|Orphaned tree game concept|
At about that time, I asked for volunteers among my coworkers to help me. I met with two of them, and after our first brainstorming session, the tree growing concept was abandoned. We could not see clearly enough what the goal could be or how to make the game challenging. I thought the goal could be to fill a predefined shape with a set of available actions, but I was afraid all levels would end up being too easy to solve. Being short on time, we focused instead on a domino game, for which the goals and constraints were easier to imagine. In each level, you would have starting points, goals to reach and an assorted set of pieces to make a path from start to goal. Oh, and the board would use hexagons, not squares, to give it an original touch.
|Project commit history|
The idea we had, to be able to share a bit of the workload, was to make pieces and levels as independent and pluggable as possible. I refactored a big part of the code to allow that, and one of my coworker coded some of the missing pieces, the ones that fork the path. I also coded the basic UI allowing to select pieces and to put them on the board. From that, it was quite easy to make a basic level editor. The other guy was then able to completely rewrite the drawing code, replacing my ugly looking black and white rectangles that were supposed to be dominos, by a more abstract look that was more pleasant and easier to animate. We thought about making 3D models and realistic domino renderings in Blender, but had to ditch it, by lack of time and competency.
We enrolled a few more coworkers for beta-testing and mobile platform testing. I coded some important stuff on the last two days (level locking and in-place rotation and delete) in response to our limited user tests. My team mates worked hard the very last days to find or draw pleasing images and icons, and the game was finally ready.
You can play it on GitHub. And you can browse the source also on GitHub.
|The glorious splash screen, committed during the last 24 hours|
Doing a game jam is nice, doing it with other people is nicer still, at least in a small team. Different opinions can combine to produce things that would not have been possible alone. And being a small team, we could avoid the "design by committee" pitfalls.
Doing HTML5 makes it easy to target mobile platforms, but their specificity regarding screen size and input methods must be taken into account to produce a good experience. We'll try to find hardware for tests sooner in the project next time. Hopefully, we'll win an iPad from GitHub, and the problem will be solved.