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[bucket drum games]

A member registered Oct 24, 2017 · View creator page →

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Hey! Thanks so much for the feedback. Glad you finally knocked out that last puzzle. It's definitely a big difficulty jump; we put it in there to showcase the potential complexity of the system, but you're absolutely right that a more linear build-up makes sense for the longer game.

As for that slowdown bug, do you mind clarifying which build (win/mac/linux) and specific OS version you're on? I don't think we've encountered that specific issue before, so it'll be helpful for us trying to pin it down.

Thanks again in any case for playing!

bryan/[bucket drum games]

Hey, thanks so much for playing, and for the kind words! Yeah, that last puzzle is tough! And we hear you about the host error buffer; as you noted, it's unfortunately necessary to keep the puzzles intact, but we'll work on making the mechanic feel a little more natural.

Really appreciate you taking the time to check our game out!

bryan/[bucket drum games]

Hey! Sorry for the slow reply.

I've tested the conditions you described (running from the un-extracted zip, etc.), and for the life of me I can't repro this bug. I know it's not ideal, but my co-dev Nick suggested trying to launch the game from the app (if you have it installed/don't mind using it, ofc) and seeing if that bypasses the error. The only consistent early game crash we've seen has been related to the DX9 dependency, and you've already addressed that, so I'm really not sure what's cropping up here.

Sorry for the lack of clarity on this; I'll keep prodding stuff on my end and see if I can recreate the crash. Thanks for your patience in the meantime!

bryan/[bucket drum games]

Hey, thanks so much for the kind words! And your thoughtful feedback. Doing my best to respond below:

1) Rescuing/interacting with the rats is, for the moment, only a narrative device. Our goal is to explore this dynamic a little more fulsomely later on, and we wanted to hint at those possibilities here, but you didn't miss anything mechanical!

2) Your frustrations w the error buffer are v well-stated. As you pointed out, if we allowed people to retain full control of hosts after undoing a move (or ten), it would fundamentally "break" many of the puzzles in a way that would also bypass other critical narrative/instructional/mechanical beats. That said, your suggestion of making an exception for moves within the same room might actually be totally viable! We'll have to take a closer look at what's possible, but it's super helpful to know this was a pain point. Thanks for thinking through this in any case!

Really appreciate your taking the time to write! And so glad you enjoyed the game overall!

bryan / [bucket drum games]

Hey! Sorry about this! We'll try to get you up and running ASAP. What platform are you running on? We don't install any registry keys or AppData other than a really basic profile/save file, so it shouldn't be that. I know there might be some issues with 64 bit Mac OSes that might not be reconcilable with Gamemaker: Studio 1.4 (what BIT RAT is built in). If you're on Windows, the exception you get doesn't mention anything about DirectX, does it? There's a DX9c dependency that some modern systems don't have by default ( you can grab it for free on the MS website ).

Let me know and I'll dig around some more. Thanks so much!

bryan/[bucket drum games]

Hey, thanks so much for these incredibly kind words! We're so glad you enjoyed Singularity, and will definitely keep ya posted on our progress!

Take care,
bryan/[bucket drum games]

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Hey, thanks so much for playing, and for this great feedback! So glad you enjoyed the puzzles and difficulty curve. Integrating tutorials into the story/level progression without bogging things down has been one of the major challenges of development; we'll probably be re/tweaking the formula for as long as we work on the game.

Thanks also for yr note re: settings not saving. Can I ask what platform you're playing on? Some of our menu feature implementations are still a bit patchy, so we'll definitely look into getting that fixed.

bryan/[bucket drum games]

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Hey! Thanks so much for these kind words. It's super validating to hear that all the different elements of Singularity worked well for you! We'll keep ya posted on our (admittedly slow) progress; really appreciate your generous feedback in the meantime!

bryan/[bucket drum games]

Hey, thanks so much for writing! Hmm, I'm trying to think of the best way to troubleshoot this. I believe Gamemaker: Studio (which BIT RAT is built in) has somewhat limited controller support in OSX. The documentation suggests only xbox 360 and ps3 controllers are fully compatible. On Windows there are utilities that map DirectInput from basically any controller to XInput (Gamemaker's "preferred" input manager), but a quick Google search suggests there is no immediate analogous solution for Macs.

Are you able to access a 360 or PS3 controller? I know it's less than ideal, but worst case there's always the keyboard :/

Hope this helps a bit! Sorry I can't offer a more concrete solution. Let us know what you try!

bryan / [bucket drum games]

Hey! Thanks so much for checking out BIT RAT! The error you're seeing is, usually, related to a missing DirectX 9 runtime, which you can download here: This issue crops up sometimes with Gamemaker: Studio 1.4 games and is usually resolved by installing the above file and restarting the application.

If this doesn't get you up and running, please let us know and we'll troubleshoot from there!

Thanks again!

bryan/[bucket drum games]


Thanks so much for your kind words, and for taking time to check out BIT RAT!

Take care,
bryan/[bucket drum games]

Hey there,

Sorry about the anti-virus flag. There shouldn't be any issue with the executable; it was generated directly by Gamemaker: Studio 1.4 and is the same version of the game we've distributed on for the last year or so. I'm not super familiar with the ins and outs of McAfee, but I know "false positives" can crop up for various reasons. I think the best reassurance I can offer is that the file you downloaded has been shared and run by many people with no issue. That said, I totally understand and appreciate your caution!

Hope this helps,
bryan/ [bucket drum games]

Sorry about that, thanks for reporting the error. Until we can get a proper updated 64 bit version of the game up, this should get it running in ubuntu 20.04.

If you don't have it installed already, install steam from the ubuntu software manager. Once installed, run steam and allow it to go through the updates and everything until you get to the login prompt, this will create file paths that will be referenced in a moment. You don't need to login, and you can exit steam once you are at the login prompt.

On my system, I needed to also install the following libraries:

sudo apt install libc6-i386 libopenal1:i386 libxrandr2:i386 libglu1-mesa:i386

Then, set an environment variable to use the steam libraries when executing the runner:

LD_LIBRARY_PATH=~/.steam/bin32/steam-runtime/lib/i386-linux-gnu ./runner

There is more info about linux troubleshooting in this thread, including how to get the game to launch from the itch app.

Thanks for playing!

-nick / [bucket drum games]

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As a workaround, you can launch the game from the itch app by replacing the runner with a bash script that runs the actual runner prefaced with the environment variable.

Rename the actual runner to something else:

mv ~/.config/itch/apps/bitrat/bit_rat_singularity/runner ~/.config/itch/apps/bitrat/bit_rat_singularity/runner.bin

Create a script at ~/.config/itch/apps/bitrat/bit_rat_singularity/runner that runs the renamed runner prefaced with the environment variable:

LD_LIBRARY_PATH=~/.steam/bin32/steam-runtime/lib/i386-linux-gnu ~/.config/itch/apps/bitrat/bit_rat_singularity/runner.bin

Make the script executable:

chmod +x ~/.config/itch/apps/bitrat/bit_rat_singularity/runner

Launching the game from the itch app will now use the environment variable.

-nick / [bucket drum games]

Hey Damian,

Thanks so much for your kind words, and for spending some time with our game! I know the Racial Justice bundle is enormous, so it's really heartening when something about BIT RAT stands out enough for someone to give it a try.

Thanks as well for letting us know about the launch bug; we'll take a look at it as soon as we can. Admittedly, we've done pretty minimal testing on Macs (most of our efforts have been concentrated on Windows and Linux), so hopefully it's just some rote error on our part - perhaps package related, as you suggested. I'll post again here as soon as we have some progress; in the meantime your quick fix is much appreciated!

Thanks again for playing; it's awesome to hear that the narrative/puzzle interplay was resonant for you!

Take care,

bryan/[bucket drum games]

thanks for doing this!

Just a bit of additional context, the trailer on our website was mainly put together to accompany playable in-progress demo builds of BIT RAT for various events last year. This was before we decided to release the first part of the game as Singularity, so there are some levels and other stuff shown briefly in the trailer that you won't see in Singularity but will see in the full game.

Thanks for playing and commenting! It's honestly inspiring whenever someone enjoys the game enough to play through to the end, I know we didn't make it easy!

-Nick [bucket drum games]

Ha, good catch! We're saving a handful of mechanics for the full game, but we couldn't resist using transfers for visual flair in the teaser.

Also thanks so much for your feedback and kind words! FYI, quicksaves are definitely on our to-do-list, as is more flexible control/key mapping.

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Hey! Thanks so much for catching this. I'm guessing the library calls have something to do with the way we encrypt player profile data. My co-dev is more knowledgeable than me about the Linux build/our profile management code, so I'll check in with him and we'll work on removing unnecessary dependencies.

BIT RAT is built in Gamemaker: Studio. I believe this is also true of The Red Strings Club, so similar problems cropping up makes sense.

Really appreciate the feedback in any case! Will post again here when we have an update.

-bryan / [bucket drum games]

Thanks so much, Carl! Awesome that you made it through. And great to hear the narrative maintains good tension. We're still tweaking dialogue and mailserver entries as we go, so hopefully we can improve continuity between some of the threads. And we've definitely got some ideas on the table for how to get MINOS interacting with the rest of the game's cast!

If you get a chance and are so inclined, we also really appreciate folks leaving us a rating/review on the game's main page. Thanks again!

Thanks! We're really thrilled to be here too! Hope you enjoy it. If you get a chance and you're so inclined, we're also always grateful for ratings/reviews!

For those who are curious but want a little more info on BIT RAT: Singularity's narrative and puzzle systems, here's a twitter thread I wrote discussing how they inform each other: ... Thanks for checking it out!

Hey again! This thread is for anything you'd like to share (publicly,  as is the nature of these types of forums) about BIT RAT: Singularity.

Find a bug? Love the puzzles? Hate the story? Have an idea for a mechanical tweak? Let us know -- or you can always email us at bucketdrumgames [at] We'd love to know what you think, and will be working hard to incorporate feedback into the full game.

In the meantime, thanks so much again for your support!

- bryan / Nick / [bucket drum games]

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Hi all,

We're bryan and Nick, AKA [bucket drum games]. Today we're launching BIT RAT: Singularity, a standalone prologue to BIT RAT, our cyberpunk puzzle game about a curious AI yearning for freedom from a high-security datanet. Here's our teaser trailer:

You can check out the launch page for Singularity here:

Our demo was a finalist at IndieCade this past fall, and we've been lucky enough to share our work at MAGFest (2017 + 2018), and Bit Bazaar (Toronto) as well. Next month, we're headed to NYC for Indiecade East -- we'd love to see ya there if you're in town!

As a robust, self-contained vertical slice, Singularity includes many of the narrative, puzzle and world-building elements we're planning for the final game, but scales things down to a level that allowed us to put something we're really proud of into the hands of our players now. This includes:

- Interactive tutorials that teach the game's core mechanics (and a cool variant)
- 11 increasingly intricate puzzles to get you thinking like a rapidly-evolving machine intelligence (2+ hours of gameplay)
- A complete dramatic mini-arc that introduces the human cast and sets the stage for the larger story
- Unlockable freeplay mode with stat tracking
- Hand-pixeled cinematics & 13 original chiptunes

If you write about games and are interested, our presskit is available here.

Thanks so much for reading in any case. If you get a chance to play, we'd love to hear your feedback and/or answer any questions you might have!

Take care,

bryan / Nick / [bucketdrumgames]

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This is viewable in the in-game codex as well, but if you want a quick control reference to mindlessly stare at, here it is:

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Hey there! Thanks for checking out BIT RAT: Singularity. We created this thread to provide some release notes and a brief FAQ for new players. Feel free to comment on this thread, or email us directly at

Version History:

1.0.2 - Initial Release

Tested in Windows 7/10, Ubuntu 16.04, and Mac OS High Sierra (10.13)

Linux build requires Xpad driver for Xbox controller support. Available by default in most current Ubuntu distros.

Mac build requires 360 Controller driver for Xbox controller support. Available here:

Known Issues

- (Windows only) If the game crashes on the title screen,  you need to update your DX9 runtime. We are working on a better fix, but for now this should do:

- (Mac only)  Switching from full screen to windowed mode is laggy. Our current workaround should get you to the right resolution, but expect some flickering and whatnot.

- (Mac only) If you are on Sierra or High Sierra, you probably have to use the app to launch BIT RAT. This is because Apple requires a sandboxed environment to "safely" quarantine horrible indie games like ours. Luckily, the kind folks at itch have taken this into account!

- In some circumstances, Steam may interfere with BIT RAT detecting Xbox/Xinput controllers, resulting in weird in-game control prompts. If this happens, try killing Steam before you start the game.


So is this a demo or a complete game? What are you creeps peddling?

BIT RAT: Singularity is a standalone prologue to BIT RAT. Basically, this is the first act of the full game, which we plan to release sometime in 2018. It sets the stage for the larger story (while resolving its own mini-arc), teaches you core mechanics (plus a cool variant), and includes a dozen or so puzzles to get you thinking like a rapidly-evolving AI. It was important to us to pack a really substantive vertical slice into peoples' initial experience of the game world. This ended up feeling right.

How long will it take me to beat it?

Based on lots of playtesting at public events, 2-3 hours. Maybe less if you're some kind of wizard. Maybe more if you take your sweet time. There's also a freeplay mode that lets you revisit puzzles from the main story and track your stats.

What are the system requirements?

We've tested on a handful of machines across our supported platforms, and found that you can have a great, full-speed experience on pretty much any semi-modern dual core CPU with 4GB of RAM. If you find this to be untrue, please tell us!

Why are there black bars around the game when it's full-screened?

BIT RAT scales up by integer multiples of the game's native resolution (640x360). If your monitor doesn't display 720p or 1080p, there may be a bit of space around the edges. Trust us, you don't want the game trying to interpolate those extra pixels.

I found a bug! You guys suck.

Gah, sorry about that! Let us know and we'll deal with it as quickly as we can. Please also know that we are just two people with jobs and lives outside of game dev, so turnaround may vary. That said, we are so grateful for your support, and we will not leave you hanging.

Are you sure this game isn't called BAT RAT? Because that's what the logo says.

Shhh. BAT RAT is in top-secret development for 2019.

Er, that's all for now. Thanks so much for stopping by!

- bryan and Nick