The Werewolf Among Others – Short Post Mortem

Posted by (twitter: @arzi42)
August 28th, 2015 9:13 am

The Werewolf Among Others was the third Ludum Dare game I made with Tarkko, and the one I’m most satisfied with. While Bear With Me was simple and well focused, I though it could have had more variety. Tweeds And Darts was way too ambitious and we had a lot of technical problems during the weekend, which ultimately made the game unplayable as the server didn’t work and you couldn’t find other players.

TWAO is quite simple at its core, but we managed to cram in some fun features, like the villagers chasing you during daytime if they see you change, and the simple AI was able to create unforeseen situations (such as two hunters shooting each other). It was also the first game we did in 2D and the pixel art was a time-efficient way of creating really good looking art. I was surprised how good the levels ended up looking even though the amount of tile variations was minimal.

I also experimented with some other designs during the LD, such has having quests you were supposed to complete. In the (only) quest I made, you were tasked with finding a murderer among the villagers. You’d talk to villagers and try to deduce who the murderer is from the dialogue, and during the night kill the correct villager. The murderer was randomised, so there was also some replayability. Although I managed to implement the feature, it would have needed so much more work we decided to go with a simpler design.

Another idea we had in the beginning was that the villagers would always chase you during the day, but that didn’t feel different enough from the night gameplay. We also though that the villagers would go inside during the night, and if two villagers enter the same house, three villagers would come out, but that was a bit too complex to implement with the time we had (especially with the crappy AI).

One thing I’m not entirely happy about is how boring it can get during the day, and we should have designed a mechanic to give the player something to do in the case there’s no villagers chasing him. Speeding the time while inside buildings helps this a bit, but it’s also a feature that can be abused easily.

I would have also liked the game to serve as a prototype for a larger game (though I doubt we’d ever have time to expand it), but in its current form I don’t see how to take the design further. If anyone has any ideas, please let me know :)

TL;DR:

What went right:

  • Core gameplay
  • Art
  • Level design and “story”

What went wrong

  • Days can be too boring
  • AI get stuck too often
  • Design is hard to expand to a larger game

Spoiler Alert! There’s also a “secret ending”. (I actually wanted to make¬†a real secret ending, but didn’t have the time)


3 Responses to “The Werewolf Among Others – Short Post Mortem”

  1. baykush_figtree says:

    “Design is hard to expand to a larger game” is hardly something that went wrong. Ludum Dare and game jams in general are great labs for ideas, dynamics and mechanics of play that would never get done in a comercial installment.
    That said, awesome entry.

  2. Druid says:

    Can i ask for win version please? :3 (or web gl, i am chrome user and that trick for chrome don’t work for me :( )

  3. arzi says:

    I’ll try to find time during the weekend to make standalone builds. Probably fix some of the most glaring bugs at the same time.

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