Last week end was my first participation to the ludum dare. I’ve been considering to participate for a few years now but I had never had the ‘nerve’ to take the last step. So here am I, and honestly I had a very good time! Let’s immediately skip to…
What went right :
– fortunately, I had already participated in game jams so I avoided the common mistake of seeing too big (though barely I must admit)
– I’ve made my mind on what the game would be 9 hours after the start of the competition (including 7 hours of sleep ^^) and honestly it could have been worse. Though some mechanics evolved during my implementation, I managed to stick to the original idea.
– I’ve used VERY FAMILIAR tools. I’ve been working with Flash for years now and I mainly used a small open source blitting library I’ve create with my partner at Alkemi several years ago. I know the thing inside out unlike larger frameworks like Flixel or Flash Punk. I’ve almost tried to make the game with Unity with which I’m very familiar too, but I’m REALLY glad I didn’t in the end. I love this tool but it’s definitely not as fast to use as Flash and it wasn’t required for my idea…
– I’ve managed to keep my tablet out of the way! I knew if I started to draw things with a tablet I would spend too much time on graphics and not enough on development so I kind of forced myself to do it 100% with simple vector graphics (and a WHOLE LOT of filters). I’m kind of proud that the whole game weighs less than 30Ko without sounds and less than 80 with them ^^
– The actual level design occured only 10 hours before the end of the competition but it went relatively well. Even if it did not turned out always as I expected, it gave something with some potential if not enormous interest.
– I’ve managed to keep the pressure off and work I’d say… 20-24hours during the week-end with wide variations in concentration and involvement and a few starcraft2 games in between
What went wrong :
– I just didn’t like the theme… I prefer less open themes, less generic. Personnal taste that’s all, but it kind of bothered me for the whole first day.
– I ended up doing a ‘microbiological’ game like the project I’ve been working on at alkemi for the last year and a half. That’s my entire fault but I had no other idea than that (well no feasible idea at least). I kind of turned it into something interesting for me by tring to explore an art direction I had discarded for our game…
– I ended up doing if not a shooter, a shooting game which is what I have the most experience with. I would have liked to try something a bit more different than my usual, tread on new paths even if it meant to risk failure. I’ll try harder next time!
– Game mechanics didn’t turned out exactly as I planned. Well that’s almost always the case, whether you have written them down or not (personnaly I don’t believe in game design documents, I believe in experimentation and prototyping). Still, I like when things turned out as I imagined them and I still clearly need experience to run an accurate simulation in my head ^^
– I’ve done a few sound fxs with SFXR (an excellent tool I’ve discovered this week end…) but I could have, should have added a lot more ambiant sounds. I just didn’t have the juice left to do so…
– I’ve missed most of the SC2 MLG live streaming
I’ll definitely try this again!