Before the Ludum Dare 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.
We have partnered with Opal Games, who released Powernode to the iOS and Android devices.
The game has been featured as “Game of the Day” on the App Store.