When the 3HGDC was announced I was kind of bummed at the date, as it was my great aunts birthday and she was going to have a barbeque. Come the day of the 3HGDC Alberta weather took over and there was a terrible wind storm so the barbeque got cancelled and gave me a chance to participate, so I took to IRC until the contest was announced. With the theme of Spring/Puzzle I though of an action puzzler where you'd try to get spring to spring using a pinball like spring to launch spring time elements to the earth (I had springs on the mind at the time), so I through it together as quickly as I could using the environment I'm most familiar with. The first hour was spent quickly cobbling together assets, drawing very frantically and skipping the whole fixing the mistakes in the art, and pulling out the microphone and making noises I thought suitable to be sound effects. Hour two was spend half and half programming and play testing and I found a couple of problems. The first problem was the spring launcher was too hard to use accurately, and also posed an problem for instructions so it was scrapped in favor of a mouse control that would spring towards the cursor, which resulted in the balls becoming much easier to control, which I found made the game more fun to play. The other issue was with randomly choosing balls made the game frustrating when you had time and picked ones you had no use for, and made it impossible to win when you were running low on time, so I altered the ball generation to be based on which blocks remain, I created a list of which balls were needed to advance each block and then picked an index of the list at random, it was simple to implement and balanced it so that when you had more blocks of the same type you were more likely to get the ball you needed. Around the end of hour 2 my great aunt had called and had made a restaurant reservation, so it meant my last hour was cut in half. The last half hour I used to put in scoring and an instruction screen, then fixing an issue where the levels got too hard when the balls weren't falling fast enough, so I changed the game to have the ball falling speed increase with each level. At this point I sent the game off to capn_midnight for evaluation and went out for the birthday dinner.
Play the 3HGDC Entry(Flash 9 required)
I was happy with the results of the contest, and what I came up with. Doing my entry in a way that wasn't derived from another game I've played means I could probably make a few design changes and flesh it out to a full game in the same vein as Spate(which I'll explain in another entry), as well as netting me third place of the five people who submitted which in turn lead to a part of this GDNet+ subscription. I say part as capn_midnight was generous enough to throw in enought for a 3 month subscription, I decided to make it a year long one. I feel this contest broke me out of a development slump, and with a Journal availble for the whole year it might spark me to make something neat just so I can update this journal with the progress. A big thanks goes out to capn_midnight for hosting the contest. Now off to come up with something cool to make to blog(journal?) about