Return Home: Post Mortem + Timelapse

Posted by (twitter: @Metchegaray7)
April 30th, 2013 3:57 pm

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When the theme was announced I was actually expecting something like ‘Dreams’ or ‘Ancient Ruins’ to the the winner, but I was susprised by the majority, as usual.. Altrough it took me by surprise (I had Minimalism voted as neutral, havent even considered it), it wasnt a bad theme, unlike past LD’s.. It gave a more broad range of stuff I could do.
Basically, in my head, any game can be minimalistic’d, with the proper approach. Minimalism isnt a restrictive theme at all, au contraire; Its so broad that you can make practically anything, and had it fit the theme somehow.

So, after that my idea was to make an isometric game or a shoot em’ up. I went with the Isometric idea first, and having made only one little isometric game in my whole life, I found it exhausting. Too much little stuff that just dint worked the way I expected, too much code for simple tasks like having to recognize in wich tile im on, etcetera. I ditched iso right away with the promise of coming back to it later on the future, but never again on a LD.

Started with, what I thought it was a shmup, while watching some retro/vintage science fiction posters around the web, and fell in love with some of the styles I found there. I was always a big fan of retro-like stuff, and vintage posters are simply beautiful (when properly done), not to mention most of them are drawn very minimalistically. so the game was started and intended to look like one of those right away. Having the style defined allowed me to start pushing other aspects of the game quickly, like asteroids and props, also creating the gameplay super quickly :)

ships designs

While developing the initial aspects of hte game, wich was supossed to be a vertical shmup, I kinda thought of the story behing this little ship I drew.. It looked like a rescue or transport ship more than a fighter/warship.. So maybe we just have to go somewhere or escape from somewhere instead of shooting random hordes of aliens..? And so it happened that I ditched the shmup idea to make a vertical dodge-and-survive kind of game. It lacked most of the elements I would have liked for it to have, but overall, I really liked it, not to mention that the visual outcome was, besides minimalist, very beautiful, even to my likes!

I finished the game within the initial 30 hours of the competition, being the quickest LD for me until now, for wich I am very satisfied, but I lacked the imagination to use the rest of my spare time.. I would have liked to add more stuff to dodge and maybe even stuff like powerups, but I just couldnt think of anything that suits both the theme and the game idea. even until now I found that to be hard work.

Overall, most important things went just fine:

  1. I finished the vast majority of the game within 24 hours and all of it within 30hs.
  2. I defined a style right into the beggining of the compo, that allowed me to focus on more important things quickly.
  3. Having made everything so quickly also left me with plenty of time to develop and poolish different platform ports, especially HTML5 wich is usually a pain to fix, works just as fine as the desktop version with a couple minimal graphical discrepances.
  4. Slept more than enough
  5. Timelapse didnt failed (phew!)

What went wrong:

  1. The game is not as extense as I would like, solely because of my lack of imagination for it, since I had plenty of time to add new stuff.
  2. Besides the art style, the game doesnt fit the theme much more.. its a 50/50 thing.
  3. No music/sounds.. completely forgot until the last day, and I was like, ‘oh well, who needs that stuff’
  4. havent really gone out home in the entire weekend, and I just focused on the game the whole time, in the end I got really stressed. I just wanted to go out and run ~100 miles.
  5. havent drew anything on paper before starting, in the end it didnt affected me because I developed the idea right away, but it is the second time in a row I do this, and im scared I wont be so lucky next time.
  6. Didnt had a reliable internet connection during the entire compo, that kinda slowed me down a couple times, especially when looking for inspiration or particular images. Not to mention IRC kept on closing unexpectedly and twitter didnt even loaded :(

Game page:
(the game works on Windows, HTML5 and Android)

Timelapse video:

As usual this was a super-awesome experience, I havent really worked on any game since last month, and the ammount of inspiration this competition pumps on me is priceless, you are all awesome, and I am looking forward to play ALL of your games asap!!

Thanks Ludum Dare people!! =D

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