The more you have, the worse it is
Once again, I tried to do a ludum dare jam. For people who don’t know, ludum dare is one of the biggest game jam in the world, which happened every 4 months. It’s the second time I participate at this event. Last time, I did Quoala (you should play it here or here if you didn’t already did it). Anyway, this time, I had to make one game from scratch in less than 2 days with this theme : The more you have, the worse it is.
Well … Before the theme was selected, I was ok with almost all the themes, except this one, I thought that was not an interesting one at all, because almost everything get worse in a videogame when you have more (more platforms, more enemies, more levels …). I was actually wondering if I should do the jam or not, I was a bit disappointed. I have to make a game, I didn’t have a lot of time to do it, and worst of all, no idea at all.
Avoiding previous LDJAM errors
This time, I wanted to avoid the problems I got with Quoala : spending too much time on “not visual stuffs”. With Quoala, I spent half of my time writing dialogs and creating eight different endings. It was so challenging but I did it, releasing the game during the last hour of the game jam. But the game had bugs, and people complained about a problem I didn’t have time to fix : you couldn’t skip dialogs. I saw it, but in less than thirty minutes, I wasn’t able to do it.
Briiik was made in eight hours, for two reasons : I didn’t have more time during the week-end and I wanted to do something simple, without any tutorial, easy to understand. A very tiny game, to avoid panic attacks during the last hours.
I can’t explain how I thought about the timed columns : I wanted a very simple design because 1) easy animations 2) minimalist design is cool. But then, how I thought about this game ? I have no idea. Like I said, I didn’t like the theme, I thought about hundred of (bad) ideas and then, after a couple of hours, suddenly, Briiik was imagined. It’s weird how concept can come from nowhere sometimes. But I was finally released and I thought : “that’s not the best idea ever, but let’s do it anyway, I won’t find something better.”
In six hours, I made the core : clicking on timed columns, three mistakes allowed, and sounds. I made a lot of tries to find the best parameters to make the game enjoyable : slower or faster, timers, item sizes …
I really don’t like the sound effects. I am really bad at it, I know it, but it was this or nothing. At one moment, I really hesitated to put them in the game. Next time, I’ll do sounds with my mouth, I guess. It can’t be worse.
So after making the game base, I had the feeling something was missing : game was cool but boring. No strategy at all, just clicking, clicking, clicking. That’s why I added the power-ups : “freeze” and “one error removed”. At first, I wanted to hide these new columns, and you get them after some achievements. I still think it’s the best way to make a decent and more addictive game, but as you probably guess, I didn’t have enough time to create a full achievement menu, especially with only two power-ups. In two hours, that was impossible.
The future of Briiik
Finally, in not a lot of time, I made Briiik : a minimalist clicker game where you have to click on timed columns to reset them. Game is not finished (more power-ups and achievements should be great), but it’s playable and there is no bugs at all (I’m quite proud of this). I could have done better, but I didn’t have a lot of motivation this time. Quoala is my baby and I’ve spent a lot of time last time trying to make the best adventure game possible. Briiik is more a concept, an idea of a tiny clicker game, born because I didn’t have a better idea. I still like my game and I think it’s a nice little game, I am quite happy with the final result, game is really easy to play, it gets harder quite fast (but not too fast)
I don’t expect anything from ratings from ludum dare jam, feedbacks were good and a couple of people told me it was a game made for smartphones. That’s definitely something I should do but I have to be honest, I have no idea if I’ll work again on it because Inspector Waffles is my priority, but I don’t know, maybe in a couple of months ! Who knows ? 🙂