Flyspeck revisited

Posted by
May 4th, 2012 9:15 am

Here’s my mini-post-mortem:

This time was even more chaotic than last time :) My game Flyspeck turned out to be a point&click adventure and I’m rather happy with it, but my original plans looked different:

My original idea was to make a small sim/civ game on a tiny 3×3 world. There would be a very limited number of structures to build and a set of resources to harvest, products to turn those into. The tricky part for the player would be to handle the limited space and resources most efficiently to have a thriving civilisation and conquer space.

So as it has turned out to be my LD-workflow, once I somehow had a visual idea, I started to make tiles, to do some low-level brainstorming and fermenting in the back of my head while pixeling away. I somehow couldn’t think of an interesting balance of buildings resources, and I tried to investigate other ideas I had, that would still allow me to use the tiles I was making. One idea would have been a simple dialogue-based (or monologue-based) point&click adventure happening in a tiny world – probably not the most fun to play, but something I had been wanting to do for a while. A possible twist on this, slightly re-uniting this idea with the sim/civ idea would have been to have the various dialogues influence the development of the nation/world around the player. For instance the mayor would ask “Shall we research astrology or anstronomy?  We only have resources for one of them.” The decision would alter the look of the world but also lead to other possible developments, there would be either mythological temples or universities, future developments could be the search for either alien life or for gods… That sounded like a somewhat interesting concept – adventure with tech-tree –  very ambitious, but so what, I could always scale it down to a simple adventure.

So I started to make the engine-parts for a point and click adventure, walking, dialogues, characters.. etc but I was soo tired. My time was consumed by sleep somehow. I knew I had to scale down and come up with a minimalist version of the plan…

I sat down to write the dialogue and interactions with pencil and paper and something like an adventure started to emerge. It was more time-consuming than I had thought, though. So I continued, taking turns scripting and implementing, always an eye on the clock, in order to adjust the scope to the remaining time. I had decided to go for the 72 hours in the jam, because sleep, sleep-deprivation and real life had really gotten in my way. Unfortunately I had to dump all ideas about a tech-tree and multiple solutions, but I was kind of happy with my micro-adventure I had laid out in pencil before me and which was coming to life in code. At about 11pm – roughly 5 hours before the end of the jam I was finished with a version that felt somewhat complete and I decided to call it a wrap instead of desperatly trying to cram more stuff into it.

Again, this was an awesome experience. I’ve gotten quite positive reactions, which made me very happy.

The beginning is a little hard, but since there is not that much content in there, I think that’s ok. Also, being one myself, I’m aiming for old-school adventure players…

I had a great time, thank you all for making awesome games!

You can play mine here.

~ Amodo

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