Post-mortem / Making of

Another Ludum Dare over! Not very satisfied with my product, but I'm still glad I submitted something.

This LD was the first one I didn't do from home. Spent the weekend with my girlfriend, which meant:

Yum. But, even though I didn't have to cook, I was still running out of time way too soon. First night I went past 2 am, then on the second day till deadline.

The plan

Very early I knew what I -wanted- to do: a platformer, where you are trying to save the last tree in the world by exploring caves and collecting stuff. I thought it would have been nice for it to be rogue-lite (different levels), and I wanted a special slow-motion power (that I might use in a different game now). Luckily, I scrapped the rogue-liteness immediately, cause that never really works out during LD.

So my goal was to have a simple enough platformer with the hub (where your tree is), and three+ levels. Each would be beatable in three ways - an offensive route, a defensive route, an exploratory route. All of these would then result in the player collecting different amounts of different tokens, which would then make the tree grow.

The reality

Quite quickly I was able to write a pixel-perfect 2D physics engine. But then came my new nemesis: slopes. It's surprisingly difficult to make the player go up and down some stairs without clipping or glitching around. I barely fixed it for the finished game, I think.

Then I started spending more and more time on the first level, the 'crystal grotto'. Pretty or not, I spent countless hours on drawing that level. A neat tileset with some decorations might have done the trick. I finished the background to it at 1 AM of the first night, which is when I realised I got into time trouble.

But, I didn't want to give up. I made the hub and tree growth work, then started the second level. Once again, spending way too much time just drawing mushrooms. And before I knew it, it was over.

No time for music, (good) sounds, additional levels, polishing. With luck, I will get ratings on par with Elemental.

But still happy for the experience, and that I didn't give up like LD 32. Hopefully my next entries will be more successful!

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