Well, it may be a bit late (again? Yup.). But since this isn’t really a game, more a kind of linear history, I didn’t intend to submit it so I took my time. I think you ‘ve got to test enough games right now to not add something that doesn’t fit the rules. :p
♦ English version of Evocation – web
♦ French version of Evocation – web
But I wanted to show it here because :
- I have been sustained a lot by kind people to DO SOMETHING for this LD, so I did. They are the others (great and moving) part of my motivation. I felt I have to finish here what I have been encouraged for.
- I’ts not a game, but I tried to do something elegant that fits the Minimalist Theme, It contain potato, some references I was pleased to use, and it have been nicely received in it’s first french version. So maybe you could like it.
- Since my english is still awfull, I’ve been helped for the translation. Seems better to honour this work by publishing it here. ^^
♦ Post mortem – Premices :
Well… Honnestly I wasn’t really inspired by the theme. I searched on saturday morning about Minimalism in it primary meaning, in it’s artistic current, about it’s context and consequences, about artists themselves.. I’ve learned a lot. But I wasn’t inspired. And a little bit ill too.
I like Mies van der Rohe -which is a minimalist architect- since many years, when i visited his Spanish pavillon in Barcelona. I love the elegance, simplicity, lightness of this construction. The use of water and space. I thought I could perhaps not make a game, but try to reveal that.
It would only use some moving rectangles, I didn’t knew if i could only do that but it would be the occasion to try. I didn’t saw this like an animation, but like a path the user should take moving forward with the up button. It would have a little story with a potato (…well…) talking along the path (hum…), that could react if the user choose to go back instead of move.
That wasn’t the only idea, but I didn’t enjoyed the others. This one had at least a nostalgic touch. But I couldn’t figure how to make it funny. That was not a gameplay. I spent the day and the night thinking about it without give it a try. I thought about not submit anything for this LD and go back to work.
But I had announced my participation here and there and people had been very supportive. So I told them that I didn’t know what to do for this LD. I felt bad. I felt sorry that they had wasted their time and encouragements because of me. And their responses were so cool.. “Come on, you can do it !”. Okay, I couldn’t NOT do nothing.
♦ Newbie discovers about powers of code :
That was on sunday evening. So. Lets try. Up Button, moving rectangles. I had a tuto about games on canvas made by a friend. Took the game loop and the up button parts. Well, this works. Never tried to programm anything in JS before, only theorical exercices with boucles and operators. In the console. This was the first day in my life where i had something on the screen !
I don’t clearly remember how and why, but I switched from the Mies van der rohe evocation idea to moving rectangular islands. More or less like in the SNES “mode 7″. For Mies van der rohe I needed perspective illusion when the player goes back or forth. So make a rectangle grow in the screen when button up is pushed was the first move.
Well, I had got some problems. To figure how to use the coordinates – at begining my islands often flipped themselves, and expanded seemingly randomly. I had to remove the down button, cause if false-perspective eventually became good forward, backward was still pretty messy. Fortunately, I’ve been helped. I did my code myself, but I had the chance to have people reviewing my code and explaining me where or why it couldn’t work.
Added and removed an inertia system – It worked, but messed again with my island generation. Don’t know why. Often forgot how exactly functionned pieces of code i had writed myself. Even only two hours before. Even commented. Had hard times with the animation of the “signal” announcing new messages – and I’m still not proud of it. But I was pretty impressed by the things which worked quite easily when I tried to make them.
♦ Choices and challenges :
I had no libraries. Nor jQuery. I wished to work from scratch if possible, and with no graphisms too (the up button representation is the only picture). Just with code. I usually do the graphics, so it was my personnal challenge. When I decided to not submit the “thing”, I took some code I have made for the last LD, for the footer part of the website.
I didn’t worked on monday and wednesday days. So I’m pretty happy with the time spent in the project, I’ve lost some hours on the issues mentionned before, but I’m surprised that it were finished so soon. I used two days on the story and timing, reviewed all of it hundreds of time. One day again for translation – to realize that it was awfull and be helped. I’m fond of Ray Bradbury for his english mastery, and his language’s massacre by myself was really a shame to me.
I had to make a choice for the history. I had an idea more contemplative in mind – You’re a bird, a voice asks you to rescue her. You finds and takes it, it’s a potato (humhum), she share her thoughts with you during the flight. You let her go on the continent, she thanks you. (“You were so kind to rescue and let me speak, you know, you’re a good guy !”). And this story about Chell and Keats (from Portal, Hyperion, Mush, and others refs too :3). I asked people to choose what they would enjoy better.
I was not sure about the linearity. I could easily make alternative choices in the dialogs but it wouldn’t have a real impact on the island below (not a significative and visible one, island remains islands..). And I also have already made a novel game with real and efficient choices on my last LD entry. I don’t wanted to seems to be ‘the girl which make novel games’, since that’s not even my cup of tea…
♦ That’s freaking cool !
I wish it will be as smooth for the next projects. Which will hopely be real games ! The story of Evocation will continue in it, this story is a prequel of a project I have in mind since long time. I’m currently learning to program to be able to make it some day. For my formation, I plan several mini projects in this perspective.
Thanks again, Ludum dare and Ludum dare people !!