I joined this site a while back but this is my first time posting here, so I decided to start by giving a quick overview of my experience developing my most recent freeware game, CottonTail. I had started the project back in February in GameMaker and it was mostly prototyping. I started out as a platformer with a similar gameplay style to the original Rayman, with the flying fist being replaced with an exploding firefly, but it wound up not feeling right so I used a simple punch as an attack. I also prototyped other abilities such as gliding and turning into goop. There was even a light blast that could make transparent objects solid and a “dark hole” that could suck in nearby enemies and objects.
After some time, I decided to release the game on itch.io instead of as a commercial game, as I felt I wasn’t quite ready for that yet, so I switched engines to Unity. It was around this time I began to feel what I had didn’t work, and opted to try other abilities. I thought back to Nova being able to turn into goop in the initial prototype and decided to center her abilities around goop. But I struggled to come up with ideas. So I decided to downscale the scope of the game, making it a single level and limiting Nova’s abilities to throwing goop, and maybe make a more expanded version of the game down the line. I had planned to work with an artist but eventually decided I needed to attempt the art myself. Except I’m not an artist and was dissatisfied with the art I was doing. So I just decided to use OpenGameArt and Unity store assets. That said, the goop and alien sprites, as well as the death animations, were by me. About one month or so after switching engines, the game was finished.