Here it is my post mortem about 0RBITALIS. For this game I got inspiration looking at other themes in the final round. It’s hard to make a game that is as vague as “You Only Get One”, but when you couple it with “Gravity” and “Chaos” it’s much clearer what you can actually do. I have always been interested in games which explore how simple rules (such as Netwon’s laws) can generate beautifully complex behaviours.
Most of the “features” of the game are actually consequences of the strong time constraints Ludum Dare imposed me. For instance, mi initial idea was to have a moving camera that could zoom in and out, but I didn’t have time to code it properly. And this automatically lead to a “stay in the system” mechanic. The vector fields that you can see in the background was a debug tool I used to test and calibrate planets’ masses, but when I realised that it was fitting nicely with the style, I decided to leave it there.
Since the very beginning of the voting period, 0RBITALIS got a lot of attention: so far, it’s both the most voted and commented entry in the 48 hours competition. I think part of its success is due to its aesthetic: it’s simple, yet effective. I spent lot of time polishing the game rather then designing more levels. This can really do the difference, especially when games are picked almost exclusively by how appealing their screenshots look like. 0RBITALIS has doing unexpectedly well. For this reason I am already working on a full-game version that will include both more levels and new mechanics. There will be probing missions, for instance, which require to scan a celestial body for a certain time. I am already working on landing missions as well, but I’d rather keep them mysterious for now!
Since I *hate* menus, 0RBITALIS won’t have one. I am working on a different system, however, that looks like a star chart. Player will be able to select levels and to change settings just touching and connecting stars. I also collected lot of statistics about levels but… I’ll keep them for another post!
If you liked the game, you’re more then welcomed to vote it or leave a comment on its LD48 entry page. If you want to follow 0RBITALIS news and further development, you can find me on Twitter as @AlanZucconi.