Ludum Dare #29 took place on the weekend of April 25th – 27th, 2014. An event where anyone can attempt to create a game around a theme in 48 hours. It’s a bit different from the Global Game Jam, where they encourage you to work in teams.
With a theme of “Beneath the Surface”, I tried to create a game with a giant monster that hides in the depths of its environment. Much like sandworms from the great novel “Dune” by Frank Herbert that I was currently reading. Or, you know, Moby Dick.
I began with a seafaring game, the player would sail around and collect capsules drifting on the water. Other boats would attack you, while the monster would try to swallow you whole.
On Saturday afternoon I had most of the game working roughly.
Since I began working late on Saturday afternoon, it became clear that I had to cut features and focus more on the theme of the game.
After removing enemy boats and weapons, the collectables became survivors adrift with safety buoys. Meanwhile, the monster stalks the player until a chance arises to swallow it with as many survivors as possible. Why does the monster favor the ship over the survivors? Ships have more fiber.
To prevent the player from wandering too far and getting lost, or reaching the boundaries of the game world, I added a fuel mechanic. The fuel tank would refill when returning home (e.g. to drop off rescued survivors).
Sunday night the game took shape with colourful graphics.
I finished the game around 3 AM on Monday morning, just in time before the deadline, and I’m happy with it. There are a few minor bugs; gameplay features that I could improve, but it is what it is, a game made in a day and a half.