Evolution for me was the worst choice of all possible themes. The problem was that I thought of evolution as a linear progressing system with no real conflict. But what drives evolution is always competition between parts of system. The reason for evolution isn’t adaptation. Adaptation it is the outcome of the process. The evolving creatures are not aware of the fact, that they are adapting themselves to be fitter in the competition. I thought that it would be interesting to turn this concept upsidedown: so I created advance wars with dinosaurs.
Dinos and Eggs
The game is a turn based strategy/tactical game where the goal is to eliminate all opponents. You move the dino around on a tiled and grid fixed map. When you a dinosaur breaks an egg, it evolves.
Ludum Dare is always exciting but this time I went deep down the rabbit hole. Even though the produced code is not in any way ‘good’, the whole time I felt in control of what I am doing. Normally when the crunch at the end of day 2 sets in my code quality suffers and due to concentration problems it takes a lot more time to debug stuff. Not this time. Because the idea was quite simple I had enough time for some debugging in the end. That made the game a lot better(=less embarrassing bugs) than my previous entries.
Pixelart and retro snes music are always fun to make but I hope to try out other art styles(maybe a bit more ‘serious’ and less cute) in a future LD. However, I had no big problems making them. My trusted set of tools – Pixen for art and FLStudio+Supercollider for music, did not let me down. As a more code oriented guy in real life it is always great to dive in this side of the gamedev process
Conclusion and Future
I am still working on this game and a bugfixed version with added mouse(!) controls is available here. I tried(and still try) to improve everything that was criticized by you guys. I am also planning some boss fight, different levels and more stuff for the future to make this a more complete game.
I hope the fun I had developing translates at least a bit into the experience of playing. Let me know what you think. Have fun testing this little game!