I just got time today to write my post mortem for my 2nd Ludum Dare game, Minikin. I needed a quiet activity because I’m trying to catch a field mouse that’s trapped in my home to let it outside. Anyway, this time around I did much better than before, I was just picking up flash punk back in December and had a lot of hiccups with learning it. So I’ll get into a bulleted list for easier reading.
What went Right:
- Flash Punk - I really came to love Flash Punk over this last Ludum Dare, I picked up some new tricks and the helper classes REALLY saved me some time. Over this past LD, it has definitely become my engine of choice.
- The New Ogmo Editor - I’m gonna be honest I picked the new version of the Ogmo Editor up like an hour before LD started, I was planning all my games around not using it because it nearly killed me last Ludum Dare. To my surprise I fired it up and saw a whole new tile editor. It made the level design I had not only possible, but actually fun to make.
- Timing - I was PUMPED for this LD, I literally could not wait for the theme to be announced. I was so focused on the game I didn’t realize time passing by. I was up literally from 9AM Friday to 12AM Sunday, powering through the development. It was a real rush this time around, I got so excited about everything that I was able to just charge through every problem that came my way.
- Assets – The sprites for this game are probably some of my best, and that mostly has to do with the small scale of them being easy to create. But I’ve been exploring some different pixel art tutorials and I’m really proud of the quality of the slime boss especially. Another thing I learned is when I’m deliriously sleep deprived, I can make some decent background music, half the audio in my game was done at around hour 30 of no sleep, and I definitely notice a higher quality in the composition. I’ll have to explore that next LD.
What went Wrong:
- Expecting the Popular Theme - I should have known from December that the popular theme wouldn’t be chosen. I had wasted a bunch of time solidifying awesome game ideas for Artificial Life and Build it, then Use it. I’m really glad those didn’t get chosen personally, my game would have been better but it was more of a challenge to get a theme I wasn’t expecting.
- Not doing the warmup - My schedule was kind of rough the weekend prior and I didn’t get the chance to do the warm up, but that probably would have shaved 2-3 hours off of my development time trying to figure out things I had forgotten. Loading maps from Ogmo especially, I had completely forgotten how the xml objects work and ended up wasting a bunch of time on them.
- I kind of copped out - I’ve made a few games in my time aside from Ludum Dare, and almost all of them have been fantasy rpgs of some sort. They’re what I grew up with and I’ve gotten pretty good at them, but I’d like to challenge myself more often by creating different types of games. Like I said, this theme caught me off guard so I ran back to my safe zone, but I would like to stop doing that.
All said and done, I think I did a really good job this time. I can improve the time it takes to come up with the code just a little bit more and make some room for more polish. Next Ludum dare I hope to improve on the content in my game, preparing my mind more beforehand so I waste less time on the basics. This was a very exciting weekend for me, I’ve gotten a lot of great reviews and it’s kicked my motivation into high gear. I’ve already started adding new enemies to an extended version of Minikin and plan to release it online in a few weeks.