Well.. grabbed some sleep last night.  Just played my game this morning to see how I felt about it’s progress and direction.  Time to make the short list of goals that is so important in these compos to trying and pull off a playable and hopefully fun game in time.

I find a good trick to use is decide what makes the compo version versus what I’ll save for a post-compo version.  I’ve been pretty good about actually doing a post compo version lately that I’m not too worried that I’m using it as a fake crutch.  You can learn so much from a rapid prototype like this that it is still worth it to finish a reduced yet playable game for many reasons.

Anyway, knowing that some of my favorite features will likely still see the light of day makes me more willing to cut them for the compo version.

It is with that in mind that I am thinking about the following design decisions:

Compo Version Features:

1) One formation only of your fleet ships… the long and lean horizontal one.  This is because I am not sure if I’ll have time to code enough of what I want to justify the other formations right now.  I may have to focus on just making this a fun space avoider with the twist of having multiple lives / health built into the number of your fleet ships remaining as you fly along.  As long as 1 ship makes it you have been considered to win in that you’ve saved some of your race’s people.  The more ships you save the larger the score multiplier probably.

2) Probably not going to implement player ships fighting the enemy armada of doom.  I’m really trying to focus on not making this a shmup but rather sticking to the fact that these are light and nimble colony transport ships that are trying to get the hell away from their doomed planet / advancing wall of the enemy armada.

3) I think that since I have a simple but functional way to hand code in all the enemy ship placements and movement speeds I have the ability to build an exciting armada progression that will have some fun surprises and such along the way for the player to fly through.

4) I am worried that since these compos don’t afford much optimization time I may end up making a version that in order to look as cool as I want will likely suffer performance wise on slower computers.  I may have to go the route of a simple button to: “play high quality” and “play low quality” to turn down all the beam / particle effects I want to use.  I think that is a fine compo compromise.

Of the 16 hours remaining I fear I may have some domestic duties to attend to as well unfortunately… laundry and the ilk.

Oh well.. it’s crunch time here at LD so good luck everyone!

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2 Responses to “16 hour crunch.. Fleedom Flies when you’re having fun.”

  1. hamburger says:

    Seems like a fine list of design decisions to me. I wish I had your work ethic with regards to producing post-compo versions.

    Personally I am all for #2 – I don’t think I’d like this game as much if the player had offensive capabilities. There are too many offensive capabilities in games already, right? :)

  2. HybridMind says:

    @hamburger: re: #2.. yeah.. my thoughts exactly.. its more fun to me to make the player try to escape against incredible odds…. that is always an exciting part to me about some of my favorite space/sci-fi books and movies.. the ships avoiding beam after beam and you wonder how they are making it.. etc. :)

    Regarding my ‘work ethic’ .. heh, well that is because I’m doing this on my own full time so if I’m not making games.. I have no chance of getting paid.. hehe.. so it is easier in that regard! :)

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