Ok, now what?

Had planned something of an all nighter to finish the gameplay side of my Ludum Dare game, but ended up taking a relatively early night instead. It’s not really coming together in a way that I’m happy with…

The idea I had was pretty simple; you’re exploring a dungeon, finding treasures, that sorta thing. A sentient darkness is creeping up right behind you at all times, seeping in through walls and blocking off paths – you can slow it down by throwing torches at it, but you can’t stop it. You can only really explore about half of the dungeon: Trying to keep ahead of it forces you to make permanent choices about what items you can take with you and which ones you need to leave behind. By the end, you’d have a character which had “leveled up” based on the choices you made (if you avoided combat, for example, you eventually find some items that increased your speed, and so on). At the end of the dungeon you’d find a weapon, a sword of light that allowed you cut into the darkness and fight the creature at the heart of it.

I knew this was a lot for 48 hours, but despite previous experience to the contrary I thought I’d be able to finish it anyway… But it’s not looking that way. Right now I’m still undecided about whether to just scale the idea back significantly and try to finish something, to start something new and simpler, or to just abandon the whole ludum dare thing entirely 🙁

* 10 Comments

10 Comments so far

  1. Paul on April 19th, 2009

    I say go for something scaled back, maybe only made up of a few rooms?

    It’s a really good concept though, and I hope you find the time to realise it fully.

  2. Jellyfish on April 19th, 2009

    You could try to do it like it begins in the middle: the guy is already scared of death of the darkness and it only has a couple of rooms until the end.

    Great concept!

  3. David on April 19th, 2009

    This goes as far as asking yourself, why do you even make games?

    A: To make great games?
    B: To win awards?

  4. David on April 19th, 2009

    Let me be more specific; you are not a speed-developer. And that’s just fine as long as you don’t torture yourself and synthetically compress your ideas by entering small-time-limit contests.

    Try other awards that are more long-term. Like, say, Newgrounds, if you ever get more involved in Flash. You can win award of the day, of the week, of the month, and of the year. Pretty awesomely simple if you ask me. =)

  5. Jotaf on April 19th, 2009

    I don’t think you’d lose anything by scaling back a bit. It doesn’t necessarily have to be about choosing one level-up over another; it can simply be a game of collecting the maximum number of points (ie, the collectibles don’t actually do anything except add to the score). The gameplay would consist of predicting the path of the wall of darkness and adapting yours to try to get the most points. I’m probably over-simplifying this, but you’d only need:
    1) Moving around in a tile-based maze
    2) Collectibles that simply add to your score
    3) An expanding wall of doom!

    Also, since this is a prototype that might reveal great gameplay potential, like Tower of Goo opened the way for World of Goo for example (a bit extreme, I know :), I really don’t think it’s a waste of time. You read Dan’s Lost Garden blog?

  6. Terry on April 20th, 2009

    Decided to forget about it in the end. Next LD, maybe!

    I’m not sure it’s worth continuing to persue this particular design, either; really there are other things I’d prefer to move onto. 🙂

  7. David on April 20th, 2009

    “Decided to forget about it in the end. Next LD, maybe!”

    Awh…. oh well… Hey, I have an idea; for the next LD. instead of make a game after the contest starts, make hundreds of different games based on every subject there could possibly be! Yeah! Great idea, huh? =)

  8. Mike Kasprzak on April 20th, 2009

    Yep, we seem to have a new theme every month (Mini’s and Full Compos), so no shortage of wacky inspiration. 🙂

  9. Seraph888 on April 20th, 2009

    Hi, which languages and tools do you use for programming your games? They’re really awesome. (Sorry for my bad English.)

  10. David on April 21st, 2009

    Ha ha, do you say that in every message you make? Your english was perfect. =)

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