This weekend I went and joined Ludum Dare a big Game Jam in 48 hours. It’s always an experience to see a game getting created in a short time span. A lot of people that played my game mentioned that it’s very fun and addictive and I think that is due to me applying my Game Feel knowledge from this project. I’m gonna talk about how I applied what I learned in this project on this small game.
First of all if you haven’t played the game I highly suggest you do that first. Here’s the link to the Ludum Dare page! If you don’t intend to play it here’s a quick summary. The game I made is called Cavling and it’s a game where you. climb as high as possible with two grappling hooks. I will use The three building blocks to analyze the Game Feel.
First of all the game jam had two themes, “Growing” and “Two Button Controls”. I used Two Button Controls as the theme and that lead to how I designed the Real-Time Control. I wanted to make so the buttons was linked to each other so the end result was that you use your left and right button to shoot a grappling hook diagonally up that direction. While a hook is planted to a wall the character moves towards it. Releasing the button makes it go back thus freeing yourself. Combining the two buttons make you go up and then get plant yourself between the two hooks. It’s somewhat complex for a two button and I noticed some people had trouble learning that using both at the same time is very useful. That being said if you get used to it gets very satisfying seeing how you keep getting better and better. Just by using these two buttons you can get a surprising amount of control if you know what you are doing if you know what you are doing.
When I got the main mechanic down the next important thing was Simulated spaces. I wasn’t sure what direction that was the most fun to work with but after testing I decided climbing up was the most satisfying. First I was thinking of adding spikes to the game to avoid but I decided to do that you have to avoid hard impact with the rocks to make the way you climb also a obstacle. I also added ice where the grappling hooks couldn’t stick too but I didn’t get the chance to use it that much. I also also randomly generate the levels so the play can’t learn the level inside out and add replayability. I wish I added more chucks to randomize but it’s gives enough variation to not get boring too fast.
Last but on least the Polish effects. I based most of my ideas of polish from this talk by grapefruit
Basicly add as much small feedback to your actions as possible. As it’s a game jam there is a lot I missed but I had sound effects and moving ropes. I also squished the player depending on the velocity and that gives quite some physicality to the player. The player also looks in different directions depending on where you are moving. I have to say though that this is the one I’m the least happy with, I kinda like the environment but the player could look better and I feel that I could have added so much more effects
In the end I’m very happy with what I’ve done. As this game got all the 3 components of game feel it feels so much better than my other short games. There is tons I wish I added like more polish, highscore, more variated levels and a slightly easier learning curve.
and when some people even think my game will win LD it really shows how much having Game Feel makes the game become better.