After the questioning of the game engine in the last jam I looked into what other 2D options were out there. After testing a bunch of them and discussing with the team we decided to try Godot for this one. The theme was 'Light and Dark' and we came up with a top down twin stick game where you have a torch fighting off shadow monsters in a house. We used the Godot tile manager and made a house to run around it. Compared to other jams where the map was made in something like Tiled and then imported this was quite a luxury.

After playing around with the basic mechanics and trying to find the fun, we decided that the goal would be to hold out long enough for a rescue vehicle to come then escape, similar to a Left 4 Dead final mission. Since we were already going to have strong contrast between the dark level and the light beam, flashing lights would look really cool. Early Saturday morning we had all the main components in with the path finding, torch, rescue vehicle and ending. Most of Saturday was spent trying to get the game feel right. We tried a lot of iterations on how to tell if the monsters were in light and what they should do when they were getting hurt. We also spent a lot of time trying to make the particles of monsters disappear as they got hurt but were just a bit too new to Godot to figure it out in time. The torch length represented your health so as you got hurt you could visually see it and it made the game harder as you ended up with a tiny torch. We ended up making it recharge after a time to even out the difficulty.

To add some replayability we made the map bigger and added random spawn locations. This was much easier to implement that a full procedural map and lets the player recognise landmarks as the play again. Of course the game is only about a minute long so they are not spending too much time exploring. One issue we found was that you could stand in a corner and damage the shadows fast enough to stay alive. To encourage the player to move around we added a zombie which was not affected by the light to chase you out of corners.

One thing I was really happy with in this jam was how the sound turned out. All the effects were from freesound. I had an idea of a garbled radio to represent the truck coming to rescue you. After trying out a bunch of sounds I found one and it fitted the atmosphere really well. Attaching a sound to the monsters sounded really good. You hear it grow louder as they come towards you and when there are lots of them you get a big chorus.

Overall we were pretty happy with the result. It didn't win any prizes but it did represent the atmosphere we were going for and was a really good try out of Godot. It showed how easy it was to learn that we could pick it up and write a game with some complicated mechanics in only a weekend.

Lessons Learnt

Sound Effects can really add to the atmosphere.
Godot is pretty cool.
Play test to find ways players cheese the game.