Bat Cave – Post Mortem

Bat Cave is a simple shooter I created for Ludum Dare 37, and this article attempts to document what went right, what went wrong, and some general thoughts on the entire weekend.

Development

Looking through the list of potential themes Friday evening, I put together some ideas. Bat Cave was hashed out and was my choice for a few themes, including “One Room”, which was ultimately picked.

Once the theme was decided, it was time to get to work. I spent a lot of time the first day working on designing the room and testing collision detection. Not sure why this took so long, but around 3:30am Saturday I had working collisions, and decided that was it for the evening. Saturday morning rolls around, and it’s time to work on some art, and get to coding. Sunday was spent finishing up the game, tweaking options, and adding sound and title screen.

I used Unity for this compo, and the actual coding went rather well. I like to use my simple object pooler script to handle the management of game objects, and I created some controller scripts to handle the audio, game management, and enemy management.

What Went Right

  • I released a playable game!
  • “Keep it simple” is definitely the way to go.  Since you have only 48 hours, don’t bite off more than you can chew… if time permits, you can add some features. For me, I had a couple hours left and added the scrolling background, looping bats, and audio manager. I also wanted to add a “boss” character, but time ran out.
  • I now know the difference between stalactites and stalagmites!

What Could Have Gone Better

  • My art skills are “meh” at best. I did manage to animate a bat though. I wanted to draw and animate a person instead of the gun turret I used, but I was spending too much time on it and it was not anywhere near what I would consider good enough. While I think the art is good for this game (other may disagree!), I need to keep this limitation of my skills in mind for future compos.
  • I did’t think the entire game through, and I realized some issues while developing:
    • I wanted the power-ups to be lowered down a mine shaft and have the player pick it up to use. I don’t think I would of finished that, so they just randomly drop at some interval.  If you look at my time lapse video, you might see a mine shaft in the game for quite a bit of time before I decided to remove it.
    • Once a stalagmite forms, it was impossible to shoot any drips coming down since you had to be under the stalagmite, and that would cause instant death.  I decided to add a bomb to remove stalagmites, and I also allow the player to jump/shoot over smaller ones.

Conclusion

Another successful Ludum Dare for me… I had a great time developing and releasing Bat Cave, and even though there were moments of doubt, I continued on. I hope that this game rates higher than my previous two entries… time will tell.

Ludum Dare 37 – Update 4

There’s only a few hours left, so I am going to stop adding features and start tweaking and bug fixing on my game, Bat Cave.

Shoot and avoid the bats.  Shoot the drips coming from the stalactites so they do not build up stalagmites on the ground. You can jump over smaller stalagmites, and shoot the bomb power-up to remove them. Shoot the bullet power-up for 10 seconds of extra fire power.

Ludum Dare 37 – Update 3

Just after midnight Saturday here, and I am tired. I have a playable cave shooter game. Next up is to add some background graphics, tweak the sounds, graphics (I hope), and game play, and add a few more power ups. I hope to get all of this done in time.

It’s a simple, one room shooter, but for some reason this one gave me a lot of problems. Collisions were giving me a headache. Some features were removed since they kind of sucked once I started working on it. Other features were removed due to time.

All in all, it’s a bit primitive (due to my lack of any art skills), but enjoyable.

schizoid2k-ld37-update-3

Ludum Dare 37 – Update 2

Eighteen hours in (minus some sleep), and here is my cave shooter,  tentatively titled “Bat Cave”.

Shoot the drips to prevent stalagmites from forming. Avoid the bats.

Things I still have to do:

  • My abysmal graphics show the game play. I hope to have time to tweak these later.
  • I still have to add power-ups that drop down the mine shaft.
  • Scoring, sounds, music, and other cool effects.

I decided to go with a gun turret as the player. I tried to create an animated person running around, but it didn’t work out. I stink at creating graphics, and was spending a lot of time on it.

Ludum Dare 37 – Update 1

I decided to write a game where the player is in a cave. This is the “one room”. This idea would of also worked for other themes not chosen (underground, etc).

The first 2 hours were spent on design and moving some Unity objects around to get the coding working. I do suck at art, but attached is a rock-like room that you can consider a cave with stalactites. If I have some time later in the compo, I will revisit the art, but for now, this is the best I can do under the time constraints I set for myself. The stalactites are randomly placed when the game starts.

Next up is to create the player, mine shaft, and some power-ups. The idea of the game is to destroy the drips from the stalactites. If the drip hits the ground, it starts creating a stalagmite and makes it difficult for the player to move around.  Power-ups come down the mine shaft and help the player destroy the stalagmites, or gives the player a special ability to cope with what’s going on.  I think I will add some bats for added frustration!

ld37-screenshot-1