Time to Sleep On It

Posted by (twitter: @whendricso)
December 11th, 2015 9:46 pm

Ludum Dare always starts at 9 p.m. for me. It’s usually a great time, but lately I have been switching to a “normal” sleep schedule. Since I’m pretty beat, I’ll sleep on it. Having two themes this time makes the decision process quite a lot easier, but most of my competitors will have about a 9-10 hour head start while I’m recharging.


This is probably a really good thing for me, though. I expect a lot of people will be worn out when I wake up around 6 a.m. tomorrow morning, and I will have a chance to read updates and see what was made whilst I slept. Hopefully this will give me some idea of what direction *not* to go in, and help me grow a more novel idea.


In the morning, my list looks something like:

  1. Research: I’m going to spend 30 minutes researching & learning what other people are doing, so I can move in a more unique direction. Grass Simulator 2015 anyone?
  2. Brainstorming: I will then spend some time, but no more than 90 minutes, brainstorming a game I can make with my current tool set, fitting the theme, and fun in 6 hours or less.
  3. I’ll take a short break, probably around 30-90 minutes, so I can be fresh and ready when it’s time to hammer on my keyboard.
  4. Bulk development: Next step is actually hacking out the rough prototype. I want to create something more substantial than the 10-15 minutes of gameplay I made for my last Ludum Dare entry. Depending on the design, I’ll either need to make a win condition absent/mathematically impossible, or have highly variable and mostly procedurally-generated content. The second option sounds like a ton of fun, but I’ll need something that I can hack out in a couple of hours as I’ll need a lot of time for hashing out the mechanics. I will also put together some really basic (and I mean, really, really basic) sound and if I have time music but if not, perhaps just a basic percussion loop.
  5. Respite: After bulk development, I intend to take the rest of the day off, so I can be fully refreshed on the last day of the compo
  6. Polish: All those minute settings, fixes, bug-smashing, levels adjustment, etc will be given an entire day this time. Last time I tried Ludum Dare, I didn’t give myself enough time for this and ended up pulling the game completely. To avoid that happening again, I want to have the majority of my resources dedicated to polishing.


And that’s it, by the time I’m done with this, it will be getting late. I do expect about 3-4 hours of buffer between the time I complete my work and the submission deadline, but as we all well know that buffer usually gets eaten up pretty fast.


And that pretty much sums it all up. I can’t wait to see what everyone makes, it’s always so much fun to play other people’s games and see what can really be done in such a short time.

Cheers, and happy coding!


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