PLAY ~ VIEW PAGE
This was an intense couple of days, and felt more like a week had passed. It being my first ludum dare I didn’t know what to expect. I’ve made games before, and I’ve made games with deadlines before, but the ones I’ve finished were not much.
As the time of the theme’s announcement came closer I wasn’t worried too much, I had some vague ideas on some types of games to do. One game could fit several themes. Then the theme was announced: escape! I have to admit that this was one of the themes I overlooked in my mental preparation as I assumed people will want to avoid a pile of room escape games. I didn’t want to do a platformer because I assumed that there will be enough little jumping men and floating platforms from other competitors. So I
sat down started pacing around the whole house and tried to think what I’d like to escape from: cities came to mind, then I thought that’s too much of a cliche since the whole world would want the same. Now that’s an Idea.
First let's get them spinning
First thing’s first in an orbit-based game: get the orbit working. That worked easily enough. Geting them spinning around eachother was trickier though.
Then get them spinning around eachother
The coding went a lot more smoothly than I had anticipated, the only slight issue was in switching orbits where Urth (I’ve been told repeatedly that it looked like a hairy circle in its first incarnation) would randomly teleport around.
Probably my favorite level
By the end of day one I had 6 finished levels and escape mode. There were still no menus, no sounds, no interface of any recognizable sort, and at this point I hadn’t slept for well over 24 hours, not due to a lack of trying though. I’d sit in my bed, lights off and sleep wouldn’t happen. Instead what happened were the storyline overlays. Then sleep happened.
Day two started with implementing some suggestions from preliminary testing, adding the artwork, doing the menus, and generally improving the game play experience.
Music and sounds were a headache. I rarely add sounds to projects, so this was mostly new and uncharted territory. Some fumbling with lmms wasted several hours, so I just went and picked up my dusty old mandolin (no I can’t actually play it other than one song: Planxty Irwin) and banged and pinched on it (the sound effects) until I eventually managed a slow tune (the music). Some tweaking in audacity made it bearable to listen to.
Ready for my world tour, fetch my manager!
With that out of the way I still had some hours to spare. Since I became addicted to the Escape game mode, and would play it repeatedly for minutes on end instead of doing actual work I decided to make a high score table so others can show off their planetary avoidance skills. This only works in the applet though, the compiled versions will save your scores in a text file.
Escape this if you can
To conclude, some advice:
- start simple, but make it expandable
- do not update to a beta release of ubuntu the day before ludum dare
- 48 hours isn’t enough to learn new skills and use them, work with what you know
- do not forget to blink