Min Postmortem

Posted by (twitter: @ekunenuke)
May 7th, 2013 8:18 pm

3876-shot1

Min

Min was a collaboration between me and Keo. We’ve collaborated on several Ludum Dares together now, so we have a pretty good working relationship. I’m especially proud of how our latest jam game turned out.

Design

As usual, we started off by brainstorming ideas in a google-doc. We had all kinds of ideas, from a turn-based puzzle game to a procedurally generated roguelike. In the end though, our thoughts came back to our first Ludum Dare game together, The Two Of Us

The Two Of Us

Our first game together

Despite making several games after The Two of Us, we both felt like we never made a game as fun as our first. After realizing this, it was easy to decide to make a successor to our first game, a boss-fight-centric platformer.

There were several aspects with The Two of Us that we wanted to improve on in our new game. First and foremost, the difficulty ramped up too quickly. In TToU, the entire game was boss fight after boss fight. There was no time to breath or learn how to play. We tried to fix this in Min by having non-boss levels in between each fight. The idea was that these levels would introduce new mechanics before the boss fight, as well as allow the player to prepare and take a break before each battle.

Another issue with the TToU was that the player wasn’t very mobile. This was all right in TToU because the hero had a sword for a weapon, and the small rooms he fought in aided his ability to hit the enemy with a melee attack. But personally, I really like playing platformers where you’re mobile and your positioning varies a lot. So, we made a game where the hero is small, agile, and very very mobile. The mechanics were inspired greatly by Megaman, Kirby, and Cave Story.

Art

Before solidifying the art style, Keo came up with several mockups to determine not only the stylistic direction, but also the scale in which the game took place. We settled on a small, one screen game, with no fancy scrolling or camera panning to complicate the view of the game. Having the entire game take place on one screen was a fun restriction to work around, and it was also in the spirit of minimalism.

hero_idlethe hero

Keo ended up with a very minimalistic art style for the game, using a restricted palette (Keo must have used less than 10 colors, easily). Keo focused on outlines of the characters, rather than their textures. The end result was a style that, despite being minimalistic, was gorgeous.

brainpusan initial mockup

boss2

 we decided to scale up the graphics 2x, to enable the player to see the game more easily

Technical Development

Because I’d written several games in HTML5 now, I didn’t run into many technical issues this game jam. I was basing the engine on a pre-existing engine that I had written for a previous gamejam, and as such, I was able to quickly begin programming specific content for Min. What worked really well for Keo and I was the workflow we established. Keo would drop his latest sprites into a folder on dropbox, and I would copy them over to my development folder. I would then integrate his newest sprites into the game, and commit/push using git to my personal server. My server had a post-receive git hook set up that would automatically minify the javascript and deploy the game to a staging site. Because of this, Keo and I were both able to test the game consistently and iterate on the gfx/code together, despite being in different physical locations. Git is awesome.

gitgit+vim is all you need!

Closing thoughts

Overall, I gotta say I’m happy with the game we ended up with. Sure, there are areas we could improve our game (there’s always room for improvement!). But given the 72 hours we were given, I think we did as well as we could’ve done. I even had time to create some BGM tunes.

crabs

If you’ve got a moment, try out our game! We read all of our feedback, and really appreciate any comments you have.


2 Responses to “Min Postmortem”

  1. Such a great game! The art is absolutely unique and makes this one stand out for me!

  2. SonnyBone says:

    Yeah I wish I would’ve seen this game way earlier. REALLY REALLY awesome work. Boss battles! Awesome art style! Adorable characters!

    I would drop some mad cash on a full game like this with more polish.

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