“Keep Flying” is my latest entry — in it you try to keep your crappy ship flying while new disasters and trials happen every 10 seconds.
What went well:
Not trying something too new! For many of my LD entries I try to do something super-unique while trying to learn new technology… and I run out of time. This time I used HAXE and HaxeFlixel (which I’ve already gotten to know a bit) and got my build environment set up before the competition, saving precious hours.
The game doesn’t really start until you start the engine! This gave the player free reign to test things out on their ship and to figure out where there player is. Also, observant players will start their shield generator… I know, cruel me gave you a ship with an offline shield generator. Shhh don’t tell anyone. I wonder how many people figured this one out…
Poop jokes. People like poop jokes.
Getting my son (7) involved. I have the kiddo on Sundays, which can add tension as he wants to play and I still have hours left to go. This time I got him involved in the sound effects recording session! We each took turns recording mouth sounds for each required sound effect, with him pointing out what sounds his sleep deprived father was missing. The cat “Meow”, by the way, is his voice. It may have taken longer, but it got him involved and was a lot of fun for both of us.
Music tutorial! People seem to like my sleep-deprived musical tutorial. The game is very confusing at first and I tried my darnedest to make it more approachable. Some things sound like good ideas when you are tired. It worked, and made me glad I spent 2 hours pre-competition learning how to mute music in HaxeFlixel so my reviewers wouldn’t be too tortured.
There’s always something to do. Many of the games I played involved waiting for the full 10 seconds to be up. I didn’t want that, so there’s probably always something you should be checking or fixing.
It’s fun! If, you know, you like “Anxiety: The Game.” I’m not exactly sure how this all worked out, but I’m happy with the result.
What went wrong:
At the last minute I drastically increased the difficulty. I thought the first minute of the game didn’t have enough going on to be interesting, so I made a lot more disasters happen a lot quicker. This is great for experienced Keep Flying spacepilots, but I’m afraid it may have scared away some new players.
NOBODY knows who you are when you first start. Not even giant glowing arrows saying THIS IS YOU seemed to help. The game overwhelms the player at first with too many visuals. If I had more time I’d start the user out in a room (on a spacestation) where they move their player onto their ship to make this more clear.
Spending too much time on systems and cat pooping. Seriously, maybe 2 hours on getting a cat to poop was excessive for that joke. Nah, poop jokes are always worth it. However for most of the competition I had working systems and a flyable ship but no actual game. The last 3 hours were a whir of trying to get everything connected and working. It almost was completely not fun at all.
Thanks for playing and I hope to see you next Ludum Dare!
- Stevie (bushmango)