Corruption-5 Post-mortem

Posted by (twitter: @charlottegore)
September 2nd, 2015 9:06 am

What was I trying to do?

I wanted to make a fancy, pretty and awesome little platform adventure game with a story. It was going to be full of mechanics and puzzles, there was going to be loads of art and content. Last Ludum Dare I made < 2 minutes of content and so I wanted to do… more.

In terms of gameplay, each time the character goes through a teleporter, they become slightly more messed up and lose abilities. Shooting, jumping… they become slower and eventually begin being obviously very ill indeed. This was going to make solving each level harder.


Screenshot 2015-08-29 23.36.10

And did you succeed?

Sort of. I implemented all the mechanics: I had an NPC, a whole bunch of interactions for the player and NPC, a monster, buttons, lifts/elevators, doors, teleporters and I’d managed to do over 100 individual frames of animation for all the different versions of the player and the entity. That consumed a day and a half. Technically there is loads of stuff here.

But.

The audio was a rush. I struggled to compose decent music for this, so what I ended up with was one short little ambient thing instead of the specific music for each level I originally planned. I think it works… just.

I also had no time at all for background tiles. I ended up doing crude, basic tiles that I hoped would at least look consistent in terms of style but I’m unbelievably disappointed by how simplistic the levels look. Even the fancy post-processing shaders and lighting weren’t enough to compensate.

Finally… I didn’t have enough time to do the levels that I wanted. There was always going to be 5 levels, one for each part of the story, but with time running out I was forced to make levels 2 to 5 really just about the important story beat for that particular stage of the character’s journey without any of the additional puzzles I’d hoped to put in.

There must be some good, yeah?

Totally. Corruption-5 was made with my own “Hexr” game engine especially for WebGL and my own level editor. Making this game made me realise how inadequate my tools really were for creating content quickly and so since then I’ve done major work on them which is priceless as far as I’m concerned.

I’m also really pleased with the animation and sprite work which was a massive improvement on my last game.

rudolph

I also think that while the game is short (it takes about 5 minutes to play) it feels complete. I was able to tell a story just using the simple mechanics I had in place and all in all I think the result is a pretty enjoyable and fun little experience perfectly suited to Ludum Dare.

What about a post-compo version?

Screenshot 2015-09-02 14.53.36

Yeah I sort of started working on it but I think actually there’s not much point now. This is more like what I hoped the compo version would be but perhaps it’s better just to chalk it up to experience and leave it at that.

Next time then?

I don’t know what the verdict is going to be for this game but I suspect it’ll be difficult to do better than my last game… but that’s okay. I’m moving on.

Next time though the important lesson is this: Fewer mechanics, more content. Making a bunch of mechanics which you then don’t have time to use in levels is a stupid waste. Also: Fewer sprites, more background art.

I wish now to play this “game” so that I may judge it.

Gulp.

 

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