Ancient Skies

 

     This game was my submission for the Ludum Dare 36. I had to work the first day of the jam, and combine that with a surprise trip to Seattle that I didn't know I'd be taking, and I ended up only having about 24 hours for this project. Because of that, it's a bit rough around the edges. The controls are only good on an Xbox controller and It's got a lot of problems, but despite that I think I ended up making something that looked nice and had a good idea behind it.

    The differences between my first Game Jam and my second were absolutely polarizing. I felt much more prepared and organized, I knew what systems I needed to accommodate for, and I had a much more directed workflow. Also, having more experience with Unity kept the bugs at a minimum, which was a real relief for me since I was on tight time constraints. 

     I went into this Game Jam with a pretty clear idea of what I wanted to get out of it. I had been in a creative rut, and I hadn't felt any real enthusiasm for making games since Ludum Dare 35, and I was desperate to get that feeling back. As such, I didn't care much about what others thought about my game, this was all for me. That mentality led to a few problems like the clunky controls and a lack of any real goals, but it did it's job, I'm happy making games again and that's all I wanted.

A screenshot from Droqen's Starseed Pilgrim. Check him out at DROQEN.com.

     When I started working on this project I had a very clear Idea of what I wanted the feel of the game to be. I wanted to emulate that feeling of vast emptyness that I felt when playing Starseed Pilgrim, or the SkyBlock Minecraft map. 

     In review, I think I was headed on the right track to achieve what I was aiming for but I definitely missed the mark. The feeling of empty space seems present, but My placement of the Islands was a little too closely packed to really let the empty space around them sink in. I feel I missed something fundamental in my design when I used an Orthographic camera, the lack of depth in the view makes the endless expanse of white feel less expansive, and the distant void between the islands is severely downplayed. I definitely achieved the aesthetic I was going for, and in my opinion the game looks really dang good.

     All in all, I had a good time, and I made something I can be proud of. It's not perfect and its not finished, but I had fun making it and I feel I learned a lot, both about making games and about myself.. 

*The in browser Unity Player has some visual bugs that are not present in the full download. I tried my best.