BENEATH the SURFACE Post-Mortem

I’m proud of BENEATH the SURFACE, my entry for the 29th edition of Ludum Dare.

It’s about a tiny orange triangle that LOVES (ahem, literally) to understand complex systems.
It goes from understanding one layer of a system to the next one in a swift and merry way.
But it’s not all as merry and swift as our little fellah would like for the latest system…
During this journey, our intrepid friend will discover the most important thing. About himself.

Level Capture

It took me 48 hours to design, program, test, and hate it from scratch.
You can watch the development madness in its timelapse.
What follows are some post-mortem thoughts about how to improve the gamedev process.

What went right?

I like the concept and how it turned out to be the game it is now.
I got the idea pretty early and by some miracle I was able to finish everything I wanted.
I even had some spare time to translate the text into Spanish!

What went wrong?

Level design. I suck at it. As every gamedev out there, I tend to play my games during the development stage.
I play them a lot.
It’s no wonder that when I need to design the levels I’m so good at the game that everything seems too easy.
But when someone plays my games for the first time, they hit a difficulty wall almost instantly.

I didn’t expect to get that far with the polar tilemap.
That doesn’t mean that the collisions are buggy and that there are some undesired visual artifacts.
I broke the golden rule: do not play with unknowns during Ludum Dare or something will eat your kids.
Luckily, I don’t have any kid just yet.

My Ludum Dare games always feature horrendous art, or procedurally generated graphics.
I am completely useless at graphics.

Final Advice

Although I failed in many aspects during this Ludum Dare; just look at how many things I did wrong,
I choose to believe in @lucyamorris‘s conclusions in her post  LUDUM DARE & HOW IT TAUGHT ME IT’S OKAY TO SUCK:

“It’s okay to fail” Ludum Dare. You don’t have to be good at everything.
To succeed, “just don’t give up”.

In the end, Ludum Dare is about having fun learning how to develop games.
I had fun and I learnt a bunch of new tricks in the process.
That sounds like complete success to me…

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