Ludum Dare 25
Ludum Dare 23
Ludum Dare 23 Warmup
Ludum Dare 19
Yeah sure, why not?
Tools: Depends on the game idea
Stress level: High
Good lucks! (gulps)
I have an exceptionally busy weekend coming up with a Christmas Party, Hobbit viewing, and shopping day over Sat and Sun, but I just can’t resist! I might be able to squeeze about 2-4 hours of work out before the deadline, so we’ll see what I can do. I don’t know what framework I’ll be using, but I have a number of options for reasonably rapid dev. Thought I wouldn’t enjoy this theme, but I do have an idea that excites me and is doable within the scare time I’ll have.
I simply can’t see a reachable goal from where I’m at. Working on my game is not fun anymore, and I can’t see how it’ll be fun to play. It’s definitely an idea to revisit more slowly and analytically. For now, I’m going to redeem the time for projects I can see being worthwhile and not ruin my weekend my stressing about LD.
I might still submit my progress since I do care about the voting process.
So long, and ’till next time! It was fun while the magic lasted!
I’m in, and hoping to ‘win’ by actually completing a gameable game this time instead of a glorified tech demo.
As usual I’ll be using:
Code: FlashDevelop, AS3, Flixel, probably Flixel Power Tools
Audio: Sfxr, Audacity, FLStudio
Good luck to all, and may all of us win!
I’ve got my entry in at least! So much left undone… More time to blog later!
Find it here.
I underestimated how tired I was from working at the youth camp. I feel like I could pull my game together in the remaining four hours if I was operating at peak condition. I am however, struggling to stay awake and tiredness has already cost me quite a bit of productivity. So it’s the Jam for me. I’d like to do my concept some justice. I am happy with what I’ve done so far under the conditions.
All the best to all the other participants!
I’ve been away this weekend acting as a counselor and musician for a youth camp, which was an amazing experience. So now it’s time for me to get cracking on the LD! I was able to plan for this – I was able to check the theme on Saturday, but unable to do much brainstorming until the drive home. I have a solid idea though, so I’ll get right to planning game mechanics and hit the code after an hour or two. My warmup was done in eight hours, so it is possible!
(P.S. If I don’t manage to submit by tonight, I’m sure I can get something in by the Jam deadline.)
Edit: It seems the reason old themes are back in is because of the 10th anniversary! Consider this post null and void; I am now resolute to enjoy whatever theme is picked, be it old or new!
I see that ‘Discovery’ scored highest out of round 3′s voting. This was also the theme for LD #19, which wasn’t that long ago. Personally I’d prefer not to have this theme in particular repeated so soon. If I remember correctly, some of the other themes up for voting have been covered recently. Please be aware of this when voting in the final round. It’s better to have fresh themes, IMHO. If you spot any other themes that have been used recently, please note them in the comments below, along with the LD in which they were used. Thanks.
If you haven’t already, go read this post: http://www.ludumdare.com/compo/2012/04/16/a-quick-reminder-read-the-rules/ I’d like to expand a bit on what Hazard has already said by talking about the Rating Categories.
I have heard many quibbles about ratings in the past few LD’s. (Even though I don’t always participate I do follow the blog fairly consistently, so I’ve seen what some of you have been saying.) It seems to me that an increase in complaints about the rating system is correlated to the rapid increase of participants over the past year or so. To me this indicates that those new to the competition haven’t necessarily taken time to understand the rating system.
First off, let me state that I do not believe Ludum Dare is really a ‘competition’. The aim of this event is for personal improvement in a fun environment. If you have taken Hazard’s advice and read the rules, you’ll have come across this statement: “Ultimately, our goal with Ludum Dare is to encourage people to sit down and make something. ” This is not about who takes the prize, or who gets a better rating than whom. It’s not even about how well your game is rated at all! I believe the staff will agree with me when I say that Ludum Dare is about what you can learn from your experience and the fun that you can have doing so.
That being said, it is important to rate the games you play fairly. The feedback from the ratings is one of the most important ways of analyzing your work, specifically, where you need to improve. If someone receives a lousy rating in the ‘audio’ category, they know they need to work on their sounds, but giving a low audio rating to a game with no sound is not helpful to the creator. Thus, to help us all improve at what we’re doing, make sure to give reasonable ratings, and leave comments for categories you rate poorly. To do so, take Hazard’s advice and read the rules, even if you’re a competition veteran. A couple things stood out to me this time that I hadn’t noticed before, and it never hurts to refresh your memory.
The rules are fairly explicit in breaking down the categories, but indulge me to expound on them.
Innovation – This category is about either entirely new ideas, or old ideas used in new ways. If you’ve made a platform shooter, you haven’t innovated yet. If you’ve made a platform shooter where you try to avoid shooting as much as possible, you may have innovated. When rating this category ask yourself, “What is different, fresh, or unexpected about this game’s mechanics?”
Fun – This category seems straightforward, but don’t forget that fun can be derived from a large range of qualities. I’ve had fun because a particular game is really challenging (eg. N); because it has addictive, rewarding gameplay (eg. Diamond Hollow -shakes fist-); because of a pleasurably unique style (eg. The Wager); because it is actually frustrating at times (eg. Dwarf Fortress – losing is Fun); or even because it is frightening or disturbing (eg. Amnesia). When rating this category ask yourself, “Have I enjoyed myself while playing this game?”
Theme – This category is there to make sure you’re on track. Back in LD #19, I attempted to make a game for the theme ‘discovery’. After assesing my final concept (which didn’t even get completed) I realized that my gameplay was no longer related to the theme – it was about finding specific items rather than new ideas. The winner of that LD captured discovery very well: a caveman being introduced to modern concepts. Others who entered the same compo took the theme in different clever directions. I remember several plays on the ‘disco-very’ mutation of the word. When rating this category ask yourself, “Has this game incorporated the theme in a solid, tangible manner (even though it may be obtusely interpreted)?”
Graphics – This is often a misleading category in my experience. I think it ends up being almost more about style than about flair. This category often tends to be more subjective than others. Some may think that a dichromatic color scheme makes for a very good graphics score, while others may rate it poorly. I personally tend to rate games higher that use their graphics effectively. By this I mean simple things like perhaps using colors to achieve a mood effect (eg. 5 colors pandora), or just something as simple as having a clear definition between solid foreground platforms and background art in a platformer. When rating this category I ask myself, “Does this game hold together stylistically, and does it put its art to good use?”
Audio – This is also a tough one for me, simply because some games have just sound, some have sound and music, and others have none. Keep in mind that if audio is completely absent do not rate this category poorly, instead, give it a N/A vote. If it has sound but no music, judge it by the merit of its sound alone. Things of note when judging audio are the volume difference between each sound and the balance between sound and music; are you having to adjust your speaker volume between different parts of the game for instance? Do the sound effects give good feedback for game events (a ‘boing’ when jumping or an ‘ouch’ when hurt are good examples)? Most importantly, are any of the sounds annoying (a constant harsh ‘pewpewpew’ for instance)? When rating this category, ask yourself, “Did the game’s sounds add to the experience?”
Humor – Here’s another category that can easily merit an N/A. If a game is meant to be somewhat disturbing, it’s not likely to have much humor in it and should receive an N/A rather than a low vote. Take for instance ‘The Republia Times’ from the warmup for this LD (#23). There not much more to say about this category; ask yourself, “Did I laugh, snort or chuckle?”
Mood – A recent addition and my new favorite category. This tackles how well the game created a ‘feel’. Mario has a mood that is instantly vibrant and lighthearted thanks to its catchy music, cutesy graphics, and laid-back gameplay. Amnesia creates the opposite mood through chilling music, disturbingly good storytelling, and creating tension in the player over whether or not to even light his lamp. Perhaps my favorite games for mood though have been the Advance Wars series for GBA. Everything from the music to the graphic design to the dialog yell, “This game is fun!” Digression aside, ask yourself, “How well do the separate elements contribute to the feel of this game?”
Overall – The most subjective category. Some people treat it as an average of all the other categories, I tend to treat it as separate. When rating this category, I ask myself, “Was my experience playing this game positive, negative, or average?”
Community – Personally I dislike this category for its ambiguity. Someone may have posted a bunch of things about their entry, timelapse, progress reports, blahblahblah, but not really done anything for the community. This becomes more true as the number of participants increases. There’s no way any sane person could watch 1000 timelapse videos, so how exactly are those all contributing? I strongly dislike downvoting this category because so-and-so did not post a timelapse or somesuch. Rant aside, I prefer to rate this based on the specific content of participants posts; whether they are genuinely trying to get involved or just putting things online to maintain status quo. When rating this category, I ask myself, “Does this person appear to value the LD community over their own work?”
As a final word, please don’t ever make a lazy vote. I would rather receive a few well-thought out criticisms than a myriad of undeserved praise. If you find that you are just trying to get the rating process over with, please just set that game aside and move on rather than giving an unthinking rating. If time permits, you can come back and rate that game fairly at a later point. Also, if you have given a game a poor rating in any category, please take a moment to leave a comment providing constructive advice in that category.
TL;DR: Think about your ratings; make sure they line up with the meanings of the categories laid out in the rules.
Thanks for your time, and enjoy LD #23!
I feel pretty warmed up Check out Lumberjack Jack if you’re interested.
I’m in for LD23. I’ll be battling third-world internet so I don’t expect to be posting many blog entries. I’d like to join the warmup weekend as well, but we’ll see how things go. I’m pretty warm from my recent coding activities, though I need to redo my screen capture setup.
Machine: Craptop – Windows
Language & Frameworks: AS3; Flixel; Flixel Power Tools
Audio: Sfxr, Audacity, FLStudio
Target Platform: Web (Flash, non-mobile)
Version Control: Non-existent
Screen Capture: Liable to change
Planning: Pencil and scratch paper
Organisation/Focus: Trusty Whiteboard
Edit: Going to be doing the Jam this time. Turns out I’m in charge of music for a youth camp that weekend, which will need my full time and attention. I’ll start early, working from one of the top preliminary voting themes, and finish up before the camp. I’m still going to be part of the 10th anniversary if I possibly can.
I going to be getting back to school, moving into the dorm the weekend of the LD, but I may try to enter despite that. If so, it’ll probably be the Jam, and I’ll be using flixel. Otherwise, I’ll just lurk around the compo. In any case, good luck everyone!
Due to various reasons, most prominently an eye injury, I have to withdraw from this LD. I currently have nothing even started so it’s pretty far fetched to hope to submit anything now! Until next time folks! I may try to enter July’s mini if the topic is released early enough, but August’s LD sees me going back to school and moving into the dorm so that’s probably not an option. Best of luck everyone!
Well I’ve gotten nowhere on the mini LD. It’s been a pretty crazy couple of weeks. I’ve had a multiplicity of things taking up my time in the evenings, some of that work bleeding over after 5pm. And today a recurring eye injury cropped up again, forcing me to stay home from work, meaning I’ll be doing even more in the evenings. I have a concept and a good codebase, but that’s it. Seeing as the project is much too ambitious for just a weekend, I doubt I’ll have anything very presentable for the deadline.
On a brighter note, the get-together that I was planning actually happened! Last Saturday a number of us met at a friends house and hung out and discussed our ideas. I believe it was a profitable time, and it was definitely fun. Although many of them won’t be joining this LD, we all shared projects that we wanted to work on and generally had a good time talking about game coding. Some new ideas developed out of the mix. We’ll be doing it again this coming Saturday, just in time to wrap up for the mini LD.
I will enter the Mini-LD.
After considering the theme, I don’t actually have much interest in creating a story through text. The concept is about dialogue. Since I generally don’t like to explore mood and story via dialogue (I prefer the ‘show, don’t tell’ method), this theme is challenging for me. Therefore, my entry will likely be somewhat unconventional. I will be pursuing one of two goals:
Either: Concentrate on a dialogue engine. I have never written a robust dialogue engine before and I need to know what goes into one. I have a rough outline of what I would like it to support and how to code that. As such, I would be producing a tech demo for the competition. I would still attempt to do some story (I have a vague idea), but I might just have to fall back on old poetry I’ve written as a script.
Or: Try to be innovative with the idea of all talk. What if the characters (this would work best with two human players) could not speak to each other, but still had to communicate (ala Journey, the upcoming atmospheric PS3 title). What if the characters were robots, and instead of speaking verbally, used some protocol language (R2D2 anyone)? What if you were interacting with aliens and had to learn their language (The Space Trilogy by C. S. Lewis)? I have a basic story to go with the robots idea, and I may pursue that.
Feel free to steal any of those ideas (actually I’d be excited to see anyone use them)! I’ll see you guys in irc, and I’ll be watching the blog. Good luck, all!
So who ever came up with calling these analyses post-mortems? My project certainly isn’t dead. I certainly have a lot to say about it though. For reference, play it here. If you don’t care how I personally performed, scroll down to Product to hear my comments about the submitted game itself. For the Tl;dr, scroll all the way down to the conclusion. Otherwise, prepare for a wall of text!
Due to internet trouble Saturday, I’m still far from Done, but I did the best I could.
Find my entry here: http://www.ludumdare.com/compo/minild-26/?action=preview&uid=3023
Post-mortem coming tomorrow.
Well here goes.
I intend to encompass all the themes.
UNDERVERDEN will be a game of exploration and spelunking, discovering the subterranean blight that is corroding the surface world. On your journey below the earth you will have to destroy the source of the evil while leaving the caves as untouched as possible. You will need ample supplies and may make numerous trips to the surface to restock and rest. Cleansing the evil will be a monumental task, perhaps too large for just one lifetime…
Underverden will be done when:
- The story is narrated and the scene set
- Buildings/terrain can be destroyed
- There are at least 3 objectives to destroy in different cities
- Healthy cave grows when objective destroyed
- There are intervening tunnels between objectives
- Equipment is functional – rope, pick, shovel minimum
- The death mechanic is in functional (keeping it a secret)
- SFX are present for actions that need feedback - jumping, falling digging, etc
- There is at least one ambient music track
- Game can be won, restarted, saved and loaded
Extra goals that probably won’t get done:
- Integrated, fuller storytelling
- Ambient lighting from torches/gemstones/mushrooms etc…
- Break and carry light sources
- Pseudo-random cave generation (connecting objectives)
- Water present
- Equipment purchase mechanism
- More equipment – bombs, drill
- Famine & fatigue mechanism
- Scoring mechanism
Good Luck everyone! Have a great MiniLD!
I’m in for the upcoming mini-LD provided I don’t have to roadtrip that week. I’m waiting to hear back about a possible job opportunity in my area. If I don’t get the job I’m going to have to drive halfway across the U.S. to stay with relatives. So as long as I’m in one place, I’d love to participate. This will be my first Mini-LD and second LD overall.
My tools will (probably) be:
I have a couple ideas that I hope can fit with the theme. One is an atmospheric platformer (pretty generic) and the other is an orthagonal (3/4) view puzzle game with a unique means of interaction. I really hope I get to do the latter.
Excited as always!
Looks like the 26th is a Thurs. Since I’ll hopefully be getting a new job I may opt for fri-sat instead. Nvm. Misread the date.