This was an interesting game jam because of the fact that my theme won. Although I didn't have any ideas for the theme. I was really hoping that one of my other themes would've won. Nature(one of the two) got 11th place.
My goal for this Alakajam was to make a game that was fun(placing high in gameplay). I somewhat failed at that because I made it too hard, although I still managed to get 4th in said category. I've been focusing on gane aesthetic for a while now, but this time I tried to do something different. I ended up placing 1st in graphics, so it seems like the graphics category is unrelated to the quality of the aesthetic in popular opinion. When it comes to aesthetic, my favorite game I've made was The Crushed Sky from the last Ludum Dare. I think the quality of the aesthetic can be seen in the mood category for the Ludum Dare. It would be really nice if aesthetic/mood were a theme in the AKJ.
What went well:
I think that the graphics were a clear success along with the visual fx. I think that I was capable of doing the visual fx better, but I didn't have very much time for it because I was busy on Sunday.
The mechanics felt really good in my opinion. I used a few platformer tricks to make everything feel nice. The one issue here is that the wall jumping system I used to make it a bit easier felt a bit unnatural to some people. A few people never figured out how wall jumping worked with my system even though it was clearly stated. I'm really not sure what a good way to do wall jumping is. The standard way would've resulted in a lot of pain in the fingers. One method that came to mind(which wouldn't work here) is how wall jumping works in something like King of Thieves where you just tap to wall jump. This relies on automatic movement, so it wouldn't be usable in a game like Lollipop Ninja.
What went poorly:
The level design was obviously the biggest flaw here. Even though all the levels were linear, people would accidentally backtrack by dropping down to places they've been. It seems that I overestimated people's ability to tell where they are in a level. If you only went to places you've never been, there's only one spot in the game where there's a split path. Although if you look at it for a bit you can tell where you're supposed to go. @Aurel300 said that having to move so much makes it so you panic and can't pay attention to where you're going. I think there are some more subtle tricks I could use to show the player where to go though. One trick I plan on using in the update I'm working on is camera movement. For example: using the camera to show where you're heading.
The music was kind of a failure because I was too tired to figure anything out for it. I was working on it at like 4AM because I was running out of time, so I came up with some sort of drum track that gets played really quietly. I'm not sure what type of music would even make sense for a game like this. There's stealth and ninjas, but it also has a lighter mood because of the lollipops and the art style.
The final issue was with how the vision worked. The vision lines were slightly off(going from a bit up and to the left of the eyes of the people). Those still worked fine for the most part. The real issue was that you couldn't really tell where people were staring at you from. I assumed that since you could just go invisible and then hide in a smoke bomb that it wouldn't be a problem, but a lot of people would panic and not think to press X. This was something I fixed in the update I'm working on with vision lines.
Overall the game did pretty well. Even with its flaws, the people outside of the Alakajam thought it was very good(especially in the Pygame community). It maintains a 4.2 to a 4.6 out of 5 rating on Gamejolt and has been downloaded almost 1,800 times(this is after a couple weeks).
See ya'll next AKJ/LD!
This jam sure was fun! I'm happy with how my game
turned out (for once), and I'm looking forward to expanding
on it in the future.
Anyway, thanks to everyone who played Room Swap, and congrats
to, well… everyone! Making a game is an accomplishment in and of
itself, I think. Looking forward to participating in future jams!
If you haven't rated our game yet, give it a shot!
Drop a comment on this post or on our game and I'll return the favor and rate yours too!
Since the jam ended I've been stuck on 4kbps internet and haven't managed to play many entries because everyone uploaded huge, presumably AAA quality games filled with high res textures and lossless format six hour soundtracks. I'll keep trying to play more, but would really appreciate it if you could take five minutes to try my entry https://alakajam.com/2nd-alakajam/137/garden-of-statues
I'm sure on your fancy non throttled internet connection it'll be but the work of a moment to download and open the game. Please enjoy your time in the garden, because there's more to it than it may initially seem
Hello friends and jammers,
I've been unable to rate other games this time around due to family obligations, trying to still get my game ranked, so if you could take a few minutes to grab Dark Archer and rate it. Dark Archer is available on Windows, Mac or Linux and was a game from scratch based on my 7 week concept to release: Archer
Thanks for the help!
Hello World! (Never been good at introductions, but here goes…) My name is mr_1337 (can't believe that username was available) and live in Sweden. Been prototyping a few games in the past, but never anything to show for. In a pathetic attempt to actually create something from scratch with the plan of completing and releasing I decided to join a gam jam, which leads me to..
Scroll down for TL;DR and game
With my head held high I started drawing the sprites. That went well I thought and I soon had a, pretty good I thought, main character for my game. Cut to a few hours in, I started with the animations. Been programming for a few years in Java, and this was the first time using Unity. I had watched a few videos on how to use it and noticed that C# was pretty close to Java so how hard could it be right? I have never been so wrong in my life. 12 hours in and I was still stuck at the animation part.
I rather quickly realized that I was not going to make it, neither Ranked nor Unranked, but what a wise man once said,
"Quitters never win"
So, working on the game for a week, I finally made it! My first completed game! (Yes, I'm proud of it! Probably more than I should be). Overall, I'm pretty happy how the Jam turned out, even learned a few things. Few of them being; DON'T LEARN A NEW ENGINE UNDER THE JAM, DON'T DRAW, FOR GOD SAKE DON'T DRAW. Will most definetly continue making games in Unity though and now when I've got a hang of how everything works I can't wait to release my next game. Will most likely join more jams in the future!
Oh, one more thing, Happy Jamming!
Did not make it in time, but still decided to complete and release the game! Feedback is much appreciated! :) (First game ever completed, please go gently on it)
First, we've been getting a lot of compliments on the soundtrack for the game so I wanted to let you all know it's available for FREE! Stream and download here: https://horizontale.bandcamp.com/album/munch-uprising-ost
bonus post-jam thoughts
This was my first-ever game jam. Though I've been doing electronic music for six years now, I've never done music for a game before so this was a super neat oportunity. I loved getting to figure out what the world should sound like as the game was being developed. Early art by @NRathbone helped to inform the slighty cartoony, melodic vibe I wanted to convey. I knew very early on that I wanted two different versions of the soundtrack; practically, this played out with one "organic" theme and one "electronic."
The level song came first of the two songs on the final OST, but not first in the process. There are actually four started and abandoned projects in my Alakajam #2 folder. Those four were decent, but ultimately failed because I was trying too hard to create an over-complex arrangement that incorporated both organic and electronic elements. Frustrated, I took a break and watched an episode of Dr. Who with my wife to clear my head.
After talking it out, I realized that a simpler arrangement was the way to go- that way, I could "remix" it into an electronic version. The song came smoothly after that; the "organic" portion was comprised largely of SNES and N64 soundfonts. The sampled sound of soundfonts seemed perfect for our cartoony little game about donuts. After that, the electronic portion was made almost exclusively of Sylenth patches (and 606 drums) to give it an analog, retro feel. The main theme was written next; it was a kind of combination of the two kinds of level theme.
Thanks for listening! I am in love with the worlds that music can create and it was a blast making and sharing with you all!
What you can find in the postjam version:
The game is still short, less than five minutes, but I think the music alone gives a lot more in terms of mood. If you want, check it out and let me know what you think, I'm always happy to hear back from the players.
Thanks to everyone that gave me feedback on my game, your suggestions have been really useful.
You can find the postjam version on my itch page: https://fullmontis.itch.io/map-and-shovel