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A jam submission

You Die In The DesertView game page

A randomly generated die-em-up
Submitted by tamewhale (@tamewhale) — 4 days, 11 hours before the deadline
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I really enjoyed this. I started by trying to find the corner of pico-8’s map, realized it didn’t exist, thought for a bit about how I would code that, and then by that time just sorta kept wandering around. I’m not sure why I played for so long, given that the game was clearly not going anywhere… but then I would find more water and explore for a while more. and then I started to find a few strange, strange things! But only a few. after wandering for a while longer, I eventually sat down and died next to an un-touched bindle, not wanting to go on. (although I’m betting there’s more to this game that I didn’t end up finding… unless that dagger in my inventory was just meant to be morbidly thought-provoking?)

you really captured a specific mood with this game. nicely done! I once made a similar-ish game called remains and it was interesting comparing the differences in mood you conjured up here. thanks for the game!


I watched my girlfriend play this for almost an hour. Even though its quite empty there's something very suspenseful about looking for water and new items. I think we ended up getting the pick, knife, dousing rod,  gold dubloons,  shovel, eggplant, and encountered the silent nomad. 

At one point a cactus spawned on top of a disturbed ground/x marks the spot and we got extremely exited thinking it was something new. We did not end up finding an ending but had a very pleasant time.  

Great  atmosphere and animations, would love to see this fleshed out a bit more but I appreciate the simplicity as is.


Wow that’s probably longer than I spent playing it myself! I’m undecided about doing more work on this. I think the extra stuff I had planned would improve it but ultimately I’m not sure it’s doing exactly what I set out to do.

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There's a mystery created by the anticipation that surely "something must happen at some point". Then you start playing the meta headgame of "well, the pointlessness may be the point," and then second guessing that, and so on.  And then you go insane, as the sun beats down mercilessly on your dehydrated soul.  And then you know truly what it is like to Die In The Desert. 

(Personally, I lived happily ever after in the desert on a steady diet of mangos 🥭 and water 💦. My companions were assorted scorpions, reptiles, the odd spirit, and several piles of disturbed earth. )


That’s a very nice summation of what I was trying to do. At some point I lost my nerve and made sources of water a bit more plentiful and I think the balance went too far the other way.


interesting game. I managed to get the Eggplant my first run but didn't know what to do with it . I feel this game has a bit more depth than it lets on. 

You Die In The Desert  also reminded me of this other die-em-up


I’m not familiar with Saint-Exupéry outside of Le Petit Prince, so I’m not sure if I lacked the background to get a clue to where to go, but I wandered the desert for a while and kept finding water to keep me alive. But it didn’t seem I was going anywhere so I eventually stopped getting water so I could live up to the title of the game.

I tried again and attempted to find bread crumbs to follow – spirits in the right direction, etc. But no luck there.

On a whim, I tried one last time, found the nomad (don’t know how to interact), pickaxe (smashed lots of rocks for nothing?), divining rod (not sure if there was a way to use it), and myself quickly followed by death? (An apparition seems like a nice touch right before you die. It was an exciting cascade of new stuff, but eventually felt like nothing changed – now I walk through rocks but I’m still lost.

Evocative pixel art – simple but does well to convey the desert.


First time, I died in the desert. The second time, I died in the desert with a lot of gear. I really enjoyed the uncertainty of wandering and wondering. Wondering if I'm going to get any water. Does the dousing rod help you find more water over time?


The dousing rod is part of a sequence of things that I didn’t really have time to flesh out. Thanks for playing anyway!


I did die quite a few times :D The experience seems like it can vary wildly. My first run I got so many doubloons, the second run I saw loads of ghosts and mirage people(?). The next one I did not find very much. It's neat that there are all these possibilities.


I had the opposite experience to a few others here. I did not die in the desert, but I wandered around drinking water for a while until it felt like there wasn't anything else to do. I'm worried I missed out on some content though. I think you nailed the feeling of emptiness you were after, but still created an interesting space to explore.

I also did not die in the desert. Lots of water, mangoes, and some interesting recurring objects to interact with. I invited a few snakes, scorpions, and ghosts to kill me, but ultimately did not feel like I was making progress.


i did die in the desert 

i expected to be able to interact with more stuff, even if it ultimately didn't do anything.

i really like the minimalist feel: not sure if that was intentional or a result of the jam timeframe or both, but it was cool

i found a secret, i think ;)


I did want to make a game about emptiness but it’s hard to do that without making it boring. I also had a lot more interactivity and extra things planned but just not enough time to get it all done. Thanks for playing though!


The title was prophetic—I died in the desert. There's a definite sense of wandering aimlessly in what feels like an infinite unforgiving expanse with just enough to keep you going if you stay alert.