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V8000 A.D. Post-Mortem Megapost

Posted by
Wednesday, August 26th, 2015 3:45 pm

For my fourth (well, third completed) Ludum Dare game, I think it’s worth doing a lil writeup about the dev process. The game I made is called V8000 A.D., and the simplest way to describe it is “my personal love letter to Mad Max, by way of Luftrausers-ish pixel art”. It looks something like this:

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The game started, as many of my projects do, with a simple mockup. The first piece of art about this game looked as simple as this:

mockup

“But Dante, that looks so similar to the finished product!!” Yes, I’m aware. One of the first things that I picked out about the game was the visual ‘look’ of where it was gonna go, and everything else grew out of that. (Sidenote: that ‘Kartridge Family’ name is still in the game, as a splash screen.)

The cars in the game are all loosely modeled after real world vehicles. That first one I drew was that lil Subaru Forester lookin’ one above, and it was soon joined by a Subaru Brat lookalike, a VW Beetle lookalike, and the main car- a 2014 Dodge Challenger lookalike (with added above-hood supercharger to look meaner). Here’s a look at all 4:

cars

Days 1 and 2 of the LD were mostly focused on getting the cars to behave as I’d like. Many ideas were trimmed at this point- I would have loved to have little AI cars that chased you, but time wasn’t on my side for that one. The game morphed from a resource-focused game to a more action-smashy one, which I don’t particularly mind. If I end up working more on the game, I’ll definitely move more in that direction.

Another thing I spent a lot of time in the first two days was getting the scrolling ‘correct’. The parallax was important to maintain a sense of scale and emptiness to the world- figuring out the math for that was a bit of a fun challenge, but I’m very happy with how things turned out. The entire game runs on the ‘clock’ of the sun setting, which allows for easy tinkering if I want to mess with the speed of the sun.

After an unexpected setback (for personal reasons) put me out of a reasonable timescale to finish for the compo, I decided to submit for the jam, which also bought me an extra 24 hours to work. Most of that time was spent on audio and polish- squashing a few bugs and designing an audio engine for the game. It’s still, in my opinion, the sloppiest part of the game- even though I’m very happy with the sounds I got (and the amazing music, composed by Cullen in about an hour during our late-night coding session on Sunday night).

The whole game ended up coming out much better than I expected. I pushed myself to generate a LOT of art assets for this game (every sprite was done by me, as well as backgrounds and titlescreen, etc). It’s one of my favorite jam games I’ve worked on, and I’m very excited for the next LD. Check it out here! Thanks for reading!

 

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