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The Living Room Battlescape – Postmortem

Posted by
Tuesday, January 3rd, 2017 1:27 pm

This was one crazy Ludum Dare filled with surprises, problems, and a lot of fun. My team and I were also not expecting the theme “One Room” to be selected and we were very surprised when it was revealed.

Our original idea was to have a large, spacious room in which random obstacles are generated and the player is forced to fly around and fight against AI enemies. This turned out to be much too complex and uninteresting for the team. The next idea we had involved the player adventuring around a huge scaled-up room, completing missions and fighting enemies, with a medieval theme. Unfortunately, once again, this turned out to be much too complex for the team, so the idea evolved slightly. We kept the large, scaled-up room, but drastically simplified things by:

  • removing most textures
  • switching to a much simpler color scheme
  • switching to a simpler low-poly model style
  • simplifying and improving the performance of the lighting

Due to a lack of time, we also had to simplify the enemies and gameplay. Our original idea was to have animated, billboard-style enemies, but since we had changed the theme of the game, we had to scrap this. The new enemy style was heavily inspired by the No Man’s Sky Logo, where enemies would be diamond-shaped with a random, rotating 3D primitive in the center of the diamond. Next, we had to simplify weapons. We were originally planning on having a large variety of melee weapons, but with the changes to the enemies and theme, we had to switch to projectile-based weapons. Eventually, though, we had to scrap these weapon ideas and opt for a simplistic projectile-based system using rigidbodies.

The most unfortunate event to happen for me this Ludum Dare was probably the contraction of some unknown disease that was like a blend of the cold, the flu and a sore throat. This had a severe impact on progress, as my team was unable to work on late Sunday and all of Monday, and I was deathly ill on Monday with a fever of 101° F. This severely impeded my ability to work on the game, leading to more issues caused by a lack of time.

Despite all of these problems, though, I think The Living Room Battlescape turned out quite well. The reviewers seem to agree with this sentiment as well:

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