“Digging up Daisy” Post Mortem

Posted by (twitter: @cakencode)
May 5th, 2014 1:28 am


Play+Rate “Digging up Daisy” Here: http://www.ludumdare.com/compo/ludum-dare-29/?action=preview&uid=10976

Concept and Brainstorming

Code here. When we started LD29 it was chaos, I was busy trying to finish setting up a good development environment for the Flex SDK on OSX. I don’t know why but apparently it is a huge pain to get all the settings just right! There were a couple of game ideas bouncing around that I wasn’t really that passionate about but after a few hours I finally finished setting Flex up and we settled on an idea we both liked. The game mechanics and presentation were simple enough that we were both confident we could not only get it done but have some time for polish and extra features.

The beginning was definitely hard. We had a lot of trouble sort of figuring out what kind of game we wanted to make. Some initial ideas were promising in mechanic, but didn’t tie into the theme super well. Normally something like this wouldn’t phase us, but because our Theme score was typically really really low, we decided to at least *try* to fit our game mechanic into the theme. It took us about 3-4 hours before we finally decided on an idea we really felt strongly about.

I was a bit bummed we didn’t go with any of the ideas that came up first, but I figure we can possibly work on something like what I had in mind for another LD or another jam. 😛 Ultimately I’m really glad we went for something like Digging with Daisy, which really lent to a cute storyline and I was able to visualize the art direction quickly.


The initial setup went pretty well, I managed to get a bitmap up and being erased pretty quickly which would eventually become the drilling. Drill control via keyboard came next as did the world boundaries. Adding obstacles had to come next and I knew that if we were going to make it easy to add more things later I had to make the method as versatile as possible. In the end all the obstacles are is images, the drill does pixel perfect collision detection against whatever pixels haven’t yet been dug away. Much later when treasures were added they were merely extensions of obstacles so it was trivial to add them. Eventually the bomb got added and the radar came later, along with the fuel levels and the extra probes.

It was a lot of features that we managed to tackle including the tutorial levels, and at the last minute we even adding little bobbling head talking animations. On the last day, during the final hours, we put the music and sound effects in the game.

I’m glad to say that the art was DISGUSTINGLY easy to deal with this time around. It was fast and I was done a lot earlier than I normally would be for art. I have spent some time studying art aesthetics for Dios de lose Muertos sugar skulls, and thought I would pick up some of my workflow from working with those to Digging up Daisy. I wanted to keep it culturally separate from it, so I kept some of the distinguishing sugar skull aesthetics out. The style is a lot more AvRvE in nature, with dark colors and bold accents with a small emphasis on realism. (Versus Stargazers, where things were a lot more stylized).

What Went Well
– Animation was a simple two-frame animation to keep it whimsical and silly. Simple and ezpz!
– Quick ideas came up, all of which were simple to execute.
– The vines, although it took some time, looked really complex considering how little work I actually put in to create each vine and design it.

What Went Poorly
– While it was a great fit for the game, I’m kind of tired of going with this usual style and will probably change it up to something different for the next game.

Screen Shot 2014-05-05 at 12.57.54 AM

Screen Shot 2014-05-05 at 12.58.12 AM



Final Thoughts

All in all, it went really well after the first hiccup. I had a lot of fun the first day and a half when programming all the cool new features, and then after that it was just busy work but it was really rewarding to see all the extra flourishes and juiciness go into the game and make it feel really alive. I’m pretty proud of what we managed to get done and I can’t wait to see what we can do next time! See you all for LD30 :)

Ultimately, I had a lot of fun making this! We were healthy, had lots of sleep, and I really enjoyed being able to talk to everyone on IRC and not feeling guilty for not doing work. :) I don’t think it’s our strongest game, but we had a lot more fun working on this game than we had for the past two LD’s, so that’s always a plus.

Also, this is Cake&Code’s 2nd year working together! It’s been an amazing journey, and I couldn’t have asked for a better partner in life and in game dev!


One Response to ““Digging up Daisy” Post Mortem”

  1. InfectionTeam says:

    I love the art ^^ It was a nice game (but pretty hard once you limit the number of digging thingies XD)! I love seeing those Game dev couples! Wish all the happiness to you guys!

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