Right, I should probably have written and posted this much earlier. But my life doesn’t always give me enough time for these things…
Regardless, prepare your eyes for the wonder that is;
Not Your Average Mining Emulator*
* Gameplay may actually be average
This would be my fifth finished game, but also the seventh Ludum Dare I’ve tried to join in on. And I’ve got to say that this was not one of the themes I was hoping for myself, but I still did what I usually do; Sit down for a few hours just after the theme’s released (3am here in Sweden) and sketch up a few game ideas. And then I can take those ideas and polish them after sleeping on it for a few hours.
The ideas I managed to sketch down for this LD were of a Diablo UI inspired rougelike, a submarine hunting game that also spun off as a wreck hunting game idea, an idea for a submarine shoot’em’up, and finally something of a clone of the old game Motherlode and Clonk. In the end I decided to go for the final idea, as that was the one I felt held the most promise with the lowest amount of graphical work (my weakest point).
So, with that in mind.
What went right?
- Had already prepared a simple framework that worked well for a 2D sidescrolling digging game, helped cut down some on the development time. Inputs and things prepared in advance is really nice, since otherwise such things would eat development time.
- Streamed everything, every second I was at the computer. This really helps with the focus, and I even managed to keep enough attention on the chat to be able to answer some questions that arose from viewers.
- My art ability seems to have improved slightly since I started Ludum Dare, so the first sprites I did for trees and ores came out looking really well.
- My thoughts on UI design turned out perfectly fine too, I’ve noticed that many people’ve commented on how nice and smooth the in-house UI looks.
- A crafting system turned out easier than expected, so I was able to throw it together and put in two recipes in only about one and a half hour.
What went less right?
- Didn’t think to grab an existing physics engine like Box2D, so lost a huge amount of time writing physics and debugging them. There’s actually a collision bug that slipped through when I was working on ladder support, since I moved some code about and accidentally removed the part of code preventing you from jumping when you have a wall above your head. I really need to cure my NIH syndrome I guess, but it’s just so much fun to recreate the wheel.
- Didn’t feel I had enough time to really work towards sound or music in the game, so it’s a very silent game. This is something I really suck at doing, so I guess I won’t be releasing any games that take in high scores on Audio any time soon.
- Still can’t draw a player character in any way, so the player stayed as a cube saying ‘IDLE’ until the last couple of hours. And even then I only really managed a simple stick man.
- I failed to put together an inventory system like what I originally thought of making, so lost several hours of development rewriting that. In the end I figured that only having a single object on the player was acceptable, and spent more time getting the house to be able to store things.
- Because the inventory system failed to be finished I had lots of code that was supposed to be used with in-game tools that you couldn’t craft or carry.
- Didn’t have ingredients for proper food laying about, so ended up with simpler food and that just doesn’t feel as good. No food photos from me this time.
- Another entry made from scratch in C++ using SFML, this is starting to look like a theme for my entries I think. Maybe I should sit down far in advance of the next one and create a larger base framework so I could use that instead, based on SDL maybe?
- This Ludum Dare I decided to try a simpler game without using my home-grown entity component system Kunlaboro, so this game is more of a statemachine based game. And while it feels really good to go back to my roots for a simple game, I can’t help but feel that I could’ve gotten so much more done if I’d used Kunlaboro for it…
- I should try to move game logic away from base C++ code and towards scripts, maybe using Lua or Angelscript. This needs for me to have more time before the start of the compo so I can properly prepare the framework though.
To finish, thank you to all the people watching me work. And those of you that commented on the entry, both during the stream and during judging, every bit of criticism helps.
I’ll be seeing about maybe cleaning this up later on and releasing a post-compo version, though I don’t know how much of the original code would be left afterwards. It started off so nice and neat, but now the codebase if just a horrible bunch of duct tape fixes.