My game’s a platformer where you descend around the outside of a cylindrical pseudo-3-D tower. It’s nothing groundbreaking (I’ve seen the tower mechanic in at least 2 other games) but I still felt like I put enough into it that it wasn’t completely derivative.
I don’t usually have trouble coming up with an idea that I like. I started on the tower mechanic 21 minutes into the competition, and I had the rest of the gameplay in mind within a couple of hours.
I think I made the right choices about which features to cut and which to keep. Some highlights:
- I’m really happy with the 2.5-D tower. This obviously was not trivial to implement, and it turned out pretty well. I wish I could have made the platforms look better, but nobody has complained yet.
- I like the grayscale characters. It reminds me of Paper Mario. Feedback has been mixed.
- I really like the clouds. Nobody’s commented on them, but I think they do a great job adding to the 3-D effect and they only took 20 minutes to add.
- The dialogue/story is good, but I wish I could have spent more time on it. The knight was originally only going to be in one level, and I had other characters planned.
- I think I got the challenge level just about right. I followed my rule of thumb of making it 1 to 2 levels easier than it seems like it should be. Some players still thought it required pixel-perfect jumps, though in reality every horizontal jump has at least a 14 pixel margin of error.
- People don’t like jumping games, I know. I really like to have as simple of mechanics as possible and make the most out of them. I think if your character can jump, you should have some challenging jumps. I hope that the frequent checkpoints helped minimize the frustration.
- The sound and music are fine. I may some day be able to make my audio rather than just using whatever comes out of sfxr and Autotracker-C. But until that day, I’m grateful for these amazing tools.
I had a great time this LD, and I was pretty happy with how the game turned out! It’s already gotten twice as many ratings as my last LD game did during the whole competition, so I certainly can’t complain about that. So far I’ve gotten very constructive feedback.
Thanks to everyone who took the time!