You built a hotel in on a patch of ground that missiles like to hit. You must now attach shields to protect it. Last as long as you can manage. You have to wait for the shields to be delivered to you though.
Z – Load, then attach a shield from the left
X – Load, then attach a shield from the top
C – Load, then attach a shield from the right
There is a Jam version as well that has better music, and sound effects. It also has a global high score table, so you can get ranked. The gameplay did not change at all though.
Thanks to Bender for the post format. I hope you don’t mind me borrowing it.
Post mortem in the extended.
What went wrong:
I used a pretty new to me game framework. I had only used flixel for one compo prior, and that was a super simple 2 hour trainwreck. As such, I didn’t have the best handle on the ins and outs of the way that it worked. Some of my stuff in this compo relied on me overriding the collision detection, and it was not entirely obvious how to make that work exactly right. I blew about 3 hours trying to get the collision detection right, with a bunch of missteps along the way.
I didn’t play test enough. I made the classic mistake of thinking that it was easy to play, because it was easy for me. When I showed it to my friend, it became immediately clear that there was nowhere near enough onscreen prompting. I really should have included a basic tutorial before the missiles started coming on screen.
The mechanics are a bit TOO innovative. The one play test showed that there are some things in the game that are completely non obvious. I probably could have switched the mechanics to use Tetris style interaction without too much difficulty, but I ran out of time.
There is no difficulty ramp. I am pretty sure that you can keep going until you get bored. I am not one hundred percent sure what the upper limit on the game is, because I always got bored before the missiles actually killed me. It wasn’t going to be super hard to add a difficulty ramp, but I was a bit gun shy, due to the fact that I didn’t have anyone to play test it with. Next time I will make sure to put one in.
I didn’t leave enough time for SFX / Music. Yup. The jam version is significantly better with them. I think that I also need to work on more music, more often, because I was totally at a loss when I got to this point, and had to drop to using wolfram tones.
I suck at art. Another thing that I just need to practice before the next one. Man this game is UGGLY. Maybe just more unplayable game scenes to practice this. I really wanted to do rotoscoping for this jam, but the mechanic that I came up with just didn’t match that, so I had to scrap it.
What went right:
I slept a reasonable amount and didn’t work to the deadlines. The last ludum dare I did, I worked two 13 hour days in a row, and I was so burned by monday that I was barely able to go to work. I am really glad that I didn’t do that. I am also glad that I ended 8 hours early. I think that I would have hit the realm of diminishing returns pretty darn quick if I hadn’t.
I made a bunch of simple food in advance. Yup. Having three solid meals on the first day was crucial. I wish I had cooked the second days food as well, but it didn’t dawn on me until it was too late.
I decided on a simple mechanic. I think I am just getting better at realizing what makes for a simple mechanic. Practice Practice Practice. This is clearly the most indescribable part of game design for me. This time I just took an existing concept, and flipped part of it: missile defense, except you block rather than shoot. Thanks to the tigsource “Never ending hybrid design” thread for giving me this idea.
Stopped working on mechanic stuff well in advance of the deadline. Hot dang. There was so much that I wanted to add, but I just polished what I had instead. I think this worked out pretty ok.
Flash. I did it this time, just like I wanted to after the last one.
Ideas for future Dev:
More Block types. One of the initial thoughts that I had for this game was to have guns that you could attach to your hotel so that you could shoot down the missiles. Also that way, you would have secondary things that you needed to protect.
Different way of placing blocks. I think just doing tetris exactly would work pretty well. Or I could make it so that you charged up the droppers with incrementally better blocks rather than getting random ones. Or a mouse based control (would be easy to implement, just move the block away from the hotel rather than towards it when looking for a place to attach).
Power ups. Hitting a power up when placing a block would give you some modified form of blocks, or behavior.
Better Scoring System. Yeah, the scoring sucks. Making it so you get combos for not placing blocks very quickly, or hitting a missile that is about to hit your hotel. I think this might need to be built in with the different blocks, maybe even having special block to protect that build your multiplier.
All in all, a very successful LD for me, I can’t wait to do it again.