Posts Tagged ‘Experience’
My original Postmortem is here.
Since LD submission and I released my game I’ve found that I learned a lot of additional things from the reviews I’ve gotten.
Even if you put an Instructions link on the first screen of the game, people won’t click it and then will ask how to win your game.
I’m not sure how to solve this one except to somehow reveal the win condition during play, or if this is something to be worried about.
Even if you think your instructions are informative enough about your game, they probably arent.
I included a mini tutorial system in my game to guide the player through playing and instructions but I still didn’t include enough info. I should have had more friends play test the game when it was near submission time so I could polish these things more.
If you have random enemy generation, make sure it’s right.
I had a really stupid bug in my submission build for my enemy wave generator, I didn’t realize it until people started commenting how easy the waves where. I went back and found the bug right away.
If you build a web based game, don’t just link to the game itself, but embed it in a page with more info.
This one I just kind of realized. I ran out of time at the end and just posted a link right to the swf file instead of making a simple page to embed it in so I could put FAQ or other information in front of the player in case they are linked to it from places other than LD.
Anyway, I just thought others might want to learn from my mistakes. You can find my game here. I’ve also added a link for a Work In Progress version with bug fixes and updates suggested by players.
Thanks for reading!
I had an amazingly fun time participating in Ludum Dare. This was my first and I’m incredibly happy with what I have accomplished. I havent written a complete game in some time and doing this was just the jump start I needed I think. So here are some of the things that worked, some that didn’t and where I go from here.
THINGS I WISH I HAD OR KNEW BEFORE HAND
I wish I had better researched my intended platform beforehand. I decided to do LD about 4 days before hand and settled on FlashPunk 2 days before the start. Never having done any work with flash before I wish I had researched the graphic and sound formats that were importable and what the limitations were.
In addition to that, I wish I had better resources for converting files, especially sound. I wasted at least an hour, probably 2 or 3 just finding programs and websites to convert sounds back and forth to different formats.
I wish I had planned the weekend out better. I had a concert in Vegas (3 hour round trip) to attend saturday night, and 2 BBQs on sunday, all of which cut significantly into my time. I don’t regret any of my activities, just my planning.
I wish I had come up with the storyline for my game sooner so I could have built in more than one level. I ended up not being able to include more than a single level because I came up with a more involved story saturday night, and by then it would have taken code refactoring to allow me to reuse assets in the way that I wanted to carry the story.
THINGS THAT WENT RIGHT
FlashPunk, it’s awesome. I had no experience with flash and made a game in 48 hours. Also Punk.UI. Caveat: I’ve been programming in multiple languages for over 20 years.
SFXR, it also rocks, it allowed me to add sound where I never would have made any kind of effects before.
Pixel Art Editor for Android. I used this on my Asus Transformer to make most of the pixel art. My “art” has always been the definition of programmer art, but I am proud of what I accomplished.
Making something different. When the theme was announced I wrote down a bunch of ideas that I thought were obvious and then told myself I couldn’t do any of them. Everyone was going to do a certain list of games and I wanted to do something different. I think I accomplished that.
Using a tool that allowed me to iterate rapidly. I think this is huge. Being able to make a change and see the change almost instantly was key. Especially when I was making a bunch of AI controlled entities.
Keeping my scope small and manageable. This was also a big thing, I threw away a bunch of ideas I thought were cool, but knew there was no way I could complete in 48 hours with no outside assets.
Lastly, but not least. Having an awesome girlfriend who is supportive of what I want to do and also likes to playtest (Sometimes too much!).
Hello! I am static_boy123 and I just wanted to share my experience in my first LD, and first game, with others:
I found out about this competition last year when Notch(The maker of Minecraft) entered Prelude of the Chambered, I immediately said to myself, “I will do this next year.” So now I did it, I entered in my first, but not last, Ludum Dare.
I was watching tv one night when something popped into my mind, the Ludum Dare. I checked the website to see when it was, two hours. I ran to my computer and started memorizing my basic -5 file- library inside and out, after an hour I was able to repeat most of it from memory and the rest, thankfully, wasn’t needed. So I waited the longest hour of my life hoping the theme would be kittens.
Once the competition finally started I cursed everyone who voted anti-kitten, opened up handy dandy Visual Studio, and got to work. I typed out what I remembered of my library only two classes, but I was able to make a bunch of edits to one to make a new class. I had lots of trouble starting and coming up with ideas for what to do, but I did the basic things, like changing the screen size and creating the controls for moving.
After an hour of sitting and thinking I had an idea, a game that is more based on story than game play, but still has game play. I sat down and started, I added in textures, added a way to shoot, and realized just how inexperienced I am when it comes to game making.
Coding was crazy, I had tons of road blocks; bugs, bugs, and more bugs. I had to go into untraveled land to create the game, and I also spent plenty of time in well worn territory. Overall my game was very fun and frustrating to make, but it was well worth it.
Now a list of what was good and what wasn’t:
- It was fun
- I learned a lot
- I coded in XNA which I am very comfortable in
- Everybody was very supportive of my first game
- I am happy with my work
- My coding works
- Others enjoyed my game
- The ultra great graphics game “Real Life” didn’t distract me that much
- My entry has two huge bugs
- I didn’t get to finish
- My original texture looked more like a guy masturbating than holding a gun(tip: if this happens move the arm higher on the body and refine the angle :P)
- It was very frustrating
- The story wasn’t clear because it wasn’t finished
- I spent a lot of time doing nothing during the challenge(SLEEEEEEEEP)