Darwinian Theory Post-Mortem

Posted by
August 28th, 2012 4:43 pm

Ludum Dare #24 is now over, and it’s time to do a post-mortem!

Last weekend, pixelcake (fellow jammer) and I went out of our comfort zones and made a rhythm game.

In our game, you play as Charles Darwin, who’s had enough with natural selection and has decided to take evolution into his own hands with his 3-conveyor design artificial animal sorting machine. Switch lanes using the arrow keys, and press space to pop an animal off the conveyor belt. Only pop off the gray, sickly-looking animals!

All in all, it was a great experience. I’ll tell you how it went, starting at the theme announcement:

On Friday, August 24th, at exactly 6:00 pm, I was on the Ludum Dare IRC channel, waiting to hear what the theme was. When I heard that the theme for LD#24 was “Evolution”, I thought it sounded pretty good. I wasn’t going to start any sort of work on a game yet until the next day, around noon, when I would get together with pixelcake and begin development. Of course, we would still have more than 48 hours of jam time, but sadly, we both had school on Monday, which interfered with our plans. We still managed to pull together a game in about 28 hours.

On Saturday, pixelcake and I began development. Or not. The more we thought about ideas for a game about evolution, the more we hated the theme. Why couldn’t Evolution have been beaten by Parallel Worlds, or Survive? Surely both of these were more interesting themes.

After two solid hours of brainstorming, bouncing ideas off of each other, and screwing around on the computer, we cranked out a concept for a game.

Charles Darwin is in a rhythm game where he stomps out animals to the beat.

Charles Darwin! Evolution! Rhythm game! After having thought of such a great idea, we got right to work, programming, spriting, and composing music. By the next day, we had the core concept of our game finished. This left us with just a tiny bit of time to add a couple of finishing touches to our game. Finally, I filled out the almighty submission form, uploaded our game to Dropbox, and clicked Submit.

Overall, how did we do? Quite well, in fact. We probably won’t win LD#24, but we had a great weekend and made something we’re proud of, even if it could use a little bit more work. Next LD, I think the main thing to focus on for us will be maintaining a positive attitude, making better use of our time, and getting plenty of sleep. These are all things we improved on since our last LD, but I think we can do more.

And of course – here’s our game: http://www.ludumdare.com/compo/ludum-dare-24/?action=preview&uid=3200

If you need a Mac or Linux build, drop a comment on the game page and I’ll try to get one up.

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