Post Mortem: Hymn of the Sages

Posted by (twitter: @mattlawrdev)
September 4th, 2015 6:06 pm

Hey everyone, I hope the judging phase has been going well for you! Thanks to anyone who’s rated/commented my game! Here’s the Post Mortem for my entry, Hymn of the Sages, a game focused on regaining demonic power and breaking out of containment. If you haven’t played it, try it first before reading. I made a Time lapse video too, watch it here.

Hymn of the Sages

What I wanted to do…

After going over many possible game ideas relating to monsters, I stuck to my “demon entity” idea. Possessing enemies sounded like a great puzzle solving mechanic and it fit with the demonic mood.

The initial visions I had for my characters were heavily inspired by Shadow of the Colossus, one of my all time favorite games. The purple outlines were added to give more obvious indication between light and dark. It didn’t take long for me to realize that I wanted the demon character (dubbed Nimrod when I started, comment if you get the reference :3) to develop throughout the game. As it developed, it would gain more power and it’s abilities would change slightly. The main story was to have this character defeat the sages that were sealing it’s power. I also wanted to expand on what I learned with noded AI in my last jam.


What I did…

So, looking at the overall product I entered, it ended up being close to what I envisioned. I spent a lot of time creating the base game structure, programming how it would handle cut scenes, doors opening, etc.

The AI was programmed early on, so I began by testing gameplay. Much time was spent on the intro cut scene, and making it run smoothly. I had to really squeeze in final levels due to the time left.



The Biggest Problem

How it worked out…

The most obvious flaw in the game is possessing sages. I made a mistake by not realizing the ridiculousness of using a single ray-cast in front of the player to check for any sage (combined with the top down controls, it was frustrating for most players). However, I’m keeping the game like this until I release a post-jam version in the next week or two.

Other than frustrating ray-casting and short windows to possess certain sages, I felt the game turned out solid and complete. The AI was much better and simpler than my first attempt at AI and I’m proud of the game’s puzzles. ☺


What I learned…

First, I must try to have time left over for someone to play test the game. Also, I’ll try to keep less on my plate until I get a better feeling of how long things will take. This has been my best jam experience from the looks of it. It was nice to participate in this Ludum Dare, since my last one was a whole year ago. Since then, I’ve been making a big project (that’s been going great) and developing it prepared me for any theme that was thrown at me.

If you would like to play and rate the game, here’s the link!

Don’t forget to comment or leave feedback.

Time lapse on YouTube; Profile on Facebook


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