Illuminum was the first large game project I started. Initially, I wanted to make a story-centric Adventure but I soon had to realize that my skills were inadequate for that huge a task. I scaled the game down in order to quickly get user feedback from testers and implemented a dynamic cube distribution. The main goal was now to collect coloured cubes in a dark environment. To motivate players, I created an online highscore and a website. This step was a first visible success. People started playing and tried to best each other. Observing them gave me an excellent opportunity to find bugs and design problems.
At the university’s end of semester exhibition I realized how high the bar still was for non-gamers to start playing when they had to sit down and use mouse & keyboard. As a consequence I implemented support for the Xbox Controller, thus removing a critical technological barrier for some players. That brought a non-trivial amount of problems, like controlling the menu, which was previously accessed via mouse.
Illuminum is currently in arrested development. I hope it will be released on good behaviour someday soon so I can finally finish this potentially great game.