Squiggly Squid

A physics-based underwater game
2021-05-20 / Kirstin Rohwer / CC BY-SA 4.0 / game, en, fav

Explore a calm underwater world in search of curious human artifacts! What wonders does the deep sea hold?

Once again, some friends and I took the challenge of making a game im 72 hours for the Ludum Dare 48 game jam. This time, the theme was “Deeper and deeper” and we came up with a physics-based game called Sqiuggly Squid, where you dive deep into the ocean as a curious squid in search of strange artifacts.

I built this game together with blinry and Lena. We used the 2d game engine LÖVE, which was also used for most of our previous game jam entries.

Fun fact: we built our own in-game level editor + a lot of custom rendering code for this entry! :D

You can find download links for the game on the Ludum Dare website.

image of some elements from the game

You can also download Squiggly Squid directly here for Windows (64bit) and here for Linux or MacOS. For the Linux/MacOS version, you need to have LÖVE 11.3 installed to play it.

If you’re interested in looking behind the scenes, you can also find the game’s source code on GitLab.

blinry also made a little trailer video (It contains some spoilers, you have been warned!):

Post-jam version

comparison image of the different versions

After the jam was over, we made some more changes to the game and published them in a post-jam version. You can download the post-jam version here for Windows (64bit) and here for Linux or MacOS. The post-jam version’s source code is also available on GitLab.

The post-jam version includes these bug fixes and new features:

Controls overview

The game can be controlled by keyboard, mouse or gamepad:

Swim forward: or left mouse button
Turn left/right: / or mouse movement
Grab/release object: Space or right mouse button

Next page: Space or left mouse button

Pause: P (releases the mouse cursor)
Quit: Esc
Mute music: M

(You can also customize the input mappings if you don’t like the defaults. See the file path that is shown on the pause screen for that.)


After the usual long brainstorming phase, we settled on an underwater setting and started playing around with LÖVE’s physics engine to explore the game mechanics. A lot of my time went into finding, editing and creating various images of underwater plants, animals, and random objects.

I also had a lot of fun with the movement animations for both the squid and the jellyfishes.

Meanwhile, the others created a rendering engine for the landscape and underwaterwater evoironment, and an amazing in-game level editor.

As usual, we had a lot of fun testing parts of the game during development, enjoying the ever-improving graphics, physics, sound effects and funny flavor texts :D

Unfortunately, we didn’t have much time left when it came to the final level design, so the finished game has only three levels, but it still makes for a fun experience of 10-15 minutes.


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