Meditating on Ludum Dare Theme…

You Only Get One

That’s the theme of this weekend’s Ludum Dare.

I’ve been meditating on this theme for about and a half, probably more once this post actually goes live, and I’m still not sure what I want to do. I decided to start typing my thoughts out and see what I come up with, so I’m doing that here on my blog. So here’es what I have so far:

A western-themed dueling game where you only get one chance to shoot your enemy. It seems kind of obvious, but you might be able to do cool stuff with it depending on how you built the shooting mechanic.

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A rising block puzzle game(I know, big surprise right?) where there are Blocks of various colors and you can only destroy one color at a time. So I guess the Blocks would be rising and they would be varying different colors. At the bottom of the screen, you would have different buttons. each button would be one of the Block colors, and when you hit it you would destroy all the Blocks of that color? Maybe you don’t destroy all the blocks of a given color, but you could destroy groups of blocks as they rise. Choosing a single group kind of fits, but I feel like it’s stretching farther from the theme then I want to go.

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What if you only have one life? So I could do a platformer or a shooter and only give the player one chance to complete the game. It could be kind of like a rouge-like where the player has to try and complete the whole thing in a single-run. It seems like an obvious choice but it could still be fun.

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Another idea I had earlier was to make an action game where all the enemies were based on a given number, and the player is the number. The idea centered on each number being a weapon of some kind. So 1 is a sword, 2 is a sickle, 3 is a bow and arrow, 4 is an axe, etc. This would probably lend itself to a stylized story about assassins or something. I’m not sure if I have the time to make that much content.

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I have been wanting to make a bullet hell game for a while so I could try something like that. You could do something where the player can only shoot one shot at a time. Maybe the bullet has a forking ability and they are not allowed to shoot again until all instances of the bullet have disappeared. the player is trying to make the longest chain of destruction they can. This could be interesting but it would be hard for the player to plan attacks unless the bullet moved quickly or they had some kind of slowing mechanic. You could also do pre-designed levels where the player has to determine the best place to make their shot and cause the largest damage. That could be fun as a problem solving game.

If you went with just the standard bullet hell gameplay though, you might be able to make it interesting by varying up the enemy design. Some enemies could stop the bullet and it might just not fork off of them. You could also have enemies which change the forking angle so that it spreads out in a different way. Not sure what else to do there yet.

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You could also do a game where you only need to score once to win. That would probably work best as some kind of multiplayer game. Maybe a virtual board game where the players are trying to eliminate a specific piece?

That’s all I’ve got for now. Hopefully I’ll be back soon with an idea I want to use.

Snowball’s Chance in Hell’s Kitchen…

A few weeks ago I attended a 24-hour game jam hosted by the people at Games.com and created a puzzle-platformer called Snowball’s Chance in Hell’s Kitchen. In the game you play as a snowball who is trying to get to the north pole so that they never have to melt. While the game was not completed, all of the gameplay was implemented and it turned out rather well. Continue reading to give the game a try and hear more about how it works.

Snowball's Chance Screenshot

For some reason, even though other Construct 2 projects work perfectly, this project won’t embed into my site. Go here to try the game until I can solve this issue.

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