Post mortem: SAUROPOD vs THEROPOD

Posted by (twitter: @martijnfrazer)
December 15th, 2015 7:36 pm

So I made a dino game this LD: SAUROPOD vs THEROPOD

I’m pretty happy about how it turned out, even though I didn’t have time for a bunch of features and art that I did plan on doing originally. People seem to enjoy it, which is sort of a first for me, haha.

I started on Saturday morning, around 9 am (LD started at 3 am in my time zone, but I was asleep then of course). I normally check out the theme and then ponder about it in the shower, but this time I only checked Twitter and saw that tweet from PoV about how he accidentally had put up “one button” instead of two, so I figured the theme was “two button controls”.

I came up with a bunch of games, such as:

  • a business simulator in which you have tons of buttons to control your company, but you can only use two per [time unit]
  • a racing game in which button A has one of four functions (accelerate, brake, left, right) and button B switches the function of button A. It would be the QWOP of racing games

By the time I got out of the shower, I noticed of course that “growing” was also part of the theme, which made me scrap all my plans and think again about the concept.

After reconsidering new ideas, and discussing them with my girlfriend, I ended up with two main ones:

  • a snake-like conga line party game in which you can start conga lines at parties and have to find people willing to join your conga line (basically Disney’s Conga Longa, haha)
  • a game about dinosaur evolution

Obviously, I went with the latter one. It was actually she who mentioned the idea of using dinos, I hope that doesn’t break the rules of the compo, haha.

Because I wasn’t happy with how my previous game turned out, I ditched HTML/CSS/Javascript and used LÖVE this time, which is the first time I’ve tried it during Ludum Dare.

It was quite a pleasant experience, adding sound and graphics to my game without much pain at all. Would recommend!

My schedule ended up looking a bit like this:

Saturday
– morning: coming up with idea
– afternoon/evening: art + code for walking your dino over the plains, eating plants and having enemies come for you
– evening/night: making all of the music

Sunday
– morning: researching dinosaur names (there’s over 200 of them)
– afternoon: art + code for battle screen
– afternoon/early evening: voice recording + editing all the dino sounds (there’s over 70 of them)

I’m a bit fuzzy on what happened Sunday evening / night. I got in a bit of panic while finishing my game, polishing random stuff and adding features at the last minute. This is when the game really came together. It was only then things like the evolution really got put into the game, when little animations here and there were added and when additional sound effects made sure the whole thing felt coherent.

So yeah, that’s it.

For the next time I’m definitely going to stick with LÖVE, because I feel I could become a lot more productive if I gain some experience with it. Also I’m going to try to write some base code so I don’t have to start from scratch the next time. It will probably take several LDs to get that into any decent state, but hopefully it will result in nicer games in the future :)


One Response to “Post mortem: SAUROPOD vs THEROPOD”

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