LD Survival!

Posted by (twitter: @joeld42)
August 6th, 2008 10:22 am

Ok, I’ve managed to talk my five month old into letting me ignore her all weekend, and I’m all ready for a weekend of coding. I might be a little groggy during Siggraph next week but that’s the price of freedome!

Here’s my LD survival tips (mostly as a reminder to myself):

  • Gameplay first. The first thing you write should be a blank screen. The second thing should be moving a dot around (or whatever equivalent is considering your genre). Once gameplay is in you’re constantly, subconsciously tuning it, even if you’re working on different parts of the project.
  • 3D looks cooler, 2D is more fun. This rule has proven itself over and over for me. However, I’m going to ignore it yet again. I have an problem with polygon abuse.
  • There is no such thing as temp art. I’ve never made any “temp art” that I actually replaced later during the contest. Whatever the first pass at any art you make will likely be the final one. So spend a few more minutes taking the temp art from “stick figure” to “merely disfigured”.
  • Brute force everything. Optimization is for later.
  • You can’t improve a game design by adding more stuff to it, only by simplifying. Even the most complicated games can be stripped down to a simple prototype that can be built in a weekend.
  • “Friday night rule”. Pick your idea that you think you can get playable by the time you go to sleep friday night, and leave Saturday for polish, gfx, more levels, etc.. Pretend the contest ends Saturday night.
  • Don’t be afraid to start over. My favorite of my LD entries (like “Bad Food” and “Cowbell Hero”) are games where I abandoned my original concept late Saturday and tried something different. My least favorites ones are ones where I kept slogging on a concept that I didn’t feel was working (“Hannibal’s Cannibals”,”Bugzapper”)

I’m trying something a little different this time around, I’m using this contest as a opportunity to learn the Ogre engine (I didn’t see it on the rules, but I think it’s allowed and I know people have used it in the past). So that kind of predisposes me to making a 3D game.

Good luck to everyone.

4 Responses to “LD Survival!”

  1. Ariel Yust says:

    Seems like your up on your mind thats great :)
    I think you should stay on your game anyway because if you don’t then you lose time.

    any way I like your working plan some of it works for me too hhhhh
    and I wish you good luck too mate! 😀

  2. jovoc says:

    It’s funny, looking back over this list more than a year later — I broke every one of these rules for “Glacier” and afterwards regretted it. I need to start taking my own advice.

  3. Codexus says:

    The Friday night rule doesn’t work in Europe 😀

    • jovoc says:

      Good point. Maybe it should be the “first third”… plan on the first third of the time to get something playable, the 2nd third for polish and finalizing, and pretend the final third doesn’t exist.

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