okay so this is a post mortem of the game i made for ludum dare called bloody tentacles. if you arent familiar with it, here is a gif that illustrates the gameplay fairly well.
basically 5 stages of that. and spikes too. you control the body with wasd and the tentacles with the mouse. they aren’t big stages so i hope it doesnt overstay its welcome/become samey towards the end, although it might somewhat since the last level is a bit tough.
alright on to the postmorteming.
so what went well?
- writing my own engine: i dont think i could have made this game with an off the shelf engine. not without hacks or having to work around the engine in many parts of the code at least.
- using bosca ceoil: i have have never written music before this jam but i was able to make nice sounding stuff with bosca ceoil in very little time. highly recommend.
- my art: i dont consider myself an artist but this stuff came out very well. i have been trying to get back into pixel art lately
- my method of choosing a name: i just looked through my source code and found the coolest sounding names and picked from those. it was down between “gibify” and “bloodyTentacles”. both are good names but i think this was a better one.
what went wrong?
- my art planning: i have like a billion art assets in my art folder that are unused. the coolest of whcih is a set of sprites that let the eye follow your mouse. but also a whole sprite font! and another track of music! jeez. should have held off until the end.
- my sleep schedule: i stayed up until like 5 am every night even though i got no good work done between 1 and 5. had i not done this, i probably would have finished in time for the main compo. this is the biggest thing i think.
- my first day plan was too ambitious: it was the same basic idea but i wanted you to control the tentacles more individually.essentially, you’d hold shift (or something) and go into a slow motion/pause mode (think like in transistor when you’re planning moves, or in the witcher 3 when you are using runes), where you could move the tentacles to individual places and pick targets that were in range. you’d then release pause mode and theyd do that.
this would have been sweet but it would have taken more time. i’m glad i simplified. i might still do this in the future but it is unlikely. maybe even in another game.
- blood splatter on the walls: towards the end i added a feature where i would draw the effect buffer onto the wall every frame at a low opacity, so that you would see the blood spatters (smoke also showed up there but you couldnt really tell). this looked cool, and gave the game a great sense of persistence, but since i was doing it in screen space it looked really stupid when e.g. the blood would fall off the end of the screen and be cut off suddenly, or you’d move and you’d see the world outline on screen because of the parallax background (even without the parallax background, the first effect was bad enough looking make it too annoying to be worth doing).
so anyway, if you havent played it, you should! it’s actually pretty fun i think, and i don’t always say that about my games.
he awaits you