Tools

To cut a long story short, for this Ludum Dare I shall be using:

  • Unity
  • C#
  • Visual Studio Express 2013 for Desktop (it’s free, and works well with Unity)
  • Paint.NET
  • Audacity
  • bxfr
  • Abundant Music

Why Unity?

I’ve entered Ludum Dare a few times and have for the most part used Java and libgdx. I’m very fond of libgdx, as I’ve seen it grow from a small, well-designed Android toolkit into the cross-platform wonder that it is today. The reason that I like it is that it is a toolkit, not a game engine.

“But, Rod, if you like libgdx so much, why are you using Unity this time?” I can hear you asking. Here’s why…

For several years my wife has been patiently pointing out that there are a lot of Ludum Dare entries that start from a higher position because most people would rather make games in 48 hours rather than spending most of that time reinventing the wheel. And I’ve been equally patiently promising that one day I would develop a toolkit based on libgdx and use it for Ludum Dare.

But at some point after #ld28, when I was up to my eyeballs with a work project, my wife persuaded me to look for alternatives. This culminated in a strange weekend in which we sat down together and wrote a Flappy Bird clone using GameMaker Studio. We finished it, and it was eminently playable. I couldn’t deny that GameMaker Studio handled most of the boilerplate that I would have otherwise reinvented. In fact, I could definitely see the attraction and in a slightly more sleep-deprived moment considered the possibility of writing something similar on top of libgdx.

So, did I decide GameMaker Studio was the greatest thing since sliced bread? No, not quite. Even with such a small project, I found myself bumping up against annoyances, asking questions such as, “Why did they stop there? Why not expose that in an inspector like Unity does?” I hadn’t touched Unity for a few years, but I’d heard good things about the 2D in the latest version and decided to give it a try with the same Flappy Bird clone. The results more than surpassed my expectations, not least because I ended up with something that I could play on my phone. Besides, I got to write some C#, which I hadn’t done for a while.

And that’s why I will be using Unity.

The generation game

My daughter entered #ld28. She says she is entering #ld29 too, although she has to cope with the additional demands of homework and constraints imposed by evil parents who don’t let her stay up all night. I suspect that she’ll be using Scratch and will be taking over my main development PC while I’ll be relegated to a venerable laptop, a pair of headphones and Google Play Music to keep me sane.

 

 


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