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20 Days at Sea – A postmortem

Posted by (twitter: @bitserum)
Friday, December 12th, 2014 8:25 am

The full (much longer) postmortem with all the nuances, pictures and development progress can be read on our blog, so I’ll keep it short here. Even more-so as some of the gifs in the original article exceed the 2MB limit.

An early mockup:

20-days-at-sea-ludum-dare-31-first-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.

20-days-at-sea-after-the-storm

 

PLAY THE GAME

 

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.

Read the full article >>

Help Margaret survive in 20 Days at Sea

Posted by (twitter: @bitserum)
Tuesday, December 9th, 2014 6:00 pm

20-days-small

This is a survival game with lots of looting and crafting, so if that’s your type of thing, give it a go. It would have had crossbows and bird hunting, but we ran out of time.

PLAY IT HERE

 
20-days-at-sea-gif

 

Soulitude Postmortem

Posted by (twitter: @bitserum)
Friday, May 2nd, 2014 7:59 am

This was our 3rd Ludum Dare and we went with somewhat of a platformer again. Feel free to give it a go, it’s rather short

We decided weeks before LD to focus on action and fun more than anything else, yet we placed the least amount of energy into that area. We ended up making a metaphorical game about a hobo and his inner fantasy world removed from the viciousness of society.

Forest

City


The Good

Visuals were mostly good
I have poor experience with animating and characters so I’m really happy with all of the animations.

The switch mechanic was great
Ended up exactly as imagined, I definitely plan to do something larger with it at some point.

The Mood
Again, we made a moody game, that’s some consolation…


The Bad

It’s not Fun
We spent Saturday working on everything but. Then we spent most of Sunday brainstorming on gameplay elements, just to go with some very simple; and homing projectiles. These ended up being implemented poorly, unpolished and overall really redundant as there was no longer any time to work on level design and action (and their purpose).

Forest area background graphics are horrid
Even though people seem to like them I can’t look at them. I’m quite please with the city though.

Poorly implemented mobs, no ending, It’s too short
Or rather, it’s too long for what it offers, and in terms of gameplay it doesn’t offer much as most comments have stated.

That coin…
The coin was this big symbolic thing that barely made it in, and it made no sense as it was unfinished.

Massive burnout
I’m still recuperating, I barely slept and were hugging my laptop for 16-17 hours a day

 

Conclusion

Really need to focus on gameplay elements more, or might as well make a movie next time…

One Outcome – we went for mood (again)

Posted by (twitter: @bitserum)
Saturday, December 21st, 2013 2:23 am

There was a strong earthquake; and you, as one of its fortunate survivors are stuck and lost within the ruins of the city. But all hope is not lost, as someone has managed to locate you and will surely help you get out.

screenshot

This LD served a specific purpose for us, we wanted to specifically create a dialog-tree game, no matter what theme got chosen. We weren’t happy with the theme, it was one of our least favorite ones, but we managed to put together an idea in a matter of hours.
Our goals were simple: get familiarized with new Unity 2D features, learn how to write and implement dialog trees, and create a very moody game – something we succeed with StepOut – our last LD’s entry.

One outcome has but a few minutes of play time, but we managed to put together sound, music, animation and story direction that we believe brings it to life while it lasts. Everything went right during our creation process, and all set goals were met. Unity 2D features proved to be great, though still lacking some functionality or ease of use.
We didn’t manage to create an intro screen in time, but we figured it’s not really needed anyway as the game is so short.

If you haven’t yet, go play One Outcome! And let us know what impact, if any, it had on you. :)

One Outcome (is all you get)

Posted by (twitter: @bitserum)
Monday, December 16th, 2013 6:03 pm

And we’re done!
In good time.

smallthumb

Again, not much love for the theme, but we came up with an idea and more or less managed to get it turn out as imagined.
Mostly this was an opportunity for us to test out dialogues and the new 2D functionality of Unity, both of which we’ll need for an upcoming project.

I won’t be talking much about the game, it’s fairly short and simple (even though it took the two of us most of the past three days), and to disclose anything would just ruin it. However if you care to, play it here

:)

1st Ludum Dare thoughts

Posted by (twitter: @bitserum)
Wednesday, September 4th, 2013 4:39 am

This was our first Ludum Dare, and only our second game jam ever (first being a Molyjam a few months back). We absolutely loved the experience so far, and the amount of positive and critical feedback we got on our entry StepOut has been really great and unexpected.

So we want to thank you all who played our game thus far, you’ve really boosted our morale to continue working on games, and will probably continue working on StepOut (well a spinoff rather) from now on.

As for Ludum Dare, the system and the community is awesome and we’ll make sure to participate often from now on.

Added walkthrough Video

Posted by (twitter: @bitserum)
Thursday, August 29th, 2013 8:11 am

We’ve added a walk-through video to our entry, as a few of you were getting stuck with puzzles in StepOut. And here’s a gif byproduct of the video. :)

StepOut_astral

And if you haven’t yet…

go and play StepOut

StepOut Postmortem

Posted by (twitter: @bitserum)
Wednesday, August 28th, 2013 1:19 am

Working on our StepOut was incredibly fun and we learned a lot and fell in love with Ludum Dare.

stepoutTitle

What follows is an excerpt of the complete post-mortem on Bitserum

The Good

  1. We were already familiar enough with unity from previous dabbling that we could work pretty fast. We managed to finish what we think is a decent game and polish it in only 72 hours.
  2. I managed to create an atmosphere/environment I really like and am proud of, and had immense fun with doing that. Level design must be my favorite part of the process.
  3. I love how music basically made itself, for the largest part I just randomly put sounds together.
  4. Ivan (the programmer) loved creating and testing new mechanics, everything past walking and jumping which was pretty basic.

The Bad

  1. I feel the music is lacking and wish I had much more time to play around, learn and polish ambience track creation.
  2. We hated adjusting to Unity’s physics and accepting all the limitations of its native physics engine (relative to 2D development)
  3. I really wanted just one more level, also more variety in the second level.

StepOut is complete

Posted by (twitter: @bitserum)
Monday, August 26th, 2013 5:03 pm

stepoutTitle

 

The last 3 days were crazy, I barely slept and I ate my meals while hugging my keyboard.
I didn’t like the theme that much, from round 1 I begged and hoped that 10 seconds won’t make it… Yet it lived. Maybe that’s the reason why StepOut’s core mechanic (which is 10 seconds of astral projection) is more of an annoyance  that you really wish wasn’t there.

The puzzles could have used more work, more play-testing, but time ran fast while other areas of the game begged for attention. Creating assets and arranging them was incredibly fun.

The music was rushed, as well as the overall sound design. But I’m very pleased with the overall look and feel of the game. Even more so considering this is our second finished game (the first one being a molyjam entry that was really, really bad…).

I learned a lot! Loved every second of it.

Next time I’ll aim for something “tighter” (for lack of a better word), something shorter and sweeter; something that can be ironed out completely.
But now… Now I need some sleep.

StepOut progress

Posted by (twitter: @bitserum)
Saturday, August 24th, 2013 2:24 pm

some StepOut progress, it’s been a neatly flowing day today, (Actually we’re still at it).
In love with toon shading and unity

 

StepOut

saturday_punchcard

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