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DECURSOR

Edited January 25, 2023

Another of my 20 2020 jam games. I like this one. As usual, click above to play, or check it out on itch.io where it was originally posted.

Original devlog/postmortem

I stumbled onto Kenney Jam 2020 on itch's list of upcoming jams. Its constraint is that the games must use assets made by someone I assume is named Kenney. I took a look, and what jumped out at me was a set of generic icons - arrows, play/rewind/stop, joysticks and controller buttons, that kind of thing. I spent some time background-mulling a vague idea for a puzzle game where each level was a grid of glyphs that each did a different thing when activated.

The theme (CURSED) was announced. It didnít really change anything, it just provided a prompt for the flavor, which I was glad to have -- the mechanics didnít immediately lend themselves to anything I felt like I could write about in a funny way.

Even though I think of them as lasting two days, MiniJams are actually three days each, which means I had significantly less time to work on this one. I got the grid (5x5 with one surrounding layer of gutter tiles) and most of the glyph types working in a basic way in a couple of hours on Friday afternoon. I foolishly decided that I could save time if I also used that 7x7 structure as the level select screen. I thus created a situation where, in my spare time on Saturday, I had to wire up all of the progression and top-level UI stuff and design FORTY NINE levels. Really just 42, I guess, since 7 of them are demonstrations of glyphs, but still. Too many.

Of all of my 2020 jame games so far, I think this is the one that is the most unlike anything Iíve made before. It is also very clear to me that I wasnít a strong enough programmer at the beginning of the year to have been able to make this work in such a short span of time. That feels pretty good.

The levels are full of unintended shortcut solutions, and theyíre almost certainly too easy across the board. Iím hoping Kevin will get excited about helping me make some harder puzzles for a 1.1 version. It could also use some sound and a little more visual polish. I also intended to play with making proc-gen puzzles by running the glyph logic backwards, but I didnít have time to even try that. Itís remarkable how much more time constrained this felt than all of the MiniJams. 1.1 days is a lot less than 2.1 days.


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