I decided to write a little Post Mortem for Nyon, to clear some things up as well to get some more insight myself as for where I could improve.
What is Nyon?
At first I hadn't really planned to take part in this ludum dare at all, but on saturday morning I still checked out the theme. I don't even know how I got
the idea anymore, but at some point I just had this idea of people talking in morse (probably figured it was a minimalist way of communication) and floating islands. I had just been to a talk
by Jasper Byrne (Superflat games, Lone Survivor), who had some interesting points about making art for videogames. I had never really tried pixel art (just thought it would look "lazy" if I did it)
, but inspired by Jasper's talk I decided to give really low detail graphics a shot. Pretty quickly I had a style I was happy with, an engine that worked well
and I just started slamming some ideas into the game in the free time I could find.
What went well:
Using FlashPunk - This saved me loads of time. FlashPunk is an amazingly easy to use AS3 engine by Chevy Ray, and within an hour I had hacked my basic platforming engine together (pixel perfect colission with islands, which I did by giving the world a collision graphic that's purely black and transparent).
I'm pretty sure I totally abused the engine but it worked like a charm and that's what made it awesome for me.
The graphics - I have been quite sceptic about this during the creation of my game, but in the end I think it worked out well. Sure, they aren't the best graphics in the world but I don't think they are bad to look at.
I'm especially happy with the humanoid characters, I'm amazed how good a 4x10 pixel character can look (and how hard it is to give them a proper walk cycle).
The mood - With Nyon I didn't really strave so much for amazing gameplay, but more for a mysterious and interesting setting. I feel the floating islands, the flying character and the weird visual language are all things that provoke curiousity. I like making and playing video games because I like exploring interesting worlds, and I enjoyed creating this one.
What went wrong:
Not enough content - Mainly a issue because I lacked time (I couldn't fully dedicate my time to LD this weekend, I had family business to attend to), but also just a general issue of mine. Because I like to create worlds to explore, there also a big need for content that needs to be created. In this small time-window I don't think it would ever have been possible for me to create a really big world.
In the end I think my game can only be considered a prototype, because there is just not enough content for it to be called a game.
No Audio - Not much to say about this one. I just have zero audio skills, so this was last on my today list and simply didn't make it into the game.
Worrying about the art - Also a big issue of mine. I'm one who can't stand working with grey boxes. I NEED to see the visuals the game will have to enjoy building on it. A lot of my projects just stop because they have no art yet, and I doubt my artistic qualities too much to actually make some. This project might also have been cancelled (but I carried on!), and I still lost quite
some time worrying that my art wouldn't be good enough, and redoing things that really didn't need to be redone.
This is my second Ludum Dare attempt and the first one I finished, and I'm quite proud of that. I really enjoyed working on this game, and I think I might add lots of more content soon, as well as polish up my skills some more.
I like how my game just opens possibilites for exploration on discovery, rather than on epic gameplay or deep sub-plots, and I want to keep it that way.
This ludum dare was a really fun and motivating experience, and I'll try my best to be around for Ludum Dare #27 again :D