terra coda: Post-mortem and timelapse

Posted by (twitter: @zillix)
December 20th, 2010 11:24 pm

I’ve always wanted to make a game using the “groundhog’s day” concept, similar to Majora’s Mask, Level Up!, and Pikmin to some extent. I have a love-hate relationship with time-pressure games, but it’s so rewarding to finally understand what’s going on in the game’s world and figure out how to manipulate it.

I had a lot of fun making this one. It doesn’t necessarily have the greatest gameplay, but it’s really the story and level design that counts in this type of game. Since the theme was discovery, I decided to make it purely about information seeking- each time you try, you should learn something new that’ll help you the next time. I tried something different this time and planned out the entire game beforehand, complete with a map and a rough description of the natural progression of the game. I felt that this really helped, since I had time to come up with a ton of ideas, and then once I started coding I just followed what I had already laid out.

This was my 3rd 48hr design competition, and I still fell into the trap of planning more than I could ever finish in that time. I had hoped to get this done after the first 24 hrs so I could have more time to study for my finals, but after the first day it was apparent that it wasn’t going to happen. I actually didn’t even have a working build until an hour before submission.

I can’t stress enough how important it is to have someone else play your game after the first day, or whenever it’s playable. For me, it was a sort of sanity check- it really helped to have a fresh set of ideas tell me what was broken, and what just didn’t make sense.

Play it here!

Also, check out my Timelapse!

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