So I saw the all the stats-posts and wanted to be cool too.
Here are the ratings of my games during the last 4 LDs, including some general stats.
What’s interesting to see is that the number of games has skyrocketed. 1 year ago there were only 352 games, now it’s 4 times that much.
As a result of this I believe a percentage-score becomes important. Ranking, say, 50th out of 300 is different to ranking 50th out of 1400.
Aside from that I can tell that I have significantly improved after my first LD. Audio has increased steadily and Theme hung around the top ~25 spots. The rest did improve generally, dut did fluctuate.
My worst grades were in Humor, yet even then they were in the top 40%. Cool.
I learn from this that POLISH MATTERS. I always made sure the game is as “complete” as possible, even getting my roommate to play it a few hours before the end to implement the input. The more “stable” and “complete” a game is, the less you may frustrate the player, which will result in a better mood towards your game and thus better ratings.
(Yes I know the coolness-rating has been calculated differently each time, I didn’t take that into account. But I did take extra care to look beyond the coolness-numbers and I did actually come out 1st every time. Does this make me eligible for a lifetime-coolness-award? )
So I created My Little Planetoid in 48 hours. Read on to find out what I thought afterwards (a post-mortem, if you will).
What went right
This is both a science-fiction and city-builder game. The combination itself is rather rare.
It just feels awesome. And I love the “Build now on moon”-gag, which I think is quite good game-design.
According to people this video is “intense”. It might be due to the orchestral music, but probably because my facial expressions during Ludum Dare varies between “frown” and “manic laughter”.
I composed this over the course of the 24 hours. The first idea of the music I had immediately after I decided on the idea, and it grew from there. It has been quite well received, with many people saying they like it and find it relaxing.
Also, the idea of a space-banjo is just awesome.
Having empty space as background meant I was able to concentrate more on the 3d-models in the foreground. And while they could be improved a lot, you’ll notice there’s a lot of detail to be found.
The combination of the somber soundtrack and the space-y visuals worked quite well, which people also remarked positively.
What went alright
This time I actually prepared. I made a list of ideas for every possible theme. Tiny World was the one where I didn’t have anything brilliant ready, so threw in an idea I already had before. After the announcement I developed more of them, but threw them out when I saw others made them first.
Scope in fiction
My Little Planetoid has a somewhat weird range of buildings. You start out with houses and farms, which could position this game anywhere in the past or future. Then you quickly advance to Science-Laboratories and advanced-space-stations. So while it is a progression through technology, I feel it could’ve been more focused.
Scope in design
In design-terms My Little Planetoid is huge. It has more unique features/elements than any of my previous games. It has multiple complex 3d-models. It has a somewhat extensive GUI. And, most importantly, a huge web of each other influencing resources and variables.
I was even glad when something emergent happened, but there was lot of potential for bugs and unforeseen combinations. Which led to…
Balancing & bug-testing
I literally coded in something 10 minutes before the deadline. There was no time left for dedicated balancing and bug-hunting, only what I noticed during test-plays myself. The resource-balancing now kinda works, but it does feel off sometimes.
In the end the basic resources become abundant, so you aren’t really thinking about them any longer.
I used a basic pixelated diffuse-map on all things. Sadly there was no time to take care of UV-maps, but it doesn’t really show unless you really look.
What went wrong
Failure to realize how bloody huge this project is
This led to a (frankly mental) development-speed in the last hours, and the incomplete balancing.
All in all
This was an awesome and fun gamejam. My Little Planetoid is right now one of the most-played games, and people really enjoy it. The general consensus is that this could be huge if further developed. And so I will
The compo is over, and while there are still some hours left in the jam, we can already begin voting on games. During my first Ludum Dare I was somewhat confused, so I’m detailing here how it works:
1 – List of suggested games. Your personal voting-site displays a set of games unique to you, so that if everyone plays the game on their lists, all games should get a good basic number of votes.
2 – List of games voted on by you – A screenshot and the name is displayed.
3 - The number of times the game has been voted on. It’s displayed in (brackets) after the name of the game.
4 – Your grades on said game for the compo. You can vote 1-5 stars in the categories overall, innovation, fun, adherence to theme, graphics, audio, humor and mood. Should you feel you can’t give a proper grade, you can also give a N/A.
5 – You grades for the jam. The same rules as above, but concerning games made during the jam. They do not compete directly with compo-games.
6 – A X appears should you have given a text-comment.
Sadly, it appears the coolness- and community-grades are not displayed. I don’t know whether they are permanently removed, or will be reinstated shortly.