With only three days to work with, game jams tend to be pretty hectic endeavors. Fortunately, Kevin had already done a lot of heavy lifting by building an entity-component-system on top of the 2D free and open-source Lua engine love2d (which is wonderful, and thematically appropriate for Flower Powers). The system that Kevin had built strongly resembled the one in place for Don't Starve (that game's gameplay is entirely built in Lua, on top of a C++ backend). After having worked on that game for about 5 months, it was super easy to drop right in and get to work. We made quick work of our core idea and had a functional version about halfway through the jam.
At this stage, at the end of day 2, the game was fun, but it was a little thin. We huddled and figured out a way to add another layer to the core risk/reward mechanic. The idea that we came up with was to allow players to sacrifice a flower (the scoring resource) that was in their chain in exchange for activating a "flower power": a few different abilities that add some depth beyond simple maneuvering. The powers we picked were: 1) a freeze shot (temporary disable if you hit a player with it), 2) a speed boost (faster movement that allows you to catch/evade another player), and 3) a burst (an short-range physics push that bumps players around). With that decided, we headed home to continue working. I'll save the tale of the final day for my next post. Until then!
For Part 2, click here.