[ postmortem #2 | Play the game ]

Many posts here give tips on how to succeed at Ludum Dare, but you know what? Lots of them contradict each other, and lots of them contradict my experience. Everyone’s ideal process is different. I know what works well for me, and that’s all any of us can know. The only way to learn how you can succeed at LD is to do it! But here’s what I know about my ideal process.

  • The shower is the best place to come up with ideas. I take a shower right after the theme is announced, and I have the gameplay figured out by the time I’m dry.
  • I develop on my underpowered desktop (1.6GHz single-core EeeBox). This ensures I have great performance. Getting 15fps for my game is great, because I know that means most people will get 60.
  • Who needs sleep? A few power naps throughout the weekend keeps me going.
  • Focus on your strengths if you want the best game possible right now. For me, that’s math, procedural animation, and story.
  • Focus on your weaknesses if you want feedback that helps you improve long-term. For me, that’s sound, music, and menu systems.
  • Cutting features is not necessarily a bad thing. It’s like editing a novel. If a feature doesn’t contribute to the gameplay experience, it shouldn’t be there. Just try to recognize it before you spend time on it.
  • There’s a great moment about halfway through when, in the course of testing features, you find yourself actually playing your game for the first time. It’s really motivating.

I’ve gotten lots of positive feedback so far, thanks! I’m really happy with my entry. I’ve come a long way since my first Ludum Dare.


2 Responses to “Tondie and Zupe postmortem #1: process”

  1. namuol says:

    I couldn’t agree more. This is only my first LD, but I did the exact same thing immediately after the theme was announced: sat on the toilet, then took a shower. I started coding 20 minutes later. Phew!

    I can’t say that my game performs well, though. Heh.

  2. kirbytails7 says:


    I’m guessing you aren’t going to check this post any time soon, but I wanted to thank you for making this game. I just finished a game that I made that was inspired by Tondie and Zupe, so I thought I should give a quick shout-out for the idea. Thanks!

    (If you want to play the game I made, it’s at http://www.sketchhousegames.com/MageTheArchitect/main.html)

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