Here’s a quick Post Mortom for my second Ludum Dare attempt “Hunt yourself, or something”. Rate and play it over here:
One of the first things that came into my mind was you being a werewolf and hiding it from your friends/fellow citizens.
The idea was that you had to convince the people in the town that you’re not the werewolf since they’d probably hang you if they found out. So I came up with a little game were you had 30 days to prepare until full moon. You were supposed to talk to villagers who gave you quests (setting traps, hiring a werewolf hunter etc.). By doing these quests you decrease your suspicion and earn some money but it also decreases your chance of survival once you’re a werewolf. Therefore you should also sabotage the completed quests and buy meat and clothes to help you when you’re a werewolf but by doing that you’d increase your suspicion. Eventually the game would be about finding the perfect balance between completing and sabotaging quests.
Eventually I didn’t get half of my ideas in the game. A few of the elements that didn’t made it into the game were:
- Different kinds of quests
- Earning money after completing a quest
- With money by meat to hide so you can eat it at night
- After transforming back into human form you’d be naked and had to clothes before the other people in the town could see you.
- Buy clothes with the money you get from quests
I think people still get the point and I still think the idea is pretty cool but it was far to big for me to complete within 48 hours.
Maybe I’ll try to finish it on a lazy Sunday.
So let’s get to the usual ‘What went right‘, ‘What went wrong‘ and ‘Next time’ part of the Post Mortom.
What went right
Concept that could easily be broken down
I think I came up with a concept that could easily be broken down. So once I’d finish the core of the game, I could just add the features on my list.
Decided to code quick and dirty from the start
Last time I spent almost my whole Saturday coming up with some sort of gaming engine. In the end (of course) I didn’t even used half the features I implemented. So I decided to not reuse any of the code I was going to write during this weekend and just make it work as fast as possible. Although it was hard to knowingly write ugly code, it helped me a lot getting things done.
More focus on art
This Ludum Dare I tried to spend more time on the art of my game. Last time I kept postponing it until the very end, but that didn’t work out. So this time around I tried to make a few sprites and tiles that looked nice. And since I’m not a designer or illustrator, I’m quite proud of the things I created during the compo.
What went wrong
Choosing the right features in the beginning
Although my concept could easily be broken down, to make it playable turned out to be a pain. I was working on 10 different features at the same time and not finishing one of them until 1 hour before the end of the compo. This resulted in no time for play testing and other ‘cool’ features.
Reinventing the wheel again
After I had my concept I spend the first couple of hours writing a simple game loop, sprite animator, tilemap and that sort of stuff. I’m not a game developer or anything so I’m sure the stuff I wrote is slow, inefficient and unnecessarily complex.
Not proud of my end result
Although coding quick and dirty from the beginning helped me getting things done it didn’t help me enjoy Ludum Dare as much as last time. I created a game that (in my opinion) is better than the last one but at the same time I’m not as proud of my result since it’s just a bunch of workarounds and quick fixes.
There was just to little time to add some sounds. I didn’t wanted to add some random bleeps and bloops so I choose to focus my time on fixing bugs instead.
Don’t reinvent the wheel
I think I’ll try to use some sort of engine or platform so I don’t have to worry about the basecode anymore. This way I can focus more on my concept and don’t let my lack of game development skills get in the way.
Less focus on graphics but more on audio
This time I spent more time on graphics next time I’ll try to do the same with audio. In hindsight I think good audio adds more than good graphics. But then again, the graphics shouldn’t be bad either. I guess I know next time what’s more up my alley.
Get something playable within the first 12 hours
Both of my Ludum Dare attempts ended with me rushing to add some core features at the last minute. Next time I hope I can get something playable within the first 12 hours. Skip the nice graphics, audio and whatnot. Just get it to work. After that I have all the time in the world weekend to add additional features and polish where needed.
Let’s just hope I can keep those promises, either way I’ll see you guys next time!