Ludum Dare 36
The Theme is:
Ancient Technology

The Compo ends in
Solo, from scratch, with source, in 48 hours.

The Jam ends in
Solo and Teams, relaxed, 72 hours.

Silent Game of Death, Post Mortem

Posted by
August 29th, 2012 9:50 am

Hi all, this is the post mortem for my Ludum Dare 24 entry called “Silent Game of Death”.

Silent Game of Death, entry link



First of I want to thank the community for all the comments I’ve already received , this was my first Ludum Dare and I’m quite happy with the outcome.


Ok lets start from the beginning shall we? During the summer I made a small 2D framework, using C++, SFML for window management and OpenGL for rendering. I stopped working on it when I got back to work though, I still had some “minor” things left to add before I could start making games in it. One of the things missing in my framework was audio handling, I had no way of loading or playing sound. Skip forward two months and I see Notch post about this thing called Ludum Dare, I almost imminently decide that I want to join in and sign up. I still have a half completed framework so I’ll need to work that out before the Dare begins. This was the Wednesday before the start by the way. So I sat down on Friday and added the audio handling and went to bed at about midnight, I live in Sweden so it started at 3 in the morning here. Here’s a time lapse of my progress all the way from the beginning to the bitter end!

I wake up and see the theme. I get really excited and scared at the same time. “Evolution” is such a HUGE theme, I start by making an idea cloud and just writing up everything that comes to mind. I start working on a game, a HUGE game, a game about evolving creatures for customers but first you have to grow the food for the creatures to affect their DNA. It was going to be great! Well no, I soon realized this was simply to big, scrapped the idea but kept the grid I had created for the farm game (this is the reason the enemy block texture is in the folder “ground” and is called “grass.bmp”). I came up with a new idea of using Conway’s Game of Life in some way and decided that it should be the main enemy of my game, so that the player was something like a virus or a disease. This evolved into a top-down shoot’em up with a ship that fires plasma bullets on blocks, really original!



Anyways I was about 4 hours from the end of the Dare when I noticed the silence in my game and realized that I’ve completely forgotten about all the sound! At this point I had some game breaking bugs and also some major features I still wanted to implement (gamestates and stuff like that) so I took the decision to skip putting in some half-assed sound-effects and went on to make the game stable and not feeling buggy or broken.


Things that went well

  • Using my own framework, I really were expecting to do some work on it while in the Dare but I didn’t have to make any major modifications to it!
  • Working on the second idea.
  • Putting work into making the game playable, and to some degree fun. Making sure the game wasn’t crashing or behaving oddly.
  • Gamestates, a begining and an end, making sure the player isn’t overly confused on what’s going on.
Things that went slightly worse
  • Planning, I should have planned my time from the beginning, not just coding away and wished for rainbows and green forests.
  • Eating habits, junk food isn’t that good for energy purposes.
  • Sleeping habits, I could probably have worked a couple of more hours on the  Sunday if I gotten up two or maybe three hours earlier.
  • The sound issue.
  • Final polish, the game feels ok but still needs a bit (a lot) more polish. This include both gameplay “smoothness” and graphics.
  • Time spent on graphics, spent way too little time on the graphics.

So I guess that’s it, I’ve learnt a massive amount of what I’m capable of and not. This have most definitely lit my game-making “spark” again and I will join the next Ludum Dare! Please play my game and add some to the comments, I really love reading what users think of it and I will most likely use these comments when I complete this game.

 Silent Game of Death, entry link

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