Self-Made Man

fizzhog's picture

Survive precarity and the 'wisdom' of the self-made man.

A silly little thing made for Ludum dare 45 (theme 'start with nothing').

Made in a few hours - didn't have any more time to spare.

You start with no money. Hustle to collect the gold coins and try to avoid the bills - red coins. The higher the coin the more money you make. And watch out for the self-made man who will get in your way with lots of unasked for advice.

The main reason I made this at all is because I had such a strong reaction to the theme once I started thinking about it. I couldn't stop hearing the complacent platitudes of the self-made man who started with nothing.

Controls: X key to jump

Graphics from Pixabay
Music is 'Kitten on the Keys' by Zez Confrey and his Orchestra from

Made For: 
An event


spiral's picture

this game is good politics

this game is good politics

bpseudopod's picture

realistic economic simulation

I appreciate how realistic the economic simulation in this game is. I played fairly well at the beginning, but my score ended up fluctuating around 800-1000. $1000 is a lot when you're poor, but one insured trip to the doctor or one car repair and you've chewed through it in a week. So much about personal economics is based around building up these buffers, and I know from experience that there's no good advice from anyone who can't. You can spend 20 minutes playing the game and have your cash drain down in about a minute.

I think that the implementation of the Self-Made Man was really good. He doesn't block much of the screen. You can see incoming obstacles fairly clearly in the space to his right, and you have a bit of warning on his right side as they pass through him. His presence in the game window and his platitudes were less of a threat and more of an annoyance and distraction, because that's all the self-made man and his ideology really is.

I like it. your games always

I like it. your games always have a nice quality about them. couldn't figure out how to restart though so i kept refreshing the page.

everythingstaken's picture


I know this may sound weird from someone on here that frequently makes some pretty "edgy" games on here and seems to somehow get away with it, but I am I guess a little surprised at the relation to race that is in this game. I guess maybe people know I am multiracial, so maybe that's why I am not criticized and I guess I'm not sure what yours is, but it makes me wonder why you are a black person and a Jewish looking guy covers the screen? I guess it makes me wonder what your perspective of the subject is.

It was a bit hard to see the black guy on the black background, but I kinda like that as a part of the difficulty. Narrative to representation to difficulty and it doesn't feel forced or something like some games I've seen online where some dude that can see will make a game about what it is to be blind (I won't name the game specifically, but I remember seeing it and being like wtf did he make this for?).

I do like that the level feels randomly generated. It's interesting that it seems as though the gold coins are higher up and the red coins are at the bottom and it seems to reward being at the top. Cool like mechanical representation of wealth.

fizzhog's picture

Simply hadn't thought about

Simply hadn't thought about it. I wanted a runner, I used the built-in Clickteam runner. I've only just now realized that the character is black because it isn't supposed to be - I had inverted the colours so that it shows up better against the background (as in the screenshot at the top of the page); only now on looking again do I see that this colour inversion doesn't seem to work in HTML 5. I wanted a picture of an older man, I found one on Pixabay that I liked after a very quick search. It didn't occur to me that the image might be seen as "jewish looking". The model I had in mind for the older man was my memory of a character from the 1963 film 'Billy Liar' - Councillor Duxbury who is something of a stereotypical Yorkshireman (and not Jewish as far as I'm aware), hence the accent of the character in the game. I think of this as a rather British game (despite the dollar signs and the skyscrapers). The whole thing was made in about six hours and the only real motive I was aware of was my response to the Ludum Dare theme which was "start with nothing"; the words of the character were the focus of the thing, the visuals were thrown together to form a setting for the words. If you think it is offensive or if anyone else does then I'll be happy to take it down.

everythingstaken's picture

No worries

I didn't think you had any ill intent with these characters of course. I was just being a bit inquisitive because it's hard not to read these things as symbols. It is also interesting that these symbols as clipart are representative of both race and class potentially as stand ins for runner and old man. Anyhow, yeah, not accusing you of anything nor do I mean to make anyone paranoid.