Apr 29, 2014

Escape from the depths! - Our Ludum Dare 29 entry

4:05 PM Posted by Lucas Izumi , , , No comments

You can play our game HERE!

I couldn't be more happy for making this game. It was 72 hours of almost no sleep and lots of debugging, but it was also very fun!
We managed to create our game with everything we had planned in the beginning. Of course, during the development a lot of new ideas came up and we could fit some of them in the game.
As I said in a previous post, this was our second idea. We started the first game and discarded it after feeling it was not what we were expecting. The responsible for this was this little guy.

Our first idea was a game where the protagonist would drown in the sea and enter a coma. The player would play as the protagonist's conscience and would have to learn everything again (how to walk, how to run...). In each of the levels the player would learn a new ability. The idea behind it was that each stage would remind of a certain memory from the protagonist where he had learned that ability previously. That said, since he entered a coma after drowning in the beach, we decided to make the first level resemble a beach! Now, don't ask me how this crab came up, but when we first saw him in the game all we could do was laugh. Hard. It made use realize that some elements we have set would not work very well for that game and then we decide to move on to another idea.

We wanted to make something simpler but also challenging, which would make the player want to play more and more. We wanted the game to be a platformer. The idea of the screen moving behind the player was one of the first things to come to mind, we mixed some platform elements into that and used the bats (one of the greatest elements from the discarded game) to create a challenging environment. Initially we though of a more fast-paced game where the player could pick up power ups which would enable a dash ability, double jump and so on. We ended up deciding to only add double jump to the game and take an approach on precision.

When building "Escape from the depths!" we needed to create an extra level to praise all the gloriousness of that crab. Unfortunately it didn't fit in the game. We even had a special music just for that stage. Below is a video showing a small timelapse of the development. It shows early stages and how they evolved to what they are now. You may also see some elements who are not in the final version, all thanks to the event limitations of the free version of Construct 2.

Now about the bugs, when applying the tileset in the stages I managed to, unintentionally, put some invisible tiles in some places (I though I was erasing the tiles but I was putting an invisible one over them instead). This led us to very funny situations where the invisible tiles would save us from certain death and sometimes block us from winning a stage. It was a pain to find and erase them all.

Another funny bug was when implementing character's movements. If you were jumping and hit the ground while holding left or right the character would get stuck in the default animation, without moving. Only after you press a new direction it would start to move. When we fixed the bug one of us found out that pressing left while holding right would make the character turn left but keep walking right! And he was like: "Guys, there is a bug where the character is doing a moonwalk."
"Doing what??"
Strangely, the 'bug' only worked in that specific direction, even the code for the other being very similar. The moonwalk was just too awesome to be vanished as a bug, it then became a 'feature'.

Lucas Izumi (Game Design and Programming)
Graciliano Galindo Jr. (Game Design)
Mikael Poetsch (Level Design)
Patricia Cruz (Art)
Lucas Folle (Music)