Penguins gone mad – Post mortem

Posted by
December 18th, 2013 7:03 am

Hello everyone!

I know I’m a little bit late for a post-mortem but those last two days I was very busy and I wanted to write a good one!

I know ludum dare for at least 2 years now but I was never able to join in, mostly because family/friends messing my schedule up. I don’t know why but saying: “I’M DEVELOPING A GAME AND I HAVE 30 HOURS LEFT TO FINISH IT. PLEASE GO AWAY! >:(“ doesn’t work around here. 😛   This time, however , I decided to really cancel everything that come out on my way. After about 5 missed Ludum Dares, I really had to finish one Ludum Dare! And looks like #28 was my lucky number.

On friday I didn’t know for sure what themes were on voting (and I didn’t look out to find new theme battles like Potato x NoPotato ) so I was pretty lost! But when the theme come out I had this weird idea of using exploding penguins somehow. And that’s how my game was born!


— Friday night.

On my previous tries on Ludum Dare my workspace was on my bedroom. And what really happened was:

I had an idea -> started programming it -> found difficult to solve bug -> got frustrated -> pretended to be tired -> slept -> lost time -> solved bug -> had another idea -> repeat forever.

And obviously that didn’t work because with this cycle a huge amount of time was lost. However some factors are impossible to get out of the equation. We will always find really hard to solve bugs get frustrated. The problem here is that frustration lead me to “I need to sleep, after sleep this bug will be so much easier to fix” and this statement is not true, at all. But what lead me to think that way?

-> My bed.

I don’t know if that only happens with me, but I’ve found out that the warming environment of bedrooms makes me be amazingly unproductive. It makes me want to play, sleep, eat , enter on twitter/facebook, hang out with friends…anyway… procrastinate in the most different ways. And it’s a unconscious action….

When I realized that (and it took me a while to get it)… I decided to move all my workspace to my living room.  And it worked! I’ve broken the evil cycle! 😀  After that, those two days became extremely productive!!!


Change workspace = new ideas and increased productivity. The best lesson I’ve had at this compo.

Other thing that I’ve decided to do was to use Actionscript which isn’t a tool that I’m used to work on a daily base. And that was a challenge at first but I really liked how fluid it was programming and using flashpunk was awesome (flashpunk = <3).  

— Saturday and Sunday = Progress

screen 1 -> screen2 -> screenshot3

(Friday night )->(Saturday afternoon) ->(Sunday night)

What went right:

Workspace change  : This change was the turning point for me. It made me get more focused and organized. 

Choosing a simple concept: I normally choose ridiculously difficult concepts for my games and that normally leads to difficult design decisions that take time. I decided to keep a simple mechanic and develop more the humorous and fun side of the game. That freed my time to focus on other things like graphics, fixing bugs and most important having fun with my own game.

Choosing funny subjects: I’ve decided to work with something that would make me laugh  (exploding penguins ). This made me have so much more fun developing this game and with this choice I had almost no tension while making this game. I found myself at sunday 7 am laughing hard when I’ve created the parachute exploding penguins, even after two almost sleepless nights. This made my compo way better.

Time management (almost): Comparing to my other tries, I managed time in a better way. It almost worked completely I did almost everything that I’ve wanted to do. I think that went better because I planned my how I was going to use time and really respected all the work sections. If I’ve decided to make sounds in that time span I really made all possible sounds for that allocated time, no more no less. However I was not able to finish all my tasks.

NO FACEBOOK/TWITTER OR PROCRASTINATING: That really went right. I’ve shut my cellphone of and kept away from social networks and procrastination tools as hard as I could and that really helped me.

What went wrong:

Music: I should have searched for music development tools before compo. I found myself sunday 10pm searching for tools and how to make an interesting soundtrack for my game and…. That didn’t work. Planning on this area that I personally know nothing about is essential for next compos.

Sleep: I got so excited with my progress that I almost forgot to sleep on saturday. I slept from 10 am to 12 am after developing for 10 hours straight . On sunday I forgot again to sleep and went o bed only at 6am and slept only until 9am. In sunday afternoon I was so tired that I literally passed out at 6pm and only I only woke up at 9. This messed up my schedule and progress. I need to give sleep some hours, it’s important! This whole sleep issue destroyed my sleep cycle in such a way that I’m still having trouble to sleep.

Level design : This was the really last thing that I’ve done and I should have spent more time on that. And for my type of game testing rounds/levels really take time. For me I should have mixed engine testing with level testing, I mean I shouldve started earlier developing the round system to test both levels and engine add-ons at the same time.This would have freed my time for other stuff. However, I’m satisfied with the level design result.


That’s it 😀
Please consider playing/rating my game! It’s my first LD and I’m really looking foward your comments!

They are extremely important for me and for my next games! :)

Click on the image to play!



Well, this is it! I hope you liked this post and ,if you want, please leave a comment about what do you think of my experience!

Thank you all for making this compo awesome! You guys rock :)


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