Ludum Dare 31
December 5th-8th, 2014

CLIMB UP!! Post-mortem

Posted by (twitter: @isharacomix)
August 26th, 2013 8:26 pm

Three cheers for me for my first successful Ludum Dare! And my first successful NES game! A lot of first successes this time around – my body will forgive me for the missed meals. :)

So a bit of post-game analysis – I had a lot of reasons for wanting to make this game the way I did. As I said in my initial post, I’m developing an online course in NES ASM programming (#8bitmooc), and part of the course is all about making a game all by yourself from scratch! So I wanted to make sure that I could develop the game using the same tools that I expect my students to use, which are the 8bitmooc playground and the documentation that I’ve been writing! I’ve been taking the text from the NESDev wiki, and rewriting it to be more accessible for people who are just interested in programming by describing the NES as if it were an API. Normally I use that wiki when I need help, but for this project, I made it a point to only use my own documentation, which I think went pretty well!

A few folks have indicated some problems with the ROM image, such as it failing in some emulators. It works perfectly in Mednafen, jsNES, and John’s Android NES Emulator, but a friendly fellow from the NESDev forums told me about some not-so-great things I was doing in my code, like writing the sprites way too late. I still have a lot to learn about the NES, but the best way to learn about something is to teach it, and I obviously know quite a bit considering that I was able to make a game in the end!

I really wanted to get a fast-paced game with goofy sounds and graphics when I made this game, and that’s why the controls are so twitchy. I spent most of the time on the physics engine and the “feel” of the game until I was happy getting a little dude bouncing around, pushing blocks, and dying every 10 seconds. Having to do collisions between 16 solid objects is tricky and takes up a lot of clock cycles. But for a simple game written in 48 hours, I am extremely pleased with my output, and that I was able to take the two top themes and run with them so quickly! I think I might have spent 16 hours at the computer in total or so. I definitely did NOT spend much on the level design, which is my least favorite part of game making.

All things considered, I’m amazed that my game has managed to get 67 ratings in just one day after submission – I’ve really appreciated everyone’s feedback! Granted, it’s hard to play others’ games when you’re running Linux, but I’ve enjoyed many of the ones I’ve gotten to run! LD really brings out the creativity in people, so I’m glad I participated this time around. :)

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One Response to “CLIMB UP!! Post-mortem”

  1. soulrot says:

    Amazing job, congratulations! Seeing you actually finish a game in assembly gives me motivation to try such a thing myself, although not with a time limit since I only have a little bit of experience so far. And “I still have a lot to learn about the NES, but the best way to learn about something is to teach it”: you did not learn from participating in LD? I certainly did learn a lot of things, about both code (I can get things working even without being a perfectionist :P) and organization!

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