The theme was "Your life is currency", which was the least-wanted one (for me) in the theme list for voting. Having wasted nearly two hours comping up with an idea for the game, we finally decided on the one that we thought of very early.
996 working hour system actually does not have an effect on the lives of our team members, but it is a fact that we would like to pay attention to. There are indeed people who don't think it is appropriate to include such stuff in your game. As a matter of fact, many other games in LD44 also interpret the theme by making capitalists demons and villains.
Designing the money and everyday life to be the currency for drinks and exercises was a good idea to fit the theme in my opinion, though it ended seeming very obscure to some players if they didn't read the instructions in the opening scene very carefully. Anyway, I thought it would be a perfect interpretation of the theme, but it was kind of a failure to convey the idea to let players get it.
The level design is rather difficult for this game. For some players it is an easy game, while it could be extremely hard for others. I watched one of my friends and a streamer playing it, and they had very different results. So I was so glad to see one commenting that the difficulty was well balanced.
So I realized at a very early stage that people might find the game not interesting. And I always knew that we had a great artist in our team, so graphics would definitely be the distinguishing feature for our game. "Completeness" is a key element for a game jam game, so I did some work on UI to make it look like a well-developed complete game. We also added an opening animation at the last minutes of the jam.
Using Godot as the game engine was a decision I made before the game jam. I couldn't help myself using something I was not so familiar with, because I felt like I could learn more by actually working on a project. Godot is a great engine for 2D game, and most importantly, it is free and open sourced, so I really enjoyed using it. Another "bad" habit of mine was to write code as clean and elegant as possible. It might not be a good idea but I found it very comfortable as long as the game could be finished.
Overall, it was a great experience to work on and finish such a project with friends and to get involved in the community to share your work. I would absolutely like to do it again next time!