Methinks it’s a fourth go!

Posted by (twitter: @LPGhatguy)
August 6th, 2013 9:13 pm

Just one year ago, I participated in my first Ludum Dare. This will be my fourth experience, and I’m absolutely sure this event has changed my life.

I went through the experience of the past three Ludum Dares with different life events and different moods, resulting in quite a different game in Ludum Dare 25 when compared with 24 and 26.

Ludum Dare #24

I came to participate in Ludum Dare for a few reasons. I’ve struggled with depression my whole life, and I’ve been programming since 5th grade. Things were reaching a point where I couldn’t work on anything consistently, whether they were hobby projects or school work. I had been thinking about joining up in Ludum Dare but didn’t ever commit to it. But then, sometime last August, something clicked. I picked up LÖVE, a nice platform that allowed me to use a language I knew well – Lua – and still produce games that seemed pretty great.

I agreed to Skype with a friend of mine, Luke Weber, for the whole weekend while we both worked on games. He was working within ROBLOX, and though I’m not sure his game really fit within the rules of Ludum Dare, he had a lot of fun. Half way through the competition, I had very little to show for my work. Luke pressured me to continue on even if it meant my game wouldn’t be the one I had the vision of making going into the challenge. In the end, I created “UNBOUND,” which wasn’t really a game at all, and it hardly fit into the theme of “evolution.” Everyone posted rather constructive comments on the game and I was happy with what I produced.

Ludum Dare #25

For my second attempt at this challenge, I came in a little more prepared. I started about a month before the competition on a project – a framework on top of LÖVE that would get rid of all the mundane stuff like content management and make development of the actual game come first and foremost. I didn’t make anything too terribly impressive, and in the end I created a game that was much simpler than in Ludum Dare 24. It was a game about throwing people off of a bridge, called London Bridges. Why? Because my girlfriend of the time was an aspiring engineer. Other than that I have no justification for such a concept, but it was fun, and was remarkably more happy than what I produced in Ludum Dare 25.

Ludum Dare #26

By this time, the girlfriend I had in the previous go at Ludum Dare had dumped me. I was interested in a new girl, but it wasn’t going to work out. I had sunk pretty low again, and had been keeping a journal full of awful things. After participating in Ludum Dare, and creating a game that was essentially a spiritual successor to UNBOUND, JOHN I felt free of whatever burdens I had been carrying before, but with them went my emotions. I felt empty.

Things got better eventually, and that was four months ago or so. I’m excited for Ludum Dare 27 and whatever it brings, as long as the theme isn’t something like “evolution of kitten fishing” or the like.

See you all around.


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