Mighty-chondria post-mortem

Posted by
September 9th, 2012 6:27 am

This is our second time entering Ludum Dare! Our previous game was Macro Marines, and you can read about how we got on. We’ve learned from some of our mistakes, and we think that this time our game is better! Please play and rate it!

 

See how we made it:

 

Good

Unity is brilliant, and easy to use! We had great fun learning to use it in LD23, so we used it again this time and had a better idea of how to use it properly. It does everything for you and lets you get on with making the game, we love it!

We got plenty of sleep and decent food!The Jam started at 2AM UK time, so we decided to get an early night and wake up bright and early to discover the theme in the morning and think of ideas over breakfast.Each night we slept enough to be refreshed the next day.This is in contrast to how we’d do things at university, where some of us would try and go the whole weekend without sleep! (it didn’t end well)

Nice graphics!There are still some rough areas in the GUI, but overall the game looks good and the bacteria shaders look like proper scanning electron micrograph images.

You can only tell this isn’t a real blood vessel because of the health bar

Catchy music!Just listen to the groove on that DNA upgrade screen, yeah!

Good time management!Although we didn’t get a “basic but finished” version of the game uploaded and submitted 4 hours before the deadline like last time, Ricky did drive us to finish before the deadline and concentrate on the important features.

Decent gameplay in a short amount of time!We programmed the basic flight and shooting controls in an hour or two, allowing us to spend time tweaking and making sure they felt good. The bacteria AI took longer, but was working well by the end of Day 2. This left us with a day to implement the DNA upgrade screen – the key to the “Evolution” theme (although the bacteria do mutate and exhibit natural selection) and something which makes the game more complex and interesting than a simple shooter. But does that make it more fun?

The cubes are supposed to be segments of DNA

Title screen – pwnz deus ex

Bad

Spent too much time on procedural environment generation. We thought that generating the “tunnels” in code and having junctions or “rooms” between them would allow us to either create a large level for the player to explore, or allow the computer to generate the level for us. In the end, neither happened, we just created a small level with three joined tunnels. For the work we put into it, we could have created an equivalent level in Blender in half the time, but when we extend the game beyond the competition it will come in very handy…

Mmm, splines

No jokes or silly voice acting, the bacterial theme didn’t really lend itself to that although I suspect we just weren’t trying hard enough to fit them in. Also we were running out of time and this was low on the priority list.

Upgrades aren’t balanced, it’s too easy to become too powerful too quickly. We need to learn how to pace a game properly.

These bacteria were busy dividing behind my back while I cleared out another infection

Conclusion

We had great fun making a game with Unity, and I think we’ve learned from our previous Ludum Dare and made a better game this time!

Please play our game, leave some feedback and help us see what we can do better next time!

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