Empty. Ludum Dare 37

Tidy up the room. It should be shining.

As always, Ludum Dare was a great way to experiment and learn a new thing! Here is how it went for us. The theme was “One Room”.

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Day 1, idea, modeling, code

As many people, we started with one concept and ended up with a completely different one. The key point was to make something that doesn’t rush the player, no sweat — just a zen-like experience. We began with a shader for smooth game look, which ended up in a relaxing open-space exploration, not a room game. It turned out quite difficult to tie the initial idea to the “room” theme. At the end of the day we came up with a new idea, which discarded what we’ve done during the whole day. Luckily, we were happy with the new game concept, which became the final game.

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Day 2, code, modeling, level design

A simple unlit look became the key element for the gameplay mechanics. Using that, developing levels became another pitfall. Removing objects against other objects is fun. But it would be funnier to solve some puzzles. So we tried to incorporate a few. By the end of the day we had a working prototype with most of the levels.

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Day 3, level design, sound, code, debug

On the code side, this is the first time we could afford to spend most of the day on polish. We tried different things for objects disappearing, highlighting details and overall smooth experience. We paid particular attention to sound effects and we’re quite happy with the result – removing furniture seems satisfying now!

What went wrong
It was a tough theme. The final idea came a bit too late. Describing the gameplay mechanics using words is incredibly difficult. One picture is worth a thousand words. One gif is worth two thousand words. Unfortunately, there was no time left to make an automated tutorial, that’s why the game could look complicated at first.

What went right
We were pretty happy how this game came out. And level design was not that difficult.

All in all
As always, it was fun making the game. Hope you will like it!


Update: We took the first place in Jam’s overall!

Woo-hoo! It’s hard to believe that we took the first place in Ludum Dare! To be fair though, three games share the first place in Jam this time. But who cares!

Here are the results of Empty on LD37: