I couldn’t participate to the LD28 this time: many personal obligations and an urgent need to have a break. Luckily, I found a few hours on Monday to work on a small idea my wife & me discussed. And there it was: “Purpose”. Even though the time frame was really short, I think it’s still possible to write a small post-mortem out of it.
What went right
- 7h to code, 48h to think about it: while I couldn’t technically code during this weekend, I actually had a full weekend to think about the concept and elaborate upon my first idea. I made lots of level design in my head, talked about it with my wife, exchange ideas etc. So when I started to code, on Monday evening, I already knew what to do.
- Art & efficiency: I knew that, because of the short time available, I had to be as efficient & minimalistic as possible on this game. This meant: lots of filters (glows), no-limit on particles, and no texture. The black shapes for the walls were more a consequence than a real artistic choice. I kept focused on doing the most with the least.
- The texts: I felt comfortable writing the few lines you can read in-game and I’m pretty happy with the resulting mood :)
What went wrong
- Level design flaws: the gameplay seemed good at first, but it had many major flaws I only discovered while creating real levels. For example, you can stack the 3 characters and by making each one jump, you can easily reach many high spots. That’s the main reason I couldn’t finish the game: I was unable to create really difficult and interesting levels and it was too late to add interesting elements to fix that.
- Platform physics: it requires quite a long time to perfectly tune the controls on a platformer. I didn’t have this luxury, so they are a bit odd in Purpose.
- The stress: making a game in such a short time is nice to talk about after the fact, but it’s an awful amount of stress during it. Every simple bug becomes a very very unpleasant and difficult situation. I probably won’t do that again.
- Fatigue: the weekend before was a long one. Coding after it was not that pleasant. I almost felt asleep a few times and had to take a few coffees during the night :)
- No sound: no time at all for that. I wish I could create music one day! “Purpose” really lacks a moody track.