Ludum Dare 31
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Entire Game on One Screen

Judging ends in:
It’s time to Play and Rate Games!

PlayRate80Star

Death Boulder Jones Post Partem

Posted by
August 22nd, 2011 2:35 pm

I’ve got two comments so far, both mentioning the complete lack of a difficulty curve (it just gets difficult too quickly).

I’ll agree with them. I’ve only beaten it once. :-) Unfortunately, I ran out of time before completing any levels other than the first one, which wasn’t anything but a tutorial. As such, I copy/pasted a bunch of obstacles and placed them at semi-regular intervals throughout the level and called it a day. Too bad. The game supports loading multiple levels and I was planning on having a nice difficulty ramp across them. The first level was originally supposed to be the tutorial and like one more trap.

One commenter (Notch) said it feels like trial and error, which is actually partially what I was going for. I remember the game n+ where you just try each level over and over until you’ve mastered all the traps and the like, and I kind of wanted that feel. Part of what I was missing, I think, is the everything-on-the-screen you get from sideways 2D. The perspective the camera has and the amount of playing field you can see makes it very difficult to see far enough ahead of you to make any sort of difference. Basically the only option is to die and restart several times so that you know where everything is beforehand. And get a bit lucky.

Last minute I added in a bullet-time ability that really helps a lot, but having made it a limited timer (1 second of bullet time, takes 2 seconds to charge) means you don’t really get it enough. In retrospect, I think it would have been cool to subtract money from your character as you use it, thereby giving you as much as you want bit still adding in the pressure of not using it too much.

The biggest problem though I think is just the curve. Level 1 should be a piece of cake, and there should be around 10 very short levels. That way when you restart you’re not forced to redo the whole thing. That or checkpoints, maybe.

I still think the game is a great idea and I’d love to see it on iPhone some time in the future. Just needs a bit of tweaking.


One Response to “Death Boulder Jones Post Partem”

  1. wallacoloo says:

    I loved N! I used to mess around with the level code for hours and find glitches that allowed me to make really cool levels. Never played N+ though. Bringing back the memories… But I think you’re spot-on with your analysis of your game.

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