“Handle With Care” post-mortem + level editor

Posted by
January 2nd, 2014 12:49 pm

Hi everyone,

this is my first attempt at Ludum Dare. I didn’t want to join initially, I thought next time I would have more skills and I wanted to take a break the week end. However, I spent Friday evening thinking what I could do with the theme “Corruption”, which was likely to be the LD28 theme. I woke up at 10AM, saw the official theme and I had this idea with the key that breaks when it falls.

So, I decided to take part of this Ludum Dare anyway to see what I could do.

The game mechanics if you didn’t play the game (you can try it here !) : you get a crystal key in the first level. You need it to open the doors and go to the next level. But you only get one, so don’t break it because if you fall from too high or get shot by a monster, it will break !

My precious


What went wrong

  • Controls. They are inspired from Hammerfest (awesome game by Motion-Twin), but I remember how long it took me to get use to them. I’ve played this game a lot, but it’s not the case of everyone there. And, there is a weird bug with the keyboard I wasn’t aware of: the up/left/space key combination doesn’t work on most keyboards, but the up/right/space does. This is a shame because a lot of people give up on the first levels, before the cool part of the game.
  • Difficulty. I didn’t have time to make a lot of levels, so I made them really difficult :D. I made enemies randomly shoot instead of using timers. I placed few checkpoints in difficult areas. I didn’t realize how hard the game was because I tested every level at least 30 times to adjust them.
  • The crappy end of the game. I could have made a story or a logical ending with a final use for the key, but I didn’t have time and motivation to do it 3 hours before the deadline :(
  • The lags on Windows. Maybe an abusive use of Math.random() on the main loop.

What went right

  • The game engine. I made it from scratch in CoffeeScript so it compiles to JavaScript. I used HTML5/Canvas so the game could run anywhere. It works very well except a few collision glitches (weird horizontal collisions with the borders of the map, and sometimes the key goes through the ground). I made it very quickly thanks to my numerous attempts at making platformers.

Testing the game engine…

  • The monsters. I’m happy I took some time to create two kinds of enemies : archers make the player loose the key, and bombs explodes it :p
  • The pixel art? I didn’t spend more than 4 hours on them. Really minimalist, but it seems people like them, so I’m happy about that

3, 2, 1….

  • It worked really well for my first Ludum Dare with amateur programming skills.

So anyway, I had a lot of fun making this game. I’m sure I will join as many LD as I can now :)

Bonus post-compo: level editor

With this ugly level editor, you can create your own levels and play them

Level editor

EntryLevel editor

Thanks for reading, and happy new year everyone !

Sorry if this post is full of grammar mistakes or awkward formulations, I don’t speak English fluently :/

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