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20 Days at Sea – A tiny postmortem

Posted by
Friday, December 12th, 2014 8:25 am

An early mockup:



This was our 5th Ludum Dare and 4th successful one (after we gave up on the second day last time). The theme “Entire game on one screen” felt OK. It allowed me to explore a game idea I’ve been pondering for a few weeks now; but haven’t done anything about yet. A game about survival after being stranded at sea alone, heavily influenced by This War of Mine and Life of Pi (both of which I’ve experienced not so long ago).

This time around we didn’t do any preparations before the LD officially started.

Overall we’re pretty happy with what we created, though it’s not quite the fun experience we had in mind. It will serve us enough as a quick and dirty prototype before we revisit the idea again and build a more serious game around it.





What went Right:
• We finished on time, and it was a really complex project for us.
• We learned how to use the new, awesome Unity GUI system.
• I found the art style quickly and managed to pull off something decent with it.
• Managed to craft some decent mood with the art and choice of music.
• The game is fairly interesting for a single playthrough, which is great as we were fearing a totally boring experience.
• The ending still cracks us up… a bit

What went Wrong:
• We had to cut out a lot of interesting mechanics (no crossbow, sob)
• The gameplay is quite grindy, and most of the things are completely unnecessary.
• The time speed control didn’t serve a purpose apart from sleeping.
• Sleeping didn’t serve a purpose.
• Most of the things that can be crafted serve no purpose.
• Half of Margaret’s dialogues never made it into the game.
• Sharks never made it into the game.
• Didn’t have time to dig around for sound effects and implement them.
• We slept and ate poorly and didn’t take good care of ourselves during the jam.
• Still haven’t learned to Keep It Simple.

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