Pat AfterMoon
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2014 Connected Pylons 2011 prototype Online Demo
(December 1, 2011)
2009 prototype Forum

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August 30, 2014

Connected pylons: LD#30 Compo post mortem


Here is a post mortem for my LD#30 Compo entry: Connected Pylons.
It was my first Ludum Dare contribution. Here in France, the start time was Saturday 3am, so Wednesday, I decided to go to bed early for being in fine fettle. After wake up, I've looked at the theme and... damned no inspiration! I took my breakfast, no inspiration. I went for a walk in the woods near my home, no inspiration. I searched "connected worlds" with Google and Google image, no inspiration.

Finally, I gave up. At last I decided to use my time for fun and create an old school puzzle/arcade game.
And then, inspiration come, it was 4h after wake up!

At first, I created an empty project with Unity3D and put some cubes and spheres to visualize the concept.
The green player will have to push cubes to create a connection between an enlighten pylon and a dark one, and then the newly enlighten pylon will connect the player to the next world (level). If I have enough time, I'll implement bad red guys.
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It tooks me the first day to create the base code for the player and the cubes management on a square by square basis.
2

I took 30 minutes to implement smooth movement before going to bed.
www.aftermoon.net/LD30/Test2

The second day was dedicated to the creation of a few levels, the transition between levels (I'm very proud of it) and some testing. My initial goal was to generate the levels procedurally. But I've renounced to it because I wasn't sure to obtain something satisfying before the end of the weekend. So there were a few manually created level patterns, and only the bad guys are added procedurally in an increasing quantity. At midnight, the game was near finished, but without the bad guys.
www.aftermoon.net/LD30/Test3

I've spend the last 3 hours to add the bad guys (deadline was Sunday 3am in France). My goal was to implement a simple predictive AI: the "Goufy" follows the left wall, the "Regular" follows the right wall. The players can crush them with blocks or change their paths by modifying the labyrinth.
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At last, 30 minutes before the deadline, all was OK except there was no sound. I've spent the time left to create a few sound with SFXR.

The project was uploaded 5 minutes before the end of the time!
www.aftermoon.net/LD30/LD30Final

Finally I was happy with my game, I can even play it myself and take some fun. When some kind comments have started to fill my entry page I was even more happy and motivated to go further.

After the hard start with lack of inspiration, all went good during this weekend. I'm used to Unity3D, but I have learned a lot again. The webplayer was of great value, it has allowed me to easy share and get comments on the intermediate states of my game with the LD community on IRC channel.

At last I've found the only feature I really miss by reading comments on my entry page. The GF of a commentator has played the game for several hours, up to the level 46, where she was stuck. I have missed to save the current level in PlayerPrefs, so players have to restart from level 1 each time they come back to play. I've added load/save features a few days later, and like I was not sure about LD compo rules, I have hosted this final release on a separate page. And yes, the level 46 is beatable, you just have to not being discouraged, being quick, and finish the level before all bad guys spawn!

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Thanks Ludum Dare to hosting this event :)
The next step for me will probably be on Kongregate and Google Play Store...