What went wrong
- theme: I was definitely NOT confident with the Minimalism theme. I like to spend lots of time of particles & art, and most people actually expected minimalist games to have minimalist art, which is a shame, imho. I really regret I didn't take this opportunity to work on another kind of art style.
- gameplay: as I gave up on the minimalist art style, I only had one solution left for the theme. The gameplay. I didn't have any idea until satursday evening, which is incredibly late for a LD... Therefore, I didn't have much time left for polish and to develop the themed gameplay properly. Anyway, I really believe the gameplay fits the theme (a minimal equipment that creates lots of constraints in a shoot em up). It's not as obvious as other entries, but I think it's still ok. Actually, I was planning to give up if I couldn't fit the theme into my game (which I believe is the essence of Ludum Dare).
- the lack of a decent state machine: the way I handled game sequences (intro, gameplay, dialogues, outro) was... horrible. Seriously, the code works but it was a little Vietnam to write maintain. I will HAVE to use a better architecture next time.
What went right
- scoring: I didn't have time to put more focus on the combo based score system. Anyway, it really works well imo and adds replayability. Usually, that's not something I have in my LD entries, so I'm proud of that.
- level design: once again, my level editor was Photoshop. Color coded pixels in a grid that define wall positions & enemies. The result is a really big level with lots of secret places to discover... and a potato :)
- sounds & music: as always, LabChirp was an amazing tool to create nice sfx quickly. I also used AutoTracker with some modifications, which also works great. However, autotracker musics tend to sound like each other, so I'm not sure I will use it again.
- intro: I had some spare time to make a proper intro... which is cool :)