After waiting until 4 AM for the theme, I was a little disappointed it was minimalism. So the next morning I brainstormed for some ideas. In the end I came up with The Void, a horror game where your default view is minimalistic, but enhancing it brought danger with it. If you can see the monsters, then they can see you as well, basically.
So I started out with the end result of my previous LD and stripped all the content so I had a half-assed engine with a rudimentary level editor. Perfect for two days of mayhem, but not without its issues. Since the ‘engine’ is basically the end result of 3 iterations of previous entries all bolted on top of each other with different features, it’s a dirty mess, but it worked!
After bolting even more crap onto it, my entry was done. I’m very happy with the result! Even during development those things creeped me out when they (or I) got too close. So that’s nice
What went right
- The sounds. I was afraid that the voice acting would be terrible, but it isn’t! Also the atmosphere feels perfect, with the only other sounds coming from the creeps when they get closer and closer. But the voices add a lot to the game, I think. I tried to go for the original Deus Ex infolink effect, also with someone talking into it that shouldn’t be.
- The story. Because of the voice acting, I could add a story to an otherwise bland first person run-away-in-terror game. And since it’s all happening while you’re playing, there’s no stuff to read in order to understand what’s going on.
- The development itself. Things went fast, and I had about 7 hours left until the deadline when I was done. The scope was perfect and I didn’t have to scrap anything due to the deadline.
- Managed to sneak a potato AND a cat into the game! Yay!
What went wrong
- Playtesting. As developer, I could cruise control through the game because I knew every secret. I did let two other people playtest it, and they had relatively few problems as well. But after release it became apparent that the tutorial talks in levels 1 and 2 were very annoying as they were unskippable, ruining the flow. In hindsight I had 7 hours left to discover and address this issue, but I didn’t. The post-compo version I released fixes that, but it’s too late
- I could only do the sounds once. After recording them in Audacity, and cutting out or redoing the parts that were bad, I used a lot of filters and other things to get what I wanted. Both the dude and the voidling had lots of effects and filters added. But I didn’t keep track of what I did to them, so later on I couldn’t add more voices because I couldn’t reproduce the exact same actions that I did to them. Oops!
I’ve just released a post-compo version with a level selector and the ability to skip the tutorials in levels 1 and 2. I’ve also fixed a bug where monsters would always see you if you used your goggles and if they were already hunting you, regardless of if you could see them.
I’m also working on a Oculus Rift version, but this is problematic because I don’t have a Rift yet. So far I’ve managed to get the stereoscopic view into it, and it should use the variables sent by the Rift to render things properly based on the Rift’s setup. It’s also technically possible to rotate your head, but without a Rift to test things with it’s been difficult, and at this point I can’t continue integrating it until I get the device itself. However, optimizing the menus and other things are mostly done, so that’s nice, but I’m stuck now until I finally get mine
Anyway, here’s my entry, with post-compo download link. And here’s the rift preview vid.