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DWAMMINGS

Lead programmer
Unity
2D
JAM
Ludum Dare 48 — deeper and deeper
72 hours
GENRE
Lemmingslike
FEATURES
Hectic management
Tasteless booze jokes
TEAM

Art: Kenneth Wilson

Audio, programming: Michael Haughian

Programming: Theo (Bonesteeler)

STATUS
Submitted in 2021

Developed by a team of four near-strangers for the 72-hour Ludum Dare 48 jam themed "deeper and deeper", Dwammings revolves around the chaotic management of a team of drunken dwarves mining deep into the ground for precious booze ore. The lighthearted take on the theme was chosen to set the focus on the game's mechanics, during both development and play.

In Dwammings, the player assigns individual dwarves basic tasks in an attempt to coordinate the team as a whole.  Dwarves are a simple people — they only walk back and forth unless ordered otherwise, but in a similar vein, they never stop digging unless explicitly told to (or, alternatively, they run out of booze to fuel them). The player can order a dwarf to dig downwards or horizontally, to stop in place and redirect dwarven traffic, to drop ropes down vertical shafts, to navigate back for a drinking break, or to lay down a keg to shorten the trip for such breaks.

Although the game wears its Lemmings inspiration on its sleeve, it still offers several twists on the nostalgic formula:​

  • The amount of times a task can be given out is unlimited — instead, the resource used for their execution (booze, of course) also acts as the score, forcing a tradeoff between the two.

  • The player sets the game's end condition by calling a final break. By having to choose the best time to leave the mines, the player needs to weigh the opportunity to dig up more booze against the costs.

  • The dwarves can easily fall down shafts, but getting them back up is much harder, as they can only climb single-tile steps on their own. Ropes need to be dropped down vertical shafts in advance, forcing the player to strategize in real time within an already hectic environment.

  • The player can hire additional dwarves from the above-ground wagon for quicker expansion, or, much more likely — to send rescue missions when dwarves become trapped and dangerously sober.

166th of 3866 submissions

Featured on GitHub's LD48 staff picks

A short gameplay demonstration in which I set a grand personal high score of 2; had I ended the game as soon as it started, I'd have scored 98 more points. Several streamers have demonstrated just how bad that is.

Various stages of the game during its 72 hour development.

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