I just have submited my compo, please play it there :
It was my first LudumDare and my second 3D game so I’m quite happy with the resulting game.
It took me a total of around 26 hours to complete. 14 hours the first day and 12 hours the second.
At first I was not sure to make a 3D game but since IANAD (I-am-not-a-designer) my 2D graphics would have frustrated me. Instead, by using simple 3D geometry (which is actually extruded from bitmaps) and some work on the shaders I could pull out some kind of “mood” that I hope you will like.
How did I spent my time ?
– 10 hours for the game engine : I started with a simple bitmap that was giving the Z position of the buildings, then since I wanted to do ramps and floating platforms I used a second bitmap that is storing these informations. In the end a third bitmap was added to store elevators and also in-building flag.
I wanted a very simple game in terms of controls, not something were you spend your time looking around. So I wrote something that is looking at the Z before you, and moving your head up and down in consequence. It’s not perfect and sometimes feels a bit buggy but in general it works well.
The collision part was easy, although I had to hack around with elevators and multiple heights. It’s ugly but it works.
The engine is actually written from-scratch using Flash 11 low level APIs (allocate vertex buffers by hand etc.) I didn’t use any 3D modeling tools so everything is based on code. The resulting SWF in 45KB (contains both code and graphics, only music is a separate file)
– 5 hours for the mood/shaders : I did of lot of research for colors, shadows and fog. Being able to edit the shader directly in the code (thanks to HxSL ) was a blessing, saved me hours and felt very flexible. Please don’t look at the resulting shaders, they are definitely ugly and don’t make any sense at all. But they look nice (I hope).
– 7 hours of the level editing + testing : walking around, moving walls, checking the items position and the tutorial correctly working is always time consuming. The level editing itself was a bit clunky (I used GraphicsGale). Especially since my level was a bitmap I had to make the difference sometimes between very near level of grays (33 versus 32 for instance) that I couldn’t even see. Next time I will use different color keys mapped to Z values for sure, I think I just lost a bit more of what is left of my sight.
– 1 hour for the scenario : I got the idea while waking up the second day. I had the engine but didn’t knew which game to make. Action or shooting was out of question, I was thinking about different puzzles idea but they were too much complicated. I decided instead to go with a story and some bits of exploration
– 1 hour for the music. Since IANAME (I-am-not-a-musician-either) I used a tone generator, then tweaked the instruments and the patterns. I didn’t want to add sfxs because of the lack of time, but also because it’s hard to get right
– 2 hours for the final testing/improvements/blogging : I added run key (Ctrl OR Shift) and head movement while walking, but also did some minor tweaks such as checking the flash player version or if it is GPU accelerated.
Overall it was very fun, hope you will like the game as well !
Oh, and try to find the Kitten, there is one.