Dirt

Dirt

A short narrative experience about an ecological and personal catastrophe.

The audio is loud and abrasive - turn down your audio if you have sensitive ears.

How To Play

Click on the dirt plots to perform the planting and harvesting for the day, then click on the shack to end the day. Click to advance dialogue.

Voting results

Overall
11th
6.400
Graphics
1st
8.320
Audio
1st
7.708
Gameplay
24th
3.520
Originality
14th
5.920
Theme
15th
6.240

This game entered in the Solo competition (29 entries).

Comments (26)

ToffieBoey
(@OatMealPal) • 3 months ago

Woah. Theres some big spooks looking over that boy and his humbe field.
Spoooooky.
But, seriously, I have no clue what was going on, but I liked it. Especially the eyes of the specter
in the middle. Also, the ambient music stuff was pretty neat. added 1000 points to the spook meter.
I wish it were a tad bit longer, but sill good nonetheless.
Nice work.
:-O

GanbareGames
3 months ago

A nice, cheerful game for the whole family.

Antti Haavikko
(@anttihaavikko) • 3 months ago

Dang, went for a second playtrough with the "F work, I'll just sleep" strat but the game didn't let me do that. What a pessimistic take on life. It's funny cause it's true.

But yeah, suberb mood, sweet sweet pixel art with very nice animations and some musical excellence. A lot to praise here. But sadly gameplay wasn't one of them. What is it, like 10-15 clicks a day with 4 days. I mean, there is already way more keypresses in this feedback :D

Just adding a bit more depth & length, some more stuff to actually do and maybe even way to interact with the story somehow and it'd be perfect. Good job!

hyperlinkyourheart
3 months ago

@OatMealPal Thank you! I wish I had done all the eyes like the guy in the middle, the guys at the sides are definitely the inferior spooks.

@GanbareGames Rated N for Nobody

@anttihaavikko Fair criticisms for sure - I struggle to even think of it as a game, though I'm not sure what term applies. Really I'm just going for that sweet, sweet mood rating… wait, WHAT DO YOU MEAN ALAKAJAM HAS NO MOOD RATING??!?!? FUUUUUUUUUUU…

Thanks for playing y'all ;D

Antti Haavikko
(@anttihaavikko) • 3 months ago

Glad you said it so I didn't have to ;)

But yeah, it's still a game even though it's very uninteractive. Gotta take the scope in mind. A similar sample from the "real gaming world" such as DDLC is probably still universally considered a game even though it probably has overall as little interactivity as this one.

remiv
3 months ago

The music is cool, but it is the only thing I've. On my Windows machine, I have a black window with nothing in it.

hyperlinkyourheart
3 months ago

@remiv Sorry to hear that - can you let me know which version of Windows, what graphics card you have, etc? I'm not sure there will be anything I can do, because it might be down to a problem with the engine, but I will try to look into it.

remiv
3 months ago

It's a windows 10 with a Nvidia Geforce GTX 1060, core i7 and 8Go

hyperlinkyourheart
3 months ago

@remiv Do you have two monitors? There is this bug report for the engine from somebody with your graphics card, seemingly related to using a second monitor. There's a few suggestions for workarounds in the thread - easiest may be just to drag the game window to your other monitor:

https://github.com/godotengine/godot/issues/13208

If you don't have two monitors then I don't really know - but it may just be some unresolved incompatibility with that graphics card.

treslapin
3 months ago

The music in this game was incredible! It really enhances the feeling of dread looming over you. The visuals are also beautiful and creepy. I love the second day when the little spooks are creeping up on your house but you're not sure if they were already there the previous day, or are you just imagining things?

I really wish this game was longer and had more choices. I can see it being a really good horror game. The kind that is really creepy and you don't know why. I hope you keep working on it outside the jam!

automatonvx
3 months ago

Wow Depressing, I love it :). Really nice pixel art, and atmosperic music. So its more like some kind of interactive fiction than a game, thats fine with me. I would say 'had fun' but maybe enjoyed the experience is more appropriate. If i was trying to think of suggestions for a post jam version I guess turning it into more of a point and click adventure would let you keep the heavy narrative and atmosphere style but add more interactivity as you probably couldn't get away with a longer version without more gameiness.

Kleinzach
3 months ago

I too am now sad that alakajam doesn't have a mood ranking, because I for sure give this a 10 for that. Flawless Art and Music as well. I can really appreciate something that knows exactly what is. Great scoping for a game jam, and definately one of the most original things I've seen so far.

euske
3 months ago

Do those ghosts represent his inner self or they are real!? gasp

I wonder what tool you used to make the music.

remiv
3 months ago

@hyperlinkyourheart : I've three monitor… I will try again with only one.

hyperlinkyourheart
3 months ago

@treslapin I was really hoping the ghosts on the second day would make people do a double take, so it's nice the hear you had that reaction :) Thank you for your kind words.

@automatonvx Thanks very much :) I'm not sure I'll be working on this one any further, but I definitely do want to make more narrative focused games like this, but with some amount of P&C adventure style puzzles and dialogue choices, as you're suggesting.

@Klienzach Thank you very much, I appreciate that.

@euske I'll have to leave that for you to decide ;)

The base of the music was done in beepbox.co, which is a pretty neat web-based chiptune tracker. Here's the base track, if you're interested. In the game engine then (Godot), there's a bunch of effects added - initially just reverb, but each day one instrument gets removed from the music and an additional effect added or boosted, more or less, to make it sound more sinister.

remiv
3 months ago

So the solution was to run it on my linux PC.

Great mood, but, so, so sad.

hyperlinkyourheart
3 months ago

@remiv I'm glad you were able to give it a try! Sorry about the inconvenience…

thomastc
3 months ago

Haha, I saw your cross-platform download links, assumed you used Unity, and thought "that's a really small size for a Unity game, how did they manage to do that?". Then I remembered that you used Godot :D

Some really atmospheric music in the main menu. Dark and somehow a bit threatening. I actually sat and listened for a while. Then the game started, and all the foreboding became reality… definitely an 11 out of 10 on the mood rating, had there been one.

Fastastic job on the artwork and animations. Solid 10. I love the progression on the background, and the night cycle, which would have been too long if there had been more days, but is perfect now.

The audio, and especially the music as mentioned, really help build the mood. Also a great progression here towards the end.

Sadly, I can't rate highly on gameplay because there really isn't a game here, more an "experience". But a wonderful, creepy, fantastic experience for sure.

TigerJ
3 months ago

It built a really interesting situation for me and then abruptly ended. I feel like it was really going somewhere. Like watching a movie, getting to the end and then thinking.. wait why is there not more?!

The one thing I really think could be worked is the dialog the character says when you have work to do but try to sleep. It breaks the depth and mood of the character/game that you worked hard to build. It comes off as too mechanical. You can watch my reaction to it here:

https://www.twitch.tv/videos/278430804?t=01h13m01s

I will embed this on itch.io

hyperlinkyourheart
3 months ago

@thomastic Yes, the secret to compact Unity games - use Godot instead ;) Thank you for your kind words - I understand about the gameplay rating for sure, as I've said to others I find it hard to think of it as a game myself.

@TigerJ Thanks for playing it on your stream! I haven't had a chance to watch it yet but I will do later today. I understand where you're coming from about the ending; I have been considering a few different ways to wrap it up better that I might add in.

smbe19
3 months ago

Very beautiful game. The art is gorgeous and the music really adds to the mood. Very well done.

DaFluffyPotato
3 months ago

Music was great and the game also looked nice, but it was severely lacking in gameplay. While that's not necessarily a bad thing, it'll definitely mess up your ratings in this type of competition. .-.

(I am also annoyed by the fact that the AKJ doesn't have a mood category…)

FreezedIce
3 months ago


0.1 second godot loading screen spooked me more than the game. Lacking of gameplay but 10/10 for mood and music.

Raindrinker
3 months ago

Wow, the level of polish is off the charts. Might be short and have limited gameplay, but it shows so much care, I absolutely love it. Absolute craftmanship.

The quality of the art and how it works with the music to create the mood is almost perfect.
Congrats.

HuvaaKoodia
2 months ago

A digital narrative experience is certainly an apt description here. For many people "game" stands for "anything even remotely interactive". To each their own, I just find that to be too broad a definition to be useful.

Might as well start with the interactivity, or lack of it. The illusion of choice is something to keep in mind. You don't need to create an actual non-linear story to have an interactive story. Here, allowing the player to go to sleep without tending the land would have been such an illusion.

Kind of reversing the theme, clever, yet not going to bring home the points. Farming isn't very original either.

The atmosphere is oozing thanks to the great visuals and, quite frankly, amazing audio. I really dig what you managed to pull off there.

Good work. You chose to concentrate on the mood and it worked out!

Overall: Good (7)
Graphics: Great (8)
Audio: Amazing (9)
Gameplay: Non-existent (1)
Originality: Average (5)
Theme: Above average (6)

hyperlinkyourheart
2 months ago

@smbe19 Thank you!

@DaFluffyPotato Yeah it would be nice to have a jam specifically for this kind of thing. I might try to organise one at some point.

@FreezedIce I thought I turned off that splash, but maybe that setting doesn't work properly! Can't believe I've been outspooked by a game engine logo ;)

@Raindrinker Thanks, that's very kind of you :)

@HuvaaKoodia Thanks for the feedback! The intention behind my approach to the theme was not to reverse it, but that it was his anxieties and the threat to his livelihood that was "always growing".

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hyperlinkyourheart

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