August 23rd-26th 2013 :: Theme: 10 Seconds

Ludum Dare 27 — August 23rd-26th, 2013
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Firefly

by kidder - 48 Hour Compo Entry

A game about a kid and his dad.

Controls:
Arrow keys to move
Space to jump
Z to swing your net

-----
Background & Mini-Postmortem (Minor Spoilers)

(I wrote a longer postmortem here: http://thekidder.com/2013/09/ludum-dare-27-postmortem/)

I didn't quite make the game I wanted to, but I'm still quite proud of my first solo LD. I'm especially happy with how some of the visuals turned out, given that this was my first time doing pixel art.

I had a difficult time coming up with an idea for this theme. I desperately wanted to avoid the blunt 10-second timer trope, so a lot of my brainstorming was trying to think around that. I instead interpreted the theme a bit more subtly (OK, I mostly ignored it). A phrase and a visual image popped into my head: a kid and his dad sitting on a hill, and the dad says, "A star dies every 10 seconds". The mental imagery was very compelling, so I turned it into a game.

I spent most of the first day drawing pixel art and trying to recreate the image that inspired me. At this point I still didn't really know what my game was about - I just had a phrase to build off of and a very concrete image in my mind about what the game should look like. I built that look without knowing what the game should be about, and then tried to find some game mechanics that would fit it. This reflects in my final product - I think the art turned out really well, and the mood is close to what I intended, but the gameplay is obviously a bit minimal and underthought. I simply didn't have the time or inspiration to create more compelling gameplay after spending so much time on the art. I would have loved to get some background music and more/better sounds into the game as well - I think it would have helped a ton with the mood - but composition is totally alien to me and the best I can do with sound effects was playing with bxfr. Maybe something to learn for next time.

Downloads and Links


Ratings

Coolness56%
#62Mood3.69
#66Graphics4.00
#718Audio2.23
#738Overall2.88
#811Humor1.81
#931Innovation2.43
#978Fun2.36
#1016Theme2.55

Comments

lcass says ...
Aug 26, 2013 @ 3:10am

Love the graphics!

bushmango says ...
Aug 26, 2013 @ 3:14am

Whoops I got stuck in a wall. And then in another wall, so I'm not sure if there was more. I really liked the fireflies as hidden powerups thing! And the beginning was touching.

Taylor says ...
Aug 26, 2013 @ 3:15am

Got stuck in a wall and couldn't progress! Sorry :(

Ravetcofx says ...
Aug 26, 2013 @ 3:15am

This game gives me emotional shivers down my spine

jwolf says ...
Aug 26, 2013 @ 3:16am

Nice entry! It's pretty atmospheric.

MegaMasterX says ...
Aug 26, 2013 @ 3:42am

Great game. Awesome graphics. The intro was a very nice touch. Great job!

kidder says ...
Aug 26, 2013 @ 4:03am

Thanks for all the feedback!

Sorry about the collision problems! It seems to be my Achilles' heel in these types of things. I'll see if I can put together a fix for that shortly.

Feysoura says ...
Aug 26, 2013 @ 4:17am

I got stuck in a wall and couldn't progress. Damn shame. Theme was nonexistant. Anyway, nice.

goodpaul6 says ...
Aug 26, 2013 @ 4:17am

Good mood, really love the graphics, but got stuck in the wall, don't worry, I understand :)

Armix says ...
Aug 26, 2013 @ 10:32am

I liked the graphics and the concept; kinda cute. :)

skarab says ...
Aug 26, 2013 @ 3:09pm

I like the mood, and the graphics. Cutish :)

necmelt2006 says ...
Aug 26, 2013 @ 6:18pm

Nice, bugged but the ideas and the intro are good.

JimMakesGames says ...
Aug 27, 2013 @ 9:57pm

This is actually very sweet. The innocence and simple goodness of the character is appealing. Nice pixel art too and a very nice mood.

Lizzip says ...
Sep 1, 2013 @ 10:59am

Very nice graphics, good sound, kept getting stuck in between platforms while trying to go down a level

kibertoad says ...
Sep 1, 2013 @ 11:02am

cute, looks nice. good use of unity. just never went far enough with it's own concept.

koe415 says ...
Sep 5, 2013 @ 4:11am

Great graphics and nice simple story! The transition between night and morning is beautiful and I like how the ground changes as well. The collision is irregular and the platforming is floaty but all's forgiven with how nice everything looks! Nice job!

Will Edwards says ...
Sep 5, 2013 @ 6:28am

Oh thank the gods it didn't restart every 10 seconds! :) Nice to see some good variety on the theme!

hbocao says ...
Sep 7, 2013 @ 12:27am

Nice graphics, dude. Interesting take on the theme too. I missed a nice and soothing background music to really set the mood. Nice touch with the intro story. Well done!

cwkx says ...
Sep 10, 2013 @ 2:31pm

Stunning visuals and really fantastic mood, great job :)

Atmospherium says ...
Sep 10, 2013 @ 10:05pm

Really cool idea, I definitely like that you took the theme in a different direction and started a story with it. I'd really be interested to see how you could develop the story and gameplay more. Only complaint is how short it is and how floaty the jump is. Other than that, great work.

DDRKirby(ISQ) says ...
Sep 10, 2013 @ 10:45pm

This is really quite good for your first time pixeling :)

KristinnEs says ...
Sep 10, 2013 @ 11:55pm

Great game :) I found it strangely relaxing.

Sep 11, 2013 @ 1:04am

Do the stars in the background actually disappear? I thought I saw one disappear but couldn't be sure, and then I stayed still and tried to catch one disappearing but no luck..
The art is terrific and built around a beautiful concept. But the sound effects I felt was kind of unnecessary and was distracting for me. A simple ambiance music would have been just perfect!

Gabriel says ...
Sep 11, 2013 @ 4:55am

The graphics are truly beautiful and inspired! I loved the colors of the platform tileset, mostly dark with some bits of light that give it a dreamlike feeling. The dawn effect is also absolutely beautiful! You mentioned in your description that you had this mental image and you pursued it as you created the art - indeed this is reflected in the final product, it is amazing how such a simple composition is able to evoke such an emotional response even with minimal gameplay! The game would certainly gain longevity by having a richer gameplay, but as you also said this is something you already know! But seriously, this looks like a beautiful beginning, I'd totally put some time to enhance the mechanics and adding some music, even if you don't plan to sell it. This short composition piece deserves to exist and be realized even if it is just to remain as a portfolio piece! :D

Congrats man!

Btw, did you use any particular plugin or framework to do the 2D graphics and mechanics in Unity? I've been tempted to try Unity, but I'm constantly scared by everyone talking it is still difficult to do 2D games on it (at least until the next update)...

bitserum says ...
Sep 11, 2013 @ 9:57am

I enjoyed this one, nicely pixel-painted. Great job in 48h

Sep 11, 2013 @ 11:09am

Very nice graphics and mood. :)

withoutpillow says ...
Sep 11, 2013 @ 3:22pm

i liked that moment when i suddenly realised it was almost morning and the stars would fade away. nice entry.

kidder says ...
Sep 11, 2013 @ 10:22pm

Thanks everybody!

@Atmospherium
The jump is pretty floaty, haha. Partially intentional (trying to recreate a more dream-like quality) but mostly just the result of too little iteration.

@theholychicken
The stars don't disappear - but that was actually the first thing I planned to implement! It never got finished, though; everything else seemed more important.
I debated leaving the sounds in for a while... I wasn't really happy with them, but leaving them out made the world feel too empty. I liked that they added a bit of presence - not a lot, but enough to ground the game world. I totally agree that they aren't entirely appropriate for this game.

@Gabriel
Thanks so much! Glad so much of the aesthetic came through. I haven't decided if I want to continue doing anything with this project.
I used Othello for the 2D stuff, mostly for easy sprite/texture management. The collision and level loading code was all done by hand (using Tiled as a level editor). I am pretty excited for 4.3. I hope it makes 2D things more streamlined.

dj_pale says ...
Sep 13, 2013 @ 9:53pm

Nice art style! A bit unsure what I should do at first, and it should have been longer ;)

crueltear says ...
Sep 14, 2013 @ 10:53pm

Your pixelart is great, but there should be more gameplay than graphics. But nonetheless it's good entry.

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