Post-mortem SURVEY

Posted by (twitter: @McFunkypants)
December 18th, 2011 8:53 pm

If you participated in the Ludum Dare compo or jam – even if you did not finish – I warmly encourage you to fill out the POST-MORTEM SURVEY for use in my Game Jam Survival Guide book. Thanks – and happy holidays! (EDIT: over 600 surveys so far! Keep them coming! Results will be posted in two weeks or so.)

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27 Responses to “Post-mortem SURVEY”

  1. Manuel777 says:

    Very interesting results so far, i would have expected half ludum-darers to drink coffee 😛

  2. neilogd says:

    Done, and with Manuel777 on this – surprised at how few coffee and energy drink people there are!

  3. BretHudson says:

    That’s pretty awesome! Wanna advertise this in indie(Magazine);? :)
    -Bret Hudson

  4. Ria says:

    Maybe include a N/A category next time? Can’t wish I spent more time on instructions for the player if I didn’t actually have anything to tell them!

  5. digital_sorceress says:


    I don’t know if you’re gathering raw statistics of just the aggregates, but it would be interesting to see correlations eg, ‘finished vs drank alcohol’. or ‘had fun vs familiar with language’.

    • This statistical correlation idea is fabulous. NEXT TIME I will write the survey with fields for people to include their username and game url so we can see the connection between compo ranking and behaviours. For now, that was too labour intensive for my busy holiday season anyway… but the results would be extremely interesting…

      Imagine knowing is people who prototyped on paper first were more likely to do well in the compo, or if people who drank coffee did better than those who didn’t, etc…

      I think I will hold a survey every LD48 – and each time it will be better constructed. For now, we’ve had a whopping 375 responses… and counting.


    • Maple says:

      Interesting idea but the problem is that some of those could be true both ways… I mean I don’t necessarily see how ‘had fun’ is the opposite of ‘familiar with language’. Further more, you’re assuming that people who drank alcohol didn’t finish the game, when both could be very true! If these sort of questions come up, they need to be very careful that one MUST not be also true as what’s on the other side of the spectrum.

      • digital_sorceress says:

        You misunderstand.

        Calculating correlations will find relationships between different factors. No assumptions are being made.

        I don’t know if McFunkypants would be willing to write a php script to gather raw data with a second survey. I’m sure most readers would be happy to click through it a second time. And I’d be happy to help out by processing the data if McFunkypants doesn’t have time to do both. :)

  6. deepnight says:

    This survey is a good idea : easier to make a postmortem this way, and with stats :)

  7. Atomic says:

    Guess this busts the myth that programmers love caffeine 😉

  8. Atomic says:

    One nice thing to ask is the total time spent on LD. I never get to spend all of it :/

  9. Cosmologicon says:

    So, dumb question, but how do you see the results?

  10. Milo says:

    I’d be interested in questions about ordering next time around; I’m curious about how many people write all the code before doing any of the art, how many intersperse the work, and how many do a lot of art before finishing the code.

    • digital_sorceress says:

      I almost always start with art. Then alternate back and forth between it and code.

      I don’t usually do placeholder art because I like to set the feel of the game early on, and I need finalised art for that.

    • Kelly Thomas says:

      I was going for the jam with a generous three days to play with and was working on the engine with playholder art and only a loose sense of gameplay for the first two days. Then on the last day I chose a theme complete different from any of the ideas I had been toying with and started work on the art. Then with about 3 hours left I decided on a win condition, added a little more coding and just scraped through the deadline.

      I was having trouble thinking of a game that suited the theme that motivated me, so I built the engine rather than invest in art I might not use. The final game is less polished than if I started with a clear direction in mind but still a product I can be proud of for three days work.

  11. Done. Very nice survey. I’m quite surprised about the data in some areas, especially the coffee/energy drinks bit; I guess the majority are like me on that one.

  12. da code says:

    Hi there McFunkypants !
    Answered the survey as well. Loved the “good vs. the bad” questions (enough sleep/drink water/eat well/socialize IRL/had fun VS junk food and all) ! I’m looking forward to read your game Jam Survival Guide. Happy holidays to you too !

  13. Most people didn’t have trouble with installers/packaging/etc? Damn…thought that would have been a more common issue, really, besides web entries…

  14. easlern says:

    I played other games but didn’t “waste” time doing it. I needed a break every now and then. :)

  15. Kelly Thomas says:

    Good survey, I will be interested in seeing the results.

    When you do it again for future events, you might want a textbox for comments at the bottom. This will allow people to expand on there answers.

    One item “I used a limited colour palette.” seemed to be referring to voluntary restrictions in art design:

    Rather than limit the palette I restricted myself to creating 16×16 tiles and then applying an integer scale to bring them to appropriate size for the game. This rule was implemented to reduce the amount of time required for a novice artist to create the many images required by simply reducing the number of choices I had to make.
    However I found that I sampled colours from images found on google images to allow me to find just the right shades without spending half an hour fine tuning a colour picker. (For example I have trouble finding the right brown but lets me find the right shade instantly.)

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