I worked by accident on a soccer powered beat’em all.
You can play it here !
Please play it before reading this because it spoil a part of the game
First I want to say that the “Alone” theme was very difficult to handle. It’s hard to imagine new features for a game without adding new peoples, or monsters. Each time I could imagine fun stuff to add it was always a step back on the “Alone” theme.
Initially I decided to work on a peg solitaire version. I was thinking that adding ninjas, a lot of bonus and special fx could make it interesting, but… the core game was still very boring on the first prototype.
So I tried to find the game stereotypes were Loneliness would be a real paradox. When Soccer came to my mind, I said it out loud and we had a good laugh ( I was working with deepnight, valandre, cardus and 01101101 ) It seemed like a good start.
I designed the soccer stadium and the bases of the soccer ball and players. I had to work on a false soccer player AI, good enough to make the trick for 10 seconds… They are not very good at it ! Always pushing the balls behind the goal or leaving the field..
The goal was to make everybody vanish after 10 of play to leave the player… alone. So I could fulfil the Theme.
But I was still failing to make it a game without adding monsters or peoples. I was thinking about opened drain covers or nails, that player should dodge… But it was not very exciting gameplay. I didn’t want to loose too much time, so I started to draw background of the city outside while thinking to the problem.
I finally bring myself to break player’s loneliness with sweet bouncy blobs, so he had something to burst with his soccer ball. Well I dont regret it, shooting ball at blob’s face was fun enough to make the core gameplay.
Here’s the timelapse
B/ What went Right
– No Generation ! I did it ! All the backgrounds are 100% handcrafted ! No random flowers on the side of the road, no random clouds flying in the sky ! Well I’m not sure that was the best choice, but it was very refreshing to work this way !
– The public of the stadium : With just 3 animation and 2x color sets I could render a crowded stadium. Fast and efficient !! ^_^
– Focus : I could work concentrated for almost 37h. I think that taking care of my sleep on the past week helped a lot.
– Intro / GameOver / Ending screen : I started to experiment them with my first LD and I’m now able to achieve this task in a very short time. That’s all thanks to the Lumdum Dare experience !!
– MathMusic ! That’s the terrible music you can hear on the title screen, here’s the part : [stextbox id="alert"] t * ( t >> 8 | t >> 4) & t >> 2[/stextbox] I hope I didn’t make your ears bleed !
C/ What went Wrong
– I spend to much time to find the main idea. I used to spend only few time on the past LD events ( 30 min – 1h ) so it was very disturbing to watch time pass and not being able to write any line of code. It may be good to take time to find a good idea but too much make me feel nervous, and I finally lost my self confidence.
– SFX : I was thinking that 1h would be enough ( thx to Bfxr ) but I finally spend 4-5h to import a lot of sounds with differents pitches ( 3x different foot step, 3x different bounce sound, 3x different public voices etc ). I was an uncreative and boring task. I don’t even know if the game was really needing it.
– English language. I spend huge time to google each of my sentences to check if their grammar was ok. And I only have 10-12 lines of tutorial & ending… My slowlness and lack of imagination dissuaded me to use my text system in the game ( “Hello blob ! How are you ?” )
– I was far too unsociable. On sunday I didn’t take time to speak ( not a single word ) with my friends who were working on their LD22 entries, I didn’ even took time to test their game even if we were working in the same room !
– Control : one of the control feature is very hard to explain : You can press spacebar one short time to attract ball to your position. I could not achieve to explain it to the player so they could use it