This was our first Ludum Dare entry. I think for the most part things went really well. We hadn’t tried anything with using the cross stitch art for graphics beforehand so we pretty much had to wing it. We first started with planning all the assets we would need. Then, we made the cross stitch patterns as pencil on aida (aida is the fabric). We used some of those sketches as placeholders while waiting for final assets.
Each “stitch” nicely worked out to be a 5 x 5 image, so we basically figured that each “cross stitch pixel” is actually 5 “real” pixels. After each asset was ready, we’d scan them in, remove the background in Photoshop, and prepare the sprite sheet. Since the fabric isn’t really stiff, there usually ended up being some distortion which we needed to fix using distort in Photoshop. Removing the fabric background was also time consuming and difficult to get perfect. After all the sprite sheets were created, all the image assets were managed in Flash and exported as an asset swc – all development was done in FDT.
What went right
- Scoping: We picked a pretty simple idea and we were able to execute everything we wanted to before the competition ended. Sure, there were additional things we would have liked to have added, but I thought it was great we didn’t have to drop any features.
- Art Style: We were really happy with how the style came out. We didn’t do any test with cross stitch assets prior to the weekend, so we had no idea how it would look until we were done.
- Reusables: I was actually happy that I didn’t use any frameworks and that pretty much everything was coded from scratch for the competition. The only libraries I used was a tween engine I had created a year or so ago and a really simple sprite sheet class I had done earlier. Creating something from pretty much nothing over 3 days was pretty rewarding. Additionally, I came up with a nice sprite sheet to text generator that I’ll be able to reuses for future projects.
What could have been better
- Complexity: Our game is pretty simple – a little too simple. Would have been nice to add some extra game mechanics to make it more than just shooting and jumping.
- Theme: I’ll admit the theme/story is a bit forced.
- Asset Prep: The hardest part of working with the cross stitch was straightening the scans. The fabric kind of skews a bit, so it took a little work to correct this.
You can play & review our game here.