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A jam submission

Light After DarkView game page

Don't let the flame go out.
Submitted by philliptrudeau (@phillip_trudeau) — 7 minutes, 26 seconds before the deadline
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Light After Dark's page


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Ranked from 28 ratings. Score is adjusted from raw score by the median number of ratings per game in the jam.

How does your submission match the theme?
Your light is your health.
The other main mechanics revolve around this, but it's best that you go in blind. For more info, check out the game page.

Note: If you're getting a "Network failure" error while downloading, it may be your antivirus. Check the game page for links on temporarily disabling your antivirus.

Third-party resources
This game was built without the use of prebuilt engines.
Platform layer provided by SDL2:
libogg, libvorbis, & libvorbisfile are (c) 2002-2008 Foundation. For the full license please refer to the game credits.

Jon Michiemo - Art Direction & Assets
Curtis A. Turpin - Level & Sound Design
Phillip Trudeau-Tavara - Programming & Music

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Nice graphics! I included it in my Game Maker Toolkit’s Game Jam compilation video series, if you’d like to take a look. :)


Thanks so much! Did you ever write a Jam Favourites over on Fireside or no?


This game feels really good to control. The one nitpick I have is that how to dash is only shown on the wall after the first pit and none of the controls shown to me on the wall at the start of the game let me cross the pit. This confused me for a moment as I pressed other buttons (using left shift to dash instead) to cross the pit. Otherwise, it's a beautiful game, I really like the art style and animation.

Thank you so much for your feedback! I understand, I wish we would of placed the icon much closer to the pit, we placed it there originally so that the player would have to regenerate his torch to full light in order to see it. We're going to take measure to make it closer so it's much easier to see. Thank you so much for playing our game!


Thanks for that, we fixed it up in version 2 which you can play right now!


Nice art style and great atmosphere, controls were tight and dash felt great. The dash/health mechanic wasn't too apparent though as it seems like the enemies aren't too challenging if you take them down slowly? Also doesn't seem to have an end after you clear all the enemies. Dropping into a hole also causes you to loop the dropping animation continuously rather than death. 

Thank you so much for your feedback! I totally agree that the game overall was made too easy by low enemy damage and overplacement of wall torches. and yes, the bottomless pit glitch is something we know about, it happens you run into a wall over a pit. we're working on a fix now. Thank you so much for playing our game!


Version 2 of the game is now available and your feedback was taken into account! Thanks!

Good job! I loved the art style, and the idea to tie the player's dash/health to the torch was excellent. Outside of adding enemy variety, it would be nice if the enemies were more aggressive or agile, as I was able to funnel them one by one pretty easily.


Thanks for reminding me that they bunch together, I'll increase the forces they exert on each other. Stay tuned for a good update once voting ends!


The "good update" I hinted at is finally HERE! you can play it right now and see for yourself whether the combat is more interesting :^)


Really nailed the atmosphere and the theme.  I do agree that it needs some variety in the combat, but it's fun to explore and the dash is really well implemented.

Thank you so much for your feedback! I have learned a lot from this experience and hope to use it in the future. Thank you so much for playing our game!

Submitted (1 edit)

A really distinct vibe and a great execution of the theme. With some combat and gating refinements, this has a lot of potential!


Thank you so much for your feedback! Changes to the combat are definitely needed to make a better experience. This has definitely been a learning experience to bring into future projects or further developments of this one. Thank you so much for playing our game!

Thank you so much for your feedback! Changes to the combat are definitely needed to make a better experience. This has definitely been a learning experience to bring into future projects or further developments of this one. Thank you so much for playing our game!


Awesome work! Its a cool style, and the game mechanic totally captures the theme. Would love to see this put to an in depth story and a full game

Thank you so much for your feedback! Initially I did want to have a very minimal story in the game. Unfortunately, we simply didn't have enough time to implement it. I would still love to develop a story around these mechanics for sure!


Looks great! I thought it was a pretty cool mechanic to have limited sight in this type of game. I didn't know where to go at one point, in a large room I defeated all the enemies I could find but there seemed to be no way of continuing. The swordplay felt a bit awkward too, I couldn't avoid being hit at least once. Either way it was a cool experience. Nice work with the outstanding polishing too!


Thank  you so much for the feedback! Yeah the level design can be a bit confusing, and the lack of a clear "ending" isn't very good either. The biggest room you come to at the end is the end of the level. I wish we would of added a credits for getting there, but we ran out of time. And thank you for the feedback with the combat. Combat and the amount of torches placed in the game seem to be it's two weakest points, which rests on my shoulders, so all feedback is greatly appreciated. Thank you so much and I will learn a ton from this experience in any future projects or developments on this one. Thank you so much for playing our game!

Developer (1 edit)

We used your feedback for version 2 of the game which you can play now :)


Excellent little hack and slash. The game is a bit too easy, though. I would say the core mechanic needs a little rebalancing so you end up with a little tension around your health getting low and feeling the need to seek out a torch.


Thank you so much for your feedback! I totally agree with you on the game being too easy. As the game's level designer, only after we submitted our game did I realize that too many torches were scattered throughout the dungeon, making them less valuable and needed, while also making each combat encounter far too easy. This is definitely something I will take with me and remember for any future projects. Thank you so much for playing our game!


Hopefully it's balanced a little better now that v2 is out. I hope you try it out, please tell us what you think :D


The attention to detail in the game is ridiculously high. The camera, animation, combat, the core concept, is excellently executed. It's all so well thought-out and well tuned. I say that as someone who has struggled endlessly with getting these things right before, even in non-jam settings, and never really succeeding. I'm in disbelief at what you've achieved in 48 hours.

The torch is central to the game, literally. It allows me to see, which I can immediately tell is important, given the large percentage of the screen that is pitch-black. I love that your torch level IS your health bar, making it so much more significant to the core gameplay, rather than just being aesthetic. I feel this sort of significance of mechanics is something that Mark talks about in many of his videos.

Dashing feels so good. As I used it more, I slowly realized that I was using my precious light. You've woven everything together in this game, which gives it a wonderful clarity.

If there's anything you could work on, I would say it's teaching the player, through level design, about why the torch is precious to you. Make a long hallway with no refill stations, then just as the player is about to run out of light, give them a torch-on-a-wall. Make a maze of gaps that forces the player to dash a lot, maybe even run them out of light. Don't be afraid to kill the player. I should mention that I never even died once, even though I knew I was messing up. Eventually I figured out the cadence of the combat, but there's really nothing stopping me from mashing the attack button relentlessly while I'm near a torch, which is really easy given the high density of torches on the map. I feel like you could push this game to create moments of greater excitement.

Thank you so much for your awesome compliments and feedback on the game! I really enjoyed the process of weaving all the mechanics together and how interrelated they are to one another! And I couldn't agree with you more, as the game's level designer, I realized afterward that there needed to be far fewer torches scattered throughout the map. In playtesting (after publishing the game) I found out that if you stand by a wall-torch that you'll literally never die (unless you agroed like 5 enemies). So definitely something I will take away from this experience to use in future projects! And if I continue to work on this project after the judging is over I'll definitely make the appropriate changes. Thank you so much for playing our game!


Thanks for the kind words BTW. We used some of your advice for finishing up version 2. You can try it out now, it's mostly a refinement of the graphics, sound, music etc. of version 1. If we ever move forward with a bigger scope we will do what you suggested in your final paragraph :)


The game is gorgeous! I really like the idea of the mechanic, especially how the torch goes out it's game over. It took me a bit to figure out that I was gaining and using torchlight. But such a nice entry. Really great job you guys!!

Thank you so much for your feedback! Yeah we really thought that idea was pretty novel and unique, however, the gaining and losing light is pretty subtle at first. Thank you so much for playing!


Nice game with a neat concept. The controls could be a little bit tighter (specifically with the combat) but its super good for a jam game, especially since this is your first one. Good work!

Thanks for the feedback! Yeah, I could of spent more time making the combat feel heavy, it just feels really flimsy right now, but that's the point of this game jam, to learn. Now I know a better direction to go for the next one! Thank you for playing.


Cool idea, nice art and nice atmosphere. Sadly I got stuck in respawn loop where the game would constantly respawn me over a pit. But overall great effort.

Thanks so much for the feedback! Yeah the bottomless pit glitch is something we know about, it happens when you dash into a wall over a pit. Not sure what's causing it, but if you avoid the walls before dashing over a pit then you're golden! Thank you for playing


Yeah, I didn't know about that until after submission. I'm 99% sure why it happens, and the fix is simple (just a conditional check before setting the pit death timer), but I'm not going to update the game until after the jam voting is done lest we be called cheaters.


Fixed in version 2 out now :)