My first LD, my first success?

Posted by (twitter: @david_erosa)
April 23rd, 2012 2:45 pm

Hi all!

I wanted and wanted to participate in a Ludum Dare since I knew about it a few years ago, but never did. This time I decided I could not let pass the 10th aniversary, so here I am. I’m pretty happy with the final result, although I left a few features out. Here’s my little post-mortem:

What went right

  • Features selection: I think I did pretty well selecting what to do and what to leave behind. I wanted to include enemy waves between the different bosses, but the lack of graphics and sound made me discard this in favor of title screen, graphics, sound and winning/loosing screens.
  • Tools: Although this is the first time I use Unity3D without following a tutorial, I felt really comfortable with it. At first I wanted to go with Cocos2D-iphone & Objective-C, but I also wanted more people to be able to play my game :)
  • Planification: The Compo started at 3am local time, so I went to bed right after knowing the theme. I woke up, took my breakfast and started thinking about the theme. After writing down 2 or 3 ideas (both 2D and 3D) I came with the right one (for me :D). Then decided that the core idea was simple enought to be ready in one day so that left me with a full day for polishing, graphics, sounds and bug-fixes.
  • Graphics: Used to use my own programmer art, it’s not difficult for me to improve any previous work. Although the graphics are not spectacular, they are much better that the ones I normally produce 😀
What went wrong:
  • Schedule: Being a father of a 3 years old makes it difficult to get much working hours in a row. I got continously interrupted along the day, which got me out of “the zone” dozens of times.
  • Lack of experience: This is my first real attempt to make a playable full game, not just a demo or prototype. I found difficult to concentrate on just one feature and work on it until done. I usually work on many things at once, which leads to poor performance. (Looks like this went right :) )
  • Poor understanding of the tool: Being the first time I used Unity3D, I found that I lacked a lot of solid knowledge of basic things, like the GUI system and exception catching. One of this misunderstoods made me lose an hour trying to find out why the final boss started having a negative life value instead of exploding…
Again, overall I’m really happy with the result and I’ll go on working on it adding the features I left out, polishing the GUI and porting it to other platforms.
Finally, here’s my game idea: A simple shoot’em up starring planet Pluto.
You are poor Pluto seeking for avenging. Fight the solar system planets and his evil leader, Dr. Neil, in search of your lost “major planet” title. You have no projectile or bullets, but you can attract asteroids and shot them to the enemies.
Want to help Pluto? Here’s the game: Poor Pluto’s Revenge
Thank you, Ludum Dare community!

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