This is a really long post about my compo entry for Ludum Dare 22 and something I learned about how I should make games…
Back in december, I, and more than 800 people, took part of the 22th Ludum Dare. My entry was a game called Loneliness (links at the end of the post). It’s about a cat that is alone (yep… pretty simple use of the theme… >.<) but want some friends. So it should befriend some colored balls and become happy. But there are some bad cat that want to keep it lonely, so they scare the balls…
The game itself is pretty simple, the character follows the mouse and, if it’s happy (the character’s loneliness acts as health… kinda), shoots when pressing the mouse button. Even so, there’s something that makes it really special for me: it’s the first game I ever finished. The problem (well… that’s what I thought at the time) is that the compo release was rather buggy and unfinished. What annoyed me even more is the fact that as few as two more hours or so of coding would be enough to polish it a lot. But, since I had some appointments (actually, just metting some friends whom I hadn’t seem in a real while) I couldn’t completely finish it.
During the compo’s following week, I finished a post-compo version. I added a bgm, corrected some bugs, made some changes to the graphics and so on. But, since then, I’ve got back to my “developers-block” xD. I just can’t finish another game (at least, not one that I want to do, since I worked on a game with a friend). In the mean time (since the compo’s end), I probably started four more projects… and seems like none of those is going to get completed.
Even though I try to keep the complexity reasonable, I always fell like I won’t be able to finish the game, or that it won’t come out as I originally thought, and I simply begin to lose interest in the project. It’s also at that time that I have a new “brilliant idea that no one has ever had and is going to be amazing!!”. And thus, I stop the current project and start a new one.
I’ve already proved to myself that this approach doesn’t really work… I have a lot of started projects, but only two finished… But something I read earlier made me realize something…
Some time ago, I donwloaded a visual novel developed by (as far as I understood) some people that gathered on the net. I really liked the game… but I’m not going to talk about it. I am going to talk about the project. You see, I normally can’t get myself motivated to finish a game that I thought up… something that should take no more than a month… but they completed a project that took five years! And a really well made game (even though amateurish). There are lots of songs, drawing, multiple paths in the plot… It’s not a small project. Something that struck me as unusual was their aproach to the development: instead of trying to make “the game of their dreams” they firstly wanted to finish the game.
I didn’t notice that at first… but that’s also my aproach to my LD22 entry. My game was far from even nice. It was an horrible game (that really is my sincere opinion of the compo-version). But, nonetheless, it was a game. My game. And I was able to finish it simply because I didn’t care about how complete it really was… It was more like “What else should I do?”… Kinda of making it until I felt that “That’s it!” (even though it could still use a lot of development… well, I learnt a nice lesson, anyway… xD). Afterward, I just gave it some final touchs and the game became something that, even if simple, was good to me.
I realized the following: if there’s a game that I want to do, I should simply do it. Putting it in a better way… I should do it until I know that, for now, it’s what I want it to be, even if it doens’t seems nice or fun. I can always update it afterward (and it’s quite easy to do that to a flash game, in comparison to making a patch and stuff for an executable… I don’t have the slightest idea of how that’s done xD).
If you got through that wall of text, thanks for reading. =]
I just felt like sharing the way I want to aproach my next project.
Now, some links:
The post on the visual novel blog that made me realize how I should try to work on my next game… and also the reason why I wrote this post xD
(It’s on the begining of the 8th paragraph… but I found it an interesting reading)
Now… back to work!
Back to working on my game! xD
(I want to finish it until the end of my vacation)
P.S.: This is kinda the post-mortem I said I would write (on my entry’s comment)… It’s just that… Well, it has been done. That’s what matter. xD