10 Second Spike Postmortem

Posted by (twitter: @toaster_games)
August 29th, 2013 11:41 am

Hey guys, time for a postmortem on my game 10 Second Spike.  You can check it out here: http://www.ludumdare.com/compo/ludum-dare-27/?action=preview&uid=8229

So when I first heard the theme, my first thought was: Warioware!  Then I immediately dropped the idea, and thought of something else.  Usually my LD entries are the results of several failed ideas until one finally works, or can be made fast enough to reach the deadline.  This time I worked on my first real idea, and that was 10 Second Spike.  Every ten seconds a trap would be sprung and would need to be avoided.  I thought the idea had potential so I started pixelling.  I made the main character, without hands of course, because I stink at animating hands.  After that I started making tiles, using the tetris-esque style that I had started to really like lately, and made several different palettes for different areas.  Finished most of those and started mapping.

I decided to use spikes as my first trap because, frankly, they were really easy to code.  I had originally intended to do all manner of traps, but as it turned out, I didn’t have enough time for that.

This weekend was my first weekend in college, and as a band geek, it was also the last two days of band camp before practice.  So there went most of the day, and there is the reason I didn’t finish Spike for compo.

So yeah, that’s enough “backstory.”

Overall I’m pleased with how it came out.  The game itself is kind of a jerk, reminiscent of I Wanna Be the Guy, which was more or less how I intended it.  There is no indicator as to where the spikes pop up, and touching a spike leads to instant death, so I understand how it could be frustrating.  However, I did want to create a semi-creepy aura of paranoia, which I think I was moderately successful with achieving.  One has to tread carefully and remember where all the spikes are in order to get to the end.

As far as the art goes, I’d say it is one of my better looking games.  So yeah, it’s an art style of games I like to play, so I was inspired by that and used it in my game.

The music was okay.  I originally was going to go with making a countdown clock, but I thought that music might better fit the tone more, and once the player figured out when the music was going to end they would have to sit through the couple of tense seconds before the spikes would appear.

So, in conclusion, 10 Second Spike is a hard game, but that’s okay in my book.  I personally like hard games, and that sensation of being victorious is much more pronounced in beating a hard level of game.  I feel much more accomplished beating a level in Super Meat Boy, than I do after beating a level of Kirby’s Epic Yarn, for example.

Also, I’m planning to make a full version of this game.  How long that will take, or if it will happen is questionable, but I’m going to give it a shot.  I’m going to increase the graphical and animation quality to make it a much more lush and vibrant world of death.  There will also be different types of traps, and it will not be instadeath.  Most of the time there will be some sort of indicator of the presence of spikes.

I’ve started redesigning the main character, so here’s what he looks like at the moment, although that will probably change.


From left to right, there is the current character, the new character, then the new character wearing a backpack.

I’ll try to post more regularly on twitter as long as progress is being made, so if you are interested in the game, feel free to follow me.

Until next time,



One Response to “10 Second Spike Postmortem”

  1. H-Bomb says:

    I have to say I love the current character much more.

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