When December rolled around in 2014, I meant to keep an eye out for the next Ludum Dare, I didn’t though… And one Saturday I suddenly remembered to find it was currently under way. This seemed discouraging at the time, but it made me make the first idea that popped into my mind and it couldn’t have turned out better really, I didn’t even make any graphics the entire weekend, which is usually the first thing I do to get an idea for the style and feel of a game.
The theme this time round was ‘Entire game on one screen’, which is more of a constraint than a theme but it worked for me as my idea came to me really quick for a change. Being as I started late I forced myself to make the idea I had as fast as possible without making any graphics, saying that if I was yet to have any game after 3 hours, I’d give up… fortunately I did have a game after 3 hours and it was kind of good, it may even be quite innovative.
The game is all about destroying the circle in the middle (every bullet will reduce its size ever so slightly, so slight you’ll barely notice) while avoiding the darkness, collision with the darkness will rapidly decrease your health. The player controls a coloured shape, this follows wherever your mouse is, the dark border, the dark circle in the middle and the enemies that spawn all must be avoided, which can be done with ease as you can move a mouse at some speed, however, after a certain amount of time, the borders will begin to shift.
The game has 3 types of enemies:
- Circles – These bounce around the arena minding their own business, as they lose health, they will shrink, making them harder to hit.
- Triangles – Homing in on your location and attaching themselves to you, very tedious!
- Squares – These slowly move out from the middle of the screen and grow over time, when they leave the level, they zoom back into the level, and repeat.
And 3 types of powerups
- Red Circle – A dense stream of square projectiles that always shoot towards the large sphere.
- Green Triangle – A spray of circles that try to avoid the sphere in the middle, good for getting pesky small circles.
- Blue Square – A short ranged burst of triangles in every direction, very powerful up close.
Everything came together at the end really well, it was still a struggle to get everything into the game and I essentially made no artwork for the game, something the game was lacking, but its simplistic style in the end was well received. Audio was a weird one too, I made the music for the game in under an hour and I’m not entirely sure how, but it turned out really well, the style of music was something I’d not really dabbled in either.
The results were fantastic, people really enjoyed the game, they said it was fun and many encouraged me to take it further, which I still really want to do, need to sort out a proper art style for it though. My top 3 categories this time round were Fun, Overall and Audio, which is just amazing, fun has to be the most important aspect of a game and the overall category is the hardest one to rank in and proves a game has a consistent level of quality. Being as there isn’t much to the graphics and I started pretty late, it all turned out surprisingly well.
The graphics still managed a 3.49/5 (70/100 to put it into percentages) which is actually crazy to think that almost none of my time was spent on creating the visuals and the fact that small tech tricks and simple flat colour is enough to score high… Particles all the way it seems.