For the book I am writing (Game Jam Survival Guide) I did an in-depth analysis of posts tagged as post-mortem reports on the Ludum Dare website. This is just a rough copy and I’m hoping to incorporate your postmortems from this time around for the book so that the sample size is bigger – so remember to write a short, concise post-mortem after you submit your game next week with “what went right” and “what went wrong” sections, preferably in point form to make data collection simpler.
Some of these statistics really surprised me, while others merely confirmed my gut instinct. To draw some conclusions from the data, everyone should be familiar with their tools and frameworks prior to the jam. Most people loved coming up with a plan based on the theme, but many forgot to set aside enough time for art and level design.
Get people other than yourself to playtest it so it isn’t too hard, doesn’t have lousy controls and lame enemies, and is easy to figure out what to do. Don’t bother with physics unless absolutely necessary. Prepare to deal with time-management issues, cut features and focus on what’s most important. Keep your plan simple. Finally, and surprisingly, if you include music and sounds effects you will be much happier with the final product.
Good luck during next week’s LD22 compo. Remember, if you need more time, can’t share your sourcecode, used any clipart, prefabs or samples, or want to work in a team, you can join the JAM and enjoy an extra day to work on your game without worrying about the rules.
Have fun! I can’t wait to check out all your awesome games.