About thecolorhacker (twitter: @@The_Colorhacker)

Hi there, Colhack speaking. I like making challenging games and puzzles with noone to kill but your brain...


Ludum Dare 30

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“Press space to start” from the inside

Posted by (twitter: @@The_Colorhacker)
Thursday, August 28th, 2014 3:32 pm

“Press space to start is my first entry in Ludum Dare. I thought at first that it would impossible to finish it, as I had less than 15 hours of real coding time to steal from real life. I gave myself two hours to find an idea that met the theme. As an starting point I defined these objectives to the game to follow:

– Easy to understand mechanic. Easy to code. Easy to play but difficult to master.

– Maximum attachement to the theme (my interpretation of the theme).

– Finish.

My tools were: GameMaker, Inkscape and swfmill.

After the muses’ time, I spent about three hours in character design and coding. Other three hours were spent in a “dead end alley”, and involved trying to do things that were unneeded and let me to have more problems than solutions. End of day one. Second day I tried to be more productive. I centered on level design and story. The most difficult moment came two hours before deadline. I had no idea of how to submit a game. Luckily, people in irc channel helped me enough to learn that I had to store the game somewhere, then link it. And 30 minutes passed until I found the submitting button.


What went ok

– Game mechanics are simple enough to understand them in 5 seconds, and controls can’t be easier to understand. Gameplay is interesting enough to keep players  attention turned on during the 10 minutes that lasts. Levels are difficult but not impossible.

– I looked for an strong interaction between text and gameplay. Rooms are divided into story and game spaces, like a very simple book with playable illustrations. The gameplay of a room reflects the story being told, and the story explains what is happening in the game.

The game is short and linear. That allows the player live the story without getting lost in an obscure branch. I don’t expect anyone to give a second chance to my game. Aren’t there more than 2500 entries to try and rate?

Finishing and having lot of fun in the process.

What went meh or wrong

Lack of more detailed graphics, as I centered in the game mechanics.

Lack of sountrack and audio effects. People like them and is something to be rated too.

Lot of ideas that I had no time to develop.

Controls: decision to add momentum to the character speed has raised most of the critics, joined with a very restrictive wall crash system that perhaps raises the difficulty unnecessarily.

Losing a fourth of my time trying to try to do things that worked in a different manner, to return to a solution that worked in the first place.

In conclusion

Even without all the gameplay elements I wanted to implement, I got a finished story, a flexible mechanic that fit well the story and few but (in my opinion) well designed rooms. So within the limitations of the game, I’m very happy with the result.

My submision. Press space to start.

Posted by (twitter: @@The_Colorhacker)
Sunday, August 24th, 2014 5:23 pm

Achieve your goals, discover new worlds, help people, fight stupidity. All of this and more in “Press space to start”.

Submission completed.


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