Sorceress is IN (free tips inside!)

Posted by (twitter: @_sorceress)
December 5th, 2014 5:20 am

It’s Ludum Dare ☃ Time!


If you live in Europe, then the compo is split over 2 days. This is generally how I split my work between Saturday and Sunday:

  • Day 1 – engine, controls, graphics, music.
  • Day 2 – gameplay features, level design, sound effects, menu, particles and other visual effects.

I recommend this schedule to others. My reasoning? Day 2 can be stressful – or rather – you will feel the pressure of time. When you’re under pressure you will rush things, and the engine/controls/graphics/music can’t afford to be rushed!

If you do rush these things, you don’t do them as well or as carefully. So they will be more prone to errors, and you won’t really have time to properly test/debug/fix them.

Engine – Say you rush your engine (that is the game loop and the core physics of your game). If it doesn’t work properly, then you could have a broken game. Nothing else will matter.

Controls – Imagine if the keys/mouse input doesn’t work properly. Imagine if a character can’t make jumps it is supposed to be able to make. Or if the speed/feel of character movement is just wrong/bad. Imagine if an inventory or in-game menu won’t open. Your game could be unplayable.

Graphics – Rush your graphics and spoil them and your game will look bad. Graphics create first impressions. Your screenshot is all that will entice players to click your game, and your game could well be judged after a mere 60 seconds of play. First impressions are everything!

Music – Leave it until day 2 and it’s the sort of thing you’ll keep putting off until it’s too late! And if you rush your music then your game could sound bad. Painful sounds will put player’s in a bad mood, which could be the difference between “I like your game” and “I don’t like your game”. Don’t make them want to turn down the volume.

Day 2 – If you’re finding things too stressful, then try not to worry. Don’t worry about making a big game with many levels and a zillion different items. Short games are often preferred anyway! Everybody cuts corners on day 2, so let it happen. And always have fun, and let that fun show in your work.

Good Luck. See you on the other side 😛

2 Responses to “Sorceress is IN (free tips inside!)”

  1. Sage advice. I’d add that the second half of day 2 is for polish, and for things such as making sure that screenshot is just right. There’s nothing worse than being stressed at 1am with an hour to go before the submission deadline because you timed things badly and you have to do a screenshot, find hosting for your game, and all of those other tiny things that take 4 times as long as you’d imagined they would.

  2. Doctor Broccoli says:

    I’d like to take a moment to stress the importance of pushing the gameplay features to day 2 (or day 3, if you’re jammin’.) I find my best creations are the ones where I took my time to hammer out the details in gameplay. By not rushing into specifics on day 1 you get to think and re-think the gameplay so that you can be sure that it all works out when you implement it and you get to avoid re-implementing stuff.

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