If only making games was as easy as making custom PCBs
This Ludum Dare was a really interesting experience for both of us. We wanted to do LD36 already together, but one of us couldn’t, so we had to wait for a LD37.
When planning a evening before, we really hoped for a “Small World” theme and were able to come up with an interesting game in matter of minutes. The other themes seemed lackluster, because they were often too limiting - and One Room was one of them.
When we woke up at Saturday morning and started discussing it, we didn’t know for like 3 hours what kind of game to make. There were several options (some of which actually appeared in LD as games - solving murder in one room, time traveling in one room, cleaning a room, ...), but we couldn’t think of anything that doesn’t need a good storyline. We just knew two things for sure - we DEFINITELY didn’t want to do a room escape game, and we wanted fancy 3D graphics.
After joking about stupid ideas, we somehow came to conclusion that conveyor belt game located in one factory hall could be quite nice and went to discuss details more and decided on our PCB factory game.
The entire game was developed by two people -- one was focusing entirely on programming the game mechanics and logic and other one was doing mostly graphics, lightning and other visual things (he implemented Inverse Kinematics for a robotic hand from ground up!).
In the first day, we managed to implemented conveyor belts, robotic hands and basic movable objects for the transporters. This was a good prototype, and the game already felt like a fun! So we knew we were on the right track.
I guess it's angry and searching for something inside those crates?!
— Pavel Kouřil (@Pajka) December 10, 2016
The second day was dedicated to modeling rest of game objects and programming the rest of the game. At the end of these two days (around 4 am) we had a almost finished game. It still needed some polishing and changes, but it was playable from the beginning to the end.
To make the game totally complete, we really needed that third day - but we were all busy with our real lifes, meaning we couldn’t make much progress, apart from just a few bugfixes and polishing fixes. But we think we still managed to do quite a nice game over the course of these 3 days!
This is what we managed to do over the weekend. Shame we have to work today, so there will be only small changes, (if any).
— Pavel Kouřil (@Pajka) December 12, 2016
We really had fun when developing our One Room Factory and shared many laughs over TeamSpeak when developing the game - one can only wonder if the game would be even better if we didn’t have to work remotely, but could develop in one room together as some other teams did.
Also, since this was a first LD for one of our members (and first released game too!), we definitely learned quite a lot. Not only from the actual LD, but also from the feedback we’ve gotten. It was definitely an enjoyable and fun weekend!
The HW requirements are quite demanding. Also, based on the comments so far, the game is quite difficult to understand; we did a basic tutorial, but because of time constraints (having to work on Monday AND being based in Central Europe cuts a lot of needed time due to timezone), we just didn’t have time for a proper tutorial.
Combine this with the complexity of the game (and players not being familiar to conveyor games), this game seems to hard to understand for some people. So, to fix this, we are releasing a video tutorial for people who would still want to play the game!
(Don't forget to turn on annotations)
Depending on how we do in the LD, we are considering to finish the game and release it - we are reading the feedback people give us in comments and it makes us really happy when people like the game! The most rewarding comments are from people who want to see the finished version (with a proper tutorial) - and it’s definitely possible it will happen! ;)
If you decide to check our game out, we will be happy for any feedback you will give us! If not, we are at least thankful you decided to read our post.
To try our game, you can do so here:
Vilem Otte & Pavel Kouřil