About Basilios

I'm a PhD student who enjoys making games in his spare time.

I've dabbled with several languages for my games: C++ and Java with OpenGL; C# with XNA; and most recently Flash with FlashPunk.

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GaolBreak – Postmortem

Posted by
Monday, August 22nd, 2011 9:40 pm

This was my first Ludum Dare competition (but not my first 48 hour competition) and I’m very happy with how my game turned out. When the theme was announced, I was disappointed — I didn’t think I could come up with anything good, but eventually settled on a sliding block puzzle with patrolling enemies.

By the end of Friday, I had all the sprite-work done, a player that could move around the screen and some basic level collision stuff. Saturday was much more productive, and by mid-afternoon I had most of the game mechanics finished.  Saturday evening was divided between making music/sound effects, making title and instruction screens and trying to come up with more levels.

On Sunday I made the animation smoother (originally characters moved an entire square with each step; a quick hack changed this to a fluid motion over several frames), added some slightly better music and introduced pressure switches.

I also redesigned all of the levels except for Level 3, making them more compact and placing more emphasis on the puzzles. In hindsight, leaving Level 3 alone was a bad idea, and it seems like the game for most people ended up looking like this:

…which is a shame, because Levels 4 and 5 are my favourites.

Lessons:

  • I need more practice with LMMS/Musagi/Sfxr.  The music and sound effects definitely need work.
  • Programmer art can sometimes be charming. 😀
  • Running all the way across the screen to reach a puzzle is not fun, and neither is a puzzle so dependent on perfect timing that it frustrates people.

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