It’s 6am, it’s freezing cold, it’s pitch dark, England is caked in snow and the theme of Ludum Dare 19 is <strong>Discovery</strong>.
Discovery is what I was hoping for. I think one of the close runners up, Containment, would probably have led to a more interesting selection of games, but I had a clearer idea of what I’d do for Discovery. I knew if this one ended up being picked, I would have to make something involving randomised content. That’s what makes Spelunky so exciting to play, and that’s probably the greatest game about discovery I’ve ever played.
Unfortunately I’m not Derek Yu, and I only have 42 hours, and I’m wasting time writing a blog. So my game will be a little less ambitious.
To fit the theme, I feel like the pleasure of the game has to have something to do with the discovering. And the only thing gamers truly and instinctively care about is stuff that benefits them in the game. So not only does it have to be the content rather than just the scenery that is randomised, the unique elements of that content have to feed back into character progression in some way.
My plan currently is for something top down, where you direct your character – probably a robot – around a large landscape with the mouse, encountering enemies with randomised stats. Destroying them will let you salvage some of their traits, so a very tough enemy would boost your hitpoints when you destroy it.
Someone joked that everyone should not only have to stick to the chosen theme, but also combine it with Christmas. So if I can draw it in any meaningful way, I’ll set my game in the snow.