Through the Blue Sea is my entry for Ludum Dare 23, its a small randomly generated abstract platform game. You goal is to pick up all of the yellow pips, without falling off the tiny world. You can grow larger by eating the asteroids that fly in, if you don’t eat them then one of your platforms will be destroyed.
What Went Wrong:
> The Theme, on my blog I outlined the themes that I hoped would win, and Tiny World was not on of them. It took me the first six hours (Friday night for me) to come up with an idea for a platformer set on a tiny world, and then I wanted to scrap the idea all weekend as I found it an incredibly uncreative game.
> Time during the weekend, I knew going in that I would have limited time during the weekend, as I had a job going on. This coupled with the theme, led to even less inspiration when it came to finishing the game, and more procrastination.
> Scoring, there was a point Saturday night, when I was working on the online high score table that I wondered how scoring was going to work. So I took a few minutes and decided to leave it really simple, so each pickup represents one score. Looking back now, It doesn’t give me the variation I would like to have.
> Level generation, I decided to randomly generate the play field and about half of the time it generates impossible levels. I knew about this the entire time, but decided it would help the lacking score system. Now that I have had about a week to think it over, I wish I had made it generate levels that could always be completed, or that I had added a pickup that ended the level.
> I found myself lacking a couple programs that I needed, I was using a new laptop this time, and hadn’t installed python yet, and I needed VLC. It didn’t take much time, but it would rather have already known what I needed and had it installed before hand.
What Went Right:
> The character, I am glad that I changed it back to a square and just added a face to the square, it fits more with what I am interested in. The first character sprite was an odd Llama Elvis creature. but I ran into issues with collisions, and it didn’t really fit with the background or platforms.
> The planets, I knew from the start that I wanted to use colors once again, the colored planets in Through The Blue Sea represents the difficulty of the generated levels (based on how many pickups, and how many platforms). So a Cool color (Blue and Green) are easier than the warm counterparts (Red and Purple), and Yellow is somewhat neutral in that it has quite a few platforms, and a bunch of pickups.
> Sounds, some people in the comments have liked them, most have hated them. I personally think they fit the strange, wierd style I was going for with the game, I mean just look at the character expression:
> Music, I once again used a python script to generate music, and it once again performed perfectly…After a few generations anyways. I then used VLC to convert to mp3.
> Online Highscore table, when I first started I didn’t plan to include one, but on Saturday I had about finished the game, and still had over 36 hours left. I made a online highscore table for my last entry (Alone in Space…) and made one for the final version of Untitled. So writing one wasn’t a big deal, in fact it only took me a half hour to have the basics working. Then I decided on how many score pips for each world and secured the highscore table using the maximum (So for the Red planet that has a maximum score of 8, any scores submitted higher than 8 are ignored)
What is Next:
I don’t plan to do much more with Through the Blue Sea, but I do want to release a Post-Compo version that adds a better scoring system. The new scoring system would be based on a multiplier bonus, you would have 100 seconds on the clock and finishing before 0 would give you a bonus. My first idea would be to make asteroids give you a multiplier, so catching more asteroids and finishing faster would give you a higher bonus. But I am not really sure what it will be like until I do it, and it will most likely be another week or two.