Ludum Dare 29

Diggin’ Dodge

 

Instructions

  • Use the left and right arrow keys to move around.
  • Use the up arrow key to jump.
  • Use the down arrow key to dig.
  • WSAD can be used instead if desired
  • Press ‘Escape’ or ‘P’ to pause and adjust sound options.

Theme: “Beneath the Surface”

Production time: approx. 25 hours

 

Ludum Dare 29 was Sticky Kitty Games’ very first game jam. The LD community is amazing! They are warm and welcoming to both veterans and newcomers alike. The community is very willing and eager to help, sharing information and tools to help complete your game on time. Their tool set is very valuable, even outside of Ludum Dare, ranging from sound effect and music generators, to links to game engines and graphic design software.

This game was an entry to their “jam” category, which has rules that are a bit more relaxed. In the jam category, entries are limited to 72 hours as opposed to 48 hours, and teams are o.k. Even though we were allowed an extra 24 hours, we had to start 24 hours late, giving us the same time limit enforced for their solo / compo entries.

When we found out the theme for Ludum Dare 29 was “Beneath the Surface,” we were discussing a few different ideas, mostly thinking about things we could do involving digging or somehow making being under the ground very important. We remembered playing Super Mario Bros. 2 back in the heyday of purely fun to play video games, before so much emphasis was placed on special effects. (Not that there’s anything wrong with eye candy, it’s just that in the early days of gaming, developers only had the fun factor to sell their game, at least until technology advanced enough to include visually stunning graphics.) In Super Mario Bros. 2, there is a recurring underground part where the player must dig through sand to get to a door or key. This was always a fun aspect of the game, but sometimes frustratingly difficult (in a good way), and we decided to go with something similar. We decided to go with a mashup of SMB2 and a bullet hell game, with the aim to be just as fun and difficult. And we named it “Diggin’ Dodge.”

We decided to stick with our favorite game engine, Unity 3D, which somewhat recently added a nifty 2D tool set. We chose Unity because of its support for cross-platform games and its versatility. The list of features we originally wanted to include in the game was quite big, too big. Not even half of the list made it into the Ludum Dare 29 version. We decided to put many of the unimplemented features on the back burner, with the intent to include them if we decide to turn this into a mobile game. If we decide to complete it, the mobile version of “Diggin’ Dodge” will have a story, upgrades, and most importantly, some way to defend yourself from the enemies. It will be a complete game, with all of the bells and whistles that people have come to expect, and still channel some of the spirit from the days of 8-bit gaming.

Overall, the event was such an amazing experience for us that we are anxiously awaiting the next Ludum Dare.