MONO is an art inspired game that I think is pretty relaxing. You control an eye through a series of levels which feature puzzle and skill based elements.
You can watch a video at the end of the post or play it on my entries page.
So here’s how it went for me:
I had a really hard time to come up with a good idea. I changed my game-mechanic again and again because several times I felt like hitting a wall. This was until the end of the first day when I decided to use all the features that I had implemented during the first day and to make the best of it. Not the best way to do a game.
But in retrospective that was the best thing I could do because I had quite some stuff working already.
So what I had were some not too exciting level elements like bouncy walls, gravity zones (that’s probably one of the more interesting elements), teleporters and triggerable spinning doors. So all I could do is some best-I-can level design to turn it into something good.
I really hated my game, and the theme, and everything by that time. Luckily that did change.
I started to use Tiled as my level editor but didn’t use the tiles at all. But it also has some nice meta layer facilities to create objects that are not tile based. I created layers for all kind of objects and was able to get up a level design workflow by the end of the day.
I had an amazing amount of time left to do level design, music and sounds and polishing. So my goal was to have a few levels that aren’t repetitive and I wanted each of them to look like a painting that fits the theme. The “main character” became an eye as I imagined the level to be a painting.
So it’s like the viewers eye in the painting is starring back at the viewer, cause it’s all about reflection. Or something like that 😉
Being in that mood I started recording the music that you can hear in the game with my Korg e-piano, Reaper and the awesome Sonatina Symphonic Orchestra VST. I could have used just an actual recording of the e-piano instead of MIDI and VST but that wouldn’t have been so easy to edit. I jammed like 3 hours and ended up using the recordings that I did in the first minutes of the music session. But it was a lot of fun
I spent the rest of the time with level design and exploration of good looking color palletes. I did a lot of polishing and minor tweeks to give the game a nice feeling and I am quite content with the result. Most people who played it think so too, I am really happy about that.
libgdx, artemis entity framework,box2dlights,universal tweenengine,sfxr, reaper, cosmigo pro motion,tiled and a bunch of energy drinks.
What was bad:
- I had the very strong intent to know what the gameplay exactly will be, before I start coding. That didn’t work.
- I was in a rather bad mood on the later part of the first day.
- I wish I had been able to do a more clever game for the theme.
- There’s one or two places in the levels that are unnecessarily hard. But the game has no unlocking system or linear progression so you could just skip a level if you find it too frustrating.
What was good:
- Entity systems rock in so many ways!
- I was able to bring together all the parts and make a game I like
- I think the game fits the theme very well as the game elements, the art, as well as the controls are quite minimal and basically it was all inspired by minimalistic art.
- My game has no level that is white, has black lines and red and blue rectangles. Still it has Mondrian elements.
- LD reminded me once again how unbelievable much one can do in 48h.
- I made it so that the player can choose the sequence he/she wants to play the levels in. So if you can’t beat a level or don’t like it, choose a different one. I think that many games should do it like this especially in something like LD where time to rate is short and you want people to see as much of a game as possible. I think that avoids a lot of frustration and if your game allows for it, do it.
So here is a short video showing small parts of the game and if you like you can play it