Posts Tagged ‘LD48_28’

Lone Stranger’s You Only Get One Postmortem

Posted by of LoneStranger Designs (twitter: @lnstrngr)
Sunday, January 5th, 2014 12:13 am

You can find my LD 28 entry here. May I suggest you give it a try before reading further?


Going into the Ludum Dare challenge a couple weekends ago, I knew I wanted to use Unity. I had been using FlashPunk for every entry over the past few years, but it was time to move on. Unity has been my engine of choice for the past four or five months. I have especially learned a lot by participating in the Shroud of the Avatar Scene Jam competition held in September and October. Those jam competitions were first-person and used pre-made assets.

For Ludum Dare, however, I wanted to do something that wasn’t FPS. I’ve been gently ruminating on some kind of top-down arcade type game for awhile, so I thought I would make an attempt to do something simple using that perspective.

Friday came and the theme was announced. You Only Have One. The obvious two choices are one life, and one piece of ammo. I did not start on Friday, instead choosing to watch a movie with my wife. Saturday morning I began to tinker around with Unity and created a simple flat platform, added the player and off and on over the next couple days I managed to piece this together.
The Idea

I decided I wanted some kind of runner. I couldn’t come up with any better interpretations of the theme other than limiting the player to one shot. I thought about doing some variation to the Star Wars Death Star Trench Run, where you’d have to dodge obstacles on your way to the end and you’d have one shot to fire into the hole and blow the thing up. I thought about Moon Patrol as well.

What I ended up with was a game where you control the player via an over-the shoulder view down an alley. The goal is to get to the end and use the one bomb you have to blow up the ultimate evil. Along the way you have to go around blocks, avoid holes and dodge bolts shot from guns.

You Only Get One Bomb in action.

You Only Get One Bomb in action.

What I Don’t Like

The Holes

I wasn’t really happy with the solution that allowed the player to fall through the holes. The holes have a collider that triggers when the player touches it. It turns off the collider of the ground and the player falls through. The fact that it turns it off for the entire board didn’t cause any problems in this, but I could see it causing problems in other situations where I have other objects that rely on it being there. Another implementation next time around is to use blocks or hexes instead of one giant plane, and then remove them individually. It would require a new batch of code to manage the board, but would allow for different layouts and perhaps even hills and other height changes. Perhaps more elegant, but I could have used a terrain object.


This was something that wasn’t really in the initial idea, but something I got for free when using the Unity platform controller. I didn’t change the default settings too much, but I know it was not really ideal. If you noticed, you could jump on the side walls and run to the end that way. It was a easter egg, in a way, since I left it in on purpose. It was my quick-solve while testing events down at the end.


I didn’t have a problem with the theme. I think my interpretation of it was weak. I couldn’t come up with something clever or a twist on the most common interpretations. There is no reason the player will feel forced into using their one bomb earlier than the end. Horrible design flaw.

What I Liked

Pre-existing Scripts

Having pre-existing scripts, like the player movement and camera movement saved time. It’s nice that you don’t have to solve some of the same problems over and over again. There is also a wide community with answers to common issues. All it takes is a Google search and then sorting past answers for older versions of Unity and incomplete responses. It certainly makes it a bit easier to work on the game rather than the stuff behind it.

Sound In Minutes

I was able to add sound to the game in about twenty minutes with Bfxr and Unity’s built in sound components. It was quite literally a last minute thing, and I was surprised at how fast I was able to get it up and going without any problems. It also seems every time I make that milestone of adding sound to games I am amazed at how much it can transform the project. Definitely a confidence booster.

Next Time

If I’m making a runner in the same vein as this one, I’d like to do it so movement was 3D, and have it be more like the Star Wars trench run. I think that might be more fun. I am not much of a modeler, so if I choose from the beginning to just do the Jam, I could plan ahead with assets from the Unity store or elsewhere.

You can find my LD 28 entry here.

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