Electric Froth

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Apathy post-mortem

by Joel Kleier on 2013-01-14


Well, voting is over for the 25th Ludum Dare 48-hour competition and my game "Apathy" came in a solidly in the middle of the pack.

No ratings under 2.3, and I even had 1 rating over 3! Definitely better than my previous entries.

The selected theme this time around was "You are the enemy."

I used Haxe/NME + HaxePunk to write a Flash game. If you're interested, the source is hosted on github.

What went wrong?

  1. The subject matter of my game came to life for me. I was definitely struggling with some depressive and apathetic feelings. Never a good place to be. This sucked up a lot of my time and energy, which, I think, led to a stunted experience.
  2. What the win condition represented was, perhaps, a little to abstract or vague for many of the players to understand. The player was a manifestation of apathy -- if the player moved around and tried to "play", they would be engaged, and not apathetic. Since the player is a manifestation of apathy, though, this means the player is losing. The win condition was not to care, and to simply not play. After a time, apathy wins out because the player didn't care.
  3. Not enough shiny.
  4. Sound and music could have been improved.

What went right?

  1. I came up with a pretty simple concept fairly quickly
  2. I used some pretty spiffy libs that I had some prior experience with
  3. Good sleep + good food + good communication with the people in my life

What can I do better?

  1. I need to learn how to make some music, or find a better source for music. The tool I'm using (autotracker-bu) is starting to sound the same and get a little old. It's output also doesn't really fit with the concept of some of the games I want to make. However, I do have to say it is an awesome little utility none-the-less.
  2. On a personal level, I need to develop some mental tools to help push through the feeling of apathy myself. It can be a tough enemy.