I feel like I learned a lot from my experience this past LD. Or at least it’s gotten me to think about things.
One lesson I learned, or at least experienced yet again, is never to undervalue time management and planning for the unexpected. For the first 12 hours I dawdled not doing much at all, then for the next 24 hours spent too much time obsessing over details and putting off important stuff (sounds, music, level design). The last 12 hours were super intense and sloppy, and as a result the game didn’t turn out as good as it could have been, and it was unpleasant working that hard.
After I submitted the game (here and on Newgrounds), I got really discouraged by a few comments providing fair and useful criticism. I obviously knew my game would be nowhere near perfect, but I was being really negative about it. I thought that I shouldn’t have even submitted it, because it was a waste of time for people playing it. I felt ashamed and guilty. Deep down though, a part of me knew that these feelings were irrational, and that I was blowing things out of proportion, but I felt sad anyways.
I spent a week or two pouting and thinking about the situation. Idly browsing tumblr I came across this blog post by Edmund McMillen about growing as an artist. Reading this post kind of brought me back to reality. It’s normal to make mistakes and learn from them, and that’s one of the main reasons that game jams like Ludum Dare exist. I learned a bunch about myself emotionally, which I’m not eloquent enough to write about, but they’re in this general domain. Lots of self-reflection, etc. Hopefully I’ll become a more mature person after this whole ordeal.
I don’t know if any of you guys reading this have had similar experiences, not just in Ludum Dare but anywhere in life, but I guess I’m just documenting my experience. I hope this post might be relevant to someone. Sorry for rambling and awkward wordings (it’s late, and I don’t write very well anyways), and thanks for reading. I might participate in the Mini-LD if I have time, but either way, I’ll definitely be back! Thanks to the staff and the community for creating such a great event.
TL;DR: Ludum Dare taught me that life is a learning experience. The blog post I linked above puts it nicely.