Shape Running – Post Mortem

Posted by (twitter: @@maarten_engels)
April 24th, 2016 6:12 am

Man, time flies when your having fun. 48 hours are over before you know it. Anyway, I had a lot of fun creating Shape Running for my second Ludum Dare: Ludum Dare 35. So here is my Post Mortem.

What went well

  • Creating a quick proof of concept. At first I wasn’t too happy about the theme. Coming up with an idea for a game usually isn’t my biggest issue. For me the main question is: “how am I going to make this fun to play? (in 48 hours)”. So I always draft up a quick proof-of-concept to determine whether I believe enough in the idea to commit fully to it. I time box this activity to two hours max: if within two hours I don’t believe I can make it fun enough, I abandon the idea and try the next one. Fortunately, this time I could continue on the first idea I turned into a proof-of-concept.
  • Time management using Kansan Board: I love using Kanban for¬†managing time and tasks. At all stages of development I have a complete overview of tasks that still need to be done, without being distracted of the ones that I’m currently working on. It also helps allocate time: how much time are you willing to spend on a task if there are still 10 waiting?
    At the start of day 1Somewhere in betweenAt the end



  • Graphics and Sound. I’m really happy on how the game turned out looking and sounding. I decided to allocate extra time to graphics and sound (especially music), because I like to deliver a complete and polished experience. The graphics are actually quite simple (lots of primitives), no texturing, but the use of shaders and image effects (bloom and motion blur) really help them stand out. The music was created using loops in GarageBand which is a blast to use.The game in action


What didn’t went well

  • Second mechanic: the game basically has only one mechanic: change shape in time. There is no strategy or variation whatsoever. In particular, you can’t become any better at the game once you finish it. So I really wanted to find a second mechanic, but wasn’t able to find one that actually added to the fun. I tried sideways movement and acceleration and actually went and prototype both, but my implementations just weren’t adding to the fun. And in my opinion that means that if they don’t add to the fun, they take away from it. So one mechanic it is, but if anyone has any suggestions for an extra mechanic, one that adds (strategic) depth to the game, please let me know in the comments of the game (or this post).

Link to game: Shape Running

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