Ludum Dare 49: The Eye of Glower-On

The cover image for "The Eye of Glower-On". It's a picture of the mountain and each of the different character types.

tl;dr: I participated in the Ludum Dare 49 game jam, and I made a fun little game in which you control Mount Oh No and must stop the heroes from destroying your power!

The game

In this point-and-click game, you control the vast power of an unstable mountain.

The heroes of the land aim to ascend Mount Oh No to destroy the vessel of your vast power! You must CRUSH THEM! And send them flying! They will FEEL YOUR ANGER!! They think they can scale Mount Oh No?? Not while The Eye of Glower-On is watching!

I used the Surfacer and Scaffolder frameworks that I've been working on. So it has polished AI navigation and nice menus.

An animated GIF showing the 6 different characters I created.
I definitely should have made fewer characters!

The game jam

Ludum Dare is a semi-annual event where people create a game over the weekend. Ludum Dare is a ranked competition, with a clever voting system that gets more eyes on your game when you in turn rate other games. There are two tracks you can participate in:

  • In the "Compo" track, you must create all your own art, music, sounds, etc. from scratch, work by yourself, and finish within 48 hours.
  • In the "Jam" track, you can work with a team, you can use art, code, music, sounds, etc. that already existed or was created by someone else, and you get 72 hours to finish.

Additionally, the games all follow some central theme, which is only announced at the start of the jam.

I worked solo and created everything during the event (the Compo track). Except of course for my Scaffolder and Surfacer frameworks (which is fine, you're allowed to use pre-existing code).

The theme: "Unstable"

The mountain is unstable! You use frequent earthquakes and falling boulders to stop those pesky heroes in their tracks!

Some gameplay footage

An animated GIF showing gameplay footage from The Eye of Glower-On.
Starting a game.

An animated GIF showing gameplay footage from The Eye of Glower-On.
The eye tracks the movement of the highest hero.

An animated GIF showing gameplay footage from The Eye of Glower-On.
You can use all sorts of tricks to keep those pesky heroes out!

An animated GIF showing gameplay footage from The Eye of Glower-On on a mobile device.
Works well on a phone too!


What went well

  • My Surfacer and Scaffolder frameworks work well!
    • I didn't have to spend much time putting together the app-flow or UI.
    • And everything just worked when I tried it as a mobile app or in the browser for the first time!
  • I'm pretty pleased with how the game concept turned out.
  • I'm pretty pleased with how the mechanics and gameplay turned out.
    • I was worried about it not being very interesting or challenging to play.
    • But I think having the different attack mechanics gives enough choice and strategy to keep it somewhat interesting.
  • I enjoyed making a fire animation for the eye!

What could be improved

  • More play-testing and bug-fixing earlier on.
    • I found a lot of obvious bugs in the last few hours that I definitely should have found and fixed the day before at the latest.
  • More cost-cutting!
    • I often find myself thinking "I really think this is a cool idea, and I want to make it! But, is it actually not useful, and will it take too much time? Yeah, I probably shouldn't do it... But I still want to! I'm going to do it! I'm sure it won't actually take that much time..."
    • I should have first focused more on getting a polished, fun experience finished with only a single hero character and only the one attack mechanic.
    • Only after that was in place, should I have added the eye art, the other character types, the other attack mechanics, etc.
  • Still some rough edges in my Surfacer and Scaffolder frameworks.
    • If these were more polished, I'd have had more time to create new stuff for the jam, rather than needing to fix old stuff in my frameworks.
    • Mostly, I think I need to make a few more small games like this to shake out most of the kinks.
  • More time for for music!
    • I like making the music, and I seem to keep saving this for one of the last tasks on the morning of the deadline!
    • I should have prioritized this over some of the other distractions like I mentioned above.
  • I spent hardly any time on level design.
  • I didn't have time to add any particle effects.
  • The different types of hero characters behave too similarly.
    • I had plans for things like dwarves flying less far, elves moving even faster, and wizards obscuring your vision of the mountain.

What reviewers are saying

  • "Great game! I love the SFX and the art. The AI is really cool too and i love that if you shake them off and they land on another platform they start going again. Good work!"
  • "Loving it, dig the simplicity! The forces of good surely felt my wrath as i pounded them with countless tremors, a hailstorm of meteors and they trembled by the sight of my orc army!(though I’m having a harder time then I’d like to admit with lvl 2 haha) The sounds you’ve made are incredible(I’m biased to anything midi or bit-like), fits really well with the all-around aesthetics of the game, and the soundtrack is just πŸ˜™πŸ‘Œ. Gotta do some other stuff, but i have just put a solid 30-45 minutes into this haha, will definitely get back to it"
  • "Very good game, played it more than other games! Auto jumping enemies looks like magic for me) My respect to SFX and burning eye animation"
  • "this is so fun!!! you are so talented to do such a polished game especially as a COMPO entry. i loved everything here, i usually not into point and click but this was so addicting and fun, the simple graphics are very consistent and your UI\menu’s are beautiful as heck, the sound fits well and hit the spot. the game idea is so innovative and fun! amazing job dude. [...] BTW if you ever decide to expand on this one and make it a whole game on steam, i will be your first buyer :D really had great time with it."
  • "πŸ‘πŸ‘πŸ‘better than licensed versions. fun and simple gameplay. also GODOT!"
  • "It’s really fun to play as the bad guy, it’s like a vertical tower defense game, really cool!! Also love that they’re called Bobbits"
  • "I can totally understand why someone would want an orc army."
  • etc...

:) So, I feel pretty good about it!

**Check out this lets-play video from a streamer who happened to find my game! **

πŸŽ‰ Cheers!

This is a simple icon representing my sabbatical.