The entry from the University of Oklahoma’s Game Developers Association.
I know many people really didn’t like the theme, but for our group it was extremely helpful. The whole team had a lot of school work and deadlines coming up, so going minimal was fantastic (Even though we could have done it with any theme) for us to be able to get in an entry and still have time to finish non ludum dare things.
Our first brainstorming session went really well. We came up with a lot of fun minimal ideas and quickly picked one to run with, allowing us to start development early.
We were able to run with a really simple idea that we could get up and running fairley quickly (by midday saturday). Then we had the next two days for polish and homework, which worked out great.
We played around with the perspective and orthographic cameras a lot trying to figure out which one we liked best. And I think we made the right choice. Using ortho during the game makes it a lot easier to now if you’re about to hit a pellet (if you’re on the right plane) or wall. And then the final zoom out to perspective when you die ended up looking fantastic.
I really go back and forth between this being good or bad… The music came from a recording session that went from 2am-7am, so by that point you never know what’s going to come out. I would definitely change some parts if I did it over, but the two tracks came out catchy enough and fit the game once you get used to them.
We all had a lot of work that had to be done that weekend other than for the Dare… This made us choose a much simpler idea, which turned out well, but the extra time could have helped polish up the controls and difficulty curve a bit.
– Audio Processing
We initially had the idea of making the colors or scale of the pellets/cube ‘pump’ to the beat of the music (which influenced the harder beats in the audio tracks). However, this ended up just making things a lot harder to see and just didn’t look that great, plus the game was already difficult enough to wrap your mind around. So there was quite a bit of time wasted on the feature we never used.
I wouldn’t necesarrily put this in the bad column, but a lot of the initial players went in to the game thinking it more a snake clone than a puzzle. They would try and keep mental track of the whole 3d space while they played (really hard) instead of just coming up with a few heuristics/tricks to solve the position puzzle (rather simple). We posted a helpful video and that our current high score was 91 to try and let people know that there may be a better way to think about the game.