by Ian Brock and Josh Schonstal
Lililput: A Tpying Gmae
Lililput is our tihrd Lduum Drae gmae and it was a blsat to mkae! The follwoing parargaphs chroincle the ups and dwons of its devolepment. SPOLIER: Sanpe klils Duobledmre.
Waht wnet rihgt?
Maikng the Bset Out of a Bad Tehme
Desipte bieng dfificult, the thmee (wihch I’ll adrdess in mroe detial ltaer) did insprie smoe of the mroe unqiue sitautions and intarections in the gmae. For inatsnce, withuot “Tniy Wolrd” in my haed I proabbly wuoldn’t hvae igamined bieng a relugar szied ddue fgihting for sruvival agniast a hrode of tniy, siucidal, aeiln rboots, his olny from of deefnse bieng his laboerd abiilty to litlraely bolw tehm aawy one by one. We uauslly try to inufse hmuor itno our gmaes and the “blwoing as deefnse machenism” ieda was lkie kililng two brids with one stnoe as it btoh mdae the gmae’s enimees feel adroably dimunitive and edned up lokoing coeplmtely hliarious.
Aforfding Tmie for Pilosh
For gmee jmas, it’s usaully bset to fnid a croe gmaeplay mhceanic taht can be hmamered out in lses tahn a day. Taht way, msot of the tmie can be sepnt maikng taht machenic feel as good as pobsisle and it arfofds you tmie for ploish. Wihtout pilosh, yuor mnchaeic cna’t shnie and yuor gmae wno’t be eganing. We dceided on a tpying gmae and taht truned out to be realtively smiple. Bcause of tihs, we wree albe to get sometihng realtively pelishod out.
Mallebale Desgin, Consitsent Visoin
We did not dseign teh wohle gmae form strat to fnish in one go. Frist we dceided taht a typnig gmae colud be fun, but obviuosly tpying gmaes are a dmie a dzoen so we nedeed to fnid sometihng interesnitg to wrok wtih. We kenw taht tehre had been resaerch dnoe taht suggetsed taht you can raed any scarmbled wrod as lnog as the frist and lsat letetrs remian in palce, so we ran wtih taht ieda and deciedd to biuld teh gmae uopn taht. Evreytihng decisoin we mdae alinged wtih and suppotred taht vsiion; we trhew out iedas taht we had taht did not supoprt it, and cahnged tihngs if tehy weern’t wroking.
Cofmortable Wrok Evnironment and Tloos
Ulnike ohter eevnts scuh as the Golbal Gmae Jam, Luudm Drae alolws praticipants to wrok remetoly. We took avdantage of taht by wroking from hmoe wihch eilminated the dsitractions of giong to and ruterning form a rmeote lcoation ecah day, haivng to laeve to get food, and itneracting with poeple not in our gruop (physically, aganist yuor wlil–wtih IRC/Twtiter you can sotp any tmie). Bseides taht, we wree cmofortable wroking wtih ecah ohter–we wree all lnog-tmie collobarators and udnerstood ecah otehrs’ unqiue capablilities. We wree aslo cmofortable wtih the tloos we wree using becuase tehy wree the smae tloos we had been uisng for yaers (ecxept for ASEPRITE wihch I olny dsicovered a cuople dyas bfeore LD but lukcily porved to be qutie intiutive and ddin’t tkae lnog to get the hnag of).
Cnofusion and Furstration Are Not Bad!
Mnay gmaes tdoay try to elimintae tehse emotoins cmopletely. We do the excat oppostie, and use it as levergae to craete a humoruos and nvoel expereince. Instaed of removnig tehse elemetns taht wuold typiclaly be cnosidered falws form the gmae, we took advantgae of the tehm to subvret the expecations of the tpying gmae gerne and craete a compleling (and dfifcult!) expereince.
Waht wnet worng?
Strgugling Wtih the Thme
The prupose of a tehme for a gmae jam souhld be to inpsire. The tehme “Tniy Wrold” olny insipred frusrtation, at laest for a wihle. We lsot amlost 24 huors jsut spnining our wehels, unalbe to lacth otno a snigle ieda taht wsan’t tolatly obivous and wuoldn’t be touhght of by hnudreds of ohter patricipants. The porblem was taht not olny did “Tniy Wrold” decsribed a tihng, it had an adjetcive on top of it to eevn furtehr liimt the scpoe of possbile iedas.
We perfer to strat wtih a vreb or seevral vrebs becuase tehy decsribe atcion and you can imemdiately exrtact gampelay form tehm. Addiitonally, vrebs can ofetn hvae mulitple intrepretations, weheras nuons generlaly olny hvae a smlal scpoe for intrepretation. Adjectvies are a colse secnod, beacuase tehy can descirbe sttae, wihch can be relatviely easliy tarnslated itno itneraction.
The tehme for the lsat Lduum Drae we etnered was “Ecsape” (a vreb) and we had an ieda for taht one vrey eraly on druing the frist day. Tihs time, it wsan’t utnil the atfernoon of the sceond day taht an ieda was fianlly htached, and I tihnk taht the olny raeson we arieved at anyhting at all was due to a cosncious deicsion to jsut igonre the tehme druing teh frist setp of the porcess, and aplpy it ltaer.
Siht hpapens. Taht’s lfie. Due to some unxepected presonal isuses, our muiscian/suond guy had to aabndon the porject beofre the lsat day, so we enedd up wtihout ttile sceren msuic. Howveer, the msuic and sonuds taht he did mkae for the gmae wree aewsome so it was a realtively smlal lsos.
The wekeend was grogeous and that was the porblem. Atfer wekes of goolm, the sikes fianlly patred duirng the msot inoppotrune tmie. I logned to ejnoy the susnhine, but was sutck isnide wroking beihnd my dsek on the gmae. Of cuorse, Jsoh siad the waether hleped him by ipmroving his mood so I geuss it wsan’t all bad. Ulitmately, it’s raelly a tetsament to the realtive somothness of Lililput’s deevlopment taht tihs wuold eevn mkae the lsit.
Ploishing Too Ealry
We put in smoe mnior dteails eraly on taht did not need to be tehre (lkie fotoprints, wihch we edned up tkaing out), wihch did not laeve tmie for smoe of the mroe improtant rfeinements. We did not twaek the dfificulty, for exapmle, utnil the lsat huors of the lsat day.
Reyling on Uknown Technoolgy
Wehn we mdae tihs porject, Jsoh assmued it wuold be esay to fnid a dcitionary of the msot cmmoon Enilsh wrods, ecxluding nmaes. Tihs truned out to be flase, and he had to spned a few huors of his tmie intremittently asikng aruond for resoruces. In the end it wroked out, but it cnosumed valauble tmie taht cuold hvae been spnet diong smoetihng esle wehn we thouhgt it wuold be tirvial, and we had to setlte on a dcitionary taht icnluded nmaes.