Ludum Dare 17
Ludum Dare 16
Ludum Dare 15
Archive for the ‘LD #17 – Islands – 2010’ Category
I was feeling like crap so I figured I’d do a Ludum Dare game to cheer me up. The theme turned out to be crap so I decided to just make a stupid game instead of a good one. I hated working on it and just wanted it to end the whole time, and was totally ignoring it for part of the day. That seems to have helped me avoid getting too focused and prioritize my TODO list so ironically the game turned out okay.
I did get something out of it. I learned how to prioritize features and that it’s really better to do something you want to do as soon as possible instead of waiting for the right time, even if it’s shoddy, because the longer you’re exposed to it the more improvements you can make. But that doesn’t really help because I still felt like crap working on the game, and I still feel like crap whenever I do anything positive, and the ego trip from reading the comments on it doesn’t make up for it in the end.
P.S. On a lighter note, the game was inspired by a Radiolab episode that discussed how fighter pilots performing high G-force maneuvers sometimes lose consciousness and have dreams and out of body experiences. I read that hallucinations can also happen due to sensory deprivation in high altitude flight. Of course, my game isn’t even close to the actual experience, but I thought it was an interesting idea.
Island Construction Malfunction
Island Hermit Hop!
Island of Bounty
Island Repair Man
Island Skate Delivery Boy
Island Tour Racing
Islands At War
Islands Far Away
Islands in the Sky
Islands of the Stone God
Islands: Through the Sweep of Stars
Let’s pick a theme with more variety next time.
The final round of theme voting is approaching, and I’ve been thinking. Considering how big Ludum Dare is getting, and how influential the theme is to the quality of the compo, I want to make sure we pick the right one. We don’t want to repeat LD#11′s mistake of choosing Minimalist and losing entrants just because they couldn’t come up with anything, or get a boring theme and be left with over 100 identical games. Plus, this time around we had so many theme suggestions (over 400) that they had to be trimmed down based on informal criteria, some themes that people would’ve liked to see were left out. I want to discuss what actually makes a good theme, so that we can get everyone on the same page and come up with a better way to select and vote for themes.
To know what makes a good theme, first we need to know who it’s supposed to be good for. What kind of people participate in LD? Why do they participate? Here’s the reasons I came up with:
- It’s a fun, low-barrier-to-entry test of one’s abilities.
- It’s an excuse to work on something and get a feeling of accomplishment.
- It’s a social community event.
- It’s a chance to achieve fame and fortune, if you make a good game.
- Competing to win is a test of one’s mastery of design, coding, and art skills.
Now, participants are very varied people. We have different development styles, different skill levels of designing/coding/art, and different preferences with regards to game genre and style. A good theme should be able to accomodate as many of these as possible, while unifying the entries with a common inspiration. With the goals of LD participants in mind, here are my proposed criteria for a good theme:
- Can be interpreted in a number of ways such that it is a key part of the game.
- Sufficiently restricts freedom of choice, to stimulate creativity.
- Can be implemented in different game genres, using different mechanics.
Have you ever worked with ANY program involving evolution? They all take hours at best, weeks at worst, just to run long enough to get interesting results, let alone to develop.
Way back I used to play with SodaConstructor, an applet where you make 2D moving creatures out of springs and muscles (which are springs that expand and contract according to a sine wave) joined at the ends. A related applet was SodaRace, where you built a track for these creatures to race on, and tried to build the one that got to the end the fastest. Someone made a program that took a creature and randomly varied various aspects of its construction, put a bunch of these mutants on a track, and raced them, picking the fastest ones and repeating this in a process of evolution. It took hours just to get something remotely interesting, and days to come up with a maybe kinda cool result.
Same story for a bunch of life simulators that I’ve tried that you can google for. Usually the story is I run it, see a bunch of weird creatures move around randomly being stupid, and maybe if I leave it running overnight the next day I’ll see a bunch of one creature that moves around randomly, in a way that happens to not consistently lead to death. It’s watching paint dry.
There are several problems with simulating evolution: (more…)
UPDATE: Experience my poor art in a game, thanks to JonathanW!
I get peeved about things for no good reason a lot. One of those things is crappy art in games. I’m not really a great artist so I don’t know how to make good art, but I do know what I don’t like about bad art, so I decided to complain about it in the form of this exciting tutorial! I figure knowing what to avoid is at least as important as knowing what to do, so here is my guide to making really bad art for your game! (more…)