says ...
May 11, 2015 @ 10:54am

As usual, you've put together a really solid entry. A lot of people have already covered most of the bases: cool shader, really moody, feels like a complete game, controls/movement are a bit wonky.

-The jump height seemed inconsistent to me. In Level 22, are you supposed to be able to jump and grab onto the walls? I generally couldn't, but I feel like one out of every eight jumps I actually could hook around the wall and grab onto it, out of reach of the cannons while waiting for the lantern to fall.
As others have said, the horizontal movement felt a bit loose, and movement in the air and on the ground was unpredictable. Tighter controls would have made the game a bit easier to grasp, and could allow for levels that were more challenging, platforming-wise. I liked the feeling of throwing the lantern upwards, and some of the most difficult, yet satisfying levels were the ones that force you to get good at vertical throwing. Horizontally, it was hard to predict the distance and speed, and it was easy to try to set down the lantern and wind up punting it across the level instead. The lantern also had a bit too much bounciness when hitting walls.

-That said, I liked the variety of levels you had. The early ones were a bit samey, but later on there were some that required a variety of tactics. The vertical shaft jumping between walls dodging birds, the one where you run a gauntlet chasing the lantern, and the one where you need to destroy only a few blocks were all standouts. The levels also did a good job teaching the game and easing players into facets of the mechanics even late into the game (like the one that forces you to try attacking bullets from a cannon).

-The knife itself wasn't very fun to use. It was cool to have it connected to the lantern the way it was, but I feel like it could have had more...urgency, I guess? I got very, very excited in the early levels when I saw the lantern's radius shrink after swinging the knife, because I thought that would be a crucial gameplay element, but it never came into play, even on levels where I was basically button-mashing to attack. I like that the lantern and knife are connected, but while how I used the lantern affected the knife, the reverse was never true in a way that mattered. I wonder if there's a way to explore that?

-Has anyone said yet that they hurled themselves into a pit? Because I sure did. It was purely instinctual: I overshot the lantern, it plummeted off the edge of the level, and without even a second thought I jumped down after it. The weird clenching I felt in my gut when I realized what I'd done will stick with me even after I've forgotten the parts of this game that weren't so great. (I was able to fall for a VERY long time alongside the lantern, an experience so atmospheric I consider it a feature, not a bug. In fact, if you're at all considering making more levels for the game...)

All in all, it wasn't your best entry, but it was still really enjoyable to play. I think you should keep exploring this concept, if you have the time and energy.

tmpxyz says ...
May 11, 2015 @ 2:14pm

The shader is very well made, the levels are difficult but I managed to finish them :)

pixzleone says ...
May 11, 2015 @ 2:21pm

Best game I´ve played this LD. It´s awesome! Keep it up!

TeamCalcium says ...
May 11, 2015 @ 3:36pm

A really nice experience!

May 11, 2015 @ 7:44pm

Clean and simple gameplay, controls, and graphics. Very well done!

JonathanG says ...
May 11, 2015 @ 9:55pm

This is a great game!

ViKing Games says ...
May 11, 2015 @ 10:55pm

The graphics were what I immediately loved about this game. The lighting effects are really cool, and I love all of the little details. The pixel art is simple and effective. Both the visuals, audio, and story all make a very entertaining mood. The theme execution and level designs were both fantastic as well. Great work!

Sheepolution says ...
May 11, 2015 @ 11:00pm

Looks great, I like what you managed to do with only 2 colors. Audio is great as well.

I got quickly frustrated by your game though. Maybe it's just not my thing. Dragging the ball everywhere got a bit annoying, especially if it fell in to the deep or in the water at the end of the level.

I wouldn't necessarily say you did anything wrong, I think this type of game just doesn't work for me. If anything could be fixed, I'd say give the player prediction lines of where he is going to throw the ball. I think that makes the game a lot better already.

wademcgillis says ...
May 11, 2015 @ 11:06pm

this game makes my eyes feel funny

Mark Overmars says ...
Dec 31, 2016 @ 8:24pm

Screenshots look cool but my head hurts, is there an option to disable the effects?

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