12:00 noon on Sunday and I’m calling it complete on Day 7 for SkullDorado.
Yes, it’s 8 hours early, but I’ve been spinning my wheels for a little bit because tragedy struck and I was unable to get the inventory working in a satisfactory state. So, instead of running myself into the ground today and getting frustrated on top of the fatigue of programming for a week straight (+2 extra days for the NASA-Ames programming jam) I decided to crunch in the last missing pieces of the game and make sure that everything works. And it does. (Send me bug reports if you come across any!)
While researching jungle ruins you’ve come across mention of a glorious empire, the capitol of which was a massive city of gold. And the only clues to this wondrous place is inscribed into idols shaped as skulls of solid gold, left littered around the ancient temples constructed by this empire. Making camp, you set off to discover and bring back these golden idols hoping that each one will bring you closer to finding the fabled city and wealth unimaginable.
Controls are simple, just swipe a direction to move. Tap to wait or to use an item you’ve picked up. You can carry three items, plus the idol if you’ve found it. Return to the camp with an idol to move on to the next set of ruins. Doors can be closed by tapping/waiting while standing next to them. Helpful if you’ve just opened into a room populated by fast and dangerous jaguars.
Even though I may have not gotten everything I had planned into the game, I feel really proud of having a full and complete game. And I did leaps and bounds over my entry from last year. Two enemies and ranged combat in general had to be removed due to the Inventory system not working out in time, and the new map generation code ended up being too risky of an addition at this stage for the amount of testing it would’ve taken. I think those are my biggest regrets.
One conscious removal after playing around with the game is that the memory map feature (not being able to see any space you hadn’t already seen) turned out to be too much of a hindrance when guessing where to go. SkullDorado is dangerous enough that being able to plan where you might want to go seemed like a better play experience then having to explore out the whole thing. Though, it also makes it a little harder in that you have to remember where your camp is after you find the idol!
Next year, I’ll have to try and finish all the systems even earlier. I have a habit of trying to make a game look good before the core systems are finished and while doing that certainly hurt me last year, this year I was better prepared for it, but I still ended up not fully completing what I needed to. I certainly had more time than last year, as I planned my team and project specs out much better, so that’s a positive!
I hope that everyone who tries SkullDorado out enjoys it, and please send me any feedback, positive or negative. A helpful critique last year really pushed me to better design my control scheme for this year, for instance.