Building a Prototype: Part 2

If you missed Part 1 of this small tale, check it out here.

When we reconvened on the morning of the final day of the jam, we had the "flower powers" abilities implemented and we spent a bit of time playtesting to see how the game felt with those changes. And we were really happy with the new abilities! Like, the game was a surprising amount of fun. And we had time left in the jam!

Having time left in a game jam and being feature-complete is a rare luxury. In classic form, we immediately started having conversations about features we could creep into the game in the time we had left. Among other things, we considered making it so that certain flowers gave you certain powers (instead of all flowers working for all powers), but decided that would be horrible and not fun (because the mental load of tracking which color flower was where in your chain is way too much to think about, on top of the fast, competitive gameplay). Ultimately (fortunately), we decided that instead of complicating the game we were already having fun playing, we should just focus on polishing it, which, again, is something you basically never get to do in a game jam. So we added glows and particles and spinning things! I genuinely think that extra bit of polish really helped people's impression when we showed the prototype to the rest of the studio at the end of the jam (okay, actually, I know that because people commented on it). It was clear to me basically immediately that this thing had legs and wouldn't require all that much work to get to a shippable state.

Four years later, I got off my ass and talked to my old boss, Jamie Cheng, about buying the rights to the game (with permission from Kevin and Gordon, naturally). He generously agreed to sell me the game for $1 USD, and here we are, making this thing for real.