I tend to create games by mashing up concepts from other things I’ve experienced. In this case, the largest influence for the game was:
Light’s Out is a handheld game that I had as a child, where pushing any button would toggle its own light and others around it. This always struck me as an interesting mechanic, but I wanted to layer some other concepts on top of it. This is why the draglins are present, presenting an annoyance but not a huge challenge.
What went right
Given that I had a full month, I was much less rushed than when making Ludum Dare games. This let me put a bit thought into the design instead of slamming something out as quick as possible. I was able to make the logic for controlling the game board totally separate from the Unity game code, and it’s pretty robust – it can generate boards randomly, determine whether a given board configuration is solvable (not all are), and if it’s not, tweak it as necessary to make it solvable.
Their models, my animation
Without the “you must create everything yourself” requirement that Ludum Dare imposes, I was able to use freely available content in the game. The main character and draglin models both came from Blendswap (see credits below the game), which allowed me to focus on the other parts. I had to make all of the animations, but it still worked out much better than if I’d tried to model & skin the characters myself.
I was very enamored with the Progress Circle shown in the first answer, and was able to adapt it to a more simple use to show the “charging” of swapping squares. I really like the “filling circle” aspect instead of showing a linear meter, and it’s something that will show up in a lot of my other games.
What went wrong
Despite having a full month to work on the game, it ended up feeling less finished than even my 48hr games. I spent a lot of time tweaking the engine & logic, and it’s easy to add additional levels, but it just never got done. It’s missing sound, music, a more full tutorial, any kind of story, etc.
I have more plans for other mechanics to add to the game, and plan to revisit it for improvement in future months.