Post mortem of Proletarian Ninja X 3 | ♥ 1

What went wrong

  • 3 games in a weekend. My first idea was to make a “Dungeon Master”-like game where the labyrinth shape changed every 10 seconds. But I gave up the idea after a few hours because of some problems I encountered with the pseudo-3D engine. Then I switched to a top down arena shooter where the gameplay rule changed every 10 seconds (like “pick the enemies to score and avoid bonuses”, “going to the left is forbidden”, …). The idea seamed cool in theory but proved to be really frustrating and not fun to play. Gave up again. And I finally got the Proletarian Ninja idea. I lost almost one entire day on these.
  • Motivation problems. After the second abandoned idea (arena shooter), I decided to give up completely and went back home. I was really really down… Until I found my third gamedesign idea. I’ve been doing the LD for almost 3 years now. I love making games, and when I felt “bored” by the second game idea, I was really depressed. But I misinterpreted that feeling: it was not me being bored by Ludum Dare, it was just my game idea sucked.
  • Music & sounds. I used LabChirp for the sounds, and tried a few things with AutoTracker. The final result is pretty weak and I didn’t keep the music part (sounded really too “AutoTracked”). I will definitely HAVE to work that part for the next LD.
  • The theme. This theme had, in my opinion, a major problem. Most of the games you could make with a 10s constraint were actually better and funnier without the 10s constraint.
  • A good friend of mine gave up. Benjamin was working on a point-n-click game, verb-based like Monkey Island. The art and the idea were both amazing, really. But he had to give up because of technical and code architecture problems. Point-n-clicks are really tricky to create.

What went right

  • LD 24h. In fact, because of all of the motivational problems listed above, I actually made Proletarian Ninja in about 24-30h. Which is really cool :)
  • Stealth and action. I’m a total fan of games like Thief, Dishonored and Trilby. So I’m really happy and proud of the way Proletarian Ninja X plays and feels. I would really love to expand this gameplay further (probably without the 10s time constraint).
  • Level design. Creating the levels was rather easy (not fun, but easy), and I liked the fact that, even without real intent from my side, there was usually always a solution. So I usually created a level quite randomly, tried it, and if I could complete it, it was validated. Then i roughly sorted the bunch of levels based on a difficulty “feeling”.
  • Haxe 3. The new features of Haxe 3 are really cool: abstract types, macro, maps… I will post a few articles about that soon.

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  1. Elliot Pace: « 

    I can totally relate to the second bullet point on motivation problems, as I started an arena shooter only to throw it away and consider dropping out of LD all together.

    Your game has an awesome and smooth action feel like Hotline Miami, I really enjoyed it and gave 5/5 for overall. You have a new fan!

    August 29, 2013 at 18:34
  2. Unept: « 

    Love your art style, and jealous of your combined art/code powers. Now looking into types of witchery that allow me to steal such powers from others for my own use.

    August 28, 2013 at 19:43

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