Post Mortem: A puzzle game about ciphers

Posted by (twitter: @crank_gaming)
April 21st, 2015 4:55 pm

I woke up on Saturday morning and the first thing I did was to check the LudumDare website for the LD theme.

I always wanted to do a game about cryptography and when I saw that the theme was “An unconventional weapon” I knew that this theme was the key! I made breakfast and got scissors, pen and paper and drafted my idea on paper. It was clear to me to choose the Freemasonry cipher, as this is one of the best looking chipher letters.

Here is my draft on paper. My wife was my offline playtester.

Saturday 8 o’clock.


My first draft.


At 12 o’clock I had layed out the whole structur of the game. States, Classes, Assetloading and basic Menu structure. The game was not much more than a background picture and the letter ‘A’.


At 7 pm I had managed to draw 10 letter cards and the main star of the game: FRED the roboter. He needs to defend his planet against the blue enemy (you have to decipher his name yourself…it’s in the game :-). The blue enemy who is attacking Fred’s planet has an unknown language. So Fred needs to decipher his words to get in touch with him. It’s his only chance, because he has no other possibilities to defend himself. Fred has only one weapon: the “The power of language”.


8 pm: I was not happy to have chosen a textured art style, but I had no time. Ahh.

At this point I had to do a walk to get my mind free. After the walk I started to draw a new robot in flat design style. This was the best lesson I learned in this LudumDare!


1 am: I changed the overall art style to flat design with a limited color palette. I implemented the randomization system to the letters and put in a lot of tweens. Tweens really save a lot of coding time!

2 am: Bedtime!


Next day I reworked all graphics to flat design and created the missing 42 letter cards. 26 latin letter cards and 26 pigpen ciphers. Uh…this was really a lot of repetitive work, but i wanted to draw the cards instead of generate them.


8 pm: I created and added sounds to the game. I added more tweens and transitions and created win and lose screens. I added a pause screen (press ‘p’) with some hints to play the game. I created the main menu screen and added the laser weapon to the blue guy. The laser was the last thing I added. Woa…i missed to add this for a long time. Without my tasklist I would have forgotten this ;-). Tasklists are important!


1:30 pm: Finalized and Uploaded.


Now Play the game and have fun!

Happy cipher!


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