Another weekend with little sleep, another Ludum Dare; this one number 30, and I was again with my partner in crime Alexis, though we did the solo compo this time. The theme this time around: Connecting worlds and the result: Intergalacticnet!
About the game
You're a new hire for a company rolling out the world's(?) first galactic internet; all 56kbps of it. To do this, you control a ship towing the very latest in secret, top-of-the-range, invisible cables.
Each world has its own capturing circle, and like a proverbial needle that is equipped with boosters that let it approach the speed of light, you need to thread your cable through that circle. Miss too many, and your robot overlords will make known their displeasure by means of a device designed to rapidly separate your atoms (all that material ain't cheap).
Also, while it should be evident, spaceships traveling close to the speed of light and planets don't match. Aside from wiping out billions in a extinction-level event, your company doesn't have any insurance to cover that.
I again used Flash, but I wanted to go for more of a 3D feel, so I thought I could hack a fake perspective together (Flash does proper 3D, but 48hr game jams aren't the time to start experimenting). What a great idea that turned out to be.
At the end of the first day, it slowly dawned on my that it would have been a whole lot easier to do it in actual 3D, with Unity or something. By "a whole lot", I mean, "What the hell was I thinking? This was a pretty dumb idea". The last time I touched Unity was about 4 years ago, which was probably the only thing stopping me from restarting from scratch the second day.
Cue just absolutly banging out classes and hacks, in order to get something relatively decent looking. Overall, I'm pretty pleased with the art direction - it's amazing how tweaking a few colours and line weights can take something from clumpy to almost elegant.
I still lost a bit of time trying to get proper "sphere-like" rotation working with the planets using a DisplacementMapFilter, only to ditch it a few hours before the end because a) it was a right pain in the ass when you tried to rotate/scale your object, and b) the framerate dropped about 10fps when the planets were up close. In the end, the flat style suits much better in any case.
You can also download the full source of the project below.
Again, a huge shout-out to the Ludum Dare Paris organisers for another great meetup. It started off in the Meltdown bar on Friday night, and kept going from there. Again, there was some great games made, as well as some new connections (see what I did there?), so it was well worth it.