Space Vikings – Post Mortem

Posted by (twitter: @ecmahacker)
August 25th, 2014 9:00 am

Space Vikings

I completed my game Space Vikings. The journey was interesting and started off pretty terribly. This is my second Ludum Dare and I was pretty psyched for it initially, but when the theme was announced I had a stint of writers block… Which lasted 15 hours! That being said, I started with a viking and just ran with it.

What Went Right
This Ludum Dare turned out pretty great! I loved how everything came together in those last few hours. I wrote my framework from scratch (just like last time) but I made few modifications: specifically with event handling. That was a great design decision, having most everything be driven by events. In the end, my framework (JavaScript/HTML5) was just over 300 lines of code – which is pretty small, all things considered! By making everything in the game a “Drawable”, it was very extensible and easy to use. This contrasts with my last attempt where I had separate classes for the “Scene” and the “Sprite”.

I decided to have a bit of fun and add some music. It turned out to be way easier than I thought it would be. With the power of audacity, my terribly untrained vocals, and a shoddy job at playing the Ukulele, I was able to actually piece together a pretty full presentation auditorally speaking. The music and effects added a je ne se quois to my game and made it seem way more complete. This is something I will definitely be focusing on in future ludum dares.

What Went Wrong
Next time, I hope I can be in a more productive state of mind. My initial faltering led to a less polished game than I hoped for, but despite that I was pretty happy with how it turned out. In the future, even if I am struggling with a concept, I think it would be wise to at least use my time in a more productive manner. I wish I would have added some more features to my game engine or produced music during those first few hours.

Additionally, I realized all the sounds I added to my game were incredibly quiet. Maybe I just had my volume up really loud when testing it, but I think I stifled the presentation by programmatically lowering the volume of everything and just doing a generally sub-par job with recording.

I am happy with how this turned out and, although I actually considered quitting during the first half of the competition, once I had an idea everything seemed to fall into place.

If you’re interested, you can play my game here: Space Vikings

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