Cottonhead: The Post-Mortem

Posted by
May 14th, 2013 3:53 am

Photo 12-05-13 18 23 42

 

Hi! Welcome to the post-mortem for Cottonhead.

Here’s the trailer.

Day 0

Remember Bottled Worlds? Once again, I came over to Itamar and Mati’s house with a laptop. We spent the night playing Rhythm Heaven and watching some weird and loud videos.

Day 1

We woke up early, saw the theme, and instead of breaking our heads over it like in all previous Ludum Dares, we went out and got ourselves some… Burekas!

We sat down in some nearby garden and started coming up with ideas. We had plenty of ideas, one including a story where the world is being kept minimal by an evil machine. Another idea is that you’re something who wants to fly. How is that minimal? That’s it. That’s the story. You’re something that wants to fly. We weren’t sure where to take it from here but it seemed like a good idea at the time.

We sat there with a pile of papers and Burekas and began drawing some ideas.

Unfortunately, our brain storming session was interrupted by a birthday party, but we still had plenty of ideas we wanted to put to test.

We already had the basic concept art for the main character finished. We wanted a blob with a big nose.

Photo 12-05-13 18 23 15

 

We headed back home and started working! After a short dilemma, we decided that, yet again, we’re making a platformer, woo! (we love platformers)

We decided to not think about the gameplay and keep that for the end, so we polish the game properly and make it pretty. This is the first time we were doing this ‘experiment’ and I think we’re very pleased with how it came out, I’ll touch on that later in the pros-cons.

So after a few hours we created a basic engine with concept art for the main character.

We also had a basic idea of how we wanted NPCs to work in the game; we didn’t want anything violent or action-oriented, we wanted some minimal banter between them and the player that will only add to the mood of the game.

Mati started working on the tileset: tileset

Itamar drew some NPCs:

Npc V1395.39

 

And after many hours of work we had a basic level created!

(also notice the feathers on the bottom left!)

I went home, but we weren’t finished yet! I put up a post on lonebot.net for a recap of our first day, then headed to bed.

Day 2

OH MY GOD, I came to their house again (with a laptop).

We dedicated the second day to completely finishing everything except for the level design. We decided to leave that for the final day. The reason we did this is because we wanted the map to be balanced in terms of content – to have everything ready to be placed within the final map while making it, without having to change things around.

So first of all we finished the NPCs! Here’s a collection of all of some them for reference:

mimiga + luffy = master curly brace Dubina vKotl

We started adding the main quest: collecting feathers. We didn’t hide feathers around the world yet (we were saving that for tomorrow).

We also added some pretty eye candy such as birds, and leaves falling from trees! blue bird

Also dancing flower blue flower_strip2 red flower_strip2 pink flower_strip2

This day was tons of fun because it mainly consisted of making pretty particles, finding music and adding awesome effects.

We also made Magina the Wizard!

ANTI MAGE 7

 

Itamar drew a new tileset:

InSeedling the hom

And they both drew some houses:

farm house Green house house no.2 house

 

We added more sounds and an ending, and that was the end of day 2!

Magina

Sadly, for some reason, lonebot.net  got hacked!!!!!! :( So we couldn’t post a day 2 recap!!!

Photo 12-05-13 18 30 34

 

 

Day 3

Final day! I came over to Mati and Itamar’s house…. again!! Without a laptop this time. This day was pretty short-lived because all we did was build a level and playtest our game.

Making the level was extremely fun! Unfortunately, I don’t have much to write about this day because it mainly revolved around the map and fixing small bugs, here’s this picture instead 😀
end

 

also an intro:

screenshot116

screenshot118

And thus, Cottonhead was finished.

bigbigbig

And unlike any other Ludum Dare, we finished it BEFORE the deadline without any stress!!!

And now:

What went right?

  • Extremely polished. We decided we want this game to serve more as ‘eye candy’ and we think it worked out well!
  • WorkplaceUnlike any Ludum Dare before, we all worked in the same physical workspace which made things MUCH more interesting and easier for us. It made the workflow much easier and smoother and everything was fun.
  • Nice world. I think the world map in this game came out very nicely. We gave it a lush colorful feeling which helped us shape up the world.
  • Minimal story. There is barely any story behind the game, we let the player shape it in their head to what they think makes sense!
  • Awesome music. Thanks to Suezo from Newgrounds. :)
  • Almost no bugs!! Woo

What went wrong?

  • Too hard. Some feathers (2) were a little too hard for our playtesters, and we should’ve fixed that when we could. One feather requires an extremely accurate jump and the other is just barely visible. In one of the playthroughs we saw for our game a player thought that he had to something before getting the accurate-jump feather.
  • Too short. This is criticism we got plenty of times… We’re not sure if it’s also a compliment but we’ll work on it next time 😀
  • Lonebot hacked:(
  • No mac/linux client. :)

 

All in all, making this game was very, very fun for all of us. This was probably our best Ludum Dare, because everything just went in our way so easily. 😀

Also, our biggest achievement: this is the first game we’re releasing under the name ‘Lonebot’!!!! Please check out our new website at lonebot.net 😀

We are hoping to make a really big game soon, and this is all thanks to Ludum Dare! <3

So, that’s it. That’s how Cottonhead was made. Now go play Dota or Rhythm Heaven.

Thanks for the read <3


2 Responses to “Cottonhead: The Post-Mortem”

  1. kill0u says:

    It wasn’t that hard 😉 I finished it without breaking any keyboard and while having fun 😉

  2. Plorfinator says:

    This game is so short and still my favorite in a long time. Please expand on it! I’d really like to see more of Cottonhead(and maybe you can get Suezo to make some more of that music.)

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