Jetpack Jacob in The Postmortem

Another Ludum Dare has come and gone, and the jammers have emerged once again with a new game. This is the postmortem of my entry, called “Jetpack Jacob in The Quest For Time” (May or may not be named after me).

The basic idea is that you have a jetpack and a shotgun, and have to collect clocks while destroying robots. Yes, it’s another 2D platformer. With a jetpack.

What went Right:

The ‘feel’. I spent a lot of work making the platformer and jetpack physics feel great. In fact, this was my priority. If a game feels good to play, people will want to continue playing it. The jetpack feels expecially nice, and it’s satisfying to simply zoom around a level. My favorite part is the knockback from the shotgun. 🙂

The level design. The levels aren’t exceptionally well designed, but I think they do a good enough job of introducing the mechanics to players at an easy pace. They are also very large.

The combat. You have a shotgun. Enemies also have guns. You can shoot them. They can shoot you. You have a jetpack. They don’t. The jetpack is actually what makes combat so satisfying. It can be used to hover below enemies, waiting for them to turn their backs on you, it can be used to position yourself as you let them shoot before you take your shot, and it can be used for quick getaways when things go wrong.

It’s finished. The game has an intro, gameplay, and an ending. It’s a whole game, even if it is a short game. Wanting the game to be ‘complete’ is the main reason there aren’t more levels.

What went wrong:

The number of levels. There aren’t a lot. Actually, there are only three. Fortunately, the difficulty  and size of the levels helps offset the small number of them.

The difficulty. The game is definitely too difficult (especially the first version). There wasn’t a lot of time left for me to balance the game, so it ended up being much too hard overall, though I think the third level is actually the easiest.

The graphical polish. Notice that I didn’t say “the graphics”! I’m actually happy with most of the art in the game. However, I am disappointed by the fact that I didn’t have time to really polish up the visuals and add particle effects to the jetpack.

Summary:

I’m quite happy with Jetpack Jacob. In fact, this is probably my favorite game that I’ve made! Well, one of my favorites at least. The title makes this game sound like it’s part of a series. Hmm…Maybe I can make a series from the base of this game. Anyway, that’s all I have to say about it now. Play the game if you haven’t, I ‘d really appreciate it! 🙂

As a bonus, I might be doing a speedrun of this game, if I can find a good tool to record it. I hope you’ll enjoy that!

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About jacobwgames

I make and play games.
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