About Porter (twitter: @Gemfruit)
Ludum Dare 24
Archive for the ‘LD #24’ Category
I’ve spent the last hour simply thinking, eating, and playing Tetris. After a good hour and a half, I’ve finally come up with the idea I’m going to run with.
I kept muttering the phrase “Survival of the Fittest” over and over, trying to come up with something (as it directly pertains to Darwin’s theory of evolution), and finally Googled the phrase to read up on it. After a bit of reading, I then transferred my thoughts to the phrase “Natural Selection”. After just a few minutes of thinking of this new phrase, an idea sparked.
Three random things joined forces in my head, and will be the foundation of this project.
- I’ve had the Hunger Games stuck in the back of my mind as of late, as it’s new on DVD.
- I’ve been thinking I wanted to do a platformer, and the NES game Shatterhand has been on my mind all day.
- Due to reading far too many political articles, and with some help from the Hunger Games, I’ve been thinking of government purposefully taking out powerful figures.
With all of the above combines, I turned the phrase “Natural Selection”, into “Unnatural Selection”, which will be the name of my game. The idea is simple, you’re a man of high skill and power, and for whatever reason, someone wants you dead. Rather than put a bullet in you, they’ve made a game out of your life, and you’ll have to fight for every last minute of it. You’ll be tossed into an ever-changing (dare I say evolving?!) arena, which will increase in difficulty as time progresses. As you survive, you’ll be met with new challenges, and the threat of death will rise by the minute. It’s not a matter of if you will die, but when.
Why It Works
I like this idea for a number of reasons. First, I’ve been working on a platformer framework for awhile now (which I’ll be using, and listing). Second, the game is arcade-style, which means it’s not overly ambitious, and I can just jump right in and get things done. Lastly, art assets will be minimal, and I’m no artists, so that means my chances of a completed project rise yet again.
What I’ll Be Using
Platform – Flash
Programming - Flash Develop
Graphics – Photoshop
Audio – Bfxr / Audacity / Sonar 6 LE / My Korg X-50 Synth
Frameworks - FlashPunk / My Personal Platformer Boiler-Plate Code
Hey everyone, Porter here. I recently learned that Ludum Dare has a World Map that marks the physical location of all participants in the competition. I think this is pretty awesome, as it gives us some neat insight as to where our fellow developers reside in the real world. Such information could help spawn more real world meet ups, create new business opportunities, and even create some long lasting friendships with people who are currently strangers to us.
That being said, I’m requesting everyone who reads this to update the World Map with your physical location. If you’ve already done it before, update it again, as your location expires. Let’s see if we can break 1000 active people on the world map by the end of this jam!
Side note, I’m currently the only developer representing the state of Vermont in the US; the pressure is on~
With only 11 days left until the latest jam, I’ve been going over what I’ve learned, and how I’ll be tackling this latest Ludum Dare. I’ve entered and failed to complete the last two jams, though I did get a lot done, and learned quite a bit. Here’s a few bullet points I’ve come to learn / accept.
- As fun as it seems, do not get drunk. Unless you’re a coding guru, or a game development master, you will cripple yourself beyond belief by getting drunk. Twice now I’ve thought that a good buzz / drunk would help loosen me up and fuel some good work time, boy have a I been wrong. Staring at a computer screen trying to solve one run time error for 4 hours is not progress haha. Do yourself a favor, don’t go beyond a very light buzz, if you drink at all.
- Snack food is a must. Eat some actual decent meals when real hunger comes on, but always have some snacks right at your computer. Keep cold drinks readily available as well, canned or bottled anything is great, but water is even better.
- Keep your project simple. Do not touch polish until your entire core game is done. If you fail to follow this rule, you’ll likely find yourself without any time left, and only a few cool eye candy screen shots to show. Develop the core of your game in it’s entirety, add polish if time permits.
- Take actual breaks. Leaving your computer for a few hours will make every hour you go back to your computer afterwards much more productive. Play some games, get some exercise, just do something that isn’t your project. Ideas will come to you while you’re away, and you’ll prevent yourself from getting entirely burnt out.
- SLEEP, it’s your friend. You might think time is limited, and that you absolutely have to stay up, but you’re wrong. If you try pushing yourself to go 48 hours on energy drinks and wings (an excellent meal, no doubt about it), you will crash after 24-32 hours, if not sooner. Go to sleep at a normal hour on day 1, then push to stay up until the deadline on day two. This makes you actually effective during the majority of the jam, and only slightly tired at the very end, which is generally thwarted by excitement.
- Make a playlist or two ahead of time. Listening to music while you work does absolute wonders for your productivity. For me, it helps keep me focused, and often drives visual ideas of the game world that would otherwise not exist. If you don’t feel like having a playlist made already, pick some stations on Pandora you’d like to use, as any time searching for what you want later, is time wasted.
So those are my tips to you. I may not have successfully completed any of these jams yet, but I’m sure as hell capable of analyzing where I’ve failed, and the above is sure to counteract doing so this time. Hope to see you all around when things get going, until then, happy prepping.