This was my entry for Ludum Dare #7, which was the first LD I entered. The theme (growth) eventually gave me the idea of growing a maze.
So, you create the maze as you walk around inside it. When the game begins, the maze is just a set of disconnected squares. Each of these squares can be linked with a set number of its neighbours (how many depends on the square, from none to four), and you create new links by walking from one square to another where there’s no previous link. Once a link is created it can be walked on as much as you want, but a link can’t be removed once created, so you have to be careful when creating your maze so you don’t get stuck.
Once I had that working the deadline was looming close, so I threw in some keys and locks and made the objective to clear all locks of each level, to make the thing resemble an actual game. In the end there was four levels, a random level generator, and also a level editor.
I wrote in the original README that I’d continue to work on the game, something I haven’t done. I still like the general idea behind the game, but it has this tendency to degenerate into just staring at numbers, which isn’t very fun at all, and on top of that it’s easy to get stuck, having to restart the level if you don’t pay attention. Perhaps some of the extra elements I didn’t have time to put in the game for the compo — more tile types, powerups, bombs, enemies — would have made it better (more varied if nothing else), but I think the interface is the main problem. It should be more obvious what tiles can connect, how many exits are left, etc, so there’s less guesswork, no number tracing, just puzzle solving. Since the levels are so “dynamic” getting that to work would be tricky, though.