Before the jam, we planned to make an action-packed juicy pixel platformer. In the end, we made a calm abstract puzzle game. Beauty of LD!
Every idea we had for a platformer wasn’t very interesting, so we started thinking about making game about logistics as our entry. Inspired by the great Factorio and Mini Metro, we tried to extract production belts and manufacturing into a simple innovative puzzle.
This resulted in Supernode, a game where you make a flow of energy by combining nodes to produce the right output from multiple sources.
In short, here’s how it went.
Day 1. (Idea, concept, prototyping)
We decided to go minimalist in every way (apart from programming side) and make an emphasis on the gameplay and polish. As with our most games, we made up an idea and then experimented, having only a vague idea about how it would play. The whole first day was spent on brainstorming and prototyping of basic gameplay. Although nothing was really playable at the end of the day, we kept believing.
Day2. (Graphics, code developing)
A day full of challenges for the idea development. Some features we designed on paper just didn’t work out in reality. Or rather not how we’d like them to work. Previous LD experience taught us to take flexible maneuvers against the pitfalls. We changed the game to be score-based infinite level and settled on free adding and removal of user-generated nodes. Also, most of visual elements were ready.
Day3. (Graphics, sound, code, polishing)
Making the simple 2d assets spared some time to for go sound more. We made a simple track of chords and intervals of the pentatonic scale, without a pre-defined melody. The melodies are produced randomly, again, in the pentatonic scale. Various events trigger a note, each time different one. By noon, the final gameplay was ready and we spent about 12 hours on polish, menus and tuning. Looking back, it would be great if we tested more since the jam version of the game has some nasty bugs.
There are plenty of things to improve. Anyway, we are happy how the game turned out.
After receiving some useful bits of feedback we made (and still make) some major and minor improvements and placed the post-compo version of the game on itch.io. The jam WebGL version stays untouched.
The results are in!
Not as good as the last one – Empty., but still in top 10! Woohoo!
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”.
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.
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.
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:
Weird Phatty is the collection of highly unpredictable and totally unusable audio phrases recorded straight from the great little analog synth. The samples are mostly atonal, ranging from very quiet hiss and crackle to resonant sweeps and pseudo-sequenced riffs. The sound was made with one finger pressed one key. No knobs were turned (perhaps, except of on a couple of examples), no buttons were pressed, no effects, sequencers etc were applied during recording – just the internal modulation of the instrument. The point of recording such samples was to explore the deepest possibilities and seek for margins of the little angry synth.
The sample pack is free for free or commercial use, with or without credit of author. However you can’t take any part of this sample pack for any kind of reselling purpose including sample libraries, stock marketplaces.
CAUTION! Please watch your ears!
Due to the wide frequency range of the samples listening to some sounds in high volume may be harmful to your ears. Please audition them in low volume.
Liked this freebie? Please subscribe or/and follow in Twitter! What would help us make more of these.