Postmortem: Shadow Fencer Theatre

Posted by (twitter: @ShuddaHadda)
December 17th, 2016 2:24 pm

Shadow Fencer Theatre Title

Ah, where to begin?… Perhaps, the beginning!

I was born in a poor, small fishing village off the coast of… what?  Not that beginning? Oh, I see.
The date was December 9th, 2016.  It was the start of Ludum Dare 37 – One Room. Our initial concept was to create a goofy fighting game with paper figures attached to popsicle sticks. You know, the ones that have push pins in the joints so they flop about. It was a concept that I had rattling in my head for a bit, and chance would have it, the theme actually fit the idea! It’s a game about a kid in their room acting out battles! This was a first since there was not a lot of time spent ideating, and I could just start prototyping. The art man was unavailable until Sunday, so I pushed forward to make my wobbly fighting game using old concept art as my basis.

Concept Art DevDev before we had a full concept

And then there was art…

When the art man came on board I regaled him with what’s what, and sent him on his way to figure out the art and characters and such. Luckily for me, he came up with the idea to make it look like a shadow puppet theatre!  So good!

Shadow Fencer Theatre Gameplay

This concept & art style solved our two biggest issues with Game Jam development.

Issue #1 – Scope

We make things too big, and then they don’t work, and are incomplete, or we cut so much stuff back that we sort of just have a thing. This game had a simple mechanic that I could just make, you know, work.

Issue #2 – Not enough Art because of Issue #1

With too big of a scope, there’s not enough time to make all the art. We have stuff missing, or even worse, I help out and then the art style is all over the place.  This game had a vision! We could make stuff that all fit!

Our First Multiplayer

Another thing to note was this was our first multiplayer game. We knew it would be more fun with two people playing, and playing on controllers as well. We developed for controllers, which ended out making the keyboard controls a little awkward… sorry. Also developing on a Mac to make joysticks to work on a PC with HTML5 is, well, silly.

Keyboard and Gamepad Controls

So that’s it, we had a thing were all the pieces finally fell together… plus the sound effects and music, but that is another tale for another time on:

Shadow Fencer Theatre!

Shadow Fencer Theatre - Play it now


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