Tale of the Wingless!
Welcome to my postmortem. I have participated in many game jams but this is my first time I have done a postmortem about my experience and what I learned so any and all feedback on how I can improve this is greatly appreciated.
So a little bit about me first. I have participated in many game jams over the years and on average I manage to find about 12 hrs of time that I can devote to the games development because I am a husband, father of a 6 year old and a full time kitchen manager so I work weekends. However this time my restaurant has been closed due to the pandemic I found my self with a little bit more time on my hands and have a lot of other people making this the largest Ludum Dare yet by far. In total I spent 18.25 hrs of development time on this entry which is far less then I intended to but family time is just to distracting. I am very happy with what I managed to achieve in this time however and intend to continue development of this project. I did log a rough list of what tasks I did and when but that feels a little bit dry to include so let me know if that is something that you would be interested in and if people are I will share that as well.
Project over view:
The plan was to make an action platformer where you played as a fairy without wings who was tasked with the responsibility of retrieving stolen baby fairies. Once you have released the fairy from its cage you need to guide it back to one of many portals scattered around the level that will return the fairy home. You also need to keep it energies by collecting crystals or it will die on the journey. This changes up the usual collect everything formula of the platformer as if you collect the crystals before you rescue the fairy then they will die before you get them home. Making certain collectables something that you will need to actively avoid at times. I also wanted to add other crystals that you could collect and use to unlock abilities that would run out once you used them making it important to not just spam abilities. I only managed to implement 2 but there will be more in the future. Once you rescue all the fairies you win the game.
I started by coding the basic functionality of a platformer and used Unity's tile workflow to build out the level. I used 3 layers, one for the back ground, one for the collidable level and a third for the foreground. Once I had that completed I moved on to making the baby fairies, their cages and the portals where you must return them to. The fairies are a simple yellow glowing blob that follows you but also wanders around a little while they do. They will also fly right through any object that is not the portal. All you need to worry about is keeping them fed until you get them home.
Next I made a very basic menu system and HUD to display important information. This is one part that really needed more work put into it as much is still missing.
Next I worked on level objects like collectable crystals for food, extra lives and power ups as well as the classic destructable objects, moving platforms, dropping platforms, spike pits and lava.
Once all that was complete and the game could be played I started to add enemies. I only ended up getting 2 types into the game and they are both functional the same except one explodes when it dies and the other dissolves.
At this point it was starting to feel like a game so I started working on the art (I am a programmer so forgive the quality please) and then I started working on the lighting effects which was by far the most fun part of it for me. This was my first time doing 2d lighting and I was very happy with the results.
I used Brackeys.com tutorials to find out how it could be done and then I went on from there. I find his content to be very helpful using Unity.
After that I made the Queen and the start dialog and I was out of free time so I created the Jam page released the game and that was that.
Like all jams it was a great learning experience and I used the time to try something new with 2d lighting. I ended up liking this game idea so much that I will be continuing development and building it into the game that I WAY over scoped for the jam. I hope this was somewhat interesting for some of you and I will try to make my next entry even more interesting.
Until next time have fun and be creative!