Shine – Post Mortem

Posted by (twitter: @@AdventIslands)
December 17th, 2013 1:16 pm

Shine Logo
Play Shine here!
http://www.ludumdare.com/compo/ludum-dare-28/?action=preview&uid=11391

 Phew! The Compo is over and I’ve finally gotten some sleep! I found this theme really difficult and I spend way too much time thinking of idea for a game, but fortunately I managed to get the whole thing done on time without having to leave out anything. Here’s a small tale of the game’s creation:

What went right:

The game overall! I am extremely happy how the game turned out, I got 8 full levels of platforming and everything is working just fine, there should be no major bugs. In my previous entry Duke Dashington controls were bit clunky, but I think I perfected the gameplay for this one. Funny enough, the game turned out to be much more different than I had originally planned.

When I was first brainstorming game ideas, the original version of Shine was called Single Spell, the game was more traditional platformer, where in the beginning you could have chosen from one of three spells: Fire, Ice and Wind. There would have been Forest, Cave and Castle levels with puzzles for each magic and you would have to clear the game with the one you picked up in the beginning. Gameplay would have been different with each playthrough. Fortunately I realized how short time 48 hours actually is to make levels for 3 different magics and how huge amount of work testing them all would have been, so I decided to scrap the idea.

Unfinished graphics for the first level of Single Spell, before I scrapped the idea of multiple different levels and changed the name to Shine.

Unfinished graphics for the first level of Single Spell, before I scrapped the idea of multiple different levels and changed the name to Shine.

I decided to simplify the idea to just one magic instead. Then I remembered my old plan for a game where a girl tries to find her way out from the darkness carrying a lantern. I decided to change the game to focus on lighting your way in the darkness.  I had already drawn some forest stuff, but I decided to change the setting to only take place in single location, the Castle, to keep things simple and not waste too much time on different level tile graphics.

 

Lucia's original design vs. her new one

Lucia’s original design vs. her new one

I was thinking of ways of controlling of the light and came up with a magical light orb that you could control with your mouse. That would be both simple to make and control in gameplay. I made the orb to explode if it ever hit walls, platforms or went off screen. This gave the game nice puzzle element, as you are now controlling two characters with their own restrictions. I also changed the game’s name from Single Spell to Shine, because I like simple names and it was more fitting considering what you do in the game. Next I was trying to design a look for the game’s main heroine. Quite some time ago I took part of Noble Kale’s pixel challenges and one of the characters I drew for it was black haired magician girl. I decided to base Shine’s heroine’s looks on her, but changed the new character to blonde to make her stand out better from the dark background. I decided to name the girl Lucia, after Saint Lucia, because the name made me think of light. Then I wrote a small story trying to justify why she is traveling through such a dark place.

Screenshot from the finished gameplay of the first level of Shine

Screenshot from the finished gameplay of the first level of Shine

 

What went wrong:

I started this Ludum Dare extremely tired, even though I had slept pretty long in previous night. I couldn’t think properly, so I went back to sleep and woke up to brainstorm some ideas maybe 8 hours after LD has already started. I spend about 12 of the first hours just sleeping or trying to come up with Shine’s concept, didn’t end up using any of the graphics like the forest I had drawn and I ended up with battling with some really basic stuff like how to make the orb collide with platforms while allowing the player to pass them with no problems. I also spend way too many hours trying to make the light orb follow mouse smoothly, just to discover that making it was actually very simple after all and I had been making it overly complicated way for hours. Sigh. I probably spend way too long on the intro sequence too than I probably should have had.  If  I had started earlier, there could have been many more levels.

I was originally going to plan on streaming my game deving, but because I started Shine so late and I was not sure if the game will turn out well at all, I was too nervous to actually stream. I was trying many new things and streaming can be very distracting, so I wanted to just fully focus on my game. I did get my game done nicely on time, so in retrospect maybe I really should have streamed, my game would have been much more known.

 

But other than that, the game turned out very well, huge thanks for my friends who were online most of the time and were around to test the thing and report bugs they found. I highly doubt the game would have turned out as well as it did if I didn’t have them report various issues they found during their playthroughs. Lesson of the story: keep your ideas simple, because 48 hours is VERY short time to make a game and have people playtest your game if possible.

Now I am resting and rating some entries, so go rate and leave comment on Shine, so I will get to check out your game and rate it back!

 

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2 Responses to “Shine – Post Mortem”

  1. Vishal23 says:

    If you wanna be save to all update to related the work and get the best time management forever so you need to install the alarm windows clock in computer that the full secure device to support the all version thanks.

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