“Two Options…” – My LD#28 game + timelapse + postmortem

This is going to be a long post… XD

First, I’ve finally added a header image. The only problem is that it sucks! I’ll come back to it at a later time, but it’ll do for now… I want an image with even levels from games I’ve made… but for now it’s only a bunch of sprites thrown together. Also, the search, RSS and blog title are kind of getting in the way… I’ll think about it later…

Now, on to the main topic. It’s December and, although for some this mean vacations and for others Christmas, it means that it’s time for another Ludum Dare! Well, the jam itself is already gone, it’s almost the second week of voting. The theme this time was “You only get one”. And here is the game I’ve made for it:

Click here for the submission page (then on 'Web [flash]' to play!

Click here for the submission page (then on ‘Web [flash]’ to play!

I’ve once again made a platform, but it’s quite good this time! Ok, people still have some trouble… but I think it’s on an expected level. The game is about a guy exploring a temple who heard a call for help. Now he’s going after it, but what is expecting him there…

As usual, this time I’ve also made a timelapse during the development of the game. Here it is:

Click on read more for the post-mortem (there are a few spoilers…)

As always, I didn’t plan anything in advance. I rested for a few hours before the theme being released and when the time finally came I was already waiting on IRC. As soon as it was announced I had no idea what to do with that theme, only that I didn’t want to have “YOLO” in any way in my game (since lots of people were saying it on IRC). XD Another thing that I didn’t want to do was to make a game only playable once, since I’ve already seen a game like that…

I tried to brainstorm for a while but I didn’t like most of the ideas. They were like “only one life (continue)”, “choose only one item from many”, “one invulnerabilty”, “one enemy”, “one level”… and a awesome idea that I scraped because I didn’t think I would be able to make it any fun. That idea would be “you only got one cake”: you are in a cake shop were you can only buy one cake… but you want another! Go take, even if by force! That would have been so much better… I’ll make this game, at a later time…

So I decided to make a game like Lost Vikings: you have four characters but each have only one abillity, which you would assign to each character (kinda of like Final Fantasy, where you can create a party whichever way you want). I drew three sprites but soon gave up on that idea. I simply wouldn’t be able to create levels solvable by any combination of abillities. So I decided to do something else using those character I had already drawn.

It all started with those sprites…

It all started with those sprites…

I then decided on the ending of the game, beginning to create a mockup for that level and some tiles. I though that having an alternative path would be really fun, but ended up not doing that… All that on my “first day” – since here the compo starts close to midnight, I usually divide my time in three days: from the beginning to 3 AM (more or less), then from when I wake up to 2~3 AM again and then until submission time. That way I trick myself to feel like I had three days worth of jamming… it’s great to organize the time (1 “day” for idea and prototyping, 1 for finishing the mechanics and basic stuff [most sprites, tiles, etc] and 1 for polishing).

This is what I had by the end of Friday…

This is what I had by the end of Friday…

On my second day (Saturday, from 7:30 AM) I was able to create most of the levels, the songs and the gameplay already felt really nice. This motivated me to keep working on it. By the end of the day, I had already drawn the final tileset and most of the sprites!

Both the first (upper) and final (lower) tileset

Both the first (upper) and final (lower) tileset

I only had left to do a few tiles (the most troublesome would be the lava), sfx, adding particles and redoing some sprites… and the animation. This took most of my time on Sunday. It’s not something I really like doing, but I knew this game would need it. After finishing the ending, I decided to make a simple intro (which wasn’t really difficult to do…). Then, after making a few more levels I called it complete. Another thing take took some of my time was implementing the button. The way i did it, a button creates a sparkle that, when it touches something, an event is triggered.

Not really the final version, but pretty much it

Not really the final version, but pretty much it

All in all, I’m really happy with the results. I’m, though, a little ashamed of the way I used (as a friend pointed out to me, it seems kind of randomly thrown there…) and of making a game in a genre I’m used to do. This allowed me to have a working prototype really quickly and I didn’t have many troubles adjusting the controls… I’ve already listened to enough complaints about my platforms to have a good idea about how to do it right… xD

I swear I’ll never again make any game with controls (and gameplay) worse than I did in this one… >_<

I swear I’ll never again make any game with controls (and gameplay) worse than I did in this one… >_<

But most of all, I now really think that I should had made that cake game… It would have been so much more awesome! Oh, well… a later time…

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