Aquila – postmortem

Posted by (twitter: @goyalanshul)
December 17th, 2013 10:40 pm

AquilaΒ is my second submission to ludum dare. I am pretty satisfied with what I have achieved in 48hours. There are few things that I could have done better but there is never enough time for everything, eh.

My first impression about theme:

The theme ‘You only get one’ didn’t excite me very much in the beginning. My first thought is to fill in the blank ‘you only get one ______’. Of course, the first word that came to my mind is ‘life’, ‘You only get one life’. Then ammo, chance, opportunity and so on. These words are taking me no where. I even thought what if I could make a game where you only get one chance to play the game. If you try to restart/reload the game again the game will tell you “thats it, you had your one chance”. Glad I didn’t do it because someone actually did it :D. Then I started thinking about procedural generation, in procedural generation the game generates a “unique” level per play session and that could fit the theme (you only get one “unique” level). This and I also wanted to try something with procedural generation for a long time. So this felt like the right time. Without any further delay and without having any idea about the game mechanic I decided to start implementing the algorithm.

What went right:

  • I started working on my procedural generation algorithm very early, within 2 hours of the theme announcement. This gave me enough time to refine and test the algorithm in great depth. Although, I do end up spending a lot of time fixing some hard to find annoying bugs.
  • I kept the game simple in a way that it is less heavy on art. I am not an artist and didn’t want to aim for something that I cannot deliver on time.
  • I successfully manage to keep the overall scope of the game to a minimum. I had so many other ideas with this procedural generation that I wanted to implement but I ruled out every single one of them.
  • I stayed awake most of the time πŸ˜€

What went wrong:

  • Since I had no clear idea about the gameplay in the beginning it felt a little short in the end. There is no sense of progression in the game as mentioned by someone in the comments and I totally agree with that.
  • I based my gameplay on the procedural generation of the level (as it was my primary objective) and not the other way round.
  • The game is lacking in delivering a proper context to the players in the sense that why they are doing what they are doing in the game.

Overall it was a great jam for me. I fully enjoyed my 48 hours. May be gameplay felt a little less satisfying in a way but at least I have got the foundation laid out. I have some positive vibes about this game but in reality time will tell how much this game will actually grow in the future.

Thanks a lot everyone for playing my game!!

If you havent tried it yet, play Aquila now πŸ˜€

Till next Ludum Dare!!

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