A form of monotheism – postmortem

Posted by (twitter: @secret_tomato)
January 8th, 2012 7:38 am

Having been away and sick I didn’t get a chance to write this, but I’ll do so now(with a little over 24 hours to spare)

Let’s get started then. Not with the beginning, that’s what is expected, let’s go for a random order.

“A form of monotheism” a silly name, thought of in the last 30 minutes as a better-than-nothing name. It surprisingly works and fits the mechanics of the game. You’re an exterior force with equal control over everything in the game world. You can chose sides, be impartial, have some work for the benefit of others and so on.

The original idea was to have the player be some fellow that clones himself amd tweaks said clones to accomplish some end (repopulate the planet, fight off aliens/ zombies/ in-laws) but someone already  had that idea. Can’t remember who.

The second idea was to make a platformer and beat the theme into it with a stick. Since I forgot to make a platformer framework before the compo, I decided that’d take too long so I dropped it.

Back to square 1.

I wanted the player to start with one individual, and have the ability to spawn more and breed a populaton.  That took too long, so I ended up spawning a whole bunch right from the start.

Species and similarity

What you’ll notice is that creatures are divided into specias: humins, cats, rats, and llamas (the llamas were supposed to be centaurs but I gave up on that) . Each individual also has an empathy-o-meter/ similarity-rating, the color under them. The more you interact with an individual the more that changes. New creatures get one based on their parents.

Breeding and killing

Creatures of different genders and the same species will produce an offspring if they are similar enough AND one or both of them are assigned as breeders. This is mostly to avoid population floods encountered in early testing.

You might wonder why breeding and killing are in the same subcategory. Because they both depend on similarity. If two creatures are too dissimilar they’ll want each other dead(regardless of species). If you keep a similar population confined and breeding you’ll notice that eventually they’ll start killing each other to keep ‘strange’ ones away. Much like history isn’t it?

Social commentary much?

Yes. The only time when you can be sure things won’t be killing each other is when there is only one left. Hence alone. After I finished the game I was left disgusted. I unwillingly made a game about racist intolerant cartoony critters that strip the land of resources and kill eachother because the color under their feet is different. You know: like real people. The relative accuracy of my ‘simulation’ was even confirmed by someone who actually bothered studying these things.

Anyway

The good is working with processing and making html5. A lot easier than I thought.

The bad was not getting to add sound effects, which I knew how to do, and making a cheap hack to loop music. Uneven distribution of resources and a lot of other gameplay and balance tweaks.

The achievements: The end game, when you have a single individual left, a single species left, or one individual of each species. A total of 7. I don’t think anybody got any.

 

Want to give it a try? knock yourself out:

http://www.ludumdare.com/compo/ludum-dare-22/?action=rate&uid=5432

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