SKULL BOMB: Mini Post Mortem

Posted by
April 20th, 2015 7:31 pm

Skull Bomb by @mattmirrorfish

This is my first time Ludum Dare-ing. I have been putting off doing it because I never have un-interrupted time on weekends but this weekend I decided to go for it anyway. This game was made in the hours after my kids went to bed and any other little bits of time I could get together over the weekend, maybe 16 hours or so in total. I hit on the mechanic and theme I wanted to do pretty quickly on Friday night: my interpretation of an unconventional weapon was a suicide bombers bomb.  Because I knew I wouldn’t have time to do sophisticated AI I decided to make the enemies robots which would make their slightly stupid behavior thematically appropriate. The AI could be improved a bit but for now it mostly works. The theme also supported my primitive art style which is made using basic primitives within the Unity editor.  The main mechanic is avoiding coming into contact with the red awareness zones of the enemies while trying to get to the end of the level and blow up the enemy server. I leaned heavily on stuff Unity does easily out of the box for this, in this case Navigation. The flying and hovering enemy types each have nav mesh agent components attached and a script randomly assigns waypoints from an array. This causes them to path through the level randomly and adds some un-predictability. I also added some searchlight gun tower type enemies inside the ‘city block’ formations since running through them, where the hovering enemies couldn’t go, seemed to be a dominant strategy.

I created the audio using Logic which is mainly sounds made with Logic’s built in Sculpture synthesizer. I stuck to ominous drone sounds mostly. I wrote a minute long text which adds some additional context and had my girlfriend read it on mic, which I then processed and cut up a bit. I think it adds a lot to the vibe of the game and provides some useful expository narrative framework.

All in all I had a ton of fun doing this! I’m going to aim to continue to jam, even when limited for time, and try to block out a full weekend to get together with a team and attempt something more ambitious.

Here’s my entry: SKULL BOMB.

If you liked the game or just want to say hi I’m @mattmirrorfish on Twitter. Thanks for reading!

 

EDIT:

I got some great notes from people playing and rating my game which allowed me to make a few small tweaks, hopefully for the better before the cutoff. I found players didn’t know where to go so I made the final objective more visible, and had the players drop in from high up so they get an initial birds eye view of the level. I also moved an enemy that was sort of spawn camping the player in a really unfair way :)

Also, lot’s of people liked the voice over! I must say having a little bit of recorded audio in your game like that to add some story is a pretty cheap and easy way to add some production value. That is definitely the thing I spent the least time on (maybe 2 hours out of 16 to script, record, mix, edit and implement) but has gotten the most positive feedback. Definitely food for thought! Thanks very much to all the people giving comments on my game (and on everyone elses!)  It feels great to be a part of a community of game creators like this.

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