Min was a collaboration between me and Keo. We’ve collaborated on several Ludum Dares together now, so we have a pretty good working relationship. I’m especially proud of how our latest jam game turned out.
As usual, we started off by brainstorming ideas in a google-doc. We had all kinds of ideas, from a turn-based puzzle game to a procedurally generated roguelike. In the end though, our thoughts came back to our first Ludum Dare game together, The Two Of Us
Our first game together
Despite making several games after The Two of Us, we both felt like we never made a game as fun as our first. After realizing this, it was easy to decide to make a successor to our first game, a boss-fight-centric platformer.
There were several aspects with The Two of Us that we wanted to improve on in our new game. First and foremost, the difficulty ramped up too quickly. In TToU, the entire game was boss fight after boss fight. There was no time to breath or learn how to play. We tried to fix this in Min by having non-boss levels in between each fight. The idea was that these levels would introduce new mechanics before the boss fight, as well as allow the player to prepare and take a break before each battle.
Another issue with the TToU was that the player wasn’t very mobile. This was all right in TToU because the hero had a sword for a weapon, and the small rooms he fought in aided his ability to hit the enemy with a melee attack. But personally, I really like playing platformers where you’re mobile and your positioning varies a lot. So, we made a game where the hero is small, agile, and very very mobile. The mechanics were inspired greatly by Megaman, Kirby, and Cave Story.
Before solidifying the art style, Keo came up with several mockups to determine not only the stylistic direction, but also the scale in which the game took place. We settled on a small, one screen game, with no fancy scrolling or camera panning to complicate the view of the game. Having the entire game take place on one screen was a fun restriction to work around, and it was also in the spirit of minimalism.
Keo ended up with a very minimalistic art style for the game, using a restricted palette (Keo must have used less than 10 colors, easily). Keo focused on outlines of the characters, rather than their textures. The end result was a style that, despite being minimalistic, was gorgeous.
an initial mockup
we decided to scale up the graphics 2x, to enable the player to see the game more easily
git+vim is all you need!
Overall, I gotta say I’m happy with the game we ended up with. Sure, there are areas we could improve our game (there’s always room for improvement!). But given the 72 hours we were given, I think we did as well as we could’ve done. I even had time to create some BGM tunes.
If you’ve got a moment, try out our game! We read all of our feedback, and really appreciate any comments you have.