Ludum Dare 31
December 5th-8th, 2014

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From Compo to Jam … :(

Posted by (twitter: @RatKingsLair)
May 2nd, 2011 9:58 am

Yesterday, shortly before the deadline and when I uploaded my game, I had no problems to classify “Tri” as a Compo entry. But after sleeping for some hours, regaining my sanity, I asked philhassey to move my entry to the Jam. It makes me sad, but using a script for the gameplay (to be exact, it’s the character controller) which is written not by me is just against the rules.

Well, okay. What did I learn from this? Think smaller! Although I still like my game it seems like it was too much (for me). Next time I will do something which doesn’t need a sophisticated first-person character controller.

What else went wrong?

The time I needed to make a level was just too long. I thought I’d be faster than two to three hours per level (including modeling, texturing, writing “story”, and of course testing), especially when they are so short. But it just happened that I am more motivated when writing the scripts, not when I have to think hard of puzzles and interesting layouts. So, next time I perhaps will make something with procedural content, something I really have to look into. Even though I don’t like Minecraft that much. :-P

Other than that I hoped I could implement some kind of NPCs (because I like them much more than the all-knowing  narrator). But they didn’t even make much sense with my concept so they were cut out pretty soon in the process.

What went right?

I really like how my concept turned out to be actual fun! At least that’s what most of the people say who played it. Over the whole time I had “Optimize Gameplay By Restricting The Gun!” as a TODO on my list, but it wasn’t really needed. Okay, you can now place hundreds of triangles (instead of, like, only three or so) – but so what? My learning here is: FUN COMES BEFORE RESTRICTIONS. If it’s just cool to let the player do “too much”, I think time spent on finding the right numbers is not time spent right. Portal showed how to do it right by adding the Challenges as alternative ways to play some levels. (Of course,  that rule doesn’t always apply. Not every game is meant to be sandbox.)

The other thing what went definitely right is the fact that I even had time to add some sounds. Some will think I even made some music but I really just used iNudge, clicking randomly on some buttons, hehe.


Joining and working for the Ludum Dare is rewarding in itself, and I will definitely participate again (perhaps not #21, though). Even though some of you had problems with the theme, it just proved to be the least common denominator – over 300 entries? Just wow!

For me, it really was cool that this theme got the most votes – I had the basic idea for my game in the night the LD started (4:00 am – I slept), and the next morning I found out it fit perfectly!


Thanks for reading!  Here is a bonus screenshot from my game, Tri (talking about too much force field triangles):

2 Responses to “From Compo to Jam … :(”

  1. hamster_mk_4 says:

    Isn’t the FPS character controll script something that comes with the Unit engine? Since this was my first Ludum Dare I am not sure how letigious people get over the rules, but I would argue that something that came with the default unity engine package counts under “4.All libraries, middleware, content creation, and development tools are allowed”.

  2. ratking says:

    Yeah, Unity3D has an FPS character controller built-in. But I didn’t use it because it had a certain flaw which would work against my gameplay (you could walk up very steep slopes by jumping on them). Instead I downloaded some similar script from the Unify Wiki.

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