Now it’s time to talk a little bit more about ACS and how the dev went…
…Here comes the traditional… Post-Mortem!
Technical stuff, the engine
If you’re into that kind of thing, you can grab the game source code.
I quickly knew I wanted to make something “Gauntlet-style” for this Ludum Dare. Basically, the top-down engine is pretty much the same as a platform engine without the gravity.
I already made many platform engines with the sacred “KiSS” principle in mind (Keep It Simple & Short). I use a common “Entity” class for all the things in the game which can move or interact. This simple class manages movements, gravity and collisions.
So the engine was done pretty quickly. I implemented a basic crowd collisions system to make sure entities could push other entities. There again, magic trick : resolve crowd collisions and recals, THEN the X wall collisions/recals and THEN the Y wall collisions/recals. This will unsure that wall collisions always prevail. Keep it simple.
The game was too ambitious here. To make it properly and balanced would have required another 12-24h I think. I made a few mistakes:
- the Chest should cost 10 pts and give 5 pts when picked up and not 10pts to install / 10 back when picked up,
- the Ghosts should have twice more health,
- the game really lacks a basic fixed turret (shooter) to add a little bit of tower defense gameplay to the mix.
The Chests were clearly the major flaw here: easy to use and abuse.
Music & sounds
At first, I prepared a Wolfram tones soundtrack. But someone pointed me at the rules of their website: “you are not allowed to use it“. Too bad.
I searched for alternatives and found an amazing Python script called Autotracker (with another variation here which uses triangle waves for the main instrument). The name says it all: random chiptune-like music generator. I host the script here as it is damn hard to find online. The results are quite repetitive, but it helps greatly when you need a complete music track quickly (“quickly” as in “10 minutes”, including downloading).
During the Ludum Dare, I thought to myself that simply watching the hero rampaging a dungeon was fun. Spawning mobs is cool too, but the passive hack & slash gameplay proved to be interesting.
Therefore, I might try to make a Progress Quest like game using the same engine: just watch your hero crawling a dungeon picking loots. The player would just have to make choices like opening inventory to switch weapons, drink potions, ..etc. Again, something like Progress Quest, but with visuals :)