Ludum Dare 31
December 5th-8th, 2014

It was a funny thing, this…

Posted by (twitter: @davidsgallant)
September 13th, 2011 6:41 am

In the interest of full disclosure, I’ll state up front that the main reason for this post is because someone told me I couldn’t get trophies if I hadn’t written a blog post. I have no idea if we’re too late for any awarding, but what the hell.

I haven’t really felt the need to talk about my game, EscapeOut, because it wasn’t a particularly interesting process. Relying on a 20-min show-off video by Photon Storm about how to make a brick breaker in 20mins, I stumbled my way through Flixel and came up with something that put a little spin on the core concept. The theme of LD21 was Escape, so how else does one apply that to a brick breaker? Easy: something on the screen has got to try to get the hell out of dodge. From there it was a simple leap in logic to the eventual core mechanic. I won’t say what that is because I don’t like to spoil the game. In fact, I really liked setting friends down in front of EscapeOut with no instructions to see if they can figure it out. The game has no instructions for a very intentional reason.

Judging by the comments on EscapeOut, forcing players to discover the game’s mechanic paid off. I’ve been a very bad LD participant: haven’t blogged, haven’t played many of the entries, haven’t used the IRC channel except for a couple technical questions. Mostly this has been due to time; I only managed to spend half of the 48 hour timeframe coding, due to oversleeping and family obligations. So, I was quite surprised to log on today and see the comments and ratings left for EscapeOut. A few people really seemed to like it, more than I ever could have imagined. Even more shocking, the game was rated #54 in humour. Seriously, a game with no instructions, no words other than “YOU HAVE DIED” and “YOU ESCAPED”, no characters, no narrative, and even no sound effects or music, ranked within the top 10% of humourous games in the entire Ludum Dare 21!

I guess this really goes to show that an intriguing mechanic can turn a relatively bland experience into an interesting one, even if only for a few minutes.

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