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Beneath the surface is an unforgiving pixelart action game.
The player takes control of a nameless hero and ventures into a mysterious cave to face whatever lies beneath the surface 😉

It was our second LD jam entry and our team consisted of 6 people this time.

What went right:

Theme/Idea

We watched the voting sessions very closely and centered our game-ideas on the themes that were likely to win.
We were therefore able to set for a scenario/idea early and start working on it. This was one point we were able to improve over our fist LD.

Atmosphere

Presentation is an important thing for us and one thing we always bear in mind, when working on a LD entry, is to create a compelling looking game.
LD is always a nice opportunity to try, incorporate and improve new techniques. This is why we settled with the pixelart look again.
Part of our team had little to no experience with pixel art but our artists/level designer did a great job and we are very happy with the final result.

Music/Sound

Thanks to the bigger team we were able to integrate more and better sound effects.
One programmer even disappeared for several hours before deadline and left us out in the cold…..

Just to come back with a self-composed music theme which adds a lot to the atmosphere of the game.

What went wrong:

Time Management

We submitted the game like 15 seconds before deadline…oO
Again we were not able to add all the things to the game we wanted and QA/polish those that are in it.
Even with – or because of – the bigger team we were not able to plan time accordingly.
But LD is the best opportunity to gain experience in project management without a real risk (except the time invested)

Controls

Our plan was to create a challenging game because we like difficult, challenging games. It is a coincidence that Dark Souls II was released on the LD-Weekend.
But us not being able to play it, due to the Jam, somehow translated into our game 😉
The thing that makes the DS Games so compelling for us, is the fact that the player is always in control of all his opportunities to react to a given situation accordingly.
Every death can be tracked back to a fault of the player. Its often nasty but never unfair.

Due to our – not great – time management we were not able to put more time into polishing/tweaking the controls and the animations.
This affects our game because we were not able to give the player the feedback and the precise controls that he needed to interact with the enemies as intended.

What we take away:

Things never go as planned and they always take more time than initially assumed! :)
Every time invested in player interactions and really tight controls is time well spent!
Sound/Music design improves the Atmosphere a LOT!…duh

Final Words:

We have worked on an more accessible and improved Post Compo-Version of Beneath the Surface.
Please give it a try:

http://www.ludumdare.com/compo/ludum-dare-29/?action=preview&uid=30260

Thanks to everybody who played our game and thanks for all the feedback and comments – We really love the LD-community and we’d love to see you again in four months!

Best wishes,

NoNoBattle


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