This was my first gamejam entry ever.
My participation to “Ludum Dare 30. 48h solo from scratch challenge” happened almost by accident. I knew the Ludum Dare was coming as a friend had asked me to join his team, but as the voting result nearer and nearer, I got swooned up in the hype and decided to try to do entry of my own. Just get something simple finished. I’m not a programmer, so getting anything ready would be a learnt experience of coding and Unity.
First I planned to do a simple point and click maze and working out the graphics in Hexels. While simple – just images, links and no player character seemed very straightforward, but then, the having bridges crossing over the paths and each of the screens having multiple entries, exists and then figuring out the player states and the movement options available started to feel complicated and that idea was scrapped for more simpler one.
A maze with the idea of passing a node un-even times. A lighting pole that changes state when you passed it, either turning on or off, and then having challenge of finding the possible route for lighting them all up. I began to think it was doable, the tutorial for rolling ball had most of the components ready, and I knew enough to trust that I could figure the rest out.
Friday night I made the concepts and figured out what to do and started on the models.
Saturday I made the first level and a single light pole that worked allright.
Sunday I realized that the light-pole trigger mechanism had to be more complicated than I thought. First I thought to do it with more complicated collision detection, but having multiple of triggers was the saner solution. Plenty of time was used to learn about parenting and referencing parented classes. After that was solved, rest went well, I crammed the second level in just in few hours before the deadline.
What I went right:
-Scope: small and simple was well within the time limit and my coding skills.
-Atmosphere, Thanks to unity particles. Sure, they are done with presets, but it made nice boiling sea. As my main challenge was coding, models were very minimalistic, worked here.
-Music composed with a abundant music generator. Fast and good enough.
-Support: having helping minds to bang against when solving issues and good documentation to refer to.
-Learning. There was lots of that.
-Finished it! Yes!
What went wrong:
-Coding, while it went alright, even some more experience under the hat would’ve enabled so much more. Better effects, more effects, smoother everything, better controls.
-Testing. I’m not certain it is possible to complete the game as it is supposed to. Luckily, some triggers collision detections bug and make it possible. Actually generating and validating levels like these would be an interesting topology problem. Afterwards got good feedback regarding controls and field of view, but that was already past the deadline.
-Controls and field of view. It wouldn’t have taken that much to make them a bit better.
What was missing:
Mainly a proper player character and more levels. A Menu, story screens, some animations, more sounds and music, timer based scoreboard and testing.
Proper Name: Went for the silly compound word just for the sake of visual of quirky triple l’s boderd by symmetrical i’s. Amh, yeah.
First completed LD. This was a good intro for the starting season in the uni, got confidence knowing that I can make it. Inspiring, wanting to work more on graphics and I’m certain I’ll participate again!
Better controls and seeing too little at once, proper player character, adjustments here and there, menu and extra levels would make for a decent update or maybe a tablet tilting game.
Thanks to the friends and family making this possible.