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    Ludum Dare 26

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

    Ludum Dare 26 — April 26-29th, 2013
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    You Must Escape - GertJohnny - 48 Hour Compo Entry

    You awake in complete darkness. You have no memory of who you are or how you got there. You know only one thing: You must escape.

    View GertJohnny's journal. | View all entries by GertJohnny

    Ratings

    Coolness100%
    Overall4.36
    Innovation4.61
    Theme4.57
    #6Mood4.45
    #26Audio3.98
    #28Fun3.90
    #94Graphics3.94
    #594Humor2.18

    Comments

    chrysiridia says ...
    Apr 29, 2013 @ 5:13am

    This is gorgeous. The footstep sounds are a little harsh I think, given the tone of the game, but the monsters work well and the sound of opening the door is really satisfying.

    Deadlyapps says ...
    Apr 29, 2013 @ 5:15am

    Great Theme. Tension was palpable when the guys chase you.

    artifex says ...
    Apr 29, 2013 @ 5:15am

    Very good gameplay. Innovative. Fucking love it. Now I'm jealous :S

    Crowbeak says ...
    Apr 29, 2013 @ 5:16am

    The monsters are terrifying! Dying is terrifying! This game is wonderful. xD

    Nonameghost says ...
    Apr 29, 2013 @ 5:18am

    WOW! Fantastic. That was an excellent game. Innovative, Minimal, Great audio, Nice graphics. The gameplay was fun and I found myself genuinely horrified of the red lines. Oh man that death sound. Only thing I found a bit off was the "Shift to Silent Walk" thing. I always founf myself stuck in a wall, having to walk anyway, plus I could usually outrun them if I needed to. Perhaps giving a really small pulse while shift is held instead of complete darkness. Otherwise, this was a fantastic game. I think my favorite so far.

    Kom says ...
    Apr 29, 2013 @ 5:20am

    Been a while since I've seen a game that incorporates sound as a gameplay mechanic like this. The mood is excellent and ties the whole experience together.

    yajiv says ...
    Apr 29, 2013 @ 5:23am

    Wow, that was really cool. I loved the aesthetic and the audio design. Great work!

    jwin says ...
    Apr 29, 2013 @ 5:24am

    Very interesting mechanic. I couldn't keep track of where I was while walking silently, but I enjoyed everything up to that point.

    raincole says ...
    Apr 29, 2013 @ 5:28am

    really awesome. you deserve a medal.

    VDOgamez says ...
    Apr 29, 2013 @ 5:29am

    This is a good implementation of a really neat premise. It reminds me of a documentary I saw on how some blind people use sound. I was already sold at the beginning, especially with the really cool visual effects to represent the sound, but then you had to go and add monsters. It's a really wonderful mechanic to have your only way of seeing the maze also attract monsters, and make the way to avoid them be blinding yourself and withholding the mechanic you just got attached to using.

    gilmore606 says ...
    Apr 29, 2013 @ 6:48am

    Wow.

    ChrisGaudino says ...
    Apr 29, 2013 @ 8:22am

    I absolutely love this game.

    Sebastian says ...
    Apr 29, 2013 @ 8:22am

    That. Was terrifying.
    Haha, awesome game, love the visual representation of the sounds. All round nice work!

    muton says ...
    Apr 29, 2013 @ 9:32am

    Brilliant.

    graytest says ...
    Apr 29, 2013 @ 9:34am

    This is amazing!

    64Mega says ...
    Apr 29, 2013 @ 9:37am

    Excellent game this, and I really like the monsters.

    64Mega says ...
    Apr 29, 2013 @ 9:37am

    Forgot to rate it.

    aduros says ...
    Apr 29, 2013 @ 9:40am

    Brilliant idea, and terrifying use of the theme. I shouldn't have played this right before bed...

    Ragzouken says ...
    Apr 29, 2013 @ 2:18pm

    Very interesting, the sounds are great! Check out my entry, I tried a similar idea but without being able to see the walls visually (it is very hard to navigate :P)

    Farjuan says ...
    Apr 29, 2013 @ 2:19pm

    Great! Executed echolocation much better than my game

    donan says ...
    Apr 29, 2013 @ 2:59pm

    I like how sound expands. Its a really nice touch. My game plays with same idea but i didnt think about such a cool graphic touch :)

    Cirrial says ...
    Apr 29, 2013 @ 5:39pm

    Brilliant idea. I love it, although having to give up the ability to locate yourself in order to avoid detection has lead to me more dying more times than just running. Great game!

    SonnyBone says ...
    Apr 29, 2013 @ 6:00pm

    WOW! Awesome idea, great execution, and nice interpretation of the theme. Really tense gameplay once you get into the higher levels! FANTASTIC ENTRY!

    LostDatagram says ...
    Apr 29, 2013 @ 10:42pm

    Wow, absolutely love this! It's beautiful. Vaguely similar idea to mine.

    eteeski says ...
    Apr 29, 2013 @ 10:43pm

    this was pretty cool. it was really awesome to be able to see sound. lol i've never been afraid of lines before :b

    sparkleswirl says ...
    Apr 29, 2013 @ 10:45pm

    This is one of those games that makes me happy we have Ludum Dare.

    FrozenCow says ...
    Apr 30, 2013 @ 12:15am

    Damn, so simple yet so awesome. One of the best I've seen yet. The initial mechanics reminded me a lot of one of the levels in Gumboy Crazy Adventure, but you expanded on it with traps and enemies to keep it fresh.
    I couldn't work out the level where I started was surrounded by enemies and couldn't find a way out. Not sure what level though, the game is *that* minimalistic :P.

    GertJohnny says ...
    Apr 30, 2013 @ 12:40am

    For those of you having trouble navigating in the dark - remember that you can quickly tap the spacebar to generate tiny noises to help locate yourself. Thanks everyone!

    Msquirrel says ...
    Apr 30, 2013 @ 6:41am

    Very, Very Nice, really enjoyed it, great sound effects, great idea!

    LordGil says ...
    Apr 30, 2013 @ 7:37am

    So awesome!, The whole concept, super simple yet so involving.
    Congratulations !

    Bloated Hippo says ...
    Apr 30, 2013 @ 7:44am

    Outstanding!

    dark_hunter says ...
    Apr 30, 2013 @ 8:43am

    Awesome idea, supported by simple and beatiful graphics!

    LrdKzrth says ...
    Apr 30, 2013 @ 12:42pm

    This is a much better entry than my version of "Darkness"! Nice one!

    Hadyn says ...
    Apr 30, 2013 @ 1:00pm

    Scariest monsters ever.

    jhrrsn says ...
    Apr 30, 2013 @ 2:24pm

    This is my favourite game so far of this Ludum Dare! I really like the way you use the rays to show the level outlines, and its darn pretty when you do. Great job!

    Apr 30, 2013 @ 2:35pm

    Excellent! That red guy scared me first time :]

    Yacodo says ...
    Apr 30, 2013 @ 2:39pm

    Waw. Great experience :)

    martijn says ...
    Apr 30, 2013 @ 3:35pm

    Nothing is scarier

    bobiniki says ...
    Apr 30, 2013 @ 5:59pm

    < Speechless >

    Apr 30, 2013 @ 6:05pm

    Awesome work, one of the best games I've played this ludum dare, innovative, great use of sounds and the mood is very suspenseful.

    jhice says ...
    Apr 30, 2013 @ 6:31pm

    Amazing :O original :D terrifying :F and immersive ^^ Well done

    elbowroom says ...
    Apr 30, 2013 @ 8:12pm

    It is very good. I am not sure it feels like I'm using sound. I do like the little particles traveling in the space and exposing the structure around me. It is very unique to me as I don't remember seeing anything similar previously. Nicely done.

    vandriver says ...
    May 1, 2013 @ 12:34am

    damn yes, near perfect. my only complaint is the pace of the levels becomes slightly tiresome after you introduce the baddies then have us walk around traps a bit with no baddies. i get that that increases tension for when they do come back, but it still might have been a level too long of tension building. regardless this is the best game i've played all dare. awesome job

    nintendoeats says ...
    May 1, 2013 @ 2:14am

    I think that this is a really cool game. It has a good style, and the mechanic is used in some interesting ways. I do feel like running is USUALLY a better strategy than sneaking.

    On that subject, I cannot beat the tiny level where you are surrounded by monsters.

    GertJohnny says ...
    May 1, 2013 @ 3:25am

    @nintendoeats: You almost answered your own question there. Running is usually better if you know where to go, but sometimes sneaking is the only way out - especially when surrounded.

    JigxorAndy says ...
    May 1, 2013 @ 5:08am

    A very innovative and fun mechanic. Really nicely executed. Great game!

    stqn says ...
    May 1, 2013 @ 5:50am

    Excellent sound and visual effects! Well done.

    messiano says ...
    May 1, 2013 @ 6:07am

    Great game, well done!

    ncgames says ...
    May 1, 2013 @ 8:54am

    this is fantastic! wonderful sense of dread and tension from so little. the silent walking felt like it could use a little tweaking somehow, but that's just nitpicking

    fullmontis says ...
    May 1, 2013 @ 10:48am

    Very stylish game. It is also very creepy. Fiths the theme perfectly. Full scores for me all around :)

    Angerus says ...
    May 1, 2013 @ 1:27pm

    Best concept and idea so far! Congratulation!

    KayZ says ...
    May 1, 2013 @ 1:43pm

    Wow, great game and the monsters are really scary.

    euske says ...
    May 1, 2013 @ 2:02pm

    This is a prime example of "less is more". Congrats!

    May 1, 2013 @ 2:25pm

    It's so creepy when you're caught and your screams echo through the levels. Thanks!

    zatyka says ...
    May 1, 2013 @ 2:35pm

    Simple and beautiful. Very nice job creating a suspenseful. Excellent work!

    May 1, 2013 @ 2:35pm

    Wow, your game is truly amazing in all points oO !

    pereubu says ...
    May 1, 2013 @ 2:42pm

    nice idea ! I like it :D

    hardkey says ...
    May 1, 2013 @ 2:46pm

    Fucking genius game!!!!!!!!!
    Brillant idea, totally minimalist, and really fun to play. I enjoy every level, every nice touch of leveldesign you put. The gameplay is really pure, but it fits the theme, and it is kind of awesome. Thanks for an amazing game!

    MinionStudios says ...
    May 1, 2013 @ 2:54pm

    Excellent game! What a great idea! Would love to see this developed even further!

    LTyrosine says ...
    May 1, 2013 @ 2:58pm

    Amazing game. Unique gameplay and theme fit. Really amazing.

    invaderJim says ...
    May 1, 2013 @ 3:01pm

    Really well done, all around. The audio, the mood, the fear. It's all there!

    HELLO23 says ...
    May 1, 2013 @ 3:30pm

    Really pretty. Great idea, done very well. sounds are good.

    Frosnite says ...
    May 1, 2013 @ 3:52pm

    Quite the find :D

    May 1, 2013 @ 4:13pm

    Cool idea, well executed, good use of theme! I think you could have just skipped the story as it is very cliche and unnecessary especially considering the theme is minimalism. The effect is nice and well used but visually it looks a bit sparse, it might stand out better if the lines were thicker and didn't fade out quite so fast. I felt the movement was a bit slow, maybe a run button would help. While I thought this was a solid entry but I didn't have that much fun playing it because really the only thing making the game difficult is the fact that you can't see well which isn't fun in and of itself. I ended up throwing in the towel after about 5 levels that seemed pretty similar with no change in gameplay so confess that I didn't make it all the way to the end.

    Blizzil says ...
    May 1, 2013 @ 4:33pm

    Incredibly take on the theme, amazing idea and execution!

    Casino Jack says ...
    May 1, 2013 @ 5:09pm

    Really fantastic concept - I was actually pretty tense when I was being chased.

    May 1, 2013 @ 5:53pm

    This is outstanding, excellent idea executed perfectly! Looks and sounds great

    CMaster says ...
    May 1, 2013 @ 6:40pm

    Wow, that was pretty clever. Got frustrating in some of the later, fiddler levels though, where the big step size of your apparent movement made it pretty difficult to avoid the traps.

    While there's not a lot of audio, what you made was very professional sounding to have been done in the time.

    villhest says ...
    May 1, 2013 @ 7:04pm

    Great job!

    May 1, 2013 @ 7:43pm

    Wow. This is by far the most scary, most tense, most creative and most amazing game I've played so far. The notion of only being able to locate yourself by also telling all the monsters where you are is pure genius. This game could only work with excellent sound effects, and you nailed it.

    thephantom says ...
    May 1, 2013 @ 10:12pm

    great game i liked the ideas so much but i guess you should adjust the sound effects a little bit

    protensity says ...
    May 1, 2013 @ 10:21pm

    Excellent game!

    May 2, 2013 @ 3:45am

    One of the best use of themes in this LD that I've seen. Tension and narrative is conveyed with very little use of words and visuals. Great job!

    Julian Ceipek says ...
    May 2, 2013 @ 4:19am

    Brilliant game concept and, overall, good execution. The tension-filled mood and graphics are superb. The notion of echolocation actually came up while I was working on my entry as well, but we eventually decided to go a different route with audiovisual gameplay. I do think that there are a few things holding this entry back from being truly great, and, while each one is individually relatively minor, they combined to make me almost want to give up out of frustration several times before making it to the end.
    1. The tutorial levels seemed very pedantic and not very much in line with the theme of minimalism. The central mechanics are pure enough to be self evident as soon as the player knows which buttons to press, and the text detracts from the potential of exploratory gameplay that entries like Orbfuscated excel at. By the same token, I think the escape narrative could have been conveyed more effectively using only sounds and graphics.
    2. The controls felt off during the entire time I played the game. The movement speed felt awkward and the footstep sound didn't mesh well with the movement distance. The sneak mechanic was aggravating because I kept getting trapped in walls. The sneak movement speed was especially frustrating. On some of the last levels, I tediously moved around until I thought I was at the other side of the level only to realize that I was only halfway through it. The lack of feedback was frustrating, and making up for it by continuously tapping the space bar lightly was tedious. I also had no sense of my own size and that of the enemies. The visuals made me feel like a point source, but running into traps and enemies convinced me that I had a non-zero radius.
    3. The level completion sound felt really great, but the accompanying visual animation was almost-but-not-quite a beautiful animation that illuminated the entire room, which I think would have greatly enhanced the experience of getting to the next level.

    Overall, great work, and I'm really excited to see what you make in the future.

    moomoo112 says ...
    May 2, 2013 @ 4:53am

    Really liked this one, great job!

    GertJohnny says ...
    May 2, 2013 @ 6:29am

    @Julian:
    I too would rather have no tutorial, but after some playtesting it became obvious certain people need a push in the right direction. Sometimes a big push, hence the explicitness. I'd much rather have a less minimal tutorial than a more minimal audience.

    Regarding your second point, it sounds like I've accurately modeled the experience of moving around in a dark, unfamiliar space. One of the core parts of the game is that all of your information is imperfect. Behind the scenes everything is done with points and rectangles, but you'll only ever see rough approximations of where walls, traps and monsters are, because uncertainty made the game a lot more fun. That said, I totally agree the controls and speeds can be improved, but a lot of what you mention is intentional.

    I really appreciate the feedback, thanks for playing!

    Travis Irby says ...
    May 2, 2013 @ 8:00am

    reallly coool. graphics are great, love the particle effect to show off the map and the audio is very well done. bravo!

    RobKat says ...
    May 2, 2013 @ 10:07am

    Great game, not anything to fault here, innovative idea, gameplay progression was perfect, just as i was thinking this would be scary with enemies there they were :D

    EdoMiyamoto says ...
    May 2, 2013 @ 10:27am

    Very scary, excellent gameplay !

    Boiúna says ...
    May 2, 2013 @ 2:38pm

    The gameplay is very innovative and the work in general is amazing. Great use of the theme.

    nilstastic says ...
    May 2, 2013 @ 6:24pm

    Awesome!!! really good job!

    Rafael Sales says ...
    May 2, 2013 @ 7:36pm

    Fantastic game. Congratulations!!!

    kyyninen says ...
    May 2, 2013 @ 9:20pm

    This is the scaringest.

    Julian Ceipek says ...
    May 3, 2013 @ 4:58am

    @GertJohnny
    "I too would rather have no tutorial, but after some playtesting it became obvious certain people need a push in the right direction. Sometimes a big push, hence the explicitness. I'd much rather have a less minimal tutorial than a more minimal audience."

    That's interesting. I still think you could tone the invasiveness of the tutorial down without losing your audience; lots of successful games get by with more minimal tutorials. It all comes down to playtesting, though, and there isn't really enough time to make and test enough iterations over the course of LD, especially the 48-hour version, to create a perfectly scaled tutorial.

    "Regarding your second point, it sounds like I've accurately modeled the experience of moving around in a dark, unfamiliar space. One of the core parts of the game is that all of your information is imperfect. Behind the scenes everything is done with points and rectangles, but you'll only ever see rough approximations of where walls, traps and monsters are, because uncertainty made the game a lot more fun."

    I totally get that, but even in a dark environment, you have a sense of your own body matrix and know approximately what your step size is. You can determine the distance you cover based on how many steps you take and can touch objects to sense how far away they are. If I were blindfolded, I might run into a wall, but I certainly wouldn't continuously walk into it. The sense of uncertainty worked really well for me in some cases, but in others my emotions bordered on frustration with the controls rather than tension directed toward my situation.

    GertJohnny says ...
    May 3, 2013 @ 10:02am

    @Julian
    Totally agree. One of the bigger flaws in the 48H version is how walking into walls is handled. The continuous footsteps were left in to cause less confusion, as it's much easier to see that you're not moving by seeing identical footstep locations. Having the footsteps disappear almost made it feel as though you've lost keyboard focus, especially if you catch an edge going around a corner. A lot of what made it into the 48H version was never fully iterated on due to time constraints, so I completely agree certain tunings are less than ideal.

    GranaDa says ...
    May 3, 2013 @ 3:15pm

    Amazing game! The closest I saw a game like this was Sonar but you made it much more enjoyable! AWESOME! Please, develop it a bit more and release as a full game. The world needs more games like this!

    bummzack says ...
    May 4, 2013 @ 1:37pm

    Wow, this is totally awesome. Congrats!

    SmilingCat says ...
    May 4, 2013 @ 5:41pm

    Wow, this was pretty inspired. One of the better survival games I've played in a while.

    Prelucid says ...
    May 4, 2013 @ 6:15pm

    I'm so bad at these blind sound-dependent games. I wish I was better at them. Good job.

    gerritg says ...
    May 4, 2013 @ 9:31pm

    Awesome indeed!

    patrickward says ...
    May 4, 2013 @ 11:30pm

    Wow, this is one of the best theme oriented games I've played yet. Very well done. It's almost frightening, you feel a sense of dread when they come after you. Graphics, sounds, and game play all worked extremely well together. Bravo.

    hypp says ...
    May 5, 2013 @ 12:07pm

    Very good! I really enjoyed it, I was thinking about doing something similar, but this is way better than my ideas!

    oatsbarley says ...
    May 5, 2013 @ 3:27pm

    Wow! This is fantastic. There are a few other games this LD that are about not being able to see but I think this has the coolest mechanic and best finish out of them all. I'm definitely going to be checking out the source for this! Really nice job.

    kill0u says ...
    May 5, 2013 @ 10:16pm

    Awesome concept, loved it!

    stevejohnson says ...
    May 5, 2013 @ 10:21pm

    Sneaking didn't really work for me. I never moved as far as I thought I would. Other than that, I love the concept and execution!

    naughtyloose says ...
    May 6, 2013 @ 8:24pm

    fuck this game. I almost fell out of my chair...

    btw GOTY imho. Awesome work!

    Milo says ...
    May 6, 2013 @ 10:05pm

    This was a very dark game. It was very fun to play through, but also terrifying.

    Rongon says ...
    May 6, 2013 @ 10:21pm

    Really enjoyed playing this game. Interesting sound mechanics and tense atmosphere of the unknown makes this game one of my favorites.

    Jellycakes says ...
    May 6, 2013 @ 11:12pm

    Personally I thought that this hit the nail on the head with the theme. Was really good and somehow was pretty damn tense for a bunch of lines. Really nicely made, expecting this to be at least in the top 100. Good job!

    sP0CkEr2 says ...
    May 7, 2013 @ 4:22am

    wow -- that was cool -- what a great idea -- awesome job!

    ethankennerly says ...
    May 7, 2013 @ 5:19am

    Oh my! What a delightfully scary experience to walk, bounce rays of light and hope I remember where to go sneak past the ghastly sounding redness!

    Ithildin says ...
    May 8, 2013 @ 10:05pm

    I love the sonar-like mechanics, and how it gets rather scary as you begin escaping from monsters, too. Great work!

    May 9, 2013 @ 6:38pm

    I liked the choice of silent walking or being chased by monsters. Both were equally terrifying, the monsters for obvious reasons but walking silent gives the player zero information, and the unknown is quite a scary thing. Very cool.

    xandy says ...
    May 9, 2013 @ 8:53pm

    reminds me of http://www.desura.com/games/sonar :)

    May 9, 2013 @ 11:21pm

    The theme was minimalism, your game is perfect! The same goal as me but even more minimalist, and you managed to scary me with just red color ^^ Good job!

    dick_claus says ...
    May 10, 2013 @ 11:39am

    Awesome! Very very scary!

    Zccc says ...
    May 10, 2013 @ 1:35pm

    Simply amazing...

    ataxkt says ...
    May 10, 2013 @ 2:05pm

    Oh man, this is amazing! I think I enjoyed it more than the Devil's Tuning Fork for having enemies and no forced storyline. 5 stars!

    Jeremias says ...
    May 10, 2013 @ 3:53pm

    This game is awesome. What a funny idea. You should continue working on it!

    Xanjos says ...
    May 10, 2013 @ 9:51pm

    Completely loved the use of sound as a gameplay mechanic. The atmosphere you've created fits perfectly too.

    Kvisle says ...
    May 10, 2013 @ 10:24pm

    This is scary stuff, really innovative, fun mechanic - and a lovely take on the theme.

    iamorim says ...
    May 10, 2013 @ 11:59pm

    WOW!! Boy, this is just great! I felt the tension while running from the red thing. Good job!!!!!! :D

    Mago says ...
    May 11, 2013 @ 4:18pm

    OMG this was so sacary just like in my basment. Great game!

    Galvesmash says ...
    May 11, 2013 @ 4:37pm

    impressive game!
    I just love it!!

    My Milked Eek says ...
    May 13, 2013 @ 9:34am

    Brilliantly done!

    Sylvain.p says ...
    May 14, 2013 @ 4:27am

    You may change your picture presentation, because your the graphics effect are really nice and give a new aspect of mazing game. Great job.

    DaveDobson says ...
    May 14, 2013 @ 4:54am

    This is my favorite game I've played so far (out of 115 or so). Really great, in all respects. Totally atmospheric while being completely minimal; great sounds, innovative gameplay - I was actually scared of clusters of red lines. I love this game.

    Alink says ...
    May 16, 2013 @ 5:38pm

    Really well done. The basic idea and its implementation are already nice, but you also added other very good gameplay elements. Great level design too.

    multikorv says ...
    May 19, 2013 @ 5:00pm

    Really good! The atmosphere is fantastic!

    Sestren says ...
    May 20, 2013 @ 10:35pm

    This is a great concept, and it's executed so well. This is one of my favorites.

    Dans17 says ...
    May 20, 2013 @ 11:16pm

    I loved this game. I just think that to make it more difficult, the enemies should move faster because you can easily outrun them, meaning you don't really need the shift key.

    Infin8 says ...
    May 21, 2013 @ 8:51am

    Brilliant. Great gameplay and incredible atmosphere.

    Rikkard says ...
    May 21, 2013 @ 3:33pm

    Very awesome. Congrats!

    ChuiGum says ...
    May 21, 2013 @ 11:37pm

    AWESOME AWESOME!!!! It definitely should be in the top 5!!! I love the idea so much!!! It is such an AWESOME Game!!! Congratulations... You deserve it!

    alexanderm006 says ...
    May 22, 2013 @ 1:53am

    Good job!!!!

    dvdking says ...
    May 22, 2013 @ 7:03pm

    Should've had first place!

    Jezzamon says ...
    May 24, 2013 @ 12:44pm

    Wow... this is awesome! I can't believe how scared I was of some moving red lines!

    May 24, 2013 @ 1:21pm

    good stuff man :) pretty much the same idea as my 22 entry 'blind' hehe http://www.ludumdare.com/compo/ludum-dare-22/?action=preview&uid=8824

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