IPSA: TSF$A!!!!!! Post-Mortem

Posted by (twitter: @adag_dot_me)
April 22nd, 2012 9:21 am

Alright, so this was my first Ludum Dare. It taught me quite a bit about time management, and about how to cut down overly-ambitious ideas.

My original idea was to create something somewhere half-way between Populous, Civilization, and Escape Velocity. A sort of roaming through the stars, while civilians were mostly automated, but needed some interaction, and some enemies that reared their ugly heads every now and then.

Clearly, I had to cut that down a lot. I barely managed to get anything automated, and what I did get automated frustrated me to no end and still doesn’t entirely work.

Lesson #1: Don’t attempt to create a game of a genre you’re unfamiliar with for a competition based on developing at a rapid pace unless you’re damned sure you have the know-how.

Then there’s the matter of implementation. I’m slowly learning that I need to make sure to have people ready to test my game, because despite all of the posts coming in, there seemed to be little to no feedback from anyone on just about any of them. As such, my implementation probably suffered a bit. Difficulty scaling was one of the big things that just sucked for me, since I was the only one really testing it out. The controls are a bit unintuitive. However, I got used to them. Others might not, and that may reduce the fun factor a bit (or perhaps more than a bit).

Lesson #2: Make sure someone else plays your game (this should probably be true of ANY game dev project, but it’s something I forgot in the rush of creating a game in 48 hours).

Then there are the graphics. The graphics in my game could probably be regarded as mediocre at best. They work though, or at least I think they do. They were designed to fit the time that I had. I probably could have done a bit better, had I known I would have had the time.

Lastly is the sound. I literally just took SFXR and hit each button over and over again until I found something I liked for each event. For the music, I just threw something together out of a few riffs with some heavy delay and medium flange. I didn’t even bother making sure that I kept in time the entire time. Just kind of haphazardly threw it together and hoped for the best.

Lesson #3: Don’t haphazardly throw stuff together and hope for the best.

It doesn’t work that way. Or at least it didn’t for me. The music is kinda overbearing and the off-tempo sound bothers me a bit, but I’m not entirely sure what I’d do if I were to change it either. >.>

Anyways, that’s my write-up on my experience with LD. I look forward to playing all of your games, and hope to be back for LD24. :)

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