Evolution of a monster: The post mortem

Posted by
September 9th, 2012 12:23 pm

Evolution of a monster


The things that went right

Using Unity
was one of those things that helped out this time around as well, it made it possible to get the basics going and have the results be playable in the browser, it meshes well together with blender and assets were easily made with that kind of pipeline in place.

A simple artstyle
was put in place once again as is typical with how I usually go about my ld48 entries, it makes it possible to make high-end looking looking visuals without actually not putting in any more time than I would’ve with a 2d game, the textures are all simple and reused, the ambient occlusion and detailing is just overlays, the objects in the world are pixeled sprites that always faces the camera and made it possible and easy to make new items without having to push for 3d objects, which would’ve been devastating for the time-budget.

Sfxr and Musagi!
easy effects and environmental ambience as well as an ending song I made in the last two hours of the compo. drpetter is awesome!

Hanging in there
The worst enemy is usually the moment where you realize that the theme is the worst theme, (They’re all the worst theme, every time!) and that moment the second day when you wake up and realize that you’re never going to be able to finish the entry, these moments happen every time, and working through them to the end and really pushing for having something done for the deadline.



And the things that went wrong

“I think I’ll do this instead!”
I had a completely different story planned out for the thing to begin with but as I progressed I stopped following my notes I had written on my idea, and went far too much into “do it as I go”-land, this is most likely something I should handle better in the future.

Joining in one day late
ended up slicing what I wanted to do in half, and made the game itself very short, I already had much of the gameplay elements I needed in place, but those extra ~24h would’ve given me that time to actually add game-extending content.

The technical side
of the game was put together fairly quickly, but chosing to leave some things less than stellar ended up hurting quite a lot in the end, the carrying-physics being one example, it works quite well but ended up with one big downside: people can carry items out of the geometry, which turned out happening more often than not.

No playtesting.
All of the playtesting was pretty much being done by myself, and that was bad. One of the things I noticed in the end was that people took a scenario as being given a key and a closed gate as being given one obvious outcome, combine this with people then ending up trying to use the key on the gate that it doesn’t work on and they’ll end up pushing the key outside the world and breaking the game progress completely, having them miss out on the short bit that is most of the game, and the ending!



For the future

I really enjoyed the aesthetics of something like ultima undeworld and that ended up affecting how the project ended up looking like, the physics were also something that I took from UW, I really love those cobbly old dungeons with water and small monsters nests and the things they’ve gathered, with junk just cluttering corners and the player scavenging to find something that is useful.

My plan is to create a bunch of stuff inside unity to make it easy to make puzzles and connect things like levers and doors, a weighted plate to a trap, or a keyhole usable with any defined key. This with a bunch of new art-assets and a longer worked-through game could end up being a fun and less buggy adventure to go through, something in the length of an hour or two and then release that as an extended version.

Thanks everyone for yet another fun competition!, now I need to take the time to play some entries!

3 Responses to “Evolution of a monster: The post mortem”

  1. Orni says:

    it seems you’re using an other tool besides unity for level-designing?
    what is it?

  2. sfernald says:

    I’m going to guess it was blender since he mentioned that in the post.

  3. Robotic says:

    I loved your game, and the previous one for the theme “Alone”. Now that I’ve made more than one Ludum Dare, I play game and find authors from other games I played earlier, and I’ll definitely remind you.
    By the way, do you have a pixeljoint account ?

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