Escape from the Dungeon, a Postmortem.. ish

Posted by (twitter: @c4llidus)
August 24th, 2011 9:31 am

Well, first off  “post-mortem” suggests this game is dead, that’s far from the case. In fact I will be enhancing and completing this game for some time yet and have some cool things planned. So instead of a postmortem think of this as more of a summation of the contest and the game to date.

When ever I approach something like the Ludum Dare contest I try to focus on a specific discipline with the aim of using the contest as a vehicle to improve my skills in that area. For this contest it was art and I think that although it went very well in general I spent perhaps a bit too long on polishing things and this hurt other areas. Also I really had no idea how to make good tile sheets! Hint for anyone reading this, there is a very handy plug in for GIMP that will help!

As for code, well I started with no pre-crated material at all, I like to write everything as much as possible within the contest. To me, starting with nothing seems more inkeaping with the spirit of the challenge, mostly though this way I end up with a bunch of new code that I can pull the gems from that might not have been written if I was locked into an existing framework. Using HTML5 and JS for this game was a lot of fun, and I am left with the feeling that I have barely scratched the surface of its capabilities. It will be excited to continue experimenting with it in the future. Choosing a language that I have relatively little skill with did prove to be a challenge but I think adding something new into the mix helped keep me motivated and interested. So over all it was a good choice.

And then we come to sound, well yeah, that should say it all really. Sound was very neglected in my game and really only got bodged in in the last 30mins before submission. Its a real shame that a tool as powerful at creating emotion, interest and atmosphere as sound is so lacking in my own person skill arsenal. So, improving this will be the focus for my next Ludum Dare!

Finally  the tools I used, I develop on Linux and my tool choices reflected that with one exception,  Mappy. This little tool is windows only and so I had to run it through Wine. Really the only reason I picked it as my map editor was familiarity, the tool itself isnt bad but using it via Wine was very cumbersome. So, inspired by tools like bfxr I will look into building an online tile based map editor using the tech I created in this LD. Hopefully this will prove useful to other LD’ers as well. Other than this I used GIMP, bfxr, MyPaint and Geany IDE, all were really good bits of kit and I will be using them again.

So thats a wrap, but look out for future versions of my game as well as a new map editor that may help with your next LD!

– Callidus


P.S. I guess I should link my entry here, on the off chance it gets a vote or two. Link




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