Equilibrio nato …

Posted by (twitter: @phigames)
August 30th, 2014 2:21 am

I made Equilibrium for LD30, and here’s my post-mortem:

I learned a lot during this compo, and I want this post to be advice, mainly for myself, but also for everyone else interested in how to make a game in 48h if you suck at making games.

Theme

brainstorming

Brainstorming

This time, I didn’t really care at all about what the theme would be. I used the time before the weekend to set up my tools and plan the development process. This allowed me to get to work in the morning without being sad and upset about the theme voting results. I did quite a bit of brainstorming and didn’t use my computer at all, except for research. I absolutely didn’t want to be inspired by other game developers, but have my own idea. It took some time, but it worked, and I had a fairly simple concept in mind. However, I ended up having to invent some weird context to make it related to the theme.

  • Tips: don’t bitch about the theme, brainstorm, have an idea.

Planning

I had made a very clear but flexible plan for my time management, so when I woke up on Saturday, I knew exactly what to do. For the most part I sticked to my plan and had a working prototype after the first couple of hours. I used Google Keep as a simple but effective way to organize my tasks without getting distracted.

  • Tips: know what to do, use to-do lists.

Staying focused

I took some breaks, and I didn’t spend them in front of the computer. I feel like I could have taken more, because moving around and thinking about other stuff keeps me motivated and comfortable. It’s kind of paradoxical that you get things done faster if you don’t work on it all the time, but it works really well. Also, I tried to use my screen space efficiently. Having two monitors can be dangerous, because it’s so easy getting distracted by livestreams or even the Ludum Dare website. I kept my to-do list and a tab for research on one screen and developed and tested on the other for most of the time. Having a tidy environment is helpful too, especially if you like scribbling and doodling on paper, but my desk was a mess as always.

  • Tips: take breaks, use space efficiently.
debugging

Developing

Graphics

I can’t draw. I don’t have the knowledge, practice and utensils to make beautiful graphics. I didn’t use a single image file in my game, and still people tell me they like the visuals. Focusing on a consistent style and not wasting my time with drawing and redrawing tons of pictures was a wise decision. The time I spent on figuring out the math for drawing my simple shapes was definitely well spent.

  • Tips: do what you can, don’t be afraid of math.

Audio

I implemented music and sounds pretty late in the development process, when the game was almost done. This allowed me to make them fit the graphics perfectly. I’m not an expert in music theory, but with my basic knowledge of harmony, I managed to create some non-annoying audio in a reasonable time. I used Sunvox to create both the ambient music and the sound effects, and it all went together quite well.

  • Tips: do what you can, make it fit the mood.

Result

In the end, I had a playable (though not ‘finishable’) game. I’ve made some of my friends and family play the result and also got some nice and constructive feedback from other Ludum Darers. Without a doubt, it needs improvement, mainly because the game concept is hard to understand and there is no real goal. I got a lot of positive criticism for audiovisuals. I’m personally very satisfied with my game, and know what to change to make it an enjoyable game.

The finished game

The finished game

It’s been almost two years since I made my first game for LD, and I’m amazed by what people have achieved. I’ve made tons of great experiences. I’ve done things I never thought I was able to and I learned lots of lessons, also for life. Ludum Dare and its community has helped me in so many ways. I’m still not a good game designer/developer, but I’m on a path in the right direction.

Thank you for everything!


 

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One Response to “Equilibrio nato …”

  1. Fenweldryn says:

    Very motivating post! Thanks!

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