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Post Mortem of Zen Roots LD34

Posted by
Wednesday, December 16th, 2015 5:05 am


So this is the first time I have ever written a post mortem after LD. The 4th one I have entered. And my second time making an entry by myself. I had a blast and am really pleased with the results of this entry. So now that we got the statistics out of the way, on to the development itself!

I was lucky with the whole growth theme because I had a game in the back of my mind for a while now that fitted quite well. It was going to be about nurturing a seed through all steps of its life from seedling to tree. However, I really wanted to use both themes. Then I came up with the mechanics of  growing a single root through obstacles and the basis of this game was clear. The basis was quite simple, but also expandable so perfect in terms of scope.


It was around that time that I was dicking around on the irc channel procrastinating that Lindar announced he had some timeslots available to make game audio for people. I checked out his sound cloud and was immediately sold. So the decision to push for Jam instead of Compo was easily made. I told him I was looking for a Zen type feel to the game and he just jumped right on it.

The whole game wasn’t really clear in my head until I received the audio file from lindar. It was perfect. I put the audio on a loop and the game just kind of build itself around that.

I had some questions in the comments about how the game was made, so ON TO THE CODE!


The game was made in Unity 5.3. the root, the trees and the rocks are all just Line Renderer objects that are being spawned in by code. The root has a “rootNode” that’s just an empty game object you steer. The rest of the root just spawns after it in small segments each Update. Because of this the game creates a lot of objects, so one of the first things I did to optimize was delete out of sight line Renderers. The rocks are spawned in as crude circles with a semi-random radius, I then randomize some of the nodes on that circle to get the crudely drawn effect.


What went right:

-I had the basis of the game in my head in the first 5 minutes. This really gave me a lot of time to implement and in the end polish.

– I was REALLY lucky to spot Lindar’s offer, that sound really made this game. (I can not say this enough ^^)

– Since I’m no artist I’ve decided to play my strengths and build an “artless” game. Looking at my last pixel art submission I’d say this was a good thing :)

-I never hung around irc this much and those guys really helped with motivating me to keep going.


What went wrong:

-Except for a high score there is no real clear goal for the game

-I wanted to implement more meaningful and varying pick-ups. Invulnerability for example.

-The bloom looks great in the standalone versions, but for the life of me I could not get it to look properly in the WebGL version

-There is still a bug with pick-ups spawning within rocks that I did not have time for.



Lindar’s soundcloud

Thanks for reading everyone and definitely until next LudumDare!



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