Ahoy! Long time no see. I’m not very good at updating this blog but I hope to change that starting now. Usually I just post to my Google+ stream and call it a day, but starting from this post I’d like to try to post at least once a week.
Last weekend was Ludum Dare #25 and while I didn’t officially participate, I did make a game using the same 48-hour time constraints. The largest time sink in my projects has always been level design, so I wanted to make an arcade game with a single infinitely streaming course much like my old game Tower of Greed.
After about 14 hours of development time over the weekend resulted in a simple game I’m calling “Bounce Tower”. Bounce Tower is an infinitely scrolling platformer based on a mockup I did a few weeks back where your primary goal is to go as high and collect as many jewels as you can. I developed it in the extremely small 160×144 Gameboy resolution and managed to use only 3 shades of grey (4 if you count transparency). I used FlashPunk as my foundation and Ogmo Editor for the map segments. While I didn’t spend as much time developing it as I probably should have, I did notice some flaws in my time management for the hours I did put in.
Even though I keep my games simple, I still struggle with scope – always trying to add way too many different objects or enemies before I even finish the necessary mechanics like the lives system or being able to lose. As a result, Bounce Tower doesn’t have a game over screen or audio, the power-ups don’t work, and there are only 7 map segments to play. Most of the features I added didn’t even make it into the few levels that I put together. In future projects I plan to first get the core mechanics and win/lose/retry conditions working before piling on various new things, and then spending time with each one to make sure everything is playable at every checkpoint.
I will probably put 10 more hours into Bounce Tower to bring it up to 24 total before putting it up for sponsorship bidding on FGL. I want add animations for everything and some different display modes for those who are bothered by monochrome games. Time permitting, I’d also like to get high scores working and add some achievements to increase replay value.