Flock of Steel – Post mortem

Posted by (twitter: @ThatSamu)
August 27th, 2013 1:35 am

I believe that writing a post mortem is always a good thing after LD. Makes you think why stuff happened the way they happened.

Pre-Compo

I was about to skip this LD, because I have so much on my hands right now. The company I worked for went bankrupt a month ago and I’m currently¬†looking for a new job as a programmer. I’m also trying to catch up my c++ skills because I’ve been using Unity at my previous work and most of the biggest company here in Finland requires strong c++ skills.

So, I thought a week before the LD to do something with c++ for the LD. Well, a week went quite quickly and when the theme was announced I was nowhere near ready to do anything in 48 hours in c++, sadly. So, I decided that LD would be a little fun break and I’d do it with Unity instead.

Badland for iOS by Frogmind

Ideas

First thing that I did with the theme was to check out the background of the word ‘second’. I found out that ‘second’ comes from latin word ‘secundus’, which means “following” and an idea of 10 guys “following” each other popped into my head.

I remembered a moment in Badland where you take a power-up and your character splits into tens of small versions of yourself and you need to guide them all. I wanted to achieve the same chaotic but fun feeling that they had.

 

10 sec boxing proto

At the same time I had a little brainstorming with my friend, because I was not comfortable with settling on the first idea that came to my mind, and we came up with an idea of a “10 second boxing match”.

The idea was that it would be first-person turn-based boxing with two players. You’d need to control your hand’s joints by adding forces to them and then you would see one second forward to the match and do the same things again.

Match would go on until one of you hits the other in the head and knocks him out or ten seconds(ten turns) runs out. The idea sounded hilarious and I decided that I would make a quick prototype out of it to test it out.

You can test the prototype here. Click on limbs to select them and then use mouse wheel up and down to turn them.
Even though the proto seemed potentially funny, I decided to go with the first idea.

 

Flock of Steel, my #LD 27 entry

I came up with an idea of 10 characters following each other, these characters ended up being little robots that were “on training” to be part of some kind of police forces. To create some chaos into it, I wanted some delay in the commands that player gives to the robots, so that each robot would not jump when you pressed the jump button.
So, I came up with an idea of one of the robots carrying a “transmitter” and all the other robots would get the command from player input based on the distance they are from that transmitter. End result was as chaotic as I assumed.
There’s some traps scattered around the levels and each trap is activated by a button that is placed somewhere near the trap.

A friend of mine who lives 4 hours away from me was visiting me during sunday so I pretty much lost one day of work and ended up running out of time in the end.

Pros

  • I had time to prototype another idea before settling on one.
  • I had fun doing the game.
  • Basic gameplay is fun and little robots turned out to look funny when running and jumping around the levels.

Cons

  • Gameplay has no room for skill and is pretty much based on luck.
  • I ran out of time and most of the objects were untextured and ended up having just one color diffuse.
  • Didn’t have time to create as many traps as I was planning.
  • Didn’t have time to create as many levels as I was planning.
  • No sounds or music either.
  • I would’ve wanted to highlight the traps and the relation between a button and a trap better but didn’t have time for it.

 

 

The game didn’t end up being anything particularly awesome, but I had fun for the weekend.

And that’s the most important thing right? :)

 

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