10 Seconds Down

Posted by (twitter: @DarkAcreJack)
August 27th, 2013 12:29 pm

remote… remote control.

Well, that’s 9 for 9 in a row for LD compos. Happy, exhausted, all the usual emotions plus a handful more. Congrats to all successful entries. The following is reprinted from the official project page:


What Went Right

1. Continued Apolicy
Once more total radio silence on the theme proved a good strategy. I wonder what would happen if no one voted? But then again I think about that every time there’s any kind of democracy.

2. New Environment

The new Dark Acre office in Nanaimo is game development heaven compared to the apartments in the West End of Vancouver. I felt more relaxed, focused, & at ease throughout the compo, despite complications (see 1 below).

3. Outside Time
Went for walks, something I hadn’t purposely done in previous compos. Also smoked a bit of pipe tobacco, a dirty habit I hadn’t really touched much for the past 5 years. Not advocating, do what you want. Did it help me think clearly? I believe so, health concerns aside.

4. Riding a Wave of Successful Ludum Dare Compos
I’ve done this so many times now it’s become routine. It’s a major advantage but also something of a drawback (see 2 below).


What Went Wrong

1. That Damn Cat

Pon Pon
The Dark Acre cat, Pon Pon, escaped a few days before the compo began. We recovered her with a dislocated jaw and chip in her spine. This was stressful in itself, but we were glad to get her back in relative safety.

Then on the Saturday of the compo I was carrying her to the vet for a progress check up & she broke out of the carrier. She holed up in an inaccessible crawlspace under our apartment for 10 hours, causing stress & distraction. We once again recovered her, & were forced to re-schedule the check up for the Sunday of the compo. More lost time.

I’m never one to make excuses, but accidents do happen. Due to the lost production time I was unable to process audio & expand the level design. This was the first time 9 compos that such a thing happened, so I count myself lucky in that regard.

2. Familiarity Breeds Contempt
I love the compo. It’s the closest I’ve come to feeling like there’s actual value in hardcore production. The sweat, the tears, the neglected health & family members. But in the last year it’s come with ever-diminishing returns on educational value, & only reinforced my belief that long-term projects are where it’s at.

3. Overall Lack of Practice/New Tools
I think I executed well, given the circumstances, but it could have been better not only with the full amount of time but with a little more time spent in the new tools. I’d recently upgraded to the ’14 versions of my Autodesk stuff, 3.6 of Substance Designer, & I hadn’t even opened Unity3D since the last compo. There were a few minor hiccups, like losing all my keysets for Max, or completely forgetting how to assemble a Substance, but overall I was pleased with how the coding went & the discovery of the improvements Unity’s made to its engine.



Play & rate “10 Seconds”. Thanks for throwing your eyeballs across these words.

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