Rosa Neurosa: Post-mortem

Posted by (twitter: @Wertle)
April 28th, 2014 8:56 pm

This was my second Ludum Dare, and my first one as part of a jam team. I had great fun working with my good friend, Will White. It’s been ages since we collaborated on anything, so it was a blast to meld creative minds once again (fun fact, Will was one of my team members on my very first game jam ever).

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We ended up making Rosa Neurosa, a weird sort of digging improv game. The idea actually started as a basic sort of digging game with the theme of rooting around someone’s mind to find the real cause of an issue, but during our walk to get dinner on Friday night, the bit about having players just make up stories relating the memories came up. It got us a both excited, as I love improv games and had been wanting to make somewhat of a “toy” at some point, and it took a lot of the heavy lifting off trying to do something like think up a bunch of content and connections between memories ahead of time.

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Figuring out how to let people share their stories really made it fun, and it was great to have people trying out early builds of the game in our developer stream and then share their silly stories back with us. I also was pleased that after many jams using Construct 2, I finally managed to do something that actually used some things that are specific strengths of html5.

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There are some issues I’d like to address post-jam:

  1. A lot of the objects don’t stand out over the drillable ground and on the ending screen in the office, I’d like to make borders for them or backgrounds that they can sit on, since they’re pretty key to the stories making sense
  2. I’d like to fiddle more with my spawning rules, right now things can spawn behind rocks and sometimes there just aren’t that many items that show up
  3. We’d been hoping to at least get a palette shift on the environment to convey different levels, but ran out of time, like you do
  4. We only tested this in Chrome, and as such there are a lot of bugs in Firefox that I’d like to address
  5. I set up the input so that it would be easy to add alternate controls and gamepad support later, but didn’t have time to get those in
  6. More patients! The patients featured are me, Will, Will’s wife and streaming partner (Amanda), and a random bear. It makes it 10 times more fun to send Amanda or Will a link of my story when I happen to get them as patients. It would be really funny if we had a way of letting people incorporate their friends as patients (maybe randomly pulling from facebook photos?) but then it wouldn’t have Will’s charming character animation.
  7. One of my goals for the game was to incorporate what I’ve been learning in an Information Theory class I’m taking with Mike Acton. I barely got one thing implemented from it, and figured out how a lot of things I was doing could be done in a more information-efficient way, but it turns out that sort of math is really hard under time pressure!

Lastly, this was my first experience with doing a live developer stream. I loved it! It was fun that Will and I were in the same room so our audio could be on one another’s stream. It definitely kept me focused and was great fun responding to stream visitors. Thanks to everyone who stopped by!

All in all, I call this a successful jam :)

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