Adrift Postmortem

Posted by (twitter: @_supernaught)
December 17th, 2014 8:36 am

LD31 is our 6th Ludum Dare. And after our failed attempt last August where both of us got sick on the last day (and later quit on the last few hours of the jam), we had one goal this LD: to make sure we finish the game this time.

And, long story short: finish a game we did!


Here’s Adrift, a game about making friends, solving puzzles and teamwork.


What went well

Screen Shot 2014-12-17 at 12.23.33 AM

Pretty much everything in the Art department went well.

  •  Characters. We always wanted to make a game with dorky adorable characters. The candy-ish color palette also went well with the cute character design.
  • Story. The last 3 Ludum Dare games we made were fast-paced action games, so we thought hey why not give puzzle-y story-based games a shot? Our initial idea was to let the players get attached to the main character(s) and maybe leave them with an emotional ending. Which leads us to the…
  • Ending. We don’t want to spoil this to you guys so just check out the game and make sure to get to the ending scene! But basically we think we made a pretty decent ending for the really short game.


What didn’t go so well

Screen Shot 2014-12-10 at 11.17.43 PM

  • Level design and mechanics. During the first two days we made lots of different puzzle element mechanics such as stepping on switches to activate/deactivate traps or open doors. We planned to make lots of different “mini levels” and compile everything (the whole map, the entire game) on the 3rd day. While we were able to do this, some mechanics weren’t included in the final “master level” due to time constraints, so a lot of hours spent into implementing those unused mechanics were wasted. As a result, the “mini puzzle levels” in the game were pretty repetitive (Blue always pushing boxes) and the new mechanics introduced later into the game weren’t utilized as much.
  • Gameplay. We had lots of interesting puzzles when making the mini levels, but based on past experiences with the previous LD’s, people don’t want to invest a lot of time on your game. So we intended the game’s puzzle-y parts to be not so complex and frustrating to solve. This backfired a lot though because now I think the game isn’t really much fun to play and the puzzles not satisfying to solve. The upside though is most players can easily finish the whole game and see the end scene. And we badly want the players to see the end scene!
  • Theme. Halfway through the jam and we still couldn’t come up with a concrete connection to the theme other than that the whole game is played in one whole level (or one Unity scene). But hey, finishing a game not related to the theme is better than not finishing a game related to the theme!

TL;DR: Overall, we think we made a pretty solid and adorable game. Although the resulting gameplay wasn’t as fun to play as we thought it would be, everything we planned from the start went right, and the feedback has been really great so far and nothing we didn’t expect.

If you reached this point, thank you for reading and we hope you enjoy Adrift! See you next Ludum Dare!

– Pixlexia
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One Response to “Adrift Postmortem”

  1. TijmenTio says:

    This gorgeous looking can’t wait to try it out!

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