Why this LD wasn’t a complete failure for me

Posted by
December 19th, 2013 2:10 pm

… even though I didn’t submit a game.

But first, I’ll state the obvious- the theme was a complete disaster. It sucked so bad, and if it didn’t then I suck (which I know I don’t, so it must be the theme). Even if the theme wasn’t so bad overall, for me it was just uninspiring. I kinda knew that it was going to be selected, so I really can’t use the excuse of “couldn’t think of something good in time”. Now, when we look at all the submissions, we can see that it really wasn’t as good as the last two themes (this was my third LD, in a row). There are a lot of games with the “one bullet, recollect and reuse it” mechanic, and although it might be interesting to see how many different people implemented this mechanic in very varied ways, I don’t feel that this is really the essence of LD, or the theme aspect of LD.

OK, so now that I’m done with my little rant, on to the story. Much to my dismay, I couldn’t think of any ideas that seemed interesting enough for me to try out. Either I’ve raised my standards, or I was just completely dry that weekend. Anyway, I didn’t wanna resume work on my WIP game, which I promised myself I wouldn’t touch during the LD, and then I remembered that I had entered this LD with one thing in mind- try something completely new, the harder the better.

So I decided to code a ray casting engine. Sure, it wasn’t that hard, but it was still a lot of fun. And for two days, I think I did a pretty good job, too (mind you, this version was compiled today, but the only improvements I made were bug fixes and some optimizations). The thing is, it isn’t a game, only the skeleton of an engine. That’s why I didn’t submit it (that, and the fact that it would’ve been ugly trying to tie it to the theme).

wolfie screen


I really liked working in 3D (well, pseudo-3D at least), it invoked memories of my early childhood, of watching my dad and my brother playing Wolfenstein 3D and Doom. In fact, I liked it so much that I might just end up making a 3D game for next LD. See you then!

8 Responses to “Why this LD wasn’t a complete failure for me”

  1. I don’t think the theme was bad. With so many games, it’s fine if some of them use similar ideas such as “one bullet”, and there are plenty of games that have another take on the theme.

    • iambored2006 says:

      Yeah, I guess you’re right *grudgingly murmurs acceptance*. I guess I was just disappointed at myself for not being able to think of anything. I brainstormed for hours. I only had to brainstorm for about half an hour in my previous LDs.

      • Todd Luke says:

        What’s your brainstorming process like? What really helps me drum up ideas is drawing mockups or going for a walk

        • iambored2006 says:

          I try doing other things after I find out what the theme is. Not mentally demanding stuff, just stuff like taking a shower or cooking, and the ideas bump around in my head like a particle accelerator. Usually I come up with something really quick, and if I don’t, I draw some basic ideas and see how I can derive from them an idea I like. This time, it just didn’t work.

  2. Shaun Lebron says:

    You should be proud of where you are if you think making a raycaster engine isn’t hard. I had to write one for my game and I barely finished.

    I got the following error when trying to run your engine on my mac:

    > java -jar Wolfie\ Game\ v1.1.jar
    Exception in thread “main” java.lang.ExceptionInInitializerError
    at struct.WolfenMain.main(WolfenMain.java:8)
    Caused by: java.lang.ArithmeticException: / by zero
    at iambored.engine.structural.GameManager.(GameManager.java:78)
    … 1 more

    On a related note, your preview image is only one step away from the exact mechanic I used in my 1D game. Check it out: http://www.ludumdare.com/compo/ludum-dare-28/?action=preview&uid=31638

    • iambored2006 says:

      Well, I read about the concept a few months ago, and I understood it fairly well, so it was just a matter of coding the math and the grid traversal.
      I’ll be sure to take a look at your game, it looks really interesting!

      Apparently, your computer’s refresh rate is zero… I corrected it so that if this is the case, it uses 60 instead. The download link is updated (Mediafire now, so I can track the amount of downloads).
      BTW, I ran the game on my dad’s mac, and it seems to run OK, except for the atrocious frame rate and some other minor stuff. You’re good to go!

  3. vinibiavatti says:

    Hello Mans! My name’s Vinícius, I from Brazil =D My ingles is bad :/. Ok, I would like publisher the source code this fabulous, incrible and fantastic ray casting engine! Please! I want learn to create this. Thanks and congratilations!

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