SWAN FOREST: CHALLENGE ACCEPTED
Updated: May 5
[A variation of this entry can also be read over at itch.io]
Swan Forest was my entry for Ludum Dare 48. This was my second time using gb studio, and I'm really glad I had a chance to really sit down and learn the limitations and quirks beforehand - I was really able to plan a lot better this time around, and iterating on the assets went a lot quicker than before!
Some ways in which I decided to challenge myself with this game:
using a darker colour palette - I'm generally better at creating brighter assets, so I wanted to create something that looked a little more dark and moody, like you were underground or under a deep forest canopy.
creating non-human characters - this definitely put me out of my comfort zone, but I'm really happy with how my duck NPCs, swan king, and player character turned out! I was fond enough of my player sprite that I decided to use a different palette for the sprites as opposed to the backgrounds, so you could see his lil legs <3
making something that wasn't "heavy" - I like injecting real-world issues into my games and using games as a medium to tell slice-of-life stories, so creating another fantasy world with a relatively light story was really refreshing and interesting! I drew a lot of inspiration from the ugly duckling fairytale, which I hope shines through.
Some things that worked out really well jam-wise:
using a notebook to write things down - I often make things on the fly cause I enjoy the process more that way, but it can be stressful especially when it comes to that final push. This time I knew exactly what assets I needed for environments, items, NPCs, etc, and I knew I wanted to spend a day on art assets and another on writing, code, and music.
having used my tools beforehand - the art program, engine, and music program I used were all the same programs I used on Mina Goes to the Supermarket, so I had the prior experience and knew their individual quirks!
being aware of what quirks would probably get the most feedback - during my first ludum dare, I got feedback on an element of the game I hadn't even wanted to be considered, so this time I made sure the submission was well-rounded. I also knew I'd get the most feedback on my choice to make the grass objects walkable, which meant their colliders were harder to identify, but I figured it would be a fair trade-off to give the player back some screen real estate to walk on.
Some things that didn't work out as well:
I'd originally planned to submit to the compo, but I lost motivation to work on my game on Day 2, so I ended up finishing it on Day 3 and submitting it as a regular jam entry instead. I'm guessing this happened because I planned a little too well and that took some of the joy out of what I was creating, haha. It is a bit of a shame, but it all worked out in the end and I was able to submit to the general jam at least!
If you do end up giving Swan Forest a shot, do let me know what you think, and thank you very much for playing <3
Play Swan Forest here!