Well, voting is almost over and I am going to one of those post mortem things that all the cool kids seem to be doing!
Before the final theme was announced I wrote a quick one line idea for each of the final themes of what I was going to do for that theme and then I could flesh it out after to something longer and more … game like. For escape I had initially decided that I would do a game similar to cannabalt and then maybe add something to it. Given that this was my first Ludum Dare I didn’t really want to do something that would be over complicated and just end up not finished and deter me from entering again. However as the time came I was discussing with my two chums DuSTman and Shot and I was convinced to try something a little different rather then just clone another game. I was looking through my list of ideas when I saw that my idea for wormholes was: “A game where in you launch a ship through a series of planets with gravity and try to get into the wormhole”. 10% space golf, 90% That seen from whitehole the Red Dwarf Episode where Lister plays planet pool. This could easily be changed slightly to fit the theme of Escape! The idea was set!
Now that I had an idea, it was time to start making the game. Given that the start for me was 0300 (Uk represent!) I decided that I would get an idea and maybe a bit of code done then get some sleep. By 0500 the basic ship and (then) planet code was in place. An hour later and I had added a line to the trail of the ship (Hence the name “Escape Lines”) and tweaked the random placement of the planets, and giving them different sizes and gravity. I then slept and had Red Dwarf on in the background for more inspiration.
Waking at 0900 after an awesome 3 hours sleep, more code was afoot, and by 10am I had multiple ships able to launch to create some pretty patterns. More tweaks and a lot of slacking later by 1400 I was adding “graphics” to the game. Next was the level system, which could have been improved but I did get to at least mention Burnley (The worst place in the UK 😉 ) By 1600 I had started working on the music which was terrible but I hadn’t made a game with sounds, let alone music before. This lead to the ability to mute the music as it was pretty annoying after a few seconds. The rest of Saturday was spent dicking around with the music and tweaking or adding to the graphics. (And playing the game, I probably enjoyed making patterns too much.)
I slept from 0200 to 1100, repaying some of that sleep debt from the previous night! Most of Sunday was just tweaking and polishing little bits. At the last moment I added bombs which could destroy an enemy ship and then submitted 6 hours early!
What went well…
Considering this was my first games programming competition I was quite happy with it. I went for the mantra of keeping it simple and it payed off I finished a game rather then being too ambitious and burning myself out before the end and rage quitting.
What didn’t go so well…
I kept it too simple and finished it with time to spare that could have been used to add more features/improvements but Decided to enter it as is. Oops. I also spent too much time messing with the music which in the end was pretty shoddy.
Happy As soon as voting is over I will work some more on a version with tweaks from the feed back received <3
Ps, my entry is here