The game structure was strongly inspired by a popular indie Flash game No One Has to Die. It contains a series of grid-based puzzles, each of which you need to play through several different times with different starting conditions to get different outcomes. In fact I was worried people might see it as too similar, but if they did nobody said anything.
The puzzles in No One Has to Die are (IMHO) quite easy. The main focus is on the unfolding story and the looping gameplay. I think they didn't want anyone to have trouble completing the game.
The puzzles in Otherworlder are also easy, and three commenters agreed. On the other hand two said they were unable to complete the game, so I'm not sure what would have been the best solution here. Maybe an easy mode.
One major limiting issue is that we didn't have the mechanics worked out until Wednesday. The original plan was to have a third character that's the cause of the tiles disappearing, who's invisible until the final act, and you had to deduce that there's something moving around and attacking you without being able to see it. In the end this was too complicated to make puzzles for, given our self-imposed constraint of being able to play through three times with three different outcomes. Simpler, like usual, turned out to be better, but finding exactly which simple mechanics to use is complicated. EnigmaticArcher also designed a couple levels using a switch mechanic that I didn't have time to implement.
The production on this game didn't quite live up to my standard, so I think our production score was higher than I would have given. Yeah there are no major bugs that came up, and I did get a couple special effects in, but I had several more in mind that I didn't have time for, and the whole thing feels rough around the edges to me. The characters as game pieces was an intentionally lazy choice to avoid having to animate. Also we didn't have voice acting or custom music.
I decided to keep the team and scope small since I had to move a few days after the deadline, and I think it worked out okay. But I'm hoping to make more involved games again in the future.
Thank you to everyone who played the game and left feedback! Congratulations to everyone who entered! I'm looking forward to seeing you all again next time!
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