Ludum Dare #28 is underway, and so is my entry. My collaborator Joshua Skelton (@JoshuaSkelly, artist for Delver) is hard at work cooking up a visual theme. In the meantime, I have a few very ugly early versions available to peek at, as well as a prototype I did earlier in the day as preparation and practice. Check them and future versions out here.
We’ve decided to do a platformer. I know it’s been done to death, but I actually have never written one, so I thought it would be a fun exercise. So far I have gravity, the ability to fall onto and stand on a platform, running left and right, friction on the platform, jumping, manually falling through a platform, and the special mechanic for Ludum Dare’s theme (“you only get one”): A one-time only ability to invert the behavior of platforms. Blue platforms behave one way, and red platforms a different way. Using the invert ability will instantly swap colors and behaviors of all platforms in a level.Right now the behaviors are simple; blue platforms essentially don’t exist while red platforms behave normally. The guy in the screenshot here? He’ll need to use his ability to turn the blue platform red if he hopes to land on it.
We might change up the behaviors quite a bit though. Sliding platforms, unstable platforms, rotating platforms, who knows? There will also likely be enemies of some form, and they might similarly have invertible abilities. The possibilities are endless.
The idea will be that each level will be very difficult to completely get through without use of the inversion skill. But since you can use it only once, and since it will affect the remainder of the whole level, you’ll have to decide carefully where in particular it is most needed, probably through trial and error. It’s hard for me to tell if this will work out well or not; “you only get one” is a really hard theme. But I guess that’s the value of rapid prototyping. And rapid prototyping is a skill I very much intend to get good at.