Another Ludum Dare has come and gone and now that the high is over, it’s time to brag about the things I got right and lament about the perils of doing things wrong.

First, the right:

To start, I’ve had a streak recently of using words within established genres.  The last LD I submitted had you turn objects into words to fix the scene and advance to the next part of the game.

With “The Unfortunate State of Being Alone” I wanted to be able to tell more of a story than the last time I used words.  I was also influenced by the poem “Lost Generation” by Jonathan Reed [Poem].  It is a poem that has a different meaning it does when read forward than it does when read backward.

So, with that, I set out to write a poem that dealt with loneliness, but could also read as the dying words of someone who believes we die alone.. and the dying words of someone who believes that you are never alone, even in death.

everyone dies alone
i cannot believe that
when your lips touch mine
i can be with you forever
i tell you knowing that
i want to live without you by my side
i’ve never felt that
all these years meant something
and with my last breath i know
it was foolish to presume that
i will not die alone

i will not die alone
it was foolish to presume that
and with my last breath i know
all these years meant something
i’ve never felt that
i want to live without you by my side
i tell you  knowing that
i can be with your forever
when your lips touch mine
i cannot believe that
everyone dies alone

So, with that finished, it was time to write up some puzzles around specific words in each line.

I picked a word from each line that would be the easiest to write some back story around.  And then I would associate each story with some item you would interact with in that particular room.  Each story would have a theme and use specific words to hint at what the missing word from the line is.

Now, the bad:

So, as with all Ludum Dare, once I had done all the above work.. I had to start cutting out superfluous parts.  I had wanted to do a bit more with this poem.  The game, as it is right now, doesn’t take advantage of the fact that the poem is read the same forward and backward.

The original thought was to give you the option of the gold key or the red key first.  Depending on which key you chose, it would change which direction the poem was completed, which would change the ending.

Also, how to solve the puzzle changed shortly after I completed the first puzzles of Ashley’s room.  So, the red puzzle is .. very difficult because it lacks the story-based clues like the other rooms have.  Also, because these puzzles were rushed, they are not as fantastic as I would like them to be.  In a perfect world, there would have been more objects in the room and more puzzles within each room (you can see a bit of this with the hidden safe and the service elevator).

That’s all for now!

 


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