During Ludum Dare 29, I created a basic prototype of my current major project, Zems Online Card Game, with another developer who is now going to be my co-founder. I’m hoping to incorporate with the name “Impulse Limited”, and I’ll provide more details on that later on. In this post, I want to talk about my plans for ludum dare 30, which is coming up in 10 days.

In my previous post, I talked about my initial abandonment of the Cohack project and brainstormed ideas for a spiritual successor with modern touches. In my spare time, I’ve made some decent progress in making a hexagonal grid with spawns and movement thanks to Song’s Turn-Based Toolkit, and this will translate quite well into a basic prototype for the game. I don’t want to commit myself to producing only prototypes of games I actually want to complete, but it’s hard for me to put my heart into something I know I’m not willing to go all the way with at some point. I understand side projects are great for preventing project burnout, but I’ve come to realize I possibly have too many ideas and only one life to try them.

Goals for the Jam

I’ll go ahead and outline what I intend to produce during the jam. It will be a basic prototype with lots of placeholder artwork, but the gameplay functionality should be enough to feature a battle reminiscent of Spybotics: The Nightfall Incident. I honestly am not too concerned with the theme, and plan on submitting my game as-is just to prove I was able to make this prototype of a game I want to finish someday.

  • Player spawning of programs at start of game, which will basically be a battle prototype.
  • 3 programs:
    • Hack: melee attack, deals 3 damage, moves 3, health 3
    • Mod: Adds/removes grid hexes at a distance of 5
    • Ranged: Deals damage at a distance of 4
  • Working enemy AI that uses a combination of Hack and Ranged (probably won’t get to Mod AI, but might be a possibility).
  • Victory/Defeat/Pause menu that allows the player to reset the level and play again

And that’s it. I think this is doable in 72 hours.

Non-LD Stuff

I plan on having the next Zems build ready by the end of August. This will be the first build showing the hexagonal grid and a lot more effects.

I’m also working on writing a game design document for Cohack, which I will share freely once I think it is ready. It is currently at 17 pages as of this post. Unlike Zems, I plan on being as transparent as possible for the Cohack project.

And that’s it for this post. I’ll probably post again when it’s closer to LD30 time, which will also be right after I officially graduate from Berkeley.