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Ludum Dare 32
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Posted by
April 29th, 2012 9:26 am

Hey people! Hope you’re all enjoying playing the LD game entries.

Here are a few notes from me about the ups and downs of the making of my game.  First, here’s a screen shot of the dev process: (the same one I posted before, but many won’t have seen it)

Space Rescue in development

The game didn’t actually change much from that semi-complete version, as at that stage I hadn’t put the collisions in – and those are pretty important (;

What Went Right:

  • Generally the shooty style seemed to work pretty well, and seemed a good choice for something to get done very quickly from scratch with no framework code.
  • The asteroid turned out pretty well.  The maths to work with it weren’t too bad – mostly just basic trig – and the fading was an interesting addition.
  • Art: actually went OK given that I’m very much a programmer (:  Maybe I should’ve called the asteroid a “moon”, though, as it does look more like one.
  • SFX & music: BFXR and Autotracker-bu are awesome.  Thank you again, increpare and GreaseMonkey.  Music-wise, I would’ve written my own given time, but had nowhere near enough.
  • Stuff that I crammed in using only about three hours in total: the menu, music, sound effects, spaceman rescuing, and level progression.  It wasn’t revolutionary, but all together added a lot to the experience, I reckon – particularly given that without spaceman rescuing I would’ve had to rename the game (;

What Went Wrong:

  • Frame rate jerkiness.  Holy cow.  I lost seven hours to fixing that up, as I took ages to figure out which of loads of potential issues was causing it.  Trust me when I say you would’ve found it pretty annoying had I not fixed it, but if I’d sorted it straight away, I would’ve got a lot more gameplay in.
  • Linux bundling.  Pyinstaller is very good, but it didn’t need to put in, and the oddities with this library (it has a dependency with a hardcoded path that varies between distributions!) meant that most (if not all) Linux users couldn’t run it first go.  I should’ve tested this on other machines, but was too tired, and foolishly just crossed my fingers rather than checking.  (Note for anyone interested: removing that library fixes the problem)

What I Really Wanted To Add But Didn’t Have Time:

  • Zooming out for when the player went off screen, or adding arrows to point back (a lot of people mentioned this when reviewing)
  • Multiple asteroids; more enemy types; destroying the asteroids; power ups; etc (had loads of ideas here)

Other Points:

  • The control scheme could’ve used a bit of tweaking, but I was reasonably happy with it.  Reviews varied – everyone’s preferences are different – but to me it was at least pretty playable.

Check it out here if you get a chance:

Thanks to everyone for the feedback, good and bad – anything constructive is useful.

Cheers all.  I’m looking forward to the next one already! (:

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