December 16th-19th 2011 :: Theme: Alone

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by Eliot - 48 Hour Compo Entry

This is my first time entering Ludum Dare. I wanted to make a game about exploring an abandoned space station in zero gravity. It seemed like a really lonely setting in my mind, and you would be investigating why everyone on the stationed vanished.
It became apparent around the midway point that I wouldn't be able to make even a simple version of that on my own in 48 hours.

So the game, appropriately, drifted a bit from my original idea. What it is now is a prototype of the kind of 2D zero-G movement I want to have. Since I was writing the game code from scratch in Processing (with the exception of the Fisica library for physics) I didn't have time to implement all the systems that would be needed for an exploration/adventure game. I spent most of my time coding the game and coding levels. So I decided to make it a simple traversal game with no story. It became less about exploration and more about figuring out how to make your character ricochet off of ungrabbable surfaces to get to the exit, which turned out to be more challenging and interesting to me than just jumping around.

Unfortunately this is a little bit off-theme now. I didn't have time to make the levels look more like an abandoned space station so you're just going to have to use your imagination. :)

I hope you enjoy my first Ludum Dare entry!

Downloads and Links




JayCFraser says ...
Dec 19, 2011 @ 11:02am

I think that the amount of time the player has to wait between issuing commands in this game detracts seriously from the fun. As soon as my commands weren't resulting in my, erm, dude landing again immediately, I was spamming the suicide button to try again.

Eliot says ...
Dec 19, 2011 @ 11:52am

Yeah. I was hoping to get a more strategic angle going on the gameplay, like pool, but unfortunately the square collision model for the player results in bounces that are a bit unpredictable.

Milo says ...
Dec 20, 2011 @ 10:05pm

This would certainly be an interesting concept with more development. Most of the difficulty of the game was getting the aim just right, but it'd be interesting if elements that required some thinking to get around were introduced.

Benjamin says ...
Dec 21, 2011 @ 3:44pm

The game is fun to play. You should have stick to your orginal idea of station exploration, it's good idea especially the "are we alone" part. You dont need art for this, just your exploring robot, 3 or more futuristic equipments and the alien portal for the end. That's not impossible work in 48h and the player could have seen the link between your game and the theme. Good work anyway !

Eliot says ...
Dec 21, 2011 @ 7:01pm

Thanks for the kind words. Perhaps I could have done it but it felt unattainable to me in the timeframe. Even the crappy character art that's in there (it was supposed to be a robot with wheels!) took several iterations and I spent more time on it than I had planned. I don't really have confidence in my own meager pixel art abilities to get across the idea of "alien portal" etc. The only thing I can really do reliably is mediocre pencil sketches and stick figures, maybe I could incorporate that in my next compo game if I do one.

As it was, by the time I had the jumping and wall climbing working properly and added level exits, I had precious few hours left which I spent making levels. I also probably wasted time there since I didn't have a level editor so I had to size the objects manually in code. At least I made a quick and hacky "edit mode" which allowed me to drag objects around on the screen and it would print out the new position of the object under the cursor so I could enter it in to the hardcoded level which was better than just guessing or doing math. The remaining time was also eaten up making the tutorial graphics.

I really think I'm more of a team player so I might try the jam next time. I can make a much better end product by having somebody that can focus just on the art and help with the game design.

Dec 22, 2011 @ 12:16am

play a bit of minecraft dude, pixels will come to you naturally lol

Eliot says ...
Dec 23, 2011 @ 7:43pm

Oh trust me I've played plenty of Minecraft and NES games. :)
Art has just never been my focus as there are already so many talented people out there. I'd prefer to work on my game design and programming skills.

Pierrec says ...
Dec 25, 2011 @ 10:33am

I think it's actually pretty good! I had fun finishing the game, and I would like to play more! The gameplay works!

summaky says ...
Dec 27, 2011 @ 6:04pm

It is a bit slow and this takes the fun out of it. I was going to complain about the lack of the alone theme in the game, but you already mentioned why is it :-)

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