I’m Budaniel from AAGH Games, and I wanted to post a quick look at ShiftyBalls and what went well, plus what didn’t. I have written a long postmortem for some other time, so for right now let’s just focus on the positives and negatives from our experience in Ludum Dare 35.
What went well:
- The controls turned out better than planned. We originally had tank-style controls, which (as you’d imagine) did not feel intuitive and were unnecessarily difficult.
- The way the elements interact came off pretty much as intended, with each having their usefulness.
- We did pretty well on time. We were wrapped up on mechanics (for the most part) by Saturday afternoon and by Monday it was just bug-fixing.
What went not-so-well:
- The art could have been so much better. I’m still learning as a 3D artist and my attempts to make a decent animated, humanoid main character fell flat, leading to the ball we have now.
- We could have explained the elements a little better instead of just dropping the player into a level with all three at once. For example, we’ve heard that the Fire element should survive lava like the rock does, but in this case you’re not a fireball – you’re on fire, and that’s why you’re running faster (because it hurts).
- We could have used more sound effects. We often struggle to nail this element in a Ludum Dare, but this time I felt their absence to more than usual.
- The new web version seems to be giving some people issues, which I don’t think we can fix at this time.
- I nearly broke everything on Monday afternoon. I was trying to fix one small bug with the ice and broke that mechanic completely, resulting in a few hours of trying to fix the game.
That’s all for now. Thanks to everyone who’s tried ShiftyBalls, and to those that haven’t, give it a shot and leave us a comment – we love feedback!