…just after the stroke of 10:30pm, on a chilly spring Monday (local), we closed up the game files, packaged a few files, and linked to them on Ludum Dare’s website. Sitting back in my chair, I’m thinking… I’ve learned that willpower and motivation are everything when it comes to Game Competitions. There’s not really much to say on the subject other than that… I’m tired! This game was drawn and programmed by Jimun Batty, drawn by Luthrid and myself, with a music track feature by Gero.
William the Wopol
Our game is about a mammalian water dweller called a wopol. As he wakes up, he’s greeted by a page over a speaker, calling him. After doing some experimental tests, he’s sent back to his room, but piecing together that he’s not supposed to be here. He remembers being a human! Wanting to break out, he has to put the skills he learned in the lab to use and escape, but there are obstacles in the way, obstructing his path.
Take on the journey, encounter enemies, figure out navigation puzzles. Get home where you belong…
Modes of Transportation
Initial Lab Layout
Breaking into Grate Sketch
Getting Lost Sketch
Getting Lost in Game
One-Way Pipe Sketch
Dodging Harpoons Sketch
The Bedroom Layout
Wide Ocean Sketch
The Illusion of Freedom
Initial Lab Sketch
Initial Lab Design
Sadly, our only regret is timing. There were a few things that we couldn’t get done in time but may release postmortem so the game feels more cohesive and complete. Enemy variety is a big thing. Between drawing enemies and coding them, there was simply not enough hours to do them all, so we stuck with three. The facility had guards that would capture you for trying to escape (and return you to your room). As well as other sea-life that would slow your journey down, drawing and coding got bumped down the pipe.
As well, as a tool of exposition, there were plans to have other Wopols in game who would talk to you and hint you along as to what the story’s about and where you need to go to finish the game. Again, timing.
Custom music was a big thing during LD-28 (You Only Get One). This time around we managed to do one (Thanks, Gero!), but used Incompetech for the rest. Sound engineering felt tight overall and there wasn’t much to improve on!
Edge case collision errors were a thorn in our proverbial side, but for the most part, if stuck, you can wiggle out of it. Something that may be fixed postmortem.
This is sort of our biggest, most polished adventure game to date. Thanks to an engine developed completely by Jimun Batty, our head programmer, making the environments, the animations and marrying them together was exceptionally breezy!
Developing a game around a story that started only as an opening line until the midway point of the dare is rewarding in its own way. You see how the game plays before you know where the character is going to end up. This gives you an idea of where to go with things from there.
From here, I’m confident that game development will be more rewarding. This was a really fun dare; it was a heck of a weekend for me personally. Between the hard work, the fun times, the sleep deprivation and the camaraderie, something fulfilling and special really hit home. That makes me all the more proud to be part of this team, and has me looking to the future with a positive outlook.
…baggy eyes, sure, but positive outlook!