Grasshopper, Post-mortem

Posted by
May 1st, 2013 3:39 am

Background:
This was my 5th Ludum Dare 48 and the 3rd time I actually submitted a game, so that alone made me happy =).

For the first time in LD I didn’t have any stress and the design phase didn’t feel like “endless grind”, which for some reason usually happens for me.
This was also the very first time I’ve ever used Love2D and Lua for well, anything, and I really learned valuable things in just one short weekend (actually made me order the Programming in Lua third edition to help me integrate Lua scripting to my work-in-progress engine).

In general this was the most fun I’ve had in LD ever, I’m very satisfied with my game, mainly because of the earlier mentioned “no stress” approach and that the tools were new to me.

The finalized game

The short story
I woke up at 06:15 Saturday. The theme was announced 05:00 Finnish time, but I’ve learned from previous LD’s that it is much better wake up well rested even though it means hour or few head start for other than to wake up feeling like you know what and just forcing yourself to design.

When I noticed that the theme was minimalism I immediately knew that I wanted to be shown in the game-play itself rather than just graphics or audio-visuals in general.
Took me a good few hours to get the design down, and at first I kinda doubted it, but when I started to actually working on the development I grew more fond with it.

The coding went fairly well even tough working on a new language always poses its own difficulties. If I could change 1 single thing from Lua I’d definitely would prefer that variables and functions would need to be declared before used. This might be just because of my own sloppiness, but I had few occasions where I had typoed some name and the error didn’t pop up until much later.

Art has always been my main nemesis especially when the schedule is tight. I just can’t do it. The game only has 2 distinct tiles (and few variations of them) and a few sprites, yet making the art took about 3 times as long as the coding… not good!

Music is along with coding my other passion and I had a real blast making the “main theme” for the game. I had this strange inspiration/”image” in my head of a sad Russian cartoon when composing the song and I think the music kinda fits that. I’m not saying the music is any good, but the fun alone I had making it, made it very worth while.

The Good

  • No-Stress approach, having much more fun, which echoed itself in to the end result I belive
  • Learning new tech gave the event even more meaning for me, which helped me motivate myself
  • Simplistic design, which could’ve been easily expanded if I so should’ve desired
  • The bad

  • Art, as usual, takes way too much time for me and the result itself does not justify the time spent
  • The verdict
    Not even knowing (or really caring about) the results yet I can say that this was the best LD I’ve had so far!

    Some screenshots from development
    Coding in Geany, a great editor for Linux & Windows
    Composing in TuxGuitar

    EDIT: Ofc I forgot to link the game in the post, so here it is: Grasshopper

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