Well this should be interesting! This will be my first time participating in ludum dare, and besides a few small unfinished game projects, I really haven’t done much of note in the gamespace. There’s lots to learn, and lots to accomplish. I hope to do plenty of both, and will be writing extensively about my experiences along the way.
I’m a python programmer at heart, and will be using pyglet in this competition, as they’re both the most familiar to me. What’s unfamiliar, however, is this trepidation I feel due to never having participated in anything like this before. Will I be able to cut through all the extraneous hangups that I usually get caught up in, and put out a pretty nice game before time is up?
In order to do this, I’ll need more mental discipline than usual. So first and foremost, I’m going to write down some Laws on my whiteboard. What? Hmm? Well of COURSE you can see them! Here’s a very broad overview.
- Look before I leap
- Generate, generate, generate
- Prune, prune, prune
- Refine, refine, refine
- Build, submit, relax
I’m going to allocate about 4 hours in the beginning to plan the initial concept, as a very liberal gift. If I end up being satisfied with my design document before then, then that’s all to the good! After that, I will spend the first day recklessly attempting to implement features decided upon in the design document. Woman scorned hath no fury like a competitive programmer. When the second day rolls around, I will take another hour or three to look at what I’ve got, where I need to be, and what I need to prune. This is where I will probably shed some tears, having to throw out ideas, but it must be done.
After that, I will enter lockdown. No new features. No new ideas. Polish polish polish! Finally, at the end I will spend some time tying things up, making the build, submitting, then blogging about my experiences. Followed by some relaxation, support for people who need help playing my game should something go wrong (oh noes!), and enjoying and rating other peoples’ games.
Now that I’ve got a plan, let’s see how closely I will stick to it. I might insert a few micro-loops of generate, prune, polish in there, depending on how well things go. In any case, I’m as ready as I’ll ever be, and I wish everyone good luck, or some reasonable non-mystical facsimile!