First if you a haven’t played my game, here is a short gameplay video (no major spoiler). But you should go PLAY IT YOURSELF
And my timelapse:
What I accomplished:
- I made a game! That’s always the best part of the LD. It’s like magic: last week I had no idea what I was going to create. All my projects had been on hold for a long time and then a wave of temporary insanity and a game has been created. I can’t explain it. Last year I started working on a similar mini action adventure game, weeks later I had nothing but gray boxes and half finished models. But in a LD, somehow I just do things, I don’t worry about knowing nothing about music, I just take my midi keyboard and I make some noise. I love Ludum Dare.
- I learned lots of new things!
New things I used for the first time:
- ZBrush 4R4 has a new auto retopology function called QRemesher. It was super useful as I could just sculpt in high-res, use things like Dynamesh and I could just get a game-ready model in a few minutes. A huge time saver that allowed me to have 3 animated characters in my game this time. I even found a way to make it work with multiple subtools to merge the clothes of my character into a single mesh
- Allegorithmic Substance, the node based texture creation tool. It’s really powerful and I managed to create some nice textures with it. The down side is that since it was the first time I actually made something with it and it’s so fun to use I probably wasted too much time. I even recreated a type of floor pattern I already had in FilterForge… I could have avoided that
- Garritan Instant Orchestra, a VST instrument with lots of easy to use layered orchestral sounds. They kind of sound good even when just pressing keys at random. Also new, I used Reaper to record/edit the midi, it went relatively well even if I was barely able to do basic things with it.
The usual awesome things that always work miracles:
- Unity, ZBrush, Modo (I was better at using it this time) and Blender
What I wish I could have included in my game:
- Evolution. The little guy was supposed to evolve with each new power (for example, get rabbit ears with the rabbit power, and similar things for other animals). Unfortunately I didn’t have the time for it so my game’s connection to the theme is rather tenuous.
- The Falcon, ok I’m going to spoil it, but you don’t actually get to see the Falcon if you get to the top.
- Checkpoints, I knew the punishing nature of the climb would require some checkpoint mechanism. I don’t think games should be punishing. A game can be very challenging without punishing the player for their mistakes.
Things that didn’t go so well:
- Lightmapping in Unity while looking very good in the first room was sometimes a bit difficult to get right and prone to artifacts. This can be tweaked but that’s time consuming as baking lightmaps is slow.
- Code that I wrote at the last minute and didn’t test properly such as the music triggering problem that can really sound bad if the player just runs around and keeps retriggering them.
Next time I will:
- Try to aim for something a bit smaller (or not )
- Have learned better musical skills
My game was too ambitious, I initially aimed for the 48h compo but I had to get that extra 24h of the jam category and still it was very difficult to finish. From the timelapse I can tell I spent 44h at the computer working, so it was quite an effort. But I had tons of fun and I’m really pleased with what I accomplished this time.