Alice Anxiety – Post Mortem

Posted by
August 29th, 2014 6:58 am

Try our entry here!


This Ludum Dare the Mandarina Games team joined me at developing a game under the jam competition. We did some brainstorming on the idea from the time it went live, around 3AM local time, until Saturday evening, where we picked one from out of ten different ideas we had played with during the day. Then during Sunday I used Unity for the first time to create the engine from scratch and using a plugin for the dialogue, to finally add the art, music, story and last minute tweaks during Monday, where we got all the team working on the game for around 18 hours straight. For this I would like to thank them and appreciate their efforts publicly, as without their help this game wouldn’t have been possible: Alicia, Natalia and Sergi, thank you very much.

Read below on things that went right, other things that went wrong and what have we planned for the future!

What went right

We are very happy about how this project turned out despite being the first one we worked together under stressful conditions and extremely tight deadlines. Here is a list of the things that went particularly right, and why it did play this way:
– Brainstorming process: We spent the whole Saturday brainstorming the idea for the project. It was key that we chose an idea that was tied to the theme in a novel, distinctive way, and that it was embraced by the whole team. We started this endeavour by creating a document to compile all game ideas until we came with ten of them. Finally, after thinking much about our capacity to execute and to what extent each idea was compelling to us, we decided to go with the first one we thought of, which was the current one.
– Execution: For the first time I was surrounded by a team of professionals that can make things happen, and I had the experience from prior ludum dares, so it was easy to get things done from art to programming, and get the best of us through the project. Alicia and Natalia created the story, art, music and the brilliant mood you find in the game and Sergi helped me a lot with programming.
– Mood: We achieved quite a disturbing mood, which was our main goal, thanks to the balanced art and music combination. We knew that there was no time to create a brilliant story or clever mechanics, so our intention was to give the audience a glimpse on what we were trying to achieve by creating a great atmosphere from the start and adding a bit of story afterwards. You can read about what we have been planning for the future on the last section of this post.

What went wrong

There are a few things that went wrong, mostly caused by the lack of time. Alice Anxiety is a game with tons of possibilities and wonderful ideas we wanted to implement, but we had to leave out or, or on the other hand, we couldn’t implement them as well as we wanted to.
What we had to leave out was:
– A fully developed and more complex stats system with different ways in which Alice’s actions and environment affect those.
– A bigger world, with the main locations sprawling into a deeper, more extensive environment to explore.
– More actions and choices to make, branching into alternative scenarios.
– More characters to interact with, and the consequences that those interactions would have for Alice.
– A better exploration of the plot, the puzzles and the way it all ties together.

There are also issues with the transitions and the GUI, as well as the response to user input, and the stats management. Sound and visual cues so the player can know things are getting done is another thing we couldn’t implement.

Future work

Together with Mandarina Games, we want to take this project to full sail and turn Alice Anxiety into a fully developed game.
To make this possible, our idea is to launch a small fundraising campaign. How small? Really small, just what we need to make the game what you have imagined from our LD entry.
With 1.500$ we’ll be able to fund the development of a full-length first episode with all of the features and richness we envisioned when we made Alice Anxiety.

In numbers, this means that, selling a pre-order copy of Alice Anxiety at a special price of 2$ -instead of the 3$ full price we think is fair-, we’d need 750 backers donating the minimum tier.

To make sure that this feat is possible, we’ve decided that the fundraising campaign will only launch if we can reach 500 players to test our web demo. The time limit is until the Ludum Dare voting period is over.
We are going to spread the word as much as possible, so if you like Alice Anxiety and would like to see it become a full game, spread the word and contribute to the fundraising.

Let’s make Alice Anxiety become a reality!

Try our entry here!

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