Hey fellow gamedevs,

We are a team of german students that participated the fifth time now. We name ourselfs “Banana4Life” and have developed the game “Legendary Legionnaire 3 – Food Massacre“. It was really fun to develop a successor to our last two ludum dare entries that was totally different in terms of gameplay, but takes place in the same universe, where a legionnaire tries to kill the alien overlords.

You can rate and play our game here: Legendary Legionnaire 3 – Food Massacre

You can find our last two games for the full experience here:

But now lets get to the post-mortem. Some circumstances led to us being 7 people this ludum dare. Two up from the five last time. Surprisingly this did not lead to much more confusion and some work that would always be done in the last hour (like UIs) were worked on earlier. All in all the many people were a good thing and the single person could concentrate better on their task.

After our first steps with Unity and C# last time we used it this time too, however this time we really encountered problems with it. After we did version control with git for some hours in the first day, we switched to Unity collaboration which did all the merging that had to be done for each pull, but also led to loss of data especially in the scene. We generated the whole map in a script, however the UI constantly lost parameter assignments after pulling from Unity Collab. This was really annoying and we want to have a solution for this problem the next ludum dare. Maybe we will even try something new in regards to the engine next time.

As we always try to make the ludum dare more interesting by trying out new stuff, we got our hand dirty with 3D this time. Nobody in the team has created 3D models or code for a 3D game before so we sticked with voxel models as you see it in the picture up top. This proved to be a good decision, because I (Jonas) as the artist for the last game always did pixel art before and could transfer my skills to the third dimension. The game logic as we did a restaurant management game with a top down perspective was two dimensional.

For the 3D modelling we used MagicaVoxel which is a great tool for voxel art and from the twitter of the creator will probably be perfect after the next update. Before the jam our idea was to rig the models and create the animations ourself, but Niko did decide to use the auto-rigger Adobe’s Mixamo. The animations look great even on the voxel model. This leads into the biggest pain point of this ludum dare. We rewrote our movement code three times and did not even work in the end. In the first iteration, the logic was separated from the animations, but the animations did not really work for some reason. The second iteration made heavy use of the animation state machine, however we found that the animation state machine did not really work as expected. Triggers did not trigger at the right time and somehow we could not retrieve if the state machine was currently in a transition. The third time we used the root motion of the animations, which were however for the running animation not straight and introduced their own set of problems. Nobody was satisfied with the movement in the end, however we just focused on the gameplay on the last day and submitted a game which was good.

41477-shot2-1481596666
(The particle system of Unity works great.)

A small degradation to last time was that the same setup for the streaming did not work and we completely dropped streaming for the first and last day, whereas we streamed all three days with a cool setup last time.

What went right?

  • We expanded the story of our legionnaire.
  • The game is playable and the idea still seems fun.
  • We were really productive and learned a lot.
  • Due to the many people in the team I could focus on graphics entirely, which lead to cool models and particle effects.
  • We implemented the hardest parts first (for example pathfinding) and after that connected all lose ends to a cool game.
  • Almost all planed features went into the final release.
  • We slept a reasonable amount of time.

As you see the most important parts went right and I think we did a pretty good job developing the game, however a few crucial things went wrong.

What went wrong?

  • We thought the theme wasn’t really that great. People please don’t vote these restrictive and uncreative themes.
  • The movement code and animations is where everything went wrong. It was the core feature and did not work until the very end where it was the least shitty. This also delayed all the features of the game to the last day.
  • Version control

What we want to do better?

  • Have a better theme. 😛
  • Learn how to write movement code.
  • Solve the version control problem.

I hoped you liked my writeup and visit our website for more of our games. Greetings,

Jonas
Team Banana4Life

P.S.: Play and rate our game please.

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