#LD48 – A Planetary Guide

I wanted to do a quick write up for my LD48 entry “A Planetary Guide”, which can be played here:

http://www.ludumdare.com/compo/ludum-dare-30/?action=preview&uid=20967

What worked:

I loved the theme and the idea for this game came to me pretty quickly. I thought of astrology right away, and then the story of Pluto being lost from the other planets fit in pretty naturally.

This is the first game I’ve made where I’ve been conscious of trying to write scripts that can be applied to multiple objects. This definitely saved a lot of time on Saturday when I was getting the planet and camera movement together.

I kept the scope small and finished in the 48 hours without feeling overworked or pressured for time.

I’m happy with the variety of the riddles and puzzles, especially the spotlight section in the middle, but I couldn’t figure out how to make the room dark which would have definitely strengthened that puzzle. There aren’t any glaring bugs which is a first for my LD games!

What worked less:

I don’t understand how lighting works at all and definitely need to do a tutorial on that. The colors wound up looking totally random, and I felt like I had no control over changing that.

I couldn’t come up with a good way of showing all the planets at once, and had to zoom the camera way out which hurt the look of it. I also didn’t have time to experiment with particles, as I would have liked to make that space background a little bit more dynamic. The movement is clunky, and if I had time to do it again I think i’d set up a click on the planet you want to move system (like with a selection method) rather than assigning each planet to a number key.

It might have also helped the feel to have a button to view the planets, rather than leaving them on screen all the time. One thought would have been to set up telescopes throughout the level, and the player could click on the telescopes to activate the planet-camera/deactivate the main camera. Then the planets would get the full screen and not feel so cramped.

Finally, here are my two favorite LD games from this cycle:

http://www.ludumdare.com/compo/ludum-dare-30/?action=preview&uid=27634

http://www.ludumdare.com/compo/ludum-dare-30/?action=preview&uid=22429

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